Icewind Dale

Session 33
The Death of Othorian

A contingent and Irithylan elves, Rystall’s allies, awaits the Trespassers on the other side the beech tree. These elves wear dark, somber attire with silver markings of the tree and crown of Irythil. There are four of them in total and two of them are drow. The drow are called Vesryn and Imbryl. The others, moon elves, are Malgath and Beldroth. For companions the elves have with them a jessed wyvern and three winter wolves. The exotic, magnificent beauty of Vesryn is not overlooked by Eira. The warrior admires him while Nevena does the talking in the elven tongue. They talk of Rystall and her whereabouts and what is to happen next. For a moment, the Trespassers fear they are still prisoners, but simply of new masters. Vesryn assures them all he, along with Rystall, is here to take them to see his Lord, Nesterin Irythil and the great sage Eltargrim as is their want.

Before Rystall returns, the gathering is ambushed! An Eroth magus, Amarth, has used her magic to track them here to this glade. She has with her, the sigiled champion Othorian, his retinue, and two dryads. A cold autumn downpour has been in progress here since the Trespassers of Evermeet arrived by tree-stride. Other nearby trees come alive at the command of the dryads. They move in to smash the dwarf with a senseless ferocity. Nevena, in shock at this outrage, uses her magic to speak with the treants, hoping to stay them from their course. They inform her, quite simply, they are charged with killing the dwarf, Søngberg Mountainsun. And at this, the treants nearly succeed. Søngberg is picked up and slammed hard into the earth, being saved only by the unassailable fortitude of his adamantine armor and his faith.

A terrific battle in the cold, dark rain ensues. Arrows flit under the swaying branches. Wolves gnash and claw and scrape at bark, belching their exhalations of frost that turn rain droplets into hailstones. The wyvern screams and tears and whips its stinger-tail about. Elves on both sides succumb to each other’s arrows. Wolves have their backs broken by angry treants. Wet leaves and mud paint the scene. The drow use their poisoned swords to sicken one of the rampaging trees to an early death. Eira and her hammer are stalled versus the third treant’s mighty trunk. Amarth blasts at the scene from afar with her spells of ice and fire. The dryads are slain by the bow-shots of Nevena. The champion, Othorian, wades through the mud whirling his mighty two-handed sword. Like Eira, he is a powerful fury to behold in battle. Though surrounded by two poisonous drow and a massive frost wolf, he manages to dispatch the berserk wyvern behind him. His sword then slays the only remaining wolf. Then he fends off both Vesryn and Imbryl, unaided all the while. However Eira proves a match for him—the swinging of her hammer brings silence and stillness to the great warrior of House Eroth.

Only Amarth escapes, her departure made possible by Othorian’s sacrifice. Søngberg survives, having been shielded by his allies and his god alike. In this way, House Eroth has failed. The Trespassers are conflicted and question their role in this battle; they worry over being dragged into a war that is not theirs to pursue. In the aftermath, the bodies of the dead are looked to and given proper elven rites of battle and death. The beasts are afforded the same privileges and honor. Søngberg is admonished by a drow for attempting to add his own prayers to the scene. Othorian’s sigils, the trophies of his distinction, are awarded to Eira. Vesryn and Imbryl are witness to it; they show her greater deference and respect as a result. Rystall eventually returns, having tarried behind to gather intelligence on her enemies. She is crestfallen to see more of her kin, from both Houses, lying dead in the mud and leaves.

When nothing more can be done, the dead are left behind. They are covered by Rystall’s powerful earth spells. The white witch then leads the party into the Eagle Hills where another great tree stands sentinel before an old mine entrance. It is through this tree that Rystall will lead them to Tarminus Urien—the summer palace—now ironically frozen in Irythil by the curses of the enemy.

EXP
Eira 3200 (+ Evermeet Renown)
Nevena 3200
Søngberg 3200

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Session 32
Meliadoul

Meliadoul pays a visit to the Trespassers while they remain in her care. While informing them she is neither a tyrant or thief, the elven warrior-princess offers her terms. They are to remain in her charge until such time as she deems their release safe for her household. The mighty treasures, the trophies of their perilous journey to the isle are their own and each will be welcome again to them when the time comes. All three protest. Meliadoul also states she may ask them to fight alongside her warriors under the banner of House Eroth to prove the mettle and valor of their claims against foes such as giants and devils. And to prove they are not spies or villains. The Trespassers are flatly disinterested in such an excursion.

