A brief rest was accomplished on the part of our adventurer’s allowing them recuperate after battle with a dragon. They then discussed druidic lore and history with various members of the Circle of the Pines. They discovered that for better answers to the mysteries presented by the ironwood disc, a short trek up the local mountain was the only solution. Supposedly something old and wise lived at the top of the mountain, and it would test Nuonna and all her accompanied her there.
With the assistance of Nuonna’s husband Caelathim Amanodel the group ascended the mountain. The Genasi Troop arrived via a gateway producing great concern over their repeated arrival so close in tandem to that of a Fusion Elemental. One thing led to another in discourse and both parties learned of their mutal interest in unlocking the Xa’Ree shrine located at Alter Shelter #3 (although the genasi lacked the site’s whereabouts). The heroes promised further discussion with genasi after their current endeavor and pointed them towards Greenpine for the time being.
The travel upwards continued, but was brought short by the approach of dusk. Odd lights produced by the native flora intrigued the party, but little was ascertained as to it’s cause or purpose. That night Varis also witnessed an odd light in the northern sky falling from the heavens.
The next morning, the groups travel recommenced. They shortly discovered a ring of oddly shaped rocks that marked a barrier of sorts where the forest thinned. An odd creature with the head of a stag and the body of a large-sized humanoid welcomed Nuoona, and warned her via pantomime that the others were welcome, but would experience discomfort beyond the rock barrier. As the the group continued they felt uncomfortable pains and found magic casting impossible. It seemed that the mountain’s top was devoid of ether thanks to the magical properties of the trees in the area.
Eventually the group arrived at the site of ancient ruins from the First Era. pictograms carved on the structure told of an ancient tribe of people who once lived here in tandem with a great power that could control the forces of nature. At the center of the structure were the remains of religious altar that bore an depression with dirt ringed with an inscription. The text urged the group to plant a seed from one of the many trees overgrowing the ruins within the dirt.
As they did so, the oldest of the trees made itself known as an ancient treant, born in the first era and party to the origin of the Circle of the Pines, once known as the Circle of the Seed. To learn more, the party would need to prove themselves worthy of the secrets in a test of strength. The party did so, and were gifted with knowledge of The Mother, a being that controlled druidic magic throughout Ysir allowing her scions to do magic without the need of ether. The treant also spoke of nine children of The Mother who were nearly gods in their own right, and how one of their number had been lost in The Divine Schism. But this child, known only as The Innovator, might be the source of many of the problems plaguing not only Ysir, but the Universe at-large as well.
The treant imparted a final gift by bequeathing The Tender’s Embrace, a holy relic, to Nuonna an behalf of The Tender herself. Apparently The Tender had known of a future peril that would lead heroes of a distant age to the treant with such questions, and warned the treant to aid them in just such a way.
250 = Skill Challenge Complexity 2 (half XP for failure)
1800 = Social encounter with Genasi Troop
4100 = Weeping Treant (Tome of Beasts p.388) & 4 Awakened Trees
Total = 6150 XP
Divided by 7 characters (Angus Eisenschlag, Millicent “The Magnificent”, Marcus Dalton, Mahvash Zahra, and Varis Bearcharger III, Nuonna Amanodel & Caelathim Amanodel)
Total per PC = 879 XP
The Tender’s Embrace