The Nature of Things

Finishing Off the Goblins
The goblin battle continues, and concludes...

The battle continues, Mort being downed twice during its course but receiving a heal from Shiraka the first time and then beign stabilised by Gregg on the second occasion. Eventually, however, all the goblins are killed, the last one attempting to flee after the leader is killed but being prevented from doing so by Shiraka and then the rest of the group (bar Mort, who is still unconscious).
The group then gathers beside the unconscious Mortaar and has a rest while Shiraka assists with healing both Mort and Mirrip, who have taken the worst damage.

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The Goblin Ambush
A battle with goblins...

Ambushed by six crazily charging goblins, four larger, more brutish ones, and one who seems to be commanding the rest, the group commences battle. Mortaar charges over to try and deal with the leader, though is soon taking damage from three of the large, brutish goblins. Meanwhile the rest of the group takes out most of the smaller goblins, leaving just one of those and one of the larger ones in their immediate vicinity. Gregg lends a little assistance to Mort with one of his spells, and this combined with Mort’s own attacks injures one goblin enough to drive it into a bloodied rage.

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Out of the Forest
The group is led to the edge of the forest...

After replenishing their supplies at a trader within Shaeroth, the group is led to a lift similar to that by which they entered Shaeroth the previous day, and there meet their guide, the scout who hailed them on their approach to the town the previous day. This elf introduces himself as Laric.
They are all lowered down to the forest floor, passing back through the magical field which conceals the elven town from eyes below, and from there Laric leads them along a narrow path they would most certainly have missed.
Nothing disturbs the group as they travel, and so the day passes without event. Laric leads the group off the path to a nearby clearing in which they spend the night, and then travel resumes the following morning.
After a few more hours, the tiny path the group has been following suddenly merges with a much wider one, presumably one of the more frequently-travelled (and not so hidden) roads. Soon after this the group reaches the edge of the forest and here Laric leaves them, returning the way the group has just come.
Though the road continues northeast from the party’s position, the group have been informed that they should head south (having already come quite a way east in following the path from Shaeroth). The land here is grassy scrubland, with rocky outcroppings and stands of trees which block a lot of the view. Shiraka (accompanied by Gregg) climbs up onto one of the outcroppings to get a quick lookout on things, and reports that the land slopes downward to the east, presumably dropping toward the swamp they have heard about previously. To the north and south, the terrain is similar to that in which they stand, though rises and becomes more hilly southward. To the west, the forest’s edge stands.
The group (after Gregg descends rather less masterfully than Shiraka from the outcrop) continues onward, wary of anything that might be lurking nearby. After a while, Shiraka seems to become aware of something and the group, picking up on this, draws weapons and becomes more alert. This caution is well-founded, it turns out, as the group is suddenly ambushed by a group of goblins, who leap out and charge them.

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Finishing Up
The meeting with Kaelmar concludes

Mort inquires as to whether Kaelmar and his people are familiar with the Greenfeather ravens – Kaelmar replies that they are, and Mort asks whether the Circle can therefore be informed of the group’s intentions. Kaelmar responds that the Circle will certainly be kept up to date, one way or another.
The question of potential threats in the southeast is raised, and Kaelmar tells the group that there are no roads in that region, and that anything which dwells there should be creatures native to the region. He warns the group that with the recent disturbances, the normal inhabitants of the region may be behaving differently to usual. He also mentions that goblins are known to roam in that area, every several decades building up numbers enough to attack the elven forest but always being repelled, their leader slain, to build up their numbers for another attempt in several decades’ time. However, as the last attempt was approximately only five years ago, Kaelmar says there should be little to trouble the group beyond a few small tribes.
Mort also asks about dangers in the forest itself, but Kaelmar assures him that he had intended for the group to have one of his people as a guide until they reach the forest’s edge, someone who can show them the hidden paths familiar to the elves.
The discussion now more or less finished, Kaelmar allows the group to restock their supplies as part of their preparations for leaving.

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Meeting Kaelmar
The group meet the elven elder of Shaeroth

The group wake up the following morning and are brought food by a couple of elves. About an hour after this they are taken, by the elf who met them last night, to see the elder, an elf clearly in his twilight years and who welcomes the group, introducing himself as Kaelmar.
Mortaar explains to the elder the experiences he, Gregg, and Shiraka had with the bandits and the later discovery of the destruction of the camp. He also mentions the strange feeling that those close to Nature have been getting, the sort of sense that some kind of shadow, perhaps, is building.
Kaelmar inquires as to whether the group has seen anythign else strange, and Mort goes on to describe the events of Downdale – the discovery and subsequent destruction of the necromancer there, as well as the acquisition of the necromantic knife and the snake pendant.
Kaelmar expresses interest at the mention of the pendant, saying that there seems to be some kind of unrest within the forest, particularly concerning snakes. Mort then mentions the incident on the road with the deathrattle vipers and Kaelmar says that it does indeed seem as if something is somehow affecting the behaviour of snakes in the region, which in turn is disturbing the other creatures and causing them to behave differently or change their movements. He says that though there is always the possibility of a coincidence, it may be that the snakes and the snake pendant are connected in some way.
Mort says that the group is willing to help in any way they can, and Kaelmar says that though he has heard nothing of the bandit troubles (that being many miles west of Shaeroth), he believes the source of the current trobles may lie to the southeast, as that is the direction in which the unrest seems to have been slowly spreading from. He recommends that the group travel in that direction, out of the forest, and through the grasslands toward the hills which eventually meet with the southern mountain range.

