Sundays at the Treehouse

Day 8ii Magician's Monastary [Draft]
As told by Palinouros of Galana

We enter into a hallway, ahead is a crack in the wall small enough for maybe serp to fit through, Another path goes forward, and one to the right which we follow for a short distance, until we finda door. Inside we find what looks to be remains of a dorm room. At the far end, the wall is totally gone, seems to lead elsewhere in the ruins. A large tree stands along the path. Seems like it was magically grown up into the roof, pushing it outwards I climb up and see similar looking trees poking out. To the left is a flooded section of flowing water, perhaps connected to the river outside. We continue on along the outer walls. Start to go in, find a potion storage area, looks like several broke and caused plants in the area to go wild. We find a couple unbroken. One in the shape of a whole, the other shaped like overlapping mountains. Looks custom made. The second is likely some sort of earth magic, usually distinctive….

 

We head out and continue forward, which seems to just go back to the entrance, though we also find the other side of the giant tree, as well as a small path through we had missed before. We head through to the one path we past by early on, near the NE corner. As we proceed down the hall, Luna stops us and points to a weirdly shaped stone on the floor. It's a pressure plate. We carefully move around it, hearing the bubbling of the river below. We come to a door with no handles or knobs, no obvious way to open it. Written on the door in flowery, glowing script are the words, "What has a bank but keeps no coin, …[get rest from Tori]" Chun speaks loudly, "a river", and suddenly the words seem to pulse and the door opens. We walk walk through to find another door, again marked with glowing text and another riddle, "From house to house I go, I'm lost if I'm forgotten, and whether there's rain or snow, I always stay outside." This one took us quite a bit more time. I remembered the words from the potion room, and the answer became clear. "THE Path" I spoke aloud, emphasizing 'the', and the door opened wide. In front of us is, of course, another door. This time though with a door knob, and without any glowing text written upon them. I touch the door carefully, aware it may be trapped, though nothing happens. Luna also listens at the door and hears nothing beyond. Seems the word on this door were only triggered when one touched the door knob, as a riddle did appear when Khemid reaches out and turns the knob opening the door. "What can you hold in your right hand, but not in your left?" It appeared that Khemid, being left handed, had opened it with his left hand to start with, bypassing the riddle entirely.

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Day 8i Mama Burma's Orphans [Draft]

Waking up, I looked in on my other companions. Serp was fumbling around, on some kind of herbs, tripping over nothing. Luna tried to talk to their new goat friend, who they have named 'Old Sammy'. Kaz was sharpening skull's teeth…all morning. Our new companion, khemed did some sort of ritual meditative changing early in the morning. Just looked grumpy about it though, and sat in a corner for the rest of the morn. He did receive a map of the area from Lord Ellington, very beautifully detailed.

Once everyone is awake and prepared, we head out, to the south to find the farm Lord Ellington told us to check out. It was only about an hours walk away. There is a large farmhouse, which looks to be the main building, and a newer building likely to be the orphanage. There is a woman yelling at a young man outside. Serp tried to talk to her, but she doesn't seem to understand her well, thinks Serp is wants to eat the children for some reason. She seems very confused by our group in general. She just babbles on, doesn't seem to know much other than that the children are missing during the day. Her name is Mama Burma, the young man being George. George shows us around after convincing the woman to just go back to work and he'll handle us. He seems to know more on what happened to the missing children. He takes us to the kid's rooms. They are dorm-style, each kid having their own bed and small space for belongings. Each seems to have a small trinket, personal item sitting by their bed. Three of the children, who are always together, have dolls that George tell us, look like the children. One, Mia's, seems to be missing. The other two dolls belong to a girl and a boy, Aren and Weast.

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Day 7ii The Mysterious Collective
As told by Palinouros of Galana

I've written down the conversation with Lord Ellington separately below, for ease of looking up later. 1

Lord Ellington spoke about a collective of like-minded individuals —they do not call themselves by any title, nor use names much at all for safety. They work together towards a goal of 'balance'. He explained, there was a time long ago where our civilization was very interconnected and the people worked together for common gain. There was peace, until one family sought to rule over all. A great war arose, many thousands perished, including most, if not all, of that power-hungry family —there are no known descendants. A group rose up to make sure nothing like that would ever occur again. This 'collective' are the descendants of that group. Lord Ellington is a sort of 'Welcomer' to new folks of interest to join, as well as a 'Collector of Material Power'. The items around his house are not his, but are kept safe and delivered to others as needed. Which is where we come in. He would like us to join as Couriers, to deliver items to various locations as we travel. We will be provided expenses for our travels while on jobs up front to live comfortably, as well as paid a sizable fee for each job depending on difficulty and time for completion. Quite an interesting proposal. We could definitely use the money now in order to afford the travel out of the area, and would of course be quite helpful in the future. All accept, it seems our new group may be traveling together for awhile.

