At long least, our merry band of Forest Depopulators (why does no one like my prospective team names?) is going to go on an excursion. To be completely frank, I dread spending so much time in the city. Not to say that I don’t appreciate having a position of authority in an ever-growing sprawl, it’s just that I dislike having a position of authority in an ever-growing sprawl. It’s difficult to hone one’s craft when one is looked to as one of the leading political figures of a city. Granted, I’m perhaps our most expendable of political figures, but I don’t want to give the Sword Lords (or Krom, for that matter) any ideas as to removing me from such a (relatively) safe job.
What was I talking about? Ah yes, the expedition.
The team (sans druid) set out to better secure our northern border. Rumours of wolf attacks have reached our ears and we were eager to slaughter nature’s children once more (seriously, we’re absolute maniacs). We reach the farm of which the reports originated from, and the man was absolutely convinced that he, his family, and his employees were acting as prey to a werewolf. It was, at the time, the last full moon of the month, so it was decided best that we solve the problem before the trail went cold.
As the day gave way to night, we heard a bone-chilling howl. Through the pale moonlight, we saw the assailant, an axe-wielding werewolf, intending to pounce on an unaware merchant. I don’t know whether or not the man ever saw the wolf, but he definitely bolted once a large group of armed lunatics charged him. We engaged the wolf and fared quite well. Krom and Mouse were able to bring the beast down after Wyn disarmed it with a spell. In an attempt to convince the beast to avoid attacking my companions, I conjured the image of a succulent sheep to try and entice its hunger. After it ignored that illusory morsel, I attempted to ‘coax’ it with a new spell of mine, “Unnatural Lust.” The spell failed (apparently the lycanthorpe was not from New Zealand). I guess the spell’s creator is more literal with his definition of “lust” than I had hoped. That’s essentially the end to that encounter. Our north was safe once more.
The next day, we surveyed the nearby forest in case of a larger pack having set up roost. Instead, we happened upon a peculiar conflict of interests. A logging company unaffiliated to any city fell two trees belonging to a vengeful fae. The creature ensorcelled two of the loggers and refused to return them to their normal state. Now, the two sides bickered over who had rights to the forest. The situation failed to titillate me sufficiently to demand my attention, so I decided to let the others handle the diplomacy while I idly changed the colour of Mikmek’s copper pieces as to keep him out of trouble. Once I awoke from my stupor, the situation seemed to be getting out of hand. Isa seemed to take charge (as far as I could tell), and the drunken mediator was doing little to appease both sides. Not wanting to evoke the ire of yet more fae creatures, I decided to finally intervene. Bluffing that I was a “friend of the fae,” I convinced the sprite to listen to me. I swore to remove the loggers from the area and simultaneously replace the fallen trees. In return, I arranged to have the ensorcelled loggers freed from the faerie’s hex and I hired the loggers as to benefit our city’s economy and keep them far from the faerie’s lands. Everybody won…
… except we now needed to obtain trinkets capable of instantly replanting the trees. Such is the price of my excellent negotiation skills, I guess.
We travelled further west to speak to the faerie’s dryad friend in order to magically plant five trees for the sprite. The dryad in question, however, had her own problems. Apparently a walking tree with scythe-like branches had taken a liking to the taste of dryad. We moved south to topple the creature. Isa was able to spot the creature as it stalked us, so we were able to quickly set it ablaze and slay it (once again, I tried to fool it into attacking an illusory dryad, but I once again found not success). We found a robe draped with bones inside of the husk, which Krom quickly took. Apparently the garment can summon skeletons by pulling off the skeletal effigies attached to the cloth. I suggested we give the horrible garment to our good Queen to make maximum effectiveness from it (and to intimidate political enemies), but Krom became indignant and started lamenting about wanting to feel pretty or something, frankly I stopped paying attention to him. We returned to dryad to retrieve the magical tokens (I still can’t remember the silly name those things have). We then travelled to the faerie to regrow the chopped-down trees. They sprouted from the ground instantly, it was actually quite impressive! Beautiful trees, also. There was an extra token, so I decided to add this tree to our park, mostly as a big green middle finger to my family. I sure showed them. Also, I’m no longer lying when I saw I’m a friend of the fae! Today was quite productive!
Our return to the city was, actually, quite peculiar. A dissident was riling up a crowd into a frenzy, convincing them to oust our group from power. To be frank, his argument was quite convincing. He (rightly) asserted that the town’s councillor was a drunk, he pointed that the growing number of kobolds finding positions of power in our city (racist, but I can see how that could worry people), our ‘General’ has done nothing and does nothing but erect statues of himself (at least he’s not using public funds) and he pointed out how we often go gallivanting out into the wilderness (once again, we can’t deny). However, he blamed us for the increase in werewolf attacks (I don’t understand that one), for political instability (WE LITERALLY JUST SECURED OUR NORTHERN BORDERS THROUGH SUPERNATURAL MEANS; PEACEFULLY), and for generally ruining the lives of the people (how?). I tried to talk to him after the rally, but he refused to talk to me. Mouse and I attempted to talk to him at his room in the inn, but he slammed the door in our faces after declaring that “our city would fall.”
Much of the upcoming proceedings do little more than make me feel nauseous.
We decided that the best course of action would be to discredit him. I suggested using Unnatural Lust on him in order to enamour him towards our good Queen, sending him into a fit of lust in front of a crowd. It was arranged to have such trickery happen in our “throne room” (we have a throne room, how did this happen?).
On the day of truth, I positioned myself behind my class of schoolchildren (furthering my guilt) as to cast the spell (I had prepared it multiple times, just in case). We invited him to vent his concerns towards Wyn. As he talked, I cast the spell. The first time, I failed, but he failed to notice the magical effect. The spell took hold on the second try. He rushed towards Wyn, giving Krom an excuse to knock him senseless. To take advantage of the situation, I shouted “assassin!” The people fell for the ruse and the status quo restored. Mouse and I tried to argue to have the man exiled, he was technically innocent, but the others determined that the man should be executed. It made the most sense, he could possibly come back to stir up more trouble, but it didn’t feel right. I felt so dirty for being involved in such corruption. I don’t know if I feel comfortable with what we’re doing anymore, if we’re going to act like tyrants.
I hope we leave on another adventure soon. I need to think about something else.