After returning to his Grove with the dragon soul mirror Umvillada and learning from her that the dryads are at or near Rovert’s tower, Randall spends September 3rd and 4th testing his fey compass and finalizing Snass’s fire breath. He then flies to Prickly Keep to use the scrying mirror Verdis lays away for him there. He goes to bed early early morning on the 5th and again on the 6th spends several hours scrying his way through Rovert’s School of Spellcraft and Wizardry and Shadow Spires.
He manages to find a secret door in the base of the secondary tower of Shadow Spires leading to a basement level which he can’t access with his scrying. He spends the 6th finding the cleverest mouse in Prickly Keep and returns to his Grove to awaken it. Theodore is more than willing to go on a mission to rescue the dryads and after briefing him they fly out early in the AM of the 7th.
After poking around the tower most of the day, Theodore returns and tells Randall that he can smell the dryads down a vent to the basement, but that he can’t find a way in. He thinks with some snips he will be able to get in an verify that they’re really there, so after a nap, Theodore goes in again. But when 10 hours later he hasn’t returned, Randall tries to contact him with his communication oil but it seems Theodore is still in the shielded chamber. He contacts Gerald (his ogre alchemist ally) to ask Umvillada to find Theodore, but she is not as helpful as he would have hoped, though he does believe Theodore is in shielded lab.
Randall contacts several of his allies to tell them that Rovert has the dryads and that if they don’t hear from him, he has been killed by Rovert. He then forms himself a natural weapon dagger and collects seeds before flying to Shadow Spires. Not finding a satisfactory way in, and seeing that the glass windows in the target tower are not particularly breakable with dropped stones, he lands on a window sill and takes orangutan form to break the window in.
This, of course, gains Rovert’s attention. While Randall rushes to the basement and speaks to Theodore through the vent he snipped a hole in to learn that he has been charmed by the dryads and is trying to get them out. Realizing that he is bringing Rovert’s wrath down on them Randall decides he needs to move quickly. He wedges some seeds into the gaps around the door and grows them to twist the door open and descends (commanding the grown plants to stop anyone who comes since he hears Rovert casting spells against his countermeasures above), running to put seeds in the locks holding the dryads.
Rovert, meanwhile, hears glass breaking and makes his way to defend the lab as Drej is informed by the guards that an orange creature broke in a window. He rushes to chase Randall and soon sees the broken door. The orichalcum chamber protects Randall from his magic in the floor below, so he runs to descend the stairs, but the plants successfully hold him there long enough to Theodore to see him coming and for Randall to rush to him and cause the plants to grow, binding Rovert’s left arm and most of his body in wood.
Rovert draws upon the power of his tower to stop time and quickly draws his magic nullifying dagger, believing that it could stop many of Randall’s powers, but in his awkward state and rolling low, he accidentally pricks himself, nullifying most of his own powers! Realizing that he is in trouble, he attempts to stab Randall again and again somehow misses.
When time unfreezes, Rovert continues stabbing at Randall, who easily dodges back before coming back in to finish growing plants over Rovert, covering his mouth and binding his arms before breaking the dryads out. The dryads use his trees to step out of the tower and Randall uses his bird form to flee, but is shot down by archers on the wall! He has a feather fall cloak, though, and lands safely and quickly scrambles out of the Shadow Spires river valley and into the woods, headed south directly toward the Green Wood.
In the Green Wood, he resists a lorelei’s charms and wards her off by naming the dryad he worked with to scry for the other dryads, Aurelia, convincing her that he is already claimed. As he looks for the Oak Mother, the dryads he rescued join up with him again and guide him to her. She is grateful for the information he was contracted to bring, but especially for actually rescuing her daughters that were not yet corrupted. Randall asks after Aurelia and the Oak Mother blesses her going to join him in his Grove.
Randall and Aurelia proceed from the Oak Mother to the Great Rakshasa’s palace where they inform the Great Rakshasa, who isn’t very pleased that the information isn’t much use to him now that the dryads have been freed. He is grateful that Randall stressed to the Oak Mother that their rescue was a direct result of his contract for the information. Randall returns to his Grove, receiving a call along the way from Rovert who seems to have forgiven him more or less. Now that he knows Randall knows he has been spying on him, he reveals that he knows about Umvillada and asks if Randall can use her to spy on the Nefil, but Randall is tired of dealing with the mirror.
Back in his Grove, Randall carries Umvillada to Prickly Keep, desperate to have her out of the Grove with his new guest. He and Aurelia return to the Grove where Randall plans to spend a couple weeks reconnecting with his faithful followers who he feels he has neglected during the last few months searching for the dryads.
Yikes! PvP is scary! You might think that PvP would be inevitable with a character as evil as Rovert, and you’d be right! We were all hoping that Rovert would become and NPC before conflicts like this.