Category Archives: Perceforest

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter Two Part Four

Earlier parts here

Fordvill, Goblins and Bandits

Another day another road, this one leads to Fordvill the forest has reached up to the edge of the road here, it will need cutting back before the road is endangered. When we get to the village we need to get the local villagers to do it. We reach the village, a while later, it is a tidy small place with crops in the fields and animals on the pasture; we ask where the lord is.  We are told that their lord and lady are away and we will need to talk with the reeve. We find him at the manor and he turns out to be very stubborn, saying he can’t do that till the lord comes back. I wave my Kings Writ at him but he remains stubborn so I go into full out Herald using all my influence and reputation to change his mind, helped by Leatony casting his Thick Skinned spell on me. It takes a while but eventually, with me constantly looking at Yogi and Sir Leatony, he gives in and says he will send out groups next day to cut and burn.

The reeve now very humble and contrite asks us to stay overnight, which we do, and informs us that the road to the next village of Flameval is often blocked by bandits from the forest, this looks like a good chance to get some glory and impress my betters. The evening meal is plan simple fare, not what Sir Leatony would have expected or got if the lord was here, however he holds his tongue and accepts the plan food he is given.

That Night – A very small goblin comes and wakes Yogi and says to him ‘entering the forest will bring danger and victory; not entering the forest will bring danger and loss’. Then he walks away whistling as he goes, Yogi gets up to follow him but by the time he gets outside all is chaos. The goblin has joined other goblins overturning things, opening gates to animal pens and causing mischief waking the whole village. Yogi goes back to wake the rest of us and the reeve, we all grab our weapons and armour. However we can’t, it all seems to be stuck to the ground even swords stuck in their scabbards. I think that the goblin has been up to mischief and used magic to bind them together. I say that I can use my Folk spell to disperse the effect one item at a time. However Yogi says he can do the whole building in one go, which he does. We go back to sleep leaving the villagers to sort their mess out.

 We decide in the morning that Yogi’s warning means that we should find the bandits by entering the forest rather than taking the risk of being ambushed. We leave Leatony’s page behind with one sumpter horse and any things we do not need. I ride the other sumpter horse beside Leatony. Yogi casts Behold onto the goblin that left the message, lucky for him his spells finds him and there is the bandit camp being watched by the goblin. The camp appears to have a guard with 3 guard dogs and is large enough for up to twenty or so people. With the direction in his mind Yogi navigates us into the forest and towards the camp. As he does so I cast Pathway on horses and people so that we will not be slowed down by the forest and its trickery.

The second hour of our trip brings a near miss as we notice a wasps nest on the path which we could have easily hit and been troubled by. Then the forest manages to get us lost and turned around and we need to rest to recover from fatigue. After 5 hours or so we reach the area of the camp and can hear and smell it ahead. We seem to have ended coming at it from the opposite direction to that we were traveling, the forest again we suppose. Yogi casts Band of Brothers on us all along with Berserk on himself and Ture Weapon on Leantony’s lance. I cast Pathway and Mobility on us all as well as Leatony’s horse and Leatony casts Protection on his horse and all of us.  We move up to the edge of the trees; Yogi runs into the camp looking for a target while snarling waving his arms with spears in his paws trying to intimate the camp, which he seems to do quite effectively. I walk in and look around ready to let lose arrows. Leatony gallops his horse in to the camp aiming at the leader he makes out. He sees that this man has a massive bulge on the left side of his head. Leatony suddenly feels that he should be attacking the bear but with that luck that rides with heroes he manages to throw that thought off.

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter Two Part Three

Earlier parts here

The Forest and the Tree

Next morning our plans change as Leatony says we should get rid of the body of the tainted monster rather than leave it around for carrion to eat and spread the taint. Sir Helfer sends some of his villagers to help and with Yogi hauling firewood they build a bonfire around the monster and we turn it to ash. Mind you Sir Helfer did want the other tusk from it for his wall. With another day done with we retire to the manor for supper and sleep. Over supper Sir Helfer, mentions that he wants the forest pushed back from around the shed area opening the road up more and allowing new land for farming. Now that the evil has been put to rest seems a good time to do this. He would like us to stay and provide protection for his villagers.  We agree, after all that was part of our mission and something both I and Sir Leatony are beholden to do.

