A little past 3 miles, several hundred paces beyond the enormous circle of dead oaks, they found a Wayfrost grove – the ancient evergreens grown in a circle, all their limbs facing out, the stump of the original Wayfrost enormous in their center.
Cwyn uncovered a stone fire pit, and seats under the pine leaves, old and recently-unused. They made a fire. Mab grew worried, and pensive. Eventually, at his suggestion, they constructed a small platform in the low, sturdy arms of a Wayfrost just outside the light of the fire. They took watches.
Bel came to Mab. The God of the Glorious Fight swooshed a duplicate of Mab’s sword through the air. His copper skin crinkled as he smiled his pride and condemnation in equal measure. He broke Mab’s insolent finger when the big man complained pointedly. He told Mab he was disappointed in this small quest in service of a bureaucrat. He told him not to mess with the 8 passages. Or something like that. Oh, gods, ever-useful.
In the morning, they ate and spoke. Precipice worked with them to built a ritual hut for a “fire purification”. They gathered in the heat, he sang and barked and hummed in the musical tongue of the Vulfen. They stayed in the heat, and their stay was rewarded.
- Luck – Cwyn found in his hands, a pair of bone dice. He rolled them out, and they came up singles – skulls. Then they rose as a skull figure that turned and stared at Cwyn. Upon his head was written the secret word ‘Service’. Precipice thought this would be some kind of guard at the entrance of Bryn Dwr.
- Loss – another vision found its way into Mab, who seemed ripe for such things. He was in a blue-white room. The walls were streaked with blood. There were dark flecks on the wall. There was such howling, that he thought he might go deaf. Precipice said he felt this was an old spirit or guardian left in the place, or lost there. Something Vulfin.
- Chains – Precipice shared that the last vision that came to him was of ancient chains, and something bound in rock beneath the earth, something lost and ancient, locked away. This would be their final challenge.
They drank water, they washed, they made themselves ready with fragrant attar, like heroes or the dead.
The turned left through the circle of dead oaks.
They cut their way through the holly.
The found an ancient rowan, ripe with poison berries, hanging where it broken a great stone and made a passageway to the AbhainnRo.