In The Gray ForestEfforts in the Gray Forest
Occurred from the night of Wednesday November 24th to the night of Thursday November 25th
Those Present: Baledor, Rorin
Where: Gray Forest, to Portsmouth of Folkestone, then north into Tuath Fasach
As I waited for Baledor to arrive with me at the Gray Forest I couldn’t help but observe the Forest. I watched curiously, noticing armies of undead that suddenly disappeared to hearing a single child. It was very creepy, felt ‘bad’ occasionally, and looked as if it was night inside… often… even though outside was perfectly bright and sunny.
Finally, Baledor arrived (to my relief). We were about to enter as we heard Horses approaching from the North. We did hide our mounts and ourselves in the forest, unsure of the source. Suddenly a small herd of Taurses reached us. We eagerly returned to the road and were very glad to found that the Taurses we had bound to were present.
They seemed as happy to see us as we were them. Chan and Gryf’s Taurses were present, as well as a few others. The Taurses wished to stay with us, so after some discussion we decided to bring them along.
I wrote a note, and tied it to Ace (the horse I had taken from Darkwillow Keep). With the use of a ‘speak’ spell, I had convinced the horse to run to Portsmouth. The note explained that the horses should be stabled, and on my honor, the fee would be paid as I arrived.
(Note: Apparently there is an old Horse Proverb: “better together than alone.”)
Baledor had set up a Circle of 8 while I was doing this. He called to the Shokensai, and we discussed our plan. They could not remain present in the vicinity of the forest, so we were brief. We asked for the sight of the Kal spirits… and it was determined we needed to each summon a Rani and bind with them temporarily.
Description of the ‘sights’ are as follows (the following is a direct transcript of the words of the Shokensai):
1) To will give you the ability to see many things -- time, possibility, history, taint, energy levels, corruption.. it is rather a lot to take in.
2) Ma's vision deals with purity of things.. how close to 'pure' something in reflects in how it is portrayed
3) Ko's vision deals in life energy.. but all things, even stones, have life.
4) Ka's vision deals in all forms of energy.
5) The Kalkorani tend to 'borrow' from their parents, except for Thomma, which tends to see things in the expression of 'magic'
We determined the best course was for me to Bind with To, and for Baledor to bind with Thomma. The Shokensai summoned a pair of Rani, and then departed.
I was approached by a little dustdevil, Baledor by a ball of mist.
We bonded with the Rani… The Shokensai said it correctly. To’s vision is quite a lot to take in. Things constantly shifted between times, corruption was later discovered to shine a deep red, and energy levels seemed to appear as little suns in their possessors. Looking into the Gray Forest made me sick to my stomach. It was entirely overwhelming at first. The more I tried to control my vision in the forest the more physically affected I became.
We finally got underway, and ventured into the forest. We moved into the forest, felt moved a little, but kept going. I saw Aeston drinking Taint in the past, and a pair of large dragons, one black and the other red. The Black dragon was accompanied by a small boy, and the red one always stood in the place of Baledor.
Several years ago The Hunt occurred, and the wolves passed by where we were.
I ventured forward and ‘found’ an image of who I believed to be Malchior Rivenquest working his way into the deeper forest. I led Baledor to follow him. Seeing this man made me physically ill. There was something very wrong with him. He had a strange stone with him that he kept checking, it was jet black and polished. I applied sheer force of Will to the vision, focusing it on the pattern written on the stone. As I attempted this, and finally seemed as if I could focus on the writing, I gasped aloud, and I nearly passed out. The Rani within me cried out, and said a name… “Lek-To”, the Rani whimpered. It also said “Can’t fight Shay”… I don’t know the meaning of this or the identity of the spirit Named Lek-To.
This endeavor required me to fuel the Rani with some form of healing energy… I offered my Heal Limb spell and forced myself to continue on. As we continued, I saw souls trapped in the forest, but that wasn’t what we were after that night.
We were approached by a small boy, who appeared to be *full* of Energy and power. Following the boy was a large black dragon (the same ones I had been seeing beforehand). We had encountered these two in 1004… time is very unstable in the Gray Forest. Either that or the boy we encountered was lost in time, and was forward from his time into ours.
I introduced myself under a name that wasn’t my first, and we spoke. Time was far more stable while we were in their presence. It was strange. My Taurse smelled the dragon as a predator, but that simply could have been the nature of dragons. The boy had been stuck in the forest for half a year, or so… and he was most concerned with getting out of the forest in the right time.
