The group awoke the next morning to find their newfound ally missing. On the table, stricken with a dagger was a note that read:
I cannot wait until morning to seek out my father. If he is wandering the Fallenwood alone and unarmed, I cannot risk his safety. I have gone on ahead and will join you at a later date should our paths cross again. Fare thee well.
Not sure what came over their newfound ally, the group shrugged off his disappearace, as it appeared they were heading in the same direction anyway. Using the morning to finish off their last minute tasks, Krosh Jenkins convinced Solander to manage the group’s newfound house in Trijera while they were away, while Alexander Divinicus II and Maximillion Divinicus III ventured out to grab their commissioned full plate armor and greatsword, respectively.
After settling their affairs, the group split and left the south city wall separately to avoid suspicion as they had been watched not more than a few days before. Something, nagged at Krosh, and it was only when he was leaving that he realized the figure watching him from the distance was the same Tiefling that killed their old cleric friend, zDeceased – Cedric, back in the mines. it seems the Night Parade had taken a vested interest in this hodgepodge group of would-be heroes.
Not sensing any danger, the group looked back to the slums they were leaving behind, catching a glimpse of Corporal Lance; whether or not he approved of their brief stay in the city, the group could not tell, and Krosh took the opportunity to flip him the bird. Whether or not he meant it rudely or playfully, Corporal Lance could not be sure.
A half day’s travel found the group outside Fort Myanmar along Three Camp Road.
Fort Myanmar had seen better days. The fence was in disrepair, and any defensive weapons posted along the decrepit barrier were rusted through and broken. Inside the fort there were many people moving about, all races; a jarring comparison to the xenophobia left behind in the city not too long ago. The people here were wildmen, hunters, gatherers, survivalists. A closer look revealed the balanced gait of some of seasoned warriors, as well as, drunken brawlers.
After conversing with the two gatekeepers, Cyril and Blake, the group was able to discern that the Fallenwood had long turned into a Dark Forest. Occasionally, a creature would come out of the Fallenwood, but it would quickly die (whether it was killed by the fortsmen, or of its own, no one said). The two gatesmen, did go on to say that at night spectral noises could be heard coming from within the Fallenwood.
The group made their way to the tavern within the Fort, where Krosh used some coin to purchase a round of drinks in an attempt to raise his notoriety. A few bunks were made available to travelers, as Blythe and Maud’dib chose to sit on the wall overlooking the forest throughout the evening. No spectral sounds were heard, but Maud’dib was able to discern that was the fort-folk thought as spectral were actually warped cries of the animals from within. Sensing terrible pain, Maud’dib decided to approach the Fallenwood just before daybreak.
Overcome with unbelievable dread, Maud’dib returned to Fort Myanmar, just in time to see the others geared up and ready to proceed South along Three Camp Road. Relaying, the information he was able to gleam, the group proceeded with caution to the first camp.
An uneasy feeling surrounded the air in the camp. The tents seemed unused and barely served as antiquate shelter, a rough sentiment considering the slums left behind the day before. Though closer inspection revealed that the camp was once heavily used, the torn hides and rusted and rotted pots and pans, gave lie that this road was ever anything but a forgotten relic of a time long past.
A thick fog permeated from the copse of trees just on the otherside of the camp, and visibility was difficult; making travelling the difficult terrain dangerous in, and of itself. No one had seen the Onyx Tower of Sorcery in decades; whether or not it still existed is unknown.
The scent of death grazed the group’s nostrils, as a haughty laugh cut the chilly silence.
Mistress Virella and Servant Savant had made their return. Threatening the group with death, the two quickly dissipated into mist and disappeared into the Fallenwood; leaving behind a nasty surprise. Coming forth from the ground were three undead creatures, taking the group by surprise; joined in from some of the vermin warped by the magic and poison of the Fallenwood.
A mummy attacked Alexander head on, hitting him with Mummy Rot, that left his Consitution damaged by 1, and Charisma by 4; while the rest of the group seemed to have their hands full. Maud’dib’s quick thinking entangled the other two undead, while Blythe used Burning Hands to kill two spiders that were coming after Maximillion. Alexander, recognizing the threat of the Mummy for what it was, even though he did not know what it was, focused all his attention on the creature that left his visage scarred.
Maximillion summoned three giant frogs to assist, and the group quickly gained the upper hand with battlefield control and disposed the last of their enemies. Maud’dib recognizing that they had used spells in the open, released a sentry into the air, and learned that the Fort (still within eye sight of the camp and the group) had shut tight the gate.
Deciding what to do with Alexander, as he had taken the brunt of the Mummy’s attack, the group pondered returning to the city, as Maud’dib attempted to caster Lesser Restoration on Alexander. The spell was ineffective. Krosh checking the nearby tents stumbled into an old, well worn, steel box, in the meanwhile. Skillfully unlocking the lock, the lid opened to reveal four very fragile spell scrolls. Blythe, using her Mage Hand, carefully unraveled one, as it threatened to crumple into dust, and discovered it to be a Remove Curse scroll. Realizing that this could be helpful against the Mummy’s Rot she used her arcane abilities to cast the scroll and successfully removed the Mummy’s Curse, leaving only the Disease behind. Checking the second scroll, she discovered that luckily it held a spell containing Remove Disease. Maud’dib used his knowledge of Remove Disease to get Alexander back to semi-normal, leaving only the damage from the effect behind.
Choosing to press on, the group entered the edge of the forest. Despair and lonliness engulfed all who entered (all except Maud’dib). Visibly shaken, the group discovered Krosh and Steelix flat refusing to enter. Maximillion dismissed his Eidolon, and after some encouragement, Krosh took his blade and began cutting into his arm to get his adrenaline going before, entering into the Fallenwood once more.
Maud’dib sensing the danger for what it was, but unperturbed walked up to the nearest trees and used his Treespeak to gain what answers he could. He learned that there were still elves in the Fallenwood, most notably located at the Tower of Sorcery. He also learned that the magic permeating had a source, and that the forest was crying to help. The only way to reverse the effects would be to destroy the source. And that the Fallenwood nor its inhabitants could assist with destroying the source, as they could not defy the magic.
Maud’dib relayed that information to the group and then turned into an earth elemental, disappearing into the ground. Sensing that the magic went deeper than just the surface, Maud’dib followed closely, and was the first to notice the skeletons rise from the ground.
Surrounded from all sides, the skeletons came in. Maud’dib managed to push one against the tree, causing considerable damage with a Bull Rush, while Maximillion kept another two occuipied with Spiders. Blythe took a nasty hit early on, then kept her distance. The solid fog permeating the Fallenwood, proved to be the group’s biggest problem, as many attacks missed. It looked like a stalemate was inevitable, as the battle dragged on longer than it should have. Until Krosh disengaged his foe, and took out the Horn Blower. Once he was down, the skeletons became much easier to attack, as if he was inspiring them to greater heights.
Suddenly Elves dropped from the branches of the nearby trees, and quickly took care of the remaining skeletons. Herding the group into the center of a circle, the Elves kept their weapons drawn and threatening.
Demanding to know why this group would dare trespass into the Fallenwood, Blythe attempted to answer, but her answers were not good enough. Letting it slip that the elemental was in fact a druid in shifted form; the Captain cocked his head to the side as if to ponder something, and then quickly dismissed it.
The group would explain themselves, and why they seek the Elves of the Fallenwood, or they would be cut down where they stood.