This Grey Oerth

Richfest Moot
Initiation and Dark Tidings

L’wyndll

Game day: 7/21/13

578 CY

Starday, 1 Richfest (Midsummer)
The first day of the Richfest Moot is given to introductions, socializing and merriment. Druids from all over the area have come to connect with old friends and to make new ones. You find yourself a little overwhelmed by it all.

You have two goals here. One is to be officially initiated as a druid. You find out that this will happen on Midsummers Day, which is in three more days. So that will have to wait.

Your second goal is to find Drenthea, the shapeshifter druid that Khorel requested you speak with. So you ask around about her whereabouts.

Pelan shadows you as you wander about, seeming to enjoy your bewilderment at the festivities. But he speaks very little, only pointing things out now and then, primarily people he recognizes and thinks are important for you to know. He urges you to socialize.

When asking a young freckle-faced druid if he knows Drenthea and where she might be, another young man overhears. He is a handsome human with long dark hair and eyes so brown they are nearly black. He has a broad smile and seems thrilled to have overheard the name.

He bounds over to you and asks if he heard you right. “Did you say you were looking for Drenthea?”

You answer yes and he smiles again and says,” Well, you’re in luck! I happen to know where she is. If you follow me, I’ll take you to her!”

“Wait,” you say. “Who are you, exactly?”

“I’m Tre’mh Skyre,” he grins. “At your service.”

Although he appears as happy-go-lucky as a little boy, there is a sense of danger about him. “Will you follow?” He leans on his staff, waiting for your reply, a mischievous gleam in his eyes.

Pelan seems suspicious of him, and you aren’t without doubt of his intentions.

“Where exactly is she?” you ask.

“Oh, just about four days west of here,” he laughs, “in Verbobonc.”

You grimace, frustrated at this turn of events and wondering if he is telling the truth. He claims she has gone on some secret official business, but that he’s not supposed to know that.

You explain to him that you can’t leave the moot, as you are to be initiated. So Tre’mh volunteers himself to be your guide during your first moot, much to the chagrin of Pelan.

You find a moment later on in the day to approach the Archdruid, Mara Liessa. With Pelan’s and Tre’mh’s competing guidance of how to greet her. You succeed and find that she is friendly enough. She confirms Tre’mh’s claim that Drenthea has indeed gone to Verbobonc on some official druidic business, much to your disappointment.

In the evening, there is a dance and big feast, as well as the burning of a wicker man as a sacrifice.

Sunday, 2 Richfest (Midsummer)
Today there is more merriment. There are divination games to determine the identity of future marriage partners. Tre’mh urges you to participate, but you have no desire for such things. Pelan seems happy you don’t listen to Tre’mh.

Tre’mh comments that there’s generally a minor baby boom about nine months from these games.

Moonday, 3 Richfest (Midsummer)
Today there are two marriages and what is called the Blessing of the Flames, in which livestock is driven between two purifying bonfires. Animal sacrifices are made to honor the marriages, to bless the livestock, and to honor and placate the fey folk (fairies and the like).

Tre’mh tells you that the boundaries between this world and the fey realms are very close during Richfest, which is also known as Beltaine (BEL-tain-yuh).

Godsday, 4 Richfest (Midsummer’s Day)
Today the initiation ceremonies are held and, much to your relief, nothing is sacrificed. Instead, seeds are planted about the forest to represent the beginning of your new life. You say vows, in Thari, to uphold the sanctity of the forest and are blessed by the Archdruid. You and each of the Aspirants there receive a badge woven of mistletoe to represent your new allegiance.

After the evening feast, there is a firefly catching competition.

Waterday, 5 Richfest (Midsummer)
This day there is a ceremony to honor the Divine Marriage between the Dying/Rising God and the Goddess. The God represents the temporal world and the Goddess the spiritual. There is a dramatic and elaborate ceremony, in which the roles of these gods are played by two high ranking druids.

Another animal sacrifice is made during this ceremony.

Earthday, 6 Richfest (Midsummer)
Today, after a grand brunch and a tree-climbing competition in the afternoon, the mood becomes somewhat somber when a hateful-looking man in chains is brought out into the clearing. The circle druids ready a cauldron and hand the sacrificial knife to the Archdruid, Mara Liessa. You realize that they are planning to sacrifice the man.