A few days later, a spy of House Irythil named Anaharae reaches out to the captives by way of a note hidden with their food. Nevena reads the elven note and is able to surreptitiously reply with crude drawings made in plum preserves and apple butter upon the earthenware. Anaharae indicates a time to spring their escape with a later meal by incorporating an image of the moon into the food.

Despite this offer of deliverance, Nevena is as restless and reckless as ever. She decides to sneak out in an attempt to glimpse a map of Evermeet woven into a tapestry. During her precarious adventure, she falls from their high tree and injures herself during her descent. The ranger is unheard and undiscovered, however. She carefully sneaks over to House Eroth’s Shrine of the Seldarine. She can see tapestries within, but the building is locked up tight. Disappointed and resigned, she retreats. On her return, Nevena falls again from the tree where she is being kept and this time breaks her leg.

A tale—which almost no one believes—of Nevena falling by accident from a (small) window is told. Meliadoul has another guard posted at the base of their tree to curb further mischief. Søngberg heals Nevena with his divine ministrations as best he can, but her leg is not fully set when Anaharae’s moon phase arrives.

On the night in question, a fire erupts in the community. At first, the Trespassers are reluctant to investigate or attempt to capitalize on the diversion. Eventually, with growing impatience, they ignore their guardsmen and rush downstairs. Anaharae awaits below and she wards off a lumbering earth elemental with her raised hands. Anaharae leads them to their weapons which are back near the shrine and Throne of Eroth. Nevena uses her magic to fool and distract the guards there. Eira keeps a lookout while they rush to gather up what belongings they can. The witch Anaharae spoke of, Rystall, appears from within a grand old beech tree nearby. Rystall and the Trespassers alike move to escape the clutches of the guards with quick feet and even faster spells. One by one, Nevena, Søngberg, and Eira leap into the dark cold portal the Irithyl witch opened within the tree, completely unaware of what lies beyond.

EXP
Eira 1200
Nevena 1600
Søngberg 1200

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Session 31
Evermeet

The three elves come to meet the Trespassers are Tanathil, Hudir, and Tengis. Tanathil wears a bronze helm adorned with goat horns; he speaks the common tongue of men known to Eira and Søngberg. Decorated in the colors of the autumn wood, sporting beech leaf brooches, they are members of House Eroth and they have many questions. When the answers they get, as told by Nevena make up the dramatic truth of the journey beyond the Fool Curtain, Tanathil and his scouts grow even more suspicious.

The Eroth scouts assert that Nevena, Søngberg, and Eira must travel with them as prisoners. Suffering much privation from their wanderings in the wilds, the Trespassers reluctantly agree to these terms. Tanathil takes them east, along a similar course Nevena had already been following, to a place called ‘Taltempla’ by the sea. En route, they are assailed by a ‘white witch’ who works power over the earth. So great are her powers that Tanathil falls through the ground, into a pit hidden by an illusion. A moment later, a wall of solid stone moves up from the ground which serves to separate the Trespassers from their mounted guards Tengis and Hudir.

The ‘witch’ calls out in elven (which only Nevena understands) “Now is your chance!”, but the Trespassers do not move to escape as it seems was perhaps the witch’s plan. Instead, Søngberg rushes to help Tanathil from the pit by hurriedly offering rope. The witch dazes the dwarf with a spell in frustration and flees. Søngberg is too confused by the magic trick played on his mind while Nevena and Eira, intent on getting their weapons to defend themselves, scuffle with Tengis and Hudir behind the stone wall—no one sees how the witch escapes. Hudir is thrown from his horse while Tengis, who shepherds the weapons moves to get beyond the wall. Nevena comes to blows with Tengis, however the witch is gone by then.

In a show of good faith, Søngberg heals Tanathil after helping him from the pit, earning some of his scant trust in the process. After this, a plea to travel armed is put forth but shut down. Søngberg feels he should defer to elven custom while Eira simply follows Nevena’s lead. The three elven scouts and their three strange prisoners arrive in Taltempla unharried after that. On the way, they learn the elves have ‘gone to war’. The white witch was one of ‘the enemy’ (of House Eroth). The Trespassers are treated as guests but kept under watch, apart from their mighty weapons.

In Taltempla, a great elven tree-city near the coast, they meet Meliadoul, leader of House Eroth. She hears their tale. When they describe meeting Anem, gaining the elven sword at Elion, and later losing the blade in the battle with Raindream, Meliadoul grows quiet and dismisses her courtiers. She then ceremoniously reveals her moonblade, Aster, halfway from its scabbard. The opal set into it shines as the elven noble commands the Trespassers to ‘never again speak of the lost sword with anyone save her until has passed one year and one day’. At the end of their story, Meliadoul calls them fools for wishing to chase Salvation out of the mortal realm, through the elfgates—“all of which have been shut or destroyed by the war”—she adds.

