Don't forget that Ogon is Enlarged.
Yrja descends on the path to get closer to the action. I hope this works... Focusing on the moss alone, she unleashes her silent cry.
Ear-Piercing Scream on moss: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 4) = 11 DC 16 Fortitude halves the damage and no daze, otherwise dazed for 1 round
Against spell resistance: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Nadya is with us, right? By my count, she still has an attack, then Orik's second radiant burst, then the plant, then the rest of us again... Yay team!
Don't forget that Ogon is Enlarged.
He gets almost nothing from being enlarged oddly. +1 to hit, which is cancelled by the size penalty :) Orik is probably your best target for that in future - unless you want a distraction, in which case Ogon is a great target for this! 10ft flaming hobgoblin anyone? :D
Sorry. My mistake. I should have looked at the map. I guess I won't wait for the moss to post, because it shouldn't make much difference.
Seeing that the moss is temporarily unable to avoid attacks, Dezső goes on the offensive with his rapier, looking for the plant's most vulnerable spot and avoiding the husband underneath.
Rapier with flanking: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
Confirm crit: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Damage: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
crit Damage: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
With Dezső's slashing form, the moss is cut almost in half, holding on to the encrusted humanoid's back by some tenacious tendrils that appear to be burrowing deep into the green "shoulders" of the "troll". You surmise that the tendrils must go deep enough to sink into actual flesh--a gruesome thought.
Does your damage not go up for the STR and size increase? Not too familiar with kineticist.
Base damage isn't linked to size and I use Con rather than Str for damage so no. Nothing. The buff I need is Bear's Endurance :)
Ogon strides forward, reaches out with one large hand and wrenches the moss upwards, before slicing through the tendrils with a thin blade of flame.
"I can remove the rest." He growls. "But it will hurt."
Dezső gives a satisfied nod, and cleans and sheathes his blade. Then joins Yrja to examine the man's condition.
Heal: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
In answer to Ogon, he comments: "Let's get a better sense of how he is before we risk any further injury. We wouldn't want to make a mistake now that you're so close to getting free of that curse. What do you think, Orik? I'm guessing you have more training in these matters, since clerics are so often called upon to heal."
Ogon Strength check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Ogon, you are able to successfully rip the tendrils right out of the man's back--you can see it is a man, wasted and bloody and covered with an enormous shell of moss, with tiny tendrils of what look like hairs growing from the shell to touch his skin. He sinks to his knees, groaning, as the remaining moss chunks fall off of him, revealing the bruised and battered face of Finngarth, Sylgja's husband. He looks drawn and pale, despite being a rather muscular and somewhat ruggedly handsome man, and the stubble of several days is upon his face.
His pale eyes track each of you, slowly, and he clears his throat, flecks of dried spittle at the corners of his mouth. "I...am indebted, strangers. Where am I?"
Dez can see that he has a nasty wound from Chiquq's arrow piercing, and has been fed upon by the moss--his back has a bunch of puncture wounds and he looks in need of food and drink. In short, he's not doing well, but isn't anywhere near dying. You are certain that with the moss dead, his infestation and mind-enslavement are over.
Regarding enlarge - my growth domain allows me to enlarge myself when needed as a swift action, but I wouldn't say no to having it on for a longer duration. When and if Chiquq gets a companion, most of my uses for my domain power will go towards enlarging it (which is hilarious).
heal: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
"Not sure, this is not something I have dealt with before," Orik replies, absentmindedly, as he checks over the man to see how he's faring, and quickly channels a bit of Erastil's energy into curing some of his wounds. Then Ogon rips off the tendrils, and Orik pauses. "That works, though. Sometimes it's good to just rip out the weed by the root, don't want any part of it left."
Cast cure light wounds on the fellow, converting shield of faith: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
With the man free of the vile influence, Orik also focuses for a moment and tries to ease the man's minor maladies from fatigue or sickness, should he have them.
Use community domain to strip any fatigue or sickened conditions from the guy.
"Well, a cave, somewhere in Irrisen, for one thing. Can you stand?" Orik extends a meaty paw towards the guy, the other hand offering a blanket.
Chiquq still looks wary, but the man undeniably looks more... well.. human with the moss off him.
