The party continues traveling together through the woods west of Durn. As they travel they notice that the farther west they go, the darker the forest becomes, growing thicker and thicker with trees. Your characters start to notice their body’s becoming heavier as they feel more and more fatigued with travel. The morale of the group drops and a sense of paranoia can be felt in the air. The temperature feels abnormally cool for this time of the year. Several hours have passed since you hastily left the village of Durn and now darkness begins to envelope the land.
Bellator Miles elected to ask Farryn about her parents and her plans and she revealed that her parents also lived in Durn and that she intended to go back and make sure they were alright, and see them off. Bellator noticed that Farryn seemed to be holding back more than just that, but he elected not to pry.
Farryn told the party that they were now deep into the Whispering Woods. As a child she remembered being told to never enter them. That men go mad inside them and become senselessly lost. She was confident that the villagers would not follow them into these woods, but she was less confident about being in the forest itself.
After a while of conversation Farryn stated that she was growing tired and ready to rest. She created a fire by gathering dead limbs (plenty in this eerie forest) and lighting them with a spell. The party gathered around and prepared their bedrolls, Bellator Miles offering his to Farryn, who declined. The adventurers failed to leave a watchman at the ready…. Slumber encompasses the party
The party awakens to the sounds of the bells of Durn ringing in the distance again, just as they did earlier when the party was departing from the village. The smell of smoke is in the air and there’s an orange glow in the distance. Fire! The screams of the villagers can be heard from within the woods. Hastily they headed back toward the village being lead by Dae, using his Ranger expertise to quickly guide them back through the forest. As they moved through the forest they couldn’t shake the feeling that something was watching them. Getting closer now you the party could see Durn more closely. Much of the village was on fire with villagers fleeing from the blaze. As a group passed the party a young man with raggedly long brown hair and what looked like a broken nose ushered the adventurers to run for their lives! Blood running down his face and his eyes full of fear.
Farryn from the back of the group yelled out “My parents!” and at full speed sprinted into the village. The party pursued Farryn into the heart of Durn where just hours ago Farryn nearly hanged. The Lost Shepards’ Inn was completely involved in flames as was the Mayor’s estate.The stage remained standing in the center of town, unharmed by all the chaos, but where before the noose had been snapped in two, shot apart by Daeetah Dardikok (Dae), now hanged a familiar face. The party recognized him as the plump white-haired man in fancy clothing who previously sought to hang Farryn.
Farryn suddenly stopped still, staring at the hanged man, then she began slowly walking toward him. The echos of screams could still be heard all around the group along with the ringing of bells but no villagers were to be seen. As the party looked closer the body appeared to be rotten. They could no longer recognize the man they just saw past his rotting flesh. He looked as if he had been hanging there for days or weeks. The head separateed from the body and collapsed to the floor below. His flesh began to twitch and then the body split again. Out from the ornate robes once donned by a man appeared two plump demons with pale, rotting skin. They snarled and advanced toward Farryn and the party.
The party quickly dispatched of the two demons. Using arrows of wood and blades of steel they cut down their foes. Suddenly, a violent and loud laughter erupted from behind the party. They turned to see a large demon with hooves for feet, a pig-like face with horns, wings like a ravens, a body similar to that of a gorilla, and large hands with long sharp claws on them. A small party of four of the small plump demons stood in his wake.
The demon spoke. It echoed strangely and sounded very harsh. It was painful to the party’s ears, similar to the way chalk grinding on a chalkboard hurts your ears. He barked on in Abyssal. Those who could understand Abyssal could hear the demon say “You’ve returned, Nephalem. You’ve evaded us for too long. The demon lords will be pleased and I shall be greatly rewarded for returning to the Abyss and presenting them with your head. Kill them all.” The demon then ushered to the four deoms around him and they wildly rushed toward the party.
The party rushed back! Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) gaining ground by strategically placing himself upon the stage. Azrael and Bellator Miles charging in. The smaller fat demons proved to be no problem for the daring party, but they struggled against the larger, pig-like demon. He seemed to become more and more excited in the party’s attempts to harm him though. Impressively Bellator Miles was actually able to land several hits against the monster, but his attacks proved to not be very effective.
The last of the remaining smaller demons was killed and as he was struck down telepathically the large demon spoke to the party individually. Bright light then flashed from his body. Bellator Miles was overcome with fear, but it seemed to have no affect on Azrael. The demon then struck down the party one by one, teleporting to each and laughing as it slaughtered them…..
Bellator Miles and Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) wake up to see Farryn moving about camp. Bellator Miles see that she’s preparing to leave and calls her out. Farryn confesses that she plans to leave. That she appreciated the party’s heroism in rescuing her, but that she could fend for herself, and that she probably would just cause more trouble for the party if she stayed anyways. Bellator Miles once again chose not to push the issue.
Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) and Azrael, now on their own discussed their options. An agreement was made that if Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) would stay with Azrael he would pay him in gold, and a trade was made. The two began heading north with the intent of finding a road to civilization.
Meanwhile, Bellator Miles continued to seek Farryn. After several hours of travel he began to notice he was passing the same landmarks again and again. The same creek, a same defiant boulder, and in particular the same spooky tree with a face on it. After passing the tree a couple of times Bellator Miles began to get the feeling that the tree was watching him, and then at one point he thought he could actually see it move. Was this the madness that Farryn was speaking of?
Azrael and Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) continue traveling north and while doing so encounter a Dryad. Initially Azrael tries to deceive Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) telling him he just saw a demon go inside of a tree! Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) believes him and nocks an arrow saying “Come out Demon!”
But nothing comes out of that tree. Rather out of a different tree far away and on the other side of the party steps out a Dryad. In Elvish it says: There are no demons in The Forest of Alberon and I suggest you put down your bow. I am one of the protectors here of this realm, and I won’t allow you to harm my forest. It says all this while staring at Azrael.
