Ghosts and Truths Report
As their evening continues the Heroes of Darknook encounter the chief Hand of the Order of the Star Leaf, Freyleif Stonemantle who offers Alok Ravaralei a position as a hand in the Order of the Star Leaf. Alok doesn't immediately accept but he is pretty quick to accept the offer of accompanying Mehmen Ashid to assist some very drunk actors with a ghost problem in their theatre. Meanwhile Marble and Thomas Marchant head for the village pond for a heart to heart. And Badalona Ailendogs is still nowhere to be seen. Mehmen and Alok quickly meet the spirit of The Great Profundo (aka Leonard), the ghost of a frustrated actor. It is his dream to play the lead role in the elven romance that the local players are staging and the Heroes help him to fulfil this dream. Alok allows himself to become possessed by The Great Profundo and with the aid of Marble (as the child), Thomas (as the great love interest Elspeth) and Mehmen playing all the other roles, the Heroes stage a truly awful version of the play which is enough to make the Great Profundo leave for the afterlife forever. The next morning the Heroes discover that the Order of the Star Leaf believe that Arkud, Queen of Spiders may have been revived by Kavep, Lady of the Abyss. This can only mean that something truly terrible is afoot because if Kavep is rousing a creature as powerful as Arkud she must have dire plans for Dorwine. There are many things that need to be done, but one of these things is to investigate the search for the Staff of the Woodlands, an item that has defeated Arkud in the past. Mehmen's brother Andro Ashid was in Starleaf Vale the year before researching the Staff and believes there is some connection to a circle of standing stones in the Ashen Hills. Mehmen has received a letter from Andro from a healing centre in the Hills so it seems as though he may be there and may know more. It seems as though the Heroes are heading to the Hills. And to help them on their way Eilnala Horineth agrees to give them an enchantment to allow them to slip through the Llangoed Forest untouched. But first Marble needs to finish his shopping for Aldan Gerop and Maly Lete reveals that she will stay in the Vale and attempt to become a Hand herself. There is one final revelation, for Thomas. The archivist Aliod from the Starleaf Archives has a gift for knowing people's names. He unnerved Thomas by making a remark the day earlier about his name and in discussion with Thomas he reveals he knows Thomas' "first name", the name he had before being given to his parents; it is Aniel. Aliod knows nothing further but does attempt a rather hamfisted lifting of Thomas' spirit by revealing that a changeling once served as a Hand (60 years earlier) and he does not need to be ashamed of who he is. The next morning the Heroes leave for Darknook, and 2 days later, slip through unmolested thanks to Eilnala's spider charm. When they arrive back they see Dorb protesting that the Mayoral Election is a fraud....
A potion of healing each Thomas receives a Bardic inspiration die from the Great Profundo that does not expire until he uses it.