Blighted Forest

A Chance Meeting in the Wood

Mighty Finn chases a small party of Hobgoblins into a cave complex in Varisia, only to find that they have disappeared leaving only a cramped chamber and a shallow pool of water. Searching carefully all he finds is a small metallic necklace which he wraps around this arm. Leaving the chamber he finds the passageway has changed and no longer matches that which led him to the pool. Following the altered path he finds himself climbing a steep chimney like tube which exits at the base of a large oak tree. As he climbs out into the strange forest, he is set upon by two hobgoblins who look very familiar to him.

Charging one of the widely separated hobs, Finn presents his back to the other who obliges with a crossbow bolt. While Finn’s mighty axe crashes into his intended target it is not enough to crush the creature and another crossbow bolt is fired point-blank into Finn’s gut. As things begin to look bleak for Finn, a sizzling arc of charged particles erupts from the wood as Beric, reacting to the sounds of battle and finding hobgoblins before him, sends a bolt of his magical energy into the back shooting hobgoblin. Despite Beric’s power, the hobgoblin is not amused and turns to unleash another bolt at the interfering sorcerer, blood is now spilled all around. Finn attempts his more complex moves with his dual-headed axe, but is unable to find purchase for either blow in his foe’s flesh. His opponent, uncowed, strikes wickedly hard with his scimitar and opens a grievous wound in Finn’s belly.

Beric, realizing the strength of his opponents, eschews his evocation magic and instead enchants the hobgoblin with a spell of sleep, causing the brute to fall to the forest floor in slumber. Finn, using his orcan bloodline and calling on his inner rage mounts a furious attack against his strong foe. Once again using a mighty two-handed strike he cleaves the hobgoblin nearly in twain. Only the blood-boiling rage keeps him upright, but with a quick snatch from his belt he quaffs a magical potion to aid in his recovery. Then he turns to seek the other hobgoblin, only to find Beric tying the somnolent creature up with rope.

Facing each other, Finn demands that Beric untie the hobgoblin so that he, Finn, may finish his own fight. While a small snide comment escapes him, Beric unties the hobgoblin and stands back. Finn awakens the captive and attempts to interrogate him, but the language barrier is too much as neither adventurer speaks the vile language of the goblins. While the two discuss what to do, the hobgoblin attempts to snatch something from his belt, but Finn is too quick for the creature and sheathes his axe head in the hobgoblin’s chest ending the threat and snuffing the life from the horrid humanoid.

While Finn searches the bodies of the two foes, Beric attends to his horse. Beric notices the small metallic necklace around Finn’s arm and the forked lightning bolt emblem engraved on the medallion portion. One thing that quickly becomes obvious as Finn moves between the two bodies is that the hole from which he exited is no longer there. The ground is closed over and normal, appearing to only be what one would expect to find at the base of an oak tree in an old forest. Finn discovers a few silver coins on each body, a small potion bottle on the first hobgoblin, along with a small black stone on the body of the prisoner hobgoblin that is dimpled like a golf ball. Realizing that his erstwhile ally has some knowledge of magic, Finn turns to Beric and asks for assistance in identifying the black stone. Placing himself so that he can see the stone as well as the bodies of both hobgoblins and the ground where Finn says he came up to the forest floor from some cavern below, as well as, conveniently, Finn himself, Beric casts detect magic and studies the area.

Beric sees a moderate aurora of conjuration and transmutation on the ground at the base of the tree where Finn says the opening to the cavern was. Beric notices a faint aurora of a necromatic nature on the black stone. He notices a moderate aurora of abjuration and enchantment on the necklace on Finn’s arm and a faint aurora of transmutation on the leather bands that wrap around Finn’s arms and shoulders.

Searching for some time the two adventurers are unable to locate the cavern from which Finn came into the forest. Beric explained to Finn that he was no longer in Varisia, but rather in the land of Andoran – many, many leagues to the south and east. The two agree to travel together as Beric is headed for the town of Olfden (Note: not Oregent as originally stated during play) for business. The two head west out of the Verduran Forest towards central Andoran. But the fickle nature of fate wasn’t through with the two disparate souls just yet….

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