Felwood Spire: A Fell Mood Part 1

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The Felwood Camp is continuing to evolve. It's wooden pallisades have been expanded and strengthened, additiional structures added, and guards posts now well established.

It is also where this meeting is taking place, as you prepare for your own efforts. There are experts here, such as they are, should you have any questions for them. The Guild is keeping a close eye on the efforts in and out.

Harkashan isn't too used to be in a position such as this. Taking the lead on an operation like this, off of a hunch, it's a bit nerve-wracking. Yet, he tries to keep his posture best he can, and eases his breathing. There are experts around, people who have done this far more often than himself, whom he can rely on.

The Child of Flame has gathered those present around a flame. For such is where he finds himself most at ease. Motioning his hands as he speaks.

"So we have uncovered over a series of explorations into the Felwood, that there exists a Spire amidst its evil and cursed woods." He begins, starting with a summary of what they have learned so far. "The Spire existed before the woods came here, and was once dedicated to Eluna. Garnering her power every full moon. The Temple had multiple outlying structures that were in aid to this Spire. And each time we get close, strange things happen. Monsters appear out of nowhere. Mimic tables with exact numbers of place-settings appear."

He takes a pause. "From what we understand, something - presumably the evil of the woods themselves - has corrupted the Spire." He looks to Fidget. "And we learned that it has a Displacement effect on it, similar to a displacer-beast. Each time we try to approach it, it moves, making it really difficult to get closer to it. Let alone enter it. Something that, reportedly, can only be done during a full moon."

He turns his gaze back to the group as a whole. "This displacement however, is limited to an area. A rough circle around a central point. The edges at which we've found some of these 'supporting temple structures'." He presses his weapon into the sands and draws a circle, a dot at the center.

"At least, we have so far found one. Due to the way the forest messes with the senses, it can be hard to get a proper picture of this all." He wants to make sure it's clear that there is still quite a bit of missing information.

He looks to Ravenstongue then. "My goal here is to go in there, and remove the deep Curse that lays over this forest from one, if not more, of those temple structures. Some of these Curses take a very 'physical' presence. Dark vines trying to swallow up people. But the hope is that, by removing the curse of the buildings tied to the Spire to Eluna, the Spire itself will stop being able to displace itself, and we will be able to enter the Spire and attack the corruption at its root." He looks to Seldan as he brings up this last part.

One of the figures amid the gathering is remarkably pale, and remarkably clean given the trip out this far. Seldan is fair as a spring day, his helm set aside atop the brown leather knapsack, only a elkhorn and steel bow in evidence, paired with a quiver of arrows. His armor is well-made and well-cared for, but ordinary-looking. The only unusual thing he wears is a blue-and-silver open-front sleeveless robe over the armor, clasped in the front. The reason for his presence, given Harkashan's words, is clear enough, for the crescent and sphere around his neck denote him as tied to Eluna.

"The idea is sound, the effort worthwhile. I may be able to attempt the removal of a curse, and may be able to anchor the building for the purpose." The voice is light, the words holding a Myrrish lilt to them. "Such shall I attempt, do you wish it."

Cor'lana 'Ravenstongue' Lupecyll-Atlon--for the moniker is just one of her many epithets--is here, dressed in her adventuring robes of violet and black, her violet cloak, and her silver circlet, wearing a contemplative expression. "Seldan, I will gladly help you," she says, "unless you would prefer for me to stand in defense of you should the woods try to do their best to rise up against you in the attempt, as they did in the previous time that I was here."

Pothy, the white raven, adorns her shoulder, and somehow one gets the sense from his blue eyes that he's not exactly happy about being here, either. He makes small, grumpy raven noises, but he's quickly silenced with a handful of dried berries from Cor'lana's hand.

A rather large egalrin was sat down near the fire, hunched over slightly as they worked on a few things, oiling a rapier that was in their lap, while a crossbow was also partly disassembled beside them. Working, but not oblivious to the goings on. "I'm going to be honest, I don't think the answer is as simple as go in and kill off every bit of corruption. Not only the idea of that a nigh insurmountable, but not impossible task, just one of the creatures created, or corrupted, I'm not sure which, managed to crack the majority of my ribcage." They pipe up. "So whatever the plan is, I think Hark there has a sound idea. Whatever is causing the corruption or curse or whatever it is, we really should have brought back samples of that beast but I wasn't thinking too straight then, anyways." She continues, waving that thought away. "We need to clear out whatever is causing this phenomenon at the source, or sources, however that might come about."

Rune sits on the outskirts of the fire's reach, only a bit of the light showing on her features as she listens to Harkashan given the summary of how they found themselves all gathered today. Much of it seems well known to her, enough so that her mind seems to wander, looking at the way that the flames cause the shadows to flicker.

"If there's something physical to fight, you know I'll lend my skills where I can. If it's magic..." Rune looks to various members of the gathered group, nodding to mages, clerics, sorcerers and other individuals gifted in such artes. "I'll leave that to those far better prepared."

Her eyes shift to Seldan. There is an anxious twitch of her fingers against a locket at her throat, "I, for one, would like to know if any connection to the Sky-singer remains in that place. If so, what we can do to return it to its former state."

Back to the camp to regroup, some might say to lick their wounds. Aelmeh is more optimistic about it, though the Spire has begun living her dreams.

