Silver Pool Campaign, Episode 1.3.6: Please read the first comment (click on View Results) below and THEN choose your preferred action.
Posted by darkstar 11 years ago, closed 11 years ago
Accept the task. If Brother Owen is going to help your group with your problem, you can help him with his.
58%
Accept the task, but propose some kind of compensation in return. Aelric, Dan and Martelo aren't druids and they, at least, deserve some consideration for endangering their lives.
41%
Decline the task. There's no way you can withstand a swarm of aggressive, giant wasps. Suggest an alternative task to help the elder druid. (Please comment.)
0%
Some other creative approach? (Please comment.)
0%
No Free Lunches
darkstar: You and Mistress Faye bring Brother Owen up to date on the recent happenings in Foxglove as you all walk to his dwelling. The druid's small home is situated on the edge of a grove of ash trees surrounding a massive oak tree, easily a hundred feet high and probably ten feet in diameter. The tree must be hundreds of years old. A stone dolmen rests beneath the massive boughs of the mighty oak, moss and lichen covering part of the stone.  
 
A short time later finds you gathered around a worn wooden table in his cottage. The druid's home is formed of branches of living ash trees closely woven and grown together over time. The intricacy of the interweaving of the living ash branches is astounding. The ceiling and three walls of the place are completely constructed of this kind of tight lattice, with green leaves covering the outer surface. The floor of the two-room cottage is a mottled mixture of stone, wood and moss in a natural array. The mid-afternoon sun streams in through a large window in the lattice, naturally grown just as the rest of the structure, to illuminate the outer room where you now sit.  
 
You left your packs at the entryway of the cottage and have taken advantage of Brother Owen's hospitality, and a fortuitous rain barrel at the edge of his cottage, to wash the grime away. Now, your group is enjoying a delicious stew, the smell of baking bread coming from the small hearth. "It sounds like the raiders have, indeed, been put up to their foul deeds by someone else," he says, setting a loaf of dark brown bread on the table for you to enjoy with your stew. "And those are my signature potion bottles," he adds, gesturing to the two potions you brought, now sitting on the table in front of you. "I don't know how they got into the hands of that Bardo rogue, but I have my suspicions." He goes to a cupboard and retrieves a small jug of blackcurrant wine and several clay mugs, sharing out the tasty beverage as your comrades dive into the delicious meal.  
 
"My potions can travel far, if I may be immodest enough to say so," he explains, with a shrug. "But I don't sell or give them away except to people I know or who come recommended to me." His face clouds and it's obvious that he's thinking of someone in particular. "But I don't intend to cast aspersions on someone's reputation without proof. I think I can get it, one way or another."  
 
"How so?" you ask.  
 
He smiles and sits with you, filling his own bowl and mug, "No more information just yet, I think. Besides, other things have to be done, first. We have to take care of that brute you left tethered to a tree last night. And..." he says, breaking off a bit of bread and dipping it into the stew, "that means you're going to have to help me with a project of my own. I don't often leave the Weald. and with the goblins becoming more adventuresome..." he pauses and notices your expression.  
 
Oh," he continues, "...is that name new to you? It's who you saw at the cave after you defeated the raiders. Nasty, short, humanoid creatures. Have lived in the Wilderlands for centuries. For some reason, this past year, they've taken to traveling abroad more and more. They burn trees, kill animals indiscriminately, pollute the water and defile the forest in every manner conceivable. Of course, they're subterranean dwellers, and have no great love for the light. They keep clear of the 'Weald -- I see to that -- but I'm surprised you didn't encounter any of them on your way here. They've been much more active lately for some reason."  
 
"Anyway," he goes on, "I'll take care of the boar, if he's still there. I'll need to leave immediately after our meal. If the goblins find him first, they'll probably have vicious sport before they kill him."  
 
"Thank you," you say. "We didn't want to kill him, but it didn't seem wise to just let him loose, else we might be attacked again."  
 
