On June 5th, Year 12, the group that signed a fey contract with the Great Rakshasa set out to follow up on leads they have found on the missing dryads he wanted to know about. They decide the best lead is some of Jacob Pharoe’s men who have been bragging about being chased by tree-dwelling maidens for being so handsome.
- Randall (HuS): Level 11 Human Druid (Level 3 Druid Grove)
- Oliver: Level 7 Winged Fox Animal Companion
- Snass (TrS): Level 5 Kobold Monk
- Irssdanish (First Claw): Awakened Wolf
- Minssdanish (Second Claw): Awakened Wolf
- Wolf Animal Companion
- Polly (MiM): Level 5 Dwarf Brawler
They spend the day heading up to Pharoe’s Hero Guild where he informs them that the adventurers in question are on assignment in a cave up north. He consults his maps and notes and tells them that the encounter took place about 10 miles or so south of Shadow Spires, they spend the night and in the morning head back to Citadel.
On the 7th, they head out to Shadow Spires where they meet with Rovert and he consents to them seeking the dryads (“tree maidens”) in the south of his domain as long as they don’t rile them up. He advises that they follow the river southwest and head east by southeast from the boat yard to where they reside. They do so.
Along the way, they are ambushed by a pair of shambling mounds, one of which nearly kills Minssdanish before Randall succeeds in commanding/convincing them to stop. They continue on to the dryad grove where they see trees with doors built into them. Randall speaks to one of them and learns that the dryads moved out last fall and haven’t returned. The tree lets them in (after Randall tells it it deserves better than the dryad who left it and promises to return and awaken it to come back to his grove) and they search the small dwelling, finding a brush full of dry leaves. The brush heals Minssdanish when he is brushed with it.
They head South the way the dryads are supposed to have gone and soon realize they are in the fey as the sky goes from sun set to a dim twilight with a glow in the south in an instant. While Randall flies up to try to get their bearings (they want to pay the Great Rakshasa’s Palace another visit for more information) dryads emerge from trees around them and charm Snass and Polly. The Oak Mother approaches now that they are pacified and questions them. Upon learning of their contract with the Great Rakshasa, she perceives that he wanted to trade the information of her missing daughters to her.
Randall returns, finding his companions and the wolves speaking to the Oak Mother and being stroked/pet by the dryads. He resist their charms and is able to speak more freely to the Oak Mother (who knows him). She offers them a second contract to bring her the knowledge they obtain in exchange for their release and they agree. The Oath Maker’s servant arrives and they sign a new contract agreeing to bring any information for the Rakshasa back to her as well.
Now that it is more squarely in her interest, the Oak Mother tells her everything she knows about the missing dryads, including
- They were befriended by a centaur
- Seven went missing, but this isn’t unusual
- Two were twisted by something in the Fall and Winter, a third is currently changing.
- The first change disturbed the Oak Mother enough that she called the rest back.
- She fears the twisted dryads will be extremely dangerous, more dangerous than her darker nieces in Feymourn Forest.
They return to Rovert the next day, the 8th, who tells them that Dohasan had indeed been befriending them, but he hadn’t yet heard that they had departed. He suggests a number of places in his domain that he hasn’t been able to explore where something dark might have taken the missing dryads. They return to Citadel with new, albeit questionable, leads to pursue.
This elven facility’s spiral stairs can rotate up and down, or rather they could. Did they solve the puzzle of the facility by breaking the top half of the stairs? Will Ragnvaldr have come to a more permanent solution than Rovert’s mighty death burst that purged the tower a year and a half ago (real time) and seven and a half years ago in-game.