Post date: Mar 25, 2009 9:52:33 PM

Butyltina 25, 1000 PC

For the last several weeks of winter, our heroes discuss what the plans are for traveling to, entering and what will be done in Troll's Bridge.  They also pack up their belongings and make their rounds saying their good-byes.  Luanes departs on a mission to help out Legeand's home town of Isilville with the brigand problem that has been building there.

Our heroes finally decide the trek through Tanglewood, following a corridor generally controlled by dwarves and elves to get to Troll's Bridge.  They also decide to bring along the carriage that brought the vampire of Magnus Artural to Redemption, scouting out paths for it each day.  Oliveryn's remaining followers that have been dwelling in Troll's Bridge drive the wagon and protect its contents.

The scant snow that fell throughout the winter, indicating an imminent drought for the coming growing season, quickly melts and our heroes depart Redemption through the Zelmbring Gate, passing below the Temple-Keep on their way to Troll's Bridge.

The first couple of days of travel and nights of camping are peaceful and no trouble finds our heroes.  Early during the third day of travel, as our heroes enter the no-man's land between Tanglehelm and patrols of The White Blades, our heroes come upon slaughtered hybsils and find evidence that redcaps are behind the slayings.  The redcaps shortly make themselves known and join battle with the heroes.

The redcaps are quickly dispatched.  When our heroes look up from the elder that required all their focus to destroy, they find they are again surrounded by The Fey.  This time, however, it is the Seelie Court.  Their king approaches and converses with our heroes in a Fey's typical cryptic, obtuse and aloof manner.  He indicates that our heroes' destinies have been ordained and that they are to eventually rid Tanglewood of the dragons that plague it.

After veiled threats, abject sympathy and qualified bequests, King David of The Seelie Court obligingly transports the troop to scattered locations throughout Troll's Bridge.

Sparta: Do we still have the carriage in which the vampire came to Redemption?

Wintersky: Good question.

Oliveryn: I believe so, somewhere.

Sparta: It might come in handy for the trip to Troll's Bridge.

Legeand: Would make an interesting trip.

Oliveryn: True.

Wintersky: Cinder does not like riding in carriages.

Sparta: It might be better than slogging through the forest.

Sparta: And, maybe we can hide Ozi in the hole.

Oliveryn heads over to the whitesmith, to fix the engravings.

Our heroes are traveling through Tanglewood when they happen upon the corpses of several odd-looking creatures that appear to be half humanoid and half cervid in the fashion of a small centaur. The creatures have great slashing injuries and not a few of them have been cleaved in two. The bodies crumble and blow away in clouds of sparkling dust when touched.

Oliveryn looks at them, confused.

Sparta: Well, that is not natural.

Nyza: These must be very old to crumble like that.

Nyza looks for any valuables that might remain - money pouches and the like.

Wintersky: Wintersky look for spirits.

Sparta: These were fey once.

Sparta: I wonder what killed them?

Sparta looks for signs of a struggle.

Wintersky: Hello there, what happened to you?

Nyza: What is it, Sparta? Do you find some interesting dirt?

Sparta: There are tracks here from boots.

Sparta: Heading in the same direction we are going.

Sparta: Who you talking to Miss 'Sky?

Wintersky: The little centaur spirits.

Wintersky: They are playing and it is hard to get their attention.

Sparta: Sounds like fey.

Sparta: But, they are not really centaurs.

Wintersky: Be not frightened. I will not hurt you. Maybe I can help.

Oliveryn looks around confused by what Wintersky is doing.

Sparta: I think they are called Hybsils.

Legeand remains quiet and stands at guard scratching his stubble.

Wintersky: Come here little hybsils.

Wintersky: They are gone. Usually spirits are willing to talk to me.

Sparta: Maybe something scared them away.

Nyza: How old are those tracks?

Sparta: They look fresh to me.

Wintersky: So, where is the gory blade?

Nyza: Let us be careful then. The killers of these "Hybsils" will still be near.

Eregard takes out his blades at Nyza's remark.

Wintersky casts Cat's Grace, shared with SnowShadow.

