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I think there's enough knowledge ranks in the group to know that a Nymph like Melianse would usually be associated with a pool or possibly a stream.
Molly's flight through the canopy overhead is terrifying, skipping past a spider the size of a cat and through the strands of a web like thin rope. Yet from her aerial view she has a chance to see the landscape, and reveals a symmetry invisible from the ground; a four towered keep heavily overgrown by the forest.
Forsten and Ronald:
A flash of green hair draws your eye to a well hidden green humanoid figure between you and the 'castle', but a second later it is gone.
AND knowledge nature dc 20:
You believe this might be a Woodwose - a sort of evil male dryad.
AND knowledge nature dc 25:
Woodwose are much more dangerous than Dryads. They are magically potent, immune to wood and near-immune to everything else (except cold iron and magic)
AND knowledge nature dc 30:
The Keep of the Dancing Lady
Is any attempt being made to scout, scry or scan the approach? Is anyone using stealth? Is the group setting straight off - in which case they'll arrive about twilight having travelled 12 miles. Can I assume the Horror is still present?
"Yes.. yes, of course."
"She lives ten or twelve miles west-southwest of here, in an old castle from the first days."
"As to what she is... the Fey are from the First World. When a soul becomes snared in the fabric of the First World it turns some part of the First World into a Fey - and all Fey in this world are of, or descended from, such First World Fey."
"The Dancing Lady is of the First World. From what I have heard she is some force of death that has become a living personification of wickedness."
"Few Fey have any great love for humans, but the Dancing Lady is rumored to have some special hatred for them. She is not a noble, exactly, but the Dark Fae have been attracted to her. I fear she is forming a Court."
"There was a nymph nearby - Melianse - who was attacked by humans, and who recently joined the Dancing Lady for revenge. She used to be a friend of Falchos and I. If she is there she may aid you. If she will not do so in friendship..."
Tiressia pauses, steeling herself, then with a cracking sound she snaps off three fingers from each hand, one by one in quick succession.
Obviously pained she hands them over.
"She lost her glade. Plant these and each will grow into an okay like mine - and in time each will spawn a dryad to keep her company. For this I think she will help you."
Grove of Tiressia
Tiressia falls to her knees sobbing when her lover's remains are bought to her
"There is yet a way to save him. The Dancing Lady you asked about earlier has many powerful items. I believe if you can kill her, and bring those items to me, I may be able to restore my beloved to life."
@Grey: I think trees can be undead, but not zombies or skeletons as they lack flesh and a skeleton
I tend to do it for familiars and so forth, but technically no. Summoned creatures do. Generally you'll need to give them an order, which means it is better if you go first, but a standing order of 'attack anything that attacks you' is fine
I agree - want to roll init for it?
The tentacles lash around the base of the tree, but is seems unaffected.
@Denat; want to roll init?
@Grey; humans and NPCs are still setting up the settlement.
As you patrol Threshold you overhear the following conversation between two of the townsfolk
"...she might be ill. I sent Kovi to her house with some bread and her mother said she never came home after her shift."
denat: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
forsten: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
ronald: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
simon: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
molly: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
grey: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Anglon: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
The Blighted Hollow
target: 1d8 ⇒ 2charge attack, limbs, flat footed, lunge, power attack: 1d20 + 10 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 10 + 2 - 2 = 19damage if hits: 2d6 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (2, 4) + 8 + 4 = 18
init: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
The Runelords are heading south, having travelled for two hours, when they come to a blighted hollow.
The sweet stench of decay hangs thick in this woodland clearing. Knotted branches of sickly leaves line the perimeter, creating a thick canopy that blocks most of the sunlight and cloaks the hollow in shadow. Withered vegetation struggles to grow in ragged clumps among the multitude of bones strewn across the forest floor.
The runelords stop for a moment to look, and the evil they were warned of strikes! One of the trees around the perimeters suddenly bursts into movement, only Molly's avian perception catching the precursors to movement.
Bursting from about halfway around the clearing one of its scythelike branches stretches out, the tip just catching Foresten.
