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Thorn in My Side

Roywyn’s Journal

Mirtul 29, Kryptgarden Forest, continued

We wandered in the general direction the map indicated for another hour or so, and actually succeeding in finding a clearing that looked very portal-like: four stone rune and carving-covered columns, positioned about 20’ apart, stood in a clearing. Vines and moss covered them, and they radiated strong conjuration magic— teleportation, by our best guess. I wanted to read the runes, but we suddenly all had the feeling we were being watched. “Drow!” I yelled as a humanoid figure separated from the shadow of the tree line behind us; in a blink Kor’tac was there, his glaive at the interloper’s throat.

The being turned out to be human, not drow, though he had a very wild look about him, as if he’d been “roughing it” for quite some time. As Windy took the weapons off of him, he told us he was a druid called Mishklo, and that he wasn’t alone. Even more alarmed now, we told him to call his companion out of the woods. He hollered “Moonlight, come out here!” a few times, but nothing happened. He grumbled about stubborn animals as Seren glided back into the trees to see who this companion was. She saw a huge white wolf sitting back in the trees, apparently grooming itself. After a few more tense minutes, the creature broke into the clearing. Windy had already sensed that it had magical protection, and indeed, it appeared to be wearing bracers on its forelimbs. I shot it with a magic missile from the dead gnome’s wand to be sure it wasn’t the werewolf we’d been looking for— thankfully it didn’t attack me, but trotted over to Mishklo, who apparently was able to heal it.

I’m sure we’d have spent more time getting to know the human before the next leg of our adventure, when suddenly the light of the full moon crossed the area between the four pillars, opening a portal. The human jumped in, followed by Kor’tac! Seren took off after them, so Windy and I really had no choice but to follow, though I confess he looked more resigned than enthused.

We found ourselves in an overgrown garden courtyard. White rose bushes alternated with other shrubs around the edges of a 150’ by 150’ area; a fountain containing a statue of a satyr wielding a bow stood nearby, and a mansion that was at least four stories high stood beyond. Steps led up the structures double-doors, and some of the many leaded glass windows had visible lights inside.

The statue seemed to be looking at me. Suddenly, Kor’tac was attacked by thorns shot from one of the rose bushes. I was sure the satyr was responsible, so I ran forward to attempt to talk to it as more thorns flew at the orc. I noticed the ground was littered with skeletons and what looked like glints of metal, but before I could explore further, I heard the human shouting orders of some sort, Windy began to orate, and Kor’tac decided to “save” me from the statue (I think); I was scooped up and hauled back towards the group, though I did manage to get hit by a thorn. Seren was pouring oil on the bushes that had attacked (and she happened to notice snow-capped mountains beyond the mansion during her flight), and the druid was casting fire on them (I didn’t even know druids used fire for anything!). I created a lit candle and helped a bit with the fire-starting, and soon much of the courtyard was ablaze.

Shortly after Kor’tac sat me down, I saw that he was being pulled towards some of the blazing bushes by a vine of some sort! He looked sleepy and didn’t seem to be really fighting it off. Seren had a huge sword that she could use to slice through the vines (all the while the druid was yelling not to harm any plants growing nuts and berries— I should very much like to see a nut and berry plant!). As the vine released the orc, it let out some sort of sound that seemed to really unnerve Seren, I began to sing a song to counter fear as she had to fight off her own clinging vine.

We decided to get away from the courtyard, and as four of us ran towards the mansion, the druid told us to burn the area between the mansion and the place where the portal deposited us. I am unsure why he did this, as he was standing pretty close to the portal with the wolf (who was more smoky than white at this point, and had spent several minutes rolling in something as well). The smaller three of us tried to prevent Kor’tac from running back for the human, sure he’d not survive, but he managed to haul all three of us with him as he went to retrieve Mishklo and the wolf. We are lucky we were only singed in the process! Kor’tac is very brave, and Seren is possibly as clever as a gnome; I am unsure what to think of the human just yet— I do not trust him.

Posted by Kristin on August 14, 2006, 22:51 | Roywyn’s Journal