Post date: Feb 23, 2011 8:2:3 PM

Dodecitina 22, 1000 PC

Our heroes travel north through Troll's Bridge to take distant look at the location of Meliomonee. They find that Faerie has begun to merge with the fabric of Almebezbik as evidenced by the expanding meadow surrounding a great oak in which Meliomonee is trapped. Through Celesta's true seeing spell, they also know that there are Fey guarding the area that will need to be driven off for Luanes to be able to free her mother.

Upon Celesta's prompting, the group returns to The Fortress of Armee to rest and prepare for the rescue. Concerned with the acceleration of time due to Faerie's influence on the area, Wintersky suggests that Luanes use the crystal ball to scry and speak with Meliomonee to try and discover what to do when they arrive.

During the conversation through the crystal ball, the nymph informs Luanes that a good deal of her blood will be needed to help free her mother from the oak and once freed, the oak should fall and close the rift that was opened by Meliomonee when attempting to assist the Fey in entering Troll's Bridge when the wards went up. The nymph discovered that the Fey intended to bring an end to the city, so she instead prevented the Fey from passing into Almebezbik. Meliomonee also implies that she will be lost in the process of closing the rift. This distresses Luanes, but Wintersky believes she can prevent such a loss.

After a troubled rest, our heroes prepare and teleport to the oak. Luanes immediately moves to attend to her mother, spilling her blood on the tree while the others drive away the Fey guards. The Fey are less of a threat than the tree is once Luanes' blood has been spilled. The great oak begins drop branches and fall. Initially, it does not seem that Meliomonee will be freed by her daughter's sacrifice, but only moments before the tree collapses, the nymph slips free of the tree's bark and the group is thrown as the oak uproots itself.

As everyone picks themselves up, they see that the tree is gone and Faerie's influence has also disappeared, returning the barren ground of Troll's Bridge to its usual state.

As they make their way back into the heart of the city the bells of The Floating Castle of Eins und Zwei can be heard lauding the arrival of Tetratin. This also indicates that the short time our heroes spent in such close proximity to the oak cost them a day. Less than six days remain until until Zenda's thousandth year is complete.

Celesta: So scout the area out and then retreat back to The Fortress?

Dale: Sounds like a good idea; might help us choose spells for tomorrow if we have an idea what we are about to face.

Legeand: That and it will give us some idea of the layout of damage.

Nyza: Mm. No "retreat"ing back though.

Luanes: Well, I would not get too close...

Celesta: Oh, right. Would not want to end up blind.

Luanes: I had trouble getting close.

Sparta: Blind?

Luanes looks ashamed.

Wintersky: What do you mean?

Celesta: Your mother is a nymph, correct, Luanes?

Luanes: My mother...I thought everyone knew...

Luanes: Yes.

Celesta: Blindingly beautiful when they want to be.

Nyza looks oblivious, but T'Krosh raises an eye.

Legeand coughs a bit and looks aside, "Is that how she is distracting them?"

Sparta blushes.

Luanes: She is using her aura to keep the worlds separate.

Luanes: I could barely reach her...

Celesta: Let us just have a quick, distant look and then get some rest...though it has been quite restful this short time we have been talking.

Wintersky: But the worlds are naturally separate. It should take effort to breach them.

Luanes: I do not understand the problem in its entirety

Wintersky: Let us go look.

Luanes: But I believe my mother caused a breach for protection.

Luanes: To protect Tanglewood.

Sparta: And now we need to try to seal it up again.

Wintersky: From the demons and devils?

Nyza: It will not be the first time.

Luanes: From Fey.

Celesta raises an eyebrow.

Celesta collects her staff and cloak and leads the way to the stairs.

Nyza motions for Legeand to go ahead of her. She follows at a distance behind him.

Wintersky motions to Snowshadow to come along and follows.

The group heads out of the cellar and makes their way through the throng in the tavern, exiting The Smoking Pipe.

Sparta looks around the cellar one more time, lingering upon the bloodstain on the floor before following the others out of the tavern.

Wintersky whistles for RacesLightning.

The streets are quiet and there is only a passing scent of death where the battle took place along the riverfront.

The group heads north along the main road and pass between Armee's Fortress and The Billiken's Dome.

Nyza: Psst, Sparta... Things are looking better, methinks.

Sparta raise an eyebrow at Nyza.

Sparta: Better?

Much of the city is now in shambles and not much further north, nature has quickly begun to reclaim the area.

Nyza: Less demons.

Wintersky stretches her senses trying to see and feel the fabric between the realms.