He has an official job for us once the caravan comes through. An item needs to be delivered to Valkine, and we will escort it with the caravan. One of us, he point at myself, will be the official guard of the item, known by the caravan drivers. The others will need to find their own way to join the caravan, so as not to draw too much attention to what we are transporting.

In the meantime, the Lord Ellington has heard someone is permanently keeping open several portals in the Hall of Mosses, causing the troubles we have come across in the rainforest. I mention what Titus told us about the portals and blights, he doesn't bat an eye at the name, I am guessing they have already met. Nothing should surprise me about the lord anymore. 'Much worse will come out' he said to us. There is a portal located nearby he would like us to find and take care of if we are able. To the south, is a small farm which also runs an orphanage. They sent word into town that something weird is wrong with several of the children. They keep disappearing during the day into the forest, to return only in the evening, with no one able to find where they are going. We are tasked with following the children, to find out where they are going. Likely it has something to do with the portal, and some sort of item leading them into the forest. We must destroy this item, which Lord Ellington believes to be a token used to keep the portal open, or bring it back to him if we are unable to do so ourselves. He will tell us little else of what we may encounter, only that thing much more dangerous than blights are in the forest.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Seventh Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 [see Day 7i]

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Day 7i Shopping
As told by Palinouros of Galana

We arrive back into town around mid-afternoon, and head straight for the Lord's house. We knock on the door this time, Vigo answers and lets us in. He bids us to take off our coats and shoes, shows us to a locked crate in another room where we may leave our belongings, and hands me the key. Kaz declares we have the item the Lord Ellington requested. Vigo takes us through the huge house, the hallways seem unnaturally long and winding as it takes at leave 20 or so minutes to get back to the parlor. He bids us sit, and leaves to bring us tea and snacks. I sense something different in the room, and take advantage of our appeared solitude to more closely examine some of the magical items around the room.
- There is a wand of unknown kind.
- A feather sitting on a stand, with some delicate, faint writing in Auran – a poem about the feather god, Quetzalcoatl. I believe that is Serp's god.
- A book which is bound in some sort of monstrous hide, in some unknown script.
Several items have also been removed since we were here several days ago.

The door opens and in walks Lord Ellington. We say hello, I give him the love letter from Einin, an interesting lady I comment. We set the box on a small table,1 he opens it and pulls out the statue gingerly. He looked to be quite happy with the piece. He pays us for the delivery, quite a generous 100sp to us each (Luna, Kaz, and myself, Serp did not accompany us).2 As we sit to have tea, he explains to us that he is a part of a large group spread out across the country. They have been looking for couriers, assistants of some sort to carry out various, often somewhat dangerous tasks. They are not about self gain, or power. We would be trusted with various important secrets, and given some sort of inconspicuous identifiers. We would also, of course, be generously rewarded in both coin and other various means, and could always decline specific tasks if we deemed it too dangerous. He refuses to tell us anything more, however, until we have agreed to join this mysterious organization and work for them.

We all agree this sounds like a wonderful opportunity to fund our travels, and accept. He invites us to dinner later in the evening and has Vigo show us to rooms so we may rest.

Vigo takes us to a guest suite with several very nice rooms and a connected center living space. He says we may stay here for the remainder of our time in town. There is a nice writing desk in a quiet corner of the living room for me to write my journals. As I sit writing this, Luna is asking about any local markets in town, I'd like to stock up on a few things.

