Ranza (Changeling 5)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Thrax (Fighter 4)
Moving through the now safe mud pool, the party followed the small trickling stream through a winding passageway before coming to an intersection. Here they found a small pool of clear water into which the stream flowed from the northern passage, whereas the southern branch proved to be a dead end. Before continuing along the stream, Gnarl and Thrax examined to pool. The bottom was filled with small round stones, of no particular note until Thrax used his shield to dig some out. When viwed outside the water, they could see a small handful of uncut gems amongst the plain river stones. These were scooped up immediately.
Following the stream further, the party soon came to another large chamber. Here they encountered a heavenly music, tinkling soft and flowing. At the end of the cavern was an unusual sight; a waterfall and pool seemingly frozen in time and not moving. The surface of the pool was like that of tar, gradually getting harder as one approached the waterfall. Which itself was yielding, yet hard. Hobbs tossed a pebble which embedded itself into the waterfall; he also noted that it gradually 'flowed' down into the pool, taking several minutes to do so. Ranza, searching around the edges of the waterfall, spied something behind it. Maybe a room or chamber. But extensive search and experiments revealed no way to access it, though Gnarl used the greenstone to confirm the presence of a worked chamber and alcove. Anyone or anything that tried to pass through the 'water' was simply pushed down by the force of the flow before they could get through. Somewhat stumped, the party backtracked to the question room to ask for help, and were told to 'be as the water should be'.
Interpreting this as 'move fast', the party headed back to the waterfall and experimented a bit more. And they found the faster the object, the further it would penetrate into the water. So Thrax guzzled his potion of speed, stripped to his teddy-bear loincloth, and charged at the waterfall. And made it through! Everyone else waited to see what happened next, but after some time started to wonder if the fighter would ever reappear. Figuring it was better to follow him than wait any longer, the party summoned the nightmare steed. Leaving Feedbag and the stag behind, they all climbed aboard and and used the summoned steed's enormous speed to smash through the waterfall. On the other side was the chamber. A ruined couch and table sat at the centre, and a pile of broken glass littered the floor. Around both the main room and the alcove were mosaics of geometric patterns and woodland scenes. Observing no Thrax, they started searching around until Hobbs stepped into the alcove and disappeared! Seeing no other options, everyone else followed ...
... and found themselves with Thrax and Hobbs in a verdant wooded garden. Unlike the cool autumn world they'd left behind, this garden was at the blazing height of summer with tress in leaf, flowers in bloom, insects buzzing and birds singing. They stood in a ring of large toadstools, atop which sat 5 diminutive figures with pointed hats, red cheeks and sickening grins. They immediately started to chant a series of rhymes:
"There's a fountain somewhere in this garden
Whose waters, we hear, sometimes harden,
But a drink now and then
Cures all in our ken,
And may even bring forth cries of "Pardon."
There's a lovely building just here
With turrets and domes far and near.
Tis a shame you can't spy it
As we urge you to try it.
Solve the puzzle and see it appear!
Some may think that our maze is a pest
But it shelters a haven of rest,
And ere anyone leaves
They must leave more that leaves
And then honour our master's request.
There are leaves in the garden to trace
and a maze with a clear central space
with a leaf in your hand
you could stand and stand
but to leave, leave the leaves in their place"
They continued to repeat this chant until interrupted by Hobbs. He asked about the Autumn Maiden, as they had a baby to bring into her protection. The creatures countenance immediately became foul, muttering something about babies having ruined the fun and the 'Summer Queen" never came to visit and play anymore because of the stupid babies. Some additional questioning revealed the Summer Queen and the Autumn Maiden were one and the same. In an effort to get more information, Hobbs offered the leprechauns a riddle. If they answered correctly, he'd give them prize. If not, they would explain one of their riddles to the party. Hobbs asked: "When it's young it's tall, when it's old it's short. What am I?" After much puzzling, the leprechauns were unable to get the right answer: a candle. Now even more sour and glum, they explained the first riddle. There was a fountain in the garden to the east which, if drunk from, would cure all one's ill's and injuries. And then the five disappeared.
The party then crawled out of the ring, taking care to avoid touching the toadstools. There was a trail there, so they headed east. After passing over a small stream, they followed along a complex winding path through the open woodland, always taking the branch that led further east. They did take one side path which lead into a small clearing under a large elm tree. A keg sat below the tree, and four pallets of straw lay along the edge of the clearing among the flowering scrubs. On each pallet was an object: a dagger, javelin, and on two earthenware mugs. The party examined each in turn, but decided to not disturb any of it. Suddenly, as they prepared to leave the clearing, the sound of pipes rose from beyond the clearing. Thrax at once started to feel woozy, and fell asleep at their feet. Then into the clearing stepped a quartet of satyrs, looking foul and hostile. The party, remembering the stricture from the cavern to not molest the garden inhabitants, tried to talk. But the four advanced and started to club them viciously. The party tired to avoid fighting, retreating and parrying the creatures blows, and experimenting with various means to turn the satyrs away. They also tired planting the acorn found in Eya's manse, remembering the other stricture to climb an oak tree if attacked in the garden (there were no oak trees around). When this resulted in no magical tree appearing, and with the club blows continuing, Ranza used colour spray to take down three of the satyrs, and the party used the flats of their swords to knock the last one unconscious. And then they fled, following the path south and east until well away before stopping to rest and bind wounds ...
Uncut gems (2x10sp, 40sp, 25sp, 20sp, 15sp)
4 Satyrs [Defeated]