Sparta: True, but if the Fey keep accelerating time, Nana's cataclysm will come sooner than we can stop it.

Wintersky is taken aback by the pulsing aura of Faerie as they approach the final row of relatively intact buildings .

Wintersky: I think it more likely an effect of Faerie bleeding into our world.

A great swath of meadow has grown between the remaining construction and the wall.

A very large oak dominates the area north of this meadow against the wall of Troll's Bridge.

Celesta shields her eyes.

Wintersky: Caterpillars and chrysalises, Faerie has really encroached.

Celesta: There are dozens of various Fey within a small radius around the tree, Luanes. Do you see them? Your mother appears to be fused into the tree.

Wintersky sees them as spirits.

Wintersky tries to find the edge where the two realms meet.

Wintersky sees that the meadow is a merging of Faerie and Almebezbik.

Nyza looks around.

Nyza: You have good eyes...

Luanes: I...

Luanes looks closely.

Luanes sees the meadow, oak and her mother, but nothing else

Luanes: I can see my mother....

Celesta squints and then covers her eyes with a wince.

Celesta: We need to leave.

Wintersky sees that the space directly around the oak is Faerie.

Nyza: We just got here.

Celesta: Time is greatly sped up here.

Legeand: If the mage says leave, then let us leave.

Dale: Is the oak tree the portal to their world?

Wintersky: That is my take on it.

Sparta: I think Legeand has the right idea.

Celesta starts and then lowers her hand from her eyes, "And my spell just expired."

Nyza gives one last look to the big tree before turning around.

Wintersky: Let us go.

Nyza: 'Kay

Celesta: We do not have a lot of time for rest, so let us take it quickly.

Wintersky turns and moves away.

Celesta turns and starts walking back towards The Fortress.

The group returns quickly to The Fortress of Armee where Melora is waiting to let them in.

Melora: Come in, come in. It is getting late.

Melora: What were you doing in the north part of the city?

Celesta: For my part, nearly getting myself blinded.

Wintersky: Watching Faerie encroach upon the Troll's Bridge.

Legeand: Scouting the next step of the long list of things we need to do.

Melora: That explains the blinded soldiers that were stationed up there.

Sparta: And they are hurrying the approach of Nana's cataclysm.

Nyza: Oh dear...

Melora: Hurrying it? How?

Wintersky: Gah, what a problem.....

Nyza: Maybe we can cure their blindness after the city is no longer in peril.

Celesta: Luanes? Do you know what you need to do to help your mother?

Dale: Yes, Nyza, I think I can help the soldiers, but when we have more time.

Wintersky: TalksMuch have you ever heard of Faerie encroaching upon our world in such a manner?

TalksMuch only responds with a shake of his head.

Luanes: She just said that I would need the talents of all my friends.

Sparta: Well that's rather cryptic.

Nyza develops a concerned look on her face as something occurs to her.

Sparta: Can't the bad guys tell us how to stop them, just once?

Celesta: And our talents would be put to what purpose, Luanes?

Luanes: Helping me get closer to my mother, I think...

Wintersky: Why?

Luanes: And to fight off the fey.

Celesta: Hmmm.

Dale: Is there anything besides blindness in her aura that stopped you from approaching?

Luanes: I think she will tell me what to do, but I must get closer to her.

Dale: We could give you protection from her sight.

Luanes: I felt like I was barely able to move.

Celesta: Maybe we can drive them back further into Faerie and not damage them too much?

Nyza nods emphatically.

Legeand: One big problem is the time going too fast near her.

Nyza: We need to, definitely.

Wintersky: Around the oak tree seems to be Faerie, a true juxtaposition not just a portal.

Dale: There are spells that slow time, aren't there? Could they counteract the Fey influence?

Celesta: It is probably going whatever speed it goes in Faerie, which is two weeks here to every hour spent there.

Wintersky: Moving through Faerie is usually not a problem for you, correct Luanes?

Luanes: No, I am also elf.

Celesta: We will have to move in quickly, do what needs to be done to drive away the Fey and keep them away long enough for Luanes to help her mother...without aging us too badly. We will not be able to count on spells for protection either.

Dale: If we cast our spells under the Fey influence, will they last longer?

Wintersky: That sounds like a repulsion of some sort.

Celesta: Given how spells are expiring early, we can only count on them being even shorter in duration the closer we get.

Celesta: We probably do not want to get next to the tree where it is full Faerie.

Legeand: How about the ones of us who cannot see the Fey?

Wintersky: It should require a great deal of energy to force such a juxtaposition between realms.

