Ra'Sterin, who came to Sanctuary as a representative of the elves of the southshore forest, agreed to set up a meeting between the party and the Druid's council in the forest. This is, apparently, the closest thing that exists to a governing body for the region. Druids seem to be quite influential; either leading a tribe/people or advising the rulers.
At the end of two long days of travel through wilderness that appeared trackless even to Morwen's practiced eye, they came suddenly upon the trunk of an enormous tree. Twenty large men would not have been able to encircle the tree. Ra'Sterin seemed to take some pleasure at the expressions of surprise on the party's faces, especially as he beconed and slipped inside a fold in the bark.
A stairwell, looking as if it had grown within the tree, beckoned, and was climbed. Morwen estimated that they only stopped after they were above the rest of the forest canopy. Ra'Sterin indicated that the party could sleep in the large round room that they reached, and continued up himself.
The next morning, as the druid council had apparently assembled overnight, everyone was ushered outside for the first time since they entered the tree. More climbing, but now on the outside of the tree. The staircase, two people wide, spiralled around the trunk of the tree and offered amazing views over the land unobstructed by even so much as a railing.
Once the long gruelling climb was over, the party found themselves on a very large platform perched atop the gigantic tree. Waiting at the top was a semicircle of beings, who Ra'Sterin introduced as most of the druid council. He explained that he was expecting one more to show up at any time. Indeed, as he was starting introductions, a whistling rush of air could be heard and a gigantic toothed bird backwinged surprisingly gracefully and landed beside the rest. Quickly the bird became a scaly lizardman with a toothy grin.
[much wonderful listing of names, tribes and descriptions passed over here in the interests of time, unfortunately]
Thecollection of druids were as close to a ruling council for the forest to the south and east of the lake as existed, and they had convened to consider what their new neighbours might want of them. Among them were several elves of different tribes and a couple of varieties of lizardmen.
Pleasantries were exchanged, Morwen was somewhat overawed and was seen by her friends to be trying her very best to exemplify good behaviour. After introducing her friends, and making sure that formalities had been observed (whether they were necessary or not), she passed the floor to Merrin to explain what had brought them together.
Merrin explained his relationship with the Morrigu up front, and answered the elves' questions about whether she was trying to regain a place of power in this world. They were apparently mollified, after an affirmative answer to that question, by Merrin's assertion that he spoke for the Morrigu. A subtle relaxation could be seen by the very perceptive. Apparently in the past, the being who had used that name would not have suffered a lesser one to speak for her.
The plan to liberate/deal with Longspire and their slaving was explained, along with the group's motivations. The druid shared the fact that adventurers from Longspire keep probing the borders and wards that kept the Queen of Thorns' realm bottled up. They also shared that they would lose the fight to keep inquisitive idiots out of places they should really avoid eventually just because of the speed with which humans breed. They also shared some information about the population of the city, and the number of fighting men; about 3000 and 250 respectively.
Merrin asked for help in dealing with the armed forces, and help was offered contingent upon them getting some help with another problem that several of the elven tribes and lizardman communities had been experiencing lately: giant animated plants had been swallowing entire groups of wanderers in the forest.