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A Strange Turn

Sprocket’s Journal

Eleasis 5, 1373 DR, Um....

We took a quick peek into the last hallway we’d left unexplored. Burning away a few dozen webs revealed some cocoons, but no more recognizable bodies, just a few old bones.

We went back up the steps out of the ruins, and Colmarr and his bear were waiting for us. I was glad, as Bryrgar had no healing left to provide and I was hoping the druid could patch up Roscoe a bit. However, the forest gnome was more interested in what we’d done to the inhabitants of the ruins. When we told him we’d killed a large spider with red eyes, he seemed a bit put out and said, “Why did you go and do that? Now I’ll have to breed another one.”

We stared at him for a few moments more, too stunned to really react. He reacted though— saying, “Well, I can feed you to one of my other pets!” and began waving his hands for a spell. As his bear reared up in front of us, we found vines beginning to curl up around us, trying to hold us in place. Having no offensive spells left, I tried shooting the druid with my pistol. I missed, and became entwined in his spell of entanglement. To make matters worse, another large bear appeared by the druid’s companion, and both of the ursine creatures began to attack the taller members of our group (Bryrgar was doing his best to keep between me and Bear at all times).

All the while, Bryrgar and Roscoe yelled bear recipes back and forth to each other.

I managed to have enough strength to rip the vines away from myself, but before I could get another shot at the druid, he ran away. His bear followed almost immediately. The second bear was slain, but moments later, its body disappeared.

We knew we had to get out of the woods as quickly as possible, but since we no longer had a guide (and hadn’t kept track of how we’d gotten here), getting out was going to be tricky. Nosila, who hunted in the jungles of Chult up until quite recently, figured she could get us headed in the right direction without being able to see the sun, so we went in what she thought was a generally west direction.

After a while, we heard the howling of wolves, and soon five of the creatures appeared, first nipping at Bryrgar (who again tried to keep me safe) and then eventually attacking all of us. I was bit by one and went down hard, and had to shoot it in the jaw to drive it off. It circled around and came back for another attack a few seconds later— another bullet drove it off, and two of its pack mates ran off as well; two lay where they fell to my companions’ weapons. We were looking nearly as bad ourselves. Nosila was unconscious— we dumped all of our healing potions into her just to bring her back to consciousness. We decided to rest until Bryrgar could provide some proper healing, which meant a long rest in a not-too-protected area. While we rested, I checked the magic items we’d found again. The silver rod appeared to be abjuration magic, so I figured whoever was on watch should hold it on the off-chance it could provide some protection. The potion, now that I’d looked at it, was obviously radiating illusion magic— perhaps an invisibility potion. Widget even tried to help, but most of what he knows of magic he learned from me. That, thankfully, was the most excitement we had for the next few hours— I didn’t feel up to sharing any more gnomish lore with my friends, even though Roscoe seems to genuinely enjoy them. The shadows came out again at sundown, but, like the night before, we didn’t bother them and they ignored us.

We felt a bit better in the morning, and Bryrgar provided what healing he could to us. We started off again in what we thought was the general direction of west.

About an hour later, we heard strange music— pipes and fiddles. It didn’t sound threatening, so we continued towards it, and eventually came to a clearing where several satyrs and some tiny grasshopper centaurs (I believe they go by the name “grig,” though I’ve never seen them before) were playing instruments and drinking. They offered us some mushroom wine— Bryrgar was willing to drink some, but I was having trouble getting over the strangeness of the situation and was glad when we were on our way again. About an hour later, I wish we’d stayed and chatted with them, for perhaps they could have prepared us for what we saw.

We had arrived in another clearing. We found that we were in a valley, surrounded by the forest, fog and mountains on all sides. To the north and south of us were rivers— but no Lake of Steam. And to the west, a crystal palace. For lack of anything specific to walk towards, it looks like we’ll head to the palace. I know we didn’t walk through a portal (I’m sure I would have noticed that!), so how did we end up so far away from our destination?

Posted by Kristin on November 14, 2004, 23:42 | Sprocket’s Journal