Friday, June 16, 2017

The Colony - Turn 20 - Forest Parkour

A pleasant lunch turns ugly when tiny spears rain down from the branches overhead. Black Needle Forest has a nasty reputation, so the party errs on the side of caution.

Start Date: July 27, Midday
Start Status: On the road again
Start Location: In the Wilderness (hex 35, 25 more or less)

White Tulip: Smoke, Rennard, Shade, Zenobe, Mendel, One-eye, Maarek, Hagan, Sim
Exploring: Xon, Adrienne, Nogg, Aaron, Brigg, Candle, Kessel, Jinx, Javiera

The Turn

The threat of unseen assailants is enough to drive the party out of the dark woods. Before they leave, Kessel raises his hands in the air to try to show a non-aggressive stance. He states out loud, "We do not mean to be on your lands. We are explorers seeking knowledge of the world. We will head to the woods edge. We are willing to talk there if you want. Follow me everyone."

Aaron and Javiera gesture to the north, indicating the shortest route out of the forest. Javiera also casts a protective spell. More of the needle-sharp spears rain down from the shadowy branches overhead as the party gets moving. Two strike Xon, one hits Brigg, and another almost hits Jinx, but the rune on his curiass glows briefly and the missile bounces away, narrowly missing Candle. The thick branches and long needles overhead still obscure the attackers.

The group sticks together as they move, and the strange tck-tck-tck-tck... tck-tck... tck-tck noises follow in their wake. The edge of the forest is close to half a mile away, and more missiles rain down as they move striking Nogg [2x], Kessel, and Xon. Xon's eyes begin to tear and an itchy sensation spreads from the pinprick wounds on his arms and legs. "This isn't good!" he exclaims as he marches along with his friends.

tck-tck-tck-tck... tck-tck... tck-tck

Finally, Kessel spots unnatural movement in the trees. "There!" He shouts and points. An irregular shape loops across a gap between the spreading branches of two huge trees, a raggedy mass of twigs and pine needles about two feet across. Jinx raises his gun and fires and Kessel follows suit with his bow. Both shots strike the... whatever it is. Fragments of branches and pine needles rain down onto the forest floor, but the main part of the object disappears into the shadows.

"What *are* those things?!" shouts Brigg.

"Some kind of tree spirit, maybe," says Candle.

"Or something using branches for camouflage" suggests Aaron.

"I don't care. Keep moving!" Xon has already pulled ahead of the rest of the party.

The running battle goes on for a good 15 minutes as the party weaves its way to the forest's edge. Everyone has been struck by multiple missiles, which seem to have some sort of cumulative poison on them. Xon, Nogg, Javiera and Brigg are all half-blinded, unbearably itchy and breathing with difficulty by the time the group gets out of the woods and into the scrubby hills beyond. Several pot shots at swift-moving targets produce more broken branches and pine needles, but no real proof about what the attackers are. Nothing follows the party out of the denser woods, but the group can still hear tck-tck-tck-tck... tck-tck... tck-tck in the distance.

The land here is scrubby hills, not as dry as the area previously explored. The trees are a mix of thorny locusts and more pleasant maples, ashes, and oaks. The spiny undergrowth is missing, replaced by thick grass that's 2 to 3 feet tall. Those suffering from the worst effects of the spear poison find shade and rest while Kessel and Aaron head to the top of a nearby hill.

The hills run north and southeast from here, while northeast is more open. Kessel can make out a body of water in the distance in that direction. Northwest and west, the hills give way to forest, mostly hardwoods. A few of the giant pines loom over the lighter foliage below.

Damage: Xon 2 HP, Nogg 2 HP, Javiera 1 HP, Brigg 1 HP.

All party members were struck by one or more of the spears, and everyone is feeling some effects from whatever is on the tiny weapons. The four listed above are the worst off. Their movements are slow and clumsy and their eyes are swollen shut.

The path the group outlined leads through more woods to the west, so I figured you may want to alter your planned march. Consider hex 35. 25 partially mapped. None of the hexes to the north have been mapped, although you have some idea what's there.

End Date: July 27, Midday
End Status: Forest Venom
End Location: In the Wilderness (hex 35,24)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Turns have been a bit hit or miss because a lot of folk are on vacation. It's nice when there's an immediate threat to focus attention.


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