Episode 77: Into the Feywild, Part I
The party tumbled through the portal and found themselves by the side of a well-travelled road which cutting through a clearing in a dense forest not dissimilar to the Forest of Stars. Unlike that forest on the Material Plane, everything here seemed somehow hyperreal: the trees bigger; the colors, more vibrant; the air crisper and more intoxicating. To their right, the road led into the forest under an early dawn sun. Away to the left the road led from the clearing into dusk, the faint light of four moons shimmering through the treetops. On the far side of the clearing, the snows seemed deeper, the boughs weighted down; behind them the snows were thinning, revealing a green scrub beneath.
Overwhelmed, it took the party a few moments to notice a large signpost. On it was a multitude of wooden signs, inscribed with an odd dialect of Elvish. Most of the bizarre place names were meaningless to them, but a few stood out: Rillifane’s Respite garnered Ara’s attention; Magnus recognized the name Vakaralithien from their encounter with a strange elf, Elstuvian “Stu” am Vakaralithien; and Sirlius noted that “Freeling” was a tiefling slang term denoting the petulant disregard for orthodoxy common to youths. It was a slim lead, but the party decided to set out looking for the Freeling Hideaway.
After walking in circles despite following a straight road, Magnus realized that the arcane nature of the Feywild requires an arcanist’s intent if you wanted to get to where you were going. The party did their best to concentrate on the Freeling Hideaway as they travelled, but the sheer strangeness of their surroundings worked against them and the road seemed to lead them astray. They arrived at a trio of huge crystal spires, glowing internally with a red/purple light, lightning crackling between the tops. In the booming thunder an angry voice demanded the party explain their arrival at the towers. As Sirlius cheerfully introduced himself a streak of lighting flew from the hands of an archmage atop the nearest tower, striking the tiefling in the chest. As the party made ready for battle, they were surprised by a cone of cold from behind them – the archmage had somehow disappeared from the spire and reappeared in the air. To make matters worse the mage released a Flameskull into the air next to him, which promptly attacked the party with a series of fireballs.
The party were wrong-footed and struggled to regain control. As Yuna cast healing magic across the group Sirlius cast Earthbind and dragged the mage to the ground, bringing him into range of the close-quarter combatants. Magnus tried repeatedly to capture the mage in his Iron Flask but the creature resisted. Meanwhile Whisper, Ara and Keen all attacked. The mage misty-stepped away and surprised the party with another searing lightning bolt; several of them were near death and the battle was growing dire. At the last moment, Keen rushed the mage and plunged his Dagger of the Sentinel deep into the creature’s chest. The archmage shrieked; as he fell to the ground his body began turning to a dust and blow away into the night. Keen sighed in relief, but a thunderous crack from above signaled a new danger; with the archmage destroyed, his towers were falling. Keen and Magnus barely leapt clear of huge chunks of glowing crystal which hit the ground and began also to turn to dust.
Exhausted, battered and drained of arcane energy, the party simply collapsed where they stood and risked a long rest. With the archmage’s influence in the area destroyed, it seemed they might be safe, but they wisely kept watch anyway. Yuna was first, and though the watch was uneventful she noted an odd tracing of light seemed to bleed away from her skin as she moved. For a moment, she thought she might have seen…something, in the light, but the mirage vanished before she could be sure.
Their rest was mercifully quiet, though as the adventurers returned to wakefulness they were confused to see absolutely no change in the night. The four moons still hung just above the treeline, and their eyes simply could not find the horizon. They located the road and resumed their trek, but as before the party struggled to concentrate on their destination. Ara led the party but was increasingly distracted by flocks of iridescent butterflies, which led them slightly summerwise, alighting at last in the branches of the single largest, most magnificent tree any of them had ever seen. Neither Whisper nor Keen could resist the temptation to climb the massive tree. Whisper slipped, but Keen was able to bear climb far up the side, and was surprised to find a sort of face on the side of the tree. A single great eye opened, and Keen found himself pulled from the side of the tree, restrained with long ropey branches.
Realizing they were in the presence of a giant Treant, Ara revealed the amulet he wore under his monk robes, the symbol of the Elven god Rillifane. The Treant recognized the symbol, remarking that he remembered “that young man.” It seemed that while they had failed to locate the Freeling Hideaway, the party may have stumbled out of mortal danger into a moment of peace.
Feywild Geography Status: Vague
Archmages Bottled: 0/1
DM’s d6s rolled at once: 11
RP Rating: Awesome!