Azrael demanded to know who this Dryad was. It simply replied that it was a protector of this realm. It went on to say “Curious. Once every couple of cycles of the moon Elune I’ll see a human or an elf. But in just one day I’ve seen four. Four trespassers in my forest; but you’re a pretty one elf.”
In that moment Azrael felt the pull of magic and despite his will he was charmed by the Dryad. And well, we all know what happened next…. Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) waited in the forest while Azrael disappeared with the fey creature to shortly return, no longer charmed by the Dryad, who had gotten what it wanted. Azrael was filled with anger when he realized he was under the Dryad’s spell and he lashed out at the Dryad, who thereafter hastily left by teleporting through the trees.
The two continued north and after a short while were randomly attacked by a giant owl. It proved to be an easy encounter for the heros. In killing it though. Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) had a change of heart and mentioned to Azrael that the forest was obviously dangerous, and that he thought they needed to go back for the others. Azrael seemed less than pleased about this. Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) used his excellent ranger skills to track the others and decided they needed to head back south in order to pick up a trail. Together they turned around and headed back south.
Bellator Miles at this point had walked the same route many, many times. For hours now in The Forest of Alberon He began to feel unnerved. Was he going mad in this damned forest? He attempted to try to find any traces of Farryn to track but was unsuccessful in doing so.
Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) and Azrael continued south until they began to hear the sound of a pleasant melody on the breeze. They recognized it as an old folky elvish tune. Together they investigated to find a satyr playing a flute atop a boulder in a clearing. They approached the satyr and asked if he had seen their companions.
“Aye. Maybe I have an maybe I ‘avent. What’s it to you mate?” replied the satyr. The satyr attempted to bribe the two telling them that he had seen their friends but that he wouldn’t tell them where they were unless they gave him some gold. Azrael attempted to intimidate the creature but was unsuccessful. The satyr laughed in his face and called both Azrael and Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) many foul words. “Goat-loving, bull-headed, bloody fools they are!”
Azrael prepared to attack the satyr. If words wouldn’t convince the half-man perhaps he could be persuaded other ways. The satyr seeing this quickly backpeddled and told the two that he definitely saw them going “that way” and pointed. The two left and continued traveling in that direction.
After some time traveling Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) began to track again and in so realized that they were headed the wrong way and in fact headed east, back the way that they had came! The two whipped around, following their fresh tracks from where they had just been. Until they heard the sounds of music on the breeze again.
This time the two came up with a plan. Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) stealthed up to the satyr and placed a trap behind it without the satyr realizing. He placed Azrael’s signet ring inside it, hoping to lure in the obviously greedy satyr and stealthed away.
Toether the two broke some branches in the forest. The satyr hearing this turned around to investigate and noticed the ring. He was suspicions of a ring in the middle of the forest like so, so he was weary; but his greed was too strong, and Daeetah Dardikok (Dae)’s trapping skills were too formidable. The trap was successful.
“Blood and ashes! Filthy humanoid oafs. I’ll kill them I will! Cotten-headed, shoe wearing, naked fools!” The two approached the satyr once again. Knowing this time of his trickery. Azrael in typical fashion was furious and threatened the satyr. The satyr despite his situation was still adamant about trying to make some coin off of the two. Worn with the satyr the two attack!
The satyr attempts to exchange blows with Azrael for a moment but Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) fires a wild arrow and breaks the trap, setting the satyr free! The satyr laughs at Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) throwing more insults as it attempts to run away. Azrael attempts to throw an axe and misses. The satyr mocks him more saying he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, during the day, from 5 feet away, with help.
The two continue to persist and wear the satyr down though and in a heroic fashion Azrael improvises a weapon with his shield and throws it at the satyr. Hitting it head on and knocking it to the floor. At last the satyr says: Enough! I saw two humans, separately heading west through the forest. He gives physical descriptions of both Farryn and Bellator Miles. The two spare the satyr and head west.
Bellator Miles is now completely unsure how many times he’s passed this damned forsaken tree. He’s almost certain that either he’s mad and there isn’t truly a face on this tree at all, or that this tree is alive and pretending not to be to avoid him, but he’s desperate. He attempts to talk to the tree and asks if it has seen Farryn. No reply. He begs and intimidates. No reply. Finally he begins to stoke his hand along the face of the tree.
The tree closes his eyes and attempts to look away. Bellator Miles
continues stroking as the tree frustratingly tells him to stop that! Bellator Miles continues taunting the tree and asks again if the tree has seen Farryn. “Alright!” The tree says. “Just stop touching me and I’ll tell you. You’re lucky I can’t move or I would kill you where you stand, filthy human.” The tree goes on to tell Bellator Miles that he saw a young girl passing through hours ago headed south and that’s all he knew. Thanks! Bellator Miles said as he shoved a gold piece in the tree’s mouth. The tree coughed up a fit and cursed him as he walked away.
Later Azrael and Daeetah Dardikok (Dae) track Bellator Miles to the tree, where Azrael plucks the gold piece from the trees mouth. The two continue hot on the trail of Bellator Miles who heads south, gaining ground on Farryn.
- x6 Manes =150 XP
- x1 Satyr =100 XP
- x1 Giant Owl =50 XP
- Miles abandoning the party to chase Farryn despite logic and safety of staying with numbers and an excellent ranger-navigator =200 XP
- Azreal thinking to place his signet ring in the trap to lure the satyr =50 XP
- Miles placing gold in Talking Tree’s mouth & Azreal taking it later =50 XP
- Azreal remaining unfeared by the Nalfeshnee (and calling the DM out on it, fucking paladins) =50 XP
Total: 650 XP