"True enough," the elder druid says, taking a drink from his mug. He licks his lips in evident satisfaction. "They can be ferocious. A dire boar is nothing to be trifled with, but I shouldn't have too much difficulty. But as I say, you will have to do something for me. I was planning to take care of a problem that has recently arisen in the Weald -- in fact, I was planning on going this very evening. But taking care of the boar will take me a couple of days. And this other task can't wait for my return."  
 
"What can we do to help," you ask. Your comrades momentarily pause from their eating to listen intently.  
 
"The trees of Glimmerweald are very old, " he responds. "But even more ancient than those venerable ones is the spirit of the forest: the Wealdfire."  
 
"The Wealdfire? What is that?"  
 
"Not 'what', but 'who'. The Wealdfire is the ancient being, thousands of years old, that nurtures the trees here in the Glimmerweald. It is why the trees in this valley grow to be so old. And why this part of the Great Forest has a reputation among outsiders for being...odd." As Brother Owen continues to describe the Wealdfire, it becomes clear that he is talking about a semi-sentient fungus. one that has a symbiotic relationship with the trees in this valley. The fungus, sending out its network of tendrils, evidently covers the whole valley. It manifests in fungal bodies that sometimes grow on the trees it is helping to nourish. The fungal fruit has the curious characteristic of glowing green in the dark. It is the source of the foxfire seen throughout the valley.  
 
As you and your comrades finish your meal, Brother Owen explains that the Wealdfire has been recently suffering from a new danger. A swarm of abnormally aggressive, giant wasps has invaded the valley just in the past few weeks. The enormous wasps lay their eggs in the exposed parts of the Wealdfire and the developing larvae subsist on the nutritious fungal fruit. The result is a damaged and diseased extremity of the fungus.  
 
Brother Owen has dedicated his life to protecting the Wealdfire and has been fervently researching a new spell to allow him to repel vermin such as the deadly wasps, but it's only powerful enough to allow him to repel them from his own person, not from the whole valley. He had planned to trek to the wasp hive itself to destroy it, using an extra potion he brewed of his new spell to facilitate the task. Now, he says, you will have to do it in his stead. With some help from items he can loan you, of course.  
 
"Meanwhile, I will take care of this boar, and then look into some other things that may resolve your raider question. Faye will need to come with me, so the rest of you will have to do this without her." Faye opens her mouth, about to protest when he speaks to her. "You are ready to advance in deeper knowledge of our ways. You will come with me and I will train you on our journey. I think you will gain much out of our encounter with this boar. And I dare say, you are ready to learn a new spell or two." She remains quiet, nodding her head in evident satisfaction. "I'll ask Pennyroyal if she will accompany us, as well. She enjoys your company and loves to see the forest beyond the Weald."  
 
Brother Owen turns to you: "If you agree to this, you can consider it an initiation of sorts." He smiles again, his eyes twinkling as he tears off another piece of bread and sops up the remaining stew in his bowl.
darkstar: Previous episodes and character data sheet here.  
 
All welcome to participate, regardless of whether you've voted in earlier episodes.
I voted for the first option.
FoolProof: I think Brother Owen wouldn't have sent us if he didn't think we could handle it.  
 
...unless he wants us dead or something.  
 
Accept and be cautious.
AB: Mayhaps he wanted to see if we had the commonsense to request compensation for those unable to fend for themselves very well (e.g. Dan, Aelric, etc.)  
 
[Insert General Ackbar here.]
AB: errr, that is, [insert PICTURE OF Gen. Ackbar]  
 
Phew, close one.
Giant?
Darwish: Like, just how giant are these giant wasps?
darkstar: Brother Owen tells you that most of them are about 6" long, but he's seen a few that were nearly twice that.
Darwish: Alright then. All we need is our +2 tennis racket, and we can lay the smack down.
darkstar: hahhah!
pneum0nic:  
An immature specimen