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OOC: Same session as Days 8-12. “Magic Fingers” is still MIA, and the adventurers are traveling north to find the source of whatever is destroying the trees in the jungle.
I think that now we’re without Frank, all the “crazy” of our party has migrated to the gnoll. Whatever the dryad said to him, it must have been inspiring. We’re only able to sleep when we force him to stop.
There’s less and less game the further we travel. There should be larger game here, Name says, but we’re hard-pressed to find anything. No birds, no animals. There are strange noises in the distance that we can’t recognize.
I awaken to find Name speaking to a black snake. Its tongue flicks in and out of its mouth. She appears to understand it, so I leave her alone. After their long conversation, we have learned that there are big non-animal creatures that make lots of noise and smoke and that all the other animals have left. This is swiftly become the most useless week I have ever had in all my 162 years.
We continue to move north, even though we hadn’t seen Hakim in a long while. Either he’s dead or doing something useful, I don’t care either way. We finally see him a few hours north. He says there is a group of humanoids and metal creatures and it appears that they are waging war on the forest, chopping down all the trees. The gnoll growls.
There are three tree cutting behemoths, he said. The gnoll suggests that the kobold run back to his tribe to get help because we couldn’t possibly fight them on our own. The kobold refuses and and insists that his orders were to stay with us and heal us. (We could tell he was more scared of traveling alone than disobeying his orders.) The gnoll growls at him, picks him up and shakes him, yelling about the good of the forest and his quest, followed by some phrase in his native language that he seems to say often when upset.
He drops the kobold and tries to hit him with his staff, but ends up hitting himself in the shin. Sadly, that is probably the highlight of the entire week. After much arguing over who was the bigger coward, the gnoll or the kobold, we move on.
Hakim finds us a vantage point high above the clearing where the army was at work. It appears we’re near some sort of temple or other structure, but it is very old and crumbling apart. We watch the three large constructs as they chop and stack the trees on a circular platform in the distance. When a stack was complete, one of the humanoids presses something on a control panel near the platform and the stack disappears.
The total count of the army was three behemoth constructs, 5 smaller warforged, and about 30 humanoids. We watch them work for a few hours and as it began to get dark, they start to assemble on the circular platform. Three large spires with blinking lights grew out of the platform, reaching into the smoke-filled sky.
The gnoll takes off again, running towards the platform, scurrying from stump to stump to keep cover. I stay towards the back of the party with the kobold. “Are you scared?” he asks. “No,” I say. I’m too bored to be scared. “Me either,” replies the kobold. He is a bad liar.
In a flash of light, all those on the platform disappear. Two warforged and one of the titan tree-cutters are left behind. The titan deactivates and its top half slumps over. The warforged chat a bit and then patrol around the platform.
Name casts a spell and roots grow up out of the ground, tangling the two warforged. The titan appears undisturbed and does not awaken. Hakim fires an arrow and one of the warforged falls dead. This is what I like about Hakim – he’s usually out of sight, but when he does show up, he’s useful. The gnoll and I run past the sleeping titan to the other warforged.
Then began the worst encounter I have had since that ill-fated day with my brother. (At least on that day, I killed something!) I fire arrow after arrow and they either barely graze the creature or miss entirely. Miss, miss, miss, miss.
The titan awakens and the gnoll charges at it. I miss, miss, miss. All that traveling has made me a bad shot. I glance over and see the gnoll in a heap on the ground, bleeding profusely. Miss, miss, miss. Hakim finishes off the warforged and we all focus on the titan. Name pulls it back on to the platform where it is entangled in her root spell and they finally kill it. (I can’t say we because I was utterly useless. Even the cowardly kobold with his healing magic was helpful in reviving the gnoll.)
The gnoll was cheered by the death of the titan, and despite his recent brush with death, finds the energy to dance on its corpse. I stay back, staring at my shortbow. What type of bad luck is this that causes me to miss so much?
I help the rest of the group cut the titan into pieces and drag it off the platform. The gnoll attempts to activate the platform using its buttons, but fails. We decide it would be best to camp back at our vantage point and head back to sleep. We’ll continue in the morning.