After rescuing Shinokage and the human woman, you make your way back to the surface. The woman’s name is Erin Heartshorn and she introduces herself as a wanderer, hermit and ‘tender of the wild’. After a detailed discussion with Illen of the local ecosystem and how it affects the reproductive cycles of several species of crickets, you have the strong suspicion that she is a druid. This is all but confirmed when Nanfoodle notices a small pendant that she wears around her neck, shaped as the head of a stag.
Erin mentions that she was investigating the ruin because of a recent increase in unexplained animal deaths in the area. Shortly after she arrived, she saw a Shinokage approaching the ruin. Unsure of what to expect, she hid in the brush. Suddenly, a thick pale mist seemed to rise from the ground. Before she could react, she was enveloped and quickly began to feel faint. The last thing she heard was a rough voice saying, ’that’s one less to deal with!’
She continues discussing various natural phenomena with Illen while you walk back to the caravan, but she stops short before you get there. “Thank you for your rescue, but my path leads a different way. Best of luck to you all, we will see each other again, I am sure.” With a long look at Illen, she shapeshifts into a deer and bounds off into the woods. Illen looks back and forth between her and the group and eventually shrugs and says, ‘Yeah, we’ll see each other again.’ He shapeshifts into a pony and trots off after Erin. Curiously, you all notice that one of Illen’s front legs has a jagged, seeping wound.