"She sent us to look for you. Where is this troll that supposedly grabbed you away? We find you looking like a troll, but taken by moss. Was there ever a troll?"
While the others talk to and aid the man, Dezső investigates the cave, to the extent there is one, signaling to Ogon to come along for backup, if he's willing.
He pulls out his rapier again as he approaches the cave and will take 20 to search the area of the cave, time permitting.
Finngarth shakes his head and smiles at the Kellid. "No troll. I was hunting a twisted-horn sheep and its trail led into these hills. I saw that fellow over there--" he indicates the mossy skeleton--"Went to look, and the last thing I recall is something jumping out of its chest at me. Must have been that damn thing's last victim. Everything else is a haze; I wasn't really awake nor asleep, just vaguely aware that I was moving around like a damn puppet. I walked near the house and Sylgja, bless her soul, drove me--it--us, whatever, off with her sorcery. That much I recall, bursts of color and her shouting at me and it all sounding underwater and cottony."
He rubs his face. "She must be worried sick. I can walk."
Dez finds nothing of value in the cave, and mercifully, the skeleton doesn't appear to be harboring any further mindslaver mosses. Its armor is old and rusted, the sword in pieces--it could be a century old for all you know, and certainly of no value. All the vegetation here is slowly decaying, as the spell that brought such unnatural growth from the First World no longer empowers it.
"Alright, let's get out of here then, I don't much like leaving Nadya unprotected." Orik sniff the air and makes a sign of what looks like blessing to Erastil, then helps Finngarth back up the slope towards the exit.
Ogon stomps along at the back of the group although he isn't scowling as much as normal. The prospect of potentially lifting his curse seems to be making him almost cheerful!
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As the party returns to Sylgja's and Finngarth's simple cabin, Nadya, her boys, and Sylgja run out to greet you all. Sylgja and Finngarth embrace for a long time, kissing, until Nadya claps Finngarth on the back with a laugh and nods at the rest of the heroes. "At this rate, you could rescue all of Irrisen," she says with a smile, and then grows thoughtful at her words.
Sylgja soon has a roaring fire and hot food with interesting spices--Nadya recognizes some as plants found when trading with gnomes, for instance--and tears herself away from clutching hands with Finngarth to fuss over Ogon. "So, you are the one who is cursed?" she says, her eyes still bright with happy tears. They have been leaking down her lovely face intermittently since you've returned.
Orm and Mjoli have made hero figures out of pine twigs and twine. "I'm Dez-shuh, the mighty sword devil-man! Swish! Swoosh!" "I'm Yearjah, the magical witch of the wastes! Hex! Hex! Hex! Keep that nail away from me, villains!" "Orik and Chiquq are fighting the jongleurs! You don't fight jongleurs, you dance and sing with them! Well these ones are bad and you fight them! Arrow! Blessed spell of--uh--hey!" The boys break off their play to argue about bad jongleurs.
"Yes." Ogon says gruffly, shifting slightly from foot to foot. He seems uncharacteristically nervous and intermittent glowing from under his armour suggests that he is flaming occasionally as well.
He isn't yelling about witchcraft though... :) Character development!
Chiquq is satisfied at last with the explanation of the 'troll' that never was, and shakes her head in a sort of bemusement at the ways of the world.
Around the fire, she huddles close to the heat. Such a night as this, it would be good to lean against Ila, to feel the mammoth's warm-if-stinky presence at her back, the heaving bellow-sighs of her dearest friend. She watches Orik tend to Sasha, and says little... though the ghost of a smile crosses her face as she watches the boys at play, with their toy figures.
"I need bone," she eventually announces, to both her companions and the couple they have saved. "It does not need to be large bones. Do you have any scraps of bones, left from meat?"
When they return, Orik double checks to make sure that Nadya and the kids are safe, and later smiles and laughs at the children playing. ”We will be moving on soon - do you or anyone else need my help while we are here? I can mend minor injuries and Illnesses.”
Later, he tells some stories about gardening that he seems to think are pretty interesting (they are largely uninteresting) until he realizes he’s rambling a bit, then lets the more talkative folks share what they know about the world.
When Chiquq asks for bone, he shrugs, sheepishly, pointing at himself, ”reluctant omnivore, I try to dispose of that stuff when I’m done. Turns my stomach, sorry. What do you need it for? I’ll happily save whatever I find for you, now that I know you want it.” Orik smiles in a friendly way at Chiquq as he brushes knots out of Sasha’s thick pelt.
