The party finds itself exiting a gate into a large, sacred grove that has recently seen battle. They are greeted with hostility at first, but soon explain that they are not on the same side as the horrible Mind Flayer which wrought the damage all around.
All the people here are of the same race as Aluria. They assume that she is the one in charge as she is the only “person” in the party. Everyone plays along and pretends to be servants of Aluria.
Much discussion takes place about what has transpired, both the battle which just ended and other events leading up to it.
ENTER MORE INFO HERE.
After determining which way the mind flayer went with the Heart of the Wood (a black line of corruption marking his path) the party moves catch up with it. Partway through the woods, Skith attempts an experiment where he performs a ritual which pulls the life force from a living deer and then spills it upon the corrupted line on the forest floor. Where the life force appears, there is a moment of pure growth which is immediately corrupted by fungal blooms and mushrooms.
As they proceed through the forest a sudden shadow blots out the sun for an instant. Looking up, a huge green dragon can be seen flying quickly in the same direction the party is headed. Everyone picks up their pace and reaches their destination within the hour. When they arrive they find a large cave entrance. From inside come terrible roars of anger and pain. Standing outside the cave are a number of lizard folk.
A battle ensues during which the lizard folk burst open and transform into hideous alien creatures – including two huge oozes consting of mouths and eyes. A huge battle is joined which the party narrowly wins. As they recover and prepare to enter the cave the mind flayer steps out holding the stolen gem aloft. Suddenly it appears that a ghostly form of a green dragon is pulled forth from the cave and into the gem. The mind flayer is surrounded by a green glow and transforms into something seemingly more powerful and evil than before.
Before any can react, the mind flayer uses a spell and flies back along the line of corruption in a blur – heading back toward the grove and the gate. The party enters the cave and finds the withered husk of the dragon, still clinging to life. The dragon shares what knowledge it has with the party including the name of its murderer: Nyarlathotep.
MORE INFO HERE OF WHAT THE DRAGON SAID. (stuff about it’s siblings)
As its last act, the dragon offers its heart to the party. Skith performs a ritual similar to the earlier one with the deer and removes what seems to be a heart made of emerald. Once it is free of the dragon, this gem seems to weigh hundreds of pounds. However Aluria is able to carry it with ease.
Exhausted, the party reluctantly sets up camp and rests for the eveneing.