The party began by questioning Eudora, though the mad diviner proved less than useful. After watching Sigurd and Talitha engage in some fruitless back-and-forth, Arden decided to try a different approach. By creating a magically sympathetic link between Eudora’s timepiece, the letters she had written, and a freshly-written sample of the diviner he was able to sequester the memories of what had driven her insane (well, insane_r_), “rolling back the hour hand” on her madness, allowing her to be much more lucid for an hour.
She used this hour to explain that she had come to this tomb to research the secret history of Siryl Rex, his ascendancy, his rule, and the scepter he bore as a symbol of his office. When she had reached the tomb, Osakay, a dark naga had already taken roost and recruited some local orcs, ogres and trolls to serve him while he made nebulous plans to expand his little banditry operation into something larger, as naga are oft wont to do. Knowing that she couldn’t hope to fight him, and overestimating her skills and underestimating his, she made a deal that she would aid him as a seer if he allowed her to study the tomb. While she didn’t have memories over much of what came next (as they were in the temporary reliquary Arden had fashioned) the consensus assumption was that he had used his hypnotic charm to slowly drive her mad.
After helping the party piece together recent history in the tomb, they used the remainder of her lucidity to search the tomb, just to double check that he wasn’t tucked away in some corner, hiding. Given the timing, they drew the conclusion that he had indeed fled the tomb, likely to meet up with the patrol he had sent out to waylay anyone traveling near the Dire Wood. While they had no luck in locating Osakay, they did manage to find a fair chunk of loot and Talitha was able to get a firm bead on his trail.
The party hunted and stalked Osakay and his patrol as they wound their way through the Wood, waiting for the perfect time to strike. The first day, they traveled fairly openly, concerned that the naga and his minions would be wary of followers, or that Eudora, in a fit of eccentricity, might give away their position. As luck would have it, Osakay was busy enough keeping his patrol in line that neither he, nor the patrol, managed to notice the party. While they rested that night, Talitha crept into the dreams of the troll, which were of a never-ending hellscape of hunger and endlessly fertile growth. Through the haze, she was able to get a vision of the perfect spot for an ambush: a forested cliff nearby.
They were more protective of their advantages the second day. They hung back carefully, blending in to their surroundings when they could, hanging back, far out of sight, when they couldn’t. They were bolstered with confidence, knowing that the perfect ambush was there for them, if they could just be patient enough to wait for it. That night, however, was not so peaceful.
During the late watch, the party observed that Eudora was sleeping fitfully, talking in her sleep about spiders and dogs, snapping her jaws and growling, all the while there was a baleful howling. The baying had started earlier in the night, but was now just at the edge of the camp. Finally, the diviner shot upright and screamed, as three howls pierced the night in perfect unison as three hideous, lupine spider-monstrosities attacked the party. The battle was harrowing, but through spell, blade and claw, the party eventually won out… though Eudora was so frightened by the nightmare form that Talitha had assumed (a hideous, corpulent combination of woman and squid) they had to administer a sleeping tincture to calm her nerves.
The next morning, the patrol passed the fateful cliff, and the party sprung their ambush from higher ground. Sigurd blocked the only path up the cliff face, leaving the patrol exposed to attacks from Arden, Talitha and the air elemental that she had summoned prior to the fight. The ogres attempted to scale the cliff face, but every time they made it to the top, Talitha or Arden would send them crashing down. The fight wore on despite that party’s advantageous position, and doom seemed certain as both Arden and Sigurd were knocked unconscious and Talitha was imprisoned in a bubble of arcane force, but eventually Sigurd got to his feet and the bubble gave way, giving them the chance they needed to finally finish Osakay.
After the grueling battle, Sigurd cleaved into the naga’s body, finding a leathery, sack-like organ where he hid useful items… including Siryl’s wand.
[OOC Notes: Erimus wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t attend this session. Arion was having issues with his internet and dropped out early. Talitha was in attendance, but suffering a migraine, so she took a couple breaks and had to leave a little early, too. Even so, it was a VERY productive session!]