Welcome to the New Age

The Thaw part 02

February 11-13

The rain slacks off on the day following the owlbear attack, instead between the lessened intensity and the tree cover, the party travels through a cold mist for the day.  Declan and Desmond follow the tracks of the creatures, eventually leading the party to an owlbear nest beset by giant wasps!

The battle with the wasps takes a heavy toll on Iliken, but the rest of the party emerges essentially unharmed.  In the owlbear nest, the party finds three dead hatchlings and one live infant owlbear.  The siblings shoulder Iliken aside and simultaneously attempt to adopt the creature.

Carrying yet another infant monster, the party continues on its path, following older tracks deeper into the Greywinder Wood.  They are ambushed by goblins, strange wolf-like creatures of powerful size, and a creature later identified as a barghest — a demon in goblin shape.  The bargest ensorcells Aideen into killing the horses (leaving only Iliken's mount and Gareth's alive).  The monster sneaks away, along with one of the goblins, and is later found by the party, only to escape one more time.

The woods have been getting more and more wild, filled with thorny growths and dangerous thickets.  When they finally rest in a small clearing surrounded by jasmine flowers, Gareth has a conversation with a being identifying itself as "Quercus". 

Quercus warns the paladin of great dangers ahead, as the goblins work for the creature Skadi, who's presence seems to be twisting the woods, causing the strange growth.  When Gareth suggest the party will stick to their course, Quercus leaves them a few potions fruits as a gesture of help.

Comments

We found an owlbear nest being harassed by these horrible giants wasps. Something was alive within, and shrieking with fear. As soon as the fight was over, Declan raced to the nest with me just a step behind.

And suddenly it was like we were kids again, before he went off to the tower. There was no bickering, no snide comments, just us and our goal. With us working together, nothing could stop us. We soon had the creature warm and comforted, happy and slightly sticky with honey.

I was still enjoying this glow of success (even after he started in on teasing me about Baldric again), when we were attacked by goblins. Somehow, during the fight, one of their number (hidden from our view) influenced my actions, and to my later horror, I used some of the most powerful magic I know against our own horses.

Everyone was upset, naturally, but Declan just wouldn’t let it go, even as I was beating myself up about it. The camaraderie of earlier in the day evaporated as he growled about his bedroll and tent. Gareth, I think, sensed some of my heartache – he asked me more than once if I was okay, and I don’t think he was just inquiring about the wounds I had taken.

I was in a fog, lost in my own hurt, barely aware as we tracked the goblin down (and as he got away again), and throughout my turn on watch. I just hoped that second watch would ignore that I cried myself to sleep.

The Thaw part 02
 

I…

I was unduly harsh on Aideen. Clearly something made her do that. I should apologize.

I need to be better. For her, and for mom.

The Thaw part 02
 

“We followed the tracks of the owlbears and found their nest, where a newly hatched one was being attacked by a group of giant wasps. Both the Healys seemed interested in the creature, but Declan took charge of its care. We continues to follow the path and ran into some goblins riding wolves that spoke. While dealing with them a hidden creature forced Aideen to attack and kill some of our horses. We chased it down and it forced me to not attack it, before it used another magic to teleport away. We continued through the forest thickets until we found signs of flowers that led us to a clearing. When I woke up we found some magic fruits that someone had left to aid us.”

The Thaw part 02
PatW

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