EXP
Eira 1200
Nevena 1200
Søngberg 1200

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Session 30
Raindream

The great green dragon, Raindream, makes a demand of the sword just as the imp Rodney did. Eira strongly considers allowing the dragon to have the sword and even openly makes the suggestion. Nevena and Søngberg stand firm to protect the sword however, even from this terrible foe. Raindream stalks forward. Nevena uses her elven magic to coax the roots into a violent sway to shake the dragon from her footing. The dragon displays cat-like grace and is unmoved. Søngberg, while the serpent steadies itself, quickly uses a scroll—recovered from the wreck of the Coldhorn—to protect Eira from the imminent poison. Anem, with a touch, offers a similar resistance to Nevena also.

The Trespassers move to avoid a fight, running down another root—one without a dragon perched on it. Raindream is too nimble, though, and she hops easily over and in front of them. A mighty battle ensues. First, they are bathed in the creature’s acrimonious breath. Then she claws and gnashes at them, knocking them prone with powerful gusts from her wings. Bravely they rise to their feet, crashing hammer and axe and arrows against the impenetrable scale hide. Eira charges the serpent, but when faced with Raindream’s enormous, poison filled maw, her audacious courage falters. Nevena again tries to use the roots against the dragon, making a cage of them this time. The creature’s fantastic strength, her iron-hard claws, the mighty wings are all too much for even the thick roots of this strange place to contain her. Nevena is snatched up in her claws for her effrontery. Rodney, meanwhile, has reappeared. He swoops up and steals the prized elven blade from its simple leather scabbard on Nevena’s back while she is restrained.

Moments before Søngberg and Eira are laid low by a second bellow of the poison breath, the dwarf uses the largest and most powerful gem from his amber necklace. The amber is dashed into a holy and golden mist against the hard root at his feet; Tyr sends an angelic intercessor to aid his adherent in this hour of need. The emerald eyes of the serpent, with its long black slivers refocus their attention to the angel; Nevena is discarded like a broken plaything into the darkness and left grasping for her life onto the roots below the action.

Søngberg commands the angel to slay the dragon with a poison-choked gasp. Rodney darts at the Fool Curtain and cuts a dragon-sized gash in it with the stolen blade. Eira and Søngberg lay dying from their wounds while Nevena hangs over the abyss. A mythic battle of feathers and scales ensues. The sound of clarion trumpets intermingles with a nightmarish roar. Golden light illuminates billowing clouds of poison gas. The serpent’s toxic deluge is nearly enough to overcome the angel, but in the end its sword delivers the mortal blows. Raindream, the emerald terror of the forest, the enemy of Mormianeth, the shadow over the hills, Evergreen of Evermeet, meets her doom and crashes downward into the abyss of the Dark Meanders at the bottom of the Elven Isle. The fate of her corpse to be known now to the glowing eyes that lurk in that sunken place.

Rodney and the sword both are also sent careening into the darkness following a bright flash and snap of ether from the sundered Fool Curtain. Before the angel departs, it stands up its allies and provides succor to their wounds. Søngberg knows with its parting that he owes this being a debt and that his destiny is inclined toward it.

Bereft of the elven sword but free from death at the hands of a dragon, the Trespassers walk through the gash in the Fool Curtain that Rodney opened. Anem is gone. They are in a new Evermeet now, a place of magnificent autumnal calm and beauty. Nevena leads them east following her memory of the stone markers they have passed. They are soon met by three elven riders in the early morning fog.

EXP
Eira 4000
Nevena 4000
Søngberg 4000

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Session 29
The Fool Curtain

Eager to leave Castle Elion and its devils and giants behind, the Trespassers follow Anem’s enigmatic gestures indicating ‘south’. Wishing also to avoid the dragon (and Black Rowan which) they have previously encountered, Nevena plots an overland course that trends east. By keeping under forest canopy, her path avoids open terrain and any proximity to the corpse of the so-called ‘Elf Eater’. Not far out of the castle, Eira spots the form of a slumbering Fomorian giant under a crude lean-to beside a stream. She calls this to the attention of Søngberg and Nevena who both caution to leave the giant alone and move along—which they all do with considerable care.

