by Heykitd Getoff Melayn (Sarah Cronin) 21-25 SS
TLDR; Meeting Pollen and finding the bifurcated tree and fairy ring
Several days at sea, my stomach has been empty for days but still I retch. Last thing I can remember was telling tales from the great sage of Moosic mountain. I continue to search for that despicable brother in law of mine the so called “Great fighter Cesare Borgia”, that worthless son of a pope! When I find him I'll drag him back to the highlands. That SOB, walked out on my poor,sister leaving her with 3 little ones to take care of and his little bastard ripe in her belly. I have no idea what my sister sees in that devil.
Anyway what were we talking about? Oh yes that tavern in Scantus and the rumors that a Tiefling fighter passed through on his way to black river island. Here I am rocking in the dank festering hulk of a ship. The only comfort on this trip is a large orange tiger stripe cat. I've named her Musettte. My misfortune, being unable to eat the grewl served on this tub, has turned into Musette’s bounty.
At last we make “landfall” on black river island, “muckfall" would be a more appropriate description for this strange place. At least I can stand without falling or vomiting. As I plant my feet I instantly feel much better. The fresh sea air and a firm footing relegate the last few days to be nothing more than a soon to be forgotten bad memory. I need a pint “come on Musette” we might as see what the tavern holds.
I enter the tavern and knock back a few crowd gathers as I tell of an epic sea journey laced with just enough local details to make it sound plausible. Cheers go up as I strum my lute telling a tale of monsters, banshees and mountainous waves. In the corner a little gnome picks up a flute and adds a shrill pitch making the story all the more death defying. I nod approval at this little one, secretly impressed at his improvised playing. After the telling and a few free pints from the patrons I wander over to the corner to meet the gnome.
I ask him his name and what brings him to this place. He replies Damp Noodle or was it Lamb doodles? Hell for all I care it could be Bamboozled. It is good to be in the company of a fellow Bard and Gnomes are such fine creatures. I never met a bad gnome and doubt they even exist. Just a look a the big smile on this little guy it will brighten your day.
This Flamdoodle is traveling with a very reserved almost brooding Elf. The Elf’s name escapes me he says it so quietly as if he’s not even convinced it is his own. The gnome is on a quest to find a magical glove. The elf seems to be searching for some sort of white tower he claims to have encountered in a mental sickness I inquire to any and all I meet if they happened to see a Tiefling fighter. With no solid leads and no idea how to navigate, I decide to throw my lot in with theirs.
What strange travel companions we will make indeed. We pack on provisions and contract two canoes. I invite Wang Poodle to join me in my boat. He won't be much use pulling a paddle but it's a joy just be in the company of such an accomplished musician. If I don't find that scoundrel Cesare at least I can help this one with his quest. We take up behind the Elf for he has some knowledge navigating these fetted waters.
We travel to the east? Hard to tell in this meandering waterway. Half a day passes without incident. As we round a bend we see a large outcropping of granite. It may be covered in moss and slime but it's the first solid piece of land that doesn't quake below my feet. I immediately suggest?, request?, no I demand that we stop here.
Ah yes, tera firma what a lovely place to sun myself. Musette’s hair stands on end, what's got into that silly cat?
After taking a brief break the Elf is startled by a large dark beast in the water. The huge beast lumbers out of the water on to shore. What the hell is that some kind of water dragon? It must be half again long a both canoes. The water beast has a mouth filled with large white teeth. It turns it enormous head taking notice of us.
I froze at the sight of this beastie. Before the Elf and I could react Nam Foodle cast an enchantment causing the creature to lash out at some invisible phantom. Thanks to quick thinking that gnome allowed us to slip away without becoming the dragons lunch. This gnome is more than meets the eye, he's a smart one he is.
We continue upstream until we pass a dwarven wooden marker indicating potable water is available up that inlet. Good to know because drinking foul water has caused many a fever and could lead to you shitting yourself to death. We are currently full up on provisions so we decide to paddle onward.
A little ways further we encounter a ancient stone marker post at rivers edge. The language is unknown to the party. I suggest taking a tracing but the Elf is unwilling to part with his parchment. Oh well it's unlikely the tracing would have assisted us anyway.
As we continue east?, Nam Foodle tells a tale of a giant oak tree larger than any other on this river. A tree so large with perfect symmetry. I'm entertained with his story certain it's either pure fiction on a gross exaggeration. This swamp is so thick with growth you would have to walk into this tree if you ever hoped to find it. He spins this yarn so well most flatlanders would believe him.