Finngarth nods at the Kellid woman and heads outside to a small shed. "We keep some bones and other things, for soup and the like," he says, and returns after a moment, lightly dusted with snow, with some fine, large bones--the scapula and ribs of a wooly rhinoceros, handing them to Chiquq with a nod and a curious smile.
Sylgja fusses in the confines of the cabin and pulls out a scroll, and has Ogon sit just -so- and hold himself quite precisely. She unrolls it and scans it carefully, then begins to read.
CL: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
The spell works like a charm--an abjuration, rather. Ogon, you feel as if some blackened shroud that has been covering you suddenly becomes visible, and spasms for a moment in agony before dissolving into splinters. You can feel stamina resurge into your veins and the inner fire of your abilities feels stoked and white-hot. The curse has been lifted.
Sylgja smiles demurely at Orik, shaking her head as she rises from Ogon's side. "No, we do not need anything--we are, generally speaking, rather well suited for this place and do well on our own." Her laughter is like the peal of little silvery bells. Her eyes flash coyly at Orik as she continues. "However, I shall give you a gift of luck tomorrow, as you leave; you were the one to heal Finny, were you not? You have all been kind, but you, dear half-orc, I can give one extra blessing to."
'Finny' reveals one more thing he's brought from the shed: a wicked looking beartrap, locked shut. "We would like to give you this as well. It can be set to turn invisible, and be set to a pass phrase...I will show you, hunter," he says to Chiquq, quietly telling her the instructions for the trap.
This bear trap looks no different from any other ordinary bear trap (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment 76), but it has several additional magical abilities. On command, an insidious bear trap snaps
shut, opens to release a trapped creature, or resets itself. The trap can also be set to ignore a creature that speaks a password (designated by the person setting the trap), thus preventing the trap from triggering when the creature enters the trap’s location. In addition, the person setting the trap can effortlessly insert and withdraw the spike designed to secure the trap into the ground or even stone.
Once per day, an insidious bear trap can be commanded to turn invisible for up to 5 hours or until triggered. While invisible, the insidious bear trap is virtually impossible to spot or disable (+40 to the DCs for Perception and Disable Device checks), though the person who set the trap can still see it. The trap receives no bonus on its melee attack roll. If a target of the trap has the trap sense class ability, it retains those bonuses to avoid the trap’s attack. Additionally, once per day, an insidious bear trap can also be set to emit an audible alarm or mental ping, as per the alarm spell, when it is triggered.
"There is room for you all on the floor," says Sylgja, a little apologetically. "I wish we had more room, but it's better than outside. Please do stay until morning."
"It is well." Ogon says, "I will stand watch and take up no space." With the curse lifted and his fire burning inside him again he feels powerful, invincible almost, and the prospect of standing outside in the snow all night doesn't phase him at all.
For all his bravado he'll get his two hours - but he feels pretty good right now so... later :)
Dezső enjoys the company and, although he mostly sits quietly, his eyes flick about from one group to the next, taking in the conversation and trying to discern small details about each person, a mental game and habit from his youth. He amusedly watches the children at play with the dolls, reflecting on what children notice and don't, and that the children's lack of fear of this "devil-man" is a small victory in itself.
He takes his turn examining the ingenious bear trap and gratefully accepts Sylgja's offer of room on the floor: "Thank you. A spot on the floor, warm and protected from the elements is the most comfortable we have been in some time."
Like Dezső, Yrja is content to watch and enjoy the companionship, still basking in the glow of their successful rescue. She hadn't done that much, but look at how well the five of them had worked together! How brave and skilled and strong they had been! How kind and careful, too!
The witch smiles at the children playing and lets them pet her bat, who closes his eyes and flattens his ears in pleasure at their touch.
As Ogon's curse is lifted, she claps in delight and jumps to hug the hobgoblin, backing away quickly as his fiery nimbus starts to burn through her natural resistances.
Taking the scraps of bones with a nod of thanks, Chiquq rummages in her pack for a set of tools wrapped in a deerhide...
Take ten to craft scrimshaw for a 13
Little bits of twine and sticks join her working, becoming two little figures with the suggestions of faces carved into the white-bleached bones, though the work is a little rushed.
