Far From Home

Travelling to the Forest

These are verbatim from my rough session notes - they're not very clear

after getting into port, the party spends a couple of days in town trying to get directions to the stone bi-liths
then spend 12 days walking toward "Moradin's Legs"
walk North between the legs and find a dogwood still in bloom - talk to a dryad, who tells us to go West once she finds out we're with Ehlonna
attached by a stone tree - ran away, Damir seriously injured and Amilyn buised. Dimension doored out with illusory distraction
Amilyn can't see the path after the stone tree; we move a mile, then stop so that she can pray and recenter herself
Amilyn calms, coos dire bears; Damir and Emby pass; Peregrine spooks them slightly, but goes around
On day 6, while camped, see pair of rabbits dancing to Damir's piccolo music while he's fiddling around; later he draws a sketch of them dancing
Peregrine tickled; Emby snowed; Amilyn… worshipped?
Day 7 spent walking in 3-mile circle 4 times; Amilyn says to press on
Day 8, see coin in snow; Peregrine checks for traps, sees none; Amilyn prays, says leave it; Damire drops coins at first 5; later, coin trail departs from the "real" trail; hunt, got bear
Day 9, Peregrine and Amilyn realize that stepping off the trail makes the trail harder to find; they decide to try saving as much of the bear meat as possible; huge peach tree blocks the path; Damir talks to it first, then Amilyn; 3 answered riddles so all could pass; Peregrine asks a riddle, we wait 1 hour; at the 2-hour mark on day 9, treant gives answer of "river" - Peregrine's answer was "rabbits," referring to earlier night and the tangoing rabbits; Peregrine gets peaches for the riddle
Day 10, deer tracks follow trail; after awhile, trail disappears but deer tracks continue; we follow the deer tracks
After shelf, tree of to left with scuffed park, tree off to right with snapped branches; tracks disappear; Amilyn asks Ehlonna for guidance and we go left (encountering more hoof prints); follow the deer tracks for another mile and another shelf; Peregrine says left bush has more berries, so we go right and follow more, see deer poop. Finally, come to another split with 2 types of rocks (grey on left, white on right) - go right and see that it's a salt block. After the trail returns, we walk 1 mile, then camp
Day 11 is milder with no snow left by the evening; some plants have leaves on them; looks like autumn here
Day 12 everyone can see the trail; the trees have vines hanging. After a couple miles, have vines in a mesh blocking the tail; one thorny red vine is in the middle, surrounded and bound by the others. Damir pierces and burns the red vine, which dissolves , leaving only a stump and some thorns. Peregrine carefully picks up about 10 thorns. We walk through the tunnel of vines, which carries all of us (except Amilyn) through to the other side. Peregrine initially tries to fight them and is bound, but apologizes and is carried.
Day 13: wildflowers line the path; when we enter, see Emby slow down and start yawning; Damir can't see the path and is with her. She slows, so Damir casts haste on her; @ night, Peregrine checks the torn poison, sticks self, 1 rn nothing
Day 14: come to clearing with altar after 6 miles. Altar is a low, flat, round stone with steps, with three statues in center: 1 deer, 1 halfling woman, 1 tree. The halfling wears natural clothes with hand extended to the deer; the deer is licking at the palm and favoring 1 leg. There is a pinprick hole on one leg w/raised blood; tree has little hole carved into it in base. 1 tree branch is long, extended over the center of the 3 figures. The forest around this clearing looks noisy and blurry, befuddling the eyes, but we can look at the statues safely. Damir carefully takes a red thorn from Peregrine and slots into the deer's wound, then casts Cure Light Wounds. When the wound reacts, Damir casts Cure Serious Wounds and completely heals the wound. Then look at the hole in the base of the tree with Peregrine; Peregrine tentatively reaches into the hole tentatively and finds a grooved surface, reminding him of a peach pit, so Peregrine puts the pit there. The pit merges with the tree. A leaf then sprouts from the long branch. Damir looks at the halfling's hand and thinks of the salt lick. The party spends 4 days returning to the salt lick and retrieving some salt, then returning to the statues
Day 18, put salt in the halflinks hand, put a new peach pit in, put a new thorn in. The deer eats the salt. Peregrine puts arrows into the quiver of the halfling woman. Amilyn puts her holy symbol around the halfling's neck, causing her eyes to glow and the holy symbol to pulse (sanctuary, repel undead, repel evil, and greater turning cast)
Cast on bud and make red apple after 1 hour; we all split the apple, approximately evenly
The confusion effect on the surrounding forest melts; we head down the path ~ mile and come to another clearing

Within the Sacred Forest Clearing

These are Dale's DMing notes from the session and will need to be cleaned up to be readable

"Valoran"- diety that *really* owns the area around where Peregrine grew up. The doctrine is that of Ehlonna because Valoran doesn't care about influence, and would rather have annonymity while he studies plants.