Just as I'm about to tell him to save his tales for the rubes, we lift our eyes to the heavens. The little gnome was right a towering beauty with a soft white glow shimmering off her mighty trunk. The tree is standing in a pool of perfectly still clear water. This magnificent specimen is among the grandest oak I've ever laid eyes on.
We pull off the river and decide to make an encampment within sight of her massive trunk. Deciding on nightwatch shifts, I gladly take 3rd watch. After days of only getting 15-20 minutes of shut eye constantly interupted by hurling my guts out. The this much needed sleep comes quickly. The gnome plays his flute as I unfurl my long red beard braids and I'm out like a flame.
I was aroused from a deep sleep with a feeling of unease. I awoke to seeing the Elf conversing with a ghostly pale white woman concealed in a pure white cloak. This strange woman and the oak seemed to be aglow in soft white light. Ah, I gather wits and ask this woman if she's seen a tiefling. She indicated nobody has recently passed. She seems to have a strong connection to this tree. I tell her I'm enthralled by this tree. Its branches bookmatched in perfect arches. Like the oaken beams of a mighty cathedral. The trunk straight and strong like the beams of a mighty castle. I can tell this white lady and I share a true appreciation for nature. Yes mother nature the greater than all architect/builders in the known world.
The bounty and the glory of nature are often imitated but never duplicated. During this shared state of awe the freaking Elf buts in babbling something about not cutting down this tree. I continue to compliment the tree, containing enough board feet to provide shelter for an entire city. The Elf buts in again implying I'm going to try to destroy this work of art. He tells the ghostly one to ignore me. Ignore me? Me the great Heykitd Getoff Melayn, the sage if Sanctus, the muse from moosic mountain, the guardian of the vast library of Rodentia, the caretaker of the collected works of Foildering! How he dare dismiss me who does he think he is?
I try to make my case with the white lady begging for an acorn that I might propagate. The Elf has broken our communal link and she utters a few phrases and vanishes like a must into the swamp. I try to reason with this Elf, beginning the tale of the last acorn and how my grandfather saved the highland forest. The elf shuts me out, what is wrong with him so head strong so close minded? Just the thought of him darkens my mood.
I relieve the gnome on 3rd watch. Someday I'll tell Nam Foodle about “why I make the talus" I'm sure he'd understand after learning that tale. 3rd watch is uneventful. The night is,alight with fireflies in the endless dance, lighting, finding love, mating and dying. Their tiny bodies creating a rich soil where the the larvae begin the cycle if life again. Yes abundant life is everywhere should you take the time to look.
We break camp and start off on a well trodden trail. A couple tiny elk break through the brush. I've never see these tiny elk in the highlands. We carry on ½ days trek along the way we encounter a seemingly sentient vine. The vine attempts to ensnare us but we skirt around it but walking through a shallow steam.
We come upon round clearing. At the center of the clearing is a perfect depressed ring with a large mound of mushrooms. This fungus has a neon purple ring and a soft spongy head about the size of a dinner plate. As we approach the center. It appears to be a fairy ring. Musette’s guard goes up she must sense what I do, this structure was made by the hand of man. I walk the perimeter and can tell that the darkened turf hides secret long buried stone foundations.
The Elf approaches the center of the circle and suddenly freezes as if in a state of shock. His eyeballs roll back in his head and he starts convulsing. Alarmed by this sight I run across the ring. Wrap my arms around the elf trying to calm him and still, demons that possess his troubled soul. Shhhhshhss, Koltalon be still man, I cradle him until he comes to. Koltalon are you alright man? I was so worried you were going to leave this workd for good. The dazed elf comes to and tells us, he has been here before this is the place of the sickness, the fever and the white tower. I confirm Koltalon’s suspicion, drawing a large circle in the dirt. You are correct my friend here are ancient footing here.
A large round structure did indeed stand on this very site. How did it disappear simply vanishing into thin air? Nam Foodle suggests a offering of food, herbs and flowers. We play some soul soothing music. Nam on the flute I on the drum. We wait but nothing seems to happen. Maybe the tower is here but somehow not visible to your eyes. I'll test my theory with a loud clap thunder.
The forest goes dead silent but there is no echo. If the damn tower is here it's not only invisible I contains no solid matter. The short lived silence is,disturbed with a strange bird like whistle. First a cry to the north, then another to the east and again to the west. The calls are seemingly answered buy a 4th distinct whistle.
We are being watched we are surrounded. Maybe the thunder clap wasn't such a good idea after all. Ugh damn it Heykitd,you did it again
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast