Prelude: The Undragon like Dragon

Signs of a battle littered the ground of the town borders, vegetable matter scattered on the path, in the grave yard and leading to the river valley. You follow it, wondering what exactly happened this eve, when you spot a lone figure sitting at a fire, gazing to the north. You approach and sit down opposite her, finding yourself face to face with Aysel Dunnaelc, the planewalker. She nods slowly at you as you show her a piece of vegetable matter you had picked up and begins to speak:

A strange sound rang through Greenrock, being heard past the edge of the fort and the deepest sewers. I gazed up at the sky and a strange shadow was growing on the horizon, coming from the north, casting a spell of haste I began to make my way to the boarders of town where I sense the disturbance was coming from.

The guards frowned as I ran past, but I paid them no heed, the shadow was growing. I arrived just in time to see vegetables emerging from the forest, quickly enough I dodged behind a tree, nearly bumping into Zeta the halfling in my haste. I offered her a nod and readied my bow, calling upon Orlandu and the earth’s protection as we began our defense against the small but deadly creatures that dodged arrows and absorbed magic like nothing else.

Soon enough Maynard of the Monastery showed up, after hearing the same strange roar, and Midnight slunk in the shadows shadowing Ponder who appeared to be a little shaken, but he shook it off and readied his own bow.

The vegetables continued to flow as the battle pushed closer to the river valley. In the midst of the battle, a lone elf emerged from Mirbeleg, and offered his aid.

“What is going on here?” He asked as he raised his own bow and shot down a kreshnak rider that was running towards me.

“It is the Vegetables, the dwellers of the enchanted forest” I replied, “They are on us in full force.”

“They never come this far south?” he queried. I nodded slightly as I cast bolts of fire upon the ring and their noxious fumes.

“Never, I was under the impression that they were bound to their forest.”

He noted affirmatively to me and dodged to a spot of cover in the grave yard, letting his arrows fly.

The swarms kept coming until the dark object that we had all seen flying towards the area came down and shook the ground we walked upon, knocking us down.

The aura surrounding the beast was great, freezing both I and Zeta’s legs in an untangible fear, the beast however ignored us for the most part, as well as Ponder, Midnight and the unnamed elf that came to our aid. Instead, the great beast… a dragon made of leaves and plants thundered on about the death of humanoids and his claim of the land. Our questions were left unanswered and we examined the beast for a time, though Midnight and the mysterious elf began to bicker about the follies of our kin, and I and Ponder continued to try to question the dragon that was not at all like a dragon.

“THE HAMLET WAS A TEST, AND NOW YOU ARE ON MY TERRITORY.”

Zeta stood bravely holding her short sword waiting for some sign from us for an attack, but Maynard’s patience had grown thin, and as he threatened the dragon, it turned its head from its thunderous rambling and directed its full attention to Maynard.

“YOU SHALL BE THE FIRST HUMAN.”

Maynard lunged at him, his patience at an end, and his curiosity to get closer growing. The dragon swiped at him and then backed away, (we speculate on the cause of this). In the sky he swooped twice, blowing a deadly combination of soil and rocks and fire before disappearing from sight, and then the onslaught halted, for a time, Midnight faded into the shadows after a harsh glare at the elf, who in turn took his leave, leaving naught but a whisper of his name… Seth.

In these comings and goings, another ring of mushrooms had formed and the vegetables lurked in the shadows, some coming in for strikes, others watching with glee. We fought as we could against the last of the assault, but as our endurance began to waive, Maera emerged from Mirbeleg with her companion Wulf, cutting down the vegetables as she ran. We rested for valuable minutes as Ponder briefly informed his wife of what had occurred. The vegetable swarm was slowing, the few that did attack went after Orlandu and Wulf , or cowardly attempts on us. Ponder, Maera, Wulf and I covered the area, hunting the last of the vegetables in the area as Maynard and Zeta went to prepare healing potions and gather supplies respectively.

With the last vegetable slain, Ponder related the battle and the strangeness of the Dragon to Maera, and when Zeta and Maynard returned it was decided that a trip to Kallikantzaroi to see what answers we might find in the strange hamlet.

We carefully walked the path to the hamlet, straying only a little, and quickly dispatching any vegetables that attacked. A long walk later we arrived at the village, searching for our answers. The natives would only talk to Zeta, and Master Cabbage, the only person that did not call us murderers at the very sight of us had no answers either. The village was in a ruined state, and it appeared with the vegetation overgrowing everything, it had been that way for a long time.

I paused over the grave site and frowned at the years on the stones. No ne had been buried there for some time, and the people, they were strange, as if not flesh, but plants. We gathered on the hill of the hamlet and discussed our findings when a storm moved in. With a near miss of a lightning bolt we headed back to Greenrock, thinking to take shelter at Maynards home in Mirbeleg. We headed out into the woods again, carefully weaving our way on the path, evading the inhabitants well enough.

When we arrived back in the river valley, the storm seemed to have calmed and we sat around the fire speaking of possible answers to the questions that now hung above us, Ponder, Maynard, Maera, Zeta and I, and then as Zeta left to return to her home, Torin heard the story retold. There are theories, theories that the vegetables have control on the dragon, or the dragon has control of the vegetables, it is a curse, it is a poison, the fulover that Maynard smoked kept him alive, or made him target… many theories no answers.

Aysel stops then, staring out at the forest and then up at the sky.

“One thing is certain though, we have not seen the last of the dragon, or the vegetables, be wary if traveling alone in the forest to the north, danger lies there and it cannot be ignored.”

She rises from her chair and stretches a little then puts another log on the fire and sits back down and smiles at you slightly, glad to share her fire with one who would listen so well.

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