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  #46  
Old Nov 21st, 2020, 01:41 AM
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Fleet as a Feather! As easy and fluid as the wind, the boy glided upon the tips of his toes. The elf's quickened footfalls stirred small flurries of dried leaves as he gracefully strode through the old forest. Cid'lihn was naturally fleet of foot and practically floated while he ran. The strength and speed of his lean Elvish build was certainly suited for such athleticism.

The druid sprinted along the trail of the weavers for some time, until the dark predawn gloom began to lift and the first rays of sunlight shone above horizon. However, it soon became apparent that the druid was beginning to tire. Then the boy felt a magical presence emanate from behind him. A cool fluttering sensation and a soft tickling feeling laid upon his neck and brushed over his cheek. It was all but silent, the bird was certainly a well developed hunter with silencing zippers upon the feathers. It swooped low and gracefully flew at pace with the elf just over his shoulder. Suddenly, the Eladrin's eyes began to glow up with the sight of the first rays of sun, which refracted into the sparkling dewy forest. Cid'lihn recognized that patterning and color of the owl which flew with him while he ran. Pale alabaster feathers that were of a pure white, and long shining talons. The white owl gazed sidelong at the elf with one of it's wide yellow eyes as it flew alongside.
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Within his mind Cid'lihn felt the presence of the owl begin to reach out and speak. It is i, Feather of The White Hunters Moon, Fly swiftly my friend! Cid'lihn heard the ancient and wise sounding voice of the owl call within. Then, the boy was bolstered by a restorative feeling, and his tiredness dropped away.

The pads of his bare feet began to blur upon the forest floor as he placed the lightest pressure upon his toes, and yet the quickening of his speed caused coils of swirling leaves to be left in his wake.
Feather's blessing allowed him to cover miles in what seemed mere moments. All the while, his eyes were focused intently upon the forest floor and engaged in the active tracking of the trail of spiders. The boy moved with the sylvan winds as his strong and limber elvish legs blurred with absolute speed. His minds eye cleared of all distractions, Cid'lihn was intent on reaching the place of the medicine webs, and saving the life of an awakened white moose whom he cared for dearly.
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  #47  
Old Dec 21st, 2020, 12:06 PM
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Cid’lihn
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When hope seemed lost or his spirit waned or his body failed, the world took it upon itself to prove to Cid’lihn that wonders were real and that no one was truly alone. So it was now too. The Eladrin’s swollen feet and aching muscles suddenly resembled feathers soaring in the breeze, barely touching the ground as they gave the youth the power to run with incredible speed. As the darkness of the night slowly gave way to the light of day, the druid felt his heart grow light and free of worries. How could he fail with such mighty friends looking after him?

"Thank you, Feather of the White Moon Hunters!", called out the Eladrin to the majestic owl before it flew away and disappeared in the vastness of the open sky. "May the World Tree bless you for your kindness and your great gift! Worry not, I will succeed in my quest, there is no doubt in my mind now. Until we meet again."

Lady of the healing webs, he thought silently as a smile graced his lips, I will be before you shortly. Every step I take is a step towards the moose‘s survival. Hold on, friend! Just a little more.


 
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  #48  
Old Dec 29th, 2020, 07:22 PM
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Cid'lihn's frame was at full tilt, his quickened frame cantered rather expeditiously through the forest. He had had covered a great distance. Although, it was still only dawn light in the misty forest. Soon, the Elf came upon a dense thicket of subtropical trees. The tangled thicket of vines and broad spiky leaves was also interwoven with a sticky weave of silver gossamer silk.

The Elf was blessed to find a freshly cut trail into and through the imposing jungle wall of web and thorny leaf. The tracks were clear, three horses, and three sets of humanoid footprints. The jungle brush was cut fairly wide, and it was easy for Cid'lihn to make progress into and through the dangerous fauna with relative ease.

Cid'lihn followed the cut jungle trail for the rest of the early dawn, until the sun had risen well into the sky. Cid'lihn then smelled the unmistakable scent of blood upon the air.

