Having recovered the armor and helm of Decius, the party moved on towards the abandoned oasis rumored to be the location of the spriggans, a place called the Fane of the Redcap. During the journey across the rocky, arid lands, Ophelia continued her work, deciphering the clues in Desert Shadows.
The oasis, it turns out, was abandoned for obvious reasons. The spring that once fed the pool had been reduced to a trickle, leaving a patch of damp soil where once a pond had been. The grasses and palm trees were brown and dry, dying if not dead already. Cora explained to the group what she had learned from the books at Corellon’s shrine in Ahgram, and they decided to pitch camp and set a watch.
Sometime before sunrise, a rustling in the dry grass drew the attention of Lux and Cora. They woke Ophelia, only to catch swift movement from the grass into the gap from which the spring issued. An enormous, swift spider (about the size of a dog) had gone into the gap. The group waited until sunrise before exploring the gap and the rock wall around it. Finding no secret entrances, they prepared to enter the narrow gap.
Exploring the tunnels at the bottom of the well, they discovered some (apparently quite old) artifacts, including an old bow and a couple human skulls decorated with painted black triangles above and below the eye sockets. The tunnels eventually led to a large cavern with twisted roots buttressing the walls and an altar at one end. Once inside the cavern, the party observed two spriggans unwind themselves from the roots (in which they had been hiding), as well as two huge spiders and a couple of grotesque ettercaps.
The fight was brutal. The magic of the spriggans was unpredictable, and they moved through the cavern with ease, sometimes appearing out of nowhere. The ettercaps used webbing to entrap the heroes, particularly Lux. The spiders used venom and powerful bites to slow and poison.
In the end, however, they won the battle, although not without a cost. Thorn was seriously wounded by a spriggan’s magic, only to die of his wounds shortly thereafter. Cora attempted to keep him alive, but the injuries were too severe.
The party recovered a wooden chest, in which were found two gemstones and the book Glade Whispers, Cora’s quest. They also found black and grey leather armor on one of the ettercaps, which was given to Ophelia.