The next morning, Tahani leads the group - along with two other Druids - to the Druid city in the area, cloaked and hidden in the forest. As the day transitions into evening and the sun touches the horizon, they arrive at the outskirts of Longview.
As the party approaches the city, Audir’s eyes glance over a stableyard and catch on a familiar silhouette… her horse is standing in the yard, tired and worn but well-cared-for. On the other side of the horse is a humanoid male in his early twenties. He is dressed in shades of white and grey, and he wears a Sanctum pendant. He introduces himself as The Cleric, a runner of the Sanctum, and he updates them about the recent events back at the Hub.
The Sanctum is under attack, he explains, and multiple keepers on many worlds have been attacked and killed. Owen has initiated a protocol to minimize the Sanctum’s reach, to withdraw and hide its presence from the attackers. He has scattered the Journals across the six worlds connected to the Sanctum that haven’t been attacked yet. The Cleric was sent to this world with four Journals, but the transition here was disrupted and the Journals sent flying out of his reach, separating and scattering across the continent. He has tracked one here, to Longview, and followed its trail.
The Cleric informs the group of his intent to speak to the Council of Elders and reclaim the Journal. They agree to go with him, also forming a plan to attempt to deceive the Elders in case The Cleric’s honest approach fails to work. They are in luck, however, and The Cleric successfully gains entry to the council chambers. The group is introduced to the three Elders of the druid city: haughty Veziri, dignified Izuna, and gentle Amenda (whose dark hair holds a streak of white matching Audir’s).
The elders confirm that they have the Journal in their possession, but that the shields around the city have already repelled two other-planar attempts to break through and retrieve the Journal. They are reluctant to allow the Journal to leave the shielded area without a measure of protection. The party is likewise reluctant to leave the Journal in the druids’ keeping. It appears the two sides are at a stalemate until Amenda suggests a break overnight, during which she requests an audience with Audir. The party takes possession of the Journal and leaves the council chamber. Amenda promises to send a page to Audir to guide her to Amenda’s home later in the evening… In the meantime, a home has been opened to host the group while they are visiting here in Longview. The elders also offer the use of two of their enchanters to shield a lead box safe that Dorrin offers to build to hide and protect the journals, though the construction of such a box would take thirty days. The group deliberates but makes no immediate decision.
The Cleric suggests a brief foray to the city guards’ training ground to test the group’s abilities and to allow them to test his own, as it appears that they will be travelling together for at least the foreseeable future. The group is fairly exasperated, but follow along. The Cleric speaks to some of the druids, and they summon a fey creature in the form of a mammoth for the group to test themselves against. The party dispatches it quickly and returns to their lodging to rest for the evening.
The Cleric mentions feeling a pull in a specific direction as a means of tracking the Journals, and in turn, most of the party members touch the Journal and re-awaken the pendants. They, too, begin to sense a pulse, almost like a beacon in their minds, pulling them in a certain direction.
Shortly after they arrive, a young page boy who introduces himself as Ben arrives to guide Audir to Amenda’s home. She goes with him and spends nearly an hour conversing with Amenda about the Raven Queen and the mark that the two share. Amenda recommends specific training for Audir to harness the potential abilities now available to her. Audir hesitates, but ultimately decides to accept this offer. Not only will this potentially further her own abilities, but while the rest of the group travels, she and Dorrin can remain in Longview for the thirty days needed to construct the safe.