A Mysterious Message...
As the eight heroes continue their journeys, they are surprised to receive a message from the two loyal druids, Acre and Jahiera, whom the Fellowship had last seen before the destruction of Questport. The message tells them to meet at an old manor house in the forests beyond New Questport, but when the heroes arrive at the house, it is clear that it has not been inhabited for several months. A single parchment lies on the table in what used to be a small dining room.
The Fellowship is already assembled, and they are eager to hear the message that the druids have left for them. Mei picks up the parchment and reads the long and rather rambling testament aloud.
Intrigued, the heroes put their heads together and discuss. Clearly they are meant to solve the riddles and find the treasure of the Venerable Bede, but where to begin? Eventually they decide to start with the first clue, as it seems the most straightforward.
For about an hour they carefully search through the house, looking for any trace of ice. Their search eventually leads them to a small room which was once used to store cooled food. A large chest, cunningly enchanted to repel heat, contains several large blocks of ice. The members of the Fellowship scrutinize these thoroughly, and soon espy a glittering of gold near the center of one of the blocks. But how are they to get it out?
Easy, Scorpio declares. Assuming his draconian form, he breaths fire gently upon the ice blocks, which melt in a heartbeat. From the resulting pool of water, the questers pluck two beautiful necklaces, exquisitely woven from golden thread.
The Fellowship next turns their attention to the second riddle, but this one proves to be truly baffling. The heroes ponder it for a long time with no result, and are beginning to grow very frustrated with the Venerable Bede and his cryptic clues when Tulip remembers a room that they had passed through earlier. The room had been filled with painting of horses, she recalls, and surely what they are looking for must be there somewhere.
The heroes make haste to that room and, sure enough, they find a painting of eight harnessed horses waiting beneath a signpost for The Old White Lion. The wall below the painting's frame proves to have a secret panel, which slides back to reveal a small nook. Hanging from a peg on the wall are three more golden necklaces.
Feeling more confident now, the adventurers tackle the last riddle. Ato immediately comprehends that the living thing and its eight siblings must be trees of some variety, and the members of the Fellowship hurry outside to look for nine similar trees. After a few mistakes--there are ten shrubs just outside the house, not nine--they stumble upon a patch of apple trees. Yes! They are nine in number! In the hollow trunk of the oldest of the apple trees, the heroes find three more golden necklaces--the last of the treasure of the Venerable Bede.
Flush with success, the heroes distribute the necklaces evenly amongst themselves. They then return to the house, wanting to send the druids a letter to thank them for their assistance, before once again continuing their travels.