Sparta: It is too bad I cannot talk to the trees today.

Sparta: Maybe they could tell us what happened here.

Ozimius: You know what happened the last time you talked to trees, Sparta.

Sparta: I do not think we can do much to help these little guys.

Nyza: Shall we continue on then?

Sparta grins.

Sparta: Unless, we want to hang out here and roast marshmallows.

Further along a wicked-looking scythe can be seen with its tip buried deep in the bark of an ironwood tree. Another scythe lies on the ground between two other trees.

Sparta tries to pull a scythe from the tree.

Sparta: These look fey made too.

Ozimius: Nice toy you have found, Sparta.

Wintersky casts Detect Evil.

Oliveryn: So was it the fey that were attacked or the fey that attacked someone?

Sparta: And, not the friendly kind. These might be from redcaps.

Sparta: More likely faerie fight.

Sparta: They do not always get along with each other.

T'Krosh: Good. There will be less of them left to bother us on this trip.

Sparta tries to break the scythe.

Ozimius: What are you doing that for Sparta?

Sparta: Not very useful to us.

Sparta: And, I do not want anyone else trying to use it against us.

Wintersky goes closer to the scythe lying on the ground and looks at the anomoly.

Ozimius: I think they look neat!

Legeand: Not useful to you, but some of us may want them.

Wintersky: Sparta, what do you make of this tooth?

Sparta: Tooth?

Wintersky: A long needle-sharp tooth.

Sparta: Hmmm.

Legeand picks up the second scythe.

Sparta: Yes, looks like it came from the owner of the scythe.

Sparta: It is a redcap tooth.

Wintersky moves forward to the next tree still searching for evil.

Sparta: Ozi, do you want this one before I break it?

Ozimius: Sure, I thnk it is nice.

Sparta hands Ozimius the scythe.

Oliveryn walks over to Sparta.

Ozimius grins to Sparta in thanks.

Oliveryn: Can I see that for a second, it looks familiar.

Sparta: These redcaps are nasty little fellas.

Sparta: Sure, Oli.

Sparta hands Oliveryn the tooth.

Oliveryn examines the redcap tooth.

Nyza: What is a redcap? A fey?

Sparta: Yes, Nyza.

Wintersky shouts out a battle cry.

Wintersky: AyieeII

Oliveryn: I remember items like this, it looks like this one will help with dealing with other redcaps better.

T'Krosh draws his spear in response to Wintersky's shout.

Sparta draws his cold iron greatsword.

A dozen very short, tough-looking old men with leathery skin, iron boots and bright red hats rush forward. They wield scythes that look too large for them. Their wicked grins are lined with sharp teeth.

Oliveryn looks up and notices the army of redcaps.

Ozimius: Looks like we ran into a friendly group of pilgrims.

Wintersky rides forward and casts Holy Storm.

Sparta: Eh, stay out of the rain, Ozi.

Ozimius grins.

Ozimius: I hope her aim is good with that stuff.

Sparta: Better than mine, anyway.

T'Krosh casts Divine Favor on himself and moves forward.

T'Krosh: I was about to demand their surrender, but Wintersky's method seems much more effective.

Eregard moves forward to engage the redcaps, weapons already drawn.

Nyza and Biter ride to catch up with the others.

Nyza grabs her Rod of Maximize and launches a fireball using its enchantment.

Nyza: Do you still have some marshmallows, Sparta?

Sparta: Of course I do, in my saddle bags here, somewhere.

Sparta: Well, I guess we can just sit back and watch the kobold roast redcaps instead of marshmallows.

Eregard feels depressed to see all his foes die before his eyes.

Five redcaps become scorched piles of ash, dropping five little teeth.

T'Krosh shares Eregard's pain.

A burly redcap rushes forward and slings a greenish, glowing stone at Eregard and hits him.

Ozimius moves forward getting a clear shot at the redcap slinging stones.

Ozimius' arrow strikes true, but the damage immediately heals.

Wintersky yells, "Do redcaps need cold iron?!"

Sparta: They are fey.

Sparta: So probably.

