Seems a different group was also trying to reproduce the cure for black scour and left their notes here in New Midwood. Evidently they went to get fresh mushrooms for the cure but never finished the job. We headed to a small village with a well that has been sealed up to prevent the flow contaminating the river. We determined that to eliminate the black scour from the well area the spring would have to be diverted. That way water that the black scour needs to thrive and the healing shrine that is boosting its growth rate could be eliminated from the equation and then a proper “cleaning” of the well could be done. Since the flow was stopped the well itself wasn’t contaminating any other areas. So I figured whoever was spreading the Black Scour intentionally would have gone down to retrieve it. But then I learned to my surprise that since the outlet for the water from the well was blocked the water level rises up the well head. The locals periodically tap this water to prevent it from overflowing. They take this water and dump it across the border in Arweth. The site at Arweth has become a marshy contaminated mess. The site is in the middle of nowhere so anyone with any nasty ideas would have no trouble secretly getting their hands on the Black Scour. It seems to me this where the evildoers got their sample of Black Scour nice and secret like. The clay soil has so far prevented the contamination from spreading. But when it hits the aquifer then then who knows how far the contamination will reach.
We decided that trying to eliminate the identified contaminated sources were beyond our limited resources. Somebody needs to tell this new regent that two engineering and cleanup processes need to be done. It will require a lot of manpower and funding. We know of at least one Argywyth still alive who has contracted the Black Scour. So we decided that we would go after all the ingredients and make some doses of the cure. We had already gathered what ingredients we could find and equipment needed to make the cure in New Midwood. But for some of the ingredients we would have to go to where they can be found. One ingredient is a moss that can only be found growing on oldest tree that is the heart of the forest. We decide to go to Preston to find out where this tree in the Oytwood can be found.
I’m getting kind of hungry. My last meal was before I quit my blacksmith job. I tried to use my survival skill which is actually pretty good. But I guess I still don’t know enough about these parts cause I didn’t find a thing to east.
We found a fisherman to ferry us across the river but I didn’t have a copper piece to pay. So I asked if he would be interested in a game of dice. If I win I get passage across. I asked what the fisherman would want in return. I was thinking I could do him a favour or a task or some manual labor or something. He wanted me to put up a copper piece. I told him that if I had a copper piece I wouldn’t need to dice with him I could just pay the fare. We went around and around about this. My new friends were getting tired of this so they offered to pay my fare. I’m not one to mooch off of others so I politely declined. The fisherman and I finely agreed on putting up my pouch. It is worth 5 sp but I didn’t have anything to put in it anyway. The long and the short of it is I won the dice game got to keep my pouch and got passage across.
I’m not quite sure what day it is and it’s all my fault. We ran into some strange events. So we get to Preston and Gelwen finds somebody to hire to take us to this heartwood tree to gather the moss. I couldn’t contribute to his fee and I feel bad about that. Anyhow he starts taking us to the center of the forest.
It’s easy to find food in the Oytwood, so I was thinking that once we took a midday break I can finally have a meal and stop my grumbling stomach. Things didn’t work out that way. We came to the edge of a meadow with all sorts of beautiful flowers. I was able to identify four types on my own and was asking our guide about some of the others. That’s when Benton says that there are fairies living in those flowers. I say where and he points them out. I don’t see nothing and start to wonder if he is pulling my leg. So Benton sets some cider in acorn shells out as a gift to them. That started me thinking about drinking which started me thinking about food which made my stomach growl louder. Those fairies start singing. They are singing about going to sleep. But I still can’t see them sneaky little devils. We decided to go around the meadow. As we traveled I kept hearing something wizzing by. Gelwen thinking they were fairies told me not to swat at them. Turns out that they were tiny arrows. None of them hit us though.
As we continue to circle around the meadow we find a bouquet of nettles with a yellow ribbon tied around them. I’m thinking they are a gift for the cider we gave the fairies. We all try to come up with what nettles can be used for. Tunotoo starts talking about their uses. And then he mentions that they are edible. Well when he said that my hunger sort of overcame me. I snatched the bouquet up and took a big bite out of them before he had finished the “when properly prepared” part.
All of a sudden we got transported to the fey lands. Some of the fey that were near us got sent their as well. And that’s the reason I don’t know what day this is. Well as we commence to discuss what we should do next. I tell of the rumor I heard that it was the fey that caused the Black Scour and three other “plagues” so as long as we are hear maybe we can attack this plague problem from a different angle.
