Of Crows, Dirt and Dongs

Meanwhile Back at Camp.....

-- Or Roche Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands

I couldn’t just spend the whole time sitting in my tent, like some kind of prisoner or pariah. Although that’s probably exactly how some of the people here would view me given half a chance, but I couldn’t exactly leave either, what with my “little friend”. Animals aren’t really my specialty, but a familiar? Now that’s different. I grow fonder of little Fontanel each day, without even considering how useful he is.
The first night after Laucien and the rest of the party departed for the ruin, Fontanel brought me a little mouse – it was grossly disfigured and just wrong. My Lady confirmed my suspicions – the taint of corruption is seeping out and affecting even the local wildlife. I shudder to think what would happen if the full force of it was released upon the world. I burned the corpse for safety. She had also confirmed my suspicions about the “little friend” – Talisad’s doing. It seems that my dream of my… death and rescue, was definitely more than a dream, and at least one Lord of my Lady’s court has strayed from the path into the darkness of corruption. She has given me a list of ingredients for a potion to remove this spy (Ternav root, mindflayer tentacle, bottled faerie fire) so I will try procure them before Laucien returns. Perhaps I will be able to find some Mount Setwal vine creeper as well, which would help with my physical injuries… I think.
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This morning I had a good idea – I can see what Fontanel sees, but the link between us excludes the “little friend”. After he had located some merchants and healers for me, I went out into the camp, borrowing his sense of sight to try for some of those ingredients. I chose the Amerillian herbalist first, as he seemed the most likely to have what I needed, but I was wrong. All he had was a cowardly prejudice – he refused to help, hiding behind procedures (even though I didn’t want him to make me a potion at all) and wouldn’t even look at me. Being Laucien’s people, I expected better. I mean I don’t hold a grudge against humans for killing my family and treating me like a foul creature, so what right do they have to act this way? Small minds are pathetic.
I had much better luck with the druids, whom I visited next. Initially it didn’t seem like they would want to deal with me either – the man and woman played a hand game and the loser had to come speak with me. However, the man proved to be very civil… almost nice. He didn’t approve of my plan to use the Mount Setwall potion, but there’s just no time to go through normal rehabilitation. He gave me both the vine creeper and the Ternav root, and didn’t even want anything in return. Ended up having to send Fontanel back to him later for help with the recipe for the vine… I owe him a debt now, and I hope I will be able to repay it some time. He called me “little Reh” when we parted… I wonder what that means, but it didn’t seem like it was meant in a bad way at all.
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Oh for all the Shining Lords and Ladies! No wonder the druid did not recommend this course of action! It hurt so much, and ugh I am pretty sure I had an actual heart attack at one point… but I feel so much better now. The pain is gone, as is the hypersensitivity to the cold. Unfortunately my dexterity is still diminished, and I am not sure if there is any way to take this cursed clumsiness away again.
I tried to visit the druids again, to thank them in person, but they were busy with something. There was a great stag in the middle of their circle, but like the mouse that Fontanel had brought me the other night, it was altered and wrong. A little mouse could have been directly in the ruins to be affected… but a stag wouldn’t have been so close…. Unless of course that hadn’t been a stag at all, but one of the druids in beast form? Both options are highly concerning. Since I couldn’t talk to the druids, I sent Fontanel out to try find someone who would sell me some mindflayer tentacles. Only the high elves would help – should have just gone there straight away really. The damn things are ridiculously expensive, but at least I have them, and bottled faerie fire now. Funnily enough, the elves, with their reputation for disdain, treated me better than that Amerillian herbalist. Well… at least they would work with me, even if they didn’t think much of me. Means to an end, means to an end.
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I went back the next morning to try again, but they were gone… Only a young druid by the name of Adric remained, who is apparently the contact between these forces and the rest of the druids, an older man who was breaking down the remains of their grove, and another tiefling with red hair. While I was there two dragons erupted from the ruins, and winged away to the south. A skeletal one and an emerald one… I will break one of my own horns if the skeletal one doesn’t have something to do with the corruption. Didn’t have time to speak with the remaining druids because there were more dragons, this time landing in the camp itself!
I had to go look of course… I know my Lady wouldn’t approve, but her history is not mine. Oh and they were wonderful. Such power and presence, glittering silver and copper… So different to the fey, but amazing in their own way. They didn’t remain in their draconic forms for long, and transformed into human and halfling shapes. They had brought the whole party with them, with a new elvish addition. It seems that this strange high elf has been under the influence of the taint, but was pulled back from it. I had an inkling that he was related to the snooty wizard, Silevion, and he confirmed it by referring to him as “father” in his rush to be arrogant some more. Elves.
Laucien though… he has been changed down there. In a bad way…. I had expected, and hoped, so much better for him. I don’t believe that he cannot be saved, but as he is now, I would not trust him enough to travel again in his company.
Tomorrow will be interesting.

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AlexM

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