Its mystery occupies many of her waking hours; when the Moon is shining, she spends time communing with it in the evening. So much of the magic Aelmeh practices now, the wizard learned at the Temple dedicated to Eluna, and it hurts her to the core of her being to see a temple dedicated to the Goddess twisted to strange uses. She has come to believe it might be the source of evil infecting Felwood.

Nodding at the Paladin, she grasps the silver crescent on the chain around her neck and stands to speak.

"I hope that I can aid you Seldan to heal the Forest of this evil."

A tall and broad Dranei, clad in an armour that has been definitely patched after some rather dramatic damage, stands on the side, leaning on the haft of his massive war-flail. "Brother Makari, you need me, you have me and my Bear-breaker to ward your back. Or whoever will work on this dread curse."

Aelwyn is standing in the crowd, wrapped up in his leather cloak. His glaive, ornately decroated with red ribbons and golden vines, looked worn. Tired. Spent. Not its owner though. He looked as if he were full of fire.

"And what if we remove the curse of the woods - what then?" The Dragoon asks, eyes turning to look around, especially towards Seldan. "What if it is not a curse at all, but something to contain something far more vile, leaking its corruption to these rotten woods?" His tongue seemed to drip with ire.

"Why remove the curse at all, why not get rid of it all?"

"The corrupted vine creature didn't seem to like fire. So let's keep adding more fire." Fidget proposes, "Fire on the vines, fire on the spire - the spire itself stone, right? It'll be fine - maybe some fire for the felwood? As far as I know there's nothing in it that's not evil and murdery." The colourful goblin sits higher up on a barrel, swinging her heels absently against the wood.

Harkashan slowly nods his head as Seldan speaks up. "I would, yes. But I would also like a chance to try my hand at at least one of these attempts to remove a curse - so I can feel what kind of cursed power lays behind all of this." He remarks to Seldan.

"I am glad you've come to aid us, Seldan." He then adds, appreciatively.

"But we will have to make our ways from the camp to those locations first again. We have a method to do so - walking a spiral pattern towards the Spire's displacing movement. But it does take a while." He then takes out a piece of lavarock.

"But I did leave some of my Lavarocks behind at the site we found, and on the way there. So I may be able to at least get us a direct path with a Locate spell."

He then nods his head at the Egalrin as they speak of samples. "I did not think of it either. And I am fairly certain that Rune has washed that stuff off of her blade by now." After which he thanks Ulthan. "And the only way we can lay fire on the Spire, is by actually getting there first. One thing at a time."

Turning to Aelwyn, he smiles and notes; "If it was as easy as removing the Curse from all of the Woods by just destroying the woods, I think it would be done by now." Is what he offers in reply, looking to some of the Camp Specialists who might know more on that topic. "This is the only thing I could think of, that might give us a chance at getting at the Spire, in the hope that it helps us deal with this matter."

Seldan meets Aelwyn's gaze with a sober and steady one of his own, an even thing that betrays little of his true thoughts. "The evil that lies within this place far outlives all living memory, Warrior. It will not be so easily unraveled, and yet by unraveling one thread, may we be led to the next piece. Therefore would I counsel you to patience, and bid you face but one foe at a time."

The barest ghost of a smile accompanies this, and he turns to Cor'lana. "It is in my mind that it is I who shall defend you, do we find ourselves so beset," he offers gently.

To Harkashan, he then nods. "As you will it. I am here to lend you my aid, and I presume not to more."

He turns last to Aelmeh, surveying her quietly, and then inclining his head politely. "You have the advantage of me, my lady. I shall offer all that I may."

Cor'lana smiles fondly at Seldan, nodding to his words. "Perhaps we shall defend each other, then," she says. "It would only be the correct thing to do for a friend if one finds themselves fighting by their side. May Ni'essa and Vaire see us both to victory and safety again on this day."

She looks to Harkashan. "Let us be off then," she says. "When all are prepared and ready. Speaking of which--"

A protective murmur comes out of mouth and rolls down her lips, accompanied by the flicker of magic that adorns her form and then fades away. Pothy shakes his feathers in response. "We owe it to the Sky-singer to see such a place purged of the evil that has claimed it," she says more broadly to those who are assembled. "I will not tolerate much in the way of _leaving it be_ as a result. Shall we?"

GAME: Ravenstongue casts Mage Armor. Caster Level: 14 DC: 18

Ulthan straightens up and raises his flail onto his shoulder, the free hand going over the rest of his gear with fluidity born of repetition, only broken as he touches the two vials hanging on his bandolier.

Good idea, Harkashan!" The egalrin responds enthusiastically. "At the very least, if we know where it is, it gives us a place to start, even if I'm not too keen on heading back there. But, I doubt anyone would be, and well, needs to be done, right?"

"Lets well, let's leave wholesale destruction and forest fires as a last resort, alright? I admire the enthusiasm, but you aren't gonna solve much if Alexandria burns down in an attempt to get rid of a spooky forest nearby." They add with a slightly exasperated sigh. "Seems like we have some other methods to try first for the time being, anyways."

The half-elven woman, Aelmeh, dips her head solemnly to Seldan, the palm of her hand covering the crescent at her neck which glows in the firelight.