Tre’mh tells you that it is a somewhat common occurrence, particularly at moots. He says it is not cruel, it is just the way of things. He sounds like he’s repeating something he’s been told when he says it.

“The men sacrificed are usually condemned criminals,” he says. “But now and then, someone actually volunteers. I suspect this one is of the former group.”

Mara Liessa slits the man’s throat and lets the blood drain into the cauldron. After staring intently into the blood gathered there, she looks up with a dire expression and addresses the gathering.

She explains that she has seen an ill omen in the blood. There is a terrible evil infecting the world, very near and toward the west.

While the Archdruid and circle druids discuss amongst themselves, another man, with a beard streaked with grey, approaches them and joins their conversation. He is clearly of the Old Faith as well and looks like he has brought them more bad news.

As you watch them from a distance, this man seems to stare directly at you for a long moment. Although it is unnerving, you shake it off and forget about it.

Freeday, 7 Richfest (Midsummer)
The last day of the festival has come and you are relieved, because you will finally be able to go look for Drenthea.

The mood of the moot has been dampened, partially from the ominous reading of the blood yesterday and partially due to exhaustion from the festivities. It is clear that it is winding down.

Midday sacrifices today consist only of carved wooden totems thrown into the fire.

After which, the High Council heads into a tight knit copse of trees to hold a closed meeting. When they emerge, their faces are full of concern.

The Archdruid then addresses the entire moot, answers questions and takes advice from any who wish to offer it. She gives her final blessings and the moot is ended.

Tre’mh Skyre tells you to head to Oakham to catch a ride to Verbobonc. He says there are merchant caravans going through there all the time. He tells you to say hi to Drenthea for him. He says he would accompany you, but he has found an adventure elsewhere.

Pelan says he will go with you to Oakham, but then will head back to let Khorel know what has happened and where you are headed.

View
Mootbound
Through the Welkwood & Gnarley to Richfest Moot

L’wyndll

Game day: 7/21/13

Sunday, 2 Reaping (7)
A few days after your adventures at Oakloch Grove, you decide that you would indeed like to pursue the path of a druid. You tell Khorel that being a shapeshifter druid is the most appealing to you. You feel in your bones that it is something you can do.

Khorel informs you that it is a rare druid that can follow the strict path of the shapeshifter. All druids can eventually learn the art of transformation, but it is highly unusual for one to begin their training with that ability. There needs to be a natural inclination, something in the blood, something hereditary. He senses some chance in you however, perhaps only because you want it so badly.

Before you get started training, however, Khorel sends you to Giantslook to buy your own supplies with the money you earned from your adventure at Oakloch and the one gold piece your mother was able to contribute. Pelar accompanies you because he needs some things as well.

Godsday, 25 Reaping
It seems that both you and Khorel sensed correctly, because after a few weeks of intense training, you have your first shape-shifting success: a forest turtle. Well, to be fair, it looks more like a fuzzy-faced snake hiding under a wooden bowl, but the proof is there; you are able to shape-change.

578 CY

Moonday, 17 Wealsun (6)
Almost a year has passed since you made the decision to become a druid. You have been continuing to learn the principles of altering your body chemistry to take the shape of other small woodland animals: squirrels, skunks, lizards, snakes, bluejays and robins. The birds have been the most difficult, primarily because the rules of flight take a little getting used to. You have suffered more than a few bumps and bruises trying to land.

Khorel has warned you to not attempt to change shape more than three times per day. Doing so, he says, could have dire consequences. Unless you want to live out your days as a squirrel, he says, please don’t tempt fate. In general, it is best to change to each of the three forms only once per day, he says, meaning mammal, reptile and bird. “You don’t want to let your body grow too accustom to being in any one form. In fact,” he says, “this is all most druids are even able to do. You will be able to shift more than normal, but it is dangerous to do so. Even I cannot accomplish such a feat, but there is something in you that allows it. Use it only when there is no other way.”