Laying upon the matted ground beside the hacked trail was the strangely disfigured body of an anthro-morph. A humanoid torso attached to a scaled reptilian lower body. Gruesome severed ends remained exposed at both the neck and the end of the twisted tail. The headless body was obviously well punctured and lacerated. Around the scene lingered the singed acid smell of discharged venom. The talons of the snake creatures hands were each as long and sharp as a small flaying knife.

Nearby, just some dozen paces away, Cid'lihn could see the large form of another deceased creature. The Druid of the World Tree recognized the creature as an owl bear. It's patterns were more adapted to the jungle than the more temperate northern forests. The body of the majestic creature was likewise cut and lacerated by a close ripping pattern that looked similar to the cuts upon the awakened white moose whom Cid'lihn had just seen.

The trail continued onward past the headless corpse of the humanoid snake creature and the deceased owl bear corpse. Soon a clearing revealed itself. Within the clearing, a jagged and crumbled pile of sharply hewn rocks lay piled upon each-other. Sprouting jungle plants encroached upon the space, and all around were sticky strands of spun spiders web.

Three distinct tunnel like openings emerged from within the rock mound. Layers of woven webs were affixed about the branches and rock. The webs hung in long entangling curtains. The tracks that Cid'lihn followed veered off to one side and toward the right most tunnel mouth.



 

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  #49  
Old Jan 6th, 2021, 06:54 PM
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Cid’lihn
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The discovery of the mangled and mutilated bodies was too much for Cid’lihn, who felt dizzy and nauseous at the sight. Struggling to keep himself standing, he firmly closed his eyes and tried to banish the horrible picture from his mind. Unfortunately his eyes seemed to have noticed and recorded every little detail of the creatures’ horrible state and what little they had missed the Eladrin’s imagination was quick to fill in.

Everyone possessing deep knowledge of the natural world was well aware that death was a necessary part of life and yet the Eladrin had always had great difficulty accepting this fundamental truth. As a follower of the World Tree he had chosen to dedicate himself to the loving, life-giving side of nature, the sprouting seeds and the tender leaves, the blossoming buds and the tiny roots. He recognized the value of the broken branches and the fallen leaves rotting on the ground, but could not help himself bemoan their passing. What made things even worse was the lack of purpose behind the killings. He could understand the mother fox that killed a hare so that her young would survive and grow strong, but what he was now experiencing was… barbaric. It was needless. The killer didn’t seek to sate their hunger, they sought to wound, cause pain and humiliate. Such feelings were alien to nature and they were certainly alien to the Eladrin. To think that the white moose could soon suffer the very same fate…

Forcing himself to approach the bodies, his trembling hand touched first the remains of the chimeric creature with the characteristics of a snake and then the once mighty body of the owlbear.

"Sleep, my siblings, find rest. Know that your sacrifice was not in vain. Your life will pass on to others, the earth and the creatures that live inside it, the roots of the trees and the fungi that thrive between them, the children of the forest and those of the wide sky, all keeping parts of you alive. No one who passes away is ever lost or forgotten. I shall be your memory for as long as I live."

With these words of farewell, Cid’lihn removed a few scales from the serpent-like body of the chimeric creature and a single feather from the owlbear and placed them inside his satchel. He didn’t have the time to bury their bodies and help the earth welcome them in her embrace, so he chose to carry a tiny part of them with him, make them a part of his life in a way. He hadn’t known the creatures when they were alive and he couldn’t be sure they would have welcomed him as a friend, in fact it was unlikely, but every living creature had the right to kindness and dignity, predators no less than their prey.