[ooc]Not sure we need a map for this as I suspect this will be a very fast encounter - one way or another ;)
She considers Simon
"Humans think us Fey mysterious. Capricious. Understand if you have trouble understanding the Fey we have just as much understanding you. You have asked questions. You have implied. But you have not offered me a deal, nor made a promise. I do not deal with humans. I deal with Fey."
"This I give you as a gift; listen to the words of the Fey. We do what we say we will do, but there is an art in making sure that what we say is not what is what is implied."
"Falchos thought it laired to the south. But be careful; the castle of the Dancing Lady is also to the south."
"A Tree. The ground in this forest strengthens the trees. Most simply grow tall, but this one somehow awakened. It somehow ate one of my sisters, and after that it could move. Now it stalks the forest consuming the magic and lives of all it finds - and especially Dryads. I am the last Dryad for many, many miles. It has been hunting me for months."
She bursts into tears again
"He led it away when it came here. He hasn't returned... he's dead..."
She laughs bitterly.
"Is not 'civilization' the enemy of nature? All you people seem to do is enslave, destroy and kill."
She pauses on that last word, seeming to linger on it.
"One by one my sisters are dead. My lover sacrifices himself to lead the murderer away, but It will return and I will die."
"It may be a betrayal... I don't care. I will aid you if you can save him. Eldest know I could not convince him to save himself. Save my lover and I will be your ally."
There is, in turn, a look of distaste on her face. A look of shame. A look of desperate hope. A look of pleading.
Once the basics of the infrastructure are established in Tatzylford the Runelords continue investigating the map.
Grove of Tiressia
perception dc 10:
A beautiful woman kneels by the water's edge weeping softly
further perception dc 16:
That's not a woman - it's some sort of fey!
both perceptions above and knowledge:nature dc 16:
A dryad! She is a dryad! A tree-based nature fey
made knowledge:nature by 10 (dc26):
Fine; go read the entry on Dryads... man, this game has a lot of knowledge monkeys :P
knowledge:nature dc 10:
Even for the giant trees in this area this oak looks... special. Twenty feet across and eighty feet wide it looks more like some wooden tower than a tree.
As in 80% off. 50% if you don't use all your magic tricks to cut costs down as you have done up to now!
Additional money (the 20% you pay) in this case does count as from the kingdom, but yoi won't see any benefits until/if you link it in. Till then it is a para-independent kingdom.
To do so you will need to explore, then claim, hexes between your kingdom and here.
That said, before UC there were rules for rushing land claim to connect to a village; I'll have a look and see if I can find something similar. As I recall it was something like +1d4 unrest/hex and a stability check or something.
Also, if people want to decide if they want to explore the hexes around here now is a good time to do it.
This was an encounter as per the book... and at your level... well... sorry if people feel let down that it was so easy. There are harder ones. I thought this was worth doing for the impression on your citizens.
Ronald blinks out of sight.
who?: 1d6 ⇒ 2
knowledge arcana dc12:
Tatzylwyrms! A boogie-man of the local humans. Whenever someone goes missing the humans blame it on the Tatzylwyrm. Some sort of Dragon.
knowledge arcana dc17:
as above plus
A very, very weak dragon. Stealthy, good climber, mildly poisonous, no real magic. One of the less intelligent dragons, although reputed to speak draconic.
knowledge arcana dc27:
Really? Just read the entry then. Did you write a book on these things?
The Rezbin Farm
The villagers are exhausted; 8 hours of walking through forest, after 4 previous days of such slogging, had left them barely able to walk.
The Runelords and their servants had borne up better than the villagers.
The Grey Horror still tirelessly bore the supplies strapped to it.
All that remained now was to cross the skunk river and make their way to where the map said the old farmhouse had been.
Perception rolls from everyone please. Any precautions taken while travelling that would still be in effect after 8 hours please shout out.
Holgrins states "Well, were they members of your society? They didn't live here or report to you. They were bandits. They could have traded but they stole..."
At this point Dazak (who has a poor grasp of common) bursts in "Our land first!"
Holgrins then rejoins
"It was human lands once. They were killed and you lot moved in. Probably killed them!"
By now the audience start to interject and meaningful dialogue goes out the window.
sounds like discussion thread has an answer if someone wants to state it for 'the record'.