The party returns to the Iron Shield guild hall after a harrowing night at the Moonshadow Dancehall hunting down Kaya the changeling. Kaya had escaped being chained to the ceiling of her apartment, slipping from her bonds and delivering a message before disappearing to the streets below
You fools don’t know the trouble you’re in, so let me clarify things for you. I can have every bounty hunter and mercenary in the Western continent on your trail with a single stroke of my pen, so do not dare to cross me. I know you rookies cannot muster even one tenth the treasure you promised me, so let us now deal honestly with each other…
There is an ancient stone circle nearby used long ago for worshiping the elder gods, long since passed from this realm. They say there is a treasure hidden there, an item of great power, a bracer belonging to a hero from ancient times . Find this bracer and bring it to me, and we can forget about the bounty on the fey-maiden’s head. I’ll even tell you where your precious dragon scale has gone. Fail me, and I assure you that all of you will be hunted like dogs for the rest of your days.
The party is also reminded of the importance of their mission to Centaris. The group is being asked by Eskandir and the House of the Watch to infiltrate the city of Centaris to find the assassin Muza, an agent for the shadow guild of the Seven Knives. Wednesday is reminded of her importance for this mission, as she is the only person who knows Muza's face. Balasar also learns that the Seven Knives were not only involved, but instrumental, in the destruction of Winterhaven.
That morning, Inwe arrives to the guild hall bearing the [[shapechanger's sorrow]], a dagger that can force shapeshifters to adopt the visage of the blade's bearer for a year and a day. Inwe tells the group that [[Inwe's Puzzle at Corellon's Temple | she found the dagger in the Temple of Corellon]]. The group decides to find the item at the stone circle with the hopes of retrieving the item and ambushing Kaya.
Once arriving to the stone circle the group finds four trees, their boughs intertwined. Each tree appears to be at a different point in its life cycle: One bears fresh green leaves, the second is blooming with flowers, the third bears orange and red leaves of autumn with small berries adorning its branches, and the fourth is blackened and dead with brown brittle leaves strewn upon the ground. They also find an empty stone basin in the middle of the trees with a poem along its edge: bq).
Two coins for the child's purse // And three twice more for virgin maid // And copper four for life's new birth // But with single coin is death's toll paid
Resolute filled the basin with water and in it placed two leaves from the young tree, six from the blossoming tree, four from the autumnal tree, and one leave from the ground below the dead tree. The party was then transported to a dark, magical glade. In the glade the encountered an owlbear and a flight of will-o-the-wisps. After dispatching their enemies, the party followed a trail to find a woman, a witch wearing a black cloak and griding herbs with a mortar and pestle amid a strange domed chamber. Branches and vines formed the walls of the chamber, and the chamber would change form depending on the witches persona. The witch spoke with three voices representing a trinity of goddesses: Sehanine as the maiden, Melora as the mother, and the Raven Queen as the crone. The witch was fond of Wednesday, Martha, and Inwe, but disliked Balasar very much, saying that bore the dragon's lust for gold and revenge and a dwarf's stone heart, concerned only with cold, unfeeling law.
Resolute was able to determine that this witch was a divine figure of some kind, like an angel or avatar. After speaking with Wednesday, the witch revealed that she was a unity of the three goddesses, tasked with protecting this forested place, a gateway between the natural world and the feywild. She also tells the group that the item which they seek is the Oathband of Etrius, a magical bracer of an ancient Altarian hero. The witch then said she would aid the heroes in their quest, if they retrieved the blood of a silver elk and vowed to use the power of the Oathband against the forces of Bane.
The heroes entered the hunting grounds and after tracking for much of the day, were able to find the silver elk. Inwe and Wednesday approached the elk stealthfully, and Wednesday was able to inflict a bleeding wound to the elk with her crossbow just as it was fleeing further into the forest. The party retrieved the blood from the forest floor and returned to the witch. The witch accepts the elk's blood and is impressed with the party's ability, Wednesday in particular. She then invites the group to rest in her chamber while telling them the tale of noble Etrius.
Etrius was a man beloved by the gods. People often tell the tale of strong-armed Altairius and how he defeated the forces of Bane those two millennia ago, but our great victory would not have come without the skill of his councelor, the fair Etrius. Etrius saw that the forces of the free people were failing, so he sought to make a pact with the lords of the Fey and the gods of the Astral Plane. An agreement was reached whereby the forces of the Feywild entered the world in alliance with Altairius and Etrius. In return the gods formed these great gates, protecting the incursion of the natural world into the Feywild. The task of protecting these hallowed places was entrusted to the three goddesses, and with that they formed the Sisters of Akarah, the witches that protect the wild places from the laws of men.
Fair Etrius bore a sacred band, a bracer that was gifted to him by the gods and lords of the Fey when they reached their accord. This hallowed item is kept here, protected by the guardians of the gods. It is said that Etrius still speaks through his Oathband, advising free people in their time of need. You have proven your mettle, you will be permitted to challenge the guardians for Etrius' prize. Your success might be the only hope to strike back at the forces of Bane…