Oliveryn moves and starts singing inspiringly.

Sparta rides Ringo forward and casts Entangle engulfing four redcaps, including the burly one.

Legeand moves forward wielding the scythe he picked up.

Wintersky draw Blessed Black and a cold iron arrow and fires point blank into a redcap.

SnowShadow pounces.

SnowShadow tears the throat out of one of the redcaps.

Wintersky: Aiyeelha!!

Wintersky's cold iron arrows slay another redcap.

T'Krosh dashes closer to the redcaps and calls forth a cloud of Obscuring Mist to hide in.

Eregard enters the entangling foliage to engage the redcap with which Legeand fights.

Eregard attacks with his rapier, but the redcap is resistant to his weapon.

Nyza: Hey, Ozi... They will not even see you coming!

Nyza grants a Greater Invisibility to her rogue companion.

Ozimius grins, though no one sees.

Wintersky gets hit by a glowing green sling stone.

Ozimius moves and fires an arrow into a redcap trying to flank his companions.

Oliveryn moves up to get around the bank of fog created by T'Krosh.

Sparta and Ringo charge a flanking redcap.

Legeand attacks with the scythe and slices into the redcap he is engaged with.

Ozimius grins, again unseen.

Ozimius cuts the redcap in half as it passes him unawares.

Wintersky turns Cinder out of the rain and Cinder stomps.

Wintersky fires another cold iron arrow from Blessed Black.

Wintersky's arrow misses.

SnowShadow pounces on the redcap at the edge of the entangling trees, but the scratches heal instantly.

T'Krosh stumbles out of the mist and thrusts his weapon at a nearby redcap.

Eregard attacks the redcap.

Eregard pierces the redcap a couple times, but the wounds immediately heal.

Nyza moves from the mist and launches magic missiles at the redcap struggling in the entangling trees.

Nyza: Who put this stupid cloud here?

Nyza: You did it!

The burly redcap swings at SnowShadow and misses.

Ozimius moves up to the redcap facing T'Krosh and attacks.

Ozimius slices the redcap in half.

Oliveryn starts casting a spell force a service from the struggling redcap.

Sparta attacks.

Sparta cuts his redcap in half.

Legeand: How is the bite of your own weapon?

And Legeand obliges by cutting his redcap in half.

Wintersky moves into the Holy Storm and casts Divine Power shared with SnowShadow.

SnowShadow mauls the redcap and pins it on the ground.

T'Krosh charges along the entangling trees towards a new foe and strikes with his spear.

Eregard nimbly navigates through the entangling trees to engage the struggling redcap.

Nyza moves towards the burly redcap.

The burly redcap struggles in the grip of the great cat.

Eregard skewers the struggling redcap.

Sparta dismisses the entangle.

Ozimius closes in on the burly redcap.

Oliveryn also moves towards the remaining redcap.

Sparta charges across the battlefield towards his gathering companions.

Legeand moves up to the grappled redcap as well.

Wintersky whirls Cinder around to attack the redcap. Wintersky fires her cold iron arrow and SnowShadow continues to try and shred the redcap.

T'Krosh lays a hex upon the redcap.

Eregard advances to join fray.

T'Krosh: I spit on you, fey!

Nyza moves up and begins summoning creatures to help defeat the stubborn redcap.

Wintersky: Just do not spit on the cat. I sleep with her.

Nyza: Enter this world, fire doggies!

Ozimius thrust his sword and the redcap takes wounds from nowhere from everyone else's point of view.

Oliveryn speaks to the redcap in the tongue of the Fey.

Oliveryn: Give up now and stop your fighting, it is pointless to do this.

Ozimius: Do not talk him to death, Oli, kill it!

Oliveryn starts prepairing a spell.

Sparta and Ringo slide into position and attack, the cold-iron sword making vicious wounds.

Legeand takes a swipe at the redcap, drawing more blood.

Wintersky fires three arrows from Blessed Black.

Wintersky's arrows slay the redcap.

T'Krosh steps away from the blood splatter.

Ozimius grins, still unseen.

