Our heroes brought Sinder back the Galuf’s tower, and rested. Galuf had still not returned from Jaden’s lair. In the middle of the night they were awoken by the squawking of Galuf’s raven servant, Amadeus. They exited the tower to find Swift Pine turned to stone, and the imprisoned Sinder nowhere to be found. Amadeus helped quickly revive Swift Pine, who upon awakening swore that Sinder had been bound and separated from his magic book and spell components, and had no way of escaping.
Luckily, Sinder had been sloppy in his escape and left a clear trail to Jaden’s hide out. Accompanied by Swift Pine and Amadeus, the adventurers set off into the marshes. Sinder’s trail led them to a cave which was once inhabited by a war band of Bugbears. Upon entering the cave they heard the groaning of a large creature. Jaden had set up several obstacles to ward off intruders, which could not be passed by a corporeal body. They found a device in the lair which could be used to temporarily separate their spirits from their bodies. As our heroes briefly departed their bodies they were attacked by a strange and fearsome band of shadow warriors. After returning to their bodies, Swift Pine explained that the creatures that attacked were Shade spawn; a legion of spirit warriors tasked by the God of Death with the job of transporting vagrant souls to the afterlife. They had likely come to the cave in pursuit of Jaden’s soul, which had eluded them for many years. As they proceeded further into the lair they managed to recover Galuf’s stolen crystal ball.
As they descended deeper into the cave the adventurers stumbled upon the large creature which they had heard upon entering the cave. It was a hideous beast which looked like it had been formed by grafting together the bodies of dozens of humans and beasts. A journal revealed that this was the result of a failed attempt to create a body for Jaden. The hideous creature had turned on Sinder and began attacking him. The party took pity on the downtrodden Drow deciding that even Sinder did not deserve such a fate, and chose to help him defeat the beast.
Despite your help, Sinder refused to defect and help you defeat Jaden. Swift Pine suspected that Jaden’s influence on Sinder was caused by more than just charisma and urged them to figure out what was going on. They reentered the spirit realm and realized that an apparition of a handsome dark elf (Who according to Amadeus bore a striking resemblance to Jaden) had attached itself to Sinder’s body. After destroying the apparition, Sinder did not revert back to his old self, but instead followed the party like a lifeless puppet.
After passing several more obstacles, they finally entered Jaden’s chamber, to find an imprisoned Galuf, guarded by a small goblin. The goblin introduced himself as lord Jaden, and announced that he expected your arrival, because there was a traitor among you. Amadeus swooped over to Jaden’s shoulder revealing that he was Jaden’s familiar who had worked for Galuf in order to sabotage him upon Jaden’s return. Amadeus poisoned one of Galuf’s potions before he set out to confront Jaden, which rendered him useless when he attempted to fight, and later freed Sinder while everyone was asleep.
The party did not have time to ask why Jaden had gone through the trouble of keeping Galuf alive to lure them into the cave when Jaden jumped out of the Goblin’s body and entered one of a decomposing dragon corpse. They managed to slay the dragon and Amadeus as well as free Galuf. Galuf was extremely gracious for the help and allowed Abadon, Ryld, and Aust to keep his Glass as a token of appreciation. As they began to leave the cave, Jaden reentered the Goblin’s body and charged toward Galuf with a spear. Galuf was caught by surprise and, still woozy from the poisoned potion, was unable to defend himself. At the last moment Sinder jumped in front of him, and took the spear at full force. The blow was lethal, but the Drow spent his last moments as his noble and kind-hearted former self. Galuf explained that with the presence of the Shade Spawn, Jaden’s bodiless soul was not long for this world. A celebration was held among the Hidden Village and Bugbear Crossing in the honor of the three adventurers who had saved them from such terrible evil, as they left for the City of Seine in pursuit of Horace Bartleby.