With nearly a year of practice, you are feeling confident with your new abilities. You have spent much more time with Khorel and practicing your skills than you have with your mother by far. It has been a very intense and challenging time for you, but it has all paid off. In addition to shape-shifting, you have also learned how to perform several spells, but are only able to have two prepared at any given time. Khorel has also taught you the secret language of Thari, which only druids know. This language has a specialized and detailed vocabulary limited to dealing with Nature and natural events; beyond this, it is very basic. It is purely a spoken tongue, although there are a few runes that exist for marking paths and leaving messages (danger, safe water, safe trail, etc).

The 17th of Wealsun is the Ceremony of the Turning, and Khorel chose this day to grant you the title of Aspirant, but he says that to be properly initiated, you must attend a moot.

Midsummers is drawing near again, so Khorel commands that you go north into the Gnarley Forest to be initiated into the order at the Richfest Moot. There are four moots a year, he explains, and never in the same place in a row. Their locations are kept secret. At this moot, you are to meet Drenthea, who is also a shape-shifter and an Initiate of the 8th Circle. Khorel simply says he wants you to speak with her, but you detect a larger purpose in this task.

He says it will take you about a week to get there on foot. There are no horses available, so that’s your only option. “This time you are going alone,” he says. “The moot begins in twelve days and lasts for a week. Don’t miss it.” This gives you only a few days to prepare for your journey.

“Be very careful,” he tells you. “Prepare your survival spells. The Welkwood is dangerous enough from time to time, but the Gnarley is always dangerous. Be smart and stay alert.”

Freeday, 21 Wealsun (Day 1 of journey)
You head out alone to journey to the Gnarley Forest and the Richfest Moot.

The trail branches north about a league west of your home in the Welkwood.

What at first was a decently wide trail quickly turns narrow, occasionally blocked by fallen branches or nearly closed in from undergrowth. It is clearly not well traveled by horse, but on foot it seems you’ll do fine. About a league north and you’ve gone past your normal exploring grounds, out of your comfort zone. You are half elfkind though, so even an unfamiliar forest gives you some comfort.

A couple hours into your trip, you start to feel like someone or something is following you. But each time you look back there is nothing there and you chalk it up to just nerves. Occasionally you swear you hear someone hiccup, but on second thought, decide it was probably just a tree frog.

You break for lunch. And during lunch you decide to practice some of your newly learned skills, going through some of the spell-casting motions without actually casting anything. But as you begin, you sense someone watching you again. You stop and the sound fades. Each time you start to practice a spell, you hear the movement get closer, and when you stop it fades. This last time, as you are really giving your best performance, you hear a shuffling and then what sounds like a soft high pitched hiccup again. You see something move behind a rock, and then behind a tree, then hear a rustling in the bushes. And… out comes what looks like a giant soot ball! Bouncing up and down. It seems excited to see you.

It seems to have been attracted by your practicing magic. It rolls and bounces about and then jumps right into your lap momentarily, making a kind of snorting, purring sound. As you go to pet it, however, it bounces away again and then peeks out from behind a log.

You put out a piece of jerky to see if you can lure it closer. You turn away to give it some time and hear a kind of slurping noise. You turn back to see the jerky gone, but the creature is still right where it was. You try this again a few times with similar results, but slowly the ball of fuzz seems to feel more comfortable and comes up to you again, allowing you to pet it briefly.

After lunch, the creature follows you, sometimes jumping up on your shoulders and hiding in your pockets. It seems harmless and rather friendly, so you let it.

A while later, you see a bird trapped in a large abandoned spider web clinging to a tree. You hold the bird gently and carefully cut the web away with your dagger, then wipe the remaining web strands off the bird’s feathers and let it go. The fuzzy black soot ball seems so thrilled that you did this. It makes several high-pitched snorting hiccups in approval. You soon discover that it behaves this way any time you do something that helps a forest creature or plant, particularly if it involves using magic.

Just before the sun goes down, you see a short distance away, a white horse standing in a clearing. But no, it’s not a horse. There is a single horn protruding from its head. It’s a unicorn! You’ve known that there are unicorns in the Welkwood and had even seen one or two when you were younger, but from a much greater distance. This one isn’t far away at all. It sees you and appears to nod its head as it takes a short step toward you. Then it turns and runs off.