Ozimius: My thanks for that spell, Nyza!

Nyza: Me glad it helped!

When the last redcap falls, it is realized that there are several of the small centaur-like creatures, many small pixie-like fey and beautiful, brightly-armored elven-like humanoids surrounding the area of the battle. The ranks of these fey part in one place and a fey of great splendor enters the circle.

Nyza: Wow, deja vu.

Ozimius invisibly searches the bodies.

Oliveryn: I agree, this has the feeling of familiarity.

Legeand: Hmmm.

Wintersky: Hello, bright ones.

King David: Greetings, intrepid adventurers. What is your business in this earthly realm of The Fey?

Ozimius remains silent, but still searching, but watching.

Wintersky: We are passing through to Troll's Bridge.

Oliveryn turns around to greet the King.

King David: Ah, and caught in between the dwarves and the elves by The Fey.

Nyza: Me would not say "caught."

Nyza: These Redcaps could not delay us.

King David: A figure of speech, young sorceress.

Wintersky: So to speak. We found several Hybsil murdered in this area.

King David: Yes, that is a shame.

King David: The Unseelie murderers have been about too often of late.

King David: I am David, King of the Seelie Court.

Wintersky: I am Wintersky of the Tetons. Aspiring shaman.

Sparta bows before the King.

Sparta: King David, I am Sparta of Rebelton and I have a boon to ask of the fey.

Nyza: Oh... uh, we are humbled to meet you.

Oliveryn bows also before the King.

Oliveryn: It is great to meet you, kind sir.

King David: A boon from the Seelie Court for a halfling?

Wintersky: A boon is a gift and anyone can be gifted.

Sparta: Yes, your highness. For far too long these woods have been enthralled by the wyrm CedarCleaver.

Sparta: I mean to set them free and make a place of peace for all folk who are willing to share in it.

King David to Oliveryn, "Are you not the prince of Troll's Bridge, who is their heir to the throne?"

Oliveryn: I am.

King David: It is true that Cedarcleaver has ruled for too long.

Sparta: My boon, if you would grant it, would be peace with the fey.

King David looks directly at Ozimius even though he is invisible, "Assassin, show us your gift for the other court!"

Ozimius sighs.

Ozimius appears and stands for all to see with great, black, leathery wings protuding from his back.

Oliveryn looks taken back.

Oliveryn: When did you get those?

Sparta: Ozi?

Ozimius: Get what?

King David: I told you, do you not remember?

Ozimius: Remember?

Nyza remains quiet thiking, "It must be some spell Ozi has been practicing."

King David waves an arm and the entire encounter with the Unseelie Court is remembered by all who were there.

Legeand grumbles softly about people messing with his head too often.

Nyza: What did you just do to me?!

Oliveryn shakes his head in confusion.

Oliveryn: What is going on?

Wintersky: Hmm. I think they suit you Ozi.

King David: As you have been tasked with dragon slaying by the Unseelie Court, so have you been tasked by the Seelie Court.

Ozimius grins.

Oliveryn: What dragon are we to kill? All I want to do is talk to them.

Ozimius stretches his wings eagerly, reveling in their freedom.

King David: Where is the daughter of Taevon? Was she not traveling with you?

Wintersky: Luanes? She was called to the Temple.

Ozimius: She is on a quest.

Sparta: Can she help us to slay these dragons?

King David: Oh, a shame, another quest away from her true family.

Wintersky: Ozi you remind me of a great fruit bat.

Ozimius chuckles.

Ozimius: But, I can FLY!

Nyza: Are you offering us a trade as well? What do we get for killing these dragons?

King David: Of course she can help you slay the dragons.

Wintersky laughs.

King David: Free passage through Tanglewood when ever you wish...and other gifts.

Oliveryn listens closesly to these "other gifts."

King David: However, we would prefer if the Teton not enter Tanglewood, if possible.

Ozimius raises an eyebrow.

Wintersky looks around for spirits.

Surrounding Fey: Yes, yes.

Wintersky: Why?

Oliveryn: What is wrong with Wintersky being in Tanglewood?

