Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

Chapter 10: Spirits of Nature

With the party's success in obtaining Thessalian soldiers, Critolaus now prepared them for their next mission. In the olden days, the fae-folk had been abundant. Children of nature, they had lived and played in isolated ponds, fields and forests, enchanting the hearts of man and keeping the secrets of the world from mortals. Faeries, never common, were now nearly non-existent. Critolaus believed that if they could be found, perhaps they could be rallied against the Romans.

    The party set forth from Corinth that day, and using Eonus' and Idalia's knowledge of the mystical laws governing faeries, they constructed a trap out in the wilderness. They took a chunk of bread cooked using anarchic water and a slice of honeycomb and set it upon the ground, then added a drop of Eonus' blood before retreating and hiding in wait.

    Not long after, a pixie happened along and decided to stop and sample the delicacy that had been left for it. Eonus quickly brought up a magic circle spell to entrap the creature and the party approached cautiously, not wanting to frighten the small thing into not assisting them. The pixie, Unede was forced to promise to arrange a meeting between the heroes and the Seelie Court, the ruling body of faerie-kind, in exchange for his freedom. Unede readily accepted and once let free, flew away to speak to his rulers.

    Soon after Unede returned and gave the heroes directions to a clearing close-by a faerie crossroads, where they would have their meeting with the Seelie court the next day. The heroes rested that night, preparing themselves for the chaotic nature of faerie politics, hoping that they might be able to convince them to join the Achaean League.

    While travelling to the meeting, a kelpie ambushed the party, nearly dragging Sirius into the murky depths of his pond. The party was able to dispatch the equine faerie, but wondered if it had been sent by the Court, or if it was an indication of some rogue faction working against them.

    Finally the party arrived at the court with Unede's assistance and met with a satyr by the name of Puck who was designated as their advocate. Puck had a long-standing relationship with many of the local maidens over the years and was against the Court's general decision to withdraw from the mortal world into the Plane of Faerie. Proceedings were working out well before a rival of Puck, another satyr who went by the name Spring shouted the party down, claiming that mankind was destined to die out and that the fae would only return then. Acting against the Court's wishes, Spring then ordered several rebel nymphs to kill the party

    The heroes were able to resist the beauty and deadliness of Spring's nymphs and dispatch them, afterwards Spring was restrained by the Seelie Court's guards and forced to undergo a painful transformation that left him looking like a gaunt, and slightly horned human, something that the satyr, with all his anti-human sentimentality cursed loudly in protest.

    As the heroes began to hear the Court's decision on if they would join the Achaean League, a crashing sound sounded throughout the wood, and several spider-monsters invaded, headed by Arachnea, queen of the spiders, cursed of Aphrodite. Arachnea had joined with the Seelie Court centuries past, but with Puck's human-friendly sentimentalities guiding them, she had grown enraged and wished to turn the fae against humankind in revenge for her lot. The party quickly fought back against Arachnea's spider-fey and finally were able to attack her directly, with Sirius striking the final blow that shattered the creature's thorax, killing her.

    With Arachnea's threat removed, the party assisted in healing the surviving faeries. Puck's speeches were self-evident. Man was capable not only of evil, but also of good. The Court's decision was swift. Faerie-kind would march with the Achaean League against the Roman armies. A pall was cast upon the meeting though. Spring was missing and his shouts of threats to mankind echoed in the woods.

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