Pathfinder: The New Age of Haven

Episode 31: Old women are fucking weird...

We break camp early in the morning and load up the wagon for further travel. Day two of our journey has started. Baylen packs up his stuff, and then hops up onto the cart. Avin sits on the cart and has Ser keep an eye out for bads and stuff that is not goods. Charlotte is already lounging on the cart, ale in hand. Ianthe climbs on the back of the cart, setting down to relax and keep an on the back of the road just in case. Charlotte at one point notices a wolfpack on a ridge to the east watching us, but they dart off after a few miles. Clearly looking for easier prey. Ser and Avin notices the wolf too, but they also see a curious shifting of wind on the tree tops to the north and east, far in the distance. Thanks to the flat lands there is no danger of anything sneaking up on us. All is good. Charlotte guards the camp all night and the only thing that happens is a weird gust of wind blowing over the nearby tree tops.

The next morning, we set off again. Charlotte tries to sleep but doesn’t manage. Baylen notices ships on the horizon to the west. They seem to be going south from the north. Baylen thinks they may be coming from Dornari. Avin and Ser also see those ships. However Baylen sees that the flags are indeed flying the Dornari flags, but also one of independent mercenary companies. We cross the large bridge over a steep river, almost like a fjord. The bridge seems ancient and is in a bad way. It’s in no danger of falling just yet, but it’s doing its best to. Several hundred feet down, the roaring fjord sweeps out towards the sea. The sides are rough and steep. Looking to the east and west it seems like the land split apart hundreds of years ago. We travel until dusk takes us. We make camp. The forest lands is starting. The density of the shrubbery and trees are increasing by every mile.

First part of the night goes smoothly. Baylen does not notice anything out of the ordinary. Avin notices an increase in fauna noise and activity, but nothing threatening to our camp. The night passes without incident. On the following morning, Charlotte keeps her eye on the wilderness pretty well, seeing a few animals scatter well before the cart reaches them ahead. Avin however sees a person approach on the road well before Charlotte does. Avin sees that its an old lady with a big backpack and a walking stick. The last passerby we saw was before the bridge. Ianthe suggests asking her about stuff, while Baylen thinks Avin should use his voodoo hoodoo on her.

As she approaches, Avin does a thing where he detects magic with boop lvl 3 and he detects that it’s entirely natural. No artificial preservatives in this old lady As the lady approaches she smiles and states, “My..what a lovely song, young lady. That warms my wrinkled old heart.” As she looks up at the cart towards Ianthe, she smiles sweetly but weary.

Baylen has his tricorn hat pulled down over his eyes enough to shade them, but not enough to block his sight of most of the elderly lady. Baylen does not trust, it seems. The lady looks you all over carefully, like she is enjoying our company.

“Thank you, grandmother.” Ianthe smiles at the lady. “Could you tell us any news about what’s going on over there? We need to travel a long way and it would be nice to be prepared” Says Ianthe.
Ser Rainbowdance Bubblegum Princess continues to keep an eye out for things and stuff. Avin does so too, but has ser fly up to get a faerie-dragon-eye-view. The faery eye dragon view reveals a startling sight: A forest to the north as far as the eye can see, going intoi hilly terrain.

“Oh yes, I have seen much my child. As for news, I am afraid i am quite out of touch with the world. That’s why I’m travelling.” She smiles “While im still young.” She laughs gently.

Avin continues looking around whilst addressing the woman. “This forest, how is travelling through it?”

She turns to Avin with a smile “It has seen better days, like most things. But I am sure you can handle it. You look very strong.” She looks Avin up and down. “And you look like you have a great head on you.”

Avin has a telepathic argument with Ser.

“Its important to never stop learning. Never stop seeing the full picture. Got that, young man?” She tries to be stern but a slight smile creeps onto her face and she laughs softly at Avin’s reaction. “I do not want to keep you youngsters. You still have a long journey ahead of you I think.” She adjusts her backpack. “However..” She looks up at Ianthe. “Could you perhaps spare some food for an old, weary lady? I seem to have miscalculated for my trip, and these old legs are not very good for hunting game.” She laughs softly.

Ianthe hands her two days worth of rations and Avin uses magic to lighten her load.