-Have Amylin prep some divinations and some Auguaries and other spells like that, so she can use them when the party is confused.

Base DC to follow the path is 10.
Every time a player strays more than 5 feet from the path, the DC increases by 2 FOR THAT PLAYER. If the PCs become totally lost, exit the forest, and re-enter, they can start following the trail all over again at a base DC of 10+number of start-overs.
Every time it goes up, Int check DC 20 - 2 per trail-leaving to realize that leaving the path makes the path harder to see.

Amylin's vision: Enter the forest of Duestwyth from the south, and head north until you find the Dogwood tree that blooms year-round. (3 miles)

1: In The Forest of Maze- *Wilderness Lore DC 33 to realize that a concoction made from dogwood bark is a cure ailments of the stomach caused by eating rotten or unclean food.* A particularly hardy Dryad lives in an oka nearby, and tends the dogwood, caring for it as well as she does her own tree. She is the only one who can tell you the next step of the trail.

"Go west, and continue walking. You will know the trail when you see it."

WL DC 30 to spot the trail, DC decreases by 2 every mile until it hits 10.

After a certian distance, everyone rolls wisdom checks to fall in tune with the spirit of Ehlona in the area. When someone makes it: you suddenly realize that there is a certian familiarity, as if you've seen this bunch of clovers, or this particular old rotted stump before. You suddenly realize that you've been following the trail all this time, you just didn't notice it. You notice a pattern that makes up the trail, and once you've seen it, you can recognize more of the same up ahead. :)

0: Vecna Golem- When Vecna discovered Ehlona had an interest in protecting this forest, and was unable to penetrate it, he created two golems to prevent anyone ELSE from entering it. One of these creations happens to be near enough to the actual trail to spot the PCs. This golem is a particularly devious creation of Vecna, designed and built to resemble a natural creation of Ehlona. It is made of petrified wood, slightly levitated to improve its mobility, and wrapped in powerful illusions designed to make it look lush, healthy, friendly tree creature. When it stands perfectly still, there is no way to tell it apart from a normal tree. It even spoofs being a part of nature, so that the goddess Ehlonna and other forest creatures living near it are not aware that it is any different from a particularly quiet Treant.

2: None Shall Pass- Two Dire Bears block the path before you. They sit on their haunches, regarding you warily, but do not approach.
They will not leave their posts, but rear up threateningly if anyone other than Amylin approaches them. They will allow you to pass if you prove yourself a friend of nature.

3: Bloody Faeries- Five very special pixies live among the wildlife here. They are devoted friends of Ehlonna, and are actually levelled as clerics. Ehlona has told these five specific Pixies to "Live here, and play with anyone who comes by." She has also granted them partial control over the forest in this area. To use this ability, all five pixies must concentrate together, and the effect is poorly controlled unless they very specifically plan together what they want to shape the wilderness into.

Prank 1: North, West, South, West- Following the path once the pixies have started following and messing with you grows most difficult. For every five minutes they spend concentrating, they can do one of the following:

-They can increase or decrease the wholesale DC of Wilderness Lore checks to find/follow the path by 10 (2 points per concentrating pixie)
-They can bend the direction the path ahead will take by up to 45 degrees.
-They can change terrain drastically. If they bend the path into a loop, forging ahead of the players, they can spend a lot of time working on one area, so that it looks totally different when the players pass through again.
-Adding or removing natural obstacles, such as open pits, slopes, fallen trees, ravines, thorny brambles, entangled overgrowth, etc.

Note: These are essentially Ehlona's abilities, administered by the trickster Faeries.