Starday, 22 Wealsun (Day 2)
You awake startled to find a black ball of fluff curled up by your face, but quickly realize from its whining snore, that its your little round furry friend you’ve decided to name Hiccup.

Only moments later, before you’ve had time to clear the sleep from your eyes, you hear a voice from somewhere near and above you.

“Yeah, she’s right here,” it says. “Seems harmless.” Hiccup disappears somewhere into the folds of the short cloak that covers your leather armor.

The voice is smooth and musical, but has a bitter tone to it. You get up quickly and look around. In a tree above you is an elf, dressed in leather armor as well. You see two more elves similarly garbed standing nearby. They question you about your destination, and you question them back without giving any real answers. They reply in kind, and you are all left in the dark about each other’s intentions. They call you half-human and sneer, and tell you that you’d better be careful in these woods, that your human side might betray you. Better that you go back and live in a city. You are hurt from their cruel ignorance, but you show no sign of it. They leave toward the southwest and you start back along your path northward.

Early in the morning, you give a wide berth to a group of bombardier beetles that are crossing the path.

Midmorning, you see the unicorn again, but as before, it doesn’t linger long.

You reach the Myfal, also known as the Emerald River, at lunchtime and decide to break on its shore. It is a small river compared to the Jewel, which separates Celene from the Wild Coast to the east, but it is more than a stream. After lunch, you cross the three-foot-wide log bridge to the other side.

About a mile north of the bridge, you are feeling thirsty and grab your water skin. As soon as you pull it from your belt strap, you realize that it feels not nearly as heavy as it should be. You find that it has been cut through the bottom and is quite empty. It’s a very clean cut, with a likely very sharp knife. You know it was full at lunch time before crossing the river.

Another mile along and without warning, you find yourself surrounded by what appear to be foot-tall faeries. They threaten you and demand money. “Gold!” they demand. “Fast fast fast!” “Be smart! Give now, and no trouble!” They speak Common very haltingly at best, but one in particular seems to be the most fluent and does most of the talking. You try speaking Elvish to them, but they don’t understand.

You decide to run and turn back toward the river as fast as you can.

Two of the little faery creatures zip forward much faster than you can react and attack you with tiny spears before you take two steps.

Seeing this, Hiccup jumps from your pocket and you see almost his entire body open into a pointy-toothed mouth, and an elastic frog-like tongue shoots out toward the attacking faery folk. In the blink of an eye, he snaps up one and then the other and swallows them whole; then lets out a loud burp. There is a brief moment of shock and horror from the remaining tiny would-be bandits before they all blink out of existence.

A moment later a few more reappear a bit further off, speaking loud dramatic words in their own language. Suddenly a swarm of hornets comes from high in a tree and heads straight for you. However, just as suddenly the hornets veer from their course and double back, heading straight for the tiny folk, much to their chagrin and surprise. They all blink away again.

They appear a third time, somewhat closer, but not in attack distance. Taking no chances, you quickly transform into a flying squirrel and spring onto a tree branch. They appear awestruck and you realize that they have bowed their heads and sheathed their weapons.

They speak in reverent, but quaking tones. They are clearly afraid of you.

It turns out that they speak squirrel much better than Common, so you remain in that form while they tell you their story.

One of them introduces himself as Kalumbo. He is the leader of the raiding party and brother to Meltumbo, their clan leader. He says they are atomies and have been forced into a terrible situation.

Three of their kind were trapped by a cyclopskin’s game trap: two male atomies and one very important female. The female, Shalwayndry, is the daughter of their leader. One of the males, Grellfantry, is her bodyguard, and the other male, Golclumus, is a suitor. Kalumbo doesn’t know how they were caught, because, he tells you, it is very very difficult to catch an atomie, especially by a notoriously not bright cyclopskin. The trap is clearly magical, he says, because “blink blink no work.” And it makes a “loud whatit whatit whoop when too close.”

The cyclopskin threatens to eat his prisoners whenever the atomies approach or threaten him and has persuaded the atomies to hunt for him. Now he is demanding gold as well. So the atomies have taken to waylaying travelers and stealing their money, much as it saddens them to do so. They are playing along with the cyclopskin’s demands until they figure out how to safely free their very important kinsmen.

