The evening passes uneventfully. Fundin shelters in the mountaineer, apparently quite comfortably, as if he's accustomed to sleeping in the driver's seat. Statheros finds the limb of a tree to be to his liking, and takes his rest there. Xanna eventually takes a spot in the trailer, using her ion rifle as a pillow. Those who are on watch hear the noises of the wilderness and see the sky without the burden of city lights; no other activity breaks the night.
As the morning dawns, Statheros is up early. The final watcher gets an earful. "We have slept too long. I cannot emphasize enough that we should be moving towards our goal with all haste." His bellyaching, much closer to an urgency rather than a simple whine, is sufficient to wake most from their relative slumbers. With little fanfare and minimal hassle, the group is wheeling their way eastward. A few buildings and small villages dot the way, but at Statheros' urging and Fundin's misery, the hammer stays down, and decent time is made.
As evening approaches, the familiar glow of a ley line is seen in the distance. Fundin slows his approach, picking his way over some rougher terrain, and doing a fine job of not torquing the trailer off of the hitch. Statheros turns back towards Gaspard. "Here, now, is your second task. You are to deposit us hhhh...uuuuuuhhhh..." The sprite, as before, waved his hands to reveal your destination. What flickered before your vision was unrecognizable and twisted, as if looking through a photo negative of a place. Statheros falters and wobbles, then straightens up. "Something is blocking our destination along this line." He looks intently at Gaspard. "You must take us as far as you are able along this line, but I fear something, or someone, is interfering with my ability to see our end. We must be very, very cautious."
THE OTHER SIDE
Upon your arrival at the other end of the line, you notice a variety of things.
First and foremost, off to your left outside the mountaineer, you see a few bruiser-looking fellows in the middle of one-sided "negotiations" with a family of elves. The eldest male elf is on the ground, bleeding, and either unconscious or dead. A woman and two teenagers, a male and a female, are being yelled at by the aforementioned bruisers. The shouting ceases as they all, in unison, turn their heads to look at the rather large vehicle that has just appeared out of nowhere.
The other thing you notice is a rather clearly defined line in the terrain, where everything east of you appears sick. The foliage, the land, everything looks wilted. Outside that line is green grass, healthy trees, and normal landscape. Even the ley line running in that direction appears...distorted. The coloration is different and the "flow" appears erratic.
The lead tough shouts at the mountaineer. "The hell you come from? Can't you see we're busy here?"
Statheros slumps in his seat and closes his eyes. He does not appear to be conscious.
In total, there are 4 humanoids of various makeup, but all of them armed, pointing weapons at the elf family. Fundin shrugs, then clicks the loudspeaker on the mountaineer. "Oy! That'll be more than enough out of the lot of ye." He then points the laser turret in the direction of the toughs, who decide better of their grudge. They proceed to beat feet in the opposite direction of you, leaving the elf family there. The woman falls upon the injured man. She appears to draw some energy from the untainted side of the ley line, then lays her hands on him. A moment or two later, the elf man is bathed in a warm glow, and his wounds seal themselves. He looks with uncertainty at the mountaineer. The man and woman exchange some words, then call out to you. "We hope that we have you to thank for delivering us from those ruffians, and hope that we have not been delivered from one fire to another."
Upon introducing themselves and meeting anyone who intends to speak to them, they relay to you some clarity about what you're seeing. "A month ago, our village received a report of a rift in the line towards the lake. No one went to investigate because the lake is said to be possessed. As the days passed, we began to notice the wildlife in the area going mad, becoming sick, and dying, in some cases. The vegetation turned from green and lush to brown. A few villages had a meet to ascertain the truth of this new blight. Some of the more powerful mages among us attempted to reverse the blight with magic. Even fueled by the ley line, we simply could not stop the corruption. A week ago, a family that lived near the lake showed up in one of the nearby villages." The elf man, Finlorin, bows his head for a moment. "They were something else. Not undead. But twisted. And murderous. They slew a third of the villagers before they were able to be put down. At that time, the villages surrounding us resolved to depart. However, the corruption seemed to chase us. Indeed, it had already encircled us. Perhaps our magic kept it at bay while it surrounded us, or perhaps...I believe it knew. I believe it trapped us there."
The woman, Sherlindrea, speaks up. "Many of our people escaped, but some succumbed to the blight. Some of those who died arose and sought our doom. We have escaped the corruption, only to be set upon by highwaymen as soon as we crossed the corrupt boundary. We thank you for saving our lives."
Finlorin adds. "As the corruption spread, drawing energy from the ley line became more difficult. The weaker of the magicians in our village seemed to lose a part of themselves as they tried to draw. If you are strong, you can withstand it and still gain power from it. But be cautious. There is a consequence for those of weak will who use the line."
The family will answer any questions you have, although they insist on moving further away from the boundary of the blighted area. Once your interrogation / investigation is complete, you can, if you choose, set off into the blight. That is, of course, the direction of your destination. The elf family thanks you again, and bids you good fortune and offers of repayment should you ever meet again.