Our time in the swamp has been… interesting. I understand now more than ever, given Jaden’s ability to put magic into mundane things, the value of bloodstones. However, I don’t know if dealing with everything in this town has been worth it, but I’m probably a little biased.
As we approached the town this creepy old woman was staring us down and said that we would talk to her at some point. Weird… but also irritating because we did in fact end up wanting to speak with her. She is the “grandmother” as the town has come to call her, and she is believed to be a witch. Apparently the town doesn’t have any proof of that otherwise she’d have been burned at the stake by now, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
We heard from the bartender in the “Witch’s Brew” and some others that the lord of the town’s son and Grandmother were the only individuals who could venture into the swamp, sometimes alone and sometimes together, and return. Given that we heard people had been disappearing in the swamp and that spidermen were by the coast of one of the lakes, we chose to get some more information.
This turned into somewhat of a repeat to what we did at home, complete with me being covered in a swarm of tiny spiders. Thankfully, my fey skin protects me from their tiny teeth despite how terrifying the entire experience is. True to the past, we visited some kind of historical monument and learned more about “the orbs” and a ritual mentioning the word “dragon” that Vindrel can do. It’s all getting crazier and crazier… but I like it. Gone are the days of the mundane. I celebrate the notion that I will never milk another cow again! Although, if the fey keep bringing more and more cows back to my family’s home, I may need to hire someone to help out or something…
The strange thing about celebrating this world of fantasy I’m living is that it almost immediately bit me in the ass. Upon returning from dispatching the spidermen, apparently called Eddercaps (thank you insane, socially awkward Arius) we needed to do more research because the lord’s son had fallen into a coma. Many believed him to be cursed already, and I can’t say I disagree considering the circumstances of our barfight at the Witch’s Brew. (It’s not worth getting into, but let’s just say the world is clumsy around him). We went to his house to investigate and while I was there I cast Detect Magic, but no dice.
Oh! I forgot to mention. Jaden summoned this mud elemental with a summoning spell, but the spell hasn’t ended yet, or it did end and it won’t return. Not sure exactly, but we had to stash it outside the town.
So after an investigation that turned up nothing, we went to the Witch’s Brew to get some food and regroup. Shortly after I started my mead (good mead, by the way) the Lord of Ignorance and his guard showed up to accuse me of witchcraft and arrest me. Now here’s the thing… technically he wasn’t wrong. I never denied it, but I never said “yes, you got me”. I simply stood up, offered them my hands and allowed myself to be gagged. Only then did the lord mention that I would be burned at the stake in a half hour.
The fey must have known or suspected something like this would happen to me because our fey friend Imdal gave me a cloak that turns me invisible when I’m burned by fire and leaves behind a pile of ash and bones (illusion). That sneaky bugger. I appreciate it, but maybe a “You’re going to be burned at the sake. Here, this will help,” would have been more appropriate it.
So to make a very long story that’s already too long (damn my verbose silver tongue) somewhat shorter, my friends make plans to rescue me while the head of the Terrings starts arguing with the Lord of Ignorance and then things really heated up. I mean that literally because the wood surrounding me was on fire, but also because several people drew their weapons, including Gilroy, which was probably a bad choice considering it leaves a trail of fire behind when he moves it. Again, I digress.
I could have used my Starfire to escape or attack, but I didn’t. Against my better judgement, I waited to see how it would play out. My patience paid off because Jaden, who can turn into animals now (completely normal), turned into a bat and freed my hands from the bindings. I removed the gag from my mouth and spoke to the crowd. It seemed to work on everyone but my friends, but I think it’s harder to think clearly when you possess the power we do. It’s also hard to think clearly when you don’t pay attention to conversations (Vindrel), may have been a merciless ruler that killed for fun (Arius), have a really strange relationship with your crazy family (Gilroy) or make friends with birds instead of people (Jaden). But you know what, they fought for me and were not going to let me get hurt, even if it meant risking their own lives and revealing themselves. That’s not what friends do.
That’s what family does.