Story Arc 2: Aranil and Neshik fight a tree and then befriend Duke Zimoz
Aranil and Neshik continued hunting reagents and brewing potions in between smelling out potential adventures. They were moving south. A village nearby recently had someone disappear. The village did a search and found a sliced up corpse or maybe a few sliced up corpses. I don't remember how many dead villagers there were. The PCs investigated in the area and found some twig blights. They followed the bread crumbs of where the twig blights were coming from to find a a murder tree. The villagers offered to send some militia but the PCs refused to endanger them. Neshik took some time to make some alchemist's but ended up never using it. The Aranil and Neshik had a very long boring fight with the murder tree where Aranil damaged the tree very slowly while Neshik constantly healed the damage the murder tree inflicted. Then the PCs went to mop up loose ends scouring the countryside for any remaining twig blights, not wanting them to sprout into another murder tree later. While they were mopping up twig blights they ran into some knights that were belatedly arriving to investigate the mystery of the murdered villagers that the PCs already solved. The knights helped mop up the remaining twig blights and they invited him to their lord's castle. The duke treated Neshik and Aranil to a nice dinner and offered them five pounds (250 gp) of gold as a reward for their heroism and five pounds of gold to Khemra's temple. Neshik and Aranil heroically refused the reward and just asked for traveling provisions but Neshik took the donation for his temple. Duke Zimoz also mentioned that his chaplain/marshal, a Guardian, was pulled to guard the Swynfaredian-Fumayan border. Hint hint. I later retconned that Duke Zimoz gave Neshik full legal leave to gather reagents from his land, at this point it didn't occur to me that reagent gathering would be restricted. Since the twig blights were poisonous and Neshik and Aranil did not like being poisoned, they decided they wanted some magic items to counter poison and ended up buying a wand of Purification in the Duchy of Frymar. Duke Nanda Frymar heard of their heroic deeds and saw them slinging gold around so he invited Neshik and Aranil to dinner. He donated 25 gold pieces. Even though the poorer duke donated 250 gold, Neshik was just as gracious. He also bought some reagents from the dukes stores. Frymar asked if they would help him go after the brigands that attacked one of his caravans and Neshik politely declined. Based on his reputation, Aranil and Neshik didn't think he was a villain but he did have a reputation as a selfish miser.
A new ally, an ass load of provisions (a cart full of provisions pulled by a strong donkey), and local prestige gained.