Sir Helfer has two sweet twin daughters, Hellive and Helline, his wife died giving birth to them. With no son’s he has no heir and villagers have been leaving as he doesn’t have men to defend them. Sir Helfer will offer one of his daughters to Leatonay to stay on as his son-in-law. The twins [16] both with long black hair and green eyes are identical and are looked after by a simple old woman called Janyne. She has looked after them since birth and all three are attached to each other. Sir Leatonay is flattered but says he thinks his grandmother has other things in mind at this time, however if things turn out differently he will bear the offer in mind. Due to his charming curtesy no one took offence.

The clearing will take up around 4 weeks, Sir Helfer tells us, and all we need to do is be in the area to protect the villagers. So, Leatony takes the time to get me and Janyne to teach him to read and write or at least start to. Yogi gets Leatony to help him improve his spear use while I make use of teaching Leatony to get Janyne to help me learn how to teach properly. The twins keep watch with us enjoying the company as the days go by. Slowly the forest is hacked back past the shack with the twigs and scrub burnt on a couple of large fires with the logs taken back to the manor for future use.

One day in the third week we hear shouting and see the people running towards us. Following them is a “tree trunk” 15’ long, the pale grey sapwood showing beneath, and branches stick out from the trunk like sharp spikes. With a pair of strong but stubby legs at its base and with forelimbs which are the raptorial forelimbs of a praying mantis. A slab of wood forms a cruel mockery of a face, a mask-like structure with two eyeholes. On all fours it approaches with the bodies of two villagers on it’s branches. I move fast and load my bow and then let lose at the forest tree, my arrow hits its mask face and I rapidly reload. The tree stands upright on its hind legs swinging it’s forelimbs to smash a peasant down. Yogi runs to help a villager who has fallen over, picking him up at the run and bringing him back to the fires. Leatony, having mounted, moves to be able to charge at the tree.

The tree moves sideways to line up with Leatony while I hold my next shot.

I let go of my next arrow which thuds into the right rear leg of this thing, neither arrow seems to have slowed it down or hurt it, as the tree continues to move toward Leatony. Yogi throws his spear with all his strength aiming at its mask and sinking the spear in deep, as Leatony pushes his horse forward and as he passes the tree stabs at it with his mighty lance. He also chooses to hit it in its mask ripping a gouge across it.

Seeing my arrows have little effect I wonder about fire arrows as the tree moves after Leatony. As it does so Leatony turns his horse and jabs at the mask face again. This time smashing into it deeply, the tree shutters and falls apart into a trunk and various branches all ready to go for firewood.

It seems Sir Halfer was right to have us watch the clearance as without us more than three villagers would be dead in fact the whole village could have been wiped out. Yogi tells us that this was just a small version of a forest tree spirit, just as well is all I can say. Leatony is treated as the hero he is by the twins and the village. I know that without the spear of Yogi already in it Leatony might have had more trouble. However from everyone else’s point of view he was the one and is treated as such. Sir Helfer offers us all a reward, I take tuition in teaching for two weeks; Yogi takes a red-kite and 24 chickens; while Leatony takes trade goods worth 300 slivers and gives it to the families of the dead villagers, getting more cheers.

After the work is done and the forest has been pushed back we head back to the city.  I take the leather journal of the Skanjar to Sir Abrofar the Scancole city herald. He wonders what a Northman is doing so far south and on his own as well, we know he was looking for a motherlode but was it iron ore, silver or gold? Maybe we need to be on the alert for any raids; he will let the place know and see if we can get some miners to go and have a look. Leatony tries out his writing skills by sending his first letter home to his beloved sister and another to his beloved lady. Both surprisingly turn out passable.