Their patience for this arrangement is wearing thin, however, since the cyclopskin keeps reneging on his deal and changing the terms.

It’s been six days since the three were caught. They are much too afraid to attack the cyclopskin directly though because each time they tried so far, it went straight to the cage and threatened to eat the prisoners immediately, instead of trying to fight back.

You are still a little untrusting of these atomies and go to check on the situation yourself, remaining in your flying squirrel form. You find that it seems they are telling the truth. An ugly cyclopskin, a smaller cousin of the cyclops, leans casually against a tree next to a cage containing three atomies.

You change back to your human form and cast entangle on the cyclopskin. The branches of the tree and bushes around it quickly bind themselves around the one-eyed humanoid.

You find a key on a string around the cyclopskin’s neck. Approaching the cage with the key in hand, no alarm sounds and you free the prisoners. You take the cage as well, as the cyclopskin groans and curses trapped among the branches.

The atomies are overjoyed and extremely grateful for your help. They give you a silver necklace with a tourmaline gemstone and tell you that it is a friendship necklace. If you wear this, atomies will know that you are their friend and will come to your aid.

They repair your waterskin and prepare beds of soft leaves for you to sleep on. In the morning, they make a big breakfast for both you and Hiccup, although they keep their distance from Hiccup.

Sunday, 23 Wealsun (Day 3)
A group of wood elves dressed in ring mail and carrying bows and spears meet you on the path. They are led by an elf named Gresufel. They question you as to your business there since you are approaching the town of Oakvein, an elven tree-top settlement of Clan Enlanefel. After determining that you are friendly, particularly because you are a druid and a friend of the forest, they offer to lead you to Oakvein. They give you a bed for the night as appreciation for your care and dedication to the forest.

You know that Clan Enlanefel elves are seers, mystics and loremasters, and that they protect their secrets fiercely. Other clans are also represented in Oakvein, as the sylvan clans prefer mixed communities. Looking down from the homes there, you can see the tops of the trees of the Gnarley Forest to the north. Oakvein sits on the edge of the Welkwood, whose gigantic trees tower high above.

While there, you ask if they know what exactly Hiccup is. You are directed to an elder, Cla’lefwen, who tells you that it is a pygmy eh-oh. A full-sized eh-oh looks the same but is large enough to swallow a human. Also they are not nearly as friendly. They get their name from the sounds they make. Pygmy eh-ohs are extremely rare. They are forest lovers and have a special affinity for good magic-using creatures. They love healing and helpful magic in particular and have been known to attach themselves to a rare adventurer in the past. The elder tells you that they are also called hiccups, because of the high-pitched eh-oh sound they make. You find that to be quite appropriate, since that’s what you have already named it.

Moonday, 24 Wealsun (Day 4)
Sometime during the day, you see a large brown bear ahead of you, just off the path.

Unfortunately, you have seen it too late and apparently it is not pleased with you being there. Either that or it’s just hungry. It charges at you.

You scramble for your mistletoe, your brain racing to remember the proper hand gestures for Invisibility to Animals. And just as the bear is leaping at you, success! You turn invisible.

But you forgot to jump out of the way.

The impact of the bear hitting you is enormous. The air is knocked out of you and when your head hits the ground, everything goes black.

When you awake, it seems not much time has passed. The bear is still there, but it is swatting frantically at a swarm of bees that has surrounded it, while at the same time clawing at a tree where it appears someone else has tried to avoid the angry bear.

You see immediately that this person is Pelan. From his vantage in the tree, he casts Entangle on the bear and you both escape.

Once you have put a comfortable distance between yourselves and the bear, you ask Pelan what the hell he’s doing there. Apparently, Khorel didn’t trust you quite as much as he had suggested and sent Pelan to watch over you. Pelan assures you that it was only out of concern (for things like bear attacks and worse), so you forgive his misleading you.

You realize that it was Pelan who controlled the hornets back when the atomies attacked you and you ask him why he didn’t interfere then.

“You didn’t yet seem in completely dire straights,” he says. “After all, you did work your way out of that mess quite nicely in the end.

