Expedition to Sleeper Island

The Magic Grove

A fairy tale

After hearing of the disastrous raid on the Gnoll encampment by experienced veterans, three young adventurers, Balthasar, Lovar, and Thunk  decided that they wanted to try to find new allies. Accompanied by a more experienced Cleric, Zix, the group set out to find leads.
After some asking around, the group was informed that White Moon Cove was contacted by Fay, informing the expedition that they might be interested in negotiations. Apparently, even Fay hate Gnolls. While everyone knows not to trust a Fay, the party agreed that unpredictable tricksters that claim to want to talk was still preferable to waiting for the Gnoll army to attack, and they set out to the designated location.
Taking a wide path around the old Pillars, which was reportedly now ruled by a mighty Demon, the party stumbled upon what seemed to be a battlefield a few days old. It seemed the Gnolls had other enemies than just White Moon Cove. Beyond Gnolls, there were some Elfs among the bodies, which Zix thought to recognise as the same type of cannibalistic elves that attacked an earlier expedition further north. After some searching, Zix found a skunk (with his nose), and a bit of gold and trinkets.
After this, the party moved on towards their goal. Just before arriving at the designated area, the party decided to set up camp, to be fresh and ready for any surprises that the tricky Fay would probably have in store for them.
However, it seemed the Fay were ready for the party now, and after a peaceful rest, the party woke up in a strange location. Their winter wonderland had been replaced by a maze of lush, green trees, with a small pool of water in the middle of their clearing.
Cleverly deducing that this must have been the work of the Fay, Balthasar, the only member of the group to speak Sylvan took the lead, eager to see what surprises the tricksters had in store for them.
And a surprise was found, in the form of a Gnoll arrow sticking out of Balthasar’s shoulder. An ambush at a chokepoint!

Sensing the blood, Thunk instantly went into a rage and rushed at the Gnolls to start hacking away with his ice pick. Meanwhile Lovar swiftly helped ease the sting of the arrow in Balthasar’s shoulder, and Zix moved up next to Thunk to also start smashing at the Gnolls. After exchanging blows for a few moments, Thunk slowly turning into a Barbarian pincushion, clearly noticeable to anyone except himself, Balthasar morphed himself into a mighty Giant Spider, climbed along the trees, landed among the Gnolls standing behind the front line and began biting at their backs. After a few deflected blows, Balthasar bit one of the Gnolls in half. Letting out an angry screech, he swiftly charged the remaining Gnoll, which instantly soiled it’s breaches and dashed away. After dispatching all the other Gnolls, the party chased after the fleeing Gnoll, only to find it had ran into a dead end and vanished.
After a bit of frustrated searching, everyone gave up, and returned to the corpses to see if there was anything useful among them. Thunk found an unidentified rose-coloured potion, and a few coins. The party managed to convince the Barbarian to not drink unknown liquids, and began exploring the rest of the grove.
The grove turned out to be a confusing maze filled with illusionary walls, tree stumps that seemed to burn the touch, and not much else. Lovar fell face first into an illusionary wall that led back to the dead end from where the Gnoll vanished, but no trace of the Gnoll was found on either side.
After randomly stumbling for a few minutes, everyone but Zix was suddenly teleported back to the first battlefield, while Zix was spirited off to parts unkown, where the Kobold had two more Gnolls waiting for him. As the rest of his party kept stumbling randomly through the grove, Zix bravely held his ground against the Gnolls, until by random chance, Thunk spotted one of the Gnolls, and instantly threw a hand axe at it. To Zix this must have seemed like divine intervention, as a hand axe coming from unseen assistance buried itself into the skull of his enemy, killing it. As Lovar and Balthasar continued to walk through the Grove, Zix and Thunk quickly dispatched the remaining Gnoll, and finally, the party was reunited again.
After walking around randomly some more, the party ran into another dead end. After Thunk tried to just push his way through the trees, Zix slapped the same spot and vanished, again to parts unknown. Giving an experimental push at the trees, everyone was teleported away one by one, and everyone landed at a different location again. After walking around randomly some more, the party was suddenly teleported back to their original starting point, the pool of water. Thunk, who had already drunk some of the water, looked extremely tired. Meanwhile, Zix landed in the pool. With a mighty pull, Thunk managed to pull the little Kobold, along with his heavy armour, out of the water, after which both Thunk and Zix fell into a deep sleep. Some frustration later, Lovar decided that he had enough and drank from the water himself, falling in another slumber. And after shouting out in Sylvan one more time, Balthasar followed the rest, and fell into his own slumber.

After this magic sleep, Balthasar woke up to find himself back at the original camp site, with Thunk and Zix already up and moving, but Lovar still in a deep, unmoving slumber.
After waiting half a day to see if Lovar woke, the party decided to head back home, with the sleeping Lovar on a sled built by Zix.
Just before they left, however, an arrow was found, sticking out of the tree stump in the middle of the camp, with a piece of cloth tied to it. On it, a message in Sylan: “Congratulations on passing our first test. If you return again later, we will be open to negotiation If you return again later, we will be open to negotiation with you at another time.” Success after all!

Since it was getting late, the party decided to head to the nearby Inn, instead of White Moon Cove itself. Arriving at midnight, and after explaining to the owner that they were sorry for being so late, the party paid for rooms, and went to bed, hoping Lovar would finally wake up.
The next morning, Lovar was still in a deep slumber. Zix meanwhile, had prepared a whole list of Cleric spells to try and wake him, but none had effect.
Clearly having listened to too many fairy tales, Zix tried one more drastic approach. Surely a kiss from a prince would wake the sleeping beauty. And while the kiss was certainly magical, and everyone in the room feeling the heat coming from Zix, Lovar still did not raise from his slumber.
After arriving back home at White Moon Cove, the party put Lovar to bed in his room, and started working on cleaning after their adventure. They visited Lovar again the next morning, and after Zix started checking on the Paladin, Lovar finally woke after feeling Zix’s touch. And clearly, the Paladin had also felt Zix’s other touch, in the Inn. It seems fairy tales are real after all.

The end.

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Koreapsu Fogel

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