The Harrowing

Dealing with Druids

Sofie's Journal

Toilday, 25 Erastus, 4723

We beat up an old man, helped him make soup, and then watched over him while he talked to the trees. It has been a day. 

We found Devarre in his hidden cabin. He is a wild looking fellow, his skin and hair tinged green. It did not take long to realize that there was something very off about him and his cabin, which had not been used for days. I used the "ubiquitous" code word to alert Knives (and realized we need to teach the code to Kubo). I confronted the druid over his strange behavior and he continued to lie to my face. This made me very angry.

After he was unconscious, bleeding on the ground, an eerie glowing shape emerged from his form—a wil-o'-wisp! Kubo swiftly eliminated the aberration and we realized that druid had been possessed by it. 

We tended to Devarre's wounds and carried him over to his bed to rest. Kubo stood guard outside, while Knives and I inspected his cabin. I convinced her that we couldn't take anything, since he was still alive.

When the druid woke, we had words. He is an ornery sort and far too obsessed with becoming a bear, but there is a strange charm to him. He told us about Rhoswen, this powerful fey being who was exiled from the First World and barred from the Material Plane by the magic of the standing stones, which binds her realm to the Plane of Shadow. Those bindings are weakening and her realm is leaking into our world. Devarre was trying to commune with the forest to learn about the strange mists when the wil-o'-wisp took him.

Before doing anything else, the strange old druid demanded that we help him make some soup. Knives seemed to be very excited about this. I don't know if she had ever had a grandfather figure growing up. Kubo and I, on the other hand, were less enthusiastic. The soup, however, was very tasty once it was done.

Once we had eaten, Devarre asked that we accompany him up to the hill with the standing stones and watch over him while he communed with the forest to identify the source of the mists. It was a lovely day out, if a bit hot, and thankfully we were not ambushed by spriggans. I did spy a young brown bear trying to cross the field and getting dangerously close to one of Devarre's pit traps. I was able to usher it back into the forest.

It was several hours before the druid's ritual was complete. He said that the forest showed him an albino gnome—Tenzekil—taking magic ward stones and dropping them into a pool by a waterfall at Dead Man's Drop. The stones appeared to be causing the mists to rise up from the waters. Devarre also noted that Tenzekil appeared to be burned by handling the stones.

The druid also gave us some history on dead man's drop, that it was the site of a smuggler's suicide. He was rumored to have hidden treasure in the area.

It is a two-day journey to the waterfall, so we have decided to spend the night in his cabin. Knives claimed the big bear rug, while Kubo and I have taken to our bed rolls. Even so, it is very pleasant to be sleeping indoors again.

Wealday, 26 Erastus, 4723  

When we awoke after a night in the druid's cabin, we decided to clean up since we've spent several days now in the wilds. Kubo went down to the river first to bathe, and Knives announced she was going to relieve herself outside shortly after.

I am ashamed to say that I suspected she was trying to spy on Kubo and actually went looking for her. But it turns out my suspicions were misplaced. I should try to give her the benefit of the doubt next time.

The river water was delightfully cold, just to my tastes, so I lingered there longer than I should have. When I returned to the cabin, I found that Kubo was cleaning up my armor. He also helped braid my hair and was surprisingly good at it. Once he was done, I painted myself again with woad and explained its significance to him.

As we were finishing our preparations, the emerald gem began to glow brightly again. Knives hastily tossed it to floor as Tagnus popped back out. I was very glad to see the dwarf again. We need his expertise and his ax in this quest.

I was less pleased when, after we caught the dwarf up on what had transpired, he and Knives began demanding to drink the rest of the treant's nodrim. Kubo and I dissuaded them, for now, on the grounds that the elixir's barkskin properties should be used only at an appropriate time.

We also informed Tagnus of our growing suspicion that he had done something to anger a fey creature known as the Emperor of Squirrels. The dwarf had no memory of what he could have done, but then again, his memory is far from perfect.

Finally, we set out for Dead Man's Drop with Tagnus leading the way. It started to rain in the afternoon, and our druid guide found us a heavy thicket where we could take shelter in a hollow. I think a bear must have carved it out of the thicket, but it is long abandoned. Kubo took out his stringed instrument, a shamisen I think he called it, to help pass the time. I also had the chance to show off the floating ioun torch I had picked up before we left Belhaim.

It is late enough in the day that we have decided to rest here for the night.

Oathday, 27 Erastus, 4723 

The rain has stopped, but it has been a very wet day. We awoke to a pair of squirrel's stealing a button from Tagnus' beard. The little creatures are becoming quite a menace, and I am starting to seriously consider the Emperor of Squirrels hypothesis.

We reached the waterfall, but ascending to it took a bit of effort. I remembered to make use of my winged boots, while Tagnus transformed into a giant vulture. The waterfall empties into a churning pool, and every few seconds a puff of mist would emerge from the water. 

I began tying a tether to a tree to prepare for a dive into the water, but Tagnus beat me to it, simply diving into the water in his giant vulture form. The pool churned even more furiously and suddenly his unconscious dwarven body, encased in darkwood armor, bobbed to the surface. There were two giant water elementals waiting to guard the pool, and Tagnus got the full force of their ire.

From there, it was bedlam. 

Knives and Kubo swam over to Tagnus to try to stabilize him. The water elementals rose up to face them. Kubo grabbed the tether and dove under the water, one of the elementals following him. After a few moments, I felt a tug on the tether and pulled him to the surface. He had one of the ward stones, which we removed from the pool. Since swords can be troublesome to swing under water, I drew my dagger. Then I made my own dive for a stone, stabbing at the elemental as I passed it by. I retrieved another stone, but there were too many for us to focus on them over the elementals.

Knives had brought Tagnus back to consciousness at this point, so we regrouped to focus our attacks on the elementals. Working together, we were able to quickly destroy them but at a heavy cost. While Tagnus recovered on shore, Kubo and I dove for the remaining ward stones, and we even found the smuggler's hidden treasure!

With the stones removed, the mist stopped emitting from the pool. I'm drying off now, and am wondering what we should do with the stones. 

We're not alone.

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