Not long after on their journey, they encounter an obelisk similar to the one they have already seen by the shore. This monolith is in better condition and Søngberg’s stonecunning reveals the extraplanar origin of the stone. Eira recognizes from her books the sigils of the Elven houses of Evermeet worked upon it, the written names of which Nevena translates.

They are:

  • House Durothil, depicted as a dragon
  • House Eroth, depicted as a beech leaf
  • House Irithyl, depicted as a tree ringed by a crown
  • House Neldor, depicted as a phoenix with a drake’s head
  • House Starym, depicted as a lily

The following day a cold spring storm sets in overnight leaving Eira and Nevena exhausted from disturbed sleep and chattering teeth. Søngberg’s stout dwarven constitution keeps him hale and hardy during the frigid night rains. Nevena asks Eira if she would prefer respite to recover from the storm, she declines and they press on with their travels despite their weariness. The following night is spent at the foot of an ancient bell tower, long silenced by the old war with the giants.

Ever southward, still following Anem’s indications, as they ford a broad stream, the Trespassers are ambushed by Sahuagin—ancient and ancestral enemy of the elves of Evermeet. Søngberg moves to keep Anem safe with his magic. A shamaness of the Sahuagin has magic of her own which paralyzes the dwarf as her other raiders move in to drown him where he stands. Eira springs to action, moving on to dry land and swiftly smashing in the skulls of every fish-headed raider she sees. Nevena’s woodland magic keeps them all afloat, thwarting any attempt by the Sahuagin at drowning them. Together, the Trespassers kill so many that the creatures’ morale falters and they flee downstream like minnows away from a skipping stone.

Next they reconvene at Corellon’s Grove, the home of Shy Silva. Nevena discovers the ash is sleeping and their communications will now be more limited. Shy Silva says the sword they carry belongs to the ‘Ruler of All Evermeet’. Søngberg prays to Tyr at the foot of the elven gods who look on implacably at the dwarven trespasser. Here in the grove at last they rest and recover from their weariness.

South again they head until eventually the powerful illusions of the Fool Curtain are felt and witnessed. Anem displays a power to break the spell-wall by offering to hold hands. The touch of his cold form leads them to a surreal landscape. In this other place they are made small, treading on titanic roots which reach out into a darkness that is like a void from a world-unformed. Standing on a distant root appears the figure of Drielle who looks on at their passage with folded hands.

At the end of this landscape is a shimmering ribbon of magic that dances like an aurora—many colored and dazzling. Here Rodney appears, making an appeal for the sword on behalf of his ‘new partner’. One by one the Trespassers deny him until he finally relents and vanishes. Before they can move any further, the great green dragon Raindream appears at the sound of wings cutting the still air. She alights on one of the massive roots as a squirrel does a twig. Her emerald eyes make a predatory lock with Nevena’s. Her rictus contortion of a smile reveals dozens of dagger-long fangs between which spill the poisonous fume of her breath.

EXP
Eira 2700
Nevena 2700
Søngberg 2700

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Sessions 27 & 28
Castle Elion

A terrible devil creature drops down from the ceiling of Elion’s great hall. It thrashes and stabs and rakes at the Trespassers, poisoning them with its tail stinger and dealing heinous wounds with its claws and sword. It would have made mockery of its foes but for the furious counter-assault put forth by Søngberg, Eira, and Nevena. The devil summons horrid, fleshy minions from out of the hells to defend it, but it acts too late. The Trespassers fell the creature and mop up its hellspawn. All that is left behind amid the bloodstains and smell of burnt, rotten eggs is a beautiful elven blade.

This mithral longsword is clearly very important—and missing some crucial insert that belongs in its cross-guard—but neither Nevena or Eira has any knowledge of it. Wielding the blade leaves a mortal to feel judged, and so Nevena stows it for safe keeping, relying instead on her silver shortsword. Not far from the devil, a massive (and broken) mirror gate labeled O U T E R H E A V E N in elven is found in the next chamber, the veritable heart of the castle. This room however is naught but a wreckage of broken glass and toppled statues of august elven ancestors.

The Trespassers move east through a series of themed rooms which they search cautiously, always keeping one eye to the ceiling. In the third room they move through, dedicated to the ‘World Tree’, Nevena uncovers some magic arrows in a hidden compartment. Beyond there is the Grand Gallery where they find a terrified, ethereal boy held inside a cage. Curious about this captive, Søngberg gets too near, springing a trap in which a pair of coiled chains animate into yet more devil creatures! The wickedly barbed chains rise up and form into large man-shapes, each bearing a face of ghastly grief. The devil shows the whimpering face of Skuli to Søngberg and the lifeless face of Brandish to Eira. Nevena’s gorgon bow rescues her companions from the terror brought on by these visages. One devil’s true face is revealed as the magic of the bow turns the creature to solid stone! With one chain devil dispatched, its twin is hammered down by Eira. The boy is rescued—but he cannot speak. He is frightened and wary.