"Here," Chiquq says simply, handing over the two figures to the boys. "Maybe these are the great heroes Orm and Mjoli?"
She shakes her head at the suggestion that the floor is anything less than perfect. "As Dezso says, this is better shelter than we have had in many days. May the spirits bless you for your hospitality."
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Orm and Mjoli are absolutely gobsmacked by Chiquq's gift, their faces round O's of awe. "Mama, may we keep them?" they pester Nadya, who laughs and says yes, and the heroes Orm and Mjoli go on adventures with Des-shuh and Chiquq the Fearless and the rest of the stick-figures.
At some point, Ogon goes out to go on watch, a glowing figure in the night, and Sylgja and Finngarth slip away to a back room, with Syljga elbowing Finn about a thousand times, pointing to the children with eyes gleaming and Finn saying "All right, all right, we'll talk about it," and Syl waggling eyebrows and replying, "Oh, we'll talk about it, all right," and then the rest is mercifully muffled with giggles and movement behind their door, with Nadya shaking her head, grinning, and covering up the ears of her sleeping boys.
Nadya speaks quietly from her bedroll, propping up on one elbow between Orm and Mjoli.
"A few days yet, with our rate of travel, and we'll reach Ellsprin. I can leave my boys with a cousin, Maret, and convey you to Whitethrone, which isn't far from Ellsprin. There are trade and hunting opportunities in Ellsprin, and it's safe. I'll..." she pauses, looking a little misty in the eyes. "I shall see you all again," she says. "This will not be goodbye."
Orik smiles a broad, happy smile when he sees the dolls, laughing as the kids play.
Later when Nadya mentions Ellsprin, Orik nods, cautiously, ”use your best judgment - do you think you’ll be safe from the witches?” He looks at Orm and Mjoli. ”I wouldn’t want any of our actions to hurt you or your family. Please do not mention that you helped us once you are in Whitethrone. I expect that the reach of the witches’ spies is longer than any of us truly can imagine. Otherwise, it is agreeable.”
|Nadya Petska DMPC|
"I will always be in your debt for what you have done for me and my family, Orik," says Nadya to Orik, and nodding to each of you in turn, "And we shall have friends in Whitethrone with whom to keep you on your way, although I cannot promise safe, not for you nor for me. But Ellsprin is a good place for my boys while we travel there. After what I learned about Thora, I cannot risk putting them in any great danger, nor, I must selfishly say, myself."
There are tears in her eyes now.
She takes the hand of Yrja with a smile. "I would not say that all witches are a danger. And should the other kind come to Ellsprin...I would not say that they will be safe from me." With that final sentence, the fiery nature of the young ranger, widow, mother of three, now only two, resurfaces as the implacable guide you all know. For a moment she seems to blaze with as much heat as Ogon.
Yrja is flustered by Nadya's words, but manages to say. "Magic is not good or bad, but the people who use it - some are not so nice. And the not-nice ones are getting what they deserve."
She tries to look determined and confident, although inside she's shaking with terror at the thought of going up against such powerful witches. But she will, because she has to. They have to.
"Your responsibility is to your boys first," Chiquq agrees to Nadya, and briefly rests a hand on the other tracker's shoulder. "I am sure the spirits will bring us all together... in this life, or the next."
After she says it, Chiquq seems to grasp this is downer talk, and clears her throat. "...but most likely this one. You will teach your boys well, I am sure. Give our regards to Hatch if you see him again."
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The night is uneventful; Ogon doesn't see anything in his nightly vigil save for the occasional snow white fox and marten hunting in the snow, followed by the timorous squeak of their prey.
In the morning, Sylgja, a twinkle in her eye, serves you what seems like dozens of ptarmigan eggs sauteed with wild onion, and peppery strips of spiced and dried reindeer meat, with--amazingly--birch bark powder blini, served with salted yak butter, cloudberries, and maple syrup; the entire thing is washed down with fizzing strawberry kvass, and finally, when you think nothing further can fit inside your bellies, delicate white tea poured from a burnished, steaming samovar ("All the way from Tian, over the Crown of the World!" says Syl with a smile, regarding the tea, and Nadya nods vigorously--it's an Irriseni treat).
