The trail to Kalthar through the Dark Wood begins just outside of Offsite, leading through fields and then light woods. The party encountered both a grizzly bear and a what was later identified as a treant in their first day out but opted not to intereact with them (particularly the grizz). As we progressed into the Dark Wood, it became apparent that this was no ordinary forest, with enormous trees reaching high above the ground, blocking most of the sunlight out with a thick canopy of branches and leaves – leaves as large as cloaks. Little underbrush and constant gloom make it dangerous to travel in, as light sources, necessary even for the eyes of the elves, can be seen from quite a distance. Even darkvision would not be overly helpful as it is so limited in range.
Our next encounter proved to be a near disaster, and it was with a vine – an assassin vine, to be precise. Kalel was dragged up a tree and choked, showing one of the nastiest attack method the vine has – it can slither up a tree, choking its victim in the process and placing it quickly out of range of many attacks. Grease spells are effective, but only if the person casting isn’t already grappled! They also appear to have the ability to animate nearby plants, entangling the feet of those in contact with the ground. This is a nuisance for those on horseback, but can be a significant hindrance to men on foot.
Our last encounter is one that of our worst moments…we attacked a small group of goblins who lived in a tree.
Having spied a campfire, we send Kalel to approach it. He saw noone there until he looked up – and saw a goblin in a tree pointing an arrow at him. He backed away and it did not fire. After returning to us and commiserating, we decided that, given what we had heard of goblins, that they would surely follow and attack us in the night. Belisarius walked to the campfire with a silent image of Kalel following…the real Kalel was to sneak around to the back of the encampment and ready his bow. Belisarius, being the only one who could speak goblin, called to the goblins to come out and parley.
One timidly did so, and came forward…we asked only to share his food and fire. After a bit of hesitation, the goblin offered some food in trade for drink…wine or ale. At this point, we attacked them, slaughtering them quickly. The food, however, had been tainted with some kind of toxin which left Belisarius seeing visions, unconscious for the time. The rest fanned out and found only a small group of goblin children cowering in the tree.
After a time, Belisarius recovered. Being the only one who could speak goblin, he attempted to lure the children out. Having just witnessed their parents and kin slaughtered by elves, they were in no way influencible, (particularly by someone who had no bluff or diplomacy skills) so we tried to dig, chop and smoke them out, having no way to reach them through the small opening of the tree. They managed to escape through a tunnel of some kind while this occurred, leaving us to ride along, unsure if we would be attacked by more goblins.