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter Two Part Two

Earlier parts here

The Lady and the Monster

The two knights put spurs to horses and charge each other, lances down and shields up. Leatonay’s lance hits slightly ahead of the nameless knight. His lance smashes into and through the knight’s shield and armour and smashes his leg throwing off the horse in a tumble of limbs as his lance hits Leatonay’s shield penetrating that and his chest armour but fails to injure him or knock him off his horse. The nameless knight lays still his body broken, no a’plaisance joust here just plain death. Leatonay didn’t pull his blow or aim at the shield and barely missed the horse. Looking closely at the nameless knights shield I see sliver tear drops on its black background, I believe that this is the Knight of Sorrows and rather than Leatonay being able to tell people of his exploits against this knight now we get to tell of killing him, not a good thing to brag of when it was a fight of peace.

Putting his body over his horse we continue our journey to Helfer’s Vill which is the next village on this road according to the last one. Later on we are traveling along the minor road, through Darnant forest towards Helfer’s Vill, which seems to have been kept clear of vegetation. As we enter an area with the wood only on the left of the road with a scrubby hill on the right, a beautiful human woman in her 30s stumbles out of the woods to our left begging us to help her. Her clothing is worn and somewhat dirty, but in decent shape, she is very distraught and beckoning us into the woods. Sir Leatonay sits on his horse for a moment and then gets off to try to comfort the distressed woman. He fails in that task and storms off. Yogi lumbers up to try but also fails so I am left to comfort her; which I do with ease, heralds are people people unlike the other two. Now she is calm I can get some sense out of her. She is Trecia and a monstrous creature ambushed her and her husband as they were visiting their nephew at his farm in the Vill just up ahead. She begs them to hurry and help her find her husband, who was dragged into the woods.

Just around the corner you can see the large farm house, this is the Manor farm/inn of Helfer, which is just outside the main village. We head there to take her to safety and find some were to bury the knight of Sorrows.  A peasant outside says to knock and wait which we do.  The door is opened and answered by a servant who asks who we are and we say who we are and that we wanted to see the Lord of the manor. Helfer is a man in his late 50s, he is friendly, and has three bedrooms for rent at the inn.

One room is taken by a traveling merchant and his two guards another by a Banneret on his way to Black Island. We mention that we need to bury the knight of Sorrows and he is upset at his death, he tells us that he has been challenging on the road for some time and is of good character. Helfer says he will bury the knight with his sword and shield and with proper rites and a good sent off. We also ask him if he knows the lady Trecia with us and it turns out she is his aunt, but then we confuse him by saying she is with us as she is not. We are now a bit confused as well, particularly as he tells us she disappeared a couple of decades ago. It seems we have a mystery on our hands and as good chivalrous people we need to help sort it out. It is possible that she has been lost in the forest for a long time out of time.

We leave the horses and Leatonay’s page at the manor and go to find Trecia and see what help we can give her. We head back to where we first saw her and there she is. ‘Help please help me’ she cries. Yogi casts Soul-Sight on her and can see that she is hanging onto life by her spirit only. It seems that maybe she is dead anyway, she beckons us into the forest. As we enter the forest the wood seems to shift and change around us; sometimes we are next to each other, then out of sight of each other. We do all arrive at a clearing with a shack in it within a few minutes of each other. It turns out none of us lost sight of Trecia but we did lose sight of each other and took different routes. I am not sure I would want to do this without her guidance.

The shack appears as a long abandon building falling apart but held together by creeping plants. An aura of doom and death emanates from the shack. I end up having to approach it with the hairs on my body standing up. I tell the others and Leatonay casts Thick-Skin on us all, I am not sure that helps but it seems to help him. I enter the shack through the door which squeaks’ a bit, inside there are lots of bones inside the rotten walls. I call the others and as they come forward we hear a scream. Yogi catches a glimpse of something flying through the woods and grabbing Trecia. We have lost her again. We search the shack and find dark bloodstains maring the wooden and rotted floor. One set of bones, a man, grasps a golden locket in his hands under his tattered remains of clothing. When we opened, the locket it reveals two small oil pictures: one of a handsome young man, and the other of Trecia. In addition to the body and locket, there is another body that of a Skanjar, a northern dwarfish person, he is dressed in decaying miner’s clothes, and looks to have been dead for decades; thick cobwebs cover his body. In his bony hand are a rusted pick and a leather journal. I take the journal and open it.

