A few more months passed as the lords watched the treasury, hoping to build a waterfront port area on the northern border of the city. During Ishadi, an arsonist tried to burn down some housing, but the warden and his men caught the vandal before serious damage occurred. The waterfront went up in Sarbadi, signaling a period of great trade to commence. During these months, Kalevi worked on more pocketwatches, making one at cost for Eumelia. Eumelia continued her performances, dazzling the crowd and earning a healthy salary. Eumelia had honed her skills as a performer during the previous months, and it now showed. Galienne spent her time creating scrolls for upcoming adventures, and Bryn arm wrestled in tavern competitions in order to earn free ale.
As the lords saddled up to explore on the first of Metadi, they heard of a boy that had gone missing a couple of days ago. Despite their warning, he would amuse himself by the rivers north of the lake. They would try to find him but would not make any promises. They set out to explore the northwest area past the lake. They were passing by a hill when they heard a voice call out for help on the other side. They started to approach when it started calling out Bryn and Eumelia by name. It was suspicious, but Kalevi could not sense any malice from the voice. Once they made it over the hill, they saw a lion’s body with deer hooves and the head of a badger resting by an alcove. Kalevi recognized it as a leucrotta, a magical beast known for luring prey with its charm. Everyone felt a mental pulse wash over them, but Kalevi and Galienne remained fixed. Bryn and Eumelia gained a dazed look in their eyes. The leucrotta told them to sit down and wait for her until she was done. Galienne and Kalevi drew their weapons while Eumelia and Bryn walked to a nearby bush and sat down. Galienne cursed Bryn as she pulled out her spear, and she and the eighth-orc got to work fending off the beast. After a few good hits, the leucrotta admitted defeat by leaping up at the top of its home and trying to climb away, but it slipped and fell, breaking its back in the process. Kalevi put it out of its misery with a strong swing of her greataxe. After Bryn and Eumelia were roused from their reverie, they discovered stolen items within the alcove, no doubt special treasures from former victims. There was a breastplate and heavy shield crafted from a blue dragon’s scales as well as some money, knickknacks, and a feather token that materialized a tree when employed. The group rested up and healed wounds before continuing exploration.
The second day was a bit less dangerous but just as odd. While investigating the plains, a crazed and dirty gnome approached the group, spouting nonsense. By his side was a mountain cat. Eumelia’s inquiry to the cat showed that he was just as bonkers. The gnome babbled his way to Bryn’s horse before pulling out a short sword and swiping the poor mount. He and his cat were quickly dispatched for attempted horse murder. Upon inspection of the gnome’s equipment and home, a small locket with a picture of a gnome woman with two children was found. They deduced that this was Snip’s brother and took the locket with them for relay.
On the third day of Metadi, the group explored the area where the will-o’-wisps were reported, but the tower island was about a quarter mile from the shore in all directions, so they chose to come back another time with a boat.
The next day was an interesting reunion. They came across a stalled wagon in the middle of a river. The leader was barking orders while the rest scrambled in an attempt to pull it out. Coming up to the center, they quickly recognized the leader as Gambion, the gnome from Dullunar who was also curious about the area. The group chose to help out, Eumelia calming the horses and Galienne calling upon the strength of Shekastra and pulling the wagon out of the river. Gambion entertains them with his dancing badger dish while explaining what happened. When he pulled out of Dullunar, he barely escaped with the city’s mages raining destruction on the ship. They lost the engine and converted what was left into a wagon. Since then, they had spent two years trying to find civilization. The gnome relayed a lot of information on their map. The lords escorted Gambion and the rest of his crew back to their capital city.
On the fifth day, they decided to visit the nixie to the northeast of their city in hopes of making peaceful contact. They arrived to a pool surrounded by several angry men. The nixie hid in the pool to avoid them. The group discovered that the men, citizens of their kingdom, had cut down trees near the nixie’s pool. In her spite, she charmed some of his men so they sat helpless and clueless. Kalevi spoke to the nixie while Eumelia and Galienne spoke with the men. To reach a peaceful conclusion, the nixie requested six new trees, spawned from magical tokens, from her dryad friend Tyrfanel to the east and wanted the lords to pick them up. The nixie gave her name, Sintefilisana, so that the dryad knew we were honest. The humans also had to go, and considering that the lords had banned their citizens from traveling north of the river due to the hazards, they had no problem with this as well. The group was able to relay information about a rich grove ten miles north of the old bandit camp that the lumberjacks could use once the situation had blown over.
The group traveled to Tyrfanel’s grove a few leagues east of Sintefilisana’s home. When they arrived, the beautiful dyrad emerged from her tree and was soon accompanied by her satyr consort. Tyrfanel, however, was not quick with the tree tokens, instead asking the group to remove a deadly scythetree that lurked to the north, tainted the ground, and made the trees wail. They agreed and traveled quickly, taking out the scythetree with blades and fire. Returning, the dryad already knew of their success. She rewarded them and their mounts with kisses and several magical consumables including the tree tokens Sintefilisana requested. On the way back to the nixie, they were waylaid by an owlbear that, upon death and examination, had ingested a strong magical item used to bind creatures. The group quickly replaced the trees for the nixie. For their effort, the dryad and nixie promised to relay any information they heard from the trees and the rivers to the lords. With the men released, the group led them to the grove they could work in.
The journey took two days, so they dropped off the loggers on the seventh. Since they were in Snip’s area, they rode there to deliver the locket. He rewarded the group with some potions that augmented strength. It had been a while since the group was this far south, and they recalled the unicorn corpse far to the east, so they chose to ride there in hopes of asking the unicorn what caused its demise. They arrived on the eighth, the area no more or less corrupted than before. Galienne used her powers to communicate with the corpse. The unicorn said it was slayed instantly by a magical ray of intense power, but it could not identify its killer. The mystery was still incomplete, but the group could do no more and headed back north to explore.
On the ninth, they searched the area north of where they found the drunken giant. They were assaulted by a wyvern who fought by picking up Bryn and taking him skyward. Kalevi attempted to counter by throwing a leftover tree token under the wyvern, shooting them both up on stable canopy and giving Bryn a better chance. Summoned elementals finished off the rest. Curiously enough, some magical boots was also found in its gut, their power in granting levitation. Galienne took them as her own.
On the tenth, they searched around a ferry, but there was nothing of note.