On May 19th, Year 4, a new arrival in the Vale joins a more seasoned Citadel House adventurer on a trip to join a Nekolyn hunt up the West Confluence River. They are:
- Randall (HuS): Level 1 Human Druid
- Osiris (CoB): Level 2 Elf Magic-user
Randall is interested in meeting the nature-loving Nekolyns and seeing what their hunt entails. The weather is nice and they expect to arrive at the blighted forest, which neither of them have visited, by evening.
On the way, they encounter an ogre, which they manage to creep up on, observing it digging into a burrow. Randall convinces Osiris to let it be, but as they withdraw, it notices them and attacks. Randall commands a tree to stop it and runs, but Osiris stays and prepares a death arrow. Randall turns back and supports Osiris with arrows and while the tree grapples the ogre on almost even terms, Osiris finishes it with a beam of death.
They continue, arriving at the blight before nightfall. The Nekolyns there accept them into their camp, letting them know that the College Lake where the others are hunting a giant turtle not indigenous to the area. They stay the night with the Nekolyns and during the night a band of orcs from the Union of Schek checks in with the Nekolyns on watch, who they allow on their land for their efforts in nurturing the land.
At dawn, they continue North toward the College Lake where the hunt is taking place. On the way, they pass by the orcs who visited the Nekolyns in the night, Randall’s fox, Oliver, scouting their camp and reporting that they have wolves, but seem settled for the day.
As they go on, they become aware of a pair of wolves tracking them. Randall assumes his orangutan form and climbs a tree to get a look at them and overhearing some unusual conversation between them, converses with them, learning that they were only verifying that there was no danger to their territory. The wolves return the way they came, leaving the party to proceed to the Lake.
In the afternoon, they cross the Great Road and come to the shore of the lake, which they follow to a small Nekolyn camp. Speaking with the Nekolyns, Randall learns that they would rather move the great turtle somewhere it would have sustainable prey and a mate. However, the perils of transporting such a large, dangerous creature through hostile lands (they are native to the Dragon Empire swamps) compel them up slay it. Randall informs them of his ability to speak with animals and offers to converse with the turtle and convince it to accompany them to a better place, if the Nekolyns have one.
The next morning, the 21st, through conversing with fish and his Call Animal ability, Randall finds the giant turtle and, despite some suspicion, it agrees to return in three days to speak to Randall alone and learn if the Nekolyns have agreed to move it safely. One of the Nekolyns leaves a month in a tree and runs to seek the advice if the Nekolyns council concerning moving the creature through the Vale to Long Lake, a larger, more dynamic body of water.
While they await the council’s answer, Randall and Osiris decide to scout the college whose buildings they can just see across the lake. Informed that it is haunted and dangerous, they make their winding way toward the bridge at the Northern inflow to the lake. On the way, they find an unusual egg that the local trees say grew out if the ground. They take it with them.
At the bridge, they find a mighty gate closing the far end. In the gate itself are a pair of knockers with roughly humanoid faces, one with the ring in its mouth, the other with the ring in its ears. After removing the ring from the one’s mouth, they find them both to be obnoxious and unwilling to let them pass. After unseen archers shoot Randall in his orangutan form as he climbs the gate, they argue with the knockers a little more, threatening them ineffectually before departing. They return by a more round about but less winding path to the Nekolyn camp.
On the 22nd, they determine to make their way to the college by another way, crossing the river via the Great Road and traveling up the lake’s eastern shore. About a mile up shore, they come to a river flowing into the lake, which they determine to cross. As they enter the river, however, a great, mossy beast emerges from the far shore, wading toward them. Again, Randall retreats, ordering a tree to hold the beast at bay. Osiris again stands his ground, this time unfortunately ahead of the tree. In attempting to parry a giant, mossy blow with his axe, he is crushed to the ground, unconscious. Randall gains the beast’s attention with some thrown rocks and lures it to the tree waiting to engage it. He commands two other trees to grab it and while the beast tears down the trees runs, he runs and attempts to pick up Osiris, having to use his orangutan form to do more than drag him. When his time as an orangutan runs out, he continues to slowly move his fallen companion until he is forced to make camp near the Great Road.
In the morning, he uses his orangutan form to arrive at the Nekolyn Camp, where they patch Osiris up. Randall passes the day with the Nekolyns, creating a hammock like theirs to use in his travels. That night, near midnight, Osiris awakens from his wounds and despite a broken arm is able to heal himself fully.
On Saturday the 24th, they receive permission from the council and the turtle returns. They guide it down river, getting help from the Vale controlled dam on Sunday to increase the flow and allow the turtle to continue to travel quickly. After passing through Confluence and Timberford, they arrive in the Vale Lake, from which the Nekolyns continue South toward Long Lake, leaving Randall and Osiris to return to Citadel.
Randall represents the first really serious druid I’ve experienced in the Mind Weave system. His animal form and plant control proved extremely and brought a distinct fantasy feel to the session. I am looking forward to more Randall!