The party set aside their quest to defeat the Dark Mage who had framed them and instead focused on some lighter, less important tasks.
First, the group set out to defeat five trolls and claim their heads, the requirement to join the Fighter’s Guild. During this fight, James, Cyrus’ friend, fell in battle. With party members dying left and right, the Party was even less accepting of newcomers.
Thus, when a woman showed up to help finish the fight and claim the last few minotaur heads, the party wasn’t too trusting. She introduced herself as Erika, but left many other details to the imagination. She offered to help the group in their quests, but kept her reasons secretive.
Upon collecting the heads and joining the Fighter’s Guild, the party then traveled to a nearby grove, looking for Nightshade plants in order to gain entrance to the Mage’s Guild. On their way, the fought against some evil Treants, and found a sinister group of Druids who turned creatures into Treants to do their bidding. Unable to deal with this problem at the moment, the Party remembered the location and left it alone.
The guild required only one sample of nightshade, but the party, acting on Soren’s plan, took two. Then, they took the extra sample back to Cinderhome, and used it as bait to lure out the local black market and destroy it.