"You give good counsel, sir. The web of magic woven around the Spire will not be easily undone. Yet, we must believe in ourselves."

Looking at each of their group, her gaze lingering on each Ravenstongue, she gives each of them an encouraging nod. "We have the strength to do this deed."

Magic flares briefly as she casts a protective spell.

GAME: Aelmeh casts Mage Armor. Caster Level: 3 DC: 15

"Mmm." There is a soft sound as Rune's weapons are mentioned, offering a shake of her head, "I keep my blades clean, I'm afraid. And visits to the Felwood have usually meant a full wash of my gear at the TarRaCe afterwards." She spends as little time as possible covered in monster goo.

"I do have to agree with Reithak on that. We don't know that a fire would do any good, or if we'd just make things worse in the long run. Better to have more understanding before we resort to anything drastic." Though, by her expression, Rune is not a fan of the Felwood, not by a long shot.

With some seemingly ready to depart, Rune pushes herself to her feet. "Ready to move out." Pulling her hood up, the half-sil seems hard to see in that instant, other than a faint bit of the firelight on her face.

Aelwyn looks towards Seldan, and he bows his head. "As Gemstone states, and Raven desires." The Dragoon suffices to say - but it was obvious from his eyes that he still carried doubts. "This one's blade shall not carry disagreements to the field."

Though Fidget makes him rumble in amusement, agreement sparkling on his eyes. "Tch, a fire at the least, would make this journey far more healthy."

The Draconian then picks up his bundle of javelins off the ground and slides the leather belt holding them over his shoulder. There's a moment of contemplation in his eyes, as he looks in the way of the Felwood - but it is dispelled with a flick of his tail, and he straightens out with a low, amused rumble. "Let us, then." A flash of his teeth. "At the very least, this one made sure the baths are warm in the TarRaCe."

"Oh, we're going now? I thought you all would spend way more time talking about stuff before we got to the interesting part." Fidget says and launches herself off the barrel and onto her feet.

To Aelwyn she adds, "I'm sure there will be fire, don't worry. There's always at least a little."

Ulthan , walking just apst the little explosion of colour when she mentions 'there is always fire', snorts loudly. These little ones remind him so of all his mischievous nieces and nephews back home.

GAME: Rune rolls survival: (16)+6: 22
GAME: Reithak rolls survival: (18)+2: 20
GAME: Aelmeh rolls survival: (10)+2: 12
<OOC> Harkashan says, "I will spend 2 RPP to get a +5 to Survival (Intuitive Skill)"
GAME: Harkashan rolls Survival+2+5: (18)+5+2+5: 30
<OOC> Harkashan says, "+4 for a total of 34"
GAME: Fidget rolls survival: (5)+0: 5

"Then let's go indeed." Harkashan agrees, motioning forward, intent to lead the group as he did last time in regards to tracking the way there. "Jacob isn't here this time, but Rune - can you help flank me alongside Aelmeh?" He bids.

He then closes his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath, trying to focus on the path he'd taken before. Drawing back on those skills from so many years ago when he actively lived in the jungles of Am'shere... and starts to press forward.

Along the way, noting that; "When you travel with a Child of the Flame, there will always be fire." To Fidget and Aelwyn both.

Seldan says nothing as the group arranges itself, and the barest ghost of a smile plays around his lips. From his knapsack, he draws an ornate-looking longsword attached to a weapon belt, which immediately begins to complain in the voice of a crotchety old man. "Damn it, Seldan, I HATE when you shove us in there!"

"Did I trust you to hold your peace when needful, Kanian, I would not do so," Seldan counters, fastening the buckles and slipping the bow over his back.

He then assumes whatever role in the party is asked of him without comment, continuing to argue with the blade.

"We're going now? Guess we're going now. Well, alright then." The large egalrin answers, wiping down their blade and stowing it and quickly restringing their crossbow to hoist over their back and follow along with the others. "Keep as little bare skin as possible." The inquisitor warns once they are back on the trail. "Some of these plants have nasty venoms, and I'd rather avoid anyone getting harmed by them. I don't even know what some of the other plants might do, but better safe than sorry, you know?"

The last time that they had found this particular location, Rune had leaned heavily on Harkashan and Jacob's skills, since she was still learning quite a bit about navigation. The Felwood is not the best of places to learn, either. "I'll give it my best shot." She agrees, falling into step near Harkashan.

"Just so everyone is aware, be watchful of thorns once we get closer to any areas with thicker underbrush." Rune warns, "The thorns have something in them that causes intense hallucinations. So you'll want to avoid getting pricked by them." Clearly, their group had run into these on their previous explorations.

Rune stays a few steps behind Harkshan, using her eyes and ears as her guides, trying to spot familiar locations she can point out to the Makari cleric.

Aelmeh, shrugs the light crossbow that had laid by her side onto her shoulder and joins the procession out of the camp. A few steps behind Fidget, she murmurs her agreement to Harkashan. "Fire has its place. I am glad for the Child of the Flame in our midst. May he lead us well."

The argument behind her between sword and master, causes her to smile. She glances back once then concentrates on the trail.

"A good warning, Rune."

"Be nice to Seldan, Kanian," Cor'lana responds to the voice that comes from Seldan's longsword as though it's perfectly ordinary. "And if you can't be nice to him, could you do it for me?"

