AAR: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

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AAR: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Reyntrannin » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:20 pm

LFG: A Question of Nature
Time: 6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT[*]
GM: ReynTrannin
Requester: Zivilyn
Circle: ECR 5
Difficulty: Hard

Rumor: Rumors of a 'walking forest' have been circulating for some time, and, with his curiosity piqued, Zivilyn has begun planning an expedition to track it down and learn its secrets.

Requested reward: Elementalist multi-discipline unlock



Player Rewards:
Moe'uhane: 6000lp, 713sp, 5tip
Norg: 6000lp, 713sp, 5tip
Reyis Poriv: 6000lp, 713sp, 5tip
Temur Tengerkhan: 6000lp, 713sp, 5tip
Zivilyn: 6000lp, 713sp, 5tip, Unlocked Elementalist Discipline

GM Reward:
Langren Vogel: 4000 LP, 475 Sp, 3 TIP's

Downtime Actions Available:
Moe'uhane: Research - step 9
Reyis Poriv: Animal Training (4) Step 10
Zivilyn: Animal Training (Talent) - Step 16 including karma (Rank 6) (can train up to 6 commands total, or improve non-combat skills by +1 per command used on it)
Zivilyn: Step 20 including karma (Rank 3). +3 to the step is available at a cost of 20 sp for access to the Great Library of Throal.
Zivilyn: Step 14 including karma (Rank 3)
Last edited by Reyntrannin on Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:02 pm

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by bronzemountain » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:28 pm

This is a secondary character. Please prioritize primaries.

Name: Temur Tengerkhan
Circle: 5/4 (ECL 5)
Discipline: Spirit Rider / War Rider
Quote/Unique: "Those are good thoughts for thinking."
Notable Abilities: I ride an imaginary horse. I do the tracking and the survival.
Downtime: Wine, women, dancing.
Last Played: 2020-06-10

Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:28 pm

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Xzandrate » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:26 pm

Name: Moe'uhane
Date of Last Game Played: 2020-06-17
ECR: 6
Discipline: Illusionist(6)/Messenger (2)
Unique: Enhanced matrix, buffs, some socials, Pretend fireballs
Downtime: Research - step 9

Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:59 am

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:38 pm

Name: Norg
Last played on: 2020-06-25
ECR: 6 (51345lp)
Discipline: Gauntlet 6 / Air Sailor 1
Quote/Unique: Endure, in enduring grow strong
Notable Abilities: PUNCH!, some awareness, some wilderness survival, the worst physician this side of the mountains
Downtime: none
Last edited by sigfriedmcwild on Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Sharkforce » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:23 pm

Name: Zivilyn
ECR: 5
Last Played: Jun 23
Discipline: Shaman/Wizard 5/3
Notable Abilities: Spells, mostly buffs. Good with animals.
Downtime: Downtime: Animal Training (Talent) - Step 16 including karma (Rank 6) (can train up to 6 commands total, or improve non-combat skills by +1 per command used on it)
Research - Step 20 including karma (Rank 3). +3 to the step is available at a cost of 20 sp for access to the Great Library of Throal.
Item History - Step 14 including karma (Rank 3)

Brian L
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:53 pm

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Brian L » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:09 pm

Name: Reyis Poriv
Date of Last Game Played: June 11
Circle: ECR-5
Discipline: Shaman
Unique: Spells-Buffs to Awareness, Stealth, Healing, Poison, other things.
Downtime: Animal Training (4) Step 10
Plays well with others and shares toys.

Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Sharkforce » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:54 am

Temur, Moe, Norg, Reyis, and myself (Zivilyn) will be going on this adventure. Let's unravel the secrets of the ambulatory forest :)

Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:18 am

From the Journal of Zivilyn, Windling Magician: A Question of Nature

I should mention at this point that I have been keeping an ear to the ground regarding possible rumours related to something that first occurred some time ago while I was helping with the settlement of Skyreader Island. While between Clear Creek Crossing and the Coil, our expedition at that time came across a forest. This was a little unusual in and of itself, considering that area is primarily plains, but this particular forest was exceptionally unusual in that it was moving somewhat along and through the ground. Needless to say, I had never seen such a thing before, and until recently, I had not seen such a thing since. We didn't have much time to investigate this peculiarity, so after a brief investigation where we mostly just determined that it did not seem to intend any harm to us (or indeed, even notice us at all as far as we could tell), and did not appear to be tainted, we decided to play it safe and go around.

