Several days later, the party awakes to an earthquake. Headed south then east, and stopped at Rosehearth. We continued on to where Linnmeadow should be, which proved to be ruins by a dry lake. During the night, a white stag with red and yellow swirling eyes leads Caelan to a large black bow and several hours.
In the morning, the party moves on to find ruins where Caer Vandras ought to be. Caer Vandras’s outer walls are crumbling, but the center building is intact, with a door radiating magic. An aqueduct from the north leads to a well at the northern edge of the central building. Vera climbs down the aquaduct and finds a room with a kiln and several little demonic beings laughing and playing cards. Sam wins 3 questions from the imps. “What question could we ask that you would consider most revealing?” “What lies on the top floor?” “Long ago the alchemists of this city summoned a creature of our court and now it is sealed up there.” “What would be a good way to speak to it?” “It is a creature of death and fire and it knows no conversation.” Vera plays a second game and wins a safe tour of the building, bet against 2 years of her life. The party discovers the body of a man, killed by acid, who has scrawled “do not trust the Court of Embers” on the wall in his own blood. Kinir takes his bag of holding. Edwin loses a game for three questions. They ask for the nearest source of human children, the directions to Marbleholt, and if Vera was cheating.
They also find a chamber where experiments were conducted, a trap that lures people in with cries for help, then seals them inside while acidic mist rises. Another door reveals a lab with animated humors in jars. Another door is labeled “Chamber of the Oracle. Forbidden.” It sprays acid on Sam when he tries to open the door. Kinir uses a hole to get through the door. Within, Sam frees the oracle, a goblin of the court of ember, who gives them three scrolls to summon monsters and a rain of frogs.
Using the portable hole, the party sees a summoning circle, with skeletons around it and incense or candles. Within, a skeleton with a flaming aura is bound.
Moving north and east around the lake, the party meets a wizard fleeing the fae whose name he stole. A female fae with a blank face and long hair and talons comes forward to take her name back. She flays her name from the skin of the wizard, whom the party heals and takes with them. The fae becomes a beautiful woman with roses for hair, wrapped in thorny vines. The party takes the wizard to a village, which is doing poorly due to its lake drying up. They part ways with the wizard, then continue circling the lake, and come across the ruins of another village. They find nothing within, then come across a salt mine. Within is a dessicated corpse. A salt goblin leads the party to the salt king, a fae in rich armor, with salt crystals for eyes. He offers them a feast, but the food is secretly just salt under a glamour. They are also offered a drink of his water, which is salty and grants visions. Vera and Caylen drink and see a jumble of visions. The salt mines dehydrate the party quickly.
The party leaves the mine and camps on hilly land. During Caelan’s watch, slavers with man-catchers attacked and were defeated and slain.