The next day the PC’s awaken to the temple’s bells tolling the noon hour. This has been the very first time since childhood that any of them have been allowed to sleep in. What makes this morning even more odd is that the PC’s clothes and weapons are laid out for them; Crowley has his daggers, Saralee her bow and quiver, Milly has a frying pan with a ribbon tied around it (no doubt a joke by her mother), and Thorne has only his holy symbol. As they begin to leave the town the PC’s are greeted by a somber and almost funeral like escort from the townsfolk which un nerves the heros slightly. Thorne is visibly shaking, while the others just seem to take the whole thing as an elaborate joke. As the PC’s are about to set out on their journey the Mayor, dressed all in black and with the most dead pan serious look on his face, hands them each a torn piece of the map and states. “This is the way you must take, work together and never forget you are all part of this community. We are all counting on you. Good Luck.”Though the forest itself is dense there is a nice pathway from the multiple trips to the crypt. After walking for quite aways in akward silence the PC’s start to get to know eachother. They share odds and ends about their own lives, and even start to joke a bit about this “big adventure” they all seem to be on. Milly gets Thorne to calm down a bit by reassuring him that none of them are in any real danger. Of course as soon as she’s done explaining this the scent of Holgast’s pipe smoke hits Crowley and he stops suddenly. Then out of no where three gigantic orcs bursts from the bushes. Thorne let’s out a shrill girly scream and grips his holy symbol, while the Crowley and Sarahlee seem eager to start the battle. Panicked Milly bashes one Orc on the side of her head with her frying pan, while Sarahlee notices something odd about their attackers. Calling out to the others that the Orc’s shimmer when hit Sarahlee breaks the illusion spell that Holgast was casting just out of sight, though none of the PC’s see him as he flies off in a hurry. Milly and Thorne seem to be shaken up a little, but continue joking with the others untill everyone starts to get tired of walking. The decision to set up camp in the middle of the road is unanimous since the path only leads to the crypt and all the PC’s agree it’s not like anyone will be traveling on this road. The responsibilities of setting up camp seem to all fall on Sarahlee’s shoulders as the others clumsily get their tents together. After the tents are more or less set up Milly gets to work starting dinner while Crowley scouts the perimeter for any fresh game, but to no avail. Reguardless the dinner is excellent and Thorne will not stop making a fuss over how delicious it is, because in truth it happens to be his first home cooked meal that does not consist of oatmeal and/or bread and gravy. Watch is set up thanks to Crowley’s suggestion and the PC’s begin to rest up for the night. At some point during Saralee’s watch both Milly and Crowley are awoken by ominous howling in the distance. Crowley and Saralee are convinced that it’s another farce, but Milly seems a bit uneased by the possibility of wild animals coming to close to the camp. Sure enough about half an hour later, just as Crowley is about to go back to sleep, a pack of hungry looking wolves enter the camp. The snarling alerts the PC’s and they scramble to get their weapons, Thorne being at a disadvantage here since he only has his holy symbol. Once again succumbing to panic Milly fends off some of the wolves by bashing them with her frying pan, and actually succedes in killing one. However Crowley and Sarahlee finish off the rest, leaving Thorne to heal any wounds after the fight is over. Tired and slightly confused at the animals behaviour the all of the PC’s head off to bed once the camp is cleaned up sleeping the rest of the night undisturbed.
The next morning is terribly overcast and humid promising heavy rainfall later on. Milly is the first to rise and gets busy making breakfast in a different pan than the one she killed the wolf with. The others awaken to the scent of cooking and eagerly wait for her to finish as they pack up camp, again relying on Sarahlee to help them since she is the only one with any actual wilderness survival training. As they eat Thorne once again expresses his gratitude towards Milly’s cooking flattering her so much she starts to blush. One quick remark by Crowley about Thorne’s flirting shuts the boy up however, and the rest of the meal is eaten in silence save for Sarahlee’s giggling.As the PC’s continue on their journey there is a sense of forboding that they really can’t explain surrounding them. They all take this time to kind of question what exactly is going on. Why did those wolves look so malnurished in such a prosperous year, why haven’t they come across any of the villagers who went to set up the crypt coming back, why was Holgast’s illusion the only trap they’ve come across when both Crowley and Saralee over heard villagers talking about little tests that were supposed to be set up for them down the road? None of the PC’s can answer these questions and even Crowley and Saralee, who up untill this point have brushed this whole “adventure” off as child’s play, are starting to get slightly worried. Their fears increase as they start to come up to a large lake that, according to the legends that the elderly townsfolk tell, has a terrible monster living in it. The plan was to not even get close to the lake at all, but Sarahlee and Thorne both notice a shape near the water. Fearing it to be one of the council that was sent ahead to prepare the path and crypt the PC’s decided to investigate. Milly and Thorne immediatly regret this decision as they discover it is a corpse that has been torn apart by wolves, according to Sarahlee. The sight of the gorey scene send both Thorne and Milly retching in the bushes. Milly suceedes in keeping her food down, Thorne does not though. Apologizing for wasting her amazing food Thorne then sits down near the shore letting the others inspect the fallen mysterious body. The body is no one that any of the PC’s recognize, and since Kassen is a very tight knit community the PC’s then conclude that this person was a complete stranger. Before turning the body over Milly elects to sit with Thorne, while Crowley and Sarahlee are over come with curiosity. When the body is moved the PC’s can now see that there is some sort of moss like substance growing from inside of the corpse’s wounds. Though this is disturbing it does not deter Crowley from looting the body and claiming the masterwork short sword as his own. Sarahlee notices an odd amulet in the bag of the corpse and takes it over to Thorne to see if he can determine where it came from. Though it does look familar Thorne can’t place it, so he just stuffs it in his own bag and waits for Crowley to finish looting. Other than a few really old coins and an out of place mask the corpse doesn’t have anything interesting on him, nor any clues to who they were. The PC’s decide to continue on, none wanting to touch the body to bury it or to make the monster in the lake angry by pushing it into the water, walking in silence for a little ways untill a loud thunder clap makes everyone jump. All the PC’s let out a low groan as the rain starting to pour down on them, almost instantly soaking them and all their belongings. The rain is relentless and even under the cover of the trees the PC’s are trudging through mud and puddles, they stop only quickly to check their map pieces and decided to give Sarahlee all of the pieces to keep a hold of. They then set out with Sarahlee’s guidance to find the Serpent’s Gorge, a long and deep canyon where located at the bottom is the Crypt of the Everflame.