Session Report: Do Babies Grow On Trees?

Campaign Date: August 31, 1630 CE
Location: Durham and the nearby forest to the northwest
Cast: Hernando de Pieza (Nic's Fighter), Ferrn the Shepherd (Ross's Magic-User), Mystery (Bill's Specialist), Peter the True XXVIII (Peter's Fighter), Arcturus Avenza (Arc's Fighter), Bemuk (Brady's Dwarf), Hans (Chance's Specialist), Inigo Pizaro (Anders' Fighter) and some random animal trainer hireling who is much more stable than Kelvin Roseman.

After having caroused and dealt with a resulting tapeworm, the gang made preparations to go murder some elves. For context, the elves of this world are not fanciful forest fae, they're primitive tribal cannibals who evolved from human ancestors but in a more savage direction. Their pointed ears are the product of ritual trimming, and they have extensive ritual scarring and teeth filed to points. The party may have previously encountered them in the form of salt mummies in the Barrow of the Old King, but couldn't be completely sure. In the Early Modern era of the campaign, elves are vague legends, blamed for disappearances and suspected of dwelling in abandoned places. So an elf murder mission makes sense, although in the Ref's opinion it would also be justified even if they were simply arrogant flower-sniffing Legolas wannabes.

The party sought a bit more information on the enemy, learning that there had been forest fires upriver to the northwest (out of season, in the summer) where the elves were rumored to lair in the forest. In typical fashion, they set off after making no additional preparations whatsoever aside from bringing a new animal trainer hireling, since Kelvin Roseman was publicly beaten and imprisoned due to Fernn's Lathspell, I Name You curse.

They set off upriver, on horseback and followed by their wagon, fully laden with all their worldly possessions, which might soon serve as an object lesson in establishing a base of operations to keep their shit safe. But who can know for sure?

The party came across a river branch a bit off the trail where two men were knee deep in the water in their skivvies, scrubbing their clothes with gravel, muskets laying nearby. Hans observed via spyglass that they were washing both Royalist and Parliamentarian colors. Hernando approached, surprising them, but they were too far from their weapons to do much. A few loaded questions and veiled threats later, they gained some info about Parliamentarian activity in the area. These two were scouts searching for weak points. The party seemed to want to make some kind of contact with the Parliamentarian forces, perhaps weighing options to betray the crown or work as double agents, but Hans decided to do his duty to his country and felled one with a pot shot from his crossbow. The others didn't like this, but followed through, shooting the other down as he fled. 2 muskets and uniforms and some wilderness supplies were gained. Discontent among the party was sowed.

Traveling further, they briefly crossed paths with a woman dressed in forester's clothes. She spoke briefly, telling them that the forest is a silent place, a place which they should have reverence for. Moments later she vanished into the forest, leaving the party abuzz with curiosity and fear that she might be an elf.

Further on, the party arrived at something truly strange and likely related to the elves: a thick wall of brambles on both sides of the river, joined by a dam in the middle. They checked it out, finding it extended pretty far away from the river. They heard the sound of a crying infant nearby and dug out part of the brambles until they found it. It was strangely fat and happy for a lost, imprisoned child and its face and chest were stained red and purple with some kind of juice. Mystery's Alchemy and Hans's Medicine determined it wasn't poison and the baby seemed healthy, and they planned to return to Durham with it. As they were about to leave, they heard more crying and found another burrow, surrounded by claw-footed doglike tracks. After taking the other child out of the hedge, they saw a badger returning to its burrow, which they had just disassembled. It seemed calm enough about the whole thing and showed some affection for the children. It shambled off and returned a few moments later with a silvery branch laden with berries, which Mystery ascertained to be a rare alchemical herb. They accepted its gift and headed towards town, arriving without any difficulties, and settled in to a tavern for the night.


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