The heroes began to explore the strange gloomy glade, 8 small stacked cairns of mossy stones encircling a 10'-tall statue of the White Quoddess standing in a brass bowl atop a stone pedestal. But first they faced down the guardians of the glade… a vampire rose bush that sapped Geofric of his vitality, a horrid ghoul wolf, and three ghast/ghouls. Finally able to explore in peace, they tinkered with the statue until a small treasure vault opened beneath the bowl, in which they found several scrolls, a chest full of coins, and a case of several potions and a skeleton key. Wallociia examined the scrolls, only to discover that one was cursed to turn the reader into a Quoddess statue. Fortunately one of the potions was stone to flesh, and Wallociia was soon returned to normal.
As the band headed back to civilization, they passed by the strange rough cabin with door barred from the outside only to find it occupied. Several Dragonpriests cowered on the cabin roof along with a human prisoner, fending off a gaggle of ravenous oil beetles. Picking them off from a distance took time, and Wallociia was scalded by a blast of the noxious beetle oil, but the heroes managed to defeat the beetles just as they finished off the Dragonpriests. The freed man identified himself as Yuveen, a prospector from Dead Mule, captured after being separated from his companions. The Dragonpriests had repeatedly told him he was to be sacrificed at "Dragonbane Castle"; Yuveen knew of a large complex of ruins to the north of Dead Mule but was unsure if that was what the Dragonpriests met.
The group asked Yuveen to come along with them to Cauldronford and Dragonsfoot and then offerred to take him home if no caravan passes through in the meantime.