Having defeated the orc band, the small platoon of elves were now heading homeward. All smiles with their newly made trolley, stacking a chest of money, trinkets and loot. MELDIR, Paladin and leader of the group, was confident that the return home would be a uneventful one.. All of a sudden running can be heard, coming up the dark and narrow path. The group instinctively go in hide along the tree-trunks walling up beside the dense forest-trail. The smell of orc hangs in the air. A small built entity running like fire at its back, comes to a halt when the trolly of goods blocks his way. At first the elves takes him for an Orc, but they quickly see that it is in fact a unarmed dwarf now ransacking their loot. A feeling of contempt arises in the elves and the short-tempered ATTIA having no patience with foolish dwarves, grabs his shoulder and swings him around. The introduction is made very brief, because it becomes clear that danger is about. He introduces himself as LONGRIM, a Umli rouge from the far frozen north. He and his party were attacked just 200meters down the path, carrying with them a valuable cargo. He askes for their aid and is hastily embedded in the elf group, now turning their attention to the imminent threat. The elves quickly hide their loot and prepares for combat. They can all hear the orcs in the vicinity, and begin stalking upon them. When they arrive they spy in the cover of darkness, a rough orc band having a bloodfeast on some dwarf-bodies. They all load their bows, while ALLANON, the group mystic, prepares a bolt of deadly cold. LONGRIM searches for a rock in the forest floor, finding atlast a suitable thrown weapon. They commence their attack, taking the orcs by surprise. Three arrows from the shadows find their target, bringing fear into the enemy. The elves blitz the orcs, with the backup magic crackling over their heads. While the intense battle rages on, OROPHINA is hit by a arrow saved only by the wrath of ATTIA. As the fight grows to an end, LONGRIM searches the slaughter for any survivors. He finds a sole dying comrade, just barley being able to whisper some final instructions to his kinsman. The chest must be brought to safety. After some searching and verification that no more trouble is afoot, the party focuses on the small iron-bound chest witch stands out from the rest. Ignoring the niggling feeling in the back of their heads, the party decides to open the chest after some mumbling protests from the Umli. As the chest opens they see a greenish light emanating from within. The contents is revealed as a large green jewel, in the shape of a heart. Its laid in velvet, with a silver chain attached to the stone. A magically warm feeling flows through the party, making them feel confident and secure. ATTIA having a weaker sense of self control, decides that she must simply take the medallion in her hands. At an instant she is lost in the powerful magic and the will of the stone. Letting the comforting and protective feeling flow through her, she is lost in a dreamlike state. MELDIR orders her to give him the stone, applying even magics to do this. But the elf rouge is caught in the stones spell, and tries to get hold of the stone again. ALLANON has to push his powers to the very brink, to dispell the enchantment over his sister in arms.
While regrouping and planning what to do next, an uneasy feeling grows. The elves instincts are sharpened, and they prepare for the worst. A cold and black wind suddenly swoops over the treetops, giving a glimpse of something large flying beast. They first mistake the threat as a dragon, but it soon dawns on them that this is something much worse. A Nazgul, one of Saurons ring-wraiths is hunting them on a fellbeast. The wizard verifies this by actually jumping over the trees, nearly being clawed in half during the process. Not knowing what to do, they contemplate their next move while shaking with fear. Loosing their momentum the forest suddenly comes alive, threatening to block off their escape path. The scenery looks glum while apparently lots of Huorns make their slowpaced attack on their position. Stretching their black treetrunks at both sides of the trail. LONGRIM remembers the legend of The Heart Of The Forest, and wonder if the stone they are carrying, is in fact this powerful and agessly artifact. With no time to waist, the quickthinking Umli takes the stone in his hands. Against all odds, the deamon trees retreat, leaving the trail open once more. The group not wanting to loose more time and be exposed to the Nazgul, hastly gather their stuff and begin their escape. While running ALLANON turns his head and sees a demonic portal forming at their backs, reveling a large entity breaking through. Unluckily he stumbles and hurting his foot, giving the smelly darkspawn time to exit the portal and advance on them. This is probably the work of the ringwraiths the wizard thinks, as he half legged strives to catch up with the others. After some running for the lives, it becomes apparent that the stinkdeamon is going to catch them. They decide to take a stand right by a crossroad, leading home. They take up positions, wanting to take the monster by surprise, loading their bows and steeling them self as the danger grows nearer. The beast comes crashing into the party not slowing for a few direct hits from the elven bows, and spewing foul poison to anyone near it. Things look grim for the adventurers as nothing seem to slow down the terrible beast. ALLANON then fires away a suprisingly strong icebolt, ripping the daemons head in half. The beast falls hard spewing bile everywhere. LONGRIM and ATTIA gets hit with the squirting poison, and though everyone knows elves are immune to poison, dwarves and Umli are not. The smallsized new member to the pary gets rapidly sick, and it threatens his very life. While he slips into a nightmarish coma, his hand suddenly jerks toward The Heart Of The Forest, still nestling safe in its chest.
What are they to do now? Opening the chest possibly saving the Umli, will almost certian bring the attention of the ringwraith. Should they leave their newly found companion to die, securing the mighty artifact and bring it to their king? They are truly now at a crossroad, perplexed at what to do.