On Monday, July 22nd, three more adventurers are gathered in the temple at Enoch to go through the portal:
- Verdis the Prickly (HuS): a bandit whose band was down on its luck and hiding in the wilderness. (Level 1 Human Fighter with tracking from backstory.) He received an axe that burned him to touch. He is leaving his band of bandits and a special lady friend to go to Haven and continue his efforts taking from the pompous rich.
- Lonir (MaC): a pick pocket who grew up as a lonely urchin in Enoch itself. (Level 1 Elf Thief with climbing, hiding, and lying from backstory.) He received a crystal that glows or doesn’t at his will. He leaves his few friends looking for a second chance at a better life.
- Lash (WaB): a son of a farmers who took to stealing to care for his family in a desperate year. (Level 1 Human Thief with riding, natural empathy, and lying from backstory.) He steals a mysterious and ornate dagger from a surprisingly deep pock at finds it brings him luck. He leaves his family and friends at the promise of adventure.
They arrive on a hot day and are greeted by Matthias. With the already arrived adventurers still recovering from their long journey to find the Satyrs, they new arrivals settle on going upriver of Confluence in search of contaminants together.
In Confluence, they are pointed toward District President Paul, a miller, who casts a spell allowing them to see the contaminants pouring into the river from the Eastern tributary. He provides them with a staff that casts a similar spell usable up to 8 times in the next 48 hours.
They head up the eastern side of the river, going until nightfall (10 miles up river) and using a single use of the staff. On they 23rd they go a couple miles, use the staff to see they have not passed the source of the contaminant, and continue. Fifteen miles from Confluence (at 6:30), Verdis hears they are being followed. The followers start to become louder, arguing in an unknown language. They turn and face them and see five short lizard creatures. The lizards loose the first arrow and a battle ensues among the trees. The creatures are falling quickly and one flees, pursued by Lash and Lonir. Verdis remains behind, wounding and then pursuing and slaying the last. They salvage crude and short arrows from the body, as well as a low poundage bow for Lonir.
They continue during that day and 21 miles from Confluence, Verdis sees wolf track going on ahead of them. They decide to let the wolves grow their lead and settle down to wait for half an hour. At around 11 they are laughing and joking when they hear a snarling. The half dozen wolves have returned and are eyeing them hungrily. The fight is quick with Lash and Lonir angering them with arrows before Verdis jumps forward to pull the charging wolves in. They kill a few and the two remaining flee.
They continue, trying the staff again at noon. They try again at 4 o’clock, having gone 30 miles from Confluence. The staff reveals no contaminants, so they know they have passed the source. They hike 5 miles back and check again, seeing the contaminant is there. They double back again two miles and check, finding it still contaminated.
With one use left on the staff, they cut their pace to half, watching carefully as they go. They start to see dying plants on their side of the river and know they are getting close. They eventually reach a ridge and find a path running below it. As they sidle along the narrow ledge, they notice some founts out of the cliff beneath them. With the last use of the staff, they confirm that the liquid trickling out of them is the contaminant. They set about cutting wooden corks and gathering mud (Verdis hunts a bit). With the founts thoroughly plugged, the party eats some of their venison and head back, reaching Confluence the next day at around noon.
They update President Paul and he assesses that another mission will have to be sent to find a more permanent solution, though the contaminant seems to be out of the river. They return to Citadel, update their map with a significant stretch of river, and head to their bunks after a long few days of hiking.