The druid was ready to rise to his feet and leave, when he thought of something he had not considered before. Had the two unfortunate creatures also been poisoned before they succumbed to their wounds? If so, would some of their killer‘s venom be useful for the „mistress of the healing webs“ to counter it? Having nothing to lose, Cid’lihn cut a few strips from his clothes with the sharp edge of his spear and dipped them in the deepest wound he could find, cringing as he need so. Holding his breath so as not having to inhale any toxic fumes or smelling the blood that had been shed, the Eladrin tied the strips of cloth and placed them too inside his satchel. His heart raced and his thoughts ran wild as the Eladrin started looking around for any traces the bloodthirsty creature may have left. How long ago had the killing taken place? Was the killer still in the area? Was Cid’lihn in danger? Was the mysterious healer he had come to find?

Taking several deep breaths, the druid calmed himself again. Whether the murderous creature was here or not was unimportant. What mattered was that he found the one who could help the wounded white moose. Walking slowly to the opening of the third tunnel, the one indicated by the spiders, Cid’lihn halted just before the entrance.

"My name is Cid’lihn and I am a child of the World Tree as we all are. I do not intend to hurt, disturb or damage anyone or anything. I humbly seek the aid of the Mistress of the Healing Webs to heal the wounds of the awakened white moose I encountered. I ask for admittance and pledge to aid those who are willing to aid others."

Having announced himself and his intentions, the druid waited a few minutes to see if he would receive any kind of reply, hopefully an invitation. Even if no one answered him, possibly because no one had heard him, Cid’lihn would enter nonetheless. A life was at stake and time was of the essence.


 
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  #50  
Old Jan 10th, 2021, 04:47 AM
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*The Druid placed his body in front of the tunnel mouth, he called out to the weavers warren and graced the area with his sound.
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From nearby, some dozen paces near the elf. As silent as stone, a tall man rose out of the grass. "Druid of the world tree." He spoke in a soothed whisper, and called over to the elf.

The man stood amidst large leafy plants, His darkened skin, and prominent angled face watched the Druid, his body language; curious and attentive to Cid'lihn's response. The creature looked weathered by long days spent under the beams of the sun. His lithe toned built was rippled with lean muscle. Across his back, a great-bow of dark ash colored wood, and a large leather quiver hung at his side. Long dark hair hung down by the mans shoulders, he was abnormally tall. Where his stout torso and abdomen merged into his hips, a deep mahogany coat of hair began and blanketed the rest of his lower body. Four strong equestrian legs supported his powerful flanks. The corners of his ears were tapered sharply, although his eyes were dark and wild looking, the man appeared peaceful.

The Centaur raised a hand, and with a slight wave gestured toward the entrance to the warren tunnel. "Et'hk Arak'wu meko-ah'." Cid'lihn's intuitive mind was able to discern the horse-mans ancient Sylvan tongue. Cid'lihn knew that Sounds made were from a deep hearted place. " Mother Weaver needs to heal."The message through the sounds clicked within the Druid's mind.

" I am a translator, the others call me 'Stallion'" The Centaur bowed his head deep and gracefully as he nodded to the cavern.
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  #51  
Old Jan 18th, 2021, 05:21 AM
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Cid’lihn
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Cid’lihn didn’t have to wait long for an answer. As if the very earth had just given birth to him, out of the tall grass a majestic being appeared, half-man, half-horse. A centaur! The druid would not have thought it possible that such a large creature could hide so effectively without the Eladrin spotting it, but Stallion, as was the centaur‘s name, had just proved him wrong. Despite feeling somewhat foolish for having been caught unawares, the druid was still more than happy to have his request of gaining entry to the tunnel answered in such a wonderful way.

"Greetings, Master of Forest and Plain." The traditional greeting towards a centaur came instinctively to the Eladrin, no doubt another remnant of the life he still hadn’t lived. "I am honored to make your acquaintance, Master Stallion. It is so nice to be greeted by someone so courteous and friendly as you. After the discovery of the bodies, I feared that this forest was inhabited only by murderous beasts and their unfortunate victims. Did…?"

