The group continued traveling east, hoping to find the other barbarian tribe they heard of from Chief Brokenhand. They knew that they had to return soon in order to run the nation, so they accepted the fact that they probably only had enough time to explore some land before going home.
On the 21st of Fortunadi, they spied a small opening under a grove of trees, its door wide open. Galienne and Bryn noticed magical auras coming from within, so they held back about fifty feet and called out. A white-haired, dark-skinned gnome popped out with a giant book in his arms. He was flipping through it in order to communicate with “surface dwellers”. After a few slow exchanges, they agreed to have tea. Schwartzsaven was a svirfneblin who lived a long way out from the rest of his people in hopes of trading with surface dwellers. He had gained the book from traveling merchants as well as a highly stylized drawing of a shirtless Bryn tearing a wolf in half. Schwartzsaven asked for it to be signed to his son Varsvitszasein. Bryn arranged for trade with the svirfneblin, willing to grant books in exchange for two logs’ worth of mushrooms. Schwartzsaven tries to celebrate the trade with a toast, as the book said, but he came out with six gallons’ worth of alcoholic light potions. Bryn drank from one, glowing but avoiding going blind from either the magic or harsh moonshine nature of the drink. The lords took three jugs since the svirfneblin found them useless, and Kalevi granted him a tree feather token to use to block up his home’s upper doorway when he deemed necessary. They bade him farewell until the next time Bryn arrives with books.
The lords traveled further northeast, finding an abandoned church surrounded with ten foot tall grass. Eumelia’s herd was unwilling to travel further, saying that they “smelled scales”. The group decided to continue onward, Bryn first hacking at the grass then burning it away by conjuring a ball of flame. A growl started to rise all around the lords, then the ground rose in the air. They watched the church rotate until a giant turtle’s head faced them. It spoke in Draconic, so only Kalevi and Eumelia could talk to it. This was beneficial since Bryn kept making wisecracks at the turtle. Galienne kept reminding the more fluent that Bryn doesn’t know Draconic so they wouldn’t have to backpedal. The turtle asked for the current era, and the two did their best to explain. Apparently, he had been asleep a very long time, as he recalled when dwarves first entered these lands. He wanted to go to the closest forest, and Kalevi explained that it was four days north as the pegasi fly. He understood that it was a half year’s trip, and decided to go back to sleep for the meantime. He complained about something feeling funny on his back, and Eumelia and Kalevi said they would take care of it. They also gave their names and the name of their country in case that was of any concern to him in the future. He said goodnight and went back to sleep, descending into the earth.
They continued onward towards the church. They found a crude garden and strung up animals outside the house. An ettin emerged from the church, his flail readied at the group. They fought back while Bryn took the majority of the hits from the ettin, and the evil two-headed giant eventually fell. The inside of the church appeared defiled and gave them a sense of uneasiness. Dried blood spelled out infernal runes that suggested the summoning of a devil, but they could not tell how long ago it occurred. Noting that the church was once dedicated to Lumenus, they chose to help reverse the situation by dumping a gallon of light potion directly on the summoning circle. The alcohol started to wash the blood away, and the uneasiness started to fade.
They returned to Triptych on the 23rd. During their time back, they decided to water a tree in Autumn River with the rest of the potion. While the tree glowed briefly, it left no other permanent effect, so Theo was still the only special tree in the kingdom. Fortunadi passed uneventfully for the citizens. Galienne sold her spear in order to pass the money to the rest of the group, Bryn eyeing a rod that could double the time his spells lasted. He has just learned a useful camping spell that allowed everyone to rest in an interdimensional pocket. Kalevi gave her chaotic rod to Eumelia and her adamantine greataxe to Bryn. She knew that they would find those items more useful, Bryn especially when he would need the metal to deal with attackers or stubborn doors.