Prank 2: Treasure Hunter Trap- The path ahead has patches of mushrooms growing alongside it. A spot check DC 20 causes a player to notice the sunlight glinting off of a coin. Closer inspection (or any search check) reveals loose coins, gems, and small items of jewely lying among the stems.

If someone picks up any of the treasure with their bare skin, they must make a fort save DC 20 to resist being affected like a Sleep spell. This is exactly like being shot with one of the pixies' sleep arrows. If a mushroom is touched, it swells and pops, secretly releasing an invisible gas that affects a breather exactly like fae wine.

Prank 3: Erratic Wildlife Behavior- Over the next day or so, the players will start seeing strange things, one by one:
- If ever Damir plays music, a pair of rabits dancing together.
- If Emby tries to study or memorize spells out of a tent, leaves folded into little tiny paper-darts will begin to strike at her, one by one, from the woods.
- If Peregrine skulks or glowers too much, he will get tickled along the back of the neck. If he slaps at it, he catches a weed that was invisible before.
- If Amylin prays to Ehlona or memorizes spells, small animals will start showing up, one by one, stopping, and bowing with her until she's done.

Prank 4: "HEY! LISTEN!" An old oak tree suddenly has a masculine, humanish face growing out of it, made of wood, although the tree itself does not act or move like a trent, nor a Dryad. "What you need is a good peach! Why, you'll never get anywhere in this world without a peach. Yessir! You need peaches, and only I know where to get them!" Spell eventually ends before Damir or anyone else can actually hear where or how to find a peach, and the face fades back into the treetrunk in mid-sentance. If anyone *cough cough PEREGRINE cough* threatens the tree, the face stops talking, the pixies scatter, and each fire a normal arrow at him. "DON'T MAKE US HAVE TO HURT YOU!" is squeeks in an angry female voice, before resuming, "Ahem. Now then, about these peaches…"

6: A Fruity Riddle- A massive peach tree blocks the path, ancient and huge, its branches easily spanning a hundred feet. It is a wise and benevolent old soul, will speak if spoken to, is extremely patient, will move if you answer its riddle, and it will warn you of the trials ahead. If you are extremely polite, it will also present you each with a peach. If you come back and ask for a peach later, it will ask another riddle in exchange for one.

1. Bayoneted soldiers shall swarm our land this coming spring. Although they shall be so numerous that we shall not be able to defeat them through the staunch use of arms, they shall be defeated by the first snow fall. What am I talking about? (Bees)

2. If this animal is killed off, all of it's species destroyed; it becomes extinct, in a year, the species will be back. (Butterfly)

3. I touch your face,
I'm in your words,
I'm lack of space,
and beloved by birds. (Air)

4. Stealthy as a shadow in the dead of night,
Cunning but affectionate if given a bite.
Never owned but often loved.
At my sport considered cruel,
But that's because you never know me at all. (Cat)

5. The Pearls of night, stolen in clearest light of day. (dew)

6.Glittering points
That downward thrust,
Sparkling spears
That never rust.

7.. You will find him in the mountains
And you'll find him in the creek
He has no mouth -
Yet he speaks in every tongue
He has no ears -
And yet will answer every cry
Always having the final word (echo)

8. Tween marble walls, white as milk,
Lined with a skin as soft as silk,
Within a fountain, crystal clear,
A golden apple doth appear.
No doors or locks has this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in, and steal the gold.

9. A precious stone, as clear as diamond.
Seek it out whilst the sun's near the horizon.
Though you can walk on water with its power,
Try to keep it, and it'll vanish within an hour.

10. Walk on the living, they don't even mumble. Walk on the dead, they mutter and grumble.

4: Keep on Trackin' - Looking down at the trail before you, you see hoof prints. Those of a large deer, if you're not mistaken. They join the path from the foilage and seem to follow its twists and turns. After a few hundred feet, the trail disapears entirely, but the tracks of the deer keep going.

