(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 10.)
Adriane and mistwolves prepare to find the Spirit Pack on the Spirit Trail. But first, the party needs to be infodumped:
Some more backstory on Chain:
Moonshadow reveals that Henry Gardener left Chain to die, which is why Chain hates all humans. Man, Gardener is starting to sound more and more like an asshole now: he abandoned Chain, didn’t teach the party anything about magic, and possibly has connections with the Original Party. Maybe it’s a good thing he’s not around.
How will Adriane and Dreamer run the Spirit Trail?
Moonshadow explains that he and his pack will create a Circle of Protection around Adriane and Dreamer while they world walk to the Spirit Trail. The Circle of Protection will keep Adriane and Dreamer anchored to the material plane. However, the spell can only protect them for a few minutes, and only if they stay on the trail.
With the infodump complete, Dawnrunner sings a Wolfsong, which I guess is how wolves cast Circle of Protection. In the new edition, the rest of the wolves join in:
Moonshadow threw his head back and howled. The pack joined in, their voices blending into one haunting cry.
Standing in the glade with her friends, Adriane lifted her face skyward and joined in with a high note that rose above the others.
“HOOWURRG!” Drake bellowed, rattling the glade.
Adriane and Dreamer suddenly find themselves on the Spirit Trail, where someone familiar calls out to them.
Oh, look! It’s Tweek again! And he’s telling Adriane and Dreamer to follow him off the trail, because it’s the only way to save the Spirit Pack! Dreamer thinks this is a Bad Idea. Adriane, who apparently forgot that Tweek was possessed by “unspeakable evil” several chapters ago, decides to follow Tweek off the trail.
Yeah, obviously this was a bad idea. Adriane finds herself on a rock in the middle of a sea of magic. Tweek, who is very obviously possessed, summons a flock of shadowy creatures and orders them to attack Adriane. Adriane casts Shield, but the creatures devour her magic. Eventually, Adriane lobs a Magic Missile at the creatures and escapes with Dreamer.
Just going to let you all know that these shadowy creatures — which are appropriately named “shadow creatures” — play a huge part in this last quarter of the series. I’m not going to spoil what they really are just yet, though.
So Adriane and Dreamer jump from rock to rock across the sea of magic, trying to find their way back to the material plane. Tweek and the shadow creatures pursue them and capture Dreamer. Adriane frees Dreamer with a Magic Missile and captures Tweek, but the three are suddenly swept away by a rogue wave of magic.
More magic waves surge toward the party, causing Dreamer to have Detect Magic overload. Adriane somehow makes a surfboard with her Wolf Stone and uses it to ride the magic waves. She realizes that she can ride these magic waves anywhere, so she locks on to Drake’s magic. Dreamer then finds the spirit realm’s version of the Rocking Stone, which has a portal that leads back to Ravenswood. The party jumps through the portal … and the flock of shadow creatures follows them.
Oh great, now the entire party has to deal with new, magic-eating enemies! Zach and Adriane fire Magic Missiles, Moonshadow sings a Wolfsong, and the rest of the party amplifies everyone’s spells. And voila, all the shadow creatures are defeated.
Adriane recaps her adventure, and tells the party that they have to fix Tweek because he’s under the Spider Witch’s spell. Kara casts Shield on Tweek because he starts firing Magic Missiles all over the place. Emily can’t cast Heal on Tweek, but Adriane can totally help because she’s tuned to earth magic.
Wait … how did the party figure out that Adriane was tuned to earth magic?
Whatever, Adriane casts Heal on Tweek, and he’s back to normal. The new edition explains why Adriane is suddenly able to cast Heal now, and how Adriane experiences casting the spell:
She concentrated on the magic she shared with Emily. Calm, soothing blues sparkled at the edge of her golden jewel. The healing magic was part of her now, tempering her warrior fire, making her stronger. Gold and blue swirled into glowing red.
Beneath the Spider Witch’s spell, she sensed the deep green of trees, the velvety brown of bark, the sparkling blue of spring flowers — all the vitality and strength of the forest.
Tweek then recaps what’s been going on with him since his absence. The spirit realm is really messed up right now because of the Power Crystal’s influence — so messed up, in fact, that a rogue magic wave may have swept the Spirit Pack off the Spirit Trail. Tweek was manipulated into summoning the shadow creatures so they could capture Dreamer. Now that he’s back to normal, Tweek is afraid of what the Spider Witch is doing to the Ravenswood sylph.
But enough about that! Let’s go decipher those ancient carvings that are mysteriously glowing on the Rocking Stone!
… Yes, the party is just as confused by this sudden topic shift as I am.
Adriane learns: a new version of Create Weapon that she never uses again!
Kara learns: Shield!
Next time: The entire party learns new spells.