She bats her eyelashes at the blade like she expects it to respond to this rather flirtatious method of convincing. Meanwhile, Pothy says. "Not that kind of sword," he murmurs in the voice of a very exhausted-sounding man. Presumably overheard from somewhere in the Theatre District.

In the meantime, Cor'lana looks to Rune's warning. "Hallucinations? Pothy got drunk off of berries he ate here one time. I'll take the hallucinations." Either way, she travels somewhere in the center, keeping a watchful eye on what lurks within the Felwood.

"Don't light this one on fire too early, Lava." Aelwyn rumbles in amusement, tail flicking behind him. "This one does not burn out easily." He walks along with the rest of the party, somewhere near the front - but definitely behind the big hitters.

The warning about the thorns makes the ruddy sith-makar lose the spring on his step, and he turns his head to look Cor'lana. "Raven," He calls out. "This one can assure her, she'd rather not." He then returns his eye to the front again. There's a definite unease on his step. "... one pricked is not here with us, after all." The Dragoon would rather not be there either - but he needed to see the very end.

"Yeah, so remember if you see anything strange and terrifying, it might just be your hallucinations and you can ignore it. Or it could be one of the several real, strange and terrifying things in the forest that's trying to eat you, and you should not ignore it." Very helpful advice from Fidget disposed, she peers at the talking sword. "Is that an extraplanar bag? If you regularly kept me in a featureless void for long periods of time, I'd be a bit mad too. Or, completely mad, probably."

Ulthan rumbles up from behind. "Maybe the sword was in detention..."

... into the Felwood.

By now, some of you are truly familiar with this place. The seeming absence of animal life, the canopy that almost blots out the sun, the constant, odd quiet that leaves you hearing only the clank of your own armor, the sound of your own thudding heartbeats and the crunching underfoot of dead branches and leaves as you carve your path.

Try as you might, the path you're taking does not look familiar, even as you know you're headed in the right direction. The glimpses of the spire between the trees, a tall and slender thing, that has become visible in the light of the moon makes it clear that you're on the right path ...

... but it does not FEEL like the right path, even as you know it's accurate. The trails are different. The trees are different. Even the thorny brambles you cleave your way around feel different.

"It's further... this way." It's clear that, after a few hours of traveling while constantly having to focus is taking a toll on Harkashan. Constantly mentally having to look at the moon, not letting the trees confuse him. "Traveling the Felwood is a troublesome situation. What are you seeing, Lady Cor'lana?" He then asks. "Each time we travel, that paths seem more winding, more treacherous. We recognize naught." He explains to her. "Is it part of the curse?" He asks, as he motions one particular direction to keep going that way. "We're still a ways out."

"It is as the Dranei says," Seldan replies mildly, inclining his head backwards towards Ulthan. "Kanian is vocal in his preferences, and not always does Reunion swiftly find consensus. It can, at times, draw unwanted attention."

It's at that moment that the crotchety old man answers Cor'lana. "Well, for you, I'd do a lot to see this corset I've heard so much about." The tone is entreating.

"KANIAN!" A nasally old woman's voice fairly explodes from the sword at his hip. "Lady Lupecyll-Atlon is a married woman. You keep your prick to yourself." This occasions a burst of surprised laughter from several other voices, and a younger, deeper female voice responds. "Why Fallia, were you two married in life?"

"No!" the nasally female voice bursts out, to a richer, deeper old man's voice. "If I'm not mistaken, they're about four generations separated. Fallia is older than all of us, Tisa."

Seldan lets out a long breath, the sigh of the long-suffering, and turns to Fidget. "It is, indeed, one such. As I have said, it is as Ulthan said. It is, at times, needful, much though we all dislike it."

Somewhere in the path, the armored man has conjured a light spell, a blue-gold-silver mote that has attached itself to the end of the bow on his back, bobbing along in the darkness of the paths of the Felwood. He keeps his eyes on the spire ahead, bending his gaze to it and ignoring now the sword at his hip, which now seems to be carrying on a conversation about who's older.

GAME: Seldan casts Light. Caster Level: 16 DC: 18

Cor'lana looks like she already regrets her feytouched whim to flirt with the sword when Harkashan asks the question, her violet eyes regarding the Deathsinger with an expression that practically says, _Please end me._ "Right now? A path that is doing its damndest to try and lose us," she says. "And a man stuck in a sword who believes he's lost his chance at seeing my underpinnings but never realized he didn't have the chance to begin with."

"You brought this onto yourself," Pothy remarks in the voice of Cor'lana's husband, which just makes the exasperated expression on Cor'lana's face all the deeper.

"I would not be surprised if it is part of the curse. Cursed woods want to lead us into directions where will be beset by demons and by particularly dark members of my Grandfather's people, although I hear tell that demons are far more likely the primary concern," she elaborates to Harkashan. "If _I_ was casting a curse to lure my enemies away from the spire of Ni'essa that I had corrupted, I would do just that."

Ulthan muses, from the back, "You know, I wonder if there is something in this curse to make us distract each other, like our associates esteemed ancestors being stirred right now?"