Dale: I could give Luanes freedom of movement. That spell usually lasts a few hours in our time, but that is not even a minute in Fairie. But it might give her enough time to approach her mother.

Luanes: She is fused to the tree for power.

Dale: Fused? We need to separate her?

Wintersky: You believe she is causing the juxtaposition?

Wintersky: Why?

Luanes: To protect Tanglewood.

Wintersky: Am I missing something? How does opening the way to Faerie protect Tanglewood?

Luanes: I am uncertain of the specifics.

Luanes: I only know that she caused the breech to protect Tanglewood.

Legeand: Maybe to place a breach on a breach?

Wintersky: Could you speak to her through the crystal ball?

Luanes: I don't know. We could try.

Celesta looks at Legeand, "You were a wizard in a past life."

Wintersky: Here try.

Wintersky hands Luanes the crystal ball.

Luanes: How do I....use it?

Legeand: Simple ideas are generaly the best solutions right?

Celesta: Hold that thought, Legeand.

Wintersky: Think of your mother, focus on her.

Luanes takes the crystal ball, looking clueless.

Celesta turns towards Luanes.

Wintersky: Describe her in detail out loud if it helps.

Celesta: Just gaze into the ball and think of her. You are connected by blood and you know where she is.

Luanes looks into the ball, thinking of her mother.

Luanes: She is lovelier than I ever imagined...long hair...crystal eyes.

The crystal ball fills with mist that then clears to show an image of the nymph merged with the oak tree.

Wintersky: Speak to her.

Luanes: Mother? Can you hear me?

Meliomonee looks around questioningly, "Luanes?"

Luanes: Yes, I am here...or...sort of.

Luanes can now see the other Fey in the background.

Luanes: I...I can see the Fey...

Luanes: Mother, hold on...we will save you.

Meliomonee: Keep your wits about you, child. Scrying here is like scrying to another plane.

Sparta: Ask her how to close the rift.

Luanes: How are we to close the rift?

Meliomonee spots the scrying sensor and looks directly at Luanes through the crystal.

Meliomonee: I need some of your blood. It will act like a universal solvent to allow me to slip out of this tree.

Wintersky: Ask what is under the rift?

Luanes: Whatever you need, Mother, I will provide.

Meliomonee smiles.

Luanes: What is under the rift, Mother.

Nyza: We can teleport in and out, try to minimize our time in the Fey area.

Nyza looks at Celesta.

Celesta nods.

Celesta: It will have to be greater teleport since there is a planar boundry involved.

Meliomonee: Beyond the rift is Faerie. Once I slip free, the tree will collapse, sealing the rift...forever.

Meliomonee looks saddened.

Wintersky: How did the rift protect Tanglewood?

Luanes: Mother, what is wrong?

Luanes widens her eyes with realization.

Luanes: No, Mother!

Meliomonee: This is...was my way back to Faerie. I was asked by Titania to open the away for the Fey into Troll's Bridge when the wards went up.

Wintersky: Luanes?

Meliomonee: I wished to protect what little was left of nature in the city, but the wards were too powerful and closed me inside the city. Fortunately, one of the Court let slip their true intentions...Troll's Bridge's total distruction, so kept them out.

Meliomonee: I am banished.

Luanes: Banished...

Luanes: No, there must be something we can do...

Sparta: You will always be welcome in Tangleton.

Meliomonee shakes her head.

The image in the crystal ball suddenly goes blank.

Wintersky: Total destruction, but destruction is coming another way.

Nyza: The Fey are really impatient. What, was one source of destruction not enough?

Luanes: ...

Celesta: I do not think they knew of Zenda, Nyza.

Celesta smirks, "Or were you implying yourself."

Wintersky: Luanes... We can try to help her. What have you figured out.

Luanes lowers her hands holding the crystal ball, her wings drooping.

Luanes: She is going into Faerie.

Nyza feigns outrage, "Nyza would not do that! It would be bad for trade."

Wintersky puts her arms about her friend.

Celesta tries not to smile, unsuccessfully.

Luanes leans into her arms.

Wintersky: Do you think the Fey will kill her?

Luanes: She intends to leave this world...

Wintersky: Oh, my sister, my heart aches.

Celesta turns to Legeand, "So breach a breach?"

Legeand: Yes, if a breach is on top of another, the first could not be used yes?

Celesta: Especially if it is particularly violent.

Legeand: As such, if you close one, it might close the other...or it might still be open.

Celesta: I think we will be breaching the breach and we better come back out. Half an hour in Faerie means there will not be a Troll's Bridge when we return.

