As the door behind us slowly closed, the curious nymphs and dryads slowly came closer. We tried to talk to them, and they replied. We started a conversation, and the dryads invited us to their town, about 2 ½ kilometres away. The place was quiet and peaceful, and we really felt the stress leave our sore shoulders. Some magical statues of dryads caught our attention. They had precisely the same features as the dryads themselves, only magical statues. Interesting…  The matriarch of the dryads, Atlanteia, lived in an old hollow tree, right in the vicinity of the town. We paid her a visit. She was quite old and we greeted her in profound respect. She had an artefact in her hand, a staff of some sort. Arazaka asked her if she knew what the staff did, and if not, if she was interested in finding out. She was very interested in finding out the truth of her old companion, so Arazaka told her that this was indeed an artefact; good for hitting, but the most interesting feature was that it gave the user cooking proficiency, and the ones eating it would be cured for disease etc. The wearer will not die due to aging. But; if the wearer lies, he will be transformed into a green hag. She was overwhelmed, and told us about how she got this item. The dryad community once got a bow, but since they weren’t a hostile people, they divided this bow into a staff and an amulet. Another dryad, Phoebe, got the amulet, but somehow turned into a Medusa. She transformed some of the dryads into stones before leaving this village and left for the mountain top. But this wasn’t a day for tales, so she invited us to a party where she served the food. We gladly accepted, and asked about the magic present in her closet. She showed us 4 epic potions, self-produced. They can potentially do marvellous things…

The party began, and both food and beverages were served. The adventures participated in the happy event. We asked where they came from, and we were told that they had always been here. They also told about foul creatures at the rim of the valley, and we soon realized they were draconic dragons. Luckily they were chained. 8 were left; a black one had managed to escape some time ago. We drank the golden cider that they brew here, and slept happily the following night.

Ottamata was completely rested when he woke. He felt something was wrong. Something strange had happened. He thought of this for a while, and then he realized that he, as every night before, hadn’t been disturbed by horrible nightmares where terrible monsters ripped his soul in parts and feasted on his flesh. He felt, for the first time in a very long time, awake. He rose, stretched his muscles, and woke the others. Then he realized something deeply disturbing had happened, but couldn’t really put his finger on it…

The dryad community was somehow reduced, and the harsh truth soon got to us; they were infected by the ancient plague we had brought with us. To avoid any deaths, we quickly explained the situation and gave everyone a Hero’s Feast, in order to postpone the deadly effect. Arazaka and the rest of the party helped the dryads as well as they could, while Mokferuso and Anthrax flew as quickly as they could to a certain god, Mr. Fantastic, placed in the middle of the valley. He apparently created this world as well as maintaining it.

Before landing, we saw a huge temple in the middle of the valley, and a building with enormous columns as well as a gigantic door made of massive iron.  Outside on a throne made of white marble, Mr. Fantastic, a colossal figure, fair hair, blue eyes; resembling a Greek god, sat and relaxed. We landed outside his area and paid him a visit, bringing gifts from the outside world.

He loved stories, especially tales about fighting and victories, and Anthrax gladly entertained him. It looked like he didn’t care for much else.  We were invited inside for food and drinks, and could hardly resist before getting an agreement regarding the plague. He wore 5 keys, probably matching 5 locks which could be found on the doors inside his castle. He wore sandals and a tunic, and inside we saw a maul and a helm. 3 female nymphs and 3 female dryads brought us food as we sat down, and it was clear, even to Anthrax, that they were terrified of their master. Something was terribly wrong. He told us that he created this world and the world outside, -which we later found out was an exaggeration.  

He was eager to show off, to verify how fantastic he really was. He wanted to arm-wrestle, and Mokferuso actually beat him the first one. To satisfy his ego, Mokferuso lost the next battle. Anthrax also lost. He also wanted a drink competition, and Mokferuso lost. We had an invitation to stay over, so Mr. Fantastic carried Mokferuso to his bed. After installing us in the guest room, he actually locked the door!!! How rude! In a futile attempt to restore Mokferuso’s health, Anthrax threw a forget spell on his victim, thereby complicating the situation even further.