Recently, I had heard of additional sightings of this forest (or another one like it, I wouldn't know), and I determined that this would likely be the best chance I would ever have to study such a thing. I had hopes that we might learn much useful knowledge, and that it might assist in cleansing blighted areas of Barsaive by allowing large swathes of healthy forests or regions of plant life to be moved in to an area. Likewise, it could be useful as a means of clearing an area for Namegivers to live in without harming the surrounding vegetation. And, of course, it was just highly odd in general and I was curious. I determined to put together an expedition to investigate these new sightings as quickly as possible. Joining me were Howler, Temur, Reyis, Fluffy, Norg, and Moe (who had also seen the first forest, if memory serves, and I believe he was curious as well), good friends and companions all.

The sightings had been to the southeast of Throal, and we headed to the edge of the mountains in that direction, about 5 days out, to a region just past where the Serpent River comes out of the Throalic Mountains. The reports were not extremely specific, but Temur quickly found the tracks of the forest, and once you find something like that it is relatively hard to lose the trail considering how much the ground was disturbed by the forest's passage. We followed along the course of the river, although a few miles away from it, towards where a couple of branches joined up.

A few days along, we encountered a fellow who identified himself as Gaspard after a brief discussion about a place called Kaer Bannog. When we mentioned that we had come in search of a moving forest, he expressed a desire to join us because he had never seen one himself. I couldn't come up with any good reason not to let him come along, and so he joined our little group, munching on twigs gathered from the detritus of the moving forest when we stopped for a meal. It was great fortune (or really, not any sort of luck at all, as we found out later) to have him with us, for as we got closer to where the branches of the river met, at last we spotted our goal. We had come across a desolate area, with no animals of any sort, not even insects, and no plant life covering most of it. The exception was the end of the tracks Temur had been following, where a verdant forest stood in the midst of this barren waste.

Well, apart from Moe who had seen it with me the first time, we still had not found a moving forest, but a moved forest is still quite odd. When we examined the region in the astral, we found evidence of a great deal of corruption, but strangely the effect was muted around us, for reasons which we could not readily connect to ourselves or to anything we carried with us, as if there were some invisible being in our midst creating Astral Interference to keep the worst of the taint from us. As we got closer to the forest, we could see that there was a similar effect on it as well.

We entered the forest looking for answers, and came across a tree shaped somewhat like a woman, who I believe to have been a Wood Spirit. We tried speaking to her, but to no avail at first; it wasn't until Gaspard started asking us if we couldn't hear her that we were even certain she was trying to speak at all. When we explained that we could not, he accepted our request to be our interpreter, and we were able to learn that she did not consider herself to be under attack by the corruption, but rather was here to attack the corruption, and that she and the forest had come here at the direction of the Lord of Plants (or as he is more commonly called, Jaspree). When we offered to help her (for the corruption was spread all across the area), she sent us to restore water to the valley. Indeed, it was most unusual that there was no water in this area, considering how close it was to not just one branch, but two branches of the Serpent. Gaspard indicated that she had given him directions, and so we went on our way up to a cave. Also, Temur propositioned her. That was kind of weird. I'm mostly hoping our travel companion neglected to pass that on to her.

The cave was quite damp, and it didn't take long to figure out that it was the outlet of a dried-up underground river. Now, perhaps that doesn't bother some people, but I have never been a fan of being submerged in water if I can help it, and this whole place was quite unnerving. If the water started to rise, I wouldn't be able to fly away or anything! Still, there was corruption to wage war against, and I could not stand aside, so I steeled myself and went in. Once again, it was most fortunate that Gaspard was with us, because we needed his services as an interpreter once more. We encountered a Spirit of Water who demanded the utmost respect of us, complaining of "dragon spawn" that made it unwilling to direct the water along its natural path (to be clear, I have no objection to rivers, I just don't like being submerged in them, especially when you can't even get above the surface to breathe). Well, that water was needed to feed the forest, so we set out to the mouth of the cave where the Spirit said we would encounter the creatures once night fell.

Sure enough, as twilight approached, a group of snake-like creatures approached. I am grateful to say that they were not actually dragon-spawn, which we could have done very little about other than politely asking when they might decide to leave on their own, but were in fact basilisks. I am also less than pleased to add that basilisks are awful. I mean, I knew that in theory because I had heard that they were extremely dangerous, but it bears repeating that they are just really truly awful. Their eyes project a light which kills everything it touches upon, and wow does it ever hurt. I was knocked to the ground from the pain the first time they attacked, which made it difficult to contribute as much as I would've liked to. We had started off tightly grouped, and they were able to hit several of us with it at first, before we spread out. Fortunately, Norg is just as good at tearing things apart with his bare hands as ever, and Temur rode in on Ayanga to strike them down as well. It was fortunate that they were defeated as quickly as they were, because the basilisks were able to bring down Moe and Reyis even in that short period of time. It may be worth studying if there is anything that can be done to make them less awful to fight, because as much as I'd like to think I'll never encounter them again, that isn't really something I can know for certain.

