At the end of last session, the party was attacked by a bunch of [anti-GM, eco-terrorists] elves. Barundar ran off into the woods, hot on the trail of a fleeing elf. As the finally caught up to the elf and pumped a crossbow bolt into his head, Barundar realized that he was deep in the middle of an elf settlement. Dozens of elves appeared along vine bridges high above and shot arrows into the ground at his feet…
Barundar drops his crossbow, turns back the direction of the party and yells as loudly as possible, “I YIELD!!!!” [and learning from Renaldo’s mistakes he readies the Dodge action in case anyone shoots at him.] A young, elven lady descends from a tree house in the canopy high above and snarls at Barundar. She reaches the body of the slain elf, places a hand on the corpse and the elf raises him the dead.
The female elf questions Barundar on his presence in the woods. Barundar explains that he and his friends were attacked for no reason at they attempted to cross the river to Dahyrst. The female explains that Barundar is misinformed and that he was trespassing on her lands. Looking the dwarf over, she quickly realizes that Barundar is a trapper. With a roll of her glowing eyes declares that he is “no doubt, quite a friend to the forest…” She goes on to explain that there have been many reports of a specific dwarven hunter in the forests before… “Oh, really? Weird…” Barundar says, his stony gaze meeting that of the elf as she circles around him in the clearing.
The elf spins around and Baundar is shocked to see a fungus growing on the back of her neck [gross, right?]. He is able to tell that this fungus is “darkcreeper”, a very poisonous and rare fungus of fey origin. He knows that touching darkcreeper can cause illness, and ingesting it can be deadly. As he ponders this fact, Barundar remembers that she had pulled a chunk of this material from her cloak and rubbed it on the dead elf before bringing him back to life.
She goes on to say that Barundar will be their “guest” and that for having killed her soldiers, he too will die – “a life for a life, after all.” She [finally] introduces herself as High Queen Bella Bloomthorn. Realizing that he’s in the company of royalty, Barundar curtsies. Soldiers come forth and take his weapons, but he resists when they attempt to tie his hands. Bella spins around and, raising a finger, shoots braided vines that bind the poor dwarf’s hands. The soldiers walk Barundar through a maze of vine bridges and tree houses high in the canopy where he notices that spores of darkcreeper are er’rywhere…
Across the forest, still standing by the river, Qian Ban and Ash hear a faint cry from Barundar as he screams about “yielding”. Myles doesn’t hear it, and, having just been attacked by elves for (seemingly) no reason, he doesn’t trust Qian Ban. Darius says to trust him as he hops atop Winston and drives his mount forth into the woods.
[Damien jokes that Qian Ban points directly to the source of the noise, causing Nathan to say. “Well…. we all know he’s good at math.” Damien explains that “Qian ban” in Chinese means “Stereotype”, everyone raffs.]
Twila [using her tits as divining rods or something…] and Qian Ban spot the elf and Barundar’s trail. The party follows the trail through the forest until Twila tells everyone to stop and she points out the elf huts in the trees. [She turns around to put up the standard “stop” signal, and finds Amon directly behind her, his face uncomfortably close to her ass.] 40-50’ ahead they see a number of elves guarding the huts from a vine-bridge.
Myles and Darius discuss a plan of attack to try to infiltrate the camp. Myles wants to use himself, Ash and Twila as distractions to allow for Darius to sneak into the camp, but Darius is very against this idea [for some reason].
Barundar is escorted to a prison cell and vines reach down from the wall and grasp him. Barundar grabs a bird from a nearby nest and tries to speak to the bird using his magic. As he tries to cast the spell, it feels almost like the spell was stolen from his mouth. As this happens, the fungus around him swells…
Darius finally agrees to sneak into the encampment and takes Myles’ whistle in case he gets caught, so that “you guys can haul ass and save me…” Darius slips a bit while climbing the tree, but manages to get to the tree village. At the top, he sees normal, fey life going on. He sneaks into the nearest set of huts and, searching them quickly, finds a total of 46sp worth of good and coins. To avoid getting too far from his friends, he turns back.
Loot: 45sp – 9sp/ea
With Darius safely back below, the group decides what to do next. After much debate, they decide that Ash should represent them as they approach to talk to the elves. Ash steps up and requests that they release their dwarven friend. Unfortunately, the guard on the bridge is the same one that Barundar “killed” earlier who remembers Myles and Darius from the attack and he sounds the alarm. He’s just about to shoot when Ash when Bella steps forward and tells them to stay their bows.
Ash represents the party well, laying on heavily about how they just cleansed the Badlands and spared “this beautiful forest – love what you’ve done with these houses and vines and stuff, it really looks cozy.” Bella ponders this for a moment before inviting two of the party into the compound to parlay. Myles and Ash are escorted along the platforms above, deep into the compound as Darius sneaks his way behind the larger group.
Bella agrees to release Barundar, but not until the party brings her what she’s looking for… The sheriff of Dahryst has been encroaching on their sacred lands, even burning their forests. She demands that the Sheriff be brought back to her compound to stand justice.
