The heroes make their return to the caravan with Heinreich Klamp their prisoner and Ivor acting stranger and stranger due to his ordeal in the buried Skyriran tomb.
Upon returning Aelfric is tasked with explaining who Klamp is to the leadership council and why he should be imprisoned indefinitely. He along with Berenger Coldren make a case despite some of the leaders such as Enry Burblecutt advocating to just execute him. A position that even Aelfric seemed attracted to. Eventually, the caravan leadership voted and sided with Aelfric's desire to allow Klamp to be imprisoned. Rehele Odred then gave permission for Aelfric and his team to be able to take Klamp along with them when needed for the purpose of correcting the body switch.
Meanwhile, the others decided to speak with the Konning Sisters to see what kind of support they might be able to lend in returning Riken Moondall and Klamp to their proper bodies. Unfortunately, the only ideas the sisters had involved more far-reaching schemes than the scouts were willing to commit to such as back tracking to Konning Castle.
Cordelia decided she would contact her patron, Tryxanna to see if she could help. And, the succubus did have a solution to present. She said she'd be able to facilitate the fix if Cord would do her a big favor in return. That favor turned out to be the assassination of one of the caravan leaders, Malcolm Lambert. Cord seemed reluctant to pay this heavy price but ultimately chose to do it for the sake of her friend Riken. She also told Tryxanna that she would make Riken agree to join the demon's growing coven, thus fulfilling her promise to recruit two more people (meaning both Moondall siblings would be working for Tryxanna now). With the particulars worked out Cord went about her grim work.
Malcolm returned to his personal wagon with a Halfling advisor and Cord watched them discuss the outcome of the vote. Malcolm spoke to his aid about how dangerous it was to hold Klamp here. He believed it best to get as much information out of him as possible and then send him back to the Grand Order of the Lion whom want the wizard in their custody as well. He said he planned on visiting Klamp tonight to extract whatever information could be useful. After the advisor departed Cord leapt to action. First, using Tryxanna's gifts to appear as a random citizen of the caravan, then, lighting fire to the councilman's wagon and barring the door ensuring that he pass out due to the smoke. Once others gathered and pried open the wagon to pull Lambert free she moved in, confessing to be able to heal his wounds. Once near, she instead administered a fatal poison. Lambert was than taken to one of the medical wagons where she assumed the poison would continue to do its work, concealed by the damages done from the fire and smoke. She then asked Tryxanna for the promised means of helping Riken and his patron informed him that she'll be back with the aid as soon as possible.
Orders quickly come down from Rehele and the rest of leadership. The scouts need to get back on the road as soon as possible. They're coming upon the first village in the elven peasant lands as the caravan begins the final leg of the journey. This village happens to be the home of Elish Aloosh, the elf who visited the caravan weeks earlier. During his visit he purposefully infected many in the caravan with the Wrack thus forcing them to assist in finding a cure for his village. Reluctantly the scouts helped secure a means of purifying the infected but it meant a confrontation with the Choir and having to face off directly against one of their Totem Spirits of Corruption , the Drowned One. Rehele wants the scouts to ride ahead and make sure relations with this village will be at least somewhat peaceful or at worse to warn her of potential conflict so she can reroute.
The scouts traveled all through the night intending on reaching the elven village with as much time as possible. During that trek Tryxanna appeared to Cord with two glimmering, colorful, gems. She explained that both Klamp and Riken would need to swallow the stones at the same time and in doing so their minds would be restored to their rightful bodies. The rest of the team took Cordelia's word for it (as Tryxanna is still invisible to all of them except Cord and McKenna and went about forcing a stone on Klamp. Once both had a stone in their bellies Riken immediately awoke in true body again. Klamp had little time to mourn the return to his aging form as Cordelia quickly moved to kill him and slice his head off. She then retreated to the deep woods to leave the head for Scourge in the hopes of sating his thirst for the blood of his creators.
It's deep into the night when the scouts first set foot on the main thoroughfare of the little village known as Avelenti. Most of the windows are dark but warm light, noise and the smell of fresh food comes from a tavern nearby. It's here they decide to stop first, hoping to get information on where Alosh lives.
Inside, they find a number of locals and simple travelers all of whom quietly enjoying late night meals and drinks. Most of the patrons are Elves from the peasant lands but a considerable amount of noise is coming from a far corner of the inn occupied by a loud, boisterous party that the scouts all recognize. The Fellhammers. The last meeting between the scouts and the Fellhammers did not end well and the animosity has not dulled. Aelfric and Dungrim Fellhammer exchange bitter words while the party breaks apart to indulge in a meal or go about their individual business.
Most of the scouts eventually head to Alosh's house after asking the tavern owner if she knows where he lives. Grigor stays in the tavern while Cord slinks off to survey the town on her own. She sees a very quiet town sleeping through the evening hours peacefully but a small trail of blood in the snow catches her eye. One set of tracks and a hoard of smaller ones overlap the slowly growing trail of blood till she comes upon a a curious scene- a swarm of feral cats clawing, swiping, and nipping at a ragged elf on the verge of death. She quickly scales a roof at the edge of Avelenti to survey the streets after helping the wounded man get to the safety of the tavern. From her perch she can see other animals skulked into town- a frenzied boar, a flocks of crows, wolves, and a bear. Even stranger sights as well. Creatures of made of branch, bramble, and thorns along with even sinister burnt-looking trees pulling themselves along on roots and snarling with wicked, bark-born faces. She can spot members of the Choir as well leading these tree beings and directing the animals. And, centered in the middle of the tree-beings a single man. He's powerfully built, tall, and imposing despite his obvious silvering hair and wrinkled face.