Fortunately, nobody was dead, just unconscious, as we confirmed afterwards. Norg attempted to tend to our wounds (he wasn't the best at it unfortunately, but seeing as how I don't know how to treat wounds at all, I can hardly complain). After that plus a Hero's feast, we were mostly as healthy as we could be, and we reported back to the Water Spirit regarding our success. He had apparently expected us to die, but he didn't mention anything about us being impressive for having survived and dealt with the problem. Hey, no big deal, Mr Water Spirit, not like two of my friends nearly got eaten by stupid glowy-eyed snakes or anything, no need to be grateful for clearing the way for water to flow again or anything -- oh, what's that? You're going to restart the water "when the time is right"? Well, sure, take your time, not like there's an entire valley that needs to be cleansed of corruption or anything like that, right? Oh, and you'll let me stay in your soggy riverbed deathtrap cave while not bothering to let us know when it might fill at any moment and drown us in our sleep? Well, gosh, how generous of you, where do I sign up for impending doom and a watery grave?

Well, that's what I *felt* like saying. Instead I just politely nodded, waited for him to merge back into the pool of water he was standing in, and promptly slept outside the cave. I may be crazy enough to risk my neck on a regular basis, but there is no way I was gonna sleep in a riverbed that was only dry because some Spirit doesn't feel like filling it up... yet. In any event, I suspect those basilisks may have had a lot to do with the area being pretty much entirely devoid of life... not much would be alive with them wandering around. And as a side note, I think these particular basilisks may have been unusually influenced by some sort of

In the morning, I was feeling much better... those basilisks had really drained me, but I felt like I had fully recovered. Some of the others looked a little rough around the edges, including poor Howler, but mostly we were in pretty good shape when we noticed Gaspard wasn't around. Temur tracked him through the cave, where there was an exit to another area on the other side. Sunlight, fresh air, and not being in a drowning trap all sounded pretty good to me, so I quickly went right on through. It turns out that not being a soggy hole in the ground that is one flash-flood short of ending my life is about all the outside area had going for it. It was a big empty bowl of land with a layer of dust and ash across the bottom, looking as if someone had dried up a lake or pond, and then incinerated everything that had been there before. And then incinerated it again. And maybe a couple more times, for good measure.

Waiting around the edges of the area was Gaspard, who told us that his "friends" wanted us to go out into the middle of the area. I was hopeful that his friends, whoever they might be, would be helpful. In fact, at this point I was assuming he was an Elementalist of some sort, considering he was eating plants and talking to Elemental Spirits. Unfortunately, his friends were not helpful at all. A big fire man (the kind that is made out of fire, not the kind that extinguishes fires that are burning down buildings) demanded to know what we were doing in his domain. Norg didn't take to that very well at all. He demanded to see the fire man's land permit from Throal, since he claimed it to be his. The Fire Spirit (or so I assume, my ability to analyze creatures doesn't work on Spirits so I didn't try) didn't like that much, and called up his friends to kill us. Well, so much for negotiating a restoration of balance. Still, I suppose the fire spirit *was* kind of a jerk, so I hope he enjoyed his free ride back to the Elemental Planes.

Once again, my choice in companions served me well here. I spent more of that fight than I'd care to remember trapped inside a fire elemental, which I can't recommend but was still less unpleasant than being magicked to death by weird basilisk eye beams, and trying to get Leopard Spirits to pounce on fire. It seems that they weren't interested in that, each time "accidentally" missing their target. Howler was, of course, much more loyal, although he got a little scorched once or twice while biting them.

Norg and Temur continued their trend of smashing things quite thoroughly, and Moe got in an excellent ephemeral bolt (he wisely decided against using any of his illusionary fire magic on the Spirits, I expect it would have just felt pleasant to them). Reyis called upon Shark Spirits to rend his foes asunder, and while they weren't devastating, at least they didn't repeatedly pounce on empty air, and meanwhile Fluffy was quite effective in being able to strike at the backs of distracted Fire Spirits that were busy trying to not let Howler sink his teeth into them.

At this point, Gaspard started changing. He had previously looked like a very tall Human in weird robes with ram's horns attached to a skull cap or something like that (in fact, when we first saw him we weren't close enough to be able to tell for sure if he was a Troll or not). Well, now he changed to look like an Elf with antlers, and properly introduced himself as Jaspree. I was quite shocked to be encountering one of the passions, face to face! Boy, was I ever glad I didn't decide to tell him he wasn't allowed to come with us or attack him or anything like that! He said that we had been useful as part of his plan to restore the area, gave me a token, and said that I should speak to Trepe once we got back into Throal. Then he picked us up on air and whisked us back to Throal in comfort and safety.