“I had actually hoped to deal with that bear before you woke up too,” he adds, “but no such luck. So here we are. To be honest, I was tired of stalking you anyway. It’ll be much nicer to have a companion on the road.”

Godsday, 25 Wealsun (Day 5)
You see two ogres not far off, who have also spotted you. The Gnarley Forest is turning out to be everything you were warned about. They rush toward you with clubs swinging.

Both you and Pelan attempt to climb trees to get a better vantage for spell-casting before they get there. He doesn’t have your natural elven ability though, and he slips and falls to the ground when he’s part way up. The ogres attack him as he’s trying to stand.

With your success of the Entangle spell on the cyclopskin and Pelan’s success on the bear, you cast it again on the two ogres. The problem being that Pelan is right in the middle of them.

Your spell is a success again, and the two ogres and Pelan quickly become trapped together in a mess of roots and branches. Pelan is trapped, but you’ve most certainly saved him from being bludgeoned to death.

You decide that the ogres are no good to anyone and slit their throats. With them dead, you are able to loosen the branches and free Pelan.

After that, the forest becomes hilly and a little more difficult to travel. But by evening, you arrive in Namburil, a gnomish town in the midst of the Gnarley.

The gnomes there are suspicious of outsiders, albeit not as much as the elves, but they find druids to be free of ill intent, so give you welcome. Unlike the elves, however, they charge you for your lodging.

You stay at the Inn of the Black Beard, run by a gnome named Rogarty. Fortunately, they have a room with human-sized beds for you, though the ceilings are low. He charges you 1gp for a very nice meal, bath and bed.

As you are a little worse for wear, and bloody from the encounters with the ogres and bear, Rogarty directs you to a healer in town. Her name is Bertressa, and you are somewhat surprised to see that she is a half-orc. She is a pleasant type, but her prices are a bit high, so you don’t buy anything. You decide to rest four hours to recharge and learn a couple more cure light wounds spells instead. You then sleep the rest of the night.

Waterday, 26 Wealsun (Day 6)
Still traveling through the hilly section of the forest, the going is a bit slower than before, but the day passes uneventfully.

In the night, however, you are awoken by a sound and see a man nearby the camp. He apologizes for disturbing your sleep and introduces himself as Gergis. He says he is a ranger and is aware of the moot, so assumes that’s where you’re headed. He appears friendly, though cautious. He excuses himself and heads west away from the trail.

Earthday, 27 Wealsun (Day 7)
Early in the day, as the hills level out, you reach a better traveled road, known as the High Road, and follow it east and then north toward Sobanwych. The going is much smoother now that the terrain is flat again and the road a bit easier. You pass a few travelers and a lumber cart, but other than that, the day is uneventful. You are grateful for the break from combat.

In the evening, you reach Sobanwych, which is a human settlement. No one seems too terribly suspicious of you here. They seem to get a fair amount of travelers.

You stay at the Inn of the Hopping Hare. The innkeeper is Clanga, a wide woman with a wine-soaked grin. Prices here are over twice what they were in Namburil for about half the quality.

Freeday, 28 Wealsun (Day 8)
Roughly six miles north of Sobanwych, you find a trail heading west from the High Road. You recognize the Thari rune “safe trail” painted on a flat rock.

You meet some other druids along the way who are also heading to the moot. You decide to travel together. The trail turns out to be truly safe as the rune confirmed. You guess that it is being watched and protected.

It is getting dark, but you decide to press on, as you are sure you are close. You finally arrive a few hours after dusk.

View
Back to Oachloch Grove
L'wyndll returns to Oakloch Grove to drive out the kobolds.

L’wyndll

Game day: 11/28/12

Waterday, 5 Richfest
After resting Midsummer’s Day (Godsday, 4 Richfest), you return to Khorel, who insisted you discuss your training options and get started right away.

When you return he takes you back along the trail to the thick lush area where you met up with him two weeks ago. This time instead of following the trail, he tells you to take hold of his cloak and follow him directly into what seems like impassable plant growth. You both pass through with ease and arrive in a beautiful secluded grove. Khorel explains that this is his sacred grove.

