Friday, April 10, 2020

Forest of Wyrd Session #6 - At the Root of the Matter


Baihu Cerrit (Magic User 1)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 1)
Jonesomon (Specialist 1)
Ethanna Brightward (Wyrd Paladin 1)
Vergarious (Changeling 1)

Ethanna raised her torch and cautiously led everyone down the passage. Ahead it opened into a chamber. Glancing around the corner, Ethanna could see an exit at the far opposite corner. But of more immediate concern was the large mass hanging from the ceiling and taking up most of the room. It was a waxy and white woody shape, much like the roots they'd just chopped through in the passage above.  Knowing the troubles they experienced there, the party did not rush in but took time to contemplate their course of action. It had been immobile when Ethanna first looked in, but their presence seems to be stirring it, and now roots started to reach out and flail about the room.

The party first tried flaming oil, Baihu hurling a pair of fire bombs at the thing. The fire did not seem to have much effect, much as the roots above. Ethanna then borrowed Vergarious' bow and took a few shots, hitting deep with one. She was also surprised to see the thing shift over towards her and flail out with it's roots. So everyone retreated back up the corridor to plan further. Gnarl stuffed a pile of cloth and other combustibles in one of his many sacks and lit it on fire. But rather than throw it at the creature, it got tossed over into the far corner, hoping that it would sense the heat and be distracted. It did react, sending many of it's tendrils over to investigate.  This was the opportunity for which the party was waiting. Led by Ethanna, they rushed in to attack the main body of the beast. Things went pear shaped quickly though. The mass shifted and twisted away from their blows, and it wasn't long before both Ethanna and Baihu were grabbed by the roots and lifted into the air, helpless as their arms and legs were pinned.  The acidic sap, same as that on the roots above, also started to burn through their skin. Jonesomon and Vergarious soon joined them in the clutches of the creature, leaving only Gnarl free. Vergarious was able to free an arm and tried to lash out with his flail but to no avail. The wood gnome first cast entangle, causing the few remaining limbs to get twisted up together and unable to lash out at him. He then used his blowgun to fire a lucky shot right at the base of the root where it hung from the ceiling. This did the trick, and the creature went limp and released the four who'd been captured. 

Unfortunately, both Ethanna and Baihu has succumbed to the acidic sap and were dead. Jonesomon and Vergarious were unconscious, but a little emergency aid from Gnarl keep them alive. While he waited for the pair to regain consciousness, the wood gnome explored the room. There was nothing of interest with the root creature, but along the north wall was a primitive painting. It was in poor condition, but seemed to depict the life of the hero Guri-Bin-Gur. It showed the hero and his companions hunting deer, wrestling cave bears, fighting in battle, and other legendary deeds. The far right panel depicted the death and burial of Guri-Bin-Gur. At this point the panel strangely started to emphasis one of his companions, a man who was now a bright blue colour. There was a third prominent figure coloured in yellow. At the end of the panel a pair of barrows were depicted; one was quite obviously the barrow of Guri-Bin-Gur while the other to the north seemed associated with the blue man. A piece of the painting was missing at this point, but hinted at the presence of a third barrow to the west,

Gnarl also glanced down the next passage to see a stone slab door to one side and a leather curtain further down on the opposite side. But he did not explore further, instead returning to the root chamber where he began to haul out the bodies of Ethanna and Baihu and placed them in the donkey cart. Luckily the roots barring the way had died along with the main root mass below. By this time Jonesomon and Vergarious had regained consciousness and crawled out on their own. Gnarl then led the donkey and and cart back towards the satyr's fountain where he hoped to gain healing for his companions.  They tossed silvers into the water and then Jonesomon and Vergarious lowered themselves in to soak. After about an hour the hurts from their near death experience were lifted, but both were still quite weak. During this time, the satyrs reappeared. Or rather, a different pair of satyrs, Rifus and Malock,  appeared out of the woods. After a short conversation, Gnarl and the others realized they were still back in the past around the time of the spring equinox. They had not 'yet' been to the fountain, and this pair of guardians were the ones on guard before the pair they'd meet on their other visit. All very confusing, and led to much discussion of what they could do. There was talk of using this as a second change to stop the kids Alish, Peta and Sim from being kidnapped and brought to Faerie. And maybe dealing with the irritating little s*&t who'd bedeviled them on that adventure. Even stranger than the fact their circumstances allowed such a wild plan was the fact this idea came from the hard nosed Jonesomon! There was some worry about space-time continuum and what happens if they meet their future (past?) selves. But for now they decided to 'stay' in this time frame, head back to Brackenrae to resupply, rest and recruit new companions before coming back and finishing the exploration of the barrow. But not before building a pair of funeral pyres for their fallen companions to send their souls to their ultimate rest in style.  Gnarl, deep into his cups, was inspired to say a few words for the dead:

Brightward and Baihu
We hardly knew ya
Before the pallid root creature
Reached out and slew ya
So we venture on in your name 
Seeking fortune and fame
Our cups raised in memory to ya

The party spent a week in Brackerae and loaded up the donkey cart with food, torches and other supplies. A number of cold iron weapons were commissioned as well. A pair of new companions were likewise brought on-board, a changeling named Ranza and a badger hedge-fey names Hobbs. They then headed back to the barrow of Guri-Bin-Gur. It appeared just as they'd left it, their dug entrance still there and inside much the same, dead root creature and all. And so they steeled themselves to proceed deeper into the barrow ....



1 Palid Root Creature

Ethanna Brightwand
Baihu Cerrit

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