S1 E48: The Blood Raiders, Raided
The Scale Squad does some shopping, and finds a path into the dark wood.
- The party returns to Ettinston and does some shopping, acquiring various sundry items including Necklaces of Adaptation to allow them to breathe in any environment, including one of fire or mud. They then take flight with Mae as a Quetzelcoatl toward the Haunted Wood, stopping off in Glenhaven briefly and learning more about Aot Solorex from Mae's cousin, though nothing particularly strategic other than its being very big and surrounded by a radiant halo of heat and light.
- After a short rest, they fly over Oscura along the way and finding parts of the abandoned city in flames and two - or possibly more than that - tribes of Orcs in heavy armor fighting each other in the former Kannet Colonial Mining Town.
- Before the reach the wood, a line of devastation is clearly visible, and of a strange nature; a streak of burned vegetation and ash about 15 foot across, though this widens and narrows irregularly; at its fringes, however, the growth of plants seems visibly accelerated rather than reduced, as if the energy destroys life in close proximity but enhances it at a certain distance.
- They land near a ravaged Blood Raider camp; Mae speaks at length with a fox about it, and he explains how the Blood Raiders had been here for quite a while but had the audacity to try to steal the blood of one of the Three Sisters of the Wood, and they sent what the fox described as 'celestial elephants' to ravage the camp. The fox admits it has never seen an elephant itself, but it has heard stories from migratory birds that they're big and ponderous and stomping sorts of creatures, and that anyway they shapes aren't the point, the point is that the Fae Sisters who normally pay little attention to the Haunted Wood suddenly now have an interest, and that this may not sit well with Sylvanwroth, some sort of Green Lich entity that the fox explains was here long before the battle of Seki Gahan, but that took great advantage of all those restless souls and now commands an army of the eerie dead - to what end, the fox didn't really say. The flaming giant that came through didn't come over this way, and the camp was smashed more recently than that; of that event, the fox says that the giant was headed in the general direction of the Tomb of Sylvanwroth in the middle of the wood, and that the Giant hasn't been back since. It speculates perhaps the giant was trapped or lost in the woods, or ran afoul of the Three Sisters, or may simply have gone back a different way.
- The gang finds a few sundry items in among the wreckage of the camp, which is altogether soaked in blood, clearly more of it than the rag-dolled bodies of the raiders here could justify. These bandits were clearly obsessed with blood, human and otherwise, to a fairly unhealthy extent.
- The trail leads deeper into the wood, going almost directly, perfectly north in an unmistakeable streak of ash and blackened vegetation. The gang decides to gather their thoughts and plan for the next steps and then proceed along that path.
- Meet the Blood Raiders
- What does the Fox Say?