Joffrey was the name of the boy, Ebon the name of the Dragon. Joffrey was fleeing some bad men when he entered the forest. He didn’t know the place was broken when he ran in to hide.
He said that Peregrin wouldn’t allow Ebon to enter the city because he’d spook horses. This was clue one as to his identity, though Baledor and I couldn’t discern his true identity. Clue two was that the ‘bad me’ wanted to sacrifice Joffrey to bainen.
It turns out the instability was from the first ritual conducted to retrieve the Mace of Rhomer. My Rani told me that Joffrey was “The Starchild.”
I told Baledor a bit about The Nameless One (Joffrey had alluded to her briefly while we spoke). We continued following Malchior until we found the site of the temple and the gate.
The ‘To’ site showed me something in the past… something horrible. It was the creation of the Hounds of The Hunt. It is Valuable information, but is hard to read… it follows as the remainder of this paragraph: Several Hooded Shapes stood in the clearing ahead of me. They gathered around a stone slab in the middle of the clearing. Seeing this slab made me feel ill, and nervous. Behind the figures were several cages, filled with wolves… natural wolves. They are all panicked, and unhappy, moving about each other in an attempt to find the way out that they all must have missed… they seemed to refuse to admit they were truly trapped. Eventually the world tears open above the slab, and something terrifying and sickening falls out. It ‘works’ its way into the wolves… they are still alive at this point in the ritual… each step of this ‘entry’ by the bainen fills the wolves with agony. They cry out in pain, and suffering… it’s as if each and every one knows its inevitable fate and are lamenting in howls, whines and screams. They pierced me like few things have done before. They haunt my dreams, shifting pleasant nights into terror-filled tossing fits… nightmares. Finally the wolves are killed, and shift into the bainen they are meant to become…
I could see the rip once my perception returned to the present time. The clearing was empty however. Baledor and I approached slowly, and determined that Baledor should approach as if he belonged there, do his work under the cover of my bow, and we should leave as soon as possible.
As Baledor approached energy originally contained in 4 bowls around the temple stirred in the vision… spreading out to almost greet him. It pained me not to call out and tell him to run, but we had work to do and I know he would have done the same. It appeared as blood, or tar. The best I could do was to prepare for a fight.
He stepped into the temple’s circle, and touched the opening… the hole in reality itself. He filled it with a disenchant, and it snapped shut. His hand was recoiled almost as quickly as the incantation was completed… as if he was burned by the effort. I watched the corruption seep into his boots, and called out for him to move. We met on the road, and called for our Taurses… they had been left above the crest of the hill so as to remain safe and not betray our position.
The ooze spread about the clearing… seemingly intent at consuming the entire forest, though Baledor had absorbed some into his feet. We hopped onto the Taurses, and got ready to run. I pointed Baledor’s hand to the spreading energy, and instructed him to enfeeble it. He let the magic go, but I was stricken as I saw the way his hand had been burned… it was torn apart down to bone and muscle… I had no idea it was that bad until then.
He noticed the tar on his feet and enfeebled it, using his clock to protect his Taurse we rode out as fast as we could manage. On my way out I marked the path with the occasional arrow into trees. I wanted to stop, and attempt to help Baledor but he insisted on continuing. So we moved and made it out of the forest, discerning quickly that we had made it to the same place in which we had entered… roughly. We discovered that his ailment was Corrosion of the flesh.
Baledor wanted to sleep, but we hurried on, arriving in Portsmouth by the early evening. We weren’t sure when we had exited the forest (which day that is). We took a room at a tavern, and once inside I made Baledor comfortable in a place where he wouldn’t be tempted to sleep.
Finally we set up a circle of 8, and I excused my Rani, thanking it for its help. I called to the Shokensai, and we discussed our options for fixing Baledor. It boiled down to having them possess me so I could perform a cleansing ritual as all points, gathering a circle, or spending influence to combat it. For a while these seemed like our only options, and the discussion boiled down to the ‘least bad’ of the options. Suddenly Baledor was struck by an idea.
After a bit of preparation he Second Chanced out of the tavern, and I used Kate’s connection with him to track him down. When we found him (in Tuath Fasach) he was out cold, but upon waking him we discovered that the Corrosion was gone fortunately. We returned to the inn, and spent the rest of the night comfortable.
Created by Rorin Akanar (Andrew Bancroft) at 01-27-11 01:21 PM
Last Modified by Rorin Akanar (Andrew Bancroft) at 01-27-11 01:21 PM
Last Modified by Rorin Akanar (Andrew Bancroft) at 01-27-11 01:21 PM