The words seemed to suddenly stick in his throat as a new realization made his body grow rigid and cold like a piece of ice. He had been quick to proclaim both beings that had perished victims, but what if one of them was in truth the perpetrator? Was it possible that the serpent-like creature was responsible for the pain and suffering Cid’lihn had already encountered? Were there more of its kind? Many more? The thought made him shiver uncontrollably. The noble centaur saw the anguish in the druid’s eyes and seemed to understand what was troubling him.

"Master Stallion, please tell me. Is the… headless creature responsible for the owlbear‘s death? Has it wounded or killed other beings too? I met an awakened white moose with terrible wounds. Has… has this creature done this to him? Poisoned and blinded him? Or perhaps others like it? Do you know how these creatures are called? Who put an end to the menace?"

The mention of the white moose seemed to wake a new sense of urgency in the Eladrin’s heart. "Forgive the barrage of questions, good centaur. Only one thing is important now: to save the white moose. You know the Mother Weaver? Would you please guide me to her so I can plead my case? It is of the utmost importance!"
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  #52  
Old Jan 20th, 2021, 10:42 PM
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*With an expression of strong resolve, the Centaur listened to Cid'lihn's words, and openly displayed looks of compassion to the topics with which he asked of.

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"Yuan-Ti" The glaring look in Stallions eyes spoke telling caution of dealing with the Serpentine Humanoids.

At the mention of guiding the Druid to Mother Weaver, the Centaur narrowed his eyes slightly and emerged from the grass thicket. The man was quite tall and very broad of chest and at the hip. He nodded his head toward the rugged downward sloped tunnel which descended into the cramped darkness.

" I do not go under." The Horse-Man spoke, and as he did so, gestured to his own height and form. As he did so he pointed and said,
" Other's went within. They seek something taken from the Horse-Clans."
Stallion stepped a bit closer to Cid'lihn. Steam rose from his mist soaked flanks in the early morning tropic heat.
"Fey Druid Seeker and Guardian Spirit of Twisted-Tree, you are part of the web of this all. I am glad to have found you.
Other's went within, please go too and help them. They seek a golden carved green stone that looks like the seed cone of a coniferous tree. . It is fated that you are here. The elders spoke of the summers light shining in tunnels of night.

Weaver Mother within is worshipped by dark whisperers. They compelled black skinned thieves who rode spiders to steal the relic stone from a Sacred Shrine Temple.
The thieves fled to this place...we could not enter. That was some moons ago; now I watch over the entrance because I escorted a group here who could pass into the place and retrieve what was lost.

I do not know what you'll find in there. But while I wait.."


Shwee! Stallion whistled sharply in a shrill tone. Across the path and behind several large palm leaves & brambles, two other large centaur warriors emerged nearly silently standing up to be seen.

"Tell them how to find the Moose. They will bring him here for healing."

Stallion looked sincerely at the druid and said,

"Please recover the stone. If the Spider Mothers Shrine is Cleansed, only then will her medicine offerings be allowed. I fear that her sanctum is breached by black malice from below."

Stallion grunted and produced a vile dripping black venom, boiling silverishly in a crystal stopper bottle. The venom was one that evoked obvious dread and nefarious morbidity.

"This used in the night raid which stole our relic... Drow Poison, we know."


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  #53  
Old Jan 21st, 2021, 06:28 PM
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Cid’lihn
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Stallion‘s words invoked dark visions in the Eladrin’s mind: Shadowy figures whispering in the Weaver Mother‘s ear, confusing and corrupting her, black-skinned warrior-thieves riding giant spiders raiding the centaurs‘ sacred sanctuary and stealing their holy stone, those assisting the horse-men being captured in sticky webs, waiting for the Weaver Mother to decide their fate…

Shaking his head, Cid’lihn cleared his mind from such dark figments of his imagination. There was no need for such speculation. He still couldn’t see the whole picture, only a part of it. Who had wounded the white moose? The poison in Stallion‘s hand would suggest drows but if that was the case, what was the significance of the Yuan-Ti? Why was it found dead just outside the tunnel entrance leading to the Spider Queen? Had it sought to meet her and was cut down before it even had the chance? Only one thing was certain. What had seemed as a straightforward cry for help to save the life of a wounded animal was quickly proving more complicated than the spidery strands filling the tunnel the elf was about to enter.

