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Out of the frying pan...

Nosila’s Journal

Bryrgar and I ran up the last corridor, hoping to check it out quickly and go back to the village. Sprocket and Roscoe followed more slowly, Roscoe muttering all the way about the precarious state of his health. Poor guy! Lucky for us all, the last chamber held webs, cocoons, and little else.

We went back upstairs, passing Roscoe’s “secret passage” a second time (hope he forgives us for ignoring it sometime soon), and found that the gnome and bear had waited for our return. This was good news - I’d thought we’d be finding our way out of the forest by ourselves.

Colmarr was surprised to see us so soon. He asked us what had happened, and when we told him, he wasn’t pleased. When he muttered something about having to breed a “new queen spider”, I think we all backed up a step! As he began to weave a spell, we all realized that he had trapped the previous party, and had planned to do the same with us!

Even as I shot my first arrow into the evil gnome, his first spell went off and the undergrowth began to curl up and entangle our feet and legs. We all tried to jump away from the vines and shoot at the gnome at the same time (BOOM from Sprocket!), except for Bryrgar, who stepped between us and the bear. It was looking really unfriendly by then; I’m sure it would have done for Roscoe or Sprocket in one swipe!

As Bryrgar and the bear fought, the gnome kept backing up, casting another spell. I shot him again, but another bear suddenly appeared in front of us! This got Bryrgar and Roscoe talking about how good bear meat tastes. They’re a confident pair! I’d gotten entangled by then, distracted by the second bear. Then it swiped at me. Bears hit hard! I shot the gnome once more, since my arrow was already nocked and I was hoping the bear(s) would go if I killed their master.

Well, the last shot was enough for Colmarr; he ran off into the woods at top speed. Unfortunately, his minions did not. We were left to face two big angry bears, and who knew what reinforcements? When the second bear swiped me with its claws again, I went into a rage. I smashed it with my mace, and Bryrgar finished it off with one charge. The other bear finally ran after its master.

Bryrgar quickly healed some of my wounds, thank Ubtao! I pulled out the healing potion I’d been carrying and drank it while sitting on the ground, recovering my breath. What a situation! Alone in dangerous territory, and with an important mission to boot. How I missed my husband, then!

There was some talk of hiding in the spider’s lair until we had healed some, but I feared what would be waiting for us when we came out again. We decided to put some space bewteen us and the fight, and, having the most experience travelling in forests, I found myself leading the way west, hopefully back to the village. Wolves howled in the distance.

Sometime later, the wolves tracked us down. They crawled through the underbrush, and attacked poor Roscoe first. Soon, we were all fighting for our lives. We had killed several, when one pulled me down. Everything went dark.

I didn’t expect to wake up, but I did! The others had managed to chase the remaining wolves away, then poured a few more healing potions down my throat. Still, I was barely on my feet, and the others looked no better. There was talk of going back to the ruins again, but this time, I remembered the shadows - what would they do if we were actually in their realm when night fell?

Still staggering westward, I watched for a safe spot, if such a thing existed. A thick grove of trees seemed to have possibilities. We settled in, and spent the rest of the day watching (me), praying (Bryrgar), studying (Sprocket), and hiding (Roscoe, who managed to hide inside our hiding place somewhere. He was in bad shape!).

Night fell, and fog rolled in. More shadows appeared, to my dismay, but these also ignored us, thank Ubtao! I found myself wondering where Charzth was, and if he missed me at all. I wonder what he’d think of this adventure? Morning was a long time coming.

We were all much better for a night’s rest, and Bryrgar healed us some more as well. We set off to the west, wondering how much longer our trip would take. That gnome only took a few hours to lead us to the ruins, but the trip back seemed endless. I started to wonder how well my forest skills worked when it wasn’t the jungles of Chult.

Slowly, we realized that we could hear music in the woods ahead. Most of us wanted to ignore and avoid it, but Bryrgar hoped that we could get help. With Roscoe hanging from his armor and screaming “No!”, he walked into a clearing full of dancers, playing pipes and violins. The pipe players were half goat, half boy.. the violin players were something like a cricket centaur. It was eerie, but Bryrgar applauded their talent, and they offered to dance and drink with us!

While Bryrgar took a drink of wine and tried to explain we had a mission to accomplish, Roscoe clung to his armor, screaming, “Evil, evil!” .. I decided that wouldn’t help matters, and picked him up. I missed most of the conversation after that, but the forest folk sounded very rustic - very surprised to hear that there is anything but forest in the world! Thankfully, they let us leave; I took my bearings in the clearing and we headed west for sure.

Another hour went by, and we came to a clearing at the top of a hill. What a beautiful and terrifying sight met our eyes!

The forest stretched away in all directions. Past that, mountains rose. We crossed no mountains to get here! We were between two rivers. We crossed no rivers to get to the ruins! Where are we?

In the distance, a crystal palace rose above the forest. After a little talk, we headed for the palace, hoping it held the answer to our situation.

I miss my husband!

Posted by Kate on November 21, 2004, 08:50 | Nosila’s Journal