…I will continue when we return…

After finding out the outdoor village market has already closed down, and only opens a couple times a week to begin with, Vigo gives us directions to the smaller 'Berma's General Store' open daily for travelers. He warns it is not as well stocked as the village market, but Luna and I head over to check it out anyway. It's kind of a drab building sitting nearby the marketplace, a sign hanging on the door with letters fading. Inside it seemed set up haphazardly, with no care to any kind of order. Looked like a travelers store put together by those who don't travel. The products were fairly random, of varying degrees of use and quality. Took some searching, though I did find a few useful and intriguing items. Searching the towers of mostly worn down books, three caught my eye.
- One looks to be an old history book about The Hall of Mosses, though named differently the maps inside looked quite familiar.3
- Another was a diary written by an adventurer, by the name of Helmaer. Although I do not recognize the name, there were several topics of interest that popped out on a quick skim through.4
- The last book has me excited, it seems to be written in some sort of code. While it is written in Primordial, of which I am of course fluent, the words are utter nonsense.5
I also surprisingly found a Healing Potion6 while rummaging through the shelves of bobbles, though the owner had little idea what it was. Supposedly she just managed to stop her son from drinking it in time – think she thought it was some kind of poison or would turn him into a rat. Turned into my good luck as I was able to convince her to throw it in with the books in exchange for a few pounds of saffron we had gathered in the woods. Walking back outside after making my purchases, I find Luna is now the very excited new owner of a Goat7 they bought off a local farmer. Why a goat?

I also checked in over at The Shepard & Rose for any news coming out of the city. Not too much of interest, news of the explosion out at the Mage Academy has reached out here, and something about it being connected to an accident on one of the trade ships at the port, which is impossible. I never went anywhere near the port. Seems it has caused a few new restrictions to be put in place, on magic allowed in the city.

We arrived back at Lord Ellington's Estate, just as Vigo popped in to announce that dinner would 'be served momentarily', if we would like to change. That last part definitely had a hint of disdain as he looked us up and down, and waited until we were more 'properly' dressed. I pulled out my formal Mage robes from the academy, might as well get some use out of them.

We were led into a large dining room in a different section of the estate, much more formal than the other rooms we had seen so far. A stranger sat at one end of the table, looked somewhat familiar though I can not place where – perhaps on the tour a few days past. His face is mostly shrouded underneath a large hooded cloak. Once Lord Ellington arrived, we sat to eat. Vigo, assisted by a young woman, brought in a soup to start, a fresh fish plate, and a main entree of duck. Each dish seemed to be catered to our own tastes. Kaz's look more exotic and well, raw. The stranger's are more high class, fancier as if served to some sort of nobility. The entire meal was beautifully executed, satisfying, and quite delicious.

Afterwards we withdrew to the private sitting room to discuss the business of future work with this organization Lord Ellington spoke of. The conversation of which I will record separately.8

The rest of the evening was spent mostly in study and craft. I had a few hours to myself to look through the book I purchased. The History book is written in Old Common, titled Stories of the Tahalb Forest. Skimming through for any mention of some sort of portals, I do find the word in connection to some unfamiliar city which does not appear on any map I've seen, or could find in the book itself. Nothing about how they appear, or where they come from, just a warning not to try stepping through them.

The Diary seems to be from around 50 years ago, very well written as if by a scholar. All mostly in common, though with some notes in what looks to be Dwarvish marked in on several pages. I would speculate that to be the writer's first language.

The Primordial Ciphered text, I am fairly certain is in some sort of code, an alphabetical letter substitution. It will take some time to decipher, though I believe I have discovered what "A" is.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Seventh Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 Delivery of Letter and Sculpture complete.
2 Reward = 300sp [100 to each Luna, Kaz, Ouro]
3 Book bought: Stories of the Tahlab Forest, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
4 Book bought: Diary of the Adventurer Helmaer, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
5 Book bought: Primordial Cipher text, traded for 1lb of Saffron [Ouro]
6 Bought a Potion of Healing, essentially got for free as an add-on with the books [Ouro]
7 Acquired a Goat [Luna]
8 [See Day 7: Part II]
Wealth Level: Comfortable [All]
471 XP each [Kaz, Ouro] and 321 XP [Luna]

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Day 6 The Prince Of Centaurs
As told by Palinouros of Galana

We pack up in the morning and say our goodbyes, thank Einin for the food. She coyly handed me a letter1 to give to Lord Ellington, and the statue now wrapped up and boxed protectively. 2 Luna's new little pet was waiting for us outside the cottage, and immediately climbed up on their shoulder again as we headed back into the forest. We explained to Kaz as we walk how Einin had been pretty much flirting with him the entire time, and that is likely what Lord Ellington had meant by saying she likes alive things. He seems even more confused at human behavior.

I started getting the feeling of deja vu again, as we walk through the forest and a wind started blowing around us. The tree then suddenly became much denser as darkness enveloped us. Perhaps we simply had turned to far south and had headed deeper into the forest, it was a strange feeling though. Almost as suddenly, the tree thinned again and the sun shone through. Luna's pet disappeared sometime in the darkness. A sense of foreboding came over me, though I sensed no magic nor any presence nearby. Luna's pet reappeared and rushed to them, looking extremely agitated. Still I sense nothing as we continue. A short while later, the ground starts shaking as I hear the sound of hooves hitting the ground coming towards us.