The guest quarter was a nicely decorated, and a library containing 1000 books caught Anthrax’ attention. He quickly discovered 2 books containing poems, but they clearly hid something. We needed to stay there for 6 days, so Anthrax began to read the easiest one.

The morning after Anthrax went to gather the nymphs and the dryads, because Mr. Fantastic had promised to help them all. Everyone got a “Miracle” spell, but the inhabitants didn’t look pleased. Mr. Fantastic asked if they were happy with his deeds, they said yes and presented 6 female nymphs and 6 female dryads, all young, for their God. The poor women were truly terrified, but obeyed their families. Mr. Fantastic accepted, thereby showing us his true nature to us. It seemed he was nothing but a God taking advantage of his creation.

We still had some reading to be done, so we agreed to be there some days. Anthrax kept him at ease by telling stories and sprinting, while Mokferuso read as a fast as he could. Every night Mr. Fantastic locked our door, but cleaver Mr. Knarg found a summoning trap on the door, so we are aware that we are temporary being imprisoned.

The books were quite interesting reading, -for those who have slots in cryptography. It seemed that Mr. Fantastic didn’t create this world at all. The creator of this world had reached the level at where he became a part of the world, in this case the tiny people. His avatar, called the Watcher, was placed here to guard his creation. He also guards a strange object of some sort, named “The Godslayer”. Sounds …. interesting? For some, at least.  A guard “dog “ is present between the object and the world. Anyway, the god probably had a hunch that the Watcher would become corrupt during time, so he placed weapons at the dryads and the nymphs, one bow to kill the Watcher and a two hand axe to kill the guard monster.

We told Mr. Fantastic that it was time for us to leave, but he didn’t care. He was too interesting in his female companion to care. One of the nymphs was missing, though. We left.

The moral in the nymph society was low, but we managed to get some information from them. They once had received a two hand axe, and had separated it in two. It became a shield and a spear. The nymph getting the spear became a minotaur, and hid himself somewhere in the lake where the sea people. The one nymph with the spear became evil and went into a canyon somewhere east through an area called “Dead forest”. No one knows what’s behind the forest, because the ones that had tried haven’t returned. But creatures of sizes between 10 and 40 meters have been observed. And one additional information; every year the nymphs and the dryads present 6 young females for Mr. Fantastic. Each month he rapes one of them and threw the body to his guard dog.

Anthrax and Mokferuso quickly flew to the lake and got access to the bottom of the lake. We found a labyrinth, presumably impossible to pass, but we decided to give it a try. We used “Find the path”. The walls were always moving, making it almost impossible to get a clear path, but after 28 hours we found the sleeping minotaur. The original plan was to use telekinesis to grab the spear, but somehow Anthrax threw it wrong. The spell became alive with stats of Anthrax, but luckily it attacked the minotaur. I grabbed the spear, and then Anthrax managed to cast the forget spell on himself!!!  We used some hours to get out of the labyrinth, and finally reached the dryad community once more. The spear was cursed in such a way that if the wearer once got lost, he would transform into a minotaur. Sad story. But hey, one down, only 2 to go.

But Anthrax being without memory was a potential hazard, but the group didn’t want to see Mr. Fantastic and grant another favour. The dryads told about a certain plant with amazing features named “Ghost flower”, being able to heal and restore memory, only found in Dead Forest. Mokferuso and Anthrax left almost all their stuff at the Dryads, and flew to the canyon in the east. Arazaka lend them his magical glasses, to ensure they got some hints of which curse the shield had. 

They finally reached a really dead forest with 50 meters high trees, and threw “locate plant” while flying with an amazing speed. Suddenly the spell kicked in and we landed. Immediately 4 large creatures, with a move of 120, dared to attack us. They were troll like, almost transparent, but died rapidly. Mokferuso managed to grab an eye and feed Mime before he transformed them to dust using the “disintegrate” spell. 4 samples of the magical plant were collected, but we need the dryads to tell us how to use it. We camped in the cosy cave, but got disturbed during night when 6 of the same sort attacked us. Anthrax again displayed his newly achieved powers by making them all kneel, and Mokferuso disintegrated them all. The two friends grabbed some rest before getting prepared to fly even further.

 

Dryads, nymphs and Mr. Fantastic:

Dryads

 Nymphs

 

 Mr. Fantastic

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