She grabs them and thanks Ianthe profusely. “Bless you, bless you both. Please, let me give you something in return for your kindness.” She puts down her backpack and starts going through it. She removes several odd items while mumbling to herself. A broken mirror, a shoe, a length of string, five identical boxes of something rattling before finally pulling out a smelly doll wrapped entirely out of some kind of weed, and doused in some kind of liquid. The smell is strong. She presents it to Ianthe “Here. This will protect you on your journeys.” She quickly packs up her stuff and moves on with a slight wave. “I wish you best of luck, youngsters. And do not give up hope.” She marches down the road somewhat faster now, due to the easier load.

Avin and Ianthe examine the doll. It is old and smelly. Also creepy and doesn’t seem to have any magic on it. Ianthe decides to keep it. Dusk arrives and we make camp. Baylen scavenges some berries and we all eat really well. During the night, the watch goes by smoothly despite annoying pixie dragons. Some small animals skirt the camp but do not dare to approach. Ianthe doesn’t recognise the specific meaning of the doll but she does remember seeing and reading about local superstitious beliefs that such dolls were divine in nature and could protect against evil. Popular with peasants and the rural folk. Off in the distance, Avin hears a sudden gust of wind and a flock of birds taking flight. Miles and miles away. The dead quiet of the night making it possible to hear this.

And off we pop into the forest of death. This couldn’t possibly go wrong.

The morning breaks and with it we now see the forest ahead of us. It is dense and very big and scary. We make it into the forest without incident and Baylen stays awake because he don’t wanna miss a thing, And he doesn’t.

Avin looks around and sees that these trees seem different than the other trees in this region. This forest doesn’t seem like it’s been introduced here naturally. Someone might have spurred the growth of this forest on hundreds of years ago. Avin remembers that the history of this continent isn’t very well documented but he does remember mention of ancient ruins being discovered here in these kingdoms. Signs of an older civilization that had fallen long before people returned to this continent. Maybe the old civilization caused this forest to grow?
But why?
And how?

The road is now little more than a dirt trail. Our wagon makes its way slowly through the forest as it gets darker and gloomier. No amount of john woo will save us. Charlotte sees something twitch in the bushes. The forest seems quite again. She draws her axe. No one else sees anything. Avin takes another look. The bush twitches again. Charlotte goes to poke it with her axe and a small beast leaps out onto the road. It takes one look at Charlotte and then runs away. The forest is quiet again as the sound of the deer dashing away diminishes. As they move onwards through the forest of certain death, Charlotte sees another bush twitch. She complains loudly about it. Ser turns invisible and goes to investigate. Ser stealths close to the bush and sees only a bush. However, there seems to be a few armed men standing nearby with weapons ready. At least the bush is clear. They look like scallywagging ruffians that are up to no good. They are eyeing our cart with hungry eyes
And a moment later, they strike. Baylen pulls out his rooty tooty point and shooty and the warcries of one of the ambushers is silenced as his body is riddled with bullets and goes down. The leader steps out and orders the attack ahead. He sets his sight on Baylen and aims his bow. Action scene go!

Charlotte fucks the leader up and the mass of tentacles fuck up some other guys. So basically, we are winning the shit out of this fight because we are awesome.

But then we hear a loud roar. A large creature swoops over the battlefield. Avin identifies the creature from a distance as a manticore, however…it’s curious…it has a dragon’s head instead of a lion’s. It breathes fire on us. Everyone who matters is okay. Baylen is burny.

Charlotte goes big and tries to hit it but it’s too high up. We think that the weird doll affects it somehow. It makes us all a bit burny, especially Charlotte, but she don’t give a fuck. Avin makes Charlotte fly and she fucks that motherfucker up. When she is done with it, it is lying in a pool of its own blood, dead.

Avin sees now that it’s not a manticore but a mantidragon. A result of magical experiments. It’s fiercely territorial and the likely explanation is that it was simply defending or hunting in what it considered ITS territory. Sounds of battle attracting it. Baylen’s guns likely attracted it from far away.

Ianthe heals us all a little.

Bandits: studded leather, buckler, composite longbow (+1 Str) with 20 arrows, rapier, sap.

Bandit Leader: potion of invisibility; Other Gear 1 chain shirt, +1 spiked chain, masterwork composite longbow (1 Str) with 20 arrows, sap, cloak of resistance +1, disguise kit, silk rope, smokestick, thieves’ tools .

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