The journey took the party nine days but they arrived at last at the city of Phagin, nestled in the foothills of the Sentinel Mountains and only miles from the mouth of the river that flowed north until it bisected the city of Arcanum.
While approaching the gap in the city’s wooden palisade, the party was approached by a shadowy man that told them what they were looking for could be found to the southwest. The party instantly became suspicious of the man and how he became aware of their actions. He proved hesitant to answer and instead decided to try to escape through the city. Aarissa quickly put a stop to that idea by conjuring a Grease spell that caused the man to slip and fall, allowing Aldon and Guy to easily restrain him. When pressed, the man claimed that his boss was more powerful than they could imagine and that he was only doing his job. “After all, I’m helping you. You get paid. I get paid. We all win.” Not really having a reason to hurt him and deciding that hauling around a man bound in ropes might attract attention, the party decides to let him go.
Wanting to find out more info on the Caiman Bush, the party heads to the local herbalist’s shop. The herbalist hinted that he wanted some money in exchange for his information and didn’t seem to appreciate Aarissa’s donation of leaves. Hermi ended up paying the man and the group proceeded to question the man. They learned that the bush secretes a dangerous poison in the air around it that can kill a man in under a minute by paralyzing his nervous system until his organs cease to function. They also learned that the leaves are a potent painkiller and the bushes are usually sought after by drug dealers instead of honest herbalists like himself. The party questioned him about the most effective way to harvest the leaves from such a bush. The herbalist suggested hiring a dwarf since they usually survive the poison long enough to retrieve a few leaves.
Not having a sacrificial dwarf, the party instead decides to head to the area where the bushes grow in abundance and see what the situation looked like before devising a plan. When they arrive, the find a thick green cloud surrounding dozens of the plants. The stench of the poison fills the air for miles. The party begins discussing their plans that ranged from having Aldon hold his breath, rush in, and hope for the best to buying a scroll of gust of wind to temporarily blow the poison cloud away then send in Aldon and hope he can outrun the gas as it returns. While discussing this, Hermi’s keen elven ears picked up the sound of a group approaching them. Off in the distance, he saw a middle-aged man flanked by 6 metallic human figures. The middle aged man called out “I figured the bush would have claimed you by now.” With that, he ordered his constructs to attack the party.
The fight that followed was extremely trying for the party. The constructs proved to be resilient and the man was an adept spellcaster. Aarissa was able to incapacitate a few of the constructs long enough for the party to force the man to retreat using his magical necklace that teleported him several hundred yards away. The party was too busy dealing with the constructs to pursue him so he was able to escape on foot before the fight ended. Dealing with all six constructs left the party exhausted but they still had to deal with the bush.
In the end, Aarissa decided it would be best to lasso a plant, drag it close by, and then use her magic to pluck the leaf from a position of safety. It worked like a charm and the party placed the leaf in an old bottle left over from a potion. The party decided to locate a healer to patch up their wounds from the tough battle and then rested in the inn before continuing back to Arcanum to claim their reward.