Once back at the camp, our heroes try to understand what they’ve witnessed and remembered.
The first thing that they attempt to investigate is the elves that looked like Eorcanstan, Third Prince of Rohan. After talking with the adjutant, it was clear that he didn’t see the marked resemblance that the long-time Empress Guard did. Neither did Bo, despite his observations to the rest of the group while they were in the middle of the elven encampment earlier. Nwalme cast an illusion of the prince, to show them how despite his human features, he resembled those elves. The two of them felt that the resemblance was there, but that the differences outweighed the similarities. Nwalme even tried to use Telepathy to see what Bo was seeing, but even through Bo’s eyes the illusion looked the same to Nwalme.
After some discussion about whether the elves could have used disguises, the discussion turned to the obvious when dealing with magic users: could a spell be involved?
Nwalme repeatedly used Identify Magic on various members of the party to see who might have spells on them. Guthwyn and the adjutant were spell-free. Bo, on the other hand, had more than one spell on him. One of them, which Nwalme couldn’t fully identify, was centered on Bo’s head. It appears to be a benign mental spell that is tied to his perceptions. From what Nwalme could tell, it could mean that Bo has truer sight than others in the party. Needless to say, this calls into question the veracity of the group’s memories as well as what they’ve seen today.
It occurs to Araphor that if the source of the magic that alters their perceptions isn’t on them, and isn’t on Bo now – when it had when they were in the encampment – that the magic must be centered around those odd elves, weakening with distance.
One of the adjutant’s subordinates approached him and reported that some of the eerily-similar elves were approaching, but not openly. The adjutant excused himself to go deal with the situation, but the party was beginning to feel that another attack was imminent. They decided to head to the castle, three hours’ ride away.
Nwalme approached the adjutant as he conversed with other military leaders and their staff. One of the generals wanted to know what Nwalme had seen. He responded that he had seen a number of elves that had all looked uncannily like someone of power, from a royal line. That general and his adjutant exclaimed that this is what they’ve seen over the centuries. There’s something weird about these Huregoths.
Some of the elves had noted at the Battle of the River Mouth that at one point, for a short time, the Huregoths had all looked the same. This fifth tribe hadn’t been with the rest of the army, however. They’d watched the battle but hadn’t committed their forces, even as others lost their lives.
The party gathers as they ready to evac. Nwalme heals up Guthwyn’s bodyguard and Strongwülf, before embarking for the castle. Taking to the road and skirting an arm of the forest, they arrive at the castle without incident.