Four centaurs gallop out of the trees, seemed to be following something though stopped when they saw us. One of them, looks pretty young, excitedly walks over to us and says hello, I think twice – once in Sylvan and once in what sounded like Elvish. I say hello back, as does Luna I guess – and also asks something weird from the centaur's expression back. One of the older centaurs asks, again in both languages and somewhat aggressively, why we are here in the forest. I answered how we had just come from Einin th crafter to pick up an item for delivery, and thought it wouldn't hurt to mention we are friends of Artetu which seemed to surprise them and they relaxed immediately. Artetu seems to be well respected here at least. The young centaur spoke up introducing the party, "I am Prince Firenzy, this one who is a bit grumpy 'cause he is supposed to protect me in Bane," the two others he introduces as Ronin and Megorian. I introduce myself and my companions, and bow respectfully. The Prince explains they are hunting some beast called a Tree Platipuse, and can't stay to chat, but asks if we will come back into the forest again soon.3 He seems excited at the possibility to talk with us again. I promise we will come back to visit another time soon, we will need to get through the forest at some point in any case. The Prince says he will smell us if we come back into the forest, and will come find us. As they head off, I turn and see Kaz just looking at us strangely, I realize he had no idea what was happening as we were not speaking in common. Luna and I explain who they were as we continue on towards Stromel. As the sky darkens, we make camp in the forest.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Sixth Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1Gained a Love Letter to Lord Ellington written by Einin
2Gained the Statue to be delivered to Lord Ellington
3Granted an Invitation to visit with the Centaur Prince next time we come through the forest.

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Day 5 The Smithy
As told by Palinouros of Galana

As we continue through the forest the next day, I suddenly have a feeling of deja vu, as I see a parrot-like bird flying overhead. I just leave it alone this time. We see a strange creature up ahead sitting up in a tree. Kind of looks like some sort of monkey, though only a bit larger than a sugar glider, with fur colored in a mix of white/grey/and black. I place an open bag below it, and try to levitate it down like I did with the bird before. It grabs onto a branch, holding on, withstanding my pull. Doesn't seem to be bothered much. Luna walks over and starts…petting it? I think anyway, with their mage hand. The tiny monkey just sits, cleaning itself. Luna's mage hand picks it up and carries it down to us. The animal almost immediately climbs onto their shoulder and just sits there as Luna pets its head.1 It seems to have taken a liking to them, as it stays with us until we reach a small cottage matching the description Lord Ellington gave, around mid-afternoon. The tiny monkey, looking a bit disturbed, climbs down and sits to the side, seeming to be waiting for us to be done, as we walk up.

The cottage looks fairly normal if not for the very large chimney with smoke billowing out, and a smithy's furnace attached to the side. I knock on the front door, and shortly the door opens, a woman in smithy's clothes answers. She asks who we are, so I hand her the letter of authorization2 and state we were sent by the Lord Ellington to pick up the item he ordered. She studies the letter, looking up at us. "We brought you some gifts," I say and hand her the bag of animals.3 She seems a bit confused by the gifts as she invites us in. "So Lord Draffolk did not come himself, that is too bad, I hoped to see his face." She seems to start trying to flirt with Kaz, complimenting the lizard, who has zero idea or course and just kind of looks at her weirdly. She turns to me, "and you brought me gifts, you're so sweet!" "Oh yes, Lord Ellington asked us to" I quickly add. She asks us to stay for dinner, and overnight, 'until the light is lights again' as she still needs to finish tweaking the item. "I didn't quite catch your name?" Kaz speaks up again. She introduces herself properly, as Einin, and extends her had towards him so he may kiss it. He, of course, is just confused by the human gesture. I whisper to him to shake the hand, and he does so awkwardly. She looked pretty disappointed. I think I am starting to understand what Lord Ellington meant by 'tends to get attached to living things'. She gives us a quick tour, then has us set up for dinner as she heads in the back to finish working. The place is interesting, both much like what you would expect a smithy to look like and not at all what you would imagine. Tools you would expect seem to be missing, strangely-shaped tools like I've never seen before in their place, and objects from other trades.