The pages of the journal are in an unknown language but with the pictures and maps in the book and some similar words I work out that he was mining the hill over the road looking for a motherlode. As we leave the shack we see that Trecia is back and we show her the locket. ‘You stole it you thieves’. We manage to convince her that we didn’t and her husband is dead. We bury the two bodies using the miners pick while Trecia keeps saying, ‘you must avenge his death’ and pointing to the hills. After we have finished burying the bodies we head towards the hill with Trecia beside us.

We ask her what attacked them and she describes a flying bear, a very odd thing to hear. We follow her up the hillside as Leatonay casts ‘Protection’ on us all and Yogi casts ‘Sacred-Band’ on the group to share any injuries we take around us. Ahead we can see a cave just behind a tree; ‘in there’ she calls. ‘I am in there, hurry’. As she does a creature fly’s out of the cave into the sky above us. As it does we react, just in time as it dives towards us. Yogi sets his spear and I ready my longbow waiting, Leatonay seems to be a bit muddled as the creature heads towards him. It looks like a bear from the front, an eagle from its rear with big manta-ray wings. As it gets into range in its dive I let my arrow go. It fly’s straight and strong and smashes into the things eye piercing into its brain killing it. Due to its velocity it continues on its path passing over Leatony and crashing into the ground behind him.

We enter the cave and it is full of bones, amongst them we find a woman holding a locket like the other one. We show it to Trecia and she says “I am dead aren’t I? Thank you, thank you, you have killed my killer I can rest in pec…..”. She vanishes before us. We seem to have laid her to rest by uniting her and her husband.

Leatony wants the monsters boar tusks, from its mouth, for a souvenir so he cuts them off the massive monster. We then take her bones and bury them with her husband by the shack. We head back to the manor and report to Helfer the fate of his aunt and how I killed the monster. He thanks us and introduces us to his quests over supper. Next morning we head back out on the road with the knights horse and armour. Next stop the city and some rest before our next patrol.

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter Two

Earlier parts here

Part 1

On the Road

I reported to Sir Abrofar the Scancole city herald; I decided that he had to know about what we had done about the plant thing from elsewhere. As far as I was concerned it was Sir Leatonay’s responsibility to report back to Sir Moribund, however I doubt he will, we did as ordered and that’s that. I told my boss about the tower and the mage Coddefut and pointed out that he was very lack in leaving such a monstrosity untended. I give him the book I found and sealed and he said he would get it to his boss. He said that as far as he was concerned the isle must be left empty and no one be allowed to dig around there due to the risk of freeing any part of that plant thing, in any case as it took 2 decades to get this big after what you have done to it he would think it would be a long time before it might, if it’s still capable, of being a nuisance again. I mention that I am worried about any of the fishermen picking up dead fish, an unfortunate side effect of killing the plant. He assures me that no fisherman would ever take up dead fish as they would not know how long it had been dead or what killed it. I remember to pass on Leatonay’s message, about getting people over to clear the site and burn the fungi and throw the soil into the sea, as their spirit dreaming implied. He also wanted any pots and pans or clothes recovered given to the fishermen as well as criminal charges against the mage. Abrofar says that no one is going to be allowed onto the island as I have already said; your Sir Leatony needs to leave these things to those that understand them. I will make sure the count knows of your actions and my recommendations.

He thanks me for my duty and says he has some work for me to do as part of my training. “I need you to take your friends and scout the road to Trinovant city, go up the road towards the city and also check any minor roads off of it as you go. I have received notice that the forest is encroaching onto the road in places so please deal with it as needed as well as any brigands you might encounter. It would be good if you could spend a good month doing this working from here as your base. Also as you will be taking Sir Leatonay, can you get him to decide on his coat of arms as well please, now he is a full knight he should have one. As a pursuivant with the king’s writ you should be able to get anything you need for this task within reason, just remember that abuse of the writ leaves you open to losing your status and being charged.” I am happy to do this and gain and glory fame for my actions.