Finngarth, already preparing his trapping and hunting gear, looks much better after a night of healing and a few decent meals. Together, they provision you with an extra day's rations each, along with the magical bear trap. The dogs are gnawing on what look like delicious treats as well--one lead dog appears to be crunching on "smoked grig". Nothing is wasted in Irrisen.
You all exchange hearty farewells to the pair, who, First World plant infestations aside, seem to be quite well suited for thriving in the frozen wilds. They wave to you as you leave--looks like today they'll go foraging together, what with their recent near-disaster. "Hmm...Ellsprin and perhaps a small trading post near our new friends..." says Nadya, already planning out a small import/export empire.
Feel free to roleplay any further exchange before you hit the road.
With Yrja's spell aiding your travel, you soon cover a league or so, Nadya and Chiquq perking up as something feels--smells, even--different in the air. After another mile, the cause is apparent: The skies are clear up ahead, and the air grows warmer. Sunlight shines down on fresh grass that has sprouted where the snow suddenly ends in clear line. As far as the eye can see, fir trees have shed any sign of white, and birch trees show signs of fresh new leaves. The sounds of rivulets of water and melting snow can heard everywhere.
This is a "Summer Pocket". They are created by druids of Irrisen who fight the eternal winter. They don't last long, as Winter Witches are alerted to their presence and ice them solid again. With Baba Yaga unavailable, perhaps this one has lasted longer than usual?
Orik takes ample portions, trying vainly not to look like a brute as he eats the food, especially savoring the various vegetables, and marvelling at the resourcefulness of the northerners to scratch such things from the frozen ground.
He savors the tea, luxuriating in the aroma, and bashfully asks Sylgja for a handful of carrots for Sasha. "I will try to come back and check in, time after time, but we have a monumental task... be well, friends." He shakes their hands warmly, and pats the dogs on the head, setting the sleds to get everything put together, and putting his elemental endurance back on for the day. He nods at Nadya as she talks about the future, "Aye, these small towns, more and more of them are better. Erastil smiles upon such things - respect the land, don't try to tame it or nothin' but build a network that people can rely upon." Orik nods absentmindedly as he fastidiously checks and rechecks the gear.
As Orik approaches the green land, he seems to become invigorated, and he touches the grass and small shrubs with his hands, their branches sticking to him slightly as if grasping. "Well, looks like we can't weigh down the sled much as we travel. Doesn't work on grass, and we wouldn't want to hurt these little plants more than we have to."
knowledge nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
knowledge local: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Orik looks contemplative as he thinks about the greenery... "Interesting. There might be a druid around, keep a look out." Orik makes the sigh of Erastil, and issues what blessing that he can upon the land, hoping to augment the druid's power with his own, for however a limited time as he can.
Yrja spends a good chunk of time hand-feeding cloudberries to her bat and seemingly talking to herself. As they take their leave, the young witch hugs Sylgja and Finngarth tightly, thanking them for their delicious hospitality. She is reluctant to leave the warmth and coziness of their place, but knows that staying here is not really an option.
As they come across the patch of greenery, she brightens up visibly, poking her face out of her thick cowl and sniffing the air, a tiny mobile snout visible through a small opening lower in her cloak doing the same.
Knowledge nature: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
"Yes! This druid made a pocket of summer here! And the witches haven't found it yet."
|Nadya Petska DMPC|
Nadya laughs. "Orik, I don't think the sled will move at all on the grass, unless someone can conjure ice or grease, or something. If the sleds cannot pass through, I and the boys will go on the outskirts of the pocket. We should be able to see you as long as it doesn't get too hilly."
She scans the land and then mutters under her breath. "Look at that!"
Chiquq sees it first after the keen-eyed Irriseni, recognizing it from her homeland: a towering megaloceros--the majestic giant deer found in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. It is far off in the pocket of summer, but it must be a very large specimen indeed to be this visible.
How far is it away?
"Oh my, that's a magnificent beast." Orik puts his hand on his brow and peers into the distance, then again makes a sign of Erastil.
"Old Deadeye must be particularly influential here... such a creature... could be interpreted as a sign..." Orik trails off a bit, staring at the large elk. He does not go closer to it, and seems to be hesitating. "What's it doing this far south, I wonder?" His brow furrows, and he seems to be thinking about something. "What does it mean? Are we on the right track?" He puts his hands on his hips, then turns to Chiquq.