The fell magic that gives the Wood they walk through its name is at work. Time and time again, Aelmeh's hand drifts to Eluna's crescent Moon on its chain, reassurance against the pervading wrongness in the still air. She follows Harkashan's trail, catching occasional disorienting glimpses of the Spire through gaps in the trees. If only her magic could fix it in place.

"I'm glad stealth is not an issue on this quest," she comments at the sound of voices behind her, amusement evident in her voice. "Family can be such a trial. It is family, isn't it?" she asks, glancing back along the trail, glad at the distraction from her thoughts.

For Rune, so much of her way of navigating is based on sensory input. In the dim forest, everything looks different from what she remembers from past visits. Enough so that the half-sil spends a moment looking at the trees around them, wondering, perhaps, if they had gotten off-course somehow.

"It's why we started taking this circular approach. It takes longer, but it makes the chances of getting hopelessly lost a bit less." Rune seems to add to Harkashan's comment about the shifting nature of the Felwood. "I just wish there was something I recognized. I navigate by sight more than anything else."

Her ear twitches, hearing the strange arguing that seems to come from Seldan's weapons. Thankfully, this isn't the first time she's seen such things, but it does get a slight curious head-tilt and a quirk of her lips.

Reithak came prepared this time, at least somewhat, as the large egalrin takes a machete to the plants that stand in her way to avoid taking any chances. Still, it's a lot of work, and the journey isn't exactly a short one. "It's doing its best to keep us off track, but I doubt it will be enough." The egalrin shrugs. "We found it once and we'll find it again, just a matter of time."

And yet, the only landmark is the spire ...

... and it too never seems to be in exactly the same spot when you look. It's there! No, it's there!

They weren't kidding about the 'displacement' effect. It's ... bothersome, and nearly throws you off course more than once.

Finally, the brambles are thickening enough that now you're having to edge carefully through them, cutting away others and shielding yourself from the toxic venom that you dealt with before, in some cases. Nobody wants to hallucinate right now.

-- and then, finally, after what feels like forever, you can see it. A thickly vine-covered building. Less so, now that the beast that was attached to it was slain by some adventurous hands earlier, but still thickly covered. Entirely unnatural, really, but you can make out the signs of elven construction just barely beneath the vines.

You're in the right place.

Aelwyn was not too bothered about the fact that everything looked alien - he has been here many times before, and he knew the forest had nothing but ill-will and worse in store for them. He just keeps his hand firm around his glaive, as he pushes any thorny looking vegetation aside _very carefully_.

Then Seldan - and the whole family - speaks, and the Dragoon tilts his head with his teeth flashing. "And this one thought he was persecuted. Very smooth, Gemstone." His teeth make a bit of playful snap in the air.

At the topic of getting lost though, he rumbles. "This one supposes if one were to bring a compass, it would simply turn in endless circles." He clicks his teeth. "Lavastone and the skies seem to be most reliable, Twin." And then his teeth spread wider. "Perhaps focus on his luminance? This one is."

When they finally arrive though, Aelwyn slowly comes to a still. "Tch, looks like Fashion was right." He looks towards the Egalrin, flicking his tail. He takes in a deep breath. "And what shall our next steps?"

GAME: Harkashan rolls Perception: (9)+5: 14

Ulthan brings up the rear of the small troupe, surprisingly unexhausted despite the long trek and the need to keep wtach for surprises that could, quite literally, come from the thin air. But coming to stop, he doesn't relax, instead keeping a sweeping ovewatch of where they came from, and what is around them, not paying much attention to the structure right now.

As with the last time, Fidget seems to be trepidatiously enjoying her journey through the forest, looking at the things they pass and scanning for anything particularly unusual and interesting. She also keeps glancing over at the weird sword - "So...how many people are trapped in there, then? Seems like kind of a lot going on in there."

GAME: Fidget casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14

Harkashan lets out a long sigh of relief when they finally seem to encounter the vine-covered building. His shoulders lower, and a long rumbling sound escapes from him. "There it is. Didn't think I'd ever be glad to see a cursed extension of the Sky-singer's temple." He remarks, as he points forward and begins to slowly move forward.

"The vines, if they are covered by the same substance as the last, are living, so do be careful." He remarks, though it's not as thickly covered as last time. "Seems the damage we did was to an extent lasting though. That is at least good to see." He notes...

But then stops.

Looking around.

"I do not see my Lavastones." He warns. "They should be here."

GAME: Seldan casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 16 DC: 18

"Even so," Seldan replies to Aelmeh. "My ancestors indeed. Half a dozen have answered me," he notes to Fidget, "but it is in my mind that there are more." He falls silent, then, but somewhere near the end of the journey, as avoiding the toxic brambles gets more perilous and more concentration is needed, Seldan finally tells Reunion firmly, "_Enough._" The discussion is brief, but welcome silence falls after a few moments and what feels like a stare-off.

When they finally arrive at the vine-covered spire, he lets out a slow breath, the vestiges of ancient sildanyari architecture before him. He raises a gauntleted hand and traces a sigil before him, a blue-gold-silver film appearing before his eyes. He surveys it intently for several long, silent seconds, nearly half a minute.

City girl that Aelmeh is, she would be lost without the forest craft of the others. Their abilities have kept her safe from the poison thorns, the strange insects. And suddenly they arrive, the Wizard feels the magic before the vine-covered outbuilding is in sight and stops dead in her tracks, casting for its source.