Back at the Inn I find that poor Yogi has been talked into dancing for Leatonay and others, I am not sure it is a good idea as I think he is being made fun off.  Leatonay tells us about his love life.

For evening meals Leatoney and his page are normally loaned out to help out with the Kings sister’s household “Keeps Sir Moribund from having to look at an ugly Cambenic mug”, Lesatonay says. Leatoney likes helping the local Divines however Sir Moribund thinks Leatoney best use to the garrison is cleaning kit and fixing wounded up and that’s about it. After being his Grandmothers page for so long he is handy around noble women and therefore also Fezonas, the Kings sister’s, household. He has picked up some Influence and Courtesy plus some martial skills from elderly Knights of wide experience while helping the household.

Apparently he is also trying a very, very slow seduction of the Kings Sisters youngest Lady in Waiting Rozblack of Belin a distant cousin of Lord Lucan and also a wealthy heiress. She is both kind and Musical and he desires her even though she is above his status at the moment. To improve his chances he asks me to compose a poem for him to sing to his love. As he can’t read and write I need to make it easy and spend a few days coming up with one he can learn off rote. He tells me that it pleased her and helped in his task of love.

After a few days we head out on the road, Leatonay on his horse with his page on another horse and me riding another of the pack horses and Yogi walking. The main road near the city is fine nice and clear with villages along it, it takes a while before we reach the edge of the Darnant Forest a dangerous place were the remains of the Darnant family still hide. The Darnant family are rogue wizards who were overthrown by Alexaunder and the brother Kings. We head down the first side road we come to with the forest on both sides; this road leads to Helfer’s Vill according to the last Vill we pasted. A short time after going down this road we encounter a knight in the middle of the road. This nameless knight challenges Leatonay to a Joust a’plaisance, if Leatonay losses he has to pay a horse to pass on, if we win we can pass on down the road. This knight has a black shield and seems equipped much the same as Leatonay with Padded under-armour under separate greaves and genouillières for the legs and vambraces and spaulders for the arms also a hauberk and coat of plates and bascinet.

Leatonay seems reluctant to pick up the challenge mainly as he seems to lack confidence and doesn’t want to lose a horse just to go down the road. Although I think about losing an arrow at the knight I remember the rules of chivalry and try to encourage Leatonay to take up the challenge. I am helped by the knight shouting, “Only a coward would be hesitating to ride a course or two. Are you a coward knight of the Swan?” Leatonay is the knight of the swan having decided to use a white swan to remind him of his loves neck on a blue background with the top left quarter black and yellow from his house colours. Leatonay takes up the challenge and ops to use a long lance and says, “The best of three sir”. The nameless knight agrees and also takes up a long lance. Yogi and I will be spectators to this joust and test for Leatonay I see another story to share coming on.

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter One Part 4

Earlier parts here

The Plant

Yogi lowered us down the shaft, full of plant tendrils thicker than any we have seen so far. It takes Yogi about ten minutes to lower us down the gloomy shaft but as we get to the bottom we see it is not dark but that the plant is giving off a greeny-blue luminesce which gives some ability to see, better than the candle anyway. Here the plant is everywhere, the tendrils are more like thick tentacles with eyes, scales and suckers, we can’t avoid hitting it and when we do the whole mass shudders throughout the cavern and into the tower. Above the thing looked like a plant down here it is a strange thing seemingly a cross of many things plant and animal. After looking around, without moving more than we need to, we work out that we need to take the southerly non-natural passage; even though the other two passages have plant in them we believe the centre is south.

As we move down the passage the whole place shakes as we rub against the cactus spines on the plant, being watched by the countless unblinking eyes. It isn’t long before we can see the main mass of the plant. The centre looks like a massive mushroom or toadstool, over 5 metres high and with a massive diameter. It is covered in lizard scales, eyeballs, cactus-like hairs as well as mushroom gills. We can see that the passage leads onwards and we can smell the sea coming from it but it is sloid with vines.