She calls Barundar forth and she touches him with darkcreeper and it rapidly spreads throughout his entire body, even coming out when he breathes [!!]. Barundar exclaims “What have you done to me!?” spores accentuating every hard consonant. Bella explains that she has, “blessed him with the spirit of this ancient forest… I can give you life, or take it away.” She goes on to say, “You have three days, trapper scum, before you become a permanent fixture in tribute to nature.” as she points to a large pile of spores at the center of one of the platforms in the compound. Myles and Ash are able to see many similar “tributes” throughout the tree-city.
Giving Barundar a wide berth, the party treks back to the ferry. There they find the elves that they had killed are rapidly deteriorating into fungus. Across the river he party can see a group of guards and a single, well-armed knight.
The party calls out to the ferryman who slowly makes his way across to their side of the river. Myles tosses the ferryman a gold piece to help speed the process.
Safely across to the other side of the river, the party is approached by the guards who demand to know what happened across the river with the elves. The party explains a bit about their run in with the elves and the guards tell them that they were about to go set fire to the forest and burn it down once and for all. Barundar asks to speak with the leader. A heavily armored man approaches on his horse. From behind a full helmet the man introduces himself as the sheriff. Myles can’t say for sure, but the sheriff’s voice sounds vaguely familiar.
Barundar and Myles explain that they can lead the men directly to the elven compound, an idea that greatly intrigues the sheriff. They request that he, AND ONLY HE, join them on the ferry to go back across the river. The sheriff says that he really must go back to town to get more men, so the party travels along with them. At a predetermined moment, [through the use of barely noticeable winks, nods and coughs] the party turns on the sheriff’s lackeys, knocking them out in one fell swoop.
With the guards dealt with, the party confronts the sheriff. Barundar and Myles demand that the sheriff remove his helmet and provide his name… The sheriff removes his helmet and says behind a smug smirk, “Well… some people call me Tyson…” Myles [continuing to prove that he’s a puss when confronting his enemies] goes to strike Tyson and misses completely, much to Tyson’s pleasure.
The party binds the sheriff and Myles takes the opportunity to beat the shit out of him.
The group takes a break to discuss how they will return Tyson to the two different people that want his head. Coming up with nothing, they decide to rouse Tyson to see if he’ll talk. Tyson belligerently asks what their problem is, and Myles rips off his mask and says, “THIS is my problem you bastard!” Tyson laughs and says, “I knew you were one of us…” and goes on to explain that he’s run into a few other clones over the years and that, although he can’t explain it, he decided it was best to kill them.
Barundar and Myles take turns beating Tyson and demanding answers and eventually get fed up with his silence. At one point, Barundar’s screaming showers Tyson with glittering spores, thoroughly disgusting the prisoner. Ash sits dejectedly in the corner, reading a religious text and trying to ignore the fact that his party is torturing a captive man. He prays for forgiveness of their sins, but is pretty sure that Myles and Barundar are getting closer to hell with every hit.
Darius takes over and plays good cop. The halfling asks who hired Tyson to burn down the forest, Tyson explains that the three Lords of Dahyrst who allow him to do whatever he wants as long as he fulfills their wishes. At the current moment, he goes on, their wishes are to expand South across the river, and the elven forest is standing in the way of that. After a bit of coercion, Tyson explains that he has hundreds of troops at his disposal. Myles interjects, “You mean at MY command!” “They’d never believe you’re me, I am much better looking” Tyson responds. “You mean… you were better looking…” Myles says through gritted teeth as he kicks Tyson in the face with his metal boot.
After a significant amount of discussion and planning, the party decides to attempt to negotiate with Bella by explaining that Tyson isn’t the root of her problem, but that we’ll need more time to capture the big fish. They then intend to schedule a meeting [with Myles posing as Tyson] with the lords of Dahyrst to ambush them and then turn them into the elf queen for justice.
[Some of the rejected ideas included;
1) Handing over Tyson, having Barundar healed, then killing Bella and the elves
2) Traveling back to Otemshire, kidnapping Wilem and using him as a sacrifice for Bella]
The group stashes Tyson with Winston, Jack, Qian Ban and Amon as the remainder of the party returns to Bella. Barundar explains the situation with Dahyrst and its Lords and Bella is receptive to the idea of changing her target.
Bella explains that Barundar is going through a rapid “transformation” but she isn’t sure that she’ll be able to reverse the transformation if it goes beyond 5 days. She asks Barundar to step forward and she slows the fungus. Barundar winces as she explains that the fungus is using him as a “host” and how, if the transformation completes, he will serve as an eternal power source for the forest. She says it is an honor, but Barundar doesn’t seem to be that interested.
The group returns to Tyson and extracts [through waterboarding, which, again, Ash does his best to ignore] all of the information about the Lords of Dahyrst. Myles then dons Tyson’s heavy armor and goes and unties the guards the party had subdued earlier. He tells them [as Tyson] that he had single-handedly dealt with the “ruffians” that had attacked them before. Setting out with them back to Dahyrst, he calls up his sergeant and says to him, “Sergeant, schedule a meeting with the Lords as soon as possible… I have much business to discuss with them…”