You follow the deer tracks, and after a while, they get further and further apart, then they come in pairs, with two prints at a time side by side. Then there is a rocky shelf, and the tracks vanish. Thirty feet ahead and to the left and right, respectively, you see:

- (Left = scratched treetrunk, right = fallen branches)
- (Left = bush with very many berries, right = simmilar bush with very few berries) *The deer shat several times after eating those berries, en route to step 3 below. DC 31 to realize that these would make a good laxative.*
- (Left = rock_left.bmp; right=rock_right.bmp)

5: Are you dense- The path ahead is blocked by a vast network of tangled green vines. In the dead center of the path, one particular vine, growing out of the forest floor, is a dull brownish red and covered with bright red thorns. The green healthy vines nearby around it, growing from the forest floor and hanging from trees, all seem tied around this one red vine. When you approach, the red vine begins to writhe violently, but it is held firmly in place by the network of vines binding it. Beyond this web of vines blocking the path, you see more vines growing among the trees.

*Wilderness Lore check DC 32 to realize that these vines are opposed to the red vine, and that their leaves will undo its poison. If any of these 3 wilderness lore checks comes up 45 or better, you realize that these three ingredients could be useful in making a general antitoxin.*

A dense mass of vines blocks the way ahead, growing along the sides of the path, dangling from the canopy overhead. The only path visible is occasional glimpses of dirt visible between the vines comprising the floor of the tunnel. As the party approaches, the vines begin to writhe and squirm as if alive. They appear leafy, green, and healthy, and have leaves different from those of choker vines (Spot Check DC 25 to see the leaves clearly while the vines are moving, Wilderness Lore check DC 16 to recognize them, since you encountered them before. Clairvoyance or a simmilar power while the vines are still will negate the first check; Damir's sketches could negate the second.) As PCs enter the tunnel, the vines snake out to feel and prod them for the first ten feet. There are a few swords and daggers littering the ground underneath the vine mesh that makes up the floor. After the PCs have gone firther than ten feet, the vines wrap around the adventurers' arms and legs, with the same strtength as a choker vine, but they do not attempt to strangle them. Instead, they ferry the PC's through the densest part of the foliage, and safely out the other side. The vines seem to part as Amylin approaches, and make no move to touch her or impede her progress.

7: Flowers… to the death! An astonishing variety of very pretty wildflowers line the path ahead. The very path smells sweet with their aroma, and a handfull of bees drift lazily from flower to flower.

[Flower Gas: Treat as a poison, DC 15 Fort save to everyone walking down the path here, with the primary effect being Slow and -1D4 Wis (dmg) and the secondary effect (which occurs 1 minute later) being unconsciousness. It is colorless, but not odorless—the flowers smell. If someone actually stops and smells them specifically, the DC is augmented to 19.]

8: Seven keys for Seven Locks- There is a small clearing here with an altar built in the center of it… and the trail ends here. The altar is *extremely* old, low and flat and round, like steps up a pedestal, atop which stand carved stone figurines of a deer, a halfling woman, and a tree, all rendered in a natural grey stone. The halfling wears rugged clothing made of natural hides and leaves, and festonned with twigs, with her hand extended to the deer. The deer reaches its head forward as if to lick at the palm of her hand, and raises one hoof to favor it, as it appears to be wounded at the base of its leg near the heel, a large pinprick hole with carved drops of blood dripping from it. The tree has a little grooved hole carved into it near the base of the tree, and one branch noticibly longer, extending into the air over the center of the three figures. *spot check DC 25 to see that it resembles a peach pit*

Any attempt to spot the trail ahead or on the other side of the altar only leads to bewilderment and confusion at what they see in the grass and the dirt, and anyone attempting such a glance must make a will save DC 40 or stand dazed for 1d4 rounds, staring at the earthy ground in fascination and confusion. In order to find the trail again, the PCs must first unlock the secrets of this ancient statue.

- Amylyn's holy symbol. Goes around the statue's neck.
- The pit from the peach in "a fruity puzzle". Goes at the base of the tree, in the hole.
- A thorn from the red vine. Goes in the deer's wound.
- A chunk of salt. Goes in the woman's palm.
- After the thorn is inserted, the deer's hoof bleeds real blood. Cast a healing spell good for thirty points of damage, and the thorn vanishes and the wound closes up.
- After The holy symbol is placed around the statue's neck, the eyes begin to glow with a bluish white light. (Positive divine energy) Sanctuary, Repel Undead, Repel Evil, and Greater Turning all simultaneously activate, powered by the holy symbol, which pulses with light flowing along the chain into the statue's neck. If Amylin looks into the statue's eyes at this point, she will see the pupils of Ehlonna burning within, and will experience a surge of her celestial power.
- After the seed has been planted into the tree's base, a tiny leaf sprouts from the tip of the enlongated branch. Accelerate Plant Growth will cause this to grow into a bundle of leaves, and a tiny greenish pod.
-After all of the trails have been completed, the tiny green pod will grow into a ripe apple. This apple must be picked and then eaten by all who wish to pass. If the apple is touched by any kind of metal, it will quickly rot away, and a new apple will not grow until the following day. Anyone who eats from the apple while it is ripe suddenly can see the truth about the forest, including the full trail, differences between a trent and a normal tree, and other secrets.

