2nd 4th day, Marpenoth
Well, we didn’t quite find what we were after in the alchemists lab (again), but we did find a little bit, and things are actually looking up for once.
Things were working well for us, given we had a couple of objectives in the one area. Anzo was in a small village to the south, called Dalewin. Not quite on the path from Fort Baemore, but it was only a short trip through the forest from there. We had reason to believe that the town was home to another lab belonging to the Alchemist, too, which itself had two objectives. Information about “The Watcher,” which would be able to supply information to us about how to defeat Bagoda, and of course, the elusive hunt for the potion to get me closer to fixed.
Speaking of Bagoda, the Duke behaved quite worryingly when we gave him our information about her. He’d been very dismissive, until Mireya told him of what was stolen by her. Immediately after he became incredibly animated and agitated, before leaving in a rush with Matthew. He did leave me a note saying she’d gone underground and he’d lost track of her, though. At least that means she’s off our backs for a little.
Regardless, the lab. We made our way down the hill from Dalewin, and found ourselves in a swamp. Trying to search for the entry we came across a number of creatures, most unwelcome, a few fine. One of the fine ones was a tree… thing? who mentioned there were drow in the swamp. This indicated we were on the right path, because something about the labs seems to call to the drow. They were apparently capturing and eating birds that this tree had an affinity for, so he also asked us to retrieve one that they’d caught for him, before setting us on the right path.
We again knew it was the right path when we found a drow outside, who other drow were about to execute. Being the fools we are, we rescued him and brought him with us as we set out into the lab. He said he was after vengeance against them, which I guess is true.
Helping us through some of the traps and with some of the enemies, he was actually seeming like a dependable ally, until we reached a room where the leader of this drow expedition had been hiding. Apparently on eliminating her, he proved his worth to the others in the room, and assumed their leadership, and used that to turn on us, the traitorous scum. Maybe with a bit more talking we could have avoided a fight, as he seemed willing to let us go, but I don’t know. He wasn’t willing to let us take any information we’d found, so it wasn’t worthwhile to us anyway.
Well, maybe it would have been. A bit of wind blows differently, and who knows how it may have gone?
We got so close to losing Mireya, Roy and Rowan. I don’t think Aaron came out of it in the best shape, either. It was pure luck that we had one of the beneficial slimes idling at the edge of the room, and everyone had avoided it, so Aaron was able to push her into it, and she got up Rowan while I was looking to Roy.
So in the end, we didn’t find the recipe for that potion and we didn’t find The Watcher (although we did find information about another lab, so I guess we’re heading that way soon). We also managed to find the bird the tree thing had asked us about, which was good. Apparently there were only four left.
He seemed rather pleased when we returned it to him, or as pleased as an ancient fae tree can seem, I guess, and he offered us something in return. Well, offered me something in return.
A young man had apparently died elsewhere in the forest recently, and had been taken to the Shrine of Obit Hai. The tree was apparently able to return them to my body, and put me in his. He couldn’t give me any further information, such as the name, age or where they came from.
It worried me taking a blind leap like that, but I figured it’s probably worth it, and if it brings back this other person it’s all for the best. I lay down in the grass and fallen leaves under the tree thing, as instructed, and slowly drifted off to sleep, watching the red and yellow birds on it’s branches.
When I woke it was dark and I wasn’t entirely sure of my surroundings, so it took me a minute to remember what had happened. I threw my hands down along my body, and checked the side of my head. Ears gone. Other things gone, and some replaced. It’s good to be home.
Well, sort of. I’m not me. I’m still this other man. But I’m closer, and given how things have gone recently, getting closer is better than I’ve been able to hope for.
I do feel sorry for the other person, though. Put in a body they don’t know, probably don’t understand what happened to them. I hope they’ll be alright. I guess at the end of the day, it’s better than death. That was my view on it these past few months.