We are in the rowan tree.
The Abhorsens sense that the Dead have moved further away so we decide to come out of the tree. Arielle was not doing so well in the rowan tree since it seems to be bad for Dead. Roxy suggests we take some of the tree with us but Muriel notes we would have to be encased in it to shield us from the Dead.
Roxy uses her Sight to point us in the right direction again to the cave. Evie finds the cave first though. Corian calls out the Whispered Dark witches in the cave to announce us. A voice tells Corian to take off his shirt and he obliges with gusto.
The witches come out and apologize, saying it's difficult to know who to trust. We introduce ourselves and are taken aback by Arielle but surprisingly aren't particularly wary of her. They invite us into the cave to talk about Herne.
One of the witches' main purposes is to protect a tree that housed a monster. It is called Sae-oth. Now that Sae-oth is released he has gained control of many of the witches. They think Herne probably got away. In order to free witches we will have to remove or destroy the bloodwood hearts from them individually or kill/imprison Sae-oth again. Sae-oth is probably looking for the weapon that defeated Ashol'tha.
There's approximately ten infected witches. We decide to wait out the night with the witches so the Dead will be weakened during the daylight hours.
The witches accompany us in the morning. Roxy gets up in a tree and notices a shimmer of Charter spells around the village ahead. It's probably some sort of magical warning system. Roxy stealths forward to get a closer look. There are fours witches with a fifth one tied to a stake. There is a wriggling mass of vines moving toward the restrained witch.
We go ahead and charge into the fray to save the witch. And then a bunch of Dead Hands bust out of the ground. There is a mordicant too! Evie manages to get most of the Dead to walk into Death after the rest of the party beat them up some.
We manage to free the witches from the vines and we untie the witch on the stake. Corrian ventures into the village and calls our for Herne. There is a house that is supposedly imprisoning Herne. Evie throws Corrian a key and it unlocks. Corrian peaks in and hears Herne telling some ladies that they need to make the best of the time they have left.
After a few minutes Herne emerges, adjusting his clothes. He embraces Corrian warmly. Corrian tells Herne that Sae-oth is free. There are introductions.
Herne asks for a mirror from one of the witches. Apparently it will teleport you and it's somehow related to Clayr magic. We need to figure out if Sae-oth has gone through to The Forest Below.
We go through the mirror and into The Forest Below. It looks like a root system and is dimly lit. There's some innocuous bioluminescent creatures and an earthy scent of rich soil. It is oddly warm down here. We find some large footprints that belong to an 8-10ft tall reptilian creature by Evie's estimation.
After we've been walking for a mile or two we come upon a valley full of skeletons and rusted armor. It is the remains of an old battle. There is an ornate large box with a small sun in it that lights this place in the middle of the valley.