She walked back in with a tall object covered with a sheet, and sets it in the middle of the table before serving the food. Dinner is some sort of stew with ingredients scavenged from the forest. After dinner, Kaz convinces Einin to reveal what is underneath the sheet. It is an intricate statue of a fae sprite-like creature dancing, ribbons swirling around the creature. Seems to be made of some sort of inherently magical material, familiar to the magic I felt around Titus. "I'll be sad to let her go, she was a difficult one. Some have their own mind." Einin spoke of her creation, kind of like it was alive. We asked a bit about the statue, if her creations are merely decorative or utalitarian, to which she responded they can be both. Lord Ellington never asks such things, only for her to make a piece, 'however it goes'.

She laid out a few straw mattresses for us to sleep on. Also mentioned that Lord Ellington had set up a protective barrier around the cottage for her, and indeed I notice a faint aura surround the area. We will head back in the morning.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Fifth Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 Gained a Pet Lemur (Luna)
2 Delivered the Letter of Authorization from Lord Ellington
3 Gifted 1 Sugar Glider, and 2 Parrots

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Day 4 The Beasts for Einin
As told by Palinouros of Galana

We awake to Vigo serving us breakfast in our rooms, and a picnic lunch 1 prepared for our journey. We did not see Lord Ellington again before we left. Vigo lead us out the same door we stumbled in through. We head northeast, deciding to walk through the rainforest to catch a few small animals to give the crafter as gifts. Lord Ellington did mention she likes living things, perhaps she will agree to an exchange for the item he ordered if we find her hesitant.

Luna, after a few attempts, manages to catch a sugar glider as it glides from tree to tree. We put it in a small bag with some nuts.2 I cast levitate on a bird flying nearby, bring it down to the ground, walk over and pick it up. I just shrug at the incredulous looks my new comrades give me, they must not have grown up around many mages. I put the bird in a separate bag with some edible berries I find nearby.3

Suddenly I hear a loud screeching, as a small group of very angry birds swoops down on us. One of them claws at me, annoying little thing, pretty harmless. I simply gust it into a tree, as I turn to watch Kaz sink their teeth into one. A bit sickening to watch, though I can't help but appreciate the practicality and fluid effortlessness of it. Two more attack the both of us. I gust it into the tree next to its friend, and crack up as Kaz chokes on some bug that flew into his mouth as he went to bite the other. Luna somehow manages to calm the last bird down, and puts it into the bag with the first.3 Once I can breath through the laughter again, I get to work cleaning the two birds I took down. Kaz and Luna try cleaning the third, already mangled by Kaz's teeth, and butcher the meat horribly. I will have to remember to stop them before their attempt next time. I pack up 2 sets of parrot feathers for myself, Kaz takes the 2 intact skulls – seems to be starting a skull collection, Luna collect the remaining 2 sets of bird bones minus their skulls, and I package up 3 rations of parrot meat for us to eat later.4

It's about midday, so we continue on through the forest until dusk. I swear I keep hearing birds screeching above us, but we encounter no trouble. We make cap for the night, I cook up two of the birds, hand Kaz one raw. We eat, decide on watch order, and the rest of us sleep. Luna wakes me for the final watch, says everything has been fine. I spend my time weaving a couple of the parrot feathers into my belt, the night is quiet.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Fourth Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 Gained a Picnic Lunch enough for full party (party-eaten)
2 A Sugar Glider

3 Two Parrots
4 Gained 2 sets of Parrot Feathers (Raz), 2 Parrot Skulls (Kaz), 2 incomplete sets of Parrot Bones (Luna – missing skulls), 3 Rations of Parrot Meat (eaten).

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Day 3 The Eccentric Wizard
As told by Palinouros of Galana

The villages in the area mostly protect themselves, though there is a local Duke who officially is in charge of the area as it's protector, Duke Giles Ellington. More like an absentee father, Duke Ellington pays little attention to much of Duchy. The common folk generally disregard him, forming their own local governments to take care of most affairs. His brother, Lord Draffolk Ellington, built himself a large mansion overlooking the center of this small village of Stromel. Why he built here is a mystery, though there are a variety of ridiculous rumors. Likely, the family simply wanted him out of the city. A bit of a black sheep of the family, he is known as an eccentric hermit, rarely venturing outside his home though seems to have plenty of unusual visitors. Heard in the pub he generally has strange jobs available for people whenever the caravan comes through, and doesn't cause much trouble at all. I keep hearing townsfolk calling him "The Eccentric Wizard", though I've never seen him anywhere near the Academy. Possible that much of what is said originates from the man himself, spreading rumors so the common folk generally leave him be.

Serp decides we should not simply investigate, but go sneak into his house once it gets dark. That one can be quite convincing when he wants something.

