Our party has spent the past couple of weeks (game time) stumbling around a tiny island, summoned by a mage who wants us to retrieve certain magical scrolls from a secret stronghold inside a forested volcanic crater. The first time we attempted this, we lost our mage, Calwyn. Then we tried to leave the island, but were shipwrecked (and rescued). We’re now back in the ensorcelled crater with new companions, including an odd little rogue-type called Squirrel, but unfortunately our fighter, Ammonite was recently killed by centaurs.
As things stand, we’ve been looking for the ‘green man’ to help us heal the forest, and a set of four leaf-shaped keys to gain admittance to a large building (surrounded by a magic hedge) in which we hope to find the magical scrolls. We’ve also lost track of our rogue, Brynn, who swam off and did not return…
And we need to be back in the port town to catch a ship leaving in around 8 days.
Maybe if I roll into a tight little ball and close my eyes everything will go back to the way it was before. That’s what I feel like doing. It’s night, I’m camped with strangers at the edge of crater lake, and I want to go home.
OK, Alix is here. My only northern friend. And Ash has his warm head on my thigh. The others are strangers.
There is a man called Blizzard, who is pushy, always asking about treasure. He waltzed up to us at around midday,
calm rude as you like, saying he’d heard there was an expedition on for treasure and he wanted in. The presumptuous red-haired git wears the symbol of Kaltan, and acts exactly like he’s sworn to the god of war. I do not trust him at all.
There is also Vaantus, whose slumber we disturbed in the Palace (flying book meet blue nimbus of light). Turns out he’s a fighter sworn to the mages, but they put him to sleep and left him here for 25 years. He’s more than a little pissed and confused… but for all that not a bad sort. And he says he can cook.
Brynn is not here. If we can believe Blizzard (and I’m not entirely convinced of that) he saw a figure that could have been Brynn being carried off by giant wasps. Alas, after our encounter with the wasps the other day, I fear this is all too likely to be true. Surely if Brynn were all right, he would have found us by now?
We burned Ammonite’s remains this afternoon, so at least one duty is discharged. But I have a mind to avenge my fallen companion tomorrow.
And now Ash’s ears twitch and I can hear it too… Rustling in the forest as something approaches. A glorious large brown bear. We’re on our feet, weapons ready, but I don’t attack and thankfully the others don’t either, because trailing behind the bear is a decrepit figure who can only be the green man we have been searching for.
Vaantus recognises him as a former mage from the days when they were experimenting here, but the man’s wits are addled and he seems fixated on extracting from me in particular information about ‘the broken forest’. All I want are the cursed leaf-shaped keys around his neck, but our attempts to persuade him to give them to us prove futile and he shambles off again, shadowed by his bear.
Vengeance is sweet
I managed to find the green man’s hut in the forest today. His clearing is warded magically, and overgrown with several varieties of strange vegetation that I do not like at all. We tried to talk to him again, tried to figure out what will make him give us the keys around his neck.
The Eye of Varrien meant nothing to him. (Oh, blessed Emrys, how are Alix and I to complete our quest for the other Eye with all our companions dead?) But he did seem interested in news of the city of Tel Marrenor, deep in the broken forest (where we believe the other Eye to be). In fact, he had the nerve to ask us to go to the broken forest, gather a lichen sample and bring it back for him to study. Right.
He still refused to give us his keys. Told us to go get our own leaves.
I am so sick of this place. It has cost us far too much.
There was one highlight of the day. For lack of any other ideas, we cleared out the centaur forest. There were only three of the poor creatures left after Ammonite’s mighty effort the other day. They’d constructed some pit traps as defences, but damn it felt good to brush their arrows aside and drive them back into their overgrown stables.
I finally got a chance to use one of my exploding beads, which collapsed the dilapidated building on their heads, killing one. Then we hacked through the rotting timbers and took out the last creature swiftly.
We found Ammonite’s gear. It was some consolation to retrieve certain magical items and weapons. I would much rather have Ammonite back.
We get our own leaves
We spent another day and a half stumbling about this crater looking for something, anything (found more giant wasps, pixies, bears, doors with passwords, no sign of Brynn), before Vaantus and Squirrel came up with the idea we should maybe try actual leaves in the key plate. I thought no way would this work.
Turns out I was wrong.
We collected a pile of leaves, laid them on the appropriate slots, and have been promptly whisked… somewhere. To the other side of the hedge? Somewhere else entirely?
I have no idea where we are at present, other than a well-maintained ornamental garden, complete with flowerbeds, manicured lawns and a duck pond. There is a building here and another key plate (lucky we collected many leaves).
Is there where we will find the scrolls we came in search of?
It feels good to be making progress finally, but I am still uneasy, forced to work with new companions I do not know or trust.
I miss Calwyn and Ammonite. I miss my cousin Schill. I even miss Brynn a little bit, although he was from around here and I did not know him long.
I feel so very far from home.