After resting the group we turn towards the woods. Semi-refreshed. As we start following the trail the forest undergrowth around us becomes oppressive, dense, and yet deadly still.
Before us in the trail an impression or relief in the stride length of large steps becomes visible and clear. These shapes are not human feet, they are gnarled like tree branches. As we track them, they begin to fade.
We lose site of the steps and are left instead with an impression. Like a psychic spike driving its way into all of our minds. A deep fear wells inside of us, but it is not our fear. It is someone else’s fear, pain, hurt all swirling together. Almost a voice shouting for relief.
Tom and Lucant stop in their steps. They share a vision together of the sun being squelched. Pelor is calling out to them. “Help Pelor,” the voice says to them. We feel a pull, a strong impression asking us to move forward. Tom and Lucant run ahead of the party.
In a moment they pass from our sight, and the forest around us melts into smoke. The solid ground beneath is no more. We are stuck in a tar-like mire with nothing but darkness and fog to keep us company. Lifting our vision from the darkness below we can perceive a pink energy dome in front of us that seems to be protecting a forest within. Just as we perceive this, our reality melts away. We become the separated prisoners of our own individual and personal fears.
- Reeft is shown a vision of his family being killed by a man known to him as the Table Master. In an attempt to save his family from brutal murder he picks up a spear using magic and hurl it at the Table Master but misses. He is punished with searing pain and anguish as he watches helpless while his family is killed in front of him. After the dream started again, the Table Master readying his blade to cut and maim Reeft’s family, Reeft takes a knee and prays to Ioun for the souls of his family that they are received in the otherworld. After this his dream fades and he sinks through the black mirk finding himself with the others inside of the pink dome.
- Lucant sees himself as a vagabond stripped, broken, and chained to a wall. No honor, nothing, a shell of a person. He hears the voice of his mother, she says to him “Free yourself, try.” He feels a sense of hope as she reaches into his body and touches his heart. Lucant is unable to convince himself to live, and remains trapped in his dream. Lucant, unable to convince himself to live, awakens from the dream to find himself trapped in the mirk, slowly sinking to his death.
- Allye awakens in her home, learning that Baron Wilhem has chained up all the halflings in her city. After a moment of contemplation the door to her home is broken down, Wilhem’s men shackle her and her family. While following the line of other halflings, in chains, Allye unfastens her bonds on her hands and holds them steady so that the guards don’t take notice. Allye then convinces a shade guard that she is of some serious importance and that she must brought to the carriage to talk to Wilhem. Successful she awakens in the mire, sinks through it and appears again in the pink dome with the tree man.
- Tom sees himself in the hunting grounds he knows. He is hunting the Owlbear, but it is charging towards him. Time slows down and Tom feels himself frozen in place. His swift legs unmoving as the Owlbear draws ever closer to strike. Tom reaches for his knife and stabs his unresponsive thigh. In that moment he is free of his nightmare and sinks through the sticky mire and is inside of the pink bubble.
- Istvara see herself as a shade child about to steal her sister’s pendant and is asked by her shadow self whether or not she should be here. “We must live,” the shade says. Istvara convinces the shade self to leave the pendant. At that moment the dream disappears and she sinks through the black mire and appears in the pink dome.
Our group notices a degree of elasticity to this pink dome, or energy field, which is being generated by the green man. His tree like appearance radiates this field that he is using to protect himself and keep the lurking darkness from entering. He appears tired, and we help augment and grow the field through our various talents. Our efforts are rewarded with a widened field large enough to free Lucant from the murk and give the mysterious stranger a chance to explain things to us.
The green man’s cerulean eyes glimmered at us as he is relieved from the strain of supporting the field. His slow and soothing voice, patiently informs us that we are in the dream world, in the last Temple of Pelor lifted directly from Winterhaven. He believes Kaloral is serving Orkus the Demon King and is responsible for the attacks on these churches. He moved it here to protect it. But somehow Kaloral has found a way to invade this space also. We need to defeat him to sever this connection or the church of Pelor and this green man may be lost forever.
Before bidding us goodbye, the green man granted each of us an amulet. When we leave his presence we are behind a group of trees in full view of a Kobold camp near a river. From the trees we can see one of their stronger leaders standing in a stone circle absorbing a blue aura. This power absorption should be taken by us if we hope to break their will to fight.
Since they did not hear us approach we had an advantage. Reeft fired an acid arrow melting the flesh of the leader in the blue circle. Tom took shots with his arrows, and Alley toppled him with her sling. The party charged in crushing all kobolds in our wake, their bodies floating down river. Up river there was a waterfall, and we heard Kobold running to inform someone called Iron Tooth.
We slew him before he was able to reach the entrance and warn whomever remains inside. One kobold, after seeing so many slain friends, surrenders. We interrogate him and although the party leaned towards dispatching him, he ultimately were allowed to live. He told us that Iron Tooth was their goblin leader. He is feared among the kobolds and there is a host in a cave behind the waterfall.
We decide to take a short break and prepare to enter the cave and deal with this villain.