Benton sees a group of humanoids running towards us. Eventually we can see that there are fey chasing them. Some of the fey are cheering them on while others are threatening them and poking at them. A human is in the lead with an orc close behind. We let them pass through us on the path. But the orc starts pushing my friends into the nettles off the path. So when he gets across from me I push him into the nettles. I ain’t going to let no flea bitten orc push my friends around. Well the last person in this strange race is a dwarf. Everyone knows that dwarves are natural sprinters so this must be a long cross country race. Anyhow the fey were threatening to kill him and poking at him. So I interpose myself and tell them to leave the poor dwarf alone. They still verbally harass him but at least they aren’t poking him. I offer him some water as he looks all but done in. As I follow along with him we reach a ruined fortress with no roofs. Tunotoo, Benton and Gelwen are waiting at the gates. This is Queen Aisling’s home and she has some strange plant guardians at the gates. They want to know what we want. I boldly tell them that we seek an audience with Queen Aisling and they allow us through. Gelwen and I both know that the fey want gifts for just about anything you receive a gift in return. That includes coming and leaving fey lands, seeking an audience, asking a question or a boon.
While we are waiting in the receiving line to see the queen the barbarian who one the race comes up and thanks me for slowing the Orc down. He tells us that he got a sword and passage back home for winning the race. He also tells us about Queen Aisling, that we should shamelessly flatter her and give her gifts. Tunotoo is unhappy with me because I got us this audience with the queen without giving us much time to figure out what “gifts” we can present her. What I don’t think he realized is that we don’t really have time. Time is strange in the fey lands so you want to get out as soon as you can.
Tunotoo says he is thinking about maybe brewing something as a gift. I tell him yeah I was thinking about using my blacksmithing skills. But decided against it as making something takes time which would be bad. I suggest giving her one of his own brewing recipes. We finally get up to the queen and she is using that poor dwarf as a footstool. She has also somehow taken out his heart yet he is still alive. My blood starts to boil but I know there is nothing I can do for now so I play nice. Gelwen gives the queen a song. I can’t remember what Benton gave her. Tunotoo gives her his staff which he used to vanquish someone. Gelwen gets the queen talking about the plagues by complimenting her on how nasty they are. We learn from the queen that she sent the plagues because a thief stole a magic ring that was going to the winner of an earlier race like the one we just saw. The queen has been sending a plague every decade and will continue to do so until she gets the ring back. Evidently Benton and Gelwen know who has the ring. Some guy named Evendur who was turned to stone by the medusa wife of Gyruff’s archmage. We try to negotiate with her as to returning her ring to her. The gift exchange involves giving Gelwen a way to get us back home (Turns out it is another bouquet of nettles) and she will stop sending more plagues for which we will bring back the ring to her. In fact she puts a geas on us requiring Gelwen and Benton to be working towards getting her the ring back every day for the next year. Tunotoo and my geas require us to assist them in this quest. However Tunotoo and our elven guide were not affected by the geas.
With that the plant guardians demonstrates how to properly use the nettles as transport to and from the fey lands. He cuts open Tunotoos wrist and has the blood fall on the nettles. 1 damage per person being transported. So this sends us back to our world. Unfortunately Tunotoo didn’t have a specific place in mind.
Gelwen is great at picking out landmarks to figures out where we are which is in the Stark mounds not far from where a dwarf mine that was taken over by goblins and orcs during the giant war. I suggest that we stop at the mine and see if there are any of the mushrooms we will need to make the black scour cure. They won’t keep so we need the other ingredients first but it would be useful to know if we could get some from here as we still need the moss from the Oytwood. Gelwen wants to proceed straight to Gorna which is where Evendur is. She is afraid of the geas kicking in. Benton convinces her that going to the mines would be working towards getting the ring back. You see the archmage has Evendur and us working on the Black Scour cure would provide us to the archmage and hence to Evendur the stature. This is an iron mine, I’m sure their should be some of the mushrooms here. Unfortunately none of us can find any. Ah well, there are iron mines near Gorna perhaps they can be found their.