Another, much younger, man is here and is introduced as Pelar, an Initiate of the 1st Circle. He excuses himself for some small task for Khorel, but quickly seems to have returned only dressed differently, and being followed by bees. He seems unconcerned about the bees however.

It turns out this is Pelar’s twin brother, Pelan, also an Initiate of the 1st Circle. Both the twins live in the grove, training with and serving Khorel.

They are both charismatic young men, and poke fun at each others’ chosen path, Pelan with an obvious affinity for insects, and Pelar with intent to follow Khorel’s path as a guardian of the forest.

Khorel presents the different druidical paths to you and says he will give you time to think it over. The option that appeals to you most is that of a Shapeshifter druid.

Before you make your decision, Khorel asks you to return to the grove near Oakloch to drive the kobolds out. He said he sent his squirrel, Nutty, to investigate. Nutty spoke with Bergrndn, a forest gnome who had witnessed your encounter with the kobolds, and had been watching them for some time. They are apparently mining and destroying the roots and soil beneath the oak grove. They must be chased away.

You are to leave in the morning. Pelan and Pelar will accompany you.

TASK: Drive the kobolds out of Oakloch Grove

Earthday, 6 Richfest
You head out in the morning this time, not needing the moonlight to collect mistletoe by.
Khorel teaches you two new spells for this outing:

  • Command
  • Cure Light Wounds

You take the following equipment:

  • Dagger (on loan from Khorel)
  • Leather cuirass (on loan from Khorel)
  • Silver bowl and sickle
  • Mistletoe (8 bunches)
  • Potion of Cure Poison (given from Khorel)

You arrive late morning and see that the bodies of the kobolds that were slain by the spider are gone. You tell the twins that the spider went into the hole after the remaining kobold.
Removing the old wooden shield that serves as a makeshift door, you descend into the hole via a rope ladder that is tacked into the side of the opening.

Pelan casts Light on his shield to aid him and Pelar, since they do not have your infravision. You head into the recently carved caves.

You find a beat up dagger (probably dropped by a kobold) lying in the tunnel and decide to keep it.

You find a room that appears to be a storage room. There are severed oak roots sticking through the far wall and ceiling. There are a few bags of what appears to be a stale musty bread. On closer examination, you see that they are made out of smashed insects. You decide to not tell Pelan, so as not to upset him. There are also a couple of barrels, one with skunky ale and one with stale water. A couple usable pick axes are leaning in the corner, as well as a broken one on the floor. You decide a pick axe might come in handy, and take one of the good ones.

Two giant rats come around a corner and attack you as you leave this room. You all take a few points of damage. Pelar ends up killing both rats with his staff. You and Pelan do no damage.
Pelar then casts Cure Light Wounds on himself.

You then find a large room that appears to be both a dining area and sleeping quarters. There is a low table, bench and four stools. The table is strewn with bones and bits of the bug bread, and stained with grease and blood. There is a smaller table, with two more stools, which has some cleaned knuckle bones and squirrel and rat skulls. It looks like the makings of some kind of game.

There are grass and dirt bed rolls in the southern area of the room. More severed oak tree roots stick out along the west wall and in the ceiling.

Heading onward down the corridor, you find the deflated body of the huge spider with a pick axe in its back.

You find a sack containing 6 silver nuggets buried in an alcove off the main tunnel. It looks as if someone was trying to hide them.

You pass by a largish tunnel heading off east. And then consider going down a second, smaller passage to the east, until you get a whiff of the smell coming from it. It appears to be their latrine, so you continue on past.

You find two more bags of silver nuggets in a wheelbarrow where the corridor widens out.

Entering another large, rough-hewn cavern, a new stench greets your senses: the smell of decaying flesh. You find a pile of dead kobolds stacked in the center of this room. You decide to search them for valuables. You manage to find a useable javelin, but nothing else.

The far south wall of this room appears to have collapsed in from the mining, and opened into another area, likely not created by the kobolds.

In this other area, you notice yet another foul smell, and find two creatures that look like lizard men, but are in fact, troglodytes. They attack.

Pelar casts Hold Person, freezing one in place.
Pelan casts Heat Metal on the other to make it drop its weapon and causing it damage.
You cast Command, stopping it in its tracks.

