Rudi's Notes 05-26-17
17th of Seranith, Year 2
Just as the Viridian Guard regrouped on the deer path they were following for some time, Hydrastis, noticed forms and shapes up in the trees surrounding them, staring from behind leaves with sallow eyes. Before she could shout a warning, they resolved into long, familiar, green scaled forms as they leapt from the trees. A Cloud of greenish vapors are exuded from the corners of the tatzlwyrmss’ mouths as they surround Cassius and Rudi, constricting the halfling and dragging him kicking and screaming into their forest lair. The second, freed of his hunt turned its attention towards Sear standing in the back of the wagon.
Cassius does his best to fend off the pair of tatzlwyrms, blocking their foreshortened little claws with his shield, their talons raking harmlessly across the metal surface. One managed to evade his sword, however, and coiling around his body. Before he could be dragged from his saddle however, he sped off with the draconic beast clutching to him, leaving the other behind. Alone, it too turned it attention towards the sorcerer.
Sear is quickly wrapped up in it’s serpentine body, biting and raking him with the claws at the end of it’s stubby arms. It attempts to fly away, but he runs through an incantation and that leaves himself covered in magical grease. The wings of the tatzlwyrms flap, but instead of carrying Sear, he pops out of the bottom. Reaching a hand up from the bottom of the wagon, he releases a barrage of flaming magic missiles that punch into its scales, leaving them scorched and singed.
Hydrastis, having shed her elven form to take on one of a giant beetle, flies toward the bole where the nest was made, a natural hollow from all the overlapping branches. She could hear the halfling cursing from inside as fang and claw shred through his armor, rending the vulnerable flesh beneath and spraying blood onto the trunk and leaves around him.
“Let me go, you fucker!” He screamed, stabbing futilely at the creature. The feral hunter stuck her mandibled jaw in, snapping and stinging the tatzlwyrms, crawling over the halfling until she had killed it. Freed, Rudi bolts from the nest in the tree, jumping to the ground and running for freedom.
Around the cart, Glod and Faderean attacked the pair that had encircled the ruler of Dun Scaith with hammer and bolt. Faderean lined up a shot finally that pierced it’s skull. With the pressure slightly relieved, Faderean drops the Dwarfbond Hammer, letting it fall in front of the dwarf. Glod stared as it thudded into the ground, hearing it reverberate in his mind as if a call from Torag. He has a thousand yard stare as he reaches out for it, wrapping his fingers around the leather handle, feeling his God’s presence and lifting it with ease..
Cassius slices himself free of the constricting creature, with Mandarb whinnying beneath him the whole time. His loyal steed is gnashing its teeth, trying to reach back to help his master. Finally, loosened by the attack, it grabbed a piece of it’s tail and pulls the tatzlwyrms from it’s rider, stamping it into the ground. Now freed, Cassius spurs the warhorse on, leaping over the wagon in a vain attempt to cut the last creature down. Finding itself alone and outnumbered, the creature attempts to flee, only to have the Rudi blast it in the back with a scorching ray.
Cassius is in the middle of explaining a previous obligation and their fortuitous return when Rudi compared it to the rumored letter he sent to the Order of the Paw, the halfling order of cavaliers.
“Do you question my honor,” Cassius asked, voice as cold as the steel of his blade.
“Your honor? No, just whether or not you’re more like the people from these lands than you think,” Rudi says, referencing the general treatment of halflings in Brevoy and the surrounding lands and the joke he made so long ago about getting halflings to work the Oak Top Silvermine with the Sootscale kobolds.
“I am not my father,” Cassius said, spinning on his heel.
Faderean kept busy, rooting around in the tatzlwyrms nest where he found a fair amount a treasure. Hydrastis also set about haversting the bones and scales from the tatzlwyrms, loading it all up into the wagon.
Once the looting and harvesting was done, the party continued deeper down the deer path. After several hours hey heard the sound of running water, and are assailed by the familiar smell of the Skunk river. As they draw closer, they see freshly felled trees near the edge of a sharp bend in the river forming a deep pool in the pocket. Mist slithers along the surface of the water, tendrils reaching out, curling around the legs of a pair of men standing in the water up to their knees, their axes limp in their hands. Other rugged men yelled at them from the shore.
“What’s going on? What happened?” Sear called.
“There’s a gods damned fairy in the lake that magicked two of my men.” Sear looks from them to a small form in the water.
“Why did you do it?” Sear asked the head floating just above the water.
“They killed my trees and wouldn’t stop, so I had to make them. It was all I could do,” the fairy in the water said with a thick sylvan accent. Hydrastis recognizes her as a Nixie.
The woodsman argued that they laid claim to them since they chopped them down, saying they were going to sell them in Valour after all the construction that has been going on within the burgeoning town. Some threats are passed around, with Corax appalled that the Viridian Guard are taking the side of the fae, but he agrees to leave her alone and leave the whole area if they free his men.
The nixie agrees to the deal and releases the woodsmen, the whole crew tromping off into the forest and making threats, especially as a more fiery than usual Rudi antagonizes and insults them.
“I am Melianse,” she says, floating towards the edge of the pond. As she draws closer, they realize she’s beautiful in a girlish sense. She is small and slight, about the size of a halfling. Her hair is drenched, but still long, curly and full, clinging to nearly translucent skin and the only thing giving her any sort of civilization’s modest. “I thank you for the kindness. Those men threatened to hang me from a tree until I dried out. However my trees are still gone…”
“I believe you should have led with that!” Faderean said.
The party, appalled at their behavior, offer her their protection aid in recovering the trees lost to her. She spoke of a dryad named Tiressia to the south that could potentially help. They offer to find her, but first spend the next couple of days exploring the hex.