As we look at it the plant reacts and we see some of its tentacles moving. Leatonay reacts by scooping some of the black stuff out of his pail and throwing it over the tentacles near him. I move into a better position. Then the plant attacks us, Leatonay parries with his shield blocking the tentacle while I parry with the candle I am carrying, the tentacle doesn’t like the flame and withdraws. 

Leatonay moves forward and I throw my pail of black stuff at the main plant some meters away, it’s a big target this should be easy. The pail hits and as it rolls and bumps down the trunk it spills black stuff all over, mine you some had also spilt out on its way with some hitting Leatonay. The whole plant shakes again along with the cavern.

Leatonay copies me and lobs his pail with the same effect as it hits the plant. I move back a little as Leatonay says ‘what about the vail and liquid?’ I decide that it would most likely work best diluted so I decide I will throw it into the sea later. The plant attacks us again, Leatonay blocks it again but one of the tentacles wraps around my left arm even while I was holding the candle. I can see little mouths forming to start feeding on me.

Leatonay move towards me as I try to break free of the clinging plant, but I find it is too strong for me.

Leatonay chops with his longsword at the vine, but it is too tough. However he does use some leverage from impaling it to aid my next attempt to break free which I do before the plant starts to eat me. Leatonay blocks another attack and then we run as best we can back to the shaft as the whole area shakes and the rock cracks.

Yogi hears us call while seeing part of the tower fall around him; he then remembers that everything else in the tower had spirits to work it so maybe this winch does as well. Trying out a few variations of ‘bring bucket up’ he gets it right and the winch starts by itself. The journey down was slow compared to going up as this bucket shoots up rapidly in a minute. Hopping out Leatonay and I join Yogi to run to the exit as the tower falls down around us. I head to the kitchen to recover the book and catch up with the other outside. Leatonay took some masonry in the abdomen, while trying to grab some of his pots, only causing a slight injury, thanks to his protection spell, while Yogi got hit in the chest and abdomen but his thick fur and Leatonay’s protection spell means he only took a scratch.

Once outside we move away as the tower collapses in a dusty pile of plant, stone, wood and dust. We realise that we haven’t dealt with the mushrooms and their soil and Leatonay is wondering if the pots and pans and clothes survived the fall. While he worries about his loss I walk to the edge where I can see the tendrils in the sea thrashing about and throw the liquid in the vial into the water. The purple liquid slowly spreads out and the tendrils pull back from it and any fish it touches turn upside-down and float to the surface. The liquid keeps on spreading thinning out as it does so. It seems that the plant doesn’t like what we have done to it and we presume it is dying; how long it will take we do not know, hopefully not too long. Then Yogi remembers that they had left two Lutons the one on the door and the one on the winch, without freeing them. He casts Soul-Sight and searches around to see if he can find them. He does both are buried but he still casts Dispel on them hoping that as they seem to be trapped spirits they will become free once freed.

A few moments later Yogi is surrounded by Lutons, the five he had freed in spirit form. They thank him and ask how they can reward him. Yogi has no real idea what they can do so takes up the offer of the spell ‘Preserve’ which he can use on the fish and ells he catches. Later in the day the boat comes back over to get us taking a route around the still churning water. The Burly boys taunt us on the way back. ‘You do know that the boss wanted that tower for himself you know, he will not be happy with you’. ‘And what about all this dead fish in the water the fishermen will not be happy’. ‘Just what do you think you have done’? We just sit quietly happy we got out alive even if Leatonay is still wondering if he could get people to dig the pot and pans and the clothes out of the debris. Once back in the inn I start to write up my report and the stories which will be told of this adventure. We know we will need to report to Moribund but we intend to have a good night’s rest after a good meal first. Leatonay decides he will stay with us to avoid seeing Moribund at the castle. I wonder what the result of our actions will be and what might befall our small band; after all it seems likely that we will have more adventures together in the future.

