Moonday, 24 Erastus, 4723
Knives can be a scary person.
After that drunken treant stumbled out of the trees spoiling for a fight, my bestie used her most threatening voice to get the huge creature to back down. With violence averted, the treant introduced itself as Vinroot. He was not the most coherent, but we learned that he opposes the little gray creatures—spriggans—and thought that we were in league with them. I have a feeling he knew more about the strange mists that have descended on the forest, but was too drunk to articulate it.
When Vinroot learned we are looking for the druid Devarre, he told us that the druid's home is hidden but that dryads who dwell near the treant's apple orchard know how to reach it. Vinroot, it seems, cultivates and brews a strange beverage called nodrim. Gourds full of the drink were hanging from his branches, and he offered to share. Kubo took a swig and after making a strange face, his skin turned to tree bark similar to Tagnus' spell. Out of curiosity, I decided to try the beverage myself.
It was very strong. Kubo must have an iron stomach, because one swig left me impaired. My skin likewise turned to hardened bark, and there were other unusual effects. Now that I'm sober enough, I can confirm that the elixir caused me to grow an inch in height. We still have two more shots of the stuff in our jug, but I am in no hurry to try it again.
The barkskin, however, proved very fortuitous for as we approached the dryad grove we heard a woman scream. I instinctively rushed towards it through the fog, but was too inebriated to remember to use my winged boots. Kubo charged forward right behind me. We both tripped over logs scattered across a clearing. I fell on top of a spriggan, while our new companion nearly rolled into the fire.
A gang of nine spriggans had built a great bonfire, the heat of which was keeping the mists at bay. Burning in the flames were logs crudely carved in the shape of women, with more stacked haphazardly all around. Bound up near the fire was a dryad and what could only be a unicorn, both no doubt intended for some vile fate.
Knives emerged from the fog and immediately tossed a dagger to cut the unicorn's bindings, but the poor creature was unconscious. Now that we have the spriggans' attention, two of them grew to giant size and attacked with their maces. The others moved to flank with their fellows or retreated into the underbrush to snipe at us.
After freeing the dryad, Kubo squared off with one of the giants. I found myself flanked by the other and the spriggan I had landed atop of. Knives came to my aid with a cry of "Teamwork!" Despite everything, she is a good friend.
The sight of such barbaric cruelty drove me once more into a rage and with Knives' help, I cut down the giant spriggan and its little friend. Then something strange happened. All of the berserker wrath and energy just drained away, like I'd reached the bottom of a wineskin. It didn't help that I was still drunk on nodrim. I turned and threw up on the ground, exhausted the way I usually am after a fight. But the battle had only just begun!
Kubo made short work of his giant spriggan and went looking for more foes. While I was still puking, Knives tumbled across the logs to flank a small spriggan with the outlander. They cut it down together.
Then one of the little spriggan bastards crept up to me and went "boo!" with his fear magic. I could not help but turn and flee from his terrifying visage, stumbling out into the fog. This was all incredibly disorienting. Never before had the berserk fury left me while danger still threatened. I had not even known that was possible! Behind me I heard the shouts and clash of steel as my companions continued to fight against the thorny gray fey creatures. Yet try as I might, I could not bring myself to turn back around.
Finally, the fear magic had run its course and my will was my own again. I activated my winged boots and lifted off of the brambly forest floor to fly at top speed back towards the battle. As I approached, I couldn't help but think of the song of the valkyries in one of the plays mother was in years ago. I began to sing it myself as I burst into the clearing. Kubo was barely on his feet, facing multiple gigantic foes, while Knives had retreated to cover.
I zoomed towards the giant spriggan closest to Kubo, only to get the wind knocked out of me by its mace. Despite the terrible blow, I pressed on to hack at it with Wyrmsmite. My burning rage had been replaced with a grim determination to rescue my friends. Kubo cuts the other giant down with a single blow, stunning the remaining spriggans. With assistance from Knives, I slay my giant foe.
The last surviving little spriggan tries to flee. Knives trips it with her whip, then she and I descend upon it to stab it to death as it tries to cast a spell.
As we recover from the fight, the dryad reappears to free and awaken the unicorn. The majestic creature is introduced as Lord Palombier, while the dryad is known as Finra. I had heard tales of unicorns, but none of them matched the beauty and purity of the real thing.
Knives was likewise transfixed. She wanted to heal Lord Palombier, but couldn't get her wand to work and was starting to panic. So I slipped her my healing potions, which she gently fed to him. The unicorn returned the favor, healing us and curing me of my drunkenness.
I had to explain to Knives that unicorns are not pets and that she wouldn't be able to take Lord Palombier with her. We did agree to seek him out again after the danger to Bellis is lifted, so that we could get a chance to ride him.
Finra, the dryad, told us that the druid Devarre's cabin is hidden on a fairy hill and gave us a magical flower whose pollen will reveal the hidden entrance. As a thanks for saving her from the spriggans, she also gave us some treasures that had been left by her previous admirers and paramours.
Completely exhausted from a day that began with a wedding and has taken an incredibly dark turn, we made camp nearby and cooked up Knives' squirrel.
I mentioned how useful Aldern's magic would be right now, and got an earful from Knives about everything wrong with him and why I shouldn't miss him. Kubo even chimed in to support Knives, despite never having met the wizard! I don't need unwelcome relationship advice from people who don't know what they are talking about. I must remember to keep my thoughts about Aldern to myself if I don't want more lectures.
I just wish he was here right now. I hope he's okay.
Toilday, 25 Erastus, 4723
During my watch last night, the ring Aldern gave me started to glow! He was thinking about me just as I was thinking about him. I wonder what he was doing up so late. Research, maybe?
Kubo and I started the day hunting for breakfast. I had little luck, but the outlander brought back a deer which we spent several hours dressing. Finally, we made our way to the hill where Devarre's cabin was hidden. From the outside, it just looks like a ring of standing stones. But using the pollen from the flower, we revealed a hidden meadow with a cabin.
I fell into a pit trap, but only got a few scraps and bruises. We're heading over to the cabin now, which seems strangely quiet.