I’ve done what I can for them, and they hardly take notice. The uneven rocking of the boat tells me that we have yet to cross the river, but what’s troubling is not what I feel under my bones, but what I can’t smell.
The reek as we’ve left Flod hasn’t given way to salt air or decaying reed grasses. It’s as if we are sailing off the edge of the map. I can hear water lapping on the shore, but no scent of wood in water or drying fish.
The boat bumps to a halt, and I’m clumsily helped out on to the shore
Finally a smell, though not a pleasant one. Poorly butchered meat and salt. This place is not in ballance, not connected. Silent. It’s not just Rudainia that has gone silent but the great five pointed web itself has cessed to vibrate.
Some meaningless banter and an exchange of some bobble for information gave my adventuring companions enough courage to cross the river. But no one asks me what I think, and I’m so far from home I don’t have much choice but to follow.
We trudge through a root infested path and then out onto unkempt cobble stones when I can feel a breeze and with it the first hint of life. Forest, alive, but not living. Ripe with decay and malice.
Apparently we come to a gap in a bridge and I’m unceremoniously lowered onto two ropes and told to shuffle across by my armpits. I slip half way through and while they debate about how they might help me up, I right myself. I’m blind, not helpless.
I feel the space close in and the smell of the forest deepens, we slow and I hear a new voice hoarsely calling, I can’t make it out, sounds like names.
The cocky one, Bryce, whispers in my ear, “What do you smell?”
The smug little bastard. He thinks he’s smarter than everyone, but he knows nothing.
I tell him, “the forest.”
He brings me closer to the new voice, and as I lean in, I feel a spongy hand on my chest and suddenly I’m thrust 10 feet backward.
From there the usual sounds of slashing and stabbing. These men and half-elves have little imagination.
A arrow whistles and the forest comes alive. I lack the vocabulary to describe the language of the trees, but I can smell their now angry breath on the breeze.
I hear a the crack of a whip, and then another and Bryce cries out. A smash of glass and then heat and the sound of cracking, smoking wet wood.
We’ve made our way to the door of this place, but it has announced we are not welcome.
I’m currently playing through a campaign DM’d by the indomitable Erik Maxwell. As a writing exercise I’m giving myself 30 minutes to recap our weekly adventures.