The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter One Part 3

Earlier parts here

Up and Down we go

We head up the stairs with thick tendrils up the walls and small ones across the steps, the plants seem to have no interest in us. We pop up into a dusty circular room with four doors on one side and workbenches lining the rest of the walls, again the windows are blocked by the vines which straddle the floor and benches. It does not appear that this area has been disturbed for some time. On one of the benches is a book which once the dust is cleared off turns out to be an iron bound journal. It is in a very odd hand with no obvious language but rather a mix of words and diagrams. The three of us try to understand what it says, using various skills and abilities we have.  It seems that Coddefut was growing some kind of creeping plant and crossing it with some form of mushroom, a strain he terms ‘Bysiderly’, reptiles and cephalopods were also involved in the process. However it seems that the specimen or creation was developing some kind of intelligence, so he moved the small plant down into the caves below. This wizard was definitely doing things which most would see as reckless and even evil, I will be having words with him if we find him. I seal the book with some wax and my seal to ensure no one else opens it without my knowledge.

Yogi listens and smells at the four doors but can hear or smell nothing; the four heavy wooden doors are tight fitting and locked with bolts on this side. We decide to continue exploring upwards for now, anything in these rooms or cells can wait. We climb the spiral stairs to the next floor, this is so clean and tidy, no dust or disrepair. The floor is one big bedroom with a four poster to one side with its rich velvet drapes pulled around it. The rest of the room is made up of a fireplace with some chairs in front of it and loads of wardrobes, chests, trunks, cupboards etc. Leatonay thinks maybe Coddefut is in the bed after all why else would this area be so clean and there be a non-mildewed cloak downstairs. So he calls out, ‘hello visitors we have an appointment’. We hear sounds from the bed, ‘Master’; two hands appear from opposite sides of the bed on two twigs like arms. They start to pull the curtains back and a face pops out. An odd face to say the least narrow with dark eyes, slick backed hair with an exquisitely styled moustache and beard. ‘You not master’ it says ‘you thieves’ it screams. Still screaming it launches itself at Leatonay, an eight armed, with hands on the end of each, spider thing with a face lands on him before he can react. The spider thing tries to bit Leatonay’s shoulder but he pushes it off with his kite shield. The spider leaps to the side and scuttles to the ceiling by the wall out of reach of Leatonay. I knock an arrow to my bow and wait.

We try talking to the spider and eventually find out that he is annoyed as he only had a short time left before he would have been freed by the master and now he’s gone. At that Yogi frees him by casting dispel magic on the spider, which shimmers between human and spider and disappears, just like the two in the kitchen a controlled Luton spirit. We look around at the contents of the storage, all sorts of expensive clothes, shoes, boots, and hats, lots pointed, in various colours. Enough clothes to start a shop, all rather not of the latest fashion for court but wonderful for the lower ranks of gentility. Leatonay thinks of the value of all of this and that it should be given to those in need.

With the bedroom searched we move back to the stairs and move up another floor. We can smell the humid musky earthy smell as we ascend coming from this floor. This floor seems to be full of large six by one foot containers which have mushrooms growing in them. Oddly they seem to be in some sort of order with the biggest, surrounded by the smallest in spirals. The biggest of the mushrooms being many feet tall while the smallest are around six inches. I hold back from trying to eat a bit of one of these after my earlier experience. However we do encourage Yogi to cast his See Spirit or Soul spell again, this time on himself, which he does. He reports after a while.
The world became hazy, slow and war as I looked at the mushrooms, they appear to be one soul. Familiar things ebb and dissolve as the fabric between worlds shudders like a dying animal and then splits, allowing his soul vision to rush from this realm into another. What he found is a place warm and lush with pale fungi, billions and billions of them, thriving in the pale light of a dying sun, the air around them humid and moist with trapped gases.
Absorbed into the cell-mind of this new world, he becomes one with the Essential Essence of this place. All its simple minds gathered to form something complex, unique and hungry. The intellects bridge the two worlds: most of it here, above the ground, made of fleshy cups and spores. The other is vast and singular, attached to the ground but beneath it, submerged in water, and made of several living things that should not be attached to each other. Both Essences are hungry: the mushrooms of this new world are hungry for knowledge and nutrients, while the plant-thing is hungry for flesh, bone, blood and expansion. Together they will merge the worlds together into a single organism, tentacles and fronds, teeth and spores, immense, all knowing and unpitying, becoming an idiot god which is both a single mind and a billion of them. He gets the impression that this new world doesn’t like being linked and shows him how to kill it! Destroy what links the worlds. Destroy the mushrooms and cast the soil into the seas. Poison the root with ichors it cannot digest. The wizard had the answer, and it drips now from the ceiling of a room that is locked and forgotten.
Yogi also hears from the Swordbrother, as he comes out of his vision, ‘this is another world with its own gods and rules, drawn to ours by evil intent. This is why you are here.’

