Session 9: “Tiressia’s Glade and the Scythe Tree”
From the journal of Adra Kellen:
Barrakas 11, 818
This morning we discussed the Boggard situation at length with the people of Tatzlford and Cedric assured them that he would protect his lands and people from any threat. I didn’t divulge anything of my conversation with Zat from the night before, or should I say morning. I would have much preferred to sleep in today, especially since we traveled through the woods again.
We have decided to make the best of this outing. We are currently camped in the Narlmarches roughly 6 miles out from Tatzlford. We explored the forest, but mostly stayed to various game trails and what we can only assume is the main trade route from Tatzlford. We are going to need roads if this town is going to succeed. These trails might server fur trappers and hunters but anything over a pack pule will have trouble making it through these cluttered trails.
Hopefully we don’t come across anything else that we can further worsen with our involvement.
Barrakas 12, 818
If we set out to only explore and stay out of other’s affairs, we failed. During our second day of exploration we came across a serene glade that seemed to beckon us toward its beautiful pool of water and picturesque scenery. We entered the glade to find an ancient oak standing at the edge of a pool that held the most crystal clear water that I had ever seen. At its shore a young woman whose skin resembled the color and striations of mahogany and hair like blossoms and the color of autumn sat crying. Cedric went forward along with Stonehands while Boris, Kurgar, and I remained at the edge. Cedric approached and the woman who was clearly a fey creature, a dryad as it turns out, looked upon him with an enthusiasm of someone who had heard of his heroic deeds.
She revealed her name as Tiressia and reviewed our past accomplishments; her encouraged words began to falter as she spoke of a great evil that was coming for her. Cedric asked what the evil was and the dryad painted an image of the land upon the water of the pond. It showed forest, like that which we had seen on many days of exploration. It quickly turned to a desolated land which appeared darker and older than any of the forest we had encountered. There something stirred a creature that resembled a tree, but horrific scythe-like blades jutted from branches that appeared to be arms. The trunk had crude gashes that made up a wicked face, a row of jagged teeth curled in a malicious smile. The dryad seemed to retract from the pond as if she had touched something sharp and pleaded for help and began to fall. Cedric reached out to catch the fey and another entered the glade as if out of nowhere. It was a satyr, a man which had the legs of a goat. The satyr, Falchos, quickly moved to support the wavering dryad and asked if we were really capable of doing what she had asked. It was nearly in unison that we all confirmed we could and would set out immediately.
Falchos comforted the weakened Tiressia and welcomed us to the glade. The glade was alive with the flutter of birds and butterflies and creatures just out of sight. The fey praise us with song and it’s as if the entire glade is alive with song. I’m not sure we hadn’t stepped into Thelanis itself. I am remaining on guard, but there is something supernaturally compelling to this land. I am fighting to keep pen to paper to record this. I have the strongest desire just to recline and rest.
Barrakas 14, 818
I can’t believe I am writing this, but I wish I was in the comfort of the Dryad’s glade. The ground is so uneven my cot is continually tottering. My skin is terribly itchy and I am still covered in splinters and thorns. Luckily I brought extra clothing with me on this trip. Those twig creatures were a nightmare.
At about mid-day today we came across an ancient part of the forest. The forest’s canopy was so dense it blotted out the light of day. It was as if we had stepped into night. While the canopy was thick, the forest floor was barren. Any younger tree or shrub was torn from its roots and discarded as a child discards an old toy. The ruin was a sharp contrast from the beauty of the glade from days before. The blighted hollow was hellish, trampled and smashed animals and plant life were strewn everywhere. One of the others pointed out a lone tree that seemed to have an arched trunk and sharp looking branches.
Before we could react to what we had spotted we were attacked from the trampled undergrowth. Twig creatures popped out of the brush and unleashed a torrent of needles and brambles. Just as these creatures attacked, a large shambling tree moved into attack those that had ventured closer to it. Cedric, Kurgar, and Boris were within its range while Stonehands was making his way closer to it. The twig creatures continued to pepper the others while I began to fire arrows at the nearest one. This brought their attention my way. While the others were able to finish one that I had hit, another seemed to step through the brush as if it were doorway, stepping into the brush and exiting elsewhere in a single step. The flame forsaken thing blasted me with a spray of splinters. The pain was excruciating though luckily most of the blast was absorbed by my leather coat and the mithral I wear. Unfortunately, my silk shirt was left in ruin. As I was recovering from the barrage I noticed Boris receive a volley that staggered him and he fell backwards over a fallen tree. I thought for sure he was dead. The spray of blood was visible even in the dark. I tried to get closer to assist the others with the giant tree creature, but was continuously harassed by one of the twig creatures. I had made it to where Boris had fallen and to my surprise he was alive. I reached down and helped him up when the one twig-man I was shooting at vanished. I had asked the flame to heal my own wounds and his during the short respite. He likewise called on his gods to keep us going through the fight. I continued to exchange arrows for slivers with one of the twig-men when I heard the terrible sound of the tree creature dying. The twig-man fired one final barrage at me and vanished. I was so incredibly angry with the blasted little wretches I began to curse them and every evil thing that lived in the forest.
Sometime had passed and I finally collapsed on a giant moss covered log. The others were chopping the scythe-tree apart and Boris began to root around for anything of value. I did my best to heal my wounds and began to pick splinters, briars, and thorns out of my clothing. I took off my coat which luckily had repelled much of the attacks. The briars hadn’t stuck to the leather, but my other clothing was a different story. My silk shirt was in tatters, though the sleeves and back were fine. I tore it off and through it amongst the other ruin. Stonehands was instantly aware of me and gave me the strangest look. I quickly donned my leather coat as his eyes lingered too long for comfort, even though I was wearing my mithral shirt.
We found little of value at the blighted hollow and moved on after an hour or so of rest. We are spending the evening with full watches; I am currently on watch and still picking thorns out of my clothing and hair. I hate this place.
Barrakas 15, 818
Apparently we stumbled upon yet another plot. We have returned to Tiressia and informed her that the scythe-tree is dead. We also told her of the creatures we had encountered. She called them ‘Twig Jacks,’ evil creatures that only seek to inflict pain. They certainly do that. Tiressia continued to explain that the fey of this land were in conflict. In a way they were experiencing a civil war of sorts. Good fey vs. evil fey. It was clear that the scythe-tree and the twig jacks were evil, but what about those that cursed Stone and Cedric? Or the ones that Boris encountered? I’m not sure how we can tell. Tiressia certainly seems pure of heart, but what are her other motives? She is currently talking with Cedric and she has pledged her support for our nation and will do what she can to make accommodations for the fey of the forests and the people of our land to live peacefully. I believe we will need to take care of this civil war and evil fey problem before we work on expanding our kingdom too far into the Narlmarches.