Trepe turned out to be a Elementalist who was quite thoroughly shocked when I came by with the token that Jaspree had given me. The good news is that I have now found a willing trainer to teach me the ways of the Elementalist. Hopefully, next time I encounter Elemental Spirits I'll be able to speak to them myself.

Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:28 pm

Re: LFG: [5H] A Question of Nature (6/27/2020 @ 1700 GMT)

Post by Xzandrate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:15 am

From the writings of Moe'uhane, T'skrang Illusionist, 6th Circle, Messenger Rank 3

Zivilyn found me as I was relaxing, he had apparently had a nagging vision of the ambulatory forest we encountered when we first met. I firmly believe I am still responsible for the phenomenon. Regardless, he felt the whispers of spirits to go and investigate why these tree's move and who directed them to do so. He had recruited Temur, Norg, and Reyis to accompany us.

We left Throal and began to travel towards Kapnung Gajah, heading east while we were about a day out. After five days of travel, we were in the foothills of the lower mountains where Zivilyn has last heard the rumor of the moving forest. Temur declared that he could track it, as we looked around. Sure enough, he found the giant swath of overturned earth that we probably would have tripped over. We began following the trail and as we came to the end of the day we could see the forest in the distance, paralleling the river a few miles out .

Around this time we noticed an odd man with a horned hat standing off to the edge of the trail staring at us. I attempted to wave, and we went over to the fellow. He quickly asked us who we were in a rather biting tone. We advised him who we were, and asked his name and why he was here. He responded he was Gaspard, and he was here talking to us. When Norg tried to clarify that we wanted to know why he was in the mountains, his rather illogical response was that he was always in the mountain, except for when he is not. Further explaining that he was not in the mountain when he was within the outhouse, when pressed further. He was obviously not used to the normal interactions of Namegivers. When we finally sorted that out, he questioned why we were in the mountain, we explained we were tracking a moving forest. He seemed shock and advised us that forests should not move, I responded that we would inform the forest of that when we found it, he felt that was the best action and declared that he would join us to help. While some of us questioned the safety of this, we had no real way to object, and felt that we should return him to safety after we were done. Gaspard was a bit eccentric, running around gathering sticks and twigs and jamming them in a pouch.

While we knew that we should be approaching the confluence of the rivers, the land suddenly became dried wasteland. Piercing the veil of the world, I view the rushing river of reality around us. It is corrupted, and there are obvious tendrils of taint surrounding us, but our presence seems to be holding them at bay in a large dome area. It almost seems as if the center of the dome is centered on Gaspard, but I couldn't confirm that directly. As we caught up to the forest, the taint increased and was surrounding the forest. Zivilyn was keeping constant tabs on the astral, and advised that the forest seemed to be keeping the taint at bay as our party had.

We entered the forest cautiously, unsure what we would find. Reyis noticed a wooden lady. She was apparently a wood spirit. Everyone, except Norg and myself, attempted to communicate with her to no avail. It was at this point that Gaspard roared at us why we weren't answering her questions. It appears Gaspard had some affinity for elemental spirits to our luck. He worked as our translator, and we determined that the forest moved by a decree of the Lord of Plants, a pseudonym of Jaspree. They came here to save the area from the taint, the source of he water to the north has dried up, and they need someone to go and investigate. They think we have been sent by Jaspree, that we are the ones who will free the source of the water. Zivilyn is unsure if Jaspree sent us, but agrees that we will look into the problem at the source. We head off into the mountains to the north, following the dried bed of a small source stream. It leads into a large cavern with a small pool of water and a liquid woman standing above it, my assumption is confirmed, a water spirit. Gaspard translate for us again, her explanation is that she is withholding the water until the way is safe. dragonspawn. As Gaspard translates verbatim I pick up on a number of linguistic queues and advise Zivilyn to make his address as if she was holding a royal court. She explains that dragonspawn have been spotted and are scaring off the other spirits, and the river could be tainted. Again, Zivilyn agrees that we will take the noble path and look into the problem and see if we can clear them. Gaspard advises us she believes we will die, not the courtly response I expected, but very truthful. We accept that possibility may come to pass, but we will look into it just the same. While Gaspard was interested in the moving forest, and is interested in the idea of dragonspawn, at the mention of death he opts to stay behind.