So we at last know our mission destroy this plant monstrosity before it merges two worlds destroying us in the process. We wonder about how we are to throw the soul into the sea there is a lot of it and the windows here are blocked up by bricks rather than plant. Also where is this black ichor and is it the same as the stuff in the vial we have which we also believe the plant is afraid of? We head on up to the next floor which has a small room with a door which opens into an empty dusty room with the walls and windows still covered in plant. We follow the stairs on up to the roof, light at last. The sun is shining and we can make out the wonder of the bridge connecting Black Island to the mainland. I look over the side at the clear water below empty of all life except! The sea is full of hundreds and hundreds of tentacle-like tendrils writhing in the sea current with so many eyes both reptilian and fish like gazing around and hunting any fish that swim in to their reach. I can see our boat on the beach waiting for us but it’s time to go back down and see what is in the bolted rooms on the first floor.

Back on the first floor we light our 5th candle and go up to the bedroom to find a candelabra and light its candles as well giving us more light in the work room. We decide which of the four doors to open and line up the light to shine into the room when the door is open, with me and my trusty bow facing the door from across the room to see in with Leatonay to one side of the door and Yogi to the side the door opens to. Yogi pulls the bolts and heavies the door open; it is a tight fit, but moves under his mighty strength. I can see a large urn with a cactus like plant in it, the plant looks like a curvaceous sickly white woman. As the light hits it, it starts begins to thrash about as if dancing and ejects a load of its needles towards the doorway. I shout ‘shut that door’ as needles head towards me, I dive out of the way and the needles hit the table and plant vines on the wall. The needles do not seem too powerful as they do not even stick in the plant. Yogi is glad that he wasn’t stood in the doorway.

The next door we open in the same way, but this time we move a table for me to get cover behind. When this door is opened an odious green slime oozes out, stopping even Yogi shutting the door. Within this green ooze are many eyeballs each moving around looking here and there? Although are boots are covered by the ooze it does not appear to be any danger. However the plant tendrils suddenly come alive snaking out into the ooze and slurping it up nosily. Eventually after a few hours all the ooze will have been sucked up leaving a floor of eyes. What do these eyes see and what are they connected to?

So to the next door, this cell appears to be empty it is just dark. Leatonay sticks his head in and looks up and sees a black ceiling. Sure that this might be the stuff they are looking for he looks harder and realises that it looks like black grease with bumps and bits stretching downwards. To Leatonay it looks like the grease you get over where meat is roasted in a kitchen, this must be the stuff but how to get at it.

We open the last door next; this also contains an urn this time with a large leafy plant rather than a cactus in it. It has a fat bulbous pod emerging from the thick fleshy stem; this pod has the suggestion of libs. Around the urn and the plant are loads of bones. It appears that there are human, animal and other odd bones here. Leatonay says ‘it’s a large flay trap which eats mammals let’s leave this one’. Now we work on a way to get hold of the black ichor, we decide that we could scrap it off; Leatonay suggests Yogi uses his claws but it ends up with me on a table, which Yogi forces into the room, using my buckler to scrape it off into sheets from the bed above. This takes some time burning through another candle some of the stuff gets in my hair and inside my clothes making me get it off as soon as I can. Eventually it is done and by now the floor outside is clear of ooze.

Down to the ground floor and the room with the well hole in it. Trying to take down the sheets isn’t going to be easy so we transfer the grease into two pails we find in the kitchen. We get Yogi to lower Leatonay and me down each holding a pail Leatonay his shield and me the candle as well. I have the feeling his night sight would be better down here but we will see.