Gramercy 1000XP, Boots of Sand, Rust Bark, Cursed Mirror of Disfigurement,
Oh to finally rid themselves of this accursed forest and its choking smoke! With this thought at the forefront of their minds the Brotherhood of Mercy journeyed downriver in makeshift boats, eager to do whatever must be done to break free of the burning wood and continue on their quest.
And so The Indigo Kid hailed this fey creature with glad greetings and a song of his own and soon enough the two had joined in impromptu harmony in counterpoint to the babbling of the mountain stream. Her name was Tiljann, a Seela of Innendotdar, and she wondered if these were the pipers at the gates of a new dawn.
But just as suddenly the moment passed as more fairies appeared in the air about the girl. The held spears and they swooped at her menacingly calling her “traitor”, “betrayer”, and “criminal”.
The Brotherhood waded into the river to defend the singing lady against her estranged brethren, standing firm even when reinforcements arrived. Driemz warned them of dire consequence if they continued their attack, and Indigo added his conciliatory approach. Meanwhile Geth and Blackwolf brought their might to bear. The fairies were soon driven off, though not before one was taken prisoner.
“But that was before the forest began to burn!” says the girl with the butterfly wings. “Who would burn our forest and why? We ourselves began to burn, but we never stopped singing. We have been singing in the fire for 40 years and some have begun to despair. Many have stopped singing. Only a few of us are left carrying the Song in hour hearts and on our lips. I had a vision in my sleep that soon I would be free to be the Seeker I was born to be and leave this forest and find my kinsman Entifini and so I began my journey but I did not get far and hear you are, the heralds of change.”
At the lake the heroes were greeted by the leader of the Seela, a wizened fairy named Papuvin who showed what hospitality he could before he and Tiljann were called to their weary shift of singing at the shore.
They were told of monsters who lived in the deeps of the lake, and of Hag Guenwevere who would come sometimes and cackle madly at the gates, taunting the Seela with insane pronouncements and who was only propitiated with offerings of meat. The monsters of the lake are the offspring of the Hag who once loved the hero Anyariel.
Complicating things further, the brothers were invited in to the cave of Vuhl, a sad looking Seela who laid out his own philosophy of despair, “Do you sit and watch a horse with a broken back or do you step forward and cut short its suffering?”
Geth felt weak in the presence of Vuhl, becoming light headed and plagued with visions, an eye in the depths of the earth.
Vuhl implored the heroes to go to the glade of Timbre the Dryad who suffered more than most and convince her to return to the village and accept the inevitable fate. Perhaps then the last of the Seela would accept the truth and finally quite their song. “Return the Dryad, dead or alive, it is only a difference of hours is it not?”
At first the party had been adamant that those Seela who thought like Vuhl were right, but as they heard more of the story, and after encountering the unmanly depression of Vuhl himself they began to think that perhaps there was a better way.
“Why not just swim down into the lake and free the Stag?” Hours asked.
“Because we are invested with fire now and we would die. Perhaps the lady of the lake knows where the Stag lies.”
Taking the lock of Anyariel’s hair (and avoiding and cursed mirror), Hours led the trek to the flaming glade of the dryad Timbre. The glade was guarded by two hulking boar, and a pair of flaming elk, but when Hours presented the lock of hair, Timbre was roused from her catatonic state and allowed herself to be reasoned with. Here were a cadre of brave souls prepared to do what violence needed to be done.
“The Song of Forms is the song of all reality, and it is the Song that keeps the dragon’s indomitable dream manifest in flesh and allows the Living Blade to keep it bound. For as you must know, all of this is but a fragment of a dragon’s dream.”
“One amongst you must grasp Lifesong, the Living Blade, for I plucked it from the heartwood of the great Home Tree and it is bound to the spirit of the land, but it must be bonded to a mortal soul. I will show you the way and bless your possession, but you must have the courage to take the weapon.”
Courage was not lacking.