Odd Jungle Plants Examined
 

Shandraya the Scribe

UP: Atlantic

    The young woman walked quietly into the clearing in front of the Hungry Halfling Tavern in Rivendell. Pausing for a moment, she watched the crowd gathered around the statue of the daemon Nostur’yl. Many of the people were having a heated discussion and appeared quite angry. The woman hesitated briefly and then stepped forward and began to speak quietly to people standing on the fringes of the crowd.

She smiled and introduced herself as Dynarra Raeven and asked if anyone could help her investigate some old tower ruins where a mysterious magic was said to be leaking. There were reports that unusual plants had begun to flourish, and Dynarra - a ranger and tailor who made her living off the land - was concerned about the effects the magic and the strange plants would have on the local wildlife. Many of the citizens had heard of these ruins and were willing to help look into the matter.

As the crowd gathered around, Dynarra explained that she first needed to find a man named Gregory Ironhand in hopes he could direct her to his daughter Daelia Ironhand, a skilled healer and alchemist who could perhaps shed some light on the situation.

Several people knew of Gregory Ironhand and within minutes magical portals were opened to his doorstep in Jhelom. The group of adventurers filed into the portals and gathered inside the main room of the house. Only slightly disturbed by the horde of people suddenly filling his home, Gregory looked up and raised an eyebrow in inquiry. Dynarra worked her way through the crowd and smiled at Gregory, who immediately recognized her as a childhood friend of his daughter and greeted her warmly. Dynarra explained the purpose of their visit and asked Gregory if he knew where they might find his daughter Daelia. Smiling fondly, he told the group that Daelia now ran Deep Forest Healing southeast of Yew and could usually be found there. Thanking Gregory for his help, the adventurers were soon off to Yew in search of Daelia.

Upon their arrival at Deep Forest Healing, the party found a young healer named Kelly who informed the gathering that Daelia would be arriving soon. A moment later, Daelia herself came rushing through the door, stopping abruptly at the sight of her overflowing shop. Declaring that they had better not all be in need of healing, she moved into a pocket of empty space and scanned the crowd. Spotting a familiar face, she smiled in surprise and moved over to welcome Dynarra. The group told Dynarra of their investigation into the strange plants at the tower ruin. Daelia was immediately interested, informing the adventurers that if they would be willing to travel to the ruins and gather samples, she would be happy to examine them. Since she was too busy to go along, she offered the services of her apprentice Kelly who was trained in horticultural studies. Kelly begrudgingly agreed to travel with the party and collect a sample of the plants.

Magical portals were once again opened, this time to the site of the ruins. The group poured out and began to comb the area, searching for the strange plant growths. Several people who ventured near the tower ruins were overwhelmed by a nauseating stench that left them holding their stomachs and feeling quite ill. The adventurers also noticed an odd sparkling aura inside of the tower ruins, although no apparent cause could be identified. A few yards from the fallen tower a patch of the strange plants was located. The young healer Kelly quickly gathered a few specimens and stored them in a deep pocket in her robe.

As the healer stood and began to move away from the plants, an eerie moaning echoed through the forest. The adventurers looked around uneasily, unsure what they had just heard, or if perhaps the sound was merely imagined. A few moments later the sound once again filled the air, this time followed by the sound of flapping wings and a fierce growling as a horde of gargoyles, lead by the dark green skin of a gargoyle mage, plunged through the trees and attacked the people standing around the plants. The adventurers fought bravely against the throng, eventually overwhelming the gargoyle mage and beating back his minions. The eerie sound cracked through the air again and yet another, larger force of gargoyles appeared and swarmed toward the brave citizens. Many warriors stayed to battle this latest onslaught while several mages opened portals and brought the healer Kelly and the plant samples back to the safety of Yew.