Elitacee (Ben), Reo (Savannah), and Quelenna (Lexy) were present.  Shea and Joel had to cancel last minute.  We played on a Thursday due to work schedules.

The entire group ended up in a cave system half a day’s travel from the fork in the road. Two prisoners in tow:

BANDIT – Amas Lithtaur (Wood Elf Female Bandit Fur Cape) & BANDIT – Gregory Drake (longsword)

Immediately following the battle at the fork in the road, Quelenna (Quelenna) noticed that ALL of the animals of the woods were quietly sitting and staring at her. They followed her with her eyes and heads, made no intent to approach, and when she approached them the allowed her to go as far as petting them. At this point, it was small game and animals, birds, etc.

They decided, at the request of Amas, to administer one of the health potions they had confiscated to Gregory Drake to stabilize him. Then they fixed the wagon, and Gregornie the camel along with the horse pulled the wagon along with the prisoners.

They followed the road along the river and eventually found a shallow spot where the bank allowed them to cross. They were able to from that point of view what appeared to be a cave and as they crossed the river they found a very narrow road off to the right that they were able to explore and find a system of caves that were uninhabited by anything or any creature . They settled into the middle of three caves which was a standalone cave . The higher and lower caves were connected by a tunnel system.

Reo went off to gather and forage food and supplies while everyone rested in The Cave. Lexi went and sat and watched the animals who were gathering in greater and greater numbers including larger animals such as bear, moose, wolves, etc. the animals made no move to harm and justice watched what was happening and followed Quelenna around with their eyes and heads. After eating and in attempt to interrogate the prisoners who were less than forthcoming with any information Quelenna and Reo decided to approach the animals at the border of the forest and see what would happen and Elitacee decided to follow along. The animals parted and a giant grizzly bear indicated through its actions that they were supposed to follow , and they turned around to try to go back and tell everyone where they went and all of the other animals that had been in the forest completely blocked them in and prevented them from going back up to the caves to tell people where they were going.

They followed the grizzly bear all night long and walked for miles and miles . They reached a clearing and the grizzly laid down for a rest so they all joined. While they were resting Lexi had a vision . It started above the clearing that they were in, which had 12 paths all leading out from the clearing. That showed the correct path that they were to walk. The vision flashed and showed a completely burned and decimated clearing full of blight . It flashed again and showed a vision of old broken down buildings and some sort of altar . It flashed again and showed a vision of a enormous tree that towered above the surrounding forest somewhere deep in the wilderness. They all woke up and selected the path that her vision had shown and started walking.

They walked for days. At least 10 days day and night around the clock , not feeling the need for rest or food. Almost as if they were in a trance like state and they just kept walking without really paying attention or noticing any details as to where they were going.

Eventually they reached a spot where there was a old male gnome sitting on a rock fishing. The rock sat next to a small narrow wood bridge. The grizzly bear who was the guide and protector seemed very confused to find this creature here , and all of the other animals that were accompanying through the forest also seemed confused.

The 3 engaged the gnome in conversation and had a pleasant chat about who he was and what he did and he didn’t have a lot of details about either of those things.

As he answered Quelenna and looked into her eyes and then essentially threw her she could see in his eyes memories and events happening and history flowing through.

They asked if the fishing was good and he said it is to day, and as he said that fish kind of exploded from the river all over in huge numbers.

Reo decided to test the bridge and put her weight on it and it was a solid wood bridge so she explored across while the party talked . She went down the road a little ways on the other side and tried to come back. In this time frame the gnome started cackling and his laugh got more and more insane and maniacal and filled the forest.

The bear stood on hind legs and placed himself between Lexi and Elitacee and the gnome . As all of this was happening the space in the middle of the bridge between both shores started to shimmer and pulsate and Reo was having a harder and harder time seeing across it and hearing anything and she tried to run through it and couldn’t make it past whatever this barrier was so she turned and ran the other direction only to see a barrier far down The road that was similar. As she watched the barrier started to move towards her and the barrier behind her seemed to be collapsing and she seemed to be trapped in this weird bubble that was collapsing in on itself.

Outside the bubble Quelenna and Elitacee watched as the gnome and the bridge disappeared , they watched larger animals try to get across the river and to the gnome and bounce off of the bubble wall and fall into what was now a raging river with no way across and had to Swim back.

As Reo watched from inside the bubble huge roots and vines exploded from the earth around the gnome and tried to grab him and grapple him and confine him and a battle between the gnome and the roots raged while the walls of this bubble thing collapsed towards her. In desperation she high tailed it up a tree and managed to reach 70 or 75 feet up the tree. As she got high up in the tree she became completely enveloped in the tree and became trapped and grappled and couldn’t move and barely had the ability to breathe. As this was happening the roots we’re still struggling with the gnome and the wall of the bubble was collapsing in on itself faster and faster. It blew past the tree and Reo in it , and finally imploded on itself when the roots managed to finally contain the gnome and thunderously pulled him into the earth. At this point everything was still.

