They get back to the village, and it is revealed that Tooth, a clear pro-war faction leader is responsible for the attempted assassination. Swift wind is not too vindictive, as he recognises that Tooth was doing what he thought was best. But, Tooth defends his actions with the following reasoning: "The humans will come here, and spill our blood over the forest!"
Wilting flower, another one on the council, responds: "Then are you not the most human, for spilling our blood over the forest?". This retort sends Tooth into silence, and he stops defending his actions. He is seen to be contemplative, but not asking for forgiveness. He seems like he realises that he may not deserve any. Swift wind removes him from the council without objections, and consults Fith and the treent for guidance. The planned punishment is expulsion from the village. And to be shown what it is like outside the dome, so he gets some perspective.
The treant asks to talk to the party in private. As a tree it's easier if people move away from the tree, so that's what happens. He tells the party of a dark circle, a spot of intense evil that's in the forest. He doesn't want to send minotaurs there as he believes they are unable to cope with such ancient evils. He sends the party there instead, as they are apparently disposable. He offers a magical dagger, that has been suck in the treant's side for possibly over a thousand years. Looks nice.
They go to the spot, Fith motivated by cleansing the forest, Saren motivated by the dagger, and Trey just happy to help. A circle of trees, unnaturally ageless, stands in a bare patch of forest. Not entirely bare, it is strewn with charred grass, dead trees, and ash. A point of darkness where no life dares grow. Except the circle of trees, apparently. The party sets up for a fight, and Fith turns into a strong bear. He notices once close that the trees are not natural, they have been constructed out of stone.
There is a skeleton of a lizard, possibly a magus, lying inside. (This guy is the one that made the circle of stone trees, possibly intending it to be some kind of protection). But in the centre, a stone coffin, upright. Large enough to hold 3 men, it is covered in thick iron chains, worn away by rust and something else. Bam. A noise comes from inside, a hit, as if something is trying to get out. It rattles the chains and at the corners there's wear, the iron chains have been worn through, possibly over hunPost too long. Click here to view the full text.