Book One: Ordered by Gods
CHAPTER FIVE:

Where Lizards Weep
Cuthberta Clairemoarday

From Domaldi's Journal, written in the Grove of the Folha

Cuthberta Clairemoraday

After completing the Prayer of Dawn, I noticed that Inigo had packed his meagre belongings and was shaking hands with everyone. I approached him and he stated that he had to part company with us to pursue his new Quest. While I worried for his safety, I knew the Compulsion under which he was placed. Arek and I both said a Blessing over him and we parted Ways.

We set out from the Pillars of Sentar (DM - It's only a model) to the North and East and found the hills that were marked on the Map. We were followed by lizardmen but were not molested. Tiberio played a haunting song familiar to these watchers and they parleyed with us. Their leader warned us that "trees and plants" beyond the swamp were something to fear. He left us and we continued on our way.


Yellow Musk Creeper

 

As we were passing through the swamp, we were attacked by unnatural lizardmen and hobgoblins. Somehow the trees themselves had possessed them. As I was dispatching some of these foul creatures, Nimbus again ran into the thick of the fight and found the central beast of this Drama: a Yellow Musk Creeper. While not graceful, I jumped the brook and engaged one of the hobgoblins as the Creeper was brought low.

We proceeded South-East, met the River and moved to the East. As we moved through the forest and hills, we found another Convergence Point: a barrow surrounded by thirteen green oaks. It was in front of a cave entrance coincident with the Complex marked on the Map. As we advanced, I sensed an Ancient and Unspeakable Evil and strange wooden creatures resembling a Dire Boar and two Wood Woads attacked us. I summoned the Might of Heironeous and savagely struck the Woad and it still stood. Arek next struck soundly with Unity and it still attacked. As the others surrounded the second Wood Woad, Nimbus kept the Boar at bay. He saw a figure in the Grove and repeatedly called to her. Finally, Arek and I were able to shatter the Woad and Arek proceeded to the Grove while I attacked the second Woad. Suddenly another emerged. It was only by the Grace of Heironeous that I was still standing. The Dryad of the Grove reappeared and began firing arrows at our Opponents. Frankie and Arek learned that this Grove could protect us from this Evil. The second and third were dispatched but we knew we could not defeat the Boar. We began withdrawing to the Grove and were entangled by some foul magic caused by this Beast. In spite of these Challenges, our Party was gaining safety as Calibre fell. Nimbus again fixed our foes with his Acumen as Arek and I dragged Calibre to Safety. Arek and I were able to heal him sufficiently to revive him. As before, that clever Frankie began to repair Calibre as they chatted in their orderly yet alien language. With all of us in the Grove, the dryad commanded the Boar Garasoth away.


Corrupted Wood Woad

“Feel remorse beast, for I am the storm from which there is no shelter!”

- Domaldi

 

The dryad, Folha, explained that the Grove was created by an Elven-order of druids long ago to protect the cave entrance. When the Ley Lines collapsed, many vile things have been set free. She was able to command Garasoth away with a talismen of the druids. Folha's beauty was astounding but so shallow. The prattle from her mouth distracted from the beauty of her eyes. However, she did send her folken to bring back a miserable and dirty Pelu from whatever haven he went to during the last battle and so I will pray for her in my Blessings of the Sunset.   


Folha

Thalazzar was clearly smitten by her but she was focused solely on Tiberio and his lyre. Folha asked him and Tiberio played a song. Tiberio's songs have often inspired us to Valour and Courage in the darkest of times and they have outshone the Paens of the Legions. This new song, Folha's Request, still blazes in my mind like the molten iron and was so beautiful the gods themselves must have heard.

Folha had a package of items left behind by the druid. To her simple and frivolous mind, they were worthless. However, they were items of great power and utility: clearly fated by the gods in some unimaginable puzzle to aid us in our Quest. My companions trusted my Honesty and placed the goods in my Care. I gave the staff to Thalazzar to replace the one destroyed in our last battle. The sheltering cloak, I gave to Tiberio. Arek clearly was in need of good boots after many a hard mile. Folha pointed out the scimitar and called it Woodclaw. It had the look of oak but was shaped and edged as steel. Its craftsmanship was of the highest quality and antiquity.


Woodclaw

In my youth, Father had taught me to wield a curved blade while fighting from horseback. Since it had been over a year since finishing my cavalier lessons, in my nostalgia, I reached for it. As I grasped the grip, it was like my whole arm was on fire. Woodclaw grew into my arm in seconds as the roots of an oak would over a century. While I could not let go of it, I was able to draw it into myself without mark or blemish. At will, it emerged like the claw of a cat ready for use. Folha stated that as I learned and gained strength, it too would strengthen. Like a child with a new toy after the Solstice of Heironeous, I fenced with Woodclaw for an hour as my Companions rested and cleaned up. I contemplated how this curved weapon would be an outstanding cavalry blade: you could not drop it if you wanted. All I needed now was a warhorse…   

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An Account by the Lizardman Huntwarden, S'trassk

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