20th of Seranith, Year 2
The party journeyed up to Tatzlfjord, the only place they knew to have a for across the river. Latricia joined them as the edge and was eager to show them around, even giving them a delicacy for the region. It’s newt that first smoked slowly for several hours, then battered and fried. Delicious and juicy, Rudi digs in and wants to make it a national recipe.
She mentions knowing Corax, saying their brash and hardy folk, and that they were working on bringing in some more lumber. They mention potentially needing a new source of lumber before passing through to the other side of the Skunk river.
21st of Seranith, Year 2
Having crossed the Skunk River, the party finds themselves travelling through some very heavily wooded areas with some marshy bits. It’s wet, muddy, and more than once they were forced to unstick the wagon. Thunderstorms roll over head, with mostly just the threat of rain, keeping the day cool, but humid.
Eventually, they find themselves creeping to higher ground into a different grove of trees. This one is more secluded, more defined, and more fantastic. Crouching near the edge of a pool was a woman weeping softly into her hands. As they approached, they could see tears striking the surface of the water, disturbing the water with gentle ripples that slowly faded away.
With her back to the group, all they could see were leaves poking from her skin, and Hydrastis correctly identifies her as the dryad. She softly points out th at they they’ve been known to charm people as needed ,just like the Nixie and other fey.
“Lady Tiressia,” Sear says, and her whimpers cut off. “We were sent to find you by the fair Melianse.”
She turns slowly to addresses the group. “I know of Melianse.”
“Why is it you cry, lady?” Faderean asks.
“I was chased from my home by a vicious creature known as a Scythe tree. It is nasty, evil. It kills the forest, and almost mortally wounded my suitor Falchos the satyr.”
“Where is this foul tree located?”
“It is to the south. I would give you every possession I own if you were to help rid me of it!”
“Speaking plainly, m’lady, Melianse the Nixie asked us to seek your aid. We will do this regardless, because it is the right thing to do. We just ask that you assist her.”
She gives them a more precise location, perking up after their offer of aid. The Viridian Guard with a new purpose explored the rest of the region before setting off in search of the fel tree.
23rd of Seranith, Year 2
Trees surround the party still as they trudge through a seemingly never ending forest. Big, fat droplets drip from leaves above, turning the ground to mud and puddles leaving the adventurers, horses, and wolves to trudge through them.
Eventually they enter into a portion of the forest that is ravaged and full of rot. Dead animals are scattered, bloated with decay, the stench filling the air. The earth with a pockmarked appearance, large gaping holes where trees were ripped from the ground, leaving their roots to dangle helplessly while they died a slow death.
The party is engrossed in the carnage, staring about the wagon as they press forward into wasteland. At the last minute Hydrastis and Rudi spot a large, dark brown tree with dark leaves moving unnaturally, not by any breeze, as it charges towards them. What looks like the crescent shape of an old axe bite that had left a deep wooden scar, is actually a large, toothy mouth. Hydrastis shoots, and Rudi casts a scorching ray that hisses and steams through the rain until it burns across the surface of the tree, shouting for the Guard to prepare themselves.
In retaliation, the tree spread its branches reaching over Cassius and Mandarb to bring 4 of it’s massive limbs crashing down on Rudi. He lies pinioned by the four sharpened limbs, gasping uselessly as he slowly died. The rest of them rally, swinging blades, launching spells, and firing volley after volley.
Sear rips the centerpiece of a new magical necklace from his neck, hurling the large ball into the tree. It explodes, sending earth and wood chips flying through the air as a fireball engulfed part of the base. He repeated it with different parts of the Necklace of Fireball, the rest of the party continued chopping and hacking ineffectually at the tree, all except Glod who prays to Torag to heal everyone from the eviscerating branches.
Finally it creaks and groans, toppling backwards with the crash and crack of snapping limbs until it lay a smoldering ruin. Sear grabbed a bit of the charred scythe tree and brought it to Rudi who lay there, barely conscious thanks to *Glod*’s healing, where Sear held it out to him.
“It’s dead Rudi,” he said, before the halfling slipped into.
While rooting through the forest looking for treasure, they find a insidious robe as well as other bits and bobs, including bits of amber and coin.
In no condition to continue, Hydrastis and Cassius stay behind to tend to the convalescing halfling. While the others explored the rest of the region.
The remains of the party returned to the dryad who stayed true to her word, giving the party her armor, 6 Feather Tokens, and a few other gifts. She agreed to serve as a guardian of the lands, keeping the Viridian guard informed of the goings on in the lands. Sear attempted to seduce her, giving her a wink and a smile, but her suitor Falchos the Satyr stepped from the forest, injuries still fresh, and interfering with Sear’s attempts. Glod, feeling a renewed calling to Torag after the recent events, called on his God to mend the Satyrs wounds.
They returned to the Nixie then and used the tree tokens that the Dryad bequeathed unto them to restore the trees Corax and his company had felled. Like Tiressia, she swore to watch the waterways and share any information that she picked up. With the bargain struck, they continued to explore to the west and south east.
Seeking to continue their exploration, the fragmented party of the Viridian Guard continued westward, toward the ruins that the gnome Gnarlthorple told them about. As the party drew closer, they saw towers peaking from the ruins. The game trails started to die off, and animal activity became scarce. Entering a nearby clearing, Glod is able to get their first good look at the city, and recognized the architecture as elven. 4 circular towers sprout like great trees, growing wild from the corpse of civilization. In the middle, a tower stood complete, twisting and spiraling towards the heavens, light stones stacked upon themselves. An arched gateway in the eastern wall beckoned, it’s gaping maw made from bits of rotten timber. Faderean scouted ahead seeking traps, when he spotted a pressure plate that would have sent the portcullis slamming closed behind them.
As the others rejoin the party, Faderean disabled the trap, and together they cautiously considered entering the ruins…