He and Nevena communicate in elven, written crudely in the dust of the castle floor. He tells his name, Anem. His mother brought him here to seal the gate that the devils were using to gain entrance to this realm—and they captured him. Anem uses the mithral elven blade to point in the direction (south) that he wishes to go.

Soon after, the sounds of many footfalls stomping in military order can be heard from that same southern direction. Nevena overhears the infernal speech of more devils talking and giving orders. The Trespassers make a hasty and vain attempt to hide and end up caught in the flanking movement of the creatures. These devils appear to be shock troops; lightly armored but very physically tough—armed with a wicked spear and a sickly ‘beard’ of jellyfish-like stingers around their fanged mouths. There is more than half a dozen of them and they rush in to attack while their quarry is still trying to hide. They hurl insults and make demands for their captain, ‘Lervesom’, and for the sword.

During the fracas, the Trespassers boast they have lately killed their captain. But almost in the same breath, Nevena stumbles from the assault by the devils while Eira and Søngberg hold off the squad charging from the other direction. One devil leaps and snatches up Anem—making a hasty a escape. A tense battle ensues with a tug-of-war over the boy while Eira is surrounded and beaten (nearly) into submission. Eira’s desperate defense sees Myrnoch snagged by the hellish steel of a polearm which damages the legendary hammer in a shower of unholy sparks. Søngberg’s magic is all that holds Eira together, buying Nevena time enough to overcome her foe and save the boy.

Bloody, scared, and exhausted, the three heroes realize they cannot survive another onslaught and so they hole-up in a small chamber to wait out the passing of the night. Although there is a disturbance of another Fomorian giant trampling the courtyard some hours later, it never locates the small creatures nearby in the darkness. By morning time, the giant is gone, and the Trespassers move to escape the castle. At the gate, they learn of Anem’s magic: he uses the mithral blade to summon a mystic bridge out of the castle. What other secrets of Evermeet can Anem and this blade reveal?

Session 27 EXP
Eira 5000
Nevena 5000
Søngberg 5000

Session 28 EXP
Eira 2700
Nevena 2700
Søngberg 2700

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Session 26
The Moonglove Twig

The Trespassers make their escape from Black Rowan and the angry, marching trees awoken by its magic. Nevena’s sylvan magic, forming a deep mist of fog and dew behind them masks their withdrawal from the area. Safe from the evils of the wood, they retrace their steps, careful to give the Elf Eater corpse a wide berth as usual. While crossing the great plain, they spy a squadron of winged lions circling them like vultures.

These creatures are manticores, able to speak with their gruesome man-faces. Their leader lands ahead and awaits a parley. Rodney and Nevena, each with tongues adept at speaking with fell creatures approach. The manticores have come for the Moonglove Twig, but Nevena will not surrender it without first taking it to Shy Silva. Thus, the manticores attack, whipping brutal stilettos from their tails and raining terror from above. Eira does her best to shield Nevena while she returns fire with her bow. The onslaught is too much for them and Nevena is killed—but for the grace of Ilmater, giving her supernatural endurance in the face of evil hardships. Ilmater’s reprieve proves to be a rally for the Trespassers. They slay three of the beasts before the others flee into the clouds.

Limping wounded from their battle, Eira, Søngberg and Nevena arrive at Correllon’s grove with their prize—the Moonglove Twig. The magic staff awakens Shy Silva in a manner like that of Black Rowan, in that her branches incline towards a hand shape and she grasps it. A congress of animals is called around her and they provide news from all corners of the island (on this side of the Fool Curtain). Shy Silva tells Søngberg that the axe pried from Black Rowan’s bark belonged to Gwhelwen, an elf heroine that battled in the war against the frost giants. Salvation, Shy Silva announces, was last seen entering Castle Elion along the northern coast.

When they ask for more details about the angel, Shy Silva states that the fae will translate. Indeed, the sprites and nixies of Loona’s court appear, using their glamour to put on a play that suggests Salvation entered a mirror of fire within the castle. Stranger riddles hidden in the show depict a screaming infant and crawling vermin.