Luanes: I cannot lose her...not again.

Wintersky: I may be able to pull her here rather than allowing her to be drawn into Faerie.

Luanes looks up at Wintersky hopefully.

Wintersky: I do not know if that will save her. She may need Faerie. But we can try.

Luanes nods.

Wintersky: I will do my best for her and you.

Luanes: Thank you, my sister.

Celesta: Alright, we are wasting what little time we have for rest. When we awake, prepare transportation, long duration spells and instantaneous spells.

Wintersky rests.

The group settles in for a rest and though fitful it is enough to prepare for the upcoming rescue.

Wintersky: Cold iron is particularly effective against Fey.

Wintersky: I will try to find more cold iron arrows.

Celesta: So the plan is to teleport in between the tree and the other fey, correct?

Wintersky: So far as we have a plan.

Nyza: What do we do while Luanes, um, tends to her mother?

Luanes: Fight off the Fey.

Celesta: If they want to retreat into Faerie, let them...I am guessing through the wall behind the tree.

Wintersky: I will try to ensure Meliomonee is brought to this side of the rift.

Luanes: Thank you

Wintersky: Before we go, I want to summon a greater spirit ally; it stays until its job is done.

Wintersky summons a greater spirit ally.

Celesta: I have teleports ready for in and out.

Wintersky: I summon a great spirit to help resue the Fey Meliomonee, protect her and unite her safely with her daughter Luanes on the plane of Almebezbik.

The spirit appears before Wintersky as a great snowdrift, which rises into the form of a great polar bear with red whisker marks painted on its muzzle. It distinctly winks at Wintersky.

Wintersky: I am ready now.

Wintersky whispers reverently, "Sister Bear."

Celesta: To the tree and avert your eyes. Meliomonee will realize what is happening quickly enough to drop her aura.

Luanes: All right.

Teleports are cast and all feel unusual twists and pulls as they appear near the tree.

Wintersky: I hate teleporting.

Dale: Stay close to the tree everyone.

Luanes: Mother!

Luanes advances towards her mother.

Luanes: Tell me...what do you need me to do?

All notice that Meliomonee's aura is already down.

Luanes: Mother?

Meliomonee looks up at Luanes, exhausted, "You will need to bleed on the tree...I do not know how much."

Luanes immediately draws her sword and slices into her hand.

The entire area bursts with shrieks, shouts and howls.

Wintersky moves to the tree to help Luanes free her mother. SnowShadow pounces a shaedling that has suddenly appeared next to Celesta.

The shaedling is no match for the panther and it quickly vanishes into the wall.

Nyza: Legeand, look out!

Legeand: I see him

A troll materializes from apparently nowhere and attacks Legeand. The northman dodges.

A sprite appears to accost Elenia.

Another sprite appears near Sparta.

A third sprite appears near Elenia again.

A banshree attacks Nyza.

Legeand attacks the troll with a flashing blur of his sword.

The troll dissolves in a spray as Legeand's blade whirls.

Dale: Nyza, see if you can cauterize that troll before it regenerates.

Sparta does his best to immitate Legeand.

The air is now abuzz with hundreds of wings.

The little, but vicious pixie goes the way of the troll.

Wintersky, watching the tree and Luanes sees the job may require Luanes' Life's Blood.

A pixe appears near Luanes and a shaedling near Sparta.

Another shaedling appears near Dale.

Sparta: Well, this is going to get ugly quick.

A banshrae appears near Celesta.


Sparta: Fey, we mean you know harm, but you mustn't interfere with our task.

Wintersky: Luanes, it is going to take alot of blood.

Sneers as well as laughter answer Sparta's diplomatic words.

Luanes: Whatever it takes...

Luanes: No matter what my mother.

Nyza aims a fireball at the ground directly beneath her.

A pixie and shaedling burn to cinders.

Nyza: Fine, ignore Sparta! Enjoy the slash and burn.

Another pixie appears near Dale.

Legeand: They all know better than to come and fight me it seems...

Dale: You're not going to be happy about this outcome, wee folk. Go home while you still can.

T'Krosh: "You were warned," snarls T'Krosh at the closest shaedling. He then unleashes a divine reproach on the Fey.

The shaedling shrieks and looks to lift off into flight.

Another troll materializes and smashes into Legeand.

Legeand flies into a frenzy.

Dale: I think we have more to fear from Legeand than from the Fey.

Dale takes a step closer to the tree while Ferocious pounces the sprite behind her.

Dale casts control winds to create a wind storm outside the radius the oak's branches.