Later in the day…

Once the darkness came, we headed out to the mansion. We climbed over the iron gate surrounding the main building, and found ourselves in a very overgrown garden, vines encasing the mansion itself. I see a door that seems to be a back entrance into the house, through the vines, and send my companions silent messages pointing towards the door. Serp, not waiting for any sort of plan to be made, runs forward and simply opens the door, or well tripped through it making quite a racket.

"That was quite an entrance into my umbrella stand" a voice says from within, loud enough we can hear outside, "Please come in, I was just about to make tea". I start to message Serp to pretend he is alone when I hear the voice inside say, "Am I making two cups, or six?" I cast detect magic as I walk towards the door, obviously he is able to sense we are here, "the garden isn't so nice at night." I sense a strong combination of powerful conjuration, and transmutation rituals all around me. As I walk inside, my eyes are overwhelmed with all the magic auras coming from the large variety of objects on the shelves inside.

We seem to have entered into some sort of private sitting room, lit by a fire going in the fireplace centered in the room. A man sits in a large chair by the fireplace, a tea set with just enough cups sitting on a table in front of him. A butler brings in more chairs for us to sit. The man starts making us tea as we cautiously sit. He is a handsome man, regular sort of features, the kind who could likely blend into any sort of crowd if not for the strong air of nobility he presents. Quite relaxed, he finishes pouring us tea, plays the pleasant host, as if we hadn't just tried to sneak into his house.

Serp suddenly declares he must step out and commune with his god Quetzalcoatl immediately. The man turns to the butler, Vigo he calls him, and has Serp escorted into the main house to a private room.

"Thank you for inviting us in." Chun surprises us with his pleasant, polite speak. The man asks us why we came tonight, stating he had planned to schedule a meeting with us but since we are here now, is there something he could do for us? Kaz again responds quickly, "We heard you were in danger, that you may have been held hostage in your own house." He responds with thanks but he is very well, hasn't had any trouble, though doesn't quite understand why people keep asking him that, just because he doesn't leave the house much. "Oh forgive me" he declares, "I never introduced myself. I am Lore Draffolk Ellington." Kaz asks him if his name is related to some sort of mythical beast I've never heard the like of, a diraff? Must not be a tale spoken of much outside of the Animalia Continent. We introduce ourselves as well, I properly of course, and I mention surprise at never seeing of hearing of him at The Academy, as obviously he is quite learned. Thankfully he does not seem to recognize my name, the news must not have reached here yet or I guess he chose to ignore it.

Chun asks him why he has wanted to speak to us. He states he had heard of our assistance in town, and simply thought we would be interesting to talk to. He then apologizes, he does not have the time to answer much of our questions we are sure to have at the moment. He has a pressing issue he must deal with immediately. Though perhaps we could help him with a small problem, that is would be a great way for him to test our abilities for future possibilities. Kaz seems to misunderstand, somehow, tells him he is 'not his type'. Without even a stutter of surprise, Lord Draffolk responds that of course he meant professionally, he has a large job that may be of interest later – as if Kaz's confusion was perfectly normal. The townsfolk did mention lots of strange folk visiting the Lord's estate regularly, perhaps he is used to such misunderstandings. He goes on to explain he ordered a special item to be crafted for him by a woman, Einin, who lives on the outskirts of the forest, to the northeast, about 2 days walk from town. A bit of a hermit, she has a tendency to become somewhat attached to her creations, and it can be difficult to persuade her to part with one. He needs someone to go obtain this item for him, as he does not have the time to do so himself. The item is already paid for, and he has a letter he will give us stating our permission to collect and deliver the item in his place, and he of course would pay us generously. We agree, we could use the work, and perhaps some regular business could be arranged if all goes well – we will need funds if we are to get through the Hall of Mosses. He hands me the letter1, and I draw a quick map from his vague directions. "She tends to get attached to living things," he warns us. Lord Draffolk tells us Vigo will show us to rooms so we may rest the remainder of the night, once we are finished with our tea, and we may enter as we came in when we arrive back with the item. He excuses himself and leaves the room.