9: Dryad Venture- You finally come across a large clearing, though the sunlight doesn't penetrate. Looking up, and up, and up, you see what is easily the tallest and lushest oak you have ever seen, its branches teeming with vines and moss and flowers, birds and small mammals chattering from within its branches, utterly overgrown with life of all kinds. The birds joyously sing the praises of the forest goddess, exalting her name, and hailing those who come in her name. Surrounding the tree are eight huge, ancient oaks. Dryads step forth from these trees, and approach you. Each individual Dryad is a personal servant of Eholnna, and has thought up his or her own way of testing the would-be heroes. The largest Dryad speaks:

"Well met, children of Ehlonna. You have proven yourselves worthy to look at the Tree of Life. From its seeds sprang the ancestors of every tree and every kind of natural plant in the world. Sheltered in its boughs are the ancestors of every kind of animal. From its leaves come the magic that makes the very air breathable. From its roots come the magic that makes the soil yeild crops. All praise Ehlonna, for giving birth to our Mother Tree!"

"All praise Ehlonna! All hail the forest mother!"

"And all thank her servant, Rimmix, who carried the Seed of Life to this world for Ehlonna, and planted it in the ground in her name."

"Thanks be to Rimmix!"

"The Tree of Life bears all kinds of fruit, and they are not merely good for food. They invoke miracles of those who eat them."

"If you would eat from the tree of life, you must prove yourselves worthy. Each of we eight has created his and her own test to prove a person's worth. Each of you four must prove your worthiness." *looks at Amylin.* "Some of you look to be closer to the goddess than others… will you each stand alone on your own merits? Or will you four work together as one, and pass as one, and fail as one?"

Dryad #1: Little girl— This little girl dryad watches you silently, her eyes wide, her expression neutral. She follows you around and watches you. If questioned, she speaks in utterly factual sentances, and speaks truths about the people before her, with little or no moral judgement or emotion about the things she is saying. If she thinks you're uncertian, she tells you you're uncertian. If she thinks you're being polite, she tells you you're being polite. If she thinks you're lying, you FAIL.

If the party fails any of the Dryads' tests, the Dryad will send you to redeem yourself somehow, based on the nature of the failure, and then allow you to try again.

10: Tree of Life

Looking up, you see the tallest, lushest oak tree you've ever seen. The branches teem with life: birds, mammals, etc. The chatter of the birds seems happy.
The biggest tree in the center is surrounded by 8 seemingly small trees - small, that is, until you look at them more closely. They're still some of the tallest oak trees you've ever seen, but they're dwarfed by the humongous specimen in the center. The clearing between the oaks is about 100 yards in radius, with the biggest oak at the center and the 8 smaller oaks surrounding it at the compass points.

We see 1 elf girl (child) with green hair; she looks with a "not the authority" look and runs behind the big tree.
Moments later, 7 distinctive, elvish-looking women and the girl approach from behind the big tree.
1 has hair flowers, 1 has hair to her ankles; all of them have green hair

"Quest is not over - just begun; prove you know the forest"
Party accepts the burden to prove our intentions and worth
Ground around the tree and the tree itself begin to fill up with animals like an auditorium filling up with people

verbatim from notes - needs clarification
sprout from seeds & struggle up, Damir helping Emby up first
- Damir sees translucent Emby ahead, in a sundress
Emby in sundress
Damir in original blue outfit with flute
Peregrine in reds and blacks simple farmerish clothing
Amilyn in her priestly robes

in tree pushing & Emby counts the days - grow fast
Damir moves acorns for a while
Damir is having mental problems
4 fruits, handful of each
end of stuff from notes

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