After the battle with the mysterious hunter, the party prepares to set out deeper into the caverns, but the one known as Ioa must wait before she travels on, as her power is growing and a change is coming. Finding a hidden ledge, Ioa builds a small cocoon, and begins her metamorphosis. The rest of the party sets out, once they are sure their companion will be safe.
The group explores the hunter’s cave a bit more, finding the cells where he kept his victims. One cell in particular is disturbing, as it is spattered with relatively fresh blood. Veyland’s faithful wolf companion Hoy helps the group follow the scent of the terrible carnage, as it leads deeper into the darkness.
As the party explored deeper into the depths, they encounter a mysterious elven sorceress also seeking the missing party. Introducing herself as Meliadel, she seeks the missing woodsman Karakas, but calls him a strange elven name the party had not heard before. As the group introduces themselves, they are set upon by strange goblins, bearing hideous deformities, experiments of the one called Belak. The goblins have a strange ritual based magic, and spew toxic spores when their flesh is cut. The party fights through a magical darkness, and overcomes the creatures, finding Belak’s botanical laboratory. Veyland is able to use the labratory to concoct a cure for the sickness brought on by the spores, and the party is able to resume their search.
The group locates Karakas, wounded and near death with sickness and fever. They treat his wounds and bring him to safety to rest. He claims he can accompany the party to face Belak, but can hardly support himself, and may need to be brought to the surface to recover if he is to have any chance of survival. He informs the party that Talgren is dead, killed by Belak’s minions, and Sharwin and Sir Braford have been changed somehow by a tree Belak seems obsessed with. Perhaps they can still be saved, if the party gets to them in time.