Leaving Phandelin in late fall, the group plus Agathius followed the high road west.
Passing the farms and mines near town (and meeting the Postman coming the other way), a lesser moon’s travel later they noted a strange storm on the horizon, hovering over the everything south of the road. Over the next day, it never moved and grew stronger and darker.
On the ninth day west of town a milestone informed everyone that the storm was centered on the Glass Tower, a ruin originally created by the wizard Kincayd. The winds and lightning were strong enough that everyone stayed the night in a cave to avoid being either blasted or blown away.
The following day was spent carefully traveling the trail south to the tower. Finding a ring of standing stones filled with small wind spirits holding some kind of ritual, and a ruined cylindrical tower hosting ice spirits (and a ice-glazed stone arch over a deep chasm), the caves beneath the tower were entered, searched and cleared. Some magical and research materials were recovered, including notes on the history of the tower and it’s creator, a mentally-joined married couple of wizards who used the name Kincayd for their joint activities.
Several different spirits and elemental traps were cleared, but finally the roof of the 250’ spire was attained. Somehow a huge air spirit had become trapped here by the activity of a large embedded horn. When blown, the horn opened a gate into the air planes and disrupted the local weather greatly. The djinn kept trying to open the gate and go home, but when he stopped winding the horn the gate would close before he could pass through it, whereupon the djinn would further aggravate the local storms. The many smaller wind spirits he controlled were apparently just an accidental addition.
With the rest of the party as an anchor, Carric uses a Gust of Wind spell to blow the horn for long enough that the djinn would escape back to his home, along with most of the smaller elementals. During their escape, an invisible manlike form (noticeable only by missing turbulence in the storm) was seen moving OUT of the gate and away to the north.
Through the next day, the party rested and searched the top level of the tower, where the harpies Agathius had mentioned hunting had built a huge nest from tower contents. With some valuable bits stored away, the party returned to the road and continued west.
Over the next two moons (14 days) the road was traveled to the Yonderton turnoff, then the group left the road and and traveled directly north for a few days, decending the cliff marking the actual edge of the Shadowlands. Two days of heavily overgrown forest travel led to a lesser cliff down to the Midlands, arriving there on the 28 Alantyn’n.
This far west, the Midlands were marshy and much warmer than the party had become used to. The next morning, 1 Koros’n, (which Agathius noted was ‘inauspicious’, as Koros’n is the month of ‘testing’ and the harvest) the smaller cliff was climbed down (for there was no path), and the dead zone was approached.
Nothing lived within the circle, no plant, bird, insect or animal moved north of the party, but neither the weeds and trees decayed. Just miles of dried, fragile debris and the dead. Some landmarks were seen as blobs on the horizon.