Nevena asks Shy Silva if her weather-worn and travel-ravaged clothes can be replaced. This is beyond Silva’s power, but the tree suggests she go to the crows deeper inside the grove and trade with them. In fact, each of the Trespassers attempts trades with the mysterious crows.

Nevena offers up her iron molar found in the kobold caves of Icewind Dale. This is the tooth of the gorgon that lent its horns for her bow. In turn the crows provide new regalia, befitting an elf of Evermeet; fine silks, kingly in fabrication yet reserved in their splendor. Søngberg, seeing that she lacks for a brooch is quick with handicraft as a dwarf, and he refashions the keepsake Uthgardt holy symbol that once belonged to Skuli into a pin.

Søngberg trades the sturdy morning-star he recovered from the battlefields of the frost giants. In turn they gift him saddlebags of fine elven leather-work.

Eira trades her old Seldarine coins, picked from the cold dark floors of the Tower of the Severed Hand. The crows, most pleased with this offering, grant her a pair of magic bracers made of mithril. (The crows reject the offer of an amethyst)

The Trespassers are eager to set out after Salvation but Shy Silva offers some final advice. Should their course prove wrong, they must find Eltargrim the magus—for he devised all the Elf-gates of Evermeet and is the master of them. She also warns them to be wary of Raindream, for her schemes are cunning and deadly.

Heading east first, they take a coastal road to Elion, passing the familiar shipwreck of the Coldhorn. Miles to north, they find a yet older shipwreck under the shallow, seaside waves. Curiously, they find corpses there with animal heads. These wretches were probably shambling undead before something only recently silenced them—by dashing their bodies against the rocks. Nevena uses her magic to commune with a slinky wolf. The wolf is sly, but keeps his head down, and therefore has little of the information she seeks. Brother wolf laments that food is scarce with the land so blighted.

They discover the bridge to Elion is out. The Trespassers face hard work leaping dangerous gaps over the high sea-cliffs, only to be confronted by a set of great doors sealed by magic. Eventually they discover that a pair towers hold the key to channeling the sunlight, that if shone in the right place, can unlock the doors. The doors are opened, and they enter the ancient castle. Rodney however abandons them at this point, having had enough of their unwillingness to make a deal with him.

The castle grounds are spacious and broad. To the west they discover a giant at work in a secluded courtyard, it is laboring at some project with a large pieces of timber. They cautiously decide to let the giant be and skulk away elsewhere. Stealing instead into the main castle, they slip through gloomy, half-lit corridors. Reaching the central hall, a horrid bone devil hiding like a bat on the ceiling leaps down to plunge its weapon into Eira’s chest!

EXP
Eira 3000
Nevena 3000
Søngberg 3000

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Session 25
Black Rowan

Nevena’s tracking leads the Trespassers of Evermeet deep into the island’s northern woods. She is following the increasing corruption that has taken root along the protracted tentacle of the ‘Elf Eater’. The forest thickens with moss-covered vines, dense fog, and crooked branches. Oily, black leaves hang above in the still, dead air. The blight of the land combined with the appearance of a dragon should have warned them that perhaps they have wandered onto its land. They do not consider this possibility and instead press on. The fog and forest canopy become thick enough to blot out the sun. Rubbery tentacles, knotted with small twigs reach out from the gloaming ahead. The Trespassers are yanked toward a corrupted tree that has grown a mouth; it harbors a nest of wooden daggers for teeth. A frenetic tug-o-war with the rubbery-branch-tentacles ensues as Eira, Søngberg, and Nevena are repeatedly ensnared and mangled by the abomination. The diseased thing is bashed into a limbless stump until it ceases to fester.

Here the Trespassers rest, exhausted and bitten horribly from their recent melee. They are unaware of how close they have come to Black Rowan itself as they bed down. Each of them is beset by terrible nightmares, scarcely able to sleep in the inky darkness of the silent wood. In the ‘morning’ they will learn ghosts cling to the soil nearby.

Black Rowan is only a few hundred paces from where they slept. The tree is a twisted abomination, tarnished with a sappy, lacquer-like slime, the smell of which is harsh, chemical, and unnatural. Formed into the roots and branches of the terrible plant are naked elves, their bodies elongated and united with the bark of the rowan. Faces of pure agony adorn the heads of the figures and they moan from time to time. Clutched in the ‘hands’ of the tree is a slender, knotted staff of wood topped with a brilliant rock crystal. Lodged into the trunk is a great axe. Generous amounts of the tree’s effluvia have oozed and hardened around the wound from this implement.

