Best Laid Schemes

Trees A'Burning, Branches Swinging

From Cyrell's Journal

It looked like a giant bonfire from far away and through the mist, but as we closed in I saw a few small, gnomish-looking creatures chopping down gigantic trees and throwing them into the flames. It was no celebration; it was more of a slaughter. There also appeared to be a few Dryad and a Unicorn tied up and on the brink of dying. We quickly jumped into action. I split off to the right of the group and moved to a flanking position without them seeing me through the mist, then lunged in to the fray with my spear angled directly at one of the Spriggans. I noticed Drakon taking on another, and behind them the third Spriggan throwing huge blocks of tree trunk into the fire. Every stoking of the flames was accompanied by a gut-wrenching scream from the one Dryad that was conscious at the moment, and to whom the tree presumably belonged. I had to deal with the Spriggan in front of me, but the one in the back was clearly the most important target. I started shifting the one I was facing backwards towards the other and towards the flames. With a lightning-powered slash across his chest I finally knocked him back into the fire and killed him. I looked around to see Drakon had already disposed of his Spriggan and he and Heath were untying the Unicorn and Dryad.

I moved up to the one at the fire, the last one remaining, and engaged him to stop him from destroying any more of the Dryads’ trees. I wasn’t doing much, but what little I did distracted him until Drakon and Heath could arrive. Finally, we subdued the Spriggan and tied its hands and feet. I began questioning him about who had sent them here to do this, but he was being a little stubborn so I held him up to the flames. This time, he answered that Tenzekil had sent them all out to wreak havoc across the lands surrounding Bellis. We tried asking him about Rosen and Tenzekil, but the amount of information he had was extremely limited, so he was of little use to us. I shoved him, tied up, into the flames and moved back to regroup with the party and the Dryads.

We spoke with the Unicorn, Palombier, who gave us her appreciation and swore her life to our service, should the day ever arrive where she could assist us. We also spoke to Hana, the Dryad that had pleaded with us to help the others, and her sister Fira. After inquiring about Davarr, the Dryads gave us more specific directions to his shack (further east down the creek, near a perfectly round hill with a circle of black stones on it), as well as explaining that it would be hidden from sight. Hana did, however, have a solution to finding the house: a small, yellow-white bloom that would apparently sprinkle magical dust that would let us see that which was hidden. In addition to that, Fira gave us a number of gems, jewelry, gold, and a vial of Dust of Dryness. At some point during the battle or its immediate aftermath, I lost track of Drakon, and assumed he had Were business to attend to. So Heath and I set off to continue our march to find Davarr, leaving the Dryads to attend to their wounded and dead sisters.

About half way between the grove and Davarr’s house, we came across another odd scene. We didn’t see it coming, but barely managed to dodge a huge branch swinging at our heads. After a couple more of these swipes at us, the tree the branch belonged to turned enough for us to make out the vague shape of a face and we immediately recognized this as a Tree Ent. We attempted to calm him down from his incoherent fury, but he was so frightened of the Spriggans and other dark occurences in the area that he was nearly impossible to speak with. Finally, we reassured him that we weren’t here to harm him or the land, and that we had just come from rescuing Hana and her sisters from a pack of the little bastards. This made him pause for a moment and take us in. After a brief observation, he seemed to believe us, and did everything he could to help us. He filled in a few more details about Rosen, specifically that the prison binding her was the Fainguard, a point where many planes meet, marked by a ring of stones. This matched the description of the ring of stones near Davarr’s house, as the Dryads had told it, and so we asked if he was guarding it. The Ent confirmed this, as well as giving us more details about the legends and stories surrounding Rosen. He gave us gourds from his branches to drink, of which we partook and became more than a little intoxicated. I seemed to grow in height (nearly half a foot!) and my skin seemed to turn as hard as tree bark. After allowing some time for our inebriation to ease up, we took up our things once more and continued east.

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