The threat of the Blight had returned with renewed force recently, looming over the Landing. If it was not dealt with once and for all, then it would eventually creep its way to the walls of Mariner’s Landing itself. The party consisted of Alistra, Brennus, Mac, Lexa, and Peren. Their goal was to search for the Blightmaster druid, and kill him once and for all, hopefully stopping the Blight. They knew that he was somehow using a leyline and a large tree to potentially create more blighted creatures. The druid Na’lor gave the group items to help ward off the Blight’s infections.
It’d been too long since I’d ventured out. Helping out at Feywatch was necessary, and a good time to start forming the unit, but I just can’t stay cooped up too long. Seemed like a chance to do some real good for everything here that ain’t the Blight.
The group decided to travel to the leyline that led into the Blighted woods. On the way, they came across what was once Ed’s farm, now overgrown and twisted with vines and plants. Mac saw a few giant rams, and went to go say hi, but when seeing them up close, he realized (too late) that they were blighted creatures, with disgusting plant parasites inside the mouths controlling the creatures. The ensuing fight was short but brutal, but the rams and the blight plants were killed. The party decided to rest in the barn and finish travelling to the Leyline the next day. In the night, the party was attacked by a dozen or so blighted snakes. This was another rough fight when the party realized that they would keep regenerating unless fire was used. While they were destroyed, Lexa and Brennus had been infected with the blight. They tried to tough it out, but after waking every hour or so sick and feverish, they eventually got Alistra to burn it out of them (instead of using the blight antidotes).
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? But we made it out. Really glad we had a mage with fire. It was definitely painful, but I’ll gladly take it over knowing there’s some parasite eating away at me. And could’ve been worse, at least I could sit down afterwards.
The group reached the Leyline entry to the forest within the next few days. They found poles with runes inscribed on them, with goblins grotesquely impaled on the poles. The group guessed that this was how the Blightmaster was “rerouting” or corrupting the leyline energy to the tree, so Brennus started chopping down the pole. At which point the Goblins began screaming in alarm, so they started beheading the goblins before they cut down the poles. They did this as they traveled into the forest, only encountering a group of blighted Goblins.
They found the center of the blighted forest that they sought. More surprisingly, they found Na’Lor and his wolf Stella captured as the Blightmaster sought to corrupt him. The party tried to intervene was couldn’t stop him from stabbing Na’lor with a blighted thorn dagger thing. The party attacked him and the two Owlbears with him. A brutal combat ensued, damage taken and damage given. Things looked grim, but when Alistra freed Stella, the wolf (star wolf?) healed the party with its essence. Eventually, the Blightmaster was brought down and destroyed, and Na’Lor saved.
This was when the real threat appeared, the large tree that apparently was sentient. When the party refused to bow to it, it attacked with branches and powerful spells. The fight took everything the party had and more. Brennus relentlessly attacked with the Felling Axe, drawing the tree’s ire. Lexa valiantly joined the melee too, with fist and staff. Peren used flaming arrows, swords, and his tree guardian form and spells to great effect. Mac, even though stricken with a mind contagion by the Blightmaster, overcame it once to provide aid. Alistra provided extremely effective support with fire spells. The tide turned when Stella sacrificed the rest of her life force to heal the seriously wounded or downed party. Even with this sacrifice, it ultimately came down to a final fire spell from Alistra, with everyone else down or out of the fight. But the tree exploded into flame, destroyed, and all of the party members lived.
Never experienced anything like that…hadn’t much thought about how to fight a tree. Thought killing the Blightmaster was easier than I expected. But he was the puppet, not the master. In the tribes, the Druids were some of the most powerful, more than the Chieftains. We feared them, and now I remember why. When that twisted thing came at us, I… froze. The fear stopped me in my boots, couldn’t take a step forward. If it weren’t for that wolf, I might have watched them die right in front of me. We won, and lived, and saved Na’Lor too… but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a coward.
It turned out that the tree was something called the Living Ward created to defend against the Blight. But in a turn of events, the Living Ward came into contact with one of the shards of the Codex. The shard, being intelligent but without morals, would use any method to put itself back together. So it used the Living Ward and the Blight to spread and try to find the other shards. With the tree destroyed, the Blight will eventually wither and die, although it will linger for some time. The last known location of the shard was that a lone survivor of a Nomad caravan had it and was fleeing with it.
All this talk of Codexes, shards, other big threats. More going on here than I think any of us realize. Or we’re beginning to realize, maybe. Every time we face down something big, feels like something bigger takes its place. Guess that’s how it always is for the people they write legends about. And the Landing needs all the help it can get anyways, so nothing to do but keep moving forward!