6th of Norigon
Another attack on our new found temple by what seemed to be bloated corpses has caused us to rethink if our hold on this accursed place is tenable. We have yet to see any of the city watch that we were promised to hold the temple in our absence. As such, we decided as a group to abandon the evil site and let the world reclaim it, first we had to do something about the villagers we had rescued. Those still left in our care were the ones too infirm to make it back to Darkwell unassisted. Therefore it was decided that I should head to Darkwell and procure some transport.
The journey into Darkwell went without any sort of excitement, which was not to be the case for the trip back. After spending a generous amount of gold on a couple of wagons and the beasts to pull them I set off back for the temple. I should have hired some mercenaries too as I was waylayed by goblins who swiftly dispatched most of the ponies. I barely managed to escape by melting into the forest. It took a little time but I eventually made my way back to the temple sans transport, but thankfully the party was reunited. As the forests were simply crawling with goblins and with the temple set to be abandoned by the group we escorted the survivors back on the one wagon I had managed to keep safe.
The villagers rescued, we were left at a crossroads. We weren’t going back but where were we going? As a group we decided to seek out the Orcs who seemed to be working for the lizardmen who had been a constant thorn in our sides. Our foray into the backwoods around Darkwell had us sighting an ominous plume of smoke in the distance. Of course we had to investigate, if there was a forest fire the people of Darkwell would need to be warned.
The smoke turned out to be from a fire. Specifically a fire that was engulfing a small hamlet. This wasn’t the work of bandits, a fast reconnoiter of the area revealed a group of hobgoblins and their pet ape were responsible for the inferno. The group came up with a wonderfully complicated plan to try and rescue any survivors. It worked, sort of, we managed to kill all of the hostile forces after a misstep with our cleric. He did some fine work with his fireball, even managing to burn some more of the hamlet. With the hobgoblins dispatched we searched for survivors and found but one. A woman by the name of Bonny.
We couldn’t very well let this act of murder go unanswered. Without delay we set off after the ones who were responsible. Their tracks led to a path that ran up a butte. There were a lot of tracks. Even more intriguing though, was at the summit laid ruins of Druidic origin. Being niether encumbered or slowed by any natural obstacles I made my way stealthily around the entire butte, looking for any other path up to the top. I informed the party that the path was the only way when I emerged from the thorn vines some time later.
It turns out that fighting our way up wasn’t the main problem. We set up a fake campsite at the base of the butte and laid an ambush. It worked so far as getting the attention of those at the top of the butte. The plan rended itself to pieces before we ever had a chance to ambush anybody, we were caught and the fight was on. We were beset upon by orcs and the lizardmen who were keen on having us disarm and meet their boss. We decided that didn’t sound like an acceptable proposal and drew arms. The lizard that seemed to be in charge of the other greenskins was not happy with our choice and was all to happy to start calling down wrathful magic on us. Having barley survived his first magical blast I knew that he had to be removed from the equation and quickly. Summoning my ever faithful friend Burpy, we both set off to distract the lizardman if nothing else.
The group was eventually victorious despite Cole being downed in the melee. Burpy. I watched as my only companion I had as a child was struck down by that scaly bastard and I was filled with a rage that could only be quenched with the blood of his killer. I never got the chance as he laid a clawed hand on me and flash fried me where I stood.
I knew I was dead, it’s difficult to explain but I felt my consciousness floating in the ether between realms. I was in a void so vast that I could feel my sanity unraveling as I contemplated the vast nothingness I found myself in. I can’t say how long I was like that before the voice. Without ears I could of course hear nothing, but a voice drown out my rapidly degrading mind and called for my attention. The voice spoke not in a language as much as it was in images, I saw the ruins at the top of the butte only it wasn’t in ruins. There were druids there! As I realized this the images changed and showed me other places of Druid influence throughout the region as they are and as they were. The images began blurring as they rapidly shifted from one scene of natural devastation to the next.
As the images continued I came to understand that I was being shown these things by Gaia herself. She was suffering and I was the only Druid left to hear her pleas for help. I awoke with a jolt of pain as my entire body spasmed. I was alive, brought back by the magic still hidden in the ruins, though not without some discomfort. Every muscle in my body seemed to be on fire and unwilling to work. That was fine, I knew I would work the soreness out of them by visiting wrath upon those who were defiling Gaia.