Into The Woods

Encounter details.

The Forestguard

Having found their way into The Wildwood the party will meet The Forestguard and discover that the woods are rebelling against some harm that has being done to it north of here - the Wilden under Bent Willow are investigating. The party are safe with the Wilden but they are concerned that they will slow them down - already they have several others caught out by the forest's sudden change in temperament.

If the party can succeed in persuading the Wilden that they can usefully contribute then they will accompany them to investigate the beach head - otherwise they will be escorted through the feyrealm to The Greenwatch - the nearest place of safety outside of The Wildwood. If the party fails to convince the forestguard to let them travel with them a Wilden named Goldie will guide them. Upon reaching The Greenwatch party members will all have lost one healing surge and a second one if they fail a difficult endurance check. Goldie will leave them there, but by nightfall will have returned with news of what befell the Forestguard at the beach head and request that the party help with a rescue mission.

The Beachhead

The Hanorians have created a great pier, running from beyond the reef line, through the mangrove shoreline and up into a great clearing that has been scorched into the forest. The forest is constantly fighting back, growing back into the area and sending it's denizens in a continuous harrying flow. Consequently the edge of the blackened circle is piled with a high hedge with fallen forest creatures, dead wood and entwining vines and ivy.

The party will either arrive here with Goldie to enact a rescue of the beleaguered wilden Forestguard, or with Bent Willow in an initial scouting run.

The Scouting Run

The Wilden will take a position at the hedge overlooking the clearing aware that there is a significant threat in the centre (Lumber Titans with support) and a second threat moving around the perimeter - there is a risk that they may be cut off but they will have to take that risk if they are to get a good sighting.

Unfortunately the Wilden underestimate the speed of the Iron Machette's and are overrun by them, with support crashing through the hedge from the centre.

The Rescue

The party will have to make a second endurance check on arrival back at the scene or they will loose another healing surge (on top of the one or two lost travelling to Greenwatch.

The Wilden have become cut off in an island of woods amidst the growing burnt out clearing. They are surrounded by lumber titans but they are struggling to get though a huge bramble growth at the perimeter of the copse. Burning Men are working on the greenery upwind of the copse and there is a great deal of smoke and confusion. The best hope is to create some kind of diversion, drawing the enemy away and allowing the Wilden to break across the open ground into the woodland.

Weighing the Foe

Following the discovery of the enemy encampment further observations will reveal that the Hanorians appear to be assembling a monstrous Anima in the center of the clearing. Defended by somewhere in the order of fourty to fifty Lumber Titans the creature has the appearance of a gargantuan iron cart with four great spiked wheels on each side and fighting platforms built onto it. There is also some kind of building dug down into the earth from which smoke is billowing and into which many animae are feeding wood. Along the pier that runs out to the fleet a kind ow railway system appears to be drawing mining carts full of equipment from the ships out at sea.

Carefully avoiding any danger somewhere in the midst of this activity, there can sometimes be seen humans, always accompanied by stocky looking animae and rarely outside for long. To anyone with magic ritual training observing the scene this appears to be a complete reversal of their understanding of how magic works. The use of magic to animate these creatures is so profligate as to defy any understanding.

If the party managed to capture a Hanorian spymaster then they will be able to enter a skills challenge to win a little information. The submerged building is a brick factory and they willb e using the bricks to reinforce their position. The anima that is being constructed is a road builder and it will be clearing a route north to Southwold within a few hours.

The Wilden believe that they need to take what they have learned and seek wisdom from their elders. One of their number suggests that the party return to The Remembered Mountain and ask the advice of Lowly Worm.

The party might choose to attempt to snatch one of the humans from the beachhead by stealth. This will be difficult and deadly if discovered but it is possible. Capturing an artificer would provide information about the non-magical nature of the motive force behind the animae.

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