The party met with representatives of all the factions regarding the revelation that braincap fungi can help cure and even prevent the demonic madness. This has sparked great interest among those concerned about the effect madness is having upon the population. So far Elventree was unaffected directly but those who were suffering from the madness – being called the Rage of Demons by many – were having an effect on Elventree’s trade and security. The factions were also taking a wider view, of what could be done to assist the Hillsfar area overcome this problem.
The Lord’s Alliance faction, represented by a dwarf calling himself Dornal Whitebeard, presented one of their faction members, a wizard named Olon who also claimed to be an expert in the Underdark, specifically in the area underneath the Dalelands and Moonsea, known as the Deep Wastes.
Based on the information gathered in Gravenhollow Olon believed Sporedome was the most likely location to find the braincap fungi. He didn’t know anything about the braincap but the fact it was not widespread indicated it required a specific set of environmental factors for it to grow. Olon suggested that Cundall would likely be able to tell what those factors were, on inspecting the site where fungus grew.
Olon continued to explain that Sporedome was a huge cavern with a small lake in the centre, fed by the Waydown river. Fungi of all types grew on nearly every surface in the cavern, and it was populated by myconids, an intelligent fungi living in small communities. The Lord’s Alliance wizard said that Sporedome would best be accessed via the new entrance to the Underdark, now being called The Waydown by everyone.
“He means Cundall’s Hole,” grumbled Cundall. “I made it, I should be able to name it.”
Olon ignored the comment and continued explaining that following the main river – ignoring any distributary rivers – would lead them to their destination.
“Any dangers we should watch out for on the way?” asked Marie. “I’m assuming the council would like us to go.” There were noises and gestures of assent from all the faction leaders.
“No,” replied Olon, “the river is too shallow for large predators. The distributary rivers get more narrow and deeper and larger predators can lurk there. Kuo toa also live there, but they are generally happy to ignore those who don’t annoy them, and in some cases can be of assistance. The main danger on this expedition will come from any beings affected by the rage of demons, or demons or demon-blooded beings which we know are loose and roaming the Underdark, and their slaves.
After the meeting Marie and Olon spent a pleasant couple of hours talking about the Underdark. Marie found him to be chatty and honest, and could identify with his passion for learning. Olon showed Marie some of his tools he used to explore the Underdark, including an electrum half moon coin from the city of Waterdeep enchanted with a continual flame.
“Obviously I keep this in my pouch most of the time, but sometimes I need to be able to see things in their natural colours rather than through darkvision.”
Meanwhile Cundall travelled to Lighthouse where he bought himself a small boat from the burgeoning small boat building business there. Fish was a staple diet for those at Lighthouse, as well as those in the refugee camps – particularly with parts of the Cormanthor Forest so dangerous, so small fishing boats were in demand. He also commissioned the creation of a cart big enough to carry the boat, which would allow Elum to tow the boat on a road. He was told that it would take about five days to create the cart. On the appointed day, he and Ziggy took Elum to Lighthouse and brought back their new boat on the cart. They were now ready to head off.