Meanwhile, Aelfric and the others proceed to Alosh's home but find he's not answering the door even though they find some evidence that someone is inside. Erik is boosted into one of the windows while the others wait outside for him to open the front door. As he heads toward the door he looks up the stairs and sees flickering candle light and hears a very strange, wet, pumping noise. He even more quickly heads to the front door to let the others who all begin up the stairs all while the noise grows louder.
Once at the top of the stairs the find Alosh's bedroom door open and inside they find the town elder on his bed, flesh loose and sagging. On his chest a giant mosquito with it's proboscis plunged deep in his neck. Every drop of blood in the elf being vacuumed up and into the engorging abdomen of the insect. Once interrupted, the mosquito launches itself at the intruders and after a brief struggle the creature is killed. Alosh is on the verge of death and his life is saved only by the intervention of Beorna's magic. While tending to his wounds they look out Alosh's upstairs windows to see the march of creatures flooding into the streets of Avelenti, including the ghoulish trees and even a a hulking ape that bounds from roof to roof howling into the night. The size the ape is the equal of any ogre and gnarled bony corruption ripping through its tortured flesh.
The heroes immediately leap to action. Aelfric bolting out of the building and heading toward Avelenti's town hall to ring the warning bell and alert the elves to the danger. Riken heads out on the street alone and shouts his own frenzied challenge at the ape hoping to draw its attention and give Riken a chance to get back to the tavern and get help from the Fellhammers.
Once inside Aelfric orders the small priesthood inside to begin ringing the temple bell and pulling in survivors. One of the priests by the name of Ushea bravely offers to help Aelfric defend the temple and the people. He's young and without a drop of battlefield experience but brave none the less. He also lends Aelfric the temple's only holy relic, a sword made out of magical wood.
Meanwhile, Erik struggles against the gorilla but Riken changes his mind and turns back to help his friend. Together, the two manage to beat the creature into unconsciousness.
Beorna decides to march out speak with the Choir leaders directly. The figure in charge is a man named Godfrey and he's demanding that the waters be turned back over to them. He says that everywhere the caravan goes it has brought ruin to nature and the spirits that protect it. He wants the water back to resurrect the spirit they killed earlier and says that Alosh is far from worthy to have the water. Godfrey gives them one hour to hand it over peacefully before he and his cult renew their assault. Aelfric uses that time to gather more survivors and Beorna goes to confront Alosh.
Back inside Alosh's home Beorna threatens the elven leader to tell him the truth but he continues to tell her there is nothing nefarious going on. Riken and Mckenna begins rummaging through his belongs until the find what they're looking for. A ledger. Alosh has been selling the curative to nearby communities rather than sharing it and slowly funneling the profits to Melanthris; trying to buy his way into the city.
They take time to consider their options while Alosh begs for his life. Vex acts on commands from her masters in the Shadow Court and secures the curative waters to later give to the elves as a gift from the Fae in the hopes of improving their tarnished image.
They finally come to the conclusion that Godfrey and the Choir have to be stopped here and now. No matter the validity of their motivation they still mean to wipe out any patch of civilization that doesn't kneel to nature's supremacy. That includes Avelenti. They debate the merits of trying to ambush Godfrey versus just rushing him and the Choir leaders and eventually decide upon a direct assault while Cord (and her friend Beckin) skirt the edge of the battle and unleash ranged attacks. The only advantage they have is a morsel of knowledge Beorna is able to recognize; each member of the Choir is magically binding several of the rampaging animals to their will. Defeating a Choir druid will also sever the connection their connection to their animals. With that in mind they rush head on into Godfrey's ranks. The Wraith Wood Trents start shambling toward the temple and trying to batter their way, the ancient stone and lingering magic imbued in them offers little resistance against their strength. Aelfric quickly rushes to aid the allies inside while the rest hold their ground before Godfrey.
Each side sees their share of allies join the battle. For the caravan scouts the Fellhammers and Vex bolster their ranks. They also receive aid from Cordelia's old ally, Becken. While Godfrey's Choir continues to call upon increasingly dangerous elementals and forest creatures. That includes support from the deeply vengeful Ceska who makes killing Aelfric her top priority.
The tide of the struggle shifted back and forth several times but things turned against Godfrey and his Choir once the heroes began targeting the druids directly and severing their connection to the animals. Vex was able to defeat the largest of the Wraith Wood Trents with Riken's support leaving Godfrey exposed to attack by the rest of the team.
The Fellhammers were the the first to reach Godfrey and Ceska, subduing them along with help from the scouts and laying claim to them as prisoners. With Godfrey captured and the druids dead or fleeing the battle was over but not without casualties. Ceska had killed Becken and decapitated the man. Several villagers lost their lives but many more would have suffered the same fate had the heroes not prioritized their safety. Never the less, the village was secured for the impending arrival of the caravan.