The First Land

Recap #3, July 14, 2016

Popper's letters to Master Cyril

Things around here were getting out of hand. Poisonings, fires, undead, rogue giants, animated hands. I decided to join this small group who were starting to try to figure out what was going on. First I needed to get back to the huts and close them up for a few days. While there, I left a note to my master, Cyril, letting him know what is happening and what I am up to. It’s not likely that he will ever read it, he’s gone to the wars. But, if I don’t return, he might.
I also thought that I might need some help, so I grabbed my most powerful magic item, a bag of badgers. I can summon up to 3 badgers and they will do their badgery best to help me out. Tippin, the Finch is not so fond of the badgers, but they are sorta smart and really strong for their size, and the magic bag is easy to carry. I took one last look at the place I’ve lived for a few decades and I did a little remembering of all the good times I’ve had here… I wonder if those times will return.
By the time I got back to town, more murder, more undead and a new monk,Rael, had been added to the mix. We decided to head for the monastery the next day, when Riktri the Chitrik trader who had followed the blacksmith’s apprentices to Tafeld monastery came back into town. He said he had come upon the scene of a struggle, the kids were attacked. As he examined the area, he said, he was attacked by vines.
As a group, we decided to get involved, right now and head out to the scene to see if the kids were around and what we could do to rescue them.
We walked a bit into the forest, and soon enough came upon the scenes from a struggle. Including the kids’ empty packs and some tracks leading off into the woods. We decided to follow the trail and Zara, the cleric of Helune, blessed me, quieting my footfalls and making me feel nearly invisible. As we proceeded, we were attacked by a giant tangle of vines with a skeleton embedded in it. We launched all our best attacks and soon enough both creatures, for indeed it was two creatures, were dead. The Monk and the Barbarian Rigel are incredibly good at killing stuff!
With the vine creature dead, we tracked it to a clearing. We saw a large Velt (living tree) in the clearing, but not a healthy, wise tree like I am used to. This one was blackened and sick looking, evil somehow. At its base were the bodies of the three apprentices (wrapped in ugly vines) and the innkeeper’s son, just laying there.
This part of the forest is sick, my God, Pan would not like it here. We decided to send for help from Bitterwater using a magical sending. Then we retreated to the road to leave a sign for whatever villagers come to our aid. In a moment of calm, I used my spyglass to take a closer look at the kids on the ground, they look sick and there is something sinister about those vines.
Zara and Rama, the half-orc wizard insist that we must act before the kids get any worse. We hatch a plan.
We decide to sneak up to the tree and start soaking it with oil. Then we’ll cut the kids free and make a run for it, hoping the tree stays asleep, awake it could kill any one of us with one blow. Things work out more or less as planned, we grab the kids and make a run for it. Unfortunately, the tree wakes up, luckily Zara is ready with her fire bolt spell to light the oil. The tree starts screaming in rage and actually tears itself free and starts to follow us, flames and all.
We Run.
As we clear the forest, we can see more of these nasty Velt coming out to follow us, we are doomed if they catch us, but they move slowly.
As we keep running with the 4 kids packed along (exhausting us from the carry) we meet a large group pf townspeople coming to our aid. They grab up the kids and we see the Velt turn back into the forest. Back in town, I heal one of the kids and we learn about them being kidnapped. The Dwarven Mayor calls us heroes and the townspeople set up a watch.
In the morning, all the kids are awake and on the road to recovery. We are told that a small (2 seater) Air guild flyer was seen heading north to the Illfang mine. We borrow ponies and set out for the mines to see what is happening up there. On the way, we encounter a burned out farm, which was run by a good Veltan, who has since burned his own farm and turned to destruction (Suspecting the well-water, I take a sample). Further on we encounter a Dwarven farmstead, all are alive and suspicious.
When we reach the mine, it is immediately apparent that we have wasted our time. The dwarves are taciturn and refuse to add anything to our understanding of what is going on. They refuse to discuss the flyer which has landed at the mine, and bid us good day. Grumpy dwarves. They do remind us that there are Giant wasps about.
On the way home to Bitterwater (to get a water sample and take it to the monastery for evaluation) we hear a buzzing. Indeed, the Giant wasps have found us. We put up a fight and I get stung.
When I wake up, we are back in town and preparing to head to the monastery in the morning, on horses and ponies with an eye toward ridding the place of whatever evil lurks.
Its time to find out what is going on!

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Samro

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