Another troglodyte shows up and you hear more coming yet.
Pelar casts Command on this new one, stopping it.

You decide to run.

Good plan.

TASK COMPLETE: The kobolds were actually all already dead.
Items acquired:
Dagger
Pick axe
Javelin
(All 3 weapons sold for 1gp total)
8 bags silver nuggets (traded in for 90sp)
Total Money Gained: 10gp
Total Adventure XP: 135
Total GP Value XP: 10
Total XP Gained: 145

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Collecting Mistletoe
A new druid's task

L’wyndll

Game day: 10/19/12

577 CY

Sunday, 16 Wealsun(6)
Your mother says Khorel has asked to speak with you. She suggests that you should go. You find this odd due to your mother’s general distrust of strangers. She assures you it’s safe.

Moonday, 17 Wealsun(6)
Khorel lives in a log cabin with a stone foundation, so you head that way. You find him clearing a path nearby a particularly thick and lush area of the forest. He greets you and talks to you. He says that he sees in you a love of the forest and its denizens, a love of all nature. He asks if you would follow that love to a higher calling. He says he will reveal to you the secrets of the forest in exchange for your loyalty to the forest. But first you must prove yourself by completing a simple task.

You discover that Khorel is actually a druid, an Initiate of the 7th Circle, and he is asking you to follow the same path.

After some thought, you accept the task.

He tells you to return in two weeks on Midsummer’s Eve, when both Luna and Celene are full. (Luna and Celene are the names of the two moons. (This is not a reference to the country Celene, where you were born and live). Luna is also known as The Great Moon, and Celene is known as the Handmaiden.

Moonday, 3 Richfest, Midsummer’s Eve
When you return, he shows you a bow of mistletoe from a tree that appears to be growing directly from the wall of his home, pulls out a small silver sickle and bowl and harvests mistletoe from it. He gives you the sickle and bowl and directions to where there is more mistletoe he would like harvested.

“Bring me six bunches,” he says, “and then we can begin your tutelage.”

TASK: Collect 6 bunches of mistletoe

Khorel tells you to find the copse of oak north of Oakloch, a small lake not too far away. “When you find the intertwined twin oaks by the path, you will know you are there.”

Khorel teaches you two spells that you can use temporarily for the task at hand:

  • Invisibility to Animals
  • Locate Plants and Animals.

He gives you the following to take with you:

  • Holly and mistletoe (for casting the spells)
  • Dagger
  • Potion of Cure Light Wounds
  • Leather cuirass
  • Silver bowl & sickle

You arrive at the oak grove as the moons are high in the sky and giving plenty of light. You wander the area searching for trees that might have mistletoe in them. Before you find any, you see a fire beetle approaching and climb a tree to avoid it.

Still looking, you bump into a family of skunks, and back away, giving them a clear path.

Finally, you find a tree that clearly has mistletoe growing in it. When attempting to climb the tree, you trigger a rope trap, which you avoid getting caught in.

You climb the tree and successfully harvest 3 bunches of mistletoe.

It seems the trap alerted some kobolds however, and three climb out of a hole that was hidden under an old wooden shield, at the base of the tree you were just in. Again, you quickly run and climb another tree to get away from them.

They don’t seem to want to approach the tree you are in. One of them has a sling however and attacks you from a distance, with one stone hitting you.

While you are a sitting duck, a huge spider crawls out from a hole at the base of the tree you are in, and begins climbing toward you. You quickly cast Invisibility to Animals and the spider turns to attack the kobolds instead. The spider kills two of the kobolds and chases the third one back into the hole they came out of, after injuring it as well.

You quickly leave that area and continue your search.

You find another tree with mistletoe in it. This time you slip on your first attempt to climb and take 1 damage. You finally climb successfully and collect 1 bunch of mistletoe.

You find another large oak with a good amount of mistletoe, climb it, and collect 4 bunches of mistletoe.

You drink the Cure Light Wounds potion that Khorel gave you, and regain full hit points.

Now that you have collected enough mistletoe, you head back to Khorel’s place.

TASK COMPLETE: You found 8 bunches, 2 more than you needed.
Total XP gained: 237
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