GAME: Aelmeh casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14
GAME: Fidget rolls knowledge/arcana: (9)+10: 19
GAME: Fidget rolls knowledge/arcana: (6)+10: 16

At Harkashan's mention that the stones are gone, Cor'lana looks somewhere between perturbed and displeased. Her violet eyes narrow as she looks around to see if she, herself, can't spot them, and when she comes up empty, she says, "Let me try something."

She lifts up her hands and recites an incantation, her hands motioning with the soft murmuring of her words, which results in her eyes glowing softly as she regards the environment again.

"Reveal yourself to me," she murmurs.

GAME: Ravenstongue casts True Seeing. Caster Level: 14 DC: 22

As the group seems to come to that familiar place, Rune draws her weapons forth from their holster on her back, looking around with a wary expression.

"We fought against the plant creature that was wrapped around that building." Her sword points in the right direction, a bit of moonlight glinting off the onyx stones. "But we heard more approaching. It's why we had to withdraw." It's a warning that there may very well still be danger here. The previous group had not eliminated all of the monsters in the area.

For the moment, she seems to simply focus on keeping an eye on the surrounding area, watching for shifting shadows and listening for sounds of movement that don't come from the group.

GAME: Rune rolls perception: (5)+16: 21

Harkashan seems... a bit sad almost at the discovery that his Lavastones are gone. Did they arrive at a different location perhaps? There's a few people present here right now who understands why he cares to get his Lavastones back, and why he'd chosen specifically those to leave behind - so this place could be found again.

He nods at Ravenstongue, a bit hopeful when she offers that she'll try something. Waiting, looking to Seldan. "If the coast is clear, lava stones or no lava stones, we start working on the buildings and remove their curse." He notes, before noting: "I remember you said you did not know much of the temple in this area. But does seeing this refresh any memories? Looked into anything while at the temple?"

"That's what I'm here for, little Flame. To stay positive and keep moving forward." The large egalrin laughs. "Secret is if you're vague enough on your success, you'll still be correct when it does actually happen, you know?"

"Well, seems the land is being messed with, too. I don't know if that creature vanished or if it was dragged away, hard to tell." The inquisitor shrugs. "I'd like to get to the bottom of what is happening, but I think we should make use of the relative calm we've got now before it becomes relative chaos, and get as much done as we can."

GAME: Seldan rolls knowledge/religion: (13)+15: 28
<OOC> Harkashan aiding Seldan - as per pose.
GAME: Harkashan rolls Knowledge/Religion: (9)+7: 16
GAME: Aelmeh rolls knowledge/religion: (8)+8: 16
GAME: Seldan rolls knowledge/arcana: (7)+18: 25

Aelwyn takes a javelin off his back, holding it in one hand whilst holding the glaive in the other. He turns to look towards Reithak. "This one will assure Fashion, there is nothing little about this one." Except that he was pretty runty. He twists his lips and grunts out. "Tch, the feathers do sing like Ribbon, don't they?"

Aelwyn looks over Rune as she explains their previous encounter. "Mimics, vines, creatures; undoubtedly, far worse wait the further we move in." There's a low rumble. "Perhaps next time, it will come smiling." He moves onto observing the area as well; remaining on guard in case something unexpected happens.

Ulthan keeps tracking. "The patrol I was on was beset by a big, spooky ant. It had something eldritch to it, no ants I know, no matter how big, explode like that... Although the swarm of larvae was pretty standard for anything that big." His eyes never stop as he keeps scanning for disturbances.

Fidget's examination of Seldan is most interesting, he's like a constellation of bright auras, each of them interesting in turn, and she'd probably have spent a long while trying to figure each of them out, but she was supposed to be also watching out for anything unusual around them and that certain was unusual - "There's no ambient mana directly around the tower. That's odd. Perhaps something else is absorbing it? I hope it's not an anti-magic field, I've never seen one before but they sound awful."

Seldan allows all the discussion to swirl around him, studying the spire intently. "The spire is separate from the Felwood curse," he murmurs, after a good half-minute of staring. The magic is - separate. The spire act. I cannot yet determine what, precisely, it does, and yet is its energy distinct." Only then does he turns his head towards Fidget. "Even so. I see it as well. Does the spire - draw from its surroundings, and feed another point?"

Cor'lana's violet eyes, glowing with her magic, goes wide as she looks up at the spire. "Oh. Oh, something is _wrong_ here," she mutters. "Something is very wrong indeed. No wonder you're confused, Harkashan."

She sighs deeply for a moment before she elaborates: "Seldan, it's--I see not one spire, but six spires--surrounding a taller spire than the others. It seems to me that they are coming in and out of reality."

GAME: Harkashan casts Locate Object. Caster Level: 6 DC: 17

Aelmeh's previous speculations were for naught, it seems if the evil is separate from the Wood. She listens to the others as they read the magics at work in the Spire. Then, the Wizard's mouth drops open when she hears Cor'lana say not one but six spires. "They are likely in multi dimensions," she says half to herself.

"A separate energy?" Harkashan rumbles, "Curious." Followed by Ravenstongue further informing him of what is going on...

Six Spires, and a Greater Spire. "So my Lavarocks are not here because, this is the location of another building that just... looks the same?" He shakes his head. "I do not understand." After all, he is not that kind of learned.

