We return to Hohonare to give the people back their holy relics. After being surrounded with highly armed elves, we are drug off to a small town and party like it's 1999. Sultrani is told hello by the six southern masters of the Hohonare, a great honor indeed. They spar for a bit, (to Twink's horror, this is how they give respectful greetings), and Sultrani does so well against them, they offer to make her one of the masters.
After the ceremony in Kain's honor, the Hohonare elves leave to an unknown place to perform a ritual, leaving the town mostly deserted. Raol, the old, crotchety elven herbalist, is quickly found by the cheery, chubby hobbitt herbalist chef. As Twink prepares to wow her with her amazing cooking skills and creates a delicious meal outside her house, Kain and Sultrani go to the waterfall for training. All our heroes are busy and distracted, therefore, when the village is attacked.
Twink holds a dish of her soup up to her little face, pleased as punch with her meal, when an elf stumbles into her and breaks the dish, soup sprawling all over. A distraught Twink looks at the elf as she staggers to the ground, and sees that the poor elf has been gutted. Twink grabs the wounded elf and bangs on Raol's door. They are quickly transported inside the house by some lively greenery, and the plants and Raol go to battle as Twink works desperately to help the dying elf.
Twink is then halted in her tracks by a vision—battle 18, a throon. Ironic that Kain, in that very moment, is grappling a throon under the waterfall. (How romantic!) Kain, surprisingly, out-wrestles the monster—all that bed play finally paid off, eh? He gets past some self-inflicted damage to defeat his mighty foe, and charges headfirst into the melee before him. Sultrani, in a truly awesome move, knocks down a huge array of foes in the area with her amazing speed.
Twink has another vision of a very pale woman with pink eyes, mobile hair, and a cloak that seems to have a life of its own. She has an eldarin rune burned on her tongue, and she appears to be fey. The very air around her is charged with atmosphere. She turns to Twink and says, “I'm in the forest. He can find me later, if he follows the trail of milk.”
Sultrani, meanwhile, is doing battle with a warrior holding a burning, serrated blade. He quaffs a potion when he discovers his attacks aren't working against her, and his eyes begin to burn, as well. When she attacks him, small beads around his neck explode, and it appears he takes no damage. The elves that had left to perform the ritual now return, and they are pissed as hell and battle worn. Apparently, someone found out about their ritual's timing and used it against them. The masters that Sultrani bested earlier quickly get to work. Kain, however, is encased in ice from an enemy spell and is quickly losing air. Sultrani, seeing this problem, flies to the air and delivers an earth-shattering punch to the ground, causing a minor quake in the area, knocking over many foes, and freeing Kain partway from the ice in the process.
After Twink plunks some stones into enemy heads, and Sultrani uses her crazy speed to knock over innumerable foes and end the battle... and Kain hacks away at the ice around his legs... Twink and Raol work to heal the wounded, and trade herbs. Raol also gives Twink a flower imprinted with Eldarin, so it always stays in its beautiful, fresh form. (It also slowly changes color.) Twink puts it in her hair proudly. The Hohonare then vow to go to war against the Zurahane for this ambush, offering to let Kain join the fight. He politely declines, saying, "As much as I like fighting, I have other stuff I have to do. Sorry." Always eloquent, our Kain.
We find the White Ghost is the name of the fey. She is a wild fey that helps with the arts, and artistic, friendly, social souls are the ones who normally approach her.
While Twink and Sultrani indulge in some sock puppet theatre, imitating Kain and his imagined attempts to try and call to the White Ghost through some form of performance, Kain keeps plowing through in a poor soliloquy. On his second attempt, Kain finally gathers the Ghost's attention at a still, calm lily pond by reciting this poem:
“There once was a ghost named Whitey,
Who was so quite awfully flighty,
Then Kain came and wooed her,
To show him her cooter,
And showed her that he was quite mighty.”
Miraculously, she showed up. Kain basically keeps what happens next a secret. He does inform us that she said he has to make a choice between butchery, honor, and intellect. She also tells him ancient elven lore; each of the three paths discussed are represented by three warriors—the original founders of the rite. During this trek, they are given choices by the three spirits, and the one on the journey must choose one of the paths.
As our heroes exit the forest, Twink's flowered brooch starts buzzing. It's our old friend Jari of the three brothers! (We've met them in battles long past, having traveled to the wreckage on the misty sea with them.) The brothers are in deep trouble, and ask for help. The party agrees--or should I say, Twink enthusiastically agrees to come to their aid--and we are transported to a dark, oppressive area underground. Two of the brothers are on the floor, out cold and really beat up, but they are in a circle of protection thanks to the one brother up and about. We discover that we are in an unholy temple, complete with huge snake statue. We battle five trolls, basilisks, ogres, shadow wolves, and even a death ogre. After we kick some major ass (Kain most especially--badassery incarnate, he was!), Jari tells us that we are in Skull Tower. The huge stone snake, homage to the god Set, begins to animate. We proceed to run for our lives. As we run down the hallway, Jari babbles, “Don't channel! Don't try to transport! This area is like a magnet!”
We find refuge in a trapezoid-shaped room and roll a stone in front of the door and rest.
Also... "My name's Kain! I like swords!" "My name's Twink, I like you!" We're just a mismatched, lovey-dovey, grumpy/happy, hobitt-wolfee couple out for adventure, OUT FOR ADVENTURE!