Difficulty: Level 8 Eerie music could be heard on the edge of the Fangmaw Forest, and the song seemed to have power over young people for miles around. Each night more of them vanish, their path to the dark wood visible in the morning dew. Now even some of the nobility have escaped the confines of the castle and disappeared. NAME's job is to follow them and bring them home . . . if he/she can resist the song.
NAME arrived at the castle near Fangmaw Forest to find it in thrown into confusion by the loss of its noble youth. The nobles seemed deaf to the song and suspected one another of kidnappings and murder. Tensions were high. NAME decided to explore the castle to see if he/she might find a clue.
The adventure continues . . . NAME was walking through a forest of stunted trees when he/she heard a creaking voice whisper, "Help me . . ." NAME looked about and saw a face in the tree looking at him/her -- a human face! "Find and kill the druid. He has transformed us into trees and saps our youth to make himself young." Shuddering, NAME noticed that all the stunted trees held faces in their bark. He/She hurried on.
NAME searched the whole castle and finally found a young woman who had not fallen into the noble's scheming or fled into the forest. Deaf from birth, she could not hear the song, but she did seem terribly frightened.
Realizing she could not hear her/his soothing words, NAME gently took the girl's hand and gave her a quill and ink. In time, the girl wrote of her experience and provided NAME with a crude map. She had followed her brother into the woods when he wandered off while they were falconing. Smiling at NAME, she pressed a jeweled brooch into her/his hand, a reward for seeking her brother in the Fangmaw Forest.
NAME spoke soothingly to the girl, but it seemed to do no good. Frustrated by her silence, NAME dragged her to a desk, demanding she write of her experiences. With shaking hands she drew a map for NAME. NAME took it and left. As NAME headed out the castle to the forest, something shattered against the top of her/his head. Squinting in pain, NAME brushed glass and a black liquid from her/his hair -- an inkwell, thrown from a high window.
Story Encounter 11 Text
NAME hadn't heard any music while he/she wandered the Fangmaw Forest, but NAME had a song stuck in his/her head. Suddenly, NAME realized that his/her feet were stepping in beat to the song!
NAME stopped walking and started singing a bawdy tavern song at the top of her/his lungs. After a while, the other song in her/his head seemed to dissipate, but NAME could hear it from somewhere ahead in the woods. No longer entranced, NAME stalked forward to seek the source of the music, and soon stumbled upon a pouch of gold that had likely been left behind by an entranced traveler.
NAME looked around for something to stop up his/her ears with and spotted some mushrooms. Snatching them from the log, s/he stuffed them in his/her ears. Still the music played -- and the mushrooms stung NAME's ears. They must have been poisonous mushrooms, because NAME felt woozy and barely had time to pull them out before falling unconscious. Some time later, NAME was awakened by the thorns of the briar patch s/he seemed to have sleepwalked into. The pain also broke the song's spell. Hearing the music ahead, NAME stumbled onward.
Final Encounter Text
NAME followed the strange song to a sheltered grotto in the woods. There, he/she spied a handsome young satyr playing the eerie song on pan pipes. Roots swirled up the satyr's legs and visibly pulsed with green energy, sending life into the satyr like veins pumping blood. Though pleasant looking, the satyr was clearly a creature of evil. Fortunately, NAME had surprise.
Leaping from the brush NAME'ATTACKED' the satyr, knocking the pipes from his hands. The satyr responded by chanting and crooking his fingers at NAME, causing roots to whirl around NAME's feet. Both combatants now literally rooted in place, the furious battle continued with NAME using his/her WEAPON TYPE with all his/her might and the satyr responding in kind. At last, the roots loosened their grip and the satyr fell, allowing NAME to free the young people and reap the rewards of their grateful parents.
NAME knocked the pipes out of the satyr's hands and struggled mightily with him. In the end the battle was lost, and NAME grabbed the fallen pipes and ran, setting fire to some brush to cover her escape.