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A Tour of Shaeroth
Gregg is shown around the elven town of Shaeroth

A young elf woman, who introduces herself as Asheiya, has arrived to serve as a guide to Gregg in his explorations of Shaeroth, as given the convoluted-seeming nature of the town visitors may easily become lost. The two set off, leaving the rest of the group to settle in for the night, and Gregg requests that be be taken somewhere with a good view.
As they walk, Asheiya answers some of Gregg’s questions about Embrachal and its elves. She explains that once, a very long time ago, there was some great war or other disaster elsewhere in the world which caused a group or refugees (or perhaps multiple groups) of mixed species to travel together and eventually discover the land that they would later name Embrachal. As these people all had to work together in order to survive and build new homes, this became part of the nature of their descendants as well, and Asheiya explains that most settlements these days are occupied not just by one single race (though some, like Shaeroth, are primarily occupied by just one). She does suggest that there may be some places less tolerant than others, but says that since every major inhabitant of the land is descended from those original settlers, it is unlikely that any settlement would be truly hostile toward strangers, or toward one particular race.
Despite this, Asheiya also explains that the wilds of the land, where dwell many unknown creatures, can still be extremely dangerous – there are some creatures which have existed within Embrachal since long, long before these other races came to live there.
Gregg inquires as to whether there are any “ancient evils”, perhaps in stories or such-like. Asheiya gives mention of some kind of war against a dracolich, many centuries before, which led to the creation of the Grey Reaches. She also suggests that, far to the west, the great chasm which forms that border of Embrachal may have been caused by something. As to more recent history, however, she says she knows of nothing which has come to the attention of her people, at least.
As the two speak of some of the differences between her people and his, Asheiya leads Gregg up a spiral path, and soon they emerge onto a platform at the top of a very tall tree. Gregg beholds a view of the forest around him, as well as the distant mountains and some hills and grasslands, though it is gradually fading into darkness as night falls.
Once he’s done admiring the view, Gregg is led by Asheiya back down and through Shaeroth to the building that has been lent to the group as sleeping quarters. Here she leaves him, and after thanking her for her time and the information, he rejoins the group and settles down himself to sleep.

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Too busy again

Wuffy busy on Saturday, both of us busy on Sunday – ran out of time :(.

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To Shaeroth
The group arrives at the elven town of Shaeroth...

As they travel along the road, which eventually leads into a forest (another area of the same forest they travelled through previously, when moving between Farwatch and the bandit camp), the group is hailed by an elf, standing up in a tree. He inquires as to their business and after Gregg has responded that they seek help from the elves and Shiraka has subtly inquired as to whether the elves are aware of the strange feeling she has of the wilds, the elf takes up no more of their time and disappears once more among the trees.
The group heads onward, and after roughly another mile find that the road ends at the base of a large tree. Looking upward, Mort thinks that the branches of the trees above seem to form a sort of…pattern, too regular to have occurred naturally. A wooden platform descends on ropes from the tree above and comes to rest on the ground. The group climbs aboard and the platform slowly raises again. Partway up, there is a faint tingling sensation and suddenly the town of Shaeroth becomes clear – walkways and platforms formed from the branches of the trees themselves, presumably hidden from below by whatever the group just passed through.
The platform rises up through a hole in one of the main, fixed platforms and there stops – the group are met by a male elf who explains that he is aware the goup was coming and shows them to a room where food is laid out. He then leaves them for about an hour. Dyring this time, the group discuss elves – Mirrip has been to elven homes like this before, so this is nothing new to him. Gregg has read something of them in books, but like Shiraka and Mort has himself never actually visited such a place. The group briefly discuss the nature of elves and swap what information they have.
When the male elf returns, the group has finished eating and he suggests that, because it will soon be dark and that the group has clearly been travelling for most, if not all, of the day, they rest for tonight and speak with the elder of Shaeroth in the morning. The group agrees to this and the elf leads them by another confusing arboreal pathway to another building, at which he leaves the group, though not before Gregg has inquired as to the possibility of exploring Shaeroth. The elf says he will send a guide, as visitors to Shaeroth can easily become lost.
The group then investigates their sleeping quarters, a two-roomed building. The first room is the largest, the floor strewn with assorted bedding materials and enough room for everyone to sleep comfortably. The second, smaller room, is basically a bathroom with a combined bath-and-toilet as well as a bucket on the floor. Mirrip demonstrates how the bath works, pulling on a rope to let water flow into it from a pipe above, and then lifting out the large, previously unnoticeable plug to let the water flow out through the floor of the building. He assures Gregg that there is no fear ofo it landing on anyone. The “plughole” in the tub, he points out, is large enough for “sitting over”, as he puts it.
While Gregg is getting excited about elven plumbing, a female elf arrives outside the building, asking “You requested a guide?”.

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Busy again!

Wuffy has another busy weekend…

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Waaah :(

Work, conversations, and inopportune phone calls got in the way this weekend :(.

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