The sprite is no match for a lion.

Dale: That may buy us a few moments respite.

Wings beat madly in the branches of the tree.

A third troll appears next to Legeand.

The troll pummels Legeand.

Elenia casts scorching ray at a pixie in the calm and at the troll.

The pixe falls to the ground, charred. The troll yowls.

Meliomonee passes out and falls limp held up by the tree enveloping her.

The tree goans and shudders.

Luanes: Mother! No!

Celesta casts disintegrate and reduces the banshrae near her to dust.

Elenia: T'Krosh can you be ready to heal Luanes?

T'Krosh: Give the word.

Wintersky: We need more blood fast.

Luanes slices her wrist deeply.

Blood spurts onto the tree and the tree goans and begins to lilt toward the wall.

Wintersky prepare miracle to pull Meliomonee to safety as soon as she is free.

SnowShadow returns to Wintersky's side.

DrifingSnow pries at the tree.

The last pixies flee into Faerie.

The banshae sprays darts from its flute.

Wintersky: She holds the miracle ready.

Legeand lays into the second troll, reducing it a quivering mass. His momentum carries a blow to the third troll.

Dale: Should we let Legeand bludgeon himself senseless against the trolls? He can kill them, but they'll just grow back until he's exhausted.

Sparta goes to Nyza's aid and swings clumsily at the banshrae.

Nyza: Thanks, keep it there!

Nyza casts orb of fire at the banshrae.

The banshrae goes up in an inferno.

T'Krosh moves over to Luanes.

The tree begins to crack, its huge branches beginning the fall.

T'Krosh: Let me see that wound...before you pass out.

Luanes allows the kobold to do his thing.

T'Krosh lays a powerful healing touch on Luanes, lest it become to late.

Luanes' bleeding ceases completely and immediately.

The tree shudders and a branch the size of most trees falls between Celesta and Wintersky.

The branch pushes Legeand and the troll over.

Dale takes her mammoth form and moves closer to Luannes to protect her and her mother from the falling branches.

The troll flails at Legeand, but misses.

Elenia casts forceful hand above Wintersky, Luanes and her mother to prevent branches and debris from injuring them.

Celesta climbs over the fallen branch.

The tree tips towards the wall beginning to rip up roots.

Meliomonee: It is not working. Save yourselves.

Luanes: No, I will not abandon you!

Meliomonee: You will be trapped. Go.

The bear stands on the roots and peels away bark.

Luanes slices deeper into her wrist, almost cutting to the bone.

Blood gushes over Meliomonee, Wintersky and the tree.

A branch falls and lands squarely on Dale's mammoth shoulders.

Wintersky works the blood over Meliomonee, pulling, trying to free her...

Luanes prays, "Hear me, merciful Visaria. Even if the cost is every drop of my blood, please...please, save my mother. Or if you cannot, let me take her place instead so that she may live."

Meliomonee slips loose from the bark.

Celesta: Before this tree goes all the way down, let us get out of here!

Legeand flails as the third troll.

The third troll goes the way of the first two.

Sparta casts cure serious wounds upon Dale.

Sparta: Let's get out of here, while the getting's good.

Celesta: What about Legeand?

Dale: I can stop the windstorm and let him return, but he appears to still be in a frenzy.

Celesta: He is most definitely in a frenzy.

Celesta: Luanes, what spell is that that you use to calm him?

Luanes: It was resurgence...

The tree tips further, exposing more roots.

Nyza: It isn't much, but Nyza lends her own healing magic to Luanes.

T'Krosh: Stop that!

T'Krosh casts heal again on the woman.

Again Luanes completely and immediately stops bleeding.

The tree is now in full free-fall.

Dale ends the windstorm and casts True Seeing and looks about for any more adversaries.

Dale sees that all adversaries appear to have fled.

Elenia tries to cast calm emotions.

Legeand stops frenzying.

The tree finally crashes sending dirt, animals and people flying. When they pick themselves up and look around, the tree is gone.

Wintersky: Meliomonee?

Meliomonee moans faintly.

Wintersky: Are we home or in Faerie?

Luanes runs to her mothers side.

Celesta: Feels like home...looks like Troll's Bridge.

Sparta: Is time back to normal?

Meliomonee looks up into her daughter's eyes, "It worked after all."

Luanes: Yes, Mother. It did.

Luanes smiles down at her, tears escaping the corners of her eyes.

Dale: You have a brave daughter, Ms. Meliomonee.

Celesta: I think we gave ourselves some time back. Hopefully enough to help Zenda.

The Faerie-Rift Oak