After the group had scouted the clearing, Keo used his nature magic to speak with the trees but didn’t learn much that he didn’t already know. The group decided to complete their “patrol” then headed back into the village and helped the elves with the rebuild.
The PCs’ hard work paid off as the grateful elves invited them to join them for dinner, after which they were able to ply Galen the village warden with copious amounts of alcohol. When they offered him a toast to his dead wife, he broke down in tears and quietly admitted that he had betrayed his village and his people.
After witnessing his wife’s death during the attack, Galen had found himself face-to-face with the dragon and its rider, a figure in purple robes and a dragon-like mask. In his moment of weakness, Galen had agreed to become an informant, reporting on other villages that the cultists might be able to raid instead of Altand. Galen confessed that he regularly met the dragon and its rider in a clearing south of the village. He didn’t know where the dragon laired, other than that it always arrived from and departed towards the southeast.
In the morning, the PCs set off. With Keo and Imsa navigating, the group had no trouble staying on course. They journeyed for several days. At one point, they came across another trail with gnoll tracks but decided not to get distracted. Later, they heard a cry for help and came across an elderly elf woman in druidic garb seemingly stuck beneath a fallen tree. She called out for them to help, but the PCs were suspicious of a trap and hesitated.
Eventually, though, the PCs determined that it would be OK to approach the elf. As they attempted to lift the tree off her leg, it rose up on its own, and the elf sprang to her feet, apparently uninjured. She congratulated them on their heroic selflessness and wove magical garlands that she gave them to wear. Without another word, she transformed into an owl and flew off into the woods, with three animated trees stomping off after her.
Flint wasn’t particularly keen on wearing his garland of flowers. He was able to determine that the garlands had protective magic woven into them, but he wasn’t sure what kind. He begrudgingly put his on after Imsa reassured him that it would do no harm.
The PCs had traveled nearly thirty miles from the village by the time they came to an area of the forest filled with spider webs. Some ettercaps and their giant spider pets came to investigate what had stumbled into their webbing but were soon scared off. On the far side of the webbed area, the forest opened onto a small pool fed by a high waterfall spilling over a cliff. There was no obvious path leading behind the waterfall, but they were sure the green haze hovering above the pool made Flint sure this was the green dragon’s lair.
Flint turned Roscoe invisible, and the nimble thief snuck along the south side of the pool and climbed up behind the water. He spotted a cave entrance near the top of the waterfall. They’d all have to climb up to reach it. As he came back, something large moved in the water, and a massive reptilian head on a long neck snapped out at Roscoe. It couldn’t see him, but it could smell him and got lucky, taking a tasty bite of the startled halfling.
It turned out the creature had four heads! Skie ran forward and chucked her axe at it, slicing off one of its heads, only to stare in horror as two new heads rapidly grew in its place. Flint realized that it must be a hydra of some kind. Keo and Flint blasted it with spells. When it was dead, they pulled its carcass to the shore, cut off all the heads, and cauterized the wounds just to be sure it wouldn’t regrow any more.
The PCs then proceeded to climb up the waterfall to access the cave, which rapidly descended into the dark. At the bottom, they could see some elves standing guard. Although they approached the elves warily, with Flint pointing out that green dragons were known to charm elves that they weren’t inclined to eat, things rapidly got out of hand. The elf leader drew her sword, and Flint fired an ice knife into the elves’ midst, killing them all with one stroke.
This sound shattered the silence and drew the attention of three ettins from a nearby cave, which Roscoe discovered by slipping through a narrow crack in the wall. The ettins came the long way around and tried to club the PCs to death but only ended up dead themselves. The PCs could hear shouts from deeper in the gloom, and Flint suddenly felt his silver dragon scale grow warm. Knowing that the green dragon was nearby, Flint directed everyone into the ettins’ now vacant lair, where he cast a rope trick. The PCs climbed in and waited …