After the battle, we search the hall finding the hag wears a symbol to the god of hags. The storm outside subsides suddenly as we leave and we find a path leading to a great snapped, dead tree. A large hollow leads down into a chamber below the tree. A clairvoyance reveals a room with partial animal and human remains, some of which are spread over a table and a cauldron. There are also some small lumpy clay figurines that resemble the caravan members. Kieku thinks these may have been used as scyring foci or to remotely affect us. There are symbols of Goran about as well. We decide to leave and spy in the forest a small child, wild and savage looking which leaps away as we notice it. We search where the child was and find the it’s tracks change into that of a fox. Kieku thinks its a changeling, a creature resulting from the union of a hag and human which tells of the possible uses the hags had for those men in the hall.
We return to the caravan, leaving the clay dolls with Koya and picking up Uksaka and Ulf who will be helpful in tracking the changeling child and we continue to do so, following its tracks for a few miles leading to and across a road. It’s getting colder, the snow is getting deeper, and the air is still. Ulf calls a stop to the party, and points out an Uskrik tree ahead. A southern tree not usually found this far north. Its bark issues a noxious sap which fuses with the snow to form a dangerous poison. A tune begins to ring out through the woods but Cusp counters it with his drumming. The sound comes from a copse of trees, where we encounter some arctic spiders who we do battle with and we are victorious, though some of us are poisoned. We continue travelling and come to what appears to be some kind of burial ground, before which lies an exposed runestone, engraved with skald script. It is a mother’s lament for her son who was murdered by brigands. As we clear away some of the snow, two filthy undead burst from the ground, though we destroy them. We continue to dig away at the snow and find some gear and mummified animal remains but not much else. The tracks eventually lead to an iced lake, wreathed in mist. A lonely isle sits out near the middle of the lake. On the way across the ice, we encounter another of the witches who we do battle with upon the dangerous ice. We kill her and make our way to the isle where we find some ice statues carved in our likeness as well as some magical ointments. The fox trail continues past the isle but we heal up first. We continue following the fox back to the road and then onwards to where the forest takes on a more eastern feel, made up primarily of bamboo.
When we emerge from the bamboo forest, we come to a secluded vale and small village within some rice fields. A grim edifice looms over the village and a hollow wind issues through these parts as we make our way to the village. Frightened villagers speak of a cruel mistress who lives in the pagoda and levies high taxes from them. They speak of big monsters that live in the darkness and they tell us the mistress is both youthful and aged. The village has no name and there doesn’t’ seem to be any history to the place. This seems consistent with the curse that grips this whole region. We decide to head to the edifice to deal with the curse. As we approach the three tiered structure, shadows coalesce into a wolf like creature which we attack and defeat. The edifice itself is set with bronze doors which we open to reveal a strange androgynous person sat near the base of some stairs. She inclines her head and tells us that she is Misami of clan Oniski, and that our destruction is at hand as we back the Amatatsu dynasty. Kieku strikes her but she is just vapor and her howling laughter issues from the levels above. We climb the stairs to a chamber circled by a gallery and encounter Misami again. A fierce fight ensues with this which but we emerge triumphant.
We’ve broken the curse over the land and we can finally rest from much weariness, a most welcome respite. The bloodfeather raven had been watching the caravans the whole time but it has since departed, upon our return and we pack up the caravan and finally manage to leave the forest, which fades into the icy tundra behind us.