Nevena approaches and attempts to speak with the tree, as she had done with Shy Silva. This joins her mind, briefly, with the dark god Malar and his bestial depravities. She is nearly driven insane by this insight before her spell ceases. Søngberg and Eira bravely approach yet further to hack free the staff (which they guess is the Moonglove Twig). A spell leaps out of the staff’s crystal, animating a nearby sycamore; it lumbers forth in defense of the rowan. Elven ghosts, doomed to haunt the scene of their lost bodies, attempt to possess Nevena’s native elven flesh. They would use her to murder her friends—but Nevena’s resolve overmasters their advances twofold. Søngberg calls upon the aid of Tyr to banish the spell upon the sycamore. The uprooted creature is still once again before it can pound the dwarf into the soil. Struggling to extricate the staff from the tree’s grasp, the dwarf and the human change their tack. Søngberg wrests the axe from the wound in the trunk, he hacks at clutching arms while Eira pulls with all her might. Eira’s might is enough to take the staff, but another awakening spell is released before she commandeers it. A second animated tree is lumbering forth while the ghosts of the tree close in.

The Trespassers flee with their prize as a ghost moves in to choke Nevena before they can escape. The ghost is cut down by their magic weapons, allowing them to make their escape from the deadly trees.

EXP

Eira 5000
Nevena 5000
Søngberg 5000

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Session 24
Shy Silva

The Trespassers are running low on food. The fae of Queen Loona’s court offer to provide a grand send-off feast before their quest to see Shy Silva. Wary from tales they have heard of faerie food, having already been confused and charmed by their magic once, the three adventurers refuse the meal. Taking everyone by surprise and demonstrating his increase in holy favor, Søngberg summons a meal from a Tyrran miracle. The pixies are suitably unimpressed by the appearance of the food and water and they each disappear with a harrumphing upturned nose.

Soon after, the quest is undertaken. Brave Sir Purslane leads on, south, to Corellon’s Grove where Shy Silva awaits. Purslane, however, becomes bored and eventually rummages through Nevena’s things. The elf is carrying but little of late, and by far her most intriguing possession is the bottle marked “WHINE” with the smoke swirling within.

Purslane wastes no time in uncorking the bottle. There is a flash of light. An eruption of smoke attended by the smell of brimstone. The imp Rodney, previously trapped in the bottle, has returned—and is more than disappointed with the three faces he encounters. All the same, it becomes clear Rodney has no love of Salvation either; the imp swears vengeance upon the angel. He offers information in exchange for his own servitude, but the Trespassers are unwilling to make deals with Rodney.

The forest is still and quiet. Stags keep their distance, the foxes hide in their dens, and no strange terrors lurking in this lonesome corner of Evermeet are confronted. Purslane conducts his three charges to what his people call ‘the murmuring bosk’. The elves know it as The Great Grove of Corellon Larethian. This is where Shy Silva grows, lonely, from a dish-sized-patch of sunlight amidst the shade of the grove. The ancient oaks, yews, and elms of the grove all tower over Silva, over the Trespassers, and over statues of the Seldarine—their arbor-crafted branches forming a ribbed vault as one finds in a cathedral. Rodney refuses to enter the grove. Within, they find offerings (or gifts?) placed before statues of the Seldarine. Nevena takes Solonor Thelandira’s silver arrows and a silver blade of Tethrin Veraldé.

Nevena’s magic, gifted to her by none other than a dryad of the woods, can now allow her to commune with the plants and trees of the forest. To this end, she speaks with Shy Silva in the laborious tongue of treants. Shy Silva is an adolescent Ash, younger than Nevena herself, but her’s is the longest memory of this part of the island since the elves left. Silva says Nevena’s many questions cannot be answered without the Moonglove Twig which was lost to ‘Black Rowan’.

The Trespassers set out to the northwest, across the grasslands, drawing nearer to the polluted epicenter of the ‘Elf-Eater’ that despoils the land. On their way, they spy the dark, soaring shape of a dragon high among the clouds. The trio are wary of the massive Elf-Eater corpse and give it a wide berth, they follow its outstretched tentacles back into the woods—on the other side of the grassland—where the pixies claimed Black Rowan is to be found. The forest thickens and twists the further in they push. A fog clings to the soil, emerald moss carpets the trees and the rocks.

Brilliant, ophidian eyes like electric malachite peer at them through the trees. The dragon, announcing herself as Nymrinoss (‘Raindream’ in the elven) reveals herself. She compliments the Trespassers on their valor in slaying a great eagle. She dares them to slay the ‘two more that remain’, she wants the jesses and harnesses of the great beasts. Nevena’s feckless behavior with the creature nearly gets them all killed, but Raindream shows mercy when Eira and Søngberg quickly offer supine blandishments. Bored with their cowardice and indecision, the dragon takes to sky, snapping tree branches like mere match-sticks with her girth as she goes.

