Baureen and Tiberius ventured down to the waters edge — apparently (judging from our very low Stealth rolls) waving their arms and jumping up and down as they went — to scout out the water's edge and peer at the obelisk on the far side of the water flow. A dragonborn patrol on the other side was watching the conspicuous pair, and headed north to report their observations.
Ty took a sip of the cool, clear water — and was zotted for some real damage by pure magical energy! An arrow tossed into the magic-infused lake sank for many seconds (it is very deep!); then a shadowy form deep in the water grabbed it! What can live in this zap-happy fluid?
We waited until darkness, then Sheefra cast the Fly spell 3 times; first, Mael carried Ty across; 2nd was Callan carrying Maximillian, and finally Baureen carried Sheefra across — all six of us touching the obelisk in the water along the way. We were also all accosted by giant frogs leaping out of the magical waters, trying to snag us with their amazingly long tongues: Mael actually dropped Ty while fending off the tongue, but managed to dive through the air and catch the little guy before he hit the water!
Safely landed on the east side of the magic-water flow, we noted the torches of several dragonborn patrols wandering through the area — including one coming down the beach, straight for us! We tried hiding in an illusory sand dune made by Ty's casting of Minor Illusion, but some kind of storm elemental accompanying the dragonborn spotted us right away. Sheefra used Eldritch Blast to push the elemental into the magic-infused water, and Mael just grabbed the dragonborn and through him in: much zapping of badguys ensued. The other dragonborn patrols noticed their comrade sparking in the hazardous waters, and retired to their camp!
We took a LONG REST on the beach.
in the morning, we noted the timing of patrol movements; we made our way to the ford, and crossed back over the water flow (timed to avoid patrols, and made less obvious by a disguise kit, Ty casting Disguise Self to look like a short Dragonborn, and Max' casting Invisibility at 3rd level). The mist around the nearby waterfall singed us a little with the magical power in the water; also, a dragonborn patrol about a mile away spotted us through the morning mist, and tried to signal us with some kind of semaphore flags: Ty made a Minor Illusion of a similar flag, then appeared to accidentally drop it into the water — thus explaining our lack of reply. We scurried into the ruins, and managed to avoid the helpful soldier dispatched to deliver a replacement flag to the short, clumsy dragonborn who dropped one. The destroyed buildings gave us cover all the way to the base of the steep trail we saw leading up to the top of the mesa.
We spent most of the morning ascending the steep, difficult path, hurrying to the limit of our endurance, using the morning mist to protect us from scrutiny. Harpies — and handrails that turned out to be mimics — slowed our travel a little, but were fended off or avoided with aplomb. Occasionally, through the mists, we could see dragonborn searching for a lost patrol in the ruins below (probably the one that dropped their flag)!
We arrived at the top just as the sun was burning off the last of the morning mist — it appears we were not spotted! The party took a well-deserved rest (but not an actual 'short rest' game mechanic rest), sorely needed after those hours of arduous climbing! Ty was finally able to find the herbs he needed in the heavy foliage on this plateau, and managed to use the brass brazier he found in the dwarven halls to perform the hour-long Find Familiar ritual (bringing an owl named "HOWL" into his service) — all while downing his (very late) second breakfast .
Paths lead away through the heavy foliage: one towards the volcano, another towards the north edge of the plateau, and a third trail goes along the south edge of the plateau; we decided to go along the south edge…
the session ended here, with the party approaching the upper falls on the south edge of the plateau.