Shortly after the big fight with the Impostors from Camon, the Ghost Wolves Squad gather for the evening meal. After some small talk, Vanessa notices that Malen’s everwood staff, propped against the wall behind him, is smoking.
Malen reaches for his staff and even before he touches it, he feels the heat emanate from it, and when his fingers close around it, he falls to the floor as if struck physically. His eyes shut tight, smoke billowing from him as well as the odour of burning wood & leaves.
Malen is a silent witness to a barely familiar forest, burning. People he recognizes thru the smoke and soot are fighting both the flames and creatures that look like rat-men and bull headed giants. As Malen looks around, he spots Oakhorn, the ancient ent engaged in combat with a large minotaur and goat-headed creatures that seem to blink in and out of sight.
The vision ends with the Ent’s voice entreating aid as urgently as possible.
The Druid relates his vision to the others and they all agree to leave for Greensway, straight away. Our 6 heroes push their mounts all thru the night, while the 3 junior Rangers, Althea, Rafe & Omark, bring up additional horses & supplies at a slower pace.
Once in the village, they see the remains of a recent attack. The buildings on the northern side of the river are all burned down. Many of the one on the southern shore show damage and burns. many people are wounded, tired and demoralized. Seeing the Rangers so soon, brightens their spirit considerably.
Vandien and company quickly organize an evacuation and get a little rest after their mad rush.
They then decide to head out and track the Childers who assaulted the village and the Ents. Fanning out while heading north thru the forest, the manage to find Ratzin & Minotaur tracks. After about an hour or so, they are ambushed by those same creatures.
The fight is short and bloody, and the Rangers come out victorious. But the war is not over, these creatures came from somewhere and the villagers and Malen’s vision mentioned humans dressed in foreign garb and armor.
Erdan collected some key bits of anatomy from the both the minotaur and ratzin bodies.
While Erdan is about his grizzly business, Malen tries to communicate with Oakhorn, thru his staff. The Druid does form a link, tentative as it is. The Ent shows him the way to find their hidden location. They quickly set off with Malen and Toji in the lead. After a few hours of forced march set by the Druid, they arrive at a small, seemingly empty glade. Eventually Oakhorn and his fellow Ents reveal themselves. They all bear marks of violence (cuts, breaks and burns) that cannot heal while the forest itself is injured and still under attack.
They are very glad to see them and have begun telling them the tale of the last few days. Despite using the elven tongue, it takes a while for the tree-folk to get to the crux of the matter.
Acolytes from the Kal-a-Nar empire, along with soldiers have begun corrupting an old forgotten circle of Standing Stones and are using it to open a portal to Norcan Darr, the Hard Lands to call forth Childer, and then possibly Demons.
to be continued…