I try to casually look at some of the magical items around the room, aware of the butler watching us. I do not have the chance to examine anything really close enough to identify, however it looks to be a huge variety of different types of magical items. I don't believe I've ever seen such a collection outside of The Academy itself. The butler leads us to several rooms. They are quite nice, obviously freshly made beds. The doors remain unlocked throughout the night, I check a couple times to be sure and wonder what Serp must be up to. We rest for the night.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Third Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 Gained 1 Letter of Authorization, signed Lord Draffolk Ellington

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Day 2 The Hall of Mosses
As told by Palinouros of Galana

In the morning, Irelel was waiting for us outside, in front of the inn. She was carrying several empty sacks that she mostly handed to Serp to hold – handed as in thrust her hand holding them, into his face until he took them. We follow her into the forest along a small path, Irelel talking almost non-stop about the forest, her goddess, what herbs to collect. I swear the elf does not know silence. We walk slowly, gathering herbs as we go, I only drop and trample over a few patches.

About halfway in, I hear a voice seeming to come from the trees, "Stop, listen" it whispered in Sylvan, "You have to come, she is in danger." I ask who's there, and if it's a tree because of the girl's story. It just sort of chuckles at me and repeats that we must come help. Several little dancing lights appear, forming a humanoid shape. Whoever it is at least knows some basic magic, I recognize the spell. I say to my associates in common speech as I had been conversing in Sylvan with the voice while pointing at the lights, "It says someone needs help and asks us to follow it, could be a terrible idea to follow random voices from the trees" and start following it. It leads us off the path, deeper into the forest. The trees become denser, wilder. Ahead, I hear an unnatural screeching, unlike any beast I've heard. As we come upon a wide clearing, there are these vine-like forms seeming to be attacking a small tree, whom is of course the one screeching. A larger tree is silently trying to defend the little one.

I run over to try pulling the vines off the tree, "Stop!" I yell at the vines. They say nothing back of course, but hey the tree is yelling so who knows what here is sentient. My associates, mostly Serp, proceed to attack the vine creatures, they turn into bits of vine and leaves as vine arms are sliced off. Once it seems the vines are all defeated, I turn to the trees, "Are you okay, why were they attacking you both?" The small tree responded, "They were blights, evil." The lizard in our group, seems to be some sort of cleric, casts a healing spell on the small tree or sapling as it calls itself. The large tree it turns out was simply called out by the sapling to defend it, so is not actually a tree creature of any sort. "I am Titus Red Bud. I am a recent new guardian for this area, called here in this time of need", the sapling explains and thanks us for our help. "Artetu guided you here", says the sapling as a large butterfly-like creature the size of cat with wings suddenly appears before us giggling. Artetu, a violet fairy dragon,  we learn has been living in this rainforst for a very long time. Fairy dragons of course change color as they age, violet being quite old for their kind. They have been guiding the newly awakened Titus Red Bed, teaching them the ways of this area, when someone managed to open a dark passage to the fae world. Evil blights have been coming through and causing chaos ever since.

As thanks for our assistance, Artetu guides us out of the rainforest, guiding us by the remaining herbs Irelel had come to collect. Irelel barely spoke a word on the way back. She just stood in awe, speechless during the entire exchange with Titus and Artetu. As we were getting close to the outskirts of the rainforest, Artetu asked to speak to me privately, and gifts me a small purse 1 to thank me for listening and helping save Titus. They also say we will always be welcome in the Hall of Mosses, that we are a friend to the forest now. 2

We arrive back into town, herb sacks overflowing. Irelel thanks us and hands Serp one sack of herbs 3, as agreed. We could likely sell them for a good price. It seems Serp is somewhat of an herbalist too, says he would be able to make several potions to assist our group out of the herbs collected. Heading back into the Shepard & Rose, we order a few drinks and Serp decided for some unknown reason to tell the entire pub a story of our trip into the rainforest and attempt to convince all that Luna was the one to defeat the vines and well pretty much do everything. I don't think anyone there really believed a word of it. Malia Lenthei did come up to me to thank us for assisting Artetu, not sure how she know of the fairy dragon, and to mention she may have a job for us later on. She also hands us a small pouch of coins 4 as thanks for investigating the young Sally's story.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-Second Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 A small purse filled with shiny bobbles, gems, and a flower herb. [Ouros]
2 The party gains Advantage on stealth, acrobatics, and athletics while traveling through the Hall of Mosses.

