Kingmaker

Episode 24 - A Fey to be Reckoned With

These aren’t the humans Hyperia told me about, thought Melianse as she watched the loggers fell the last of the ancient trees surrounding her river glade abode. These are far more dangerous.

She hadn’t been gathering eelgrass for long when the sound of axes drew her back to the little pool she called home, on the shore of the River Nagasiby (known by the far less elegant name of Skunk River in the Common tongue). She was one angry nixie when she saw eight lumberjacks unceremoniously cutting down her trees! She begged them to stop but the men chopped away. Desperate, she used her fey magic to charm one of them, dragging him into the water and holding him close. Still, the men continued their vandalism.

The last tree hit the ground with a thud. They must be stopped, she thought, and successfully charmed a second axe-wielding oaf, who joined the first in her watery lair. Defensively keeping her head below shoreline, she waved a webbed hand at the men’s leader, crying, “You are not welcome here. These trees sheltered my glade for 200 years, and now they’re dead. Your men will pay the price!”

Their leader, a strapping, bearded man, replied “Release them at once!” and threatened her with violence. How dare they? Melianse thought, as the argument reached a fever-pitch.

Just then, another, smaller group of humanoids entered the clearing from the forest edge—four humans, and an elf maiden, to be precise. Ah, these newcomers must be the travelers that Hyperia had warned me about! Melianse thought. She watched warily as one of them, a stocky, bearded male with obvious fey ancestry, asked the lumberjack leader, “What’s seems to be the problem here?”

While the lumberjack leader discussed the situation with the fey-touched, stocky man, the elf maid slowly approached the shoreline, pausing just a few feet away from the nixie’s green-haired head. The elf was white-haired, and possessed a kind visage, and Melianse relaxed a bit, sensing a kindred spirit. ‘Let Janekfan reason with her,’ the nixie overheard one of the other humans saying—a young, blond woman in a blue robe. “She is a Druid after all!” When Melianse heard this, she relaxed a bit more, knowing how benevolent and delicate Druids can be when dealing with fey such as herself.

“Please release the men,” the elf maiden pleaded. “Not until they replace my trees!”, Melianse responded. I just know her Druid magic can re-grow my fallen trees, she thought. Speaking as though she’d read the nixie’s mind, the blonde woman called out, “Jane, can’t you just cast a Plant Growth spell and fix these trees?” The elf, however—clearly sharing Melianse’s sadness over the loss of the beautiful, old trees—shook her head despondently. ‘No, Vincze’ she replied. “However,” she said, turning back to the nixie, “if you release these two loggers now, I promise we will find a way to restore your glade”.

Meanwhile, the fey-blooded newcomer had convinced the lumberjacks to leave the riverside and continue their lumbering operation in a stand of trees of the same species, about ten miles to the north. He had produced a map and was in the middle of showing the lumberjack leader the exact location of the grove (and explaining that he could personally vouch for their safely, because he’d helped vanquish two tatzlwyrms that resided there just a few months before) when Jane interrupted him: ‘Khrystos, the nixie is willing to release the two humans, as long as your men leave the area and never return… AND as long as we help restore her glade to what it once was. She will release these two when the trees have been replaced.’ ‘Remember Jubilost Narthropple’s map?…There’s a dryad just west of here, supposedly. I bet she can help restore the nixie’s trees!’ she heard the blond woman excitedly exclaim as the group disappeared into the forest, leaving her alone.

A dryad?? Thought Melianse. _Why would a dryad help ME? Well… dryad or no dryad… they’d better find some way to restore my trees…

The next morning, Melianse’s sister—a nixie named Diadema who lived 15 miles upriver—visited the glade. She was shocked and saddened by the loss of Melianse’s trees, and the two cried in each others’ arms as Melianse related the tale of her human visitors from the previous day.

“I believe I saw your visitors—some of them, at least,” Diadema suddenly said, wiping away her tears with one webbed hand. “Some faerie dragons spent a full night pranking them—they led those humans on a merry chase indeed!” she giggled. “The next day, they slayed three nasty tatzylwyrms just south of my glade. And then, late last night, they were set upon by those nasty frog-people!” Apparently, her sister explained, the blonde woman spoke with them, defusing the situation. But as they were hurriedly packing their things, she produced a wand of some sort, which caused the boggards to attack them. “I saw the whole thing!” Diadema shouted with an excited gleam in her eye. “Luckily, they defeated the nasty froggies…but just barely.”

Dumb blonde, Melianse thought. “They’d better be more careful,” Melianse said, worriedly. “There are many dangers in the Greenbelt. One false step, and I won’t be getting my trees back!”

Addendum:

Treasure obtained from the tatzlwyrms’ nest:

Magic Scale Mail from skeleton, magic – The Greenbelt Defenders gifted this to Trevin.
38 Gold Pieces
520 Silver Pieces
Pewter Drinking Stein worth 12 Gold
Silver Ring worth 30 Gold
Jade Carving of a Nude Female Elven Monk, 85 Gold
Silver Scroll Tube, waterlogged/unreadable scroll, but the tube itself is worth 25 Gold.

2000xp

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