On May 8th, Year 12, Randall has accompanied Snass and his wolf back to Citadel where they meet Dohasan, who is there offering a significant bounty on Rovert’s behalf for Soaring Stones, which he explains can be found at the top of the fey, or the Weeping Rocks, above the Green Wood which adventurers have entered nearby the Vale in the past. They gather a couple others and set out toward the Green Wood:
- Randall (HuS): Level 11 Human Druid
- Snass (TrS): Level 4 Kobold Monk
- Irsshdanish, Awakened Wolf
- Level 2 Wolf Animal Companion
- Polly (MiM): Level 4 Dwarf Brawler
- Nyx (DaS): Level 1 Elf Magic-user
Once in the Green Wood, Randall takes bird form and determines for sure which way is up. they set out to the right to work their way upward. As they fey sun nears the horizon and becomes blindingly bright, they make their way along low areas and cross paths a winged fey jangling with bands of coins. He confirms for them that they are going the right way and they give him directions to the windmill mint where he says he is going to trade for special coins.
In minutes, the world goes from glaringly bright to pitch black and they are forced to make camp in the dark, sitting/lying close to each other and picking watches. In the dark, a faintly glowing blue quickling attempts to steal Randall’s dagger and later Polly’s coat of shells before Snass and Polly nearly grab him. He escapes and doesn’t return.
After what they estimate to be 4 two-hour watches, the blinding light suddenly returns. They continue in their course, avoiding any further fey attention for another couple hours as the light softens. They see a large band ahead with pennants and flags. Nyx calls out to them and they take a defensive stance. After a brief stand off, a messenger arrives from the fey band and informs them that they have come upon the Great Rakshasa outside his palace (rolling an encounter with the local fey lord isn’t always a lucky roll, but in this case, they knew him). After learning who they are, the messenger goes to the band and returns with an invitation to the Great Rakshasa’s palace. They don’t feel they can refuse and so accompany him and his entourage as the sun continues to rise.
After a high-sun meal at his table, they inform the Great Rakshasa of their mission to obtain the soaring stones and seek his council. He is uncomfortable helping them when Randall lets slip that they are acting on Rovert’s behalf. He invites them to sleep (as they are clearly tired) while he seeks counsel on whether to aide them in their cause.
When they wake, it is dark again and they wait for the Great Rakshasa to awaken. When he does, he informs them that his counselors were divided on whether he should aide them at all, but that he has decided to help them in exchange for their promise to seek information regarding dryads that the Oak Mother has lost track of and can feel are becoming twisted. In exchange he is offering information he claims will ensure obtaining the soaring stones. They agree and he calls a Vila, or Oath Maker, to record their oath.
They sign (despite TrS’s GREAT misgivings) and he tells them that they can reach the place of the soaring stones by returning to where they met and crossing from the Green Wood into the Weeping Rocks (which they would recognize when the trees gave way to rock and streams). They should then turn right and walk until they exit the Weeping Rocks, then turn right again and walk one mile or so before turning right and walking until they again see the terrain of the Weeping Rocks and then turn right and proceed to the flight of the soaring stones at the high end of the world.
After another high-sun meal, they leave the palace, escorted by some of the Great Rakshasa’s raks, they return to the edge of the Weeping Rocks before parting ways and continuing into that rocky land of the fey wild.
They have little trouble following the Great Rakshasa’s instructions, though a rudimentary map of their course perplexes them for a moment when it seems they will be re-entering the Green Wood after a mile through unfamiliar, but ostensibly mundane, forest. Trusting his knowledge of the fey, they continue and reach the “top of the world” where they see stones regularly tumbling up the overhanging cliff there and into the sky.
Using Randall’s backpack vines, they pull down several of the stones, some very large, and manage with Polly in heavy armor and the help of the wolves to keep them wrestled down. While Snass ties all of the rocks to Polly, Nyx, and the wolves, though, a kappa arrives and accuses them of stealing soaring stones. When they express they have the Great Rakshasa’s blessing, it still demands they leave, saying he’s on duty for the Grapple Lord guarding the border. Randall stalls him by challenging him to a wrestling match. The kappa recognizes Randall’s name (95/100 on the arcane knowledge check!) and is surprised to learn he is a wrestling since the stories don’t mention it.
With the help of his vine, Randall holds his own and even seems to be getting the upper hand when Snass finishes tethering the rocks down and they are ready to leave. They insist on returning they way they came, so the Kappa, somewhat cowed, agrees to follow them to make sure they leave, but warns that if another patrol sees them he’ll have to help attack them.
Indeed, as they return, another fey greets them and the Kappa comes running, roaring for the intruders to get out. They run as best they can made lighter by the soaring stones and soon make their way out into the mundane world again, returning by the way they came and exiting the Green Wood immediately to avoid any other encounters while movement is made awkward by the lifting rocks. They send Randall up in bird form to see where they are and he recognizes the South Confluence river to the west. They make their way to the river and follow it into the Vale learning that it is now May 11th. On the 12th, they continue on to Shadow Spires to sell the soaring stones to Rovert.
With the Great Rakshasa’s aide indeed proving effective, they turn their attention to their end of the contract. Snass, Polly, and Nyx all level up.
They managed to elude much of the danger of the fey wilds this time, but the cost of that elusiveness was not low. We’re not yet sure how we’ll handle these characters pursuing their oath in future sessions or away from the table, but the danger of this mission is certainly not yet over, whether they keep their oath or not.