The Westerlands

Session 26: Gates of the Forest

Feelin' Gassy?

Location: the Tangled Fens
Current Task: Travel to the Heartspring to investigate the cause of the mysterious blight spreading through the Fens.
NPCs Met: none

Treasure Gained:
Item Qty. Recipient Location Found Notes
Gold x500 divided evenly
Holy Water x5 bag of holding
Poison, Oil of Taggit x3 bag of holding surgery tent None / Unconsciousness DC15 Fort Neg.
Belt x1 bag of holding surgery tent Decorated with 3 moonstones
Candles x2 bag of holding surgery tent Thick and blue. No magic aura detected
Restoration x2 Eleanor surgery tent
Remove Curse x1 Eleanor surgery tent
Remove Disease x1 Eleanor surgery tent
Calm Person x1 Eleanor surgery tent

The party is securing what remains of the refugee camp after clearing it of it’s ghoulish invaders. Eleanor and Lanna set about disposing of the remains of the camp’s original denizens while Piruk, Dathin and Kit check the perimeter and reset the pit traps that Eleanor “uncovered” during their assault.

Santiago returns to the large, central tent, where he discovers a number of potentially useful items scattered about the a grizzly scene. A corpse inside the tent is stretched out on a table, a knife in one hand and his own intestines in the other. This disturbing surgery is what likely resulted in the formation of the allip, which Santiago blundered upon during the party’s initial investigation.

That Evening, Eleanor spends some time studying the journal of Brother Valarin. She uncovers a little more information about the journey of the Cydonic refugees that once inhabited the camp and about the rise of the mysterious blight, which appears to have migrated from their land to this one.

The party spends the night with two people on watch as much as possible. Then, in the morning, after Eleanor disposes of a wayward ghoul that fell in one of the pit traps during the night, they once again set out to the Northeast in search of the Heartspring.

A game trail runs out of the camp in the direction the part wishes to go. They wind their way down from the relative high ground of the camp into the thick of the swamps. Their first day of travel goes by uneventfully and that evening, Daethin locates a copse of trees on an easily secured peninsula of land surrounded by the bog.

On the third day out from Fenwatch, the ground gradually begins to rise once more. The hilltops seem more like forest, while the lowlands are marshy as ever. As the party begins descending one of the many hills, Kit and Daethin suddenly stop in alarm. The air around the party has gone dead and is entirely without oxygen.

The group quickly hustles back uphill to a spot where the air is breathable. There, they spend some time deliberating how to get past the deadspace. Kit ventures a short way down the hill and notices the bones of several of the gas pocket’s victims lying beneath some particularly vibrant looking plants.

Rayne sends Belfry flitting across the cloud in order to determine its size and whether it might be crossed. The length of his flight indicates that it would take almost all the party’s breath to cross the deadspace, leaving little room for stalling, should they be waylaid within the cloud.

After much discussion and argument, the group decides to just go around the gas pocket, and sets of hacking their way through the underbrush.

As they are forging ahead, piruk suddenly notices something familiar occuring up ahead. His shouted warning is too late though, and Daethin suddenly finds himself firmly in the grasp of an enormous assassin vine. The group struggles to free Daethin from strangulation by the monstrous plant. Finally, after plowing into the underbrush, Piruk manages to beat back the vegetative threat, spurred on by the memory of his own near miss at becoming plant food two days before.

Once freed from the constricting vine, Daethin’s wounds are tended to and the party sets off, completing the rest of their detour unmolested.

The ground continues to rise and the thick, still air of the swamp gives way to the sound of running water. As the party climbs over a rise, they see a massive, tree-topped hill rising from the forest ahead of them. Numerous streams of water spill down the hillside to the forest floor below. On top of the hill, massive trees stand close together forming veritable walls of living wood.

The party proceeds cautiously up the hillside with Daethin and Kit scouting ahead, ever wary of potential danger. Upon reaching the top, they find themselves gazing down a massive, tree-lined corridor, which winds away into green shadows.

The group continues into the cover of the trees. Soon, the only sound to be heard is the babbling of numerous streams flowing unseen beyond the walls of tree trunks. The light beneath the trees is filtered by the leaves and tinted with the rich, verdant hue.

Rounding a bend in the path, Kit and Daethin suddenly draw up short. They have stepped into a massive, shaded clearing dominated by a still pond covered in lily pads. Several streams pour into and out of the clearing from beneath the tree roots. On the far side of the pond, two massive trees support a thick curtain of tangled vines, giving the impression of a massive castle gate. A pedestal on the near shore of the pond emits a brilliant blue glow.

After recovering her composure, Kit moves slowly up to the pedestal, checking for danger. She sees that the glow surrounds a row of three stone bluebirds facing a row of three stone frogs. An empty divit between them in the stone appears to be the source of the light.

As the rest of the party gathers around the pedestal, they determine that this must be the key to entering the Heartspring. Eleanor reaches out and attempts to move one of the bluebirds, only to discover that it is an illusion.

The group then begins to experiment with various solutions to this puzzle. They discover that the frogs can be moved to the blank space, but not to a space with a bird. Nor can they be taken away from the pedestal.

At last, Piruk notices something that might be of use. He spots a similar blue glow emanating from halfway up one of the massive trees on the far side of the pond. He surmises that the far glow likely contains the actual bluebirds to be manipulated.

Rayne once again sends Belfry to investigate. After he confirms that the far glow emanates from the other half of the puzzle, Rayne makes use of a Fly scroll she has in her case to quickly and easily ascend to the out of reach controls.

Working together, Rayne in the tree and the rest of the party on shore, hop the birds and frogs over each other until they have all reached the opposite sides of their track. As the last statue is dropped in place, the waters of the pond begin to bubble and churn. A series of massive stone blocks rises from beneath the surface as the massive curtain of vines parts to reveal a tree-lined hall beyond.