Surrounding Fey: To dangerous to us, she is.

Wintersky: How am I dangerous?

King David raises his hand to silence the others.

Sparta: We are all dangerous, but we mean you no harm.

King David: Your control of spirit-kind is greatly feared, but also respected.

Nyza: It is not possible. Wintersky keep us safe and we do not have time enough to take another route.

King David: They over-react.

Oliveryn: How about we make this part of our bargin, she comes along and we defeat a dragon for you.

King David: Dragons.

Wintersky: I have respectful interactions with spirits. I do not harm them.

King David: Cedarcleaver, his family and Drymorjoc must be slain.

Oliveryn: Fine. Dragons. She still needs to be with us.

Ozimius: Um, did you say dragons, as in plural?

T'Krosh: Hmph. It is not as if we have a choice anyway. You will just alter our minds again.

Sparta: Drymorjoc too?

King David: All dragons must be removed from Tanglewood.

Wintersky: Um, I have a problem with genocide as a rule.

Oliveryn: How about we relocate them to somewhere else.

Sparta: The dragons' do not

Ozimius (looking at his wings): Even the Black? But, we have so much in common.

King David: The halfling's boon is impossible without it as is the safety of the prince's future offspring.

Wintersky: Which prince? Speak not in riddles.

King David indicates Oliveryn with a flourish.

Oliveryn: My offspring...I am not even married!

Nyza smacks Oliveryn on the butt.

Nyza: Congratulations!

King David: Your line fails if you fail, Prince of Troll's Bridge.

Oliveryn grabs his butt.

Oliveryn: Hey, stop that.

Sparta: As Lukinvor has quested me, I will spend my life freeing the forest.

Ozimius grins at Oliveryn.

Oliveryn: Now wait a second here, I am not prince. I am just some heir, after all of this is taken care of, with my grandfather. I will go back to being a lowly bard again.

King David grins.

King David: You think so?

Oliveryn (hesitantly): I hope so.

Oliveryn: I am not cut out for laws and ruling. I am a lowly bard, that is all.

King David: I guess you may hope, but do not do that too much.

Ozimius: You might have less chance of siring young being a prince, Oli, I seem to remember you being a bit popular with the ladies as a bard.

Wintersky: Your magesty, I go where I will and I do what I believe is right. Killing indiscriminately is wrong. Killing simply based upon a bloodline is wrong.

Oliveryn: Wait, what do you know and what are you just guessing at sir!?

King David: I am the most powerful Fey of my world and yours with vast powers of foresight.

King David: Believe me, I know all of your futures.

Ozimius: Mine?

Wintersky: The future is maleable based on individual choice.

Ozimius: How could you know all our futures! We are free to chose our own destinies!

King David waves a hand, "Believe what you wish."

Wintersky: It is not written in stone where we just follow the lines.

Oliveryn: No, I would like to know what you see, about me.

Oliveryn: Please.

Oliveryn looks concerned.

Wintersky looks serene.

King David: You will be a bard as renown as Lukinvor, but you will forget something very important, Oliveryn.

Oliveryn: Forget?

King David: The Way.

Oliveryn: The Way?

Ozimius: The Way?

Oliveryn thinks back to his schooling.

King David smirks.

Ozimius looks at Oliveryn with side-long glance.

Wintersky gazes at the fey brethern, marveling at their varied forms and beauty.

Legeand remains quiet, with a grim look on his face.

King David: Our time together is running short, but who is this?

King David turns to Legeand, "Your burden is great, but will not bury you yet.

Surrounding Fey cry.

Legeand: "Duty is heavy as a moutain, death light as a feather" or so I am told.

King David: Very true and very wise, which is why you will eventually succeed.

Legeand: I am not fond of the path already laid before me.

Legeand: But, I will walk it if I must.

King David: But, you, Legeand, understand best of all.

King David: You all have paths laid before you and you will tread them one way or another.

T'Krosh sighs, resigned to his fate.

King David: It is time for you to be on your way. The first of your gifts this journey will be.

Oliveryn: Will be what?

The forest spins around each of you and vanishes.

King David