Gelwen will no allow any further delay from getting to Gorna so we head west. Before we rest for the night we encounter several goblins riding spiders. They don’t appear particularly friendly. But since I learned that humanoids I would typically attack on site at home have become “civilized” in Gyruff I figure we would hail them and find out what they wanted. Well Gelwen must of thought they were hostile from the get go so she shoots and kills one at range. I’m still getting to know these new friends so I wasn’t sure if she knew something about them or just can’t stand goblins. I try to change the situation by moving forward and yelling at the dwarves. I tell them “Hey friends, since you obviously have hostile intentions I suggest you retire from this field of battle or my battleaxe will feel the taste of your blood. I guess this wasn’t one my better speeches as they kept coming. But funny thing was while I stepped out front to meet them they went around me instead of engaging me. It became clear that they had a hatred for elves. They focused on Gelwen and Tunottoo. Well the battle took a lot longer then I expected. Gelwen and Tunottoo kept going unconscious. Once they were unconcious the goblins turned their attacks on Benton and me, mostly Benton though. Benton kept healing Tunotoo and Gelwen. So they would gain consciousness but had almost no hitpoints. Then the goblins would refocus their attacks and knock those two unconscious again in short order. I’m thinking to myself healing them is a rather futile gesture as it’s wasting spells and they get knocked out right away. Meanwhile, I’m attacking the goblins and missing them much more then I am accustomed to. I am a little bit rusty or maybe its those spider mounts helping the goblins dodge out of reach. Any how on almost any other day I could have taken care of them all by myself. Of course I did have to gift my shield to Queen Aisling when my compliments and prostrating and abasing myself was not a sufficient gift. I made sure that the attacks I did connect with were subdual damage only. The goblins responded by only doing subdual damage to me. So that seemed to be in the goblins being civilized camp and Gelwen’s attack may have been premature. Well eventually we took down enough goblins that the rest turned tail and ran. Benton was able to save one of the wounded goblins. So that made the two I subdued and the patched up goblin as prisoners.
After talking to them I learned that they were going to attack us because of the elves in our party because elves attacked them as they went through the Stark mounds. The goblins were headed to Rhad Derwyth which is besieged by Melgorn. So the goblins were going to attack our party which means Gelwen rightly judged this and her attacking first does not bring her dishonor. Well we couldn’t kill the goblins as that wouldn’t be right. So I figured we would turn them over to the next Breyhr and let him decide what to do with them.
When we got into town and I tried to turn them over to the Brehyr he declined to take them. He said he wouldn’t take responsibility for them even to let them go but suggested we should let them go. In the end I decided that the Brehyr wasn’t an outright coward he was just afraid of what might happen to his town when the Melgorners besieging Rhad Derwyth passed through on their way home. We spent the night in the towns tavern their being no inn. I even bought the goblin prisoners some drinks. Just cause we got them as prisoners don’t meant we can’t be friendly like. I had finally gotten some coin in that empty pouch of mine. Course it used to be the goblins coin. Spoils of war don’t ya know. Heh Heh.
We made it to Gorna and the first thing I did was turn the goblins over to the guards. We explained what happened. Only the goblins told a different story and said that we were to blame. I couldn’t convince the guards that we were in the right. Gelwen tried to name drop and tell the guard we were on a mission from the regent himself to cure the Black Scour. The guard just looked at her. I could tell he was thinking “yeah right, pull the other one.” The guard decided he would lock us all up and let a judge sort it out. Of course there is no judge in Gorna at the moment. I personally protested that I only attacked the goblins after they attacked my friends and then I only used subdual damage. And surprisingly the goblins verified what I said so the guards let me go. I hope the goblins sentence isn’t too harsh. They seemed not half bad. Wow I never thought I would think of goblins in a positive light. Maybe I can testify at their trial and ask for leniency. Anywayn as they were hauling my friends to jail I asked them whether their was someone I could contact in Gorna that could help them out. Gelwen asked me to go to he mentor the high priestess of Ehlonna in Gorna. I told the hight priestess of Gelwen and friends predicament and she interceded on their behalf. We told the high priestess of our visit to Queen Aisling, her having created the plagues. That the queen wanted her ring back. The queen had given us a riddle explaining how remove the ring. With the help of the high priestess contacting an elder bard on Kindlers Isle we learned that we had a set of notes that could be obtained from certain stones in druid circles that could transfer the not to a tuning fork. Since this seemed a lot of workthe high priestess suggested that we just take Evendur the statue to Queen Aisling. At first I protested. I saw what the Queen did to the dwarf. And while I don’t know Evendur I didn’t think he deserved that. However, when Gelwen told me that Evendur actually wanted to talk to the fey I conceded. I mean, I hope he is good at diplomacy. If he isn’t that bad things will happen. But if it is really what he wants I’m not going to stand in his way.
The high priestess was able to get Evendur the statues. The queen was happy to get her ring back. We returned him to Queen Aisling. Our geas was lifted. We left Evendur the man negotiating with the queen and took a quick exit. I do hope a gift exchange between the queen and Evendur will result in the elimination of the plagues she has already set loose on our world.