Friday, October 16, 2020

Open the Dungeon Gate #2: Through the Elder Forest

System Used: DnD 5e

Players: A playing as Ski

Ski and Nemeia stand at the edge of the small Elder Forest, their destination awaiting on the other side. Any other route would add hours, if not days, to reach their destination. Due to the nature of the wild, the King had ordered extra protection for the Princess in the form of Ea; Nemeia's older sister.

As they stepped past the threshold and into the trees, the first thing they all noticed was the general silence. The three, growing up in Garell, had many experiences near and in this forest but never had they heard it so quiet before.

"Keep your eye open sister, and Ski remain behind us!", demanded Ea.

As they pushed further, Ski began to notice faint whispering but couldn't make out the source. She informed the others, with just heightened their guard and general tension.

Still, they saw nothing. No movement. No signs of life.

The anxiety lessened as they continued, perhaps to a degree that lowered their guard. Ski had wished that they had been able to take the journey on horseback, but it was considered a sign of offense for a native of Garell to ride an animal through this area to the people of Aidespir and thus the chore of the trip had to be done on foot, especially considering the circumstances.

After an hour, Ski and Nemeia began to chat rather loudly about their excitement of the festivities that awaited them. This provided the perfect chance for the desperate thief that had been stalking the trio for some time. He crept up quickly behind them, club lifted high, and smacked Ski hard across the back sending her to the ground stunned and confused by the sudden strike.

The sound of the blow alerted the tiefling sisters who turned quickly enough to take note and saved them from suffering the same fate. Both pulled their morning stars into position and attempted to take down the new enemy. Both narrowly missed the squirrelly bastard. He then attempted to charge at Ea but stopped in his tracks before he could do any damage. An arrow was now piercing his skull, coming in from the back of his head and now protruding from his right eye socket with his now displaced eye ball dangling from the end.

He collapsed dead and the sisters saw Ski standing behind him, crossbow in hand.

Ea laughed a deep laugh and Nemeia clapped in amazement.

"You're getting damn good at that", Nemeia complimented. 

Nemeia wanted to check the body for clues and goods but Ea protested that they should move in case further enemies awaited. Ski took the elder sister's stance and they took off, now far more quickly, into the forest. 

Ten minutes from the exit, Ski noticed a bush shaking and went to inspect it. Ea and Nemeia had yet to notice her diverting and continued ahead. Upon inspection, Ski found three young fae dragons hiding out. She marveled at them, adoring their cute features. Alas, the danger was not through for the young princess on this journey though as the mother of the dragons did not respect Ski's cuteness in return and instead decided she needed to protect her babies.

While small, with a height of only about 2 feet, even an angry fae dragon might appear to be something to brush off but anyone that lived near these little beasts knew they had a dangerous side.

It jumped out from near the bush and latched onto Ski's ankle. Ea and Nemeia had finally noticed Ski was missing and ran back in search of her in time to see her struggling to slash the little dragon off of her with her dagger. 

When the winged animal saw the approaching friends, it vanished into thin air, snuck behind them, and tried to latch onto Ea but failed to do so in a stealthy enough fashion and alerted the talented paladin. She turned, swinging her morningstar hard and landed a thud of a hit which made the magic hiding the dragon cease in time for her to see the little creature look up at her dazed and bloody.

As Ea went to finish the job, Ski screamed, "STOP!" as loud as she could.

"She's protecting her children. Let her go, Ea!"

Ea lowered her weapon, nodded in Ski's direction, took a deep breathe, and started walking towards the exit again.

"Please, stay with us this time, princess", was all she said in the process.

Nemeia and Ski shared a look and a laugh, collected themselves, and left as the fae dragon scampered off.

As the three left the Elder Forest, they didn't look back as they continued onward.

Had they done so, they would have noticed a small army of about twenty goblins staring out at them.

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