EXP
Eira 900
Nevena 900
Søngberg 900

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Session 23
Trespassers of Evermeet

Using the magic items left behind by the absent crew of the Coldhorn, Nevena realizes the ship can be safely moored in place, just off shore, by the Feathered Anchor Token they found. Unfortunately, the small launch boat lashed to the Coldhorn did not escape the Elven magic barrier and so they must swim for land. They learn the fish-scale cap worn by Nevena and the decorative coral-scale armor acquired by Eira allow for underwater breathing and superior swimming. Despite these boons, however, the three escaped prisoners of Salvation spend an exhausting number of hours swimming ashore and back to the ship, carefully carrying the equipment and items they can salvage with each trip.

As the sun is going down, the Trespassers of Evermeet come ashore and find a weathered stone obelisk on the rocky coast’s promontory within sight. The obelisk stands atop a broad plinth. On the plinth stands a forlorn, robed figure. Her back is turned away from them, she faces the sea. Removing her hood, the figure is seen to be a herald of the gods, again in the familiar form of Drielle. She is Myrkul’s emissary and the Trespassers speak with her. She asks why they have come and what they will do, now that they have. The Trespassers insist they are lost and never intended to arrive.

Drielle-the-Herald, seeming deaf to this grievance, restates her own questions, telling them that Salvation has defied the Gods. It seeks to escape their punishment and this realm. Its reckless, selfish actions threaten all of Toril.

Nevena, with knowledge of elven writing, examines an ancient map carved into the wind-scarred granite of the obelisk. She is able to make out the names of three places, two of which bear the names ‘ELION’ (to the northwest) and a place she can only understand to be ‘THE GROVE’ (due southwest). The third site, directly to south, cannot be recognized at all after so much time and wear from the storm-wracked seacoast. Drielle-the-Herald cannot leave the boundary of the plinth and is but an observer here and so the Trespassers head for Elion, as it appears closest according to the map.

Though Nevena is at home in a forest, perhaps never more so than the ancestral woodlands of her own people, the three explorers are running low on food and arrows. Søngberg has not even a weapon to defend himself. As Nevena hunts and forages for food, she encounters signs of corruption—blighted trees and creatures sporting odd tumors and rashes. This makes her think twice about eating from the forest.

Evermeet seems to bear evidence of a large and scattered war of giants against the now absent elves. In places, the very ground is littered with detritus half-buried like great round shields, broken blades, spear heads, or rusted helmets—some as large as a kitchen table. Søngberg, without a weapon, strikes it lucky while searching a field and finds a morningstar, that, thanks to fine elven craftsmanship has lasted the test of time. The item is wrought with caryatids of the elven gods that clutch daggers to form the devices spikes. As he examines his prize, a pair of hulking and demented giants, each horribly disfigured seize upon them. First Eira and then Nevena meet the accursed gaze of these creatures, being distorted and mutated by them. The Trespassers work together to fell one of the giants which is enough to drive away the other in fear.

Soon after the battle, a strange little sprite reveals himself. He is known as ‘Burclover’. He is impressed by the martial prowess and great heroism he has seen against the giant Fomorian invaders. His people are all that remains in the fight against them. He leads them away from Elion, south to show them the massive corpse of the ‘Elf Eater’ that has spread the corruption here. The sprawling pile of pollution with outstretched tentacles laying about the land like wild, miles-long pipes is titanic in size. Since it can be seen from miles off, upon viewing it, none of the three Trespassers desires to get any closer. So Burclover leads them to his Queen in the west.

At Loona’s court the fae are, at first blush, anxious of the three big intruders that arrive with Burclover. They dazzle and confuse Eira and Nevena with their wily magic. Peaceful protestations against this on the part of the Trespassers—in their moments of lucidity amidst the faerie glamour—is enough to call them off. Queen Loona demands heads or ears of slain Fomorians to prove they are serious in the war against the giants. The Trespassers want answers about Salvation and where they should go. Queen Loona claims they should seek Shy Silva who is very old and very wise. Sir Purslane, a sprite-knight of Loona’s court bravely volunteers to go questing with them.

EXP
Eira 6000
Nevena 6000
Søngberg 6000

(Note: Søngberg attunes to Amber Necklace)

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