The Dark Forest
Okay, so people come back to town. Go to sell shit Celeris is there in the market. They haggle. She says she’s looking for some guards for a trip up north to Vadagar. She’s had a tip there’s been a shortage of magical reagents there, and wants to cash in. Problem is, there’s a lack of Allerassian’s willing to travel there. Dorenia ditches to look after her family.
She wants to go through the forest because Allerassian ships don’t generally sail to Vadagar. Could be convinced to go by someone who says they know ship people. In which case they’ll meet the Samurai instead of Volki Dan
After talking to Celeris, the scene with the two bard siblings happens.
She’s hired Lain so far. In the forest they’ll run into Volki Dan.
So the group got attacked by ashlings. Celeris was taken, Korlas got lost, and Yu got injured. Now, Volki Dan’s going to identify their attackers as the unseelie fey.
“Them thar bastards that took friend er called Ashlings. They work for the twilight lady. OOoh, she’s colder than a midday shrub! Here’s the sad truth though- we aint in her league. How long you been living, goat man? And I’d be willin ta bet yer the oldest here. Well she’s lived yer lifetime ten times over.
So we got a choice. We go after yer friend, hopin she aint any more dead than she already was, and we be POLITE and CIVIL and ask fer her back nicely. Or we go after yer friend and don’t be polite and civil and then we find out what the afterlife is like. Or we leave her.
You a religious man, Mr Shaman? Well get praying, cause we’ll be needing it.
Also have to decide wether to go after Korlas immediately or not.
Now we ought to leave someone competent behind to look after them porters or we might come back te find them sliced up like an appleskin. (Porters whimper). And then we follow the river south till the white willow, and ask the owl fer an audience with the twilight lady.
On the way south, they’ll hear the weird laughter and Celeris’s screams (Sense motive/listen DC 25 for Korlas or 30 for others: it’s not Celeris, something’s wrong.) Volki Dan- take care, it might be a trick!
Come into a meadow with a wooden cage, Celeris inside screaming and mewling. No words though, just distress. Opening the cage sets off a spell that throws the opener into the cage and shuts the door, then the illusion on the nasty thing inside is dispelled and starts eating whoever opened the door. Spot DC 23 to say something’s weird, DC 28 to notice that everything’s got a strange sheen to it, and Celeris is definitely not moving like a person should.
The twilight lady will cut off any greeting they say with a silence spell.
Öh shush younglings, I know what you’re here for. She waves her hand and a piece of the wooden floor shifts out of way, revealing Celeris wrapped up in leaves and vines. I’ve had my fun with her already, you can have her back. She lets go of the vines and Celeris squeaks and rushes over and throws herself into Korlas’s arms (or if he’s not there, Yu’s). Twilight lady says ÿou can speak now.
She won’t take kindly to being sassed. Or having killed any ashlings. Or having easily destroyed the cage encounter. She will take kindly to politeness, subserviance, apoligies for damaged ashlings, and having been nearly killed by the trap.
She’ll ask for 1-3 people to entertain her, based on her opinions. Entertaining her will go by this order:
1 Yu: You know, Satyr, your people used to live here with me and serve. They were such good dancers. I quite miss them. But now they’re all obsessed with ‘living’. Mortals. I want you to dance for me. Get to it! Perform (Dance) DC 15 required for success.
3. Lichen: You’re not very interesting, are you. But you might be useful one day. Promise to owe me a favor? Volki Dan looks alarmed. Pass if agree.
2. Leire: Little Lady, you’re a pretty thing aren’t you. I so like hurting pretty things. Will you take a knife for your friend? I won’t kill you, I promise! (Ashling laugh). If she agrees, an ashling will draw a knife across the bridge of her nose. This causes 5 HP damage, 2 charisma damage, and leaves a permanent scar that cannot be removed by magical healing less than Heal. Pass if agree.
4. Korlas: You! Tell me a secret you’ve never told anyone. In front of your friends please. I want to see their faces. Something that’ll surprise them. FEED ME DRAMA! (He’ll pass if he tells her about killing a whole village).
If they haven’t passed at this point, she’ll keep Volki Dan. If they try to fight her on that, she’ll go until one of them dies and then dump the rest in the forest.
After their encounter with the twilight lady, the rest of the forest trip is straightforward.