"I'm better at talking to the creepy crawlies than the furry fellows - could you see if you can get that big lug to come over? We can load it up with some spare extra nutritious food, send it on it's way with a full belly for when the pocket collapses." He smiles at her.
Basically he's asking if Chiquq can use wild empathy on the megalocerous.
New animal companion for Chiquq? :)
Ogon watches the pocket with a mingling of interest and suspicion.
"This is not witchcraft." He agrees, but he doesn't seem entirely happy about it.
My wild empathy is at a whopping +3, but...... I mean, we can try, I guess
Chiquq gazes at the majestic beast over the intervening distance, fingers resting easily on the shaft of her bow as she pushes back her parka's hood with the other hand in order to appreciate the warmth. Yes, it IS a fine beast; what a hide it would yield... and the antlers...
She goes from vague nodding to a sort of blank look at Orik, and then kind of bemused guilt. "--ah? Ah.... you want to... befriend it?"[/b] A plaintive addition: "...not hunt it?"
What do I know about big-freaking elk: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 ....literally nothing. Awesome. Great scout you are, Chiquq.
Knowledge nature: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
Yrja looks to where Orik is pointing and her mouth opens in awe.
"That is so big! Why would we hunt it? Just let it be."
nature!: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
”Ahh, no, not hunt it. Just wanted to get a closer look without it running off or trying to kill us. Something odd is going on. Stags are Erasitil’s sacred animal, and that’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t seem like it is a coincidence that it showed up in our path... I’d like to pay tribute if I can, make sure it’s healthy and give it a bit of food is all. But I’m just not great at wrangling wild beasts.” Orik shrugs, sheepishly.
During the time in Sylgja's cabin and upon departure, Dezső seems even more lost in his thoughts than usual, even troubled. But he does thank Sylgja for her hospitality, in a somewhat formal manner, and he carefully follows the plans Nadya lays out. "We will miss your company and guidance, but of course your boys need you."
An expression of what passes for delight passes on his face upon discovery of the druids' circle, and he listens in fascination to Orik and Yrja's explanation. Upon spotting the elk, he wracks his mind for whatever he
can remember reading about such creatures -- he was always mysteriously drawn to the North, and learned as much as he could even far away in Lepidstadt.
Knowledge (nature) with free inspiration: 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 8 + (3) = 29
What does Dez know about the elk?
With that roll, I'd say Dez knows all there is to know about the megaloceros. He can tell it's a male with those antlers, of course.
Nadya nods at Orik. "I'll bring the sleds around the perimeter of the circle. Keep me in sight, and go see your elk friend." She starts the long way around the pocket, with Mjoli mushing the other set of dogs along.
Ogon stays with Nadya and the boys - a hobgoblin of the north he has little interest in the giant stag.
He doesn't care either way about summer and not at all about animals beyond the ones he eats - so whatever :D
"Well.... let us go and see, then. Perhaps the elk is a sign from your god after all..." Chiquq says thoughtfully, plucking off some tender-looking tree branches from a tree, where the needles are still the new-green of fresh growth.
Ogon and the Petska Clan and their strings of huffing, tireless huskies begin their perimeter run around the pocket, leaving a cloud of snow dust in their wake.
After a few minutes of walking the stag is less of a dot and more of a doll-sized elk. It stands erect, flicking its ears. It snorts and stamps, but doesn't appear to be ready to bolt. It looks strong and healthy.
The pocket is teeming with life. You can see salamanders and frogs wriggling in the mud between the wet grass, and rivulets of water have formed tiny streams in the meadow, easily crossed. Grasshoppers leap and bees buzz incongruously around bright white and purple flowers. Voles scatter before you, followed by weasels who have started to turn blotchy brown. It will be a shame if the pocket disappears soon...but for now, the sun is warm.
It's displaying territorial behavior. It considers this pocket to be its domain now, no matter how long it has lasted or will last, and will defend it.
Dez, you can automatically read the top spoiler. You also know that if you bugle like an elk somehow, you'll make him back down a little--but don't bugle when you get too close. Squeaky sounds and waving branches will anger him. What you do when you get close--that's another story.