Reeshka had asked Ceor and I to come meet her in Friula, in order to provide details to the Champion of Mavros, who mentioned that Mavros had been babbling to her about a great danger, but had been rather non specific about the details.
I’m not surprised.
The next stop for Reeshka is Kammae… or what’s left of it, since they’ll be likely to know how to deal with planar bullshit. Ceor and I returned to Feymott… though as soon as Reeshka got there, she informed us that the city was just… gone. And had been replaced by what looked like some kind of green structure that the scouts reported looked like some sort of hedge maze. We teleported out to see what’s going on… to me, it looks like something a druid might do.
They do weird shit like that.
Two of her scouting party had vanished, apparently while the rest of their backs were turned, so we need to check that out obviously.
Where the city had been was now a sort of bowl-like depression in the ground, with the hedges in the center. There were an astonishing amount of flowers around, even considering it was spring. And the hedges don’t look like a native species to this area, though they don’t look particularly extraplanar. I suppose there’s nothing for it but to thread the maze. Though I did set a getaway spell outside it just in case.
And I have a literally endless supply of twine.
As we entered, Ceor heard someone chanting to themselves, and when he pointed it out, so could I. He ducked around the corner, and found a man whispering to himself, with a bow, and skin with a distinctly green tint. We’ll see if he’s friendly… or at least reasonable.
Ceor tried to pass, and got a warning shot directed at him. Upon closer look, the closest I can come to an explanation is someone made a simulacura out of plants…
After some discussion, we elected to see if we could just dart past it and continue on… it took a shot at Ceor, then screamed in a really horrible way.
Well, so much for a peaceable solution. Fuck this shit. Scorching ray, meet green man, green man, meet scorching ray.
And apparently, there were more inside. Lovely.
The one closest to the entrance seems capable of shooting off half a dozen arrows at a time, that’s nice. At least it’s not a very hardy plant. Though things would be easier if the hedges weren’t made of thorns. Of course, I got the next thing’s attention…
Those arrows hurt like a motherfucker. As I got past it, I could smell something sickeningly sweet, that made me sleepy… but I was able to fight it off. Also, these things do not seem to be burning nearly as much as they should be.
… the longer I’m aroudn that smell, the sleepier I get…
Since there’s bound to be more of these simulacura at every junction, and we don’t know if we’re wasting our time, Reeshka flew up to see if she could get an overview of it. She got the layout, and we elected to just use airwalk to get to the center. As we were preparing, I noticed that the body of one of the things we’d killed was rapidly decomposing into mulch… and a seedling was sprouting up. I also noticed that the higher we got, the nastier the brambles started looking.
And as we got over the wall, the seedling had grown into a new, if juvenile, green man…
We got over the wall, and put down another green man, and I noticed that the thorns seemed to be bulging towards us, as if they were reaching for us. And another one of those fucking things sprung up behind us. We took care of it and hopped the next wall.
As we got further in, I was able to smell fungus and rot elsewhere… it was highly unpleasant. And the wind through the brambles was starting to sound like whispering. And the thorns are DEFINITELY reaching for us.
We’ll check out the center, and hopefully find something… if not, we’ll have to check the rest of the maze and we still might not find our people.
There was an enormous horrible looking plant in the middle, that looks like some sort of carnivorous thing. Fabulous. Also the wall tried to catch us again and nearly caught Reeshka and Ceor.
I shall offer the traditional greeting of my people.
At least my fireball took out the green men in the clearing with it… but it just sort of… smoldered. But Ceor and Reeshka did some significant things to it as well… and then it proceeded to beat the shit out of Ceor. It also seemed to toss out some sort of pollen or spores… though fortunately those on the ground didn’t seem affected (I was still up in the air like a sensible person.) I let it have another fireball, and while the trunk was split open and it was leaking foul-smelling sap everywhere, it was still not actually on fire.
I should look into that.
Though between me and whatever Reeshka was doing, it rather suddenly collapsed into a pile of dead plants. Though I’m not taking any bets on it staying down. The walls of the hedge started rattling, even before Reeshka pulled out the consecrate. Then the hedges just started crumbling in on themselves. By the time she actually completed it, they had all died and collapsed, leaving rings of mulch that outlined the maze. We could also see dozens of green men around the maze, though they were inanimate now. There were also some giant mushrooms, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything.
We did find two green men that looked like the missing scouts… the spitting image of them, only made of wood. My best guess is that whatever was behind this essentially ate them and took their forms… We’ll see what we can do about it, but it looks like they’re dead.
As for what started this, it looks like the magical backlash from the Incident in Kammae probably mutated various things in fun and entertaining ways. The giant plant in the center did show signs of intelligence. And upon closer examination, what looked like flowers was actually incredibly delicate branching fungi that had spread throughout the whole area. I don’t think it’s dangerous, so long as it’s not eaten… setting signs that advise caution should be enough, and I’ll leave one of my scrying tokens here to keep an eye on it.
Kammae is just completely gone. As far as I can tell, the maze was where the center of the city should be, and even the land was deformed, leaving the bowl valley. If this isn’t a lake in twenty years, it’s going to look really fucking weird.
Reeshka elected to proceed to Capleon to see if they would join us, and Ceor and I teleported back to Feymott. The stockpiling for the greatest army the realm has ever seen is proceeding nicely, and the cavern I need specifically carved out so I can ward the ever loving fuck out of it so we can proceed with resurrecting Sionna. Though I do need Reeshka for that as well…
Well, at least this wasn’t as bad as it could be, I suppose. Yes, there was a giant man eating plant and we lost two people, but the plant’s dead now, so that’s one thing off our plates. Though I will have to keep an eye on the area; wouldn’t be surprised if the fungi fields turn into a fungi forest and it becomes more dangerous, or if the area is prone to wild magic.