Last turn the night watch spotted a strange light in the woods, pale green and apparently quite distant...
The strange light in the woods prompts action from the party. While the watch rouses the others, Mordikarr sends Ava off to scout, warning her to keep her distance from whatever might be out there. Maro whispers, "I wonder if it might be another... whatever it was that we saw by the marked tree. The creature that summoned the storm when we fought the gnolls, when Urúvion was slain."
"Maybe," answers Durego, "then again, maybe not. I don't see any reason to go traipsing through the woods at night."
"We'll see," answers the elf, as the others join them.
With everyone awake, the group discusses options. Maro is all for checking out the light, others are less enthusiastic. Ava returns mid-discussion and Mordikarr says, "Ava say light far. More distant than it look. It in the trees. Maybe on hill. She fly back because I say be careful." [more than a half-mile]
"No normal light could penetrate this forest that far," says Ohwatoo. "Clearly this must be something unique, perhaps a magical light source?"
"Maybe the light is moving. I've heard tales of magical creatures that lure travelers into bogs and swamps," says Durego.
"Then we go find out," answers Maro. "Who is with me?" Rawon, Mordikarr, and Dagmarten agree to scout, at least a mile or so. Meanwhile those at camp settle back to keep uneasy watch.
It's slow going through the woods, even with a light stone muffled in cloth providing dim light for the humans. The foursome estimates they've traveled at least a mile when Rawon calls a halt. "Does it look like we're getting closer?"
"Not to me," answers Dagmarten. "There's no way we should have seen that from camp. There are too many trees in the way. I don't get it."
"Me say should go back. Need to look for trail tomorrow. Better to look in light than in dark," says Mordikarr.
The others agree, and turn back, following the scuffed trail they left in the pine needles. By the time they get back to camp, the eastern horizon is already turning gray and those in camp are preparing food. After exchanging news, the group eats, breaks camp, and heads out. The previous evening, Raúguey pointed out some parallels between the old found map the party had, and their current location, parallels that suggested a more westerly course might lead to some of the dark marks on the map that some thought were structures or ruins.
After some debate; Maro was still interested in seeing what might have created last night's light; the group agrees to head northwest for a couple more miles, then, if there is no sign of trail or light source, to bend their course west. They set off with the sun just over the horizon. Last night's wind has died away, leaving faintly hazy skies overhead. "Looks like rain ahead," mutters Dagmarten.
After an hour or so of marching, Rawon raises a warning hand. The group halts, and the elf slithers forward through the trees. He's back very quickly. "There's some stonework ahead, some sort of pillar or obelisk on a hilltop. I don't see anything else about it. Ohwatoo, maybe you want to take a look?" The mage nods.
Leaving several people with the mules, most of the party presses forward to examine the find. As they get closer, Ohwatoo shivers involuntarily. "Do you feel that?"
The others shake their head, except Maro, who is looking about nervously. "What?" asks Durego, gripping his mace.
"I'm not sure, it's.. something off."
"I feel it too. There's something missing," says Maro.
Ohwatoo nods, "Like... a ha! I think it's a null point." Mordikarr gives the mage a blank look. "It's a place where magic doesn't work."
"Maybe that's why this armor feels heavy all the sudden?" says Raúguey.
"Do you think it will damage magical items?" asks Durego, already backing away from the obelisk.
"I don't know." Ohwatoo studies the 30' tall pillar, 50 yards ahead. "Let's back up. Now that I know what it is, I can probably find the edge of this area. A few of us can leave things that might be affected outside and check out the obelisk."
The field seems to extend about 100 yards from the stone marker. Raúguey reports his armor feels light once again, and the new sword regains its shimmering effect outside this area. After removing their magical gear, Ohwatoo, Rawon, and Mordikarr go to check out the pillar. They're back within twenty minutes. "Not much to see," says Rawon.
"There's no writing, just some ornate carving, scrollwork and leaf patterns. I don't recognize the style," says Ohwatoo.
"Elvish?" asks Maro.
Rawon shakes his head. "I don't think so. Doesn't look like anything I've seen either."
"Well we found one thing the field affected," says Durego. He holds up a dull gray stone. "All the light stones are dead. That field must have negated the spell you placed on these Ohwatoo."
The mage curses, "Blast, I was afraid of that. Hopefully it only affected those and not the potions too. I can look things over tonight. For now, though, where to?"
"I think it's time we turn west," says Raúguey, and the others nod agreement.
Rawon says, "I could see a little further from the top of the hill. Looks like some higher ground west. We may have some rough going ahead." He takes his usual spot at the front, and sets off on a western course.
As predicted, the ground ahead rises, pine-covered slopes and rocky outcroppings slow travel further. By mid-afternoon, the party has made a scant six miles.
During a break, Maro and Mordikarr hike up a nearby slope to a ridge-top outcropping for a look at the lay of the land. "Looks like we're through the worst of it," says Maro when they come back. "There are steep slopes north and south, but west it drops off again. I can see a really big peak up north too. I think we should keep going."
The party is somewhere near the east side of hex 22,45. The immediate terrain north / south / east is higher than the current vantage, true mountains, so not much to see there. Westward the land flattens out a bit, and you can see a continuation of the pine forest and low hills you've been traveling through.
All the light stones / arrows / trinkets the party carried are dead, except for one held by Saurabh, who stayed back with the mules. Update your equipment accordingly.
Rawon, Mordikarr, and Ohwatoo did a fairly thorough search around the obelisk. There didn't appear to be anything more to find there.
You have ~14 days food / grain left. You've been able to keep water barrels topped up, so no issue there.