He then looks at the 'cursed' vine covered place. A hand forward...

And a shift of his fingers, a closing of his eyes, then open again. "My lavarocks are inside. Someone or something brought them in." He remarks. "So, we are in the right place."

"I'm going to start making preparations to remove the curse here to see what happens. We can tackle the Six and One Spires after that."

GAME: Harkashan casts Owl's Wisdom. Caster Level: 6 DC: 16
GAME: Harkashan casts Prayer. Caster Level: 6 DC: 17

Aelwyn looks around at the party. "If this is not the same place, then who killed the vine beast? Was it a Guild assignment?" The Dragoon wonders, but then Harkashan confirms they are in fact, in the right place. Probably.

"Tch, magic." The draconian rumbles, flicking his tail. He was not a particular fan, it seemed. At least when it didn't involve fire. He clicks his tongue as he continues to stand in watch.

Rune's blue eyes look over to Aelwyn, giving a nod as he takes a place on the outer watch with her. It leaves the more magically inclined members of the party somewhat protected as they go about trying to determine what, exactly, is going on here.

"You know... sometimes it feels like you're speaking an entirely different language from everyone else, just by being non-magical." She comments to the ruddy-scaled Makari.

However, the one thing that Rune does seem to pick up on is the idea that there are multiple towers. This causes her to look over her shoulder towards the group, and then to the singular spire that she can see through the trees from time to time.

Ulthan doesn't pay much attention to the boffins waxing philosophical behind him, just keeping the perimeter going. The 'different spires' comment raises a thought, which he voices. "So, reverse of the chatterbox sword, basically? That's multiple people in same spot, but this is single tower in multiple spots?"

"It's hard to tell, since there's no blood and feathers where I got smacked around, but I'm fairly certain this is the right place." The Egalrin shrugs to Aelwyn. She stops, gestures one hand to the dragoon, and one hand to the cleric. "I know, you're a real big guy in a lot of ways Aelwyn, but, there's a large lava lad right over there." She chuckles.

"Or, not the same tower, possibly? Maybe I'm off on such an assumption. Planar mechanics aren't really my realm of expertise."

GAME: Reithak rolls knowledge/the planes: (8)+6: 14
GAME: Aelmeh rolls knowledge/the planes: (3)+8: 11

Aelwyn turns to look towards Rune, flashing his teeth at her and spreading his arms. "Tch, here we are Twin, magical and all they can concentrate is on a pile of rocks that may or may not exist." He rumbles in amusement.

The ruddy sith-makar flicks his head at Reithak though, giving a dismissive grunt. "Just because someone is large doesn't mean they are a large, Fashion. She should know that." He cants his hip to the other side, tail swaying over his behind.

"I'll leave the spires to you. Maybe this will have an effect on your efforts, Seldan." Harkashan remarks, as he approaches the building itself and spreads his fingers out towards the roots. After all, he has to touch the area itself.

"Just keep a keen eye everyone." He rumbles, before planting his clawed fingers against the building and taking in a deep breath...

And he begins to sing a draconic sort of mantra to the Death-singer, seeking to purify this place. Deep droning growls and clicks coming from his muzzle as he sings what almost sounds like a dirge of sorts.

GAME: Harkashan casts Remove Curse. Caster Level: 6 DC: 17
GAME: Harkashan rolls 6: (9)+6: 15

"My lady," Seldan begins, ignoring the other commentary around him, seeming to stare intently at the mix of spires. "Deathsinger. The attempt at cursebreaking will have no effect, does the spire not remain in this reality. I would - anchor it, do you show me where the great spire lies."

Cor'lana nods to Seldan's words. "I'll follow you on that," she responds, before pointing to the tallest of the spires where she can see it. "That is the tallest of the spires. We strike together, then."

She works her magic quickly, then, a quickened incantation to help her spell strike true, and then she works the binding magics of her own anchoring spell, a thing that looks in her hands like the sickly green of lashing ribbons. It launches out at the tower to bind it to reality.

In time with Cor'lana's spell, Seldan draws his own sigils in turn, a brighter and more emerald green. With a word of power, the sigils flare into life before him, and he jabs his hand through the mated glows, the green streaking out in a ribbon of light parallel to the diminutive feytouched woman, seeking to lash the spire to this reality.

GAME: Ravenstongue casts True Strike/Quicken. Caster Level: 14 DC: 22
GAME: Ravenstongue casts Dimensional Anchor. Caster Level: 14 DC: 21
GAME: Seldan casts Dimensional Anchor. Caster Level: 16 DC: 22
<OOC> Ravenstongue says, "Rolling to hit with Dimensional Anchor."
GAME: Ravenstongue rolls ranged+20: (14)+9+20: 43
GAME: Seldan rolls ranged+1: (4)+19+1: 24

The curse of the Felwood is a powerful thing indeed. A long standing, potent piece of power, embedded in the earth itself, surrounding and enveloping the land, encompassing it in its own palpable darkness.

... and then Harkashan casts his magic and for a moment, that pervading, forboding sense of unease that's been prevalent here since you arrived shatters, unburdening your spirits as the land itself disgorges darkness. Shadows fly up trees, unravelling away from you as the oppression of the Felwood lifts.