The druid gave as accurate directions to the awakened moose‘s location as he was able to and watched with trepidation mixed with hope the pair of powerful centaurs gallop away. No two-legged creature could hope to match their speed, certainly not Cid’lihn, so there was a good chance that they would locate the moose in time. Now it was up to him.

"May I keep this?", asked the druid, pointing with his head at the vial full with the deadly poison. "A sample is always useful if one wants to find a way to reverse the effects of a poison." Even if the centaur allowed him to take it along, Cid’lihn had no intention of touching the vial with the terrible poison any longer than what was absolutely necessary. He would place it inside his satchel and forget about it until it could be of some use – to save instead of dooming lives! With a sigh, the Eladrin looked once more at Stallion and offered the centaur a smile, though it was not as carefree as he would have liked it to be. "Wish me luck. I hope we‘ll see each other again soon. Take care, friend." With these final words, Cid’lihn with „Druidcraft“ignited one of his remaining torches and entered the tunnel looking for the traces of those who had entered before him.


 
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  #54  
Old Jan 29th, 2021, 09:20 PM
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Into Arach's Warren" Yes, you may keep it. Good Luck Druid Of the World Tree." Stallion warm-heartedly said to the Eladrin as he waved to him goodbye and bowed deeply.

Stallion watched the lean forest Elf in his warm green Tunic and earthy brown breeches descend barefoot into the dark tunnel maw. Soon the boy's limber frame and golden hair were swallowed by the darkness of the burrowed way.
Cid'lihn's small bubble of Crafted torch light slipped into the dark earthen chamber as the druids eyes began to adjust to the cramped visual setting. His feet and toes felt the cool crunching of tiny bone fragments under each step, as well as the sticky crawling bodies of many tiny arachnid creatures whom covered the tunnel floor. Cid'lihn found the cold earthen and stone floor to pull heat from the tender soles of his feet. The dirty passage was littered with sharp fragments of rock, sticky curtains of freshly torn web and an archeologists collection of bones.

Within some minutes the Elf found himself picking up something that reverberated from far down the passage. It bounced up the tunnel walls and landed upon his ear drums. A chorus of cacophonous commotion! Shrieks and battle! A cry of anguish, the hiss of steel and the a sizzling charge of a spell! Cid'lihn's ears prickled with the engaging sounds of the combat, he judged it's source to be quite near.

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Old Jan 31st, 2021, 09:10 AM
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The young druid had nothing against spiders, quite the contrary in fact. He considered them most ingenious and industrious insects and often adopted their many-legged shape to benefit from their ability to climb all manner of otherwise unclimbable surfaces. As he walked down the dark tunnel full of webs and -what was worse- the remains of a multitude of small creatures however, even the kindhearted Eladrin couldn’t help it but wonder if he was walking into a trap. The sounds of battle from further down the unlit passage were quick to confirm his suspicions. It seemed that the ones sent by the centaurs had been detected and were fighting against the dark elven raiders.

Feeling a terrible urgency to aid those attempting to free the Web Mother from the dark influence of the drow, Cid’lihn‘s initial instinct was to run down the path as quickly as he could. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the Eladrin decided upon a more cautious way of action. Putting out his torch with Druidcraft cantripa gesture and a word, the druid attempted to use the corridor‘s darkness to keep himself undetected. No matter what he planned to do, he would have a better chance of accomplishing it if he got the chance to prepare himself. Besides, no matter how sure he was about knowing what expected him down the tunnel, it was essential that he had a few moments to study the situation first. After all, appearances could be misleading – he, with his shapechanging ability, was especially aware of this fact.


 
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OOCThis solo game will be moved to the archive next month if there has been no activity. If you return at a later date and wish to pick up where you left off, please send a message to a member of the staff, ideally one marked as a DM of the Solo Games forum.
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