The Lost Seekers

Letter to Cassius #9

Dearest Father,

Once again I am writing from my room in Silglen. Once again, we have been off doing crazy things in the forest. Extra crazy this time, like, I feel like it was a dream and here I am waking up in my comfy, cosy bed and none of that stuff actually happened.

We had to go find the ‘Heart of the Forest’ to destroy whatever was sucking the magical life stuff from the magical tree that was allowing all the druids to do their magical things. Our druid friend knew where it was, and to get there we had to walk around a tree a certain number of times and then climb (well, slide) down a rabbit hole that lead through seemingly thin air through another tree and into a strange place with grass as green as I’ve never seen before. There was a winding path and a huge cliff, and the sound of panpipe music on the wind. We walked down the path, poor Baldrin freaking out over this strange place, and we came across an odd creature mixed between a man and a goat; a faun. He was playing this panpipe and enchanting these men who were fighting. It turns out his music was what was making them fight, and so all I had to do was stop the music… Yeah, if only it was that easy. Unfortunately I had already gotten close to him and after noticing his glaring red eyes, he started to attack us. We got him in the end, and amazingly, I blasted the panpipe out of his hand and stopped the music before we bashed his head in! So, dead faun.

We carried on, going down the winding path, and we next came to a faerie, sitting on a green table. It was quite an unusual sight, that’s for sure. She had the most irritating, high-pitched, creepy voice I had ever heard. She informed us that if we didn’t answer her riddles she would kill us. I must admit, I wasn’t too terrified; she was a pip squeak, about as big as Fae. We got through her first two riddles and then she asked us which one of the foods on the table was not poisonous. We had to eat the right one to be let through, and if we ate the wrong one she “would kill us all”. So Jarvan stepped up and tried one of the foods, I don’t remember which. Alas, it was the wrong one; laced with arsenic, and he was told that if he didn’t leave the magical land (sorry, the “Heart of the Forest”) within six hours he’d be stuck there forever. I picked the grapes, and she seemed very disappointed when she announced that we were allowed to pass. Suddenly, the table turned into a dragon. Yeah. Then the dragon ate the faerie. After we’d already started walking off, thank goodness. This place was weird.

We ventured down the cliff on the winding path and kept going and going until we came to a fork in the road with mysterious signs, both telling us that both paths were the right way to go. More and more signs popped up and were in a language I didn’t understand, but according to Thamior they were both trying to convince us to go their way, and they knew our names! It all relied on me to pick a path as I’m group leader at the moment. I just ended up picking at random, and chose the path on the left. We were travelling and it suddenly got darker and scarier. The paths were muddy, the trees were black and dead and looming… A lady was on the path, running towards us, a milk maid. She said she was running away, that she’d ended up down here accidentally, after she fell through a hole. We brought her along but I was very suspicious. When I asked her if she had seen the other things along the way after she fell through the hole she had no idea what I was talking about. As I warned the others as they kept walking, she changed into this gigantic, beastly looking, woman figure, with giant claws. She was terrifying. Everyone stopped and came back, and after a long and tough battle, we made it through, with an awful feeling… Wolf was dead. She had killed him. I don’t know how Lysander is feeling, he just went very quiet. I’m not really sure what happens now, or if he needs a new pet. I don’t know what would happen if it had been Fae. I don’t think I would have been able to go on.

There was this thick, black tar substance on the path. We made our way around it but it was everywhere. As we got to the tree we were looking for, there were puddles of it lying around on the ground all over the place, but we had made it to the tree, at long last! I’d had enough of this place. We walked closer and there were bones on the ground, and they joined up and became a hydra. After everything we had seen and been through on this journey, I for one did not want to deal with a hydra as well. I was running low on spells, everyone was tired and hurt and I didn’t know how we would get through. For a moment I was actually questioning how we would make it through, if we’d even come out of here alive, or if any of the others, or myself, would be killed. Baldrin and Jarvan were in pain as they fought to keep the hydra at bay. I didn’t know what to do. Thamior and I hung out further back, shooting arrows and hoping to cause it some pain, but it seemed to be resilent, it wouldn’t give up. Every time we hurt it it came back with more anger. I fumbled through my spellbook trying to figure out what I could possibly do, so I cast a grease spell beneath the beast. It slipped, it fell to the ground. I couldn’t believe that I had actually tripped over a hydra. Baldrin and Jarvan jumped at the chance to get it while it was down. We did it, we killed a hydra.

I flew up into the tree while I still had a chance and saw a weird machine thing destroying the tree. I was hesitant about attacking it because I didn’t know if it would retaliate, but I started to ring it’s bark with a knife (yes, the machine was tree shaped), then I set it on fire with some Alchemist’s Fire. Incredible, it fell to the ground and suddenly everything was green again, the magic had returned and the animals and creatures and fauns and faeries of the Heart of the Forest had been returned to their normal state. Lysander had his magic back, and things would go back to normal! But here’s the thing… The tree machine thing that was destroying the magical tree? It had the mark of the Undercraft Guild on it. This was really suspicious… They were either up to something or they had made this HIGHLY specific machine to do a job someone had asked them to do. Curiouser and curiouser…

When we returned to Silglen we found the druids easily fending off the yuan-ti. It was such a sight! Suddenly everything felt safe, things were working out perfectly and the town was being protected. I’m not sure where we will be heading next, or where we went today, or why the Heart of the Forest was so strange, or if we’ll ever go back there again… But I do know that I for one will be a very happy half-elf when we leave the Dreadwood.

I will write again soon.

Love always,

Endolynn signature



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