Rest was never a thing which adventurers enjoyed for too long- how could anyone possibly relax when there was so much opportunity for plunder and life experience out in the world? Luckily for our heroes, the call of adventure never quietened for long.
Day broke as a messenger presented our young Lord Phileo with a missive from his homeland of Rigeselle- sealed with the wax engraving of his house, Phil read a request from his father to be his presence at the estate of his brother, where his cousin Catherine Phisch had mysteriously vanished. With a promise of reward of gold or land, interests were peaked and a plan set out to travel- Albin detailed the best route: straight through the forest to the East via the Ranger’s Road to emerge a day or two’s travel from the destined estate.
With bags packed they left the busy streets of Grate and once more set out into the wilderness. Their first day was nearing its finale, so it was decided to stay in an inn skirting the forest boundary. During their evening, they were privy to information regarding the forest they were planning to pass through- it would seem that game had become very rare throughout the forest, and some even believe that the trees themselves had become sickened. Few, bar the most experienced rangers of this region, dared venture through on the trail to the other side. Never one to fear rumours or tall stories, the gang set out the following morning, deep into the heart of the wood.
The journey through the wood was as foretold- not much stirred through the whole day of travel: bird, nor rodent, wind nor insect. A strange eeriness hung like a malaise throughout the forest canopy.
Camp was established and set for the night. An uneasy darkness enveloped the trees around them, and all were subject to peculiar dreams which left all waking with a cold sweat. However much their boldness may have begun to wane however, they were too far in to possibly retreat now- especially when the word retreat is one rarely seen in an adventurer’s vocabulary.
It was with a rustling in the bushes that the morning’s march was interrupted- far off the path to their side something approached at alarming speed, directly on course with their trail: Grimes and Oben readied their weapons for any potential ambush. With a bold leap a silver wolf burst from the undergrowth, receiving a punishing blow across it’s underbelly from a well placed blade. It crumpled to ground without ever gaining a footing, it’s innards starting to push forth from the wound. Moments passed before a great wail bellowed out from the forest, followed by a great bear dashing forth from the same direction as the wolf previous. Much to the assembled surprise of the gang, the bear began to parley with them: he said that his name was Bloomer, and this was his close friend Treblinki, and they were protectors of the forest. After pleading for his friend to be healed, he told the team a tale about the fey creatures becoming warped and twisted, becoming peculiarly violent and leaving their forest to fall to ruin. They had been chasing the pair before they emerged on to the path, but fortunately the fey had given up the chase.
It was decided- they as a group would venture to the home of the fey and do what must be done to bring stability back to the forest- either destroying the source of the infection, which Treblinki had suggested was a strange insectoid corpse which had been found deep amongst the trees, or by wiping out the pixies et al which stood in their way.
They broke from the path and pushed into the thick woodland. Under the guidance of the bear, Bloomer, they began to approach the small fey village; a number of small structures surrounded a mound in the centre of their settlement where there was a busy thoroughfare of fey travelling in and out of an opening at its base. A number of small beings stood guard, scattered to allow a total view of the surrounding area – a plan needed to be hatched.
The ideas formulated, and one came out on top- Grimes and Treblinki were to grab the attention of the town and flee, hopefully forcing the fey to give chase and empty the area and provide an opportunity to destroy whatever lay under the fey mound. The duo stood with purpose, and began to sprint- through the fey and into the trees beyond. It worked like a charm.
The fey scampered and swarmed like ants, following the sprinting heroes as quickly as their puny legs could carry them. All that remained was a handful of guardsmen to be dealt with: Lylah requested that they should come to no harm, so Oben presented himself as a target for their tiny wrath. None could injure the Ryykan behemoth, so while their attention was taken Lylah, Phileo and Bloomer started to widen the opening into the earthen mound. It did not take long to create a girl-sized hole for Phileo to squeeze into to, and moments later he found himself face to face with a gnawed corpse of an alien insect-like humanoid, with mandibles and bug eyes staring dully from a bulbous carapaced head.
Treblinki and Grimes were making good progress- they had kept a teasing distance between them and the following horde, but now it was time to try and circumvent them and return to the main party to help destroy the infection. They turned on their heels and ran directly back at the fey- catching them entirely by surprise. A few misplaced swipes managed to land, dealing minor scratches to the racing twosome, but they burst through the crowd and back towards the settlement. When they arrived they found a fire had been started from one of the wooden structures, most probably with a fey child inside, and the strange husk of a body thrown on top to burn. A couple of the fey dived onto the flaming wreck, desperately trying to save whatever was left, but much to their misfortune they perished in the flames. Almost instantly, a semblance of consciousness spread amongst the town, although many were left questioning what they were to do now… almost lost.
Treblinki and Bloomer thanked the adventurers and offered them safe passage to the end of the forest. Two moon’s travel later they were saying goodbye to their new found allies of the forest, waving farewell as they pressed the final steps of their journey onwards to the Phisch estate.