After an uneventful night, the party spent some time discussing, in excruciating detail, how best to retrieve the statuette from the hive without disturbing the hornets: using hollow logs to create a chimney for smoke, burning branches, wading in weapons swinging, sending flaming arrows into the walls of the treehouse, all were discussed.
In the end they decided to build some crude doors out of woven branches and leaves, to block the doorways of the adjacent hut to the treehouse with the hive, and use branches as swatting clubs, torches for fire and smoke, and spent the morning building and carrying their creations to the hut. Then, while the others stayed inside with their doors ready, Magnus ventured forth by himself to the treehouse. Carefully, step-by-slow-step, the wizard made his way to the hive, where the sandstone statuette of a raven stuck out of the huge hive, larger hornets buzzing around.
The hornets didn’t seem bothered until Magnus grasped the statuette: then they suddenly swarmed on him, stingers piercing his clothes. He leapt back, bringing up his hands and sending out a fan of fire with his burning hands spell. Hornets fell in great numbers, charred to a crisp. Shouting for help, Alf, Callum, Willow and Jacob lit torches and rushed out to help. Meanwhile, Magnus sent forth another burning hands, then suffered a torrent of stings, forcing him to pull the statuette free and retreat quickly, while the others rushed in, waving their torches about. Stung by the hornets, the party burnt hornet-after-hornet, but Jacob managed to inflict the most damage, and with a final flourish he sent the final few scattering into the trees.
Deciding to leave before anything else causes them harm, the party made their way down to the ground, and decided to force march back to the waystone: fortunately, they marched through the night without incident, and spent most of the day resting in the tranquillity of the stone. They bade goodbye to Scarlett, believing her to be something other than she said she was, and hiked back home to Gallows Hill, where they rested and restocked. Magnus hid the statuette somewhere and told no one, to better protect it, then they headed back to the waystone and agreed to investigate the elven caves to the West.
They travelled through the night and made camp at night, setting guards and a rope-alarm in case of trouble. This proved fortunate, as during the night a pair of giant spiders surprised them, leaping out of the trees to attack Willow and Ratkin, both of whom were bit. Willow pulled on the rope, waking the sleepers, and a brief fight broke out, Alf joining the bitten. Jacob proved again to be a valuable ally, chopping the spiders into pieces as the rest struggled to land a blow. With the monstrous spiders dead, the adventurers tended to their wounds, and as dawn was breaking they carried on, but stopped for a full day and night to recover before they ventured towards the caves.