We follow the dry riverbed and await till twilight as the water spirit advised us. As the night descended we saw 3 large lizard beasts crawling towards us. I was told they were basilisks. They were not the dragonspawn that were reported, but dangerous none the less. The gaze of their eyes cut into your soul, and they could spread it across a large area. We maneuvered quickly to try and keep from getting them to catch too many of us at once. They still managed to get to the backside of some of us and knock us down with the power of their gaze. We regrouped and started to whittle them down. Norg laid into one, Temur charged and staggered another with a low swing of his weapon. Reyis had taken the brunt of some particularly brutal attacks and was knocked out. As we attempted to deal with the final creature, I bound it in place. However, it's force of will broke it loose and it turned it's gaze towards me. The power was dizzying and I feinted. But I'm advised I was enough of a distraction for the rest of the part to finish it off. We sat and had a Heroes Feast, swapping stories of the last adventures we had partaken in and the battles within, and allowed the magic to heal our wounds. We then made our way back to the cave. Gaspard and the water spirit were both surprised to see us. We explained that there were no dragons, just basilisks, the water spirit merely shrugged saying they were big lizards, it seemed like dragons. She advised us the water would be restarted when the time was right.

Temur and I stayed within the safety of the cave. It was too damp for the windlings, and Norg may have felt it was too much like a bath, so they stayed nearer the mouth of the cave. In the morning we awoke, and Gaspard was gone. We checked with the other half of the party, and he had not come through that way. Temur got to tracking again, he found that Gaspard had ventured further into the tunnels. Temur followed the tracks and we were close behind. Eventually we saw daylight, there was apparently a second entrance into this tunnel. We emerged into the sunlight, and as our eyes adjusted we beheld a large ash filled lakebed with Gaspard standing off to the side. We approached him, and he simply advised that we must go to the middle of the lakebed. I hopped on my magic carpet and we made our way towards the middle. Once there we were met by another spirit? This one was a large being of fire. He demanded to know why we were within his domain. We questioned why this was his domain, which elicited a roaring command to attack that summoned more fire elementals.

The battle was fiery and fierce, Temur took position to charge, and Zivilyn moved to get some distance. By the time I got in position I was able to act, I sent the veil of truth through Norg, Reyis and his companion fluffy, and myself to generate illusionary doppelgangers to misdirect and protect us. One of the elementals encased Zivilyn within it's burning form, though Temur charged in to help free him. Slowly strike after strike, spell after spell we chipped away at our opponents. Finally the elementals were downed, and Gaspard came running out to us. As he moved his form changed, Gaspard was not the truth, but the tapestry that wrapped the truth. He strode to us as a tall elven man bearing a majestic set of antlers. This manifestation of the Green Father advised us we had done well, and the it was time to leave. He thanked us for our service, and singled out Zivilyn for his curiosity and compassion for the forest. Zivilyn received a small token and instructions to seek out Trepe in Throal. The water began to bubble from the lakebed, he said it was time we returned to Throal, and lifted us up and out of the rapidly filling lake on a cushion of air.

I have since followed up with Zivilyn, Trepe was a very shocked Elementalist who agreed quite handily to instruct him in the way of the elements. That small windling will harness all the powers of the spirits and the magics some day. Perhaps there will be a truth to be seen in that some day.

Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:28 pm

Messenger Report

Post by Xzandrate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:15 am

**As the magic flows across the page the words come into view**

Reports of ambulatory forest have persisted for over a year. No hostile or adverse encounters made this a low priority issue. Independent adept party performed followup.

Dossier Updates:

Faction: Followers of Jaspree
Operating Status: questors and follower of the passion Jaspree
Status: Perpetual
Notable Actors:
Ambulatory Forest, spirit enchanted forest granted power by Jaspree
Gaspard, visual of eccentric human man - manifestation of Jaspree
Trepe, Elementalist, possible follower of Jaspree

Faction: Throalic Adventuring Adepts
Operating Status: expeditionary/extraction/response force for hire
Status: Perpetual
Notable Actors:
Zivilyn, Windling Shaman/Wizard/Elementalist
Trepe Elementalist

After Action Report:
Rising Magical Adept Zivilyn gathered group of adepts to assist in investigation of ambulatory forest. Forest was directed to go cleanse tainted lands. Adepts dealth with tainted fire elementals responsible for wasting of lands near confluence of Alidar River. Adepts had been assisted by human going by name Gaspard, later revealed to be manifestation of Jaspree. Manifestion directed Zivlyn to train under Trepe in Throal. May require further reconnaissance.

Conclusion: Potentially Passion chosen adept working within Throal may be useful in bringing to bear on other reports of natural phenomenon. May also be leveraged for public relations in location of natural/magical drought or taint.

Reporting Agent: Bearded Dragon

**The words vanish as the magic dissipates**

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