By Jamey Martin
The Witching Wood
Having made their way to the elfin village of Seven Oaks, under elven escort for the last leg of the journey, the band was introduced to the village elder Elzarin Fairdweomer. He spoke much with Sillania, whom he referred to as "Breecelynn", but while he was hospitable and friendly to the other humans, he was hesitant to offer them any assistance.
Before a definitive answer could be given however, a young wild elf burst into the meeting hall. He was hysterical about something, and spoke frantically in the sing-song tongue of the elfin folk, but soon enough the other elves milling about calmed the youth down. He then related his tale in a more intelligible manner.
Sillania explained to her companions that the wild elf's name was Landrollynn. He had wandered alone into Seven Oaks some 8 years ago and was taken in by the community. Sillania and her other elf friends use to play with him. Anyway, with Landrollynn relating his tale, Sillania played interpreter for the band. He said that he and a few others were out beyond Leblan's Bridge -- beyond which lurks the Witching Wood, which is off limits and roundly shunned by all sensible beings of good -- swimming at Drazzlandor's Pond, when a trio of trolls fell upon them. For his own part, Landrollynn ran and came straight here to the hall, but he believed that the others were carried off.
As the youthful elf calmed down, the others began to speak amongst themselves. Ultimately, Elzarin came before the band and promised that the elves would aid them in both locating Uvaeren's Legacy in Myth Drannor and accessing the lore therein, if the band would in turn go forth now, with all haste, and either rescue their young.... or avenge them.
And so it was that the band accepted the task and set out with the foremost warrior and tracker of Seven Oaks, Callaidrian Moonglow. Crossing the elegant stone bridge that was Leblan's Bridge, the band proceeded to the pond, and there fond signs of trolls and struggle, but not enough blood to suggest death. The tracks head NW straight into the Witching Wood, where it was said dwelt an old crone who devoured all those she captured.
Though dark was quickly falling, the band decided to press on through the night, and on into the morrow. Around midday it came to pass that they found one of the missing elves, naked, wounded, and in a state of shock. Thus it was that Lacander, Melvarin, and Sillania were ordered to accompany the elf back to Seven Oaks while the rest of the party pressed on.
Later that night it came to pass that nearly a half dozen trolls fell upon the camp. While the band was not caught totally unprepared, and managed to drive the fiends off, there was no sign of Brutus when all was said and done. No signs at all. Not even to the eyes of Callaidrian.
On the following evening, even as the band neared the lair of the trolls, it came to pass that Vandril had a horrible dream in which the band was walking casually along a forest trail and joking, while the elfin youths were being devoured by trolls and other hideous fiends. He was awakened, along with most of the rest of the camp, by a great and resounding roar from somewhere in the bush. When all was said and done however, no source could be found. Both Voldreena and Disciple Landrian however, were gone without a trace.
Late the following day, the band at last tracked the trolls to an old decrepit, covered bridge. Beneath this bridge the found the lair of the trolls and set upon them. When the last was slain however, and a thorough search conducted, all that was found was bones, bones, and more bones. And so they set up camp.
Over supper it came to pass that Sillania ran into camp, hysterical, saying that something had ambushed them and taken the others to a nearby house. Gesturing the band to follow quickly, Sillania led them to this place. Storming in through the front door, the band found themselves in a dim living room filled with a number of old, defecated corpses. On the far side of the large room sat two bent old crones, snickering away before a bubbling cauldron.
A moment later, the corpses that filled the room rose up to assail the band, soon to be joined by a couple of great ogre corpses that came lumbering into the room from the hallway. Before all was said and done the hags had themselves entered the fray, with strength far greater, overwhelming even, then their slight size would suggest. However, while the battle was vicious and hard fought, the heroes triumphed in the end.
Soon enough, they managed to locate a holding cell within the home's kitchen, and therein they found the elves, Brutus, Voldreena, Melvarin, Lacander, and even Sillania....
The content of And Dragons Shall Rule is the property and copyright of Jamey Martin, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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