3 Sack of various herbs worth ~55gp: 8lbs of Saffron, 2lbs of Ginger, 5lbs of Sage, 5lbs of Basil, 2lbs of Lavender, 2lbs of Nutmeg, 3lbs of Feverfew, 2lbs of Chamomile, 1lb of Hibiscus Flowers. [party]
4 Pouch containg 18 sp. [party]

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Day 1 The Village of Stromel
As told by Palinouros of Galana

A small, tiny really, and busy village that has become kind of like the entrance to the city of Ilmarin, with the main road running straight through the center of town. Tours into the Hall of Mosses rainforest run regularly for tourists, or for those like us trying to blend in. Serp and I join one of these tours as we get into town. I notice several other adventurer type folks with us as well: one whom must be from the Animalia Continent – a lizardfolk cleric, a man in a cloak looking to be a human warrior or some sort, and an elven bard. Not uneventful, the tour was attacked by some wolves and goblins. We help take take of them, along with the others I took note of. Found a few keys 1 on the goblins. I collected some of the wolves claws for spells, others grabbed some of their bones, and we collected several rations of meat from them as well.2 Afterwards, many of us ended up where most locals and visitors do, the Shepard & Rose, the main inn and pub in town run by Malia Lenthei. She's become a sort of 'unelected' mayor here, taking care of local problems.

Serp and I sit in the back corner of the pub with a couple of drinks. He's so casual about everything, while I keep looking around expecting the city guards to come for us. I'll feel better once we are on the other side of the forest, and further from Ilmarin. There's a whole lot of rumors going around town, trouble in the forest and in some of the local farmlands. Missing livestock from two of the local farms, each of course blaming the other with threats of bodily harm. A girl came back into town from a walk in the forest, said she saw something strange, trees moving, people saying she's crazy or ate too may mushrooms. Definitely something strange going on in the forest, saw way more beasts close to the edge on the tour than would usually be around. Also heard some local shrine is looking for a few escorts into the forest, could use some work, and a large caravan led by Guali and Gilly should be coming through in about 20 days – they usually hire escorts through the Hall of Mosses to the next city.

Serp suddenly gets up and walks over to a girl closer to the bar, asks her about the forest. Somehow he found the girl from the rumors. Said she saw a wind that seemed to be forming words and the trees were moving, said they were warning her to get out. Sounds unnatural, reminds of something I read in the academy about trees coming alive, something about the heart of the forest. Not something one would normally see this close to the edge of the forest. Perhaps I should investigate, doesn't seem to be many mages in town at the moment. The girl's brother doesn't seem to really believe her, though he does mention there has been more activity lately, beast straying much to close to town, more aggressive. Serp tells her I'll buy her a drink and we will look into it, I'm going to run out of coin if he keeps this up. The owner, Malia, walks over with the drink. Doesn't let me pay though, just thanks us for trying to help out, guess she overheard us talking. She mentions we should go see Acolyte Irelel at the Shire of Melekki, goddess of the forest. Seems we have also been joined by a couple others in the pub who decide to join us in investigating the forest. They introduce themselves, Luna an Elf who has perhaps had a little too much to drink, and some unpronounceable-named lizardfolk, Chunkaz or something.

The shrine looks to be carved out of two old, dead trees, the smell of way too much sage burning fills the air as we walk up. An elf putters about outside, guessing she's the acolyte. Luna calls out to her drunkenly. I poke Serp to talk to her, and he asks about the shrine and the Hall of Mosses. This elf is pretty full of it, she goes on for a good 20 minutes about how great her forest goddess is, it's the grandest shrine in the area, blah, blah. She sounds like my Divination professor, all hail the holy gods. Finally she gets to concerns about happenings in the forest. Said we must have seen her notice asking for escorts through the forest for her herb gathering, must be why we're here. Didn't see any notice, but ya we did hear someone was looking for help. Asked her if she's see any trees walking about. Nope, though says seeing such things would be a blessing. I sniff some herb burning, ugh sage is so strong, put it under Serp's nose haha – the Tabaxi gives me a disgusted look. Irelel says she will be leaving in the morning and expects us there, not that we ever said a word about helping her. We ask her about payment, which surprised her as obviously we should just want to help out of the kindness of our heart and because she is an acolyte, for the goddess. She says something about the trees being the only ones that own the forest, not really sure what she meant by that. Serp convinces her to give us a bag of the herbs we help her to collect, maybe we can sell them. Guess we are going with her now.

It's starting to get dark, so we head back to the inn to see if we can get some rooms for the night. Malia is waiting for us, says she already prepared a few rooms for us, offered us free lodging for our help. I get why the townfolk made her mayor.

- Palinouros of Galana, in the Village of Stromel, on the Fifty-First Day of Sperkho, in the Year of Raidho 972.

Treasury/Experience Log:
1 Three keys labeled, 'This One', 'That One', and 'The Other One'
2 Pouch full of Wolf Claws [Ouros], Wolf Skull [Kaz], Assortment of Wolf Bones [Luna]

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