Avlis Campaign 2: Chapter 10 (A)

Background Notes about Avlis 50 Years Ago

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Avlis Campaign 2: Chapter 10 (A)

Post by Orleron » Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:14 pm

After the heroes found themselves in the forest of T'Nanshi in the time of the Fairy War, they quickly set out to look for some kind of civiliation where they could pose questions as to the Negerai's whereabouts.

Kung was able to spot a small village nearby, which Tupaia deduced was occupied by O'Ma fairies and a few other types of O'Ma fairy-kin. The heroes made for the place, which was not more than a day away, and they found an Inn there. It was the only building big enough to accommodate them.

There they deduced that they were someplace in the Northwestern part of T'Nanshi, and that the war was raging all around them. There were no battle lines in this war.... only mixed chaos as the two races fought for dominance.

In the tavern, Tupaia met a charismatic half-dryad named Lineus, who happened to be the local commander of O'Ma's forces. He told the heroes that lately an O'Ma dryad grove was found to be destroyed. In this particular grove, Lineus had lost his mother, a dryad herself. He was aching for some kind of answer as to what happened there, but all he knew for certain is that the trees were turned to ash and the dryads were found laying next to them dead. Though his sorrow over his mother was great, he realized that help was needed and he could not tackle the issue alone.

Thinking that this might have something to do with their dreaded enemy, the heroes took the job of finding out what happened to the grove. They told Lineus that they would report back to him soon, and they set out for the grove. Upon reaching it two days later, the heroes found what Lineus described. Additionally, Thalen was able to ascertain some carelessly made tracks coming out of the remains of the grove and heading more or less southward. The heroes folllowed this trail for another two days, and came to a second destroyed grove.

This grove seemed to suffer the same symptoms as the first. The dryad trees were reduced to ashes, and the dryads themsevles were dead next to them. All of the dead were O'Ma dryads. Perplexed, the adventurers searched the area and once again Thalen found a path leading out.

Expecting to find a third grove, the heroes were ambushed along the way by a pack of fairies, and later at night they were assaulted by some mysterious large brown bears that seemed to be possessed in some way. When the fray ended, a small dimensional door appeared in front of the crew and through it stepped a woman of unimaginable unearthly beauty. Her beauty was deadly in fact, and this rang true with Kung and Raven who toppled over in place. At the sight of seeing two of her friends die, Arie swiftly cut the head off the figure and it too fell dead.

Destraught and filled with grief over what happened, the party pulled together and Vanoviel called upon O'Ma's will to restore them to life. Miraculously, it worked for both of them, yet they were not feeling so strong as they did beforehand. After a rest, they then moved on to regain the trail.

Coming to a third grove some time later, the party found some curiosities there. More dead dryads were found, however one was blackened and burnt, and so was a smoldering tree found nearby. Another pile of ash was too small to be a tree, and looked much as if it had been a dryad instead. The tree which it had adored was represented adjacent to it as another pile of ash. Overall, the dryad bodies were in close proximity as if they had been rounded up for the slaughter. This made Vanoviel and Tupaia's blood boil, for again, they all appeared to be O'Ma dryads.
At some prompting from Vanoviel, Tupaia used her druidic abilities to change into a Silver dragon, so that she could take the chase to the air and carry the heroes on her back.

Immediately, they set out for the next grove, which turned up some more of the same oddities. The heroes agreed to fly over the grove and come back later to bury the bodies, but at that point they saw something moving below. It turned out to be a surviving half-dryad. The addled female told the crew that she had been attacked by a party of evildoers that were led by a powerful fairy wizard. It seemed the fairy was testing some sort of wand artifact that would separate a dryad from its tree, without killing the tree. Yet it was not working the way she had planned, apparently. It needed more testing. The poor half-dryad wound up as a test subject. The fairy pointed the wand at her, and she immediately fell unconcious, and was left for dead, she suppoed. Curious, the party searched around and only found some traps that had been set by somebody. Hastily departing on dragonback, they asked the dryad to bury the bodies. As they flew off, they saw the dryad accidentally fall dead once more by an arrow through the neck from one of the traps.

Moving on to the next grove was again very easy to do through the air. Following the trail was a bit harder, but they managed. When they came to another grove, they found more evidence. There were dead dryads, howeverr, among them was a tree that had not been killed. Its dryad was dead however, or apparently in some kind of stasis. Whatever the fairy was testing, she had finally succeeded. The revelation was short-lived however, because out of thin air stepped a curious looking brownie type creature with a blood-red cap. He held up a ring and casted a spell at the heroes, which almost killed a few of them as they were assaulted by shadowy shapes. Fain was the only one among the dead. Promptly after that, the redcap dissappeared.

Taking the time to call on O'Ma once again, Vanoviel brought back the dead. They rested and then moved on to catch up with whomever was doing this.

Later that day as they were flying through the air, they came to a grove that had not yet been destroyed. However, standing in the grove was a centaur that matched Thalen's description of the kind of beast that would make a trail like the one they were following. The party immediately attacked the centaur.

The retaliation came swiftly. O'Ma dryads in the grove fled the scene for safety, while invisible foes from all around pelted spells up at Tupaia's dragon form. Once again, Fain fell to a chain lightling casted from a wizard below. Thinking quickly, and taking more spell damage from other assaults, Tupaia landed on top of the wizard who just struck at them, crushing her almost to death. The heroes who were left tried to dismount the dragon. Thalen quickly dispatched the wizard under Tupaia by stabbing her through the neck with his sword.

All the while, spells rained down on the party. Vanoviel botched an attack on the centaur, and had to retreat. Arie took up the fight as well with another foe. Kung tried to circle around for a better look with Raven, who pelted the scene with her fireball arrows.

But the party's luck did not hold out for long. A shadowy attack of illusions much like the one casted by the redcap was casted at close range from right in front of the party. Tupaia fell over dead at the sight, as did Kung and Raven. Desperate, the heroes fought on. Vanoviel managed to pinpiont the location of the fairy wizard who casted the last spell and wounded her severely. In retaliation, she casted a spell on Van, striking her dead as well.

The battle was not going well. Thalen heroically held his ground at the dead dragon's side while Arie made a last stand. At this time, the dryads of the grove realized what was happening, and decided it was time for a hasty retreat. Dispatching the badly wounded fairy wizard with their magic and using their ability to travel through plants, they quickly snapped up the heroes, both living and dead and removed them from the scene.

But the damage was done. The grove perished, and with it, many dryads. The wand fell back into the hands of the Titanian fairies. Titania had won that day.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah
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