...and then intensifies above you. Still, this is aided by something else: there, the structure is sloughing the vines and weeds and twisted brambles that choke it, as if they too were a manifestation of the curse, revealing a singular elven structure beneath it, it's gilded surface tarnished by time but still visible. There is a pregnant pause before the structure begins to become a light as the full moon peeks through the trees above you, casting its silver rays upon its tarnished, mirrored surface, as if it was designed to reflect, capture the moonlight. In the distance, you can briefly see a flare of light where one should not be.

This is followed by the attempts to anchor the closest spire, and indeed, these efforts seem to have worked, as there is a great, shattering, grinding sound of trees erupting from the earth and a hideous howl from deep within the land, a sound of anguish and rage. Now, a spire is present properly, locked in place, and its point is blazing with a silvery Elunan light.

Harkashan lets go of a breath that was held for far too long, as the Curse withdraws. A long panting growl, followed by him stepping back. Feeling that unease that has dissipated around him. Looking around, seeing the shadows shift away. The oppression leaving...

Only to intensify above him. So, naturally, he looks up. Trying to find out the source of this intensified curse, before he's distracted by the glint of silver. The moon coming to shine through, flashing its ray upon a distance flare of light. "The real Tower?" He asks, peering at the light itself?

"Six towers. Do you think there's six of these outlying positions that need to have their curse removed?" He didn't prepare enough for <that> many removals of curse. His bond to the Deathsinger is not yet great enough for such feats.

But then a startled stumble back, as the grinding trees erupt, and the Spire ends up locked in place, blazing with Elunan light. "Hah! Nice work, Cor'lana. Seldan!" He croons. "I'll be just a moment. I gotta get my Lavastones back." He motions towards Rune and the others for help while the mages deal with the Spire and nailing it in place.

Ulthan slowly untenses his shoulders after the oppressive feeling of the Curse is lifted, only to snap back into wariness when it condenses above. Staying alert, he returns to his scan and cover of the magicians.

Aelwyn feels the relief fall over him. He visibly loosens - which was quite the feat, since he usually was very relaxed like the little sinuous draconian he was. Yet he breathes in deep, steeling himself, as he does not trust his instincts as much.

"Not only different language, but space." The Dragoon rumbles at Rune, before he takes his glaive and javelin to follow Harkashan. "Is Lava certain that this is wise?" The smallest of sith-makar has to ask, as he carefully looks around, making sure nothing dark creeps around the edges of the light.

In Fidget's mind, Seldan and Cor'Lana have got this, so it's time to go explore the tower, so she pads along with Harkashan and any others who're going ahead to explore. "All the work and struggle to get here aside, doesn't anyone else think that there's gonna be a whole bunch of scary monsters in there?" Not that she's *not* going to take this opportunity to go explore something like the tower here.

Clueing in on Reithak and Aelwyn's conversation, Rune can't help but comment, "You know, this isn't Makari-measuring contest, right?"

That is when things start to happen. Rune's ear twitches to the sounds of spells being cast. It's hard to stay on watch when there's quite so much going on. The subtle shift of that 'feeling' in the area, followed by the rumblings of the ground as it seems to react to whatever is being done to secure the spire.

"What the..."

Turning, Rune stares at the structure, and at Harkashan just bolda s you might heading towards it to look for his lava stones. "Um... I'm with Aelwyn here. Is this a good idea?" Even so, she'll approach a bit closer, seeming wary about everything that had just happened.

"Why not? Nothing wrong with some meticulous minimum, maximum, mystical and martial makari measuring." The large egalrin chuckles. "But I get'cha, it's not the time with more pressing things like-"

Whatever was about to be said was cut off by the spire being wrenched out of reality and into place here. She blinks.

"I don't think any of this is wise to be perfectly frank, whoever that is, but I can do a pretty good impression of them. But it's a good idea on the whole to nip this problem before it gets worse. So, what's the plan? Explore in here, or go looking for the spire in another spot?"

"The light is reflected in the central spire, but not at the tip--it lit up _inside_ of the spire." Cor'lana says softly. "And this spire that Seldan and I have locked into place--the light within it only lit up when we did so."

She takes a moment to breathe. "The anchor spells will only hold for a short amount of time," she says. "If we are to enter, then we do so quickly. But I am curious about the relation between the lights in these spires."

As always when beholding the magic of Eluna, a level of awe and reverence settles in on Seldan's fair features as the spire settles into reality. He's aware of the curse above, though, and looks up as it condenses above them, then back to the spire itself. "The restoration begins," he breathes, watching Harkashan walk towards the tower with a boyish grin creeping across the even features. "Perhaps we shall understand more, do we venture inside, and yet-" He pauses, the grin fading, and raises his voice. "Do not be caught in the spire when the anchor expires, lest you be caught in its trap! It is in my mind that there is more to come, ere we are finished. Move cautiously. I will cast it again, do we need."

Aelwyn turns around and flashes his teeth at the rest behind him. "This one feels it is _always_ a good time for measuring Kin." He wriggles his tongue out. "One wears scales not only for show."

Turning around to continue walking behind Harkashan, Aelwyn stops for a moment. "Tch, why it is always the same thing in these woods...?" He rumbles, lowering his glaive from his shoulders.