[The following is Cody’s log followed by extra notes from Becky, who will come back later to consolidate them into a cohesive log.]
Most of the day spent chiseling corpse balls. It is around 4 pm. They return to the church to make camp for the night. It is uneventful.
Sheila wakes the group early. They gather and head towards the Forest. They travel throughout the day, eat some scorpions, and come upon the first real signs of an eco-system. The humidity begins to rise. By the time they make camp that night they have come upon small patches of grass. The night passes uneventfully. They arrive at the forest arrive around noon. Zephyr acquires some spores from a plant. They make camp in the semi-circle of three. Using a hammock they make sure to stay off the ground. It has become uncomfortably warm and humid.
A large beetle the size of a German Shepard appears from the underbrush and then disappears immediately, leaving behind ichorus goo. This happens again several times over the night. Nothing happens. We are visited my many forms of life, salamanders, insects, small mammals and strange bats. Zephyr digs. She is very curious. Polena assists. The night is uneventful.
Morning comes. Everything is damp. Sheila notices while cleaning her armor that the dew is unusual. It is thick and viscous. The night’s digging was unsuccessful. The roots are so thick it is impossible to dig more than a few feet down. The fungus gets thicker farther in. They begin to see bioluminescent creatures and plants. Zephyr begins to add to her “guide”. The predatory things we find are all smaller than us and give us no trouble. They find a mineral deposit that Zephyr takes a sample of. Hayden is drawn to a bluish light. He comes upon the well of a tree. It is filled with sweet smelling that glows liquid. He puts his finger in it. It smells like nectar. He brings it to the parties attention. He tastes it. It is delicious. He is mildly intoxicated. He feels amazing. He fills a bottle with the goo, Zephyr does as well. They make camp for the night.
In the night they feel movement underground and they hear movement in the forest. The forest seems to move around the beetles, parting for them as they pass through. The Tree Well seems to be a potential food source for the insects. Zephyr feels very close to a major breakthrough with her notes. Possibly the origin of the parasitic creatures they faced on the last continent.
Blue drank is the shiznat.
Zephyr comes to the realization her notes contain the summoning ritual for Faramils monster, which is the cause of the blight worm plague. We make camp again. The first shift passes uneventfully. Sheila awakes to her natural clock. This is unusual. Polena and Zephyr and missing.
“this isn’t the blessing I want it to be is it?”
Unable to find a trail they set upon direction indicated by Erics “Hunch”.
Zephyr’s studies of the corpse ball material revealed:
• Non-corrosive or poisonous
• Appears to be just waste material/byproduct
• Was an ooze before hardening into a solid
• Must have a preservative element since clothing, metal, etc has not degraded
• It has an unusual signature that implies magical components combined with biological base. Definitely made within a living creature.
From translation studies: can now read most of the book, but there is a sizeable passage at the end that is in a different hand and in a proto-language; cannot yet translate it, but have the sense that it is very important.
Sneezing as approach forest. Not an unpleasant smell. See more and more life — small insects, birds. looks like normal, healthy wildlife. Zephyr notes that all these birds are migratory, not native to this area. Air getting more humid. By time we camp, grasses.
Forest much denser than expected. Flora: large trees, smaller growth. Trees too large for forest edge, and how it is spreading. Mangrove-like root systems. Emitting spores: a large, rotund thing with a large blossom on top. Aproximately a 2ft diameter. Oozing spores. Ocassionally pulsing. Zephyr jars some spore-mist.
She decides to dig that night to examine the root systems. If there are shallow roots, no problem; if they are deep, that suggests that the burrowing insects are native to the waste rather than the actual forest (unless we are seeing dead plants)
Find 3 trees to camp by.
Beetle size of german shepard leaves yellow goo; corrosive, smells sickly-sweet. After several such fleeing beetles, seems a defensive thing, but can also be used to aid digestion.
Polena offers to help Zephyr dig, saying everyone else doesn’t think Zephyr knows what she is doing, but it seems like Zephyr is the only one who knows what she is doing. Zephyr is touched, and realizes she has been feeling rather dispirited, being the only one with a “plan” and yet not being paid much attention to.
Glowing goo: traces of elemental magic; foresty, nurturing.
Hayden tastes goo… Zephyr decides to start studying him again, because HOW HAS HE SURVIVED THIS LONG?!
Zephyr translation epiphany: thinks she knows where to focus now. Study: no more translation, but even more feeling that the information contained in this passage is imperative to our current quest… yet does not seem to be about the Forest. Perhaps an origin story?
Plants moving to let beetles through: symbiosis? magical or psychic signal sent from beetles? Possible beetles have a sort of spell they can cast
As we travel deeper into forest, things become bigger, and symbiosis more noticeable (witnessing plants moving for creatures often). These observations cause Zephyr to become more and more obsessed with the untranslated passage; now sure it has nothing to do with the forest, yet important.
Later, breakthrough in passage: 1200 years ago when demon (Faramil) slain, had compartmentalized soul (like homunculus) into vessel that was his body, and a vicious beast. Faramil was destroyed, but the monster lay dormant. This book details rites/rituals to reawaken Faramil’s monster; results are what happened in Oras… creatures are his children. When they have amassed enough power, Faramil will return. The magic that has returned to the world would make it easier for Faramil to return, as it has allowed this Forest to grow. Layman’s terms: someone summoned Faramil’s monster, intentionally, although results may not have been foreseen.
Polena and Zephyr take second shift… and are hit by darts. They pass out before they can react.
Taking over notes:
The party travels the rest of the day looking for Polena and Zephyr. Along the deer trail, they see structures — simple and rudamentary, yet unable to be made by non-humanoid hands. Several platforms, and some posts with engravings in a language they do not recognize. Hayden says people must live here, but Strelok points out that it may be that they LIVED here. The writing on the posts is in the same language as that on the disc that attatched to Hayden and then Strelok. Strelok asks his sword where his friends may have been taken. Sword “sensed one of the creators come”. Strelok asks if it can locate where the creator is now, or at least a general direction. Sword: "They are all around. The creator used to be one, now he is many. " Strelok asks for closest one. The sword says it is in the general direction they are heading. This makes Strelok suspicious of Aeric, who had a gut feeling that they should go in their current direction.
Travel long into the night, but finally stop to camp.