On Monday, September 2nd, Peter is still on the mend from his near death experience. A new arrival comes to Citadel House:
- Frank (PaT): a carpet salesman in Enoch with two dogs one large and one small. (Level 1 Dwarf Brawler with Natural Empathy, Call Animal, and Throw Object/Person). He finds a glowing golden apple in one of his carpets and a bite makes him glow. He leaves his carpet shop to go to Haven, taking only his larger hound, Jabba.
Matthias brings him to the house where some of the residents are considering missions in the common area:
- Lonir (MaC): Level 1 Elf Thief.
- Verdis the Prickly (HuS): Level 2 Human Fighter.
They agree to go and investigate the attacking trees reported by lumberjacks North of Kite. The report is several weeks old, but nothing has been done about it.
With rations for 4 days, the party makes their way to Kite, stopping in Confluence for lunch and arriving in the small logging village around 2. With little information about the attacking trees, they approach the lumber mill, expecting that to be the best place to find someone who might know more in the middle of the work day.
There they are greeted by President Daniel of the Kite branch, who is running the mill. He informs them that the site of the attack is about 5 miles up river; that five of his scouts found some trees large enough for the temple timbers there but were attacked, all escaping but three of them with broken arms and all battered. Since all of the lumberjacks have since recovered and returned to work, he tells them they can be found at the current work site about a mile up river. In parting, Lonir attempts to pick Daniel’s pocket and is caught. He gets a stern stare and Daniel offers him the contents of that pocket. It is a piece of paper reading: “the sleep of a laboring man is sweet. -Hymns 87:3”
At the logging site, they interview one of those who were attacked. He says it was about 4 miles further up river and that the attack came in the form of swinging branches and began the moment they first laid axe to one of the trees to cut a sample.
With no further questions, they head into the forest North. Frank is on edge on the first and so is the first to to see sign of the lumberjack scouts, spotting an axe abandoned in the brush. They search the area and Lonir finds a tree with a cut in it. He greets it (the tree) in Ensignal and Elvish and hears something like a raspy chuckle from the surrounding woods. When addressed, a voice responds in accented elvish. They talk back and forth, and with a few faux pas on both sides learn that this grove is sacred to the creatures and they struck because the lumberjacks were attacking the trees. They do, however, recognize the desire of the Haven settlers to have timbers for building their own sacred a place, a temple like the ones built by now extinct elves the voices have stories of. When asked if they can direct the lumberjacks to other suitable trees that are not held sacred, whispers from the woods opposite where they heard the voice begin. Lonir, the only one who speaks elvish, explains what happened in the exchange. The voice calls out again, saying they must confer with their elder before agreeing to such an arrangement. They offer to meet again at noon the following day.
The party camps with little event on the edge of Kite and head out at 8 after a long, full night the next day to reach the remote spot by noon (Frank’s dwarf legs make the trip a little slower). As they approach, Verdis hears conversing in a language like elvish that stops when they are detected.
They converse a little more and the voices agree to go to Kite and give the lumberjacks suitable logging locations in exchange for the promise that their sacred areas will be safe. Verdis runs ahead to get Daniel ready for the cat people (Nekolyns) that emerge to accompany them and Lonir and Frank escort them to the village. On the way, they learn a few things:
- The lizardfolk have an empire the Nekolyns consider destructive to nature and many sacred places 150 miles or so to the East.
- Elvish is the universal language of trade in this region, spoken commonly as a second language among the Satyrs, Lagorans, Nekolyns, and even sometimes the Orcs and Goblins.
- The Nekolyns have a ritual/magical power to control plants.
President Daniel is eager at the agreement Verdis conveys to him and receives the envoy of four in his office (the adventurers join them for security). With several good logging locations now identified on Daniel’s map, the Nekolyns return to the woods, but not before bestowing symbols of their new friendship on Lonir: a bundle containing a cloak, a dagger, and an amulet all with the ornate leaf insignia on their clothes.
Verdis is still itching for a fight after the successful negotiations, so they make their way to the tavern in Confluence, arriving just after dark. There Verdis picks a fight with the town hero, Taren, who beats him soundly. Frank tries to help Verdis but is tackled by one of Taren’s fans (Thomas), who he manages to subdue. They withdraw from the tavern amid mocking laughter and make their way to Citadel house around midnight. Once there, Verdis and Frank accost Lonir for their share of the Nekloyn gifts. They experiment with them and learn some of how they work and each take one:
- Verdis the weather prediction amulet
- Lonir the woodland stealth cloak
- Frank the dagger that upon cutting a tree caused it to grow a new branch there
They take the rest of the week easy. Lonir levels up, focusing on his new found ability to backstab and gaining more confidence in his diplomacy.