Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What You Missed - Folkewood Spring Event

by Renee "Mouse" Booke

The weather wasn’t ideal for Voraniss’ journey to New Verai. Spring had gotten off to a very rainy start, and so the ground was damp and slick. The clouds hung overhead keeping an eye on us regardless, knowing that we wouldn’t be deterred from venturing off to help our neighbors. We weren’t sure entirely what to expect considering what has happened to us in the past, but we knew it wasn’t going to be good. After the posted missives suggesting that someone was looking into buying lycans, we felt like a target had been placed upon our backs. We were all on high alert for danger.

When we arrived the different factions of New Verai were engaged in heated political discourse. This conversation was quickly interrupted when an assassin struck. This time the victim was the Sacred of Flame, a Fire Priestess by the name of Azeneth. It all happened so fast that I was shocked, for one moment she had been there right in front of me, and the next moment she was gone.

Thinking quickly, someone used time magic to prevent Azeneth from being completely obliterated. Now, the arcane isn’t exactly my expertise…so take what I say with a grain of salt. From my understanding it was this magic that put her soul in a type of stasis so that we could work to retrieve her and bring her back to reality. The only problem was that time rifts were popping up around the area as a result. We were going to have to work quickly to prevent things from becoming worse.

It soon became apparent to us that Azeneth would be needed in our own time to prevent something tragic from happening. Without her, it appeared as if some kind of disease that slowly turned people to stone might possibly become a reality. Either way, my motivations were simpler than all of that. Azeneth was a friend, and adventuring to save her just felt right.

In and out of rifts we went, collecting items to help us construct a compass that would be able to direct us in time. At one point, some very primitive peoples with a strong relationship to fire made Karmha their Queen, hailed Kyara of Gau Dring as a Priestess of the Flame, and worshiped a shapeshifted Swoop who appeared before them as a Fire Elemental. It was very interesting and I saw many things that are difficult to describe with words…namely because I don’t fluently speak the grunty language of Mogar and his ilk, so I have no idea what everyone was saying to one another.

In another rift we found ourselves in prison with our weapons confiscated and blocks put on our magic. We had to use our smarts, solving puzzles to free our magics, while others bribed the guards to get weapons and sneak them inside the prison walls. I heard some adventurers were quite crafty about this, going so far as to hide the bodies of guards they managed to overpower.

Once we had obtained some special ore for the compass, it needed to be properly aligned to where/when we were by receiving Siltana’s blessing. The tricky part of all of this was that it was going to take at least two types of magic to do so. Together we all formed an elemental circle, charging the area with the natural power of Siltana. Gau Dring and Voraniss took the lead on this, teaming up to act as the elemental points while the rest of the adventurers sorted themselves around the circle in the elemental positions they most strongly identified with. With the elements on the outside of the circle, those representing the aspect of Spirit where safe to be in the center. Lako and Hygar took up that burden and were able to fuse their power to interesting effect. Hygar’s connection with the natural world and Lako’s ability to manipulate time and reality took them on a strange and bizarre magical journey, but they were able to get the job done.

It’s when the nighttime came that my memories start to get a little fuzzy, so you must forgive me. My emotions regarding all of these events are still running quite high. I remember the nighttime rifts to Gaol opening up, I remember solving puzzles and rearranging objects with my friends that were as heavy as boulders…and then I remember the compulsion to go and fight the Night Pack. The response to the challenge I issued them at Feast of Leviathan. I remember marching into battle alongside my brothers and sisters of Voraniss, I remember Sarix Nosetti becoming a were-boar of Mogar’s line earlier that day and agreeing to fight beside us. I remember Rillan fearlessly coming to our aid as a fellow lycan, and friend. And I remember the screaming.

Oh how I remember the call to the God of Vengeance as we marched. I could feel his light around me as I carried him onto the battlefield and stood face to face with one of the Masters of the Night Pack. I remember he and I exchanged words, I remember my rage…but I can’t remember much after that. My memories fade to darkness like I am haunted by some memory that is just out of my reach. The echoes of howls and the sound of battle feel like a distant dream…but I digress.

When the dawn came we were tested by the Gods. Trapped in a mental prison of our own doing, I suppose we felt the need to see that vengeance through and finish our quest against the Night Pack, and to learn that were truly not prepared for such a battle. We wouldn’t have made it out of there had our friends not come to rescue us, for which I am incredibly grateful…but my soul still aches.

After that, people worked on putting Redd back together after his life force had been used in a ritual to restore our magics to us. The poor man was incorporeal for most of the adventure, unable to physically interact with many of us, but still able to be there and be of assistance. There were also political tensions between nations of the Realms, but ultimately we were able to talk things out once everyone had calmed down and put their concerns out in the open. Most of it came down to miscommunication and misunderstandings. For my part, I will strive to improve my communication skills for the future and make sure those under my care do the same.

The last part of our adventure, after we put some very wiggly reality puzzle pieces together, took us far back into the past. A time where we met one of the most majestic creatures I have ever seen. Kang, I believe his name was, appeared to be a pink gorilla of sorts. Lako believed this must have been some kind of distant ancestor, but Mogar believed this was definitely something he wanted to mate with during tusking season despite the fact that the creature was flinging his own poo. Kang was not intellectually advanced, but he was strong and could speak in broken phrases to us. We tried to befriend him, and soon learned that his innate immunity to the disease we were fighting would help make everything right.

Swoop played music, trying to set the mood for Mogar’s wooing of Kang, but it was no avail. The Orc’s moves were rejected. Kyara tumbled around in an acrobatic display to entertain him. Laika even tried to stand on his head with some help from other adventurers. Kang clapped his hands, amused, but wasn’t really having any of that. Despite the wound to Mogar’s pride, Gavin and Artair were able to gather up the adventurers and get Kang to participate in a ritual to Gaia in which his immunity and strength were shared with the rest of us, curing those who had been afflicted with the disease. I wanted to take him home, but alas we were pulled away in time and returned back to the present.

Azeneth was back. Despite my relief upon seeing her face once more, many believed that things have been altered by our meddling; worried that we have yet to see the damage our actions have caused. If assassins are trying to kill people in our time/reality to perfect their own, I have no doubt that we will be forced to deal with this again. Next time I hope we are better prepared to prevent such a travesty.

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