After the excitement (and hefty payouts) of the past week, the Rune Wardens do some shopping. Marcus also takes some time to craft himself new armor using the finest mithral.
After Duli confronts Brodi at the Blue Bunyip, the party tails him back to a house in Lowcleft by the Arvensoar rubble. After convincing his bodyguards to cooperate, they head down into secret catacombs below the house.
There, they find Brodi speaking with his girlfriend, a duergar named Ludmilla. Marcus blinds Brodi, which provokes Ludmilla to enlarge herself. Zavian tries to talk Brodi into surrendering, but he refuses. Ludmilla wounds Astrid before Lea and Astrid beat her unconscious.
Interrogating the two of them, they learn that Brodi ran off with Ludmilla. He took the key so that its anti-scrying enchantments would protect her from her enemies among the Duergar. Lea promises them safe haven in Korvosa.
With the key returned, Duli faces a trip back to Janderhoff. She offers to stay on for a bit, but Marcus sends her off, saying he’s come to value the importance of family.
Next, the party investigates Prince Eldrin’s camp in the Mushfens. Amelia and Astrid scout ahead, riding Amelia’s new hippogriff. From the air, they note that the camp seems abandoned and that there are giant footprints in the area.
The party approaches cautiously as the sun sinks low. Marcus casts enlarge on Lea. They find the bodies of three elven warriors. Zavian inspects one of the bodies, which is seemingly uninjured save for the huge hole driven through its chain shirts. There’s giant tracks on the ground. Shalelu identifies both marsh giants and stone giants, which makes no sense.
As Lea examines one of the bodies. near the tree at the center of the camp, she senses an evil aura coming from high up in the tree. A wave of necrotic energy flares out from a fetish hung high in the tree. The energy stirs the corpses to life. The one Zavian is examining grapples him, while the one by Lea lashes out at her, and the third rises to its feet.
The undead are soon joined by an angry alligator, which surges out of the stagnant water behind the tree to attack Lea. The reptile is quickly followed by a grotesque marsh giant, who trips the paladin with a gaff hook. The fighting is fierce but swift as the Rune Wardens bring down the undead and the giant, who is brought low by a hammer blow from Lea.
They quickly realize that the fetish in the tree is continuing to pump necrotic energy into the elf corpses, reviving them for another round. Amelia, whirling overhead on her griffin, puts an end to the threat by blasting the fetish with her wand of magic missile.
As the adventurers loot the corpses, an unfamiliar hand falls on Zavian’s shoulder. A wounded elven ranger, Captain Galodar, had been hiding using tree shape. After he is revived, he explains that the camp was attacked by a combined force of marsh giants and stone giants. Prince Eldrin and several others were given over to the stone giants as prisoners, to be taken north to Hook Mountain.
The Rune Wardens decide they cannot afford to tarry any longer. With the prince’s life in danger, they need to set forth for Hook Mountain and Turtleback Ferry as soon as possible.