I caught up with the group just before they reached the border of the deep forest. In my absence, Svin had slaughtered an unarmed prisoner and my brother had adopted a goblin. I had better not get sick again, as these guys are ridiculous without me.
At the edge of the forest, Zap released the goblin and Svin gave him some money to assuage his guilt – or was he trying to buy back our respect? Whatever. I don’t trust that guy, or his little ball that he plays with all the time. It’s super creepy.
The woods were far too thick for us to bring our horses in, so we had to let them loose. I had started to get quite attached to mine, so while I did understand why we had to leave them, I was still pretty upset.
We decided that, since the wood elves were liable to be suspicious of people sneaking around in their forest, we should probably make ourselves obvious. I led a fun rendition of some of my favourite woodsy-folksy tunes, but nobody wanted to join in. Dad would have sung along. I miss him.
Eventually the wood elves found us (dozens of them, and all pointing arrows at our heads!), and we explained our mission (such as it is) to the guy in charge. He seemed pretty underwhelmed by our prospects of success, and treated us pretty cavalierly, in my opinion. His lieutenant, however, seemed like a pretty cool guy. I know that he would have helped us out more if his boss hadn’t been such a stinker.
We were told of an orb (very similar to the one that Argyle had) that lies in the centre of the deep forest that, according to common knowledge, has caused for a great many undead creatures to rise. The wood elves have been plagued with these creatures for a very long time, but none of the raiding parties that have been sent to deal with the orb have returned home. We declared our intention to seek out this orb (although what we will do when we get to it is beyond me), and he basically told us that it was suicide but that we were free to go should we want to. His lieutenant seemed to want to help us, but he was quickly silenced. Maybe he’ll find a way to send support. I hope so. I have a feeling that we’re going to need it.
We asked them about their relationship with the high-elves from the city, but they got all weird and cagey about it. They flat-out refuse to talk about it. I figure that there’s some story there, and I hope that we learn it someday. Despite their lack of hospitality and no social skills, my gut trusts these guys more than I do the high elves. I can’t explain it, but that’s how I feel.
So wood-elf boss man finally agreed to send us with a guide so at least we wouldn’t get lost running around in circles. We walked through the woods with this guy for a few days and got into some pretty epic fights. He was a bit useless and refused to teach me any songs (bet he was tone-deaf anyway), but at least he led us in the right direction despite the fact that the place was super foggy. I’m glad that I was finally able to perfect the “Rhea’s-super-fantastic-awesome-hut” spell, so we were able to have a safe place to spend the night. At one point, the guide refused to continue on and he left us.
These woods were filled with branch-creatures, walking trees and crazy undead zombie-soul-sucking dudes. Zap liked to stand back and cast his spells (some of which were actually pretty cool) from a great distance, letting me take the hits. Mom would freak out if she had seen that! But you know what? I’m finding that I’m actually pretty good at fighting, and I’m really enjoying it. And I’ve noticed that Del always seems to have my back. I have a lot of fun hanging out with him. He’s the only real friend that I have anymore (other than my dork brother – who spends all his time with Haroun now anyway).
During our last fight, we had to deal with the regular cohort of zombies and whytes (although one zombie was an orc, which was pretty awesome until he killed Owl), but there was also a skeleton horse which was the COOLEST THING EVER. I wanted him for my own so badly. I’m sure that I could have tamed him. I know that I could have, if only I had been given the chance. But he was violently taken from me by that horrible little man. I hate him. I hate him so much. Del tried to make me feel better by letting me watch him steal 10gp from Zap to pay him back for allowing Owl to die, which did help a bit. Actually, it helped a lot.