Quelenna and Elitacee managed to climb onto the big grizzly bear who tried to swim across the river with them on his back. They could see Reo’s Tabaxi tail sticking out of the tree, but nothing else. They were too heavy and he ended up missing the bank on the other side and being pulled downstream a couple of 100 feet. He managed to grab the bank and hold on but the current was so strong that it was pulling him along. Quelenna managed to get off with an acrobatic jump and Elitacee tried the same and missed and then missed his grab at the bears back leg and was swept down river. He eventually ended up caught in a giant root that was protruding out from the bank. In the meantime Lexi managed to climb all the way up the bank and eventually the bear was able to regain his strength and climb up the bank and join her and they walked down towards Elitacee where they finally spotted him in the river against the tree trunk. Using rope they threw it down to him and up over a branch and tied it to the bear and used the bear to haul him up and out safely. They then started the hour trek back up through the difficult terrain to where the crossing would have been and started walking towards where Reo was.

As they came up the road they were quite surprised to find that Reo was leaning against the tree and smirking to herself . As it turns out the tree was a treant , who had held Reo in his arms as a protection against the magic once he realized what she was doing and had essentially saved her. They had a discussion with the treant and asked many questions and learned that something that was referred to as she would have to fill them in on all of their questions and that she was the one that they were journeying to see.

They eventually started walking having the questions that the treant could and was willing to answer answered and they walked for another 18 or 20 days , again without really the need for much food or rest . They managed to grab some berries and stuff along the trail that they munched on and that was enough to sustain them through whatever this was. They reached a very small clearing that was just big enough for them and the grizzly and the grizzly laid down and rested for the first time in that many days so they joined in. 5ish hours into their rest they noticed dancing small lights coming out of the forest and making forays past all of the animals that were still travelling with Quelenna and the adventurers. The animals did not seem concerned or worried at all. These dancing lights flitted about closer and closer and then they had voices that could be heard saying come with us come find us come see us and Reo failed her will saving throw and decided that it was a good idea because of that fail to go off and go ahead and find them and talk to them. As it turned out they were friendly and excited fairy creatures who were asking questions like are you her are you here to help who are you who are we where are we and a bunch of nonsense. There were so many of them that they formed essentially a giant impenetrable ball completely surrounding Reo which was incredibly bright inside and surprisingly loud and overwhelming. Quelenna watched this from a distance and approached and as she got closer the creatures noticed her and swarmed her asking the same questions. About the time that she was having a mental breakdown they dissipated and it was getting light outside.

The bear woke up and wandered over to them and they followed the trail down to a spot where there was a giant waterfall on top of a huge Cliff . This was a place from Quelenna’s vision , and her second vision that showed her more detail of this exact spot. Standing up on this side of the bank with no way across the raging river , and looking down into the valley below, they could see sheer Cliff walls lots of vegetation down below, a giant waterfall, and the largest tree that they could even possibly imagine. The tree towered hundreds of feet up above the old growth forest and its canopy covered miles and miles. As they watched the tree above them they could occasionally see glimpses of sky and up above the sky was the mist and the fog that had surrounded the gnome and that had been present in all of Quelenna’s visions. The tree was moving enough to create a strong wind so that the fog and the mist could not get through it. This was the same as in Quelenna’s vision.

As they stood at the side of the river looking around large roots came up out of the ground on the other side and spanned the river creating a bridge. The bear went across the bridge and they followed and the bear laid himself down at the top of a massive ancient stone staircase that led down the side of the walls . The stairs had ruins etched in each one. They left the bearer at the top and made their way down , walking for hours and hours as the trail switched back down the steep slopes . It eventually passed behind the massive waterfall where they found thousands of the glowing fairy creatures. More roots and vines came up to form a staircase ledge so that they would not slip off the wet stairs. By the time they finally reached the bottom an indeterminate amount of time later they were sopping wet. They exited from under the massive waterfall and found a giant lake that they walked around . The valley was lush with life and greenery. They felt a deep sense of peace and comfort and safety and as they walked and travelled their wound and their sore muscles and all of their ailments seemed to heal and be no more. They eventually reached a spot towards the trunk of the tree where the greenery ended and a lush thick forest loam filled the floor. They walked across this and eventually settled down to rest and sank deep into it comfortably. The tree itself was easily bigger than any of the cities or villages that they had seen in diameter and would take days to walk around and went higher than their imaginations could even fathom.

As they laid there, eventually a beautiful large dryad emerged from the tree and introduced herself. Her name is Dryope.

The dryad explained , through conversation and eventually, that Quelenna was the descendant of a druid that had allied herself with the dryad and a community of wood elves back in the day to combat the encroachment into this realm by someone that she called he. He was a extremely powerful Fae Lord who wanted to take this wilderness that was under the dryads protection and corrupt it and poison it and turn it into an arena for his games. The dryad and her allies fought for generations and the dryad was indeed still fighting now but without allies at this point in time. The valley and vale that they found themselves in was the stronghold of the dryad and where her magic was the strongest. Because the ancient druid had been killed and destroyed when her home had been destroyed and then cursed her soul was tied to that place and Quelenna was tasked with freeing her, locating the elvin ruins for help and artifacts, restoring the druids home and healing it of the blight and the rot that had taken hold in an effort to battle back and continue the fight against he.

The party was also informed that the owl bear that they were tasked with hunting was indeed abnormal and was actually a creation of he that had broken free and gone insane and was now rampaging through the forest.

In order to help in their quest Dryope awarded several magic weapons and tools to these three. At the end of their conversation Dryope opened a portal that transported the adventurers back to The Cave where the rest of the party is still sleeping having not had any time pass.