Mentathenis, pops the lid on the chest, an eye shattering light rips through the library. Before it blinds him fully, he is able to catch a glimpse of the chest’s contents. A strange pulsing orb and a dagger…
Then the light is ripped away into darkness and he hears a whisper…“Welcome back.”
The Hollow Tree
The environment has changed, the air around the heroes is no longer that of a dank dusty old library, but one of a cool forest.
As their eyes and ears adjust, they find themselves at the bottom of a gigantic tree’s hollowed stump. Sam, Andurel the librarian and the guard, Reginald stand disoriented. All around them hums the sound of wildlife. Golden runes, nested in the soft grass at their feet pulse, shatter into shards of sparkling glass and begin to fade away. A silver wisp of calming light floats nearby. It shifts and quickly flies away through a crack in the withered husk of the long dead tree.
Mentathenis is glowing. His skin is more translucent than usual, and through his veins pulse streams of light. His sky blue eyes are lit, and his hair is positively radiant… Andurel looks the same, as he is no longer a ghost, but once again, a living breathing eladrin, he stands in shock, but ecstatic to be alive. Reginald is freaked. Mentathenis is in bliss.
Suddenly. They hear a cracking and splitting, as if something is trying to break it’s way through the wall. Then they realize it’s already through, and was there the whole time, a tree sized treant stomps it’s way towards the four in anger.
Reginald moves in to do his guard job, Andurel rushes in to flank and Mentathenis and Sam launch their attacks and support from afar. The Treant hits hard but Sam knows they are highly vulnerable to fire and calls it out. Mentathenis hits it with a scorching burst and then conjures a flaming sphere. Reginald keeps it’s attention with taunts. During the fight The eladrin wizard determines that the Treant is under some sort of enchantment, though it is not corrupted. He lets the others know that it is okay to burn it down. And that’s what happens.
They move to the crack in the tree where the wisp disappeared and they discover a double magically sealed door. The first of which, Mentathenis is able to deactivate, the second, is typically a password in elvish. Being the Feybough into the Wizard’s tower of Baldur’s Gate, He recalls the password through ancient texts he once studied. “Tenna’ telwan san” “Until later then.” The side of the tree opens up to reveal a passage through and into the greater Feywild.
Through the Feywild
They make their way through the wild, skipping over huge rocks and ducking under giant roots of tress. Slippery moss covers everything. The etherial light finds it’s way through the cover and ignites dew into sparkling crystals of green and blue. They drip into the air and float away. Nearly everything in the Feywild displays a shifting subtle bioluminescence, when caught at just the right light entire forests can light up in life.
Sam catches sight of the wisp, zipping through the woods to the north. The sky is slowly growing lighter as the four enter into the swamp lands.
As they descend into the swampy territory, a thin layer of mist floats along the ground, obscuring it from their view and only a few giant twisted trees stretch above the veil. They tromp across the muddy landscape, sloshing through puddles and tripping over uneven terrain. Frogs and crickets sound all around.
Somewhere nearby, they can hear the sound of female laughter echo across the mist and can hear female voice say “Naa ta lle yeste? Naa lle sinome a’sina?” Mentathenis translates it to common from elvish for his companions “Is it your first time? Or are you here to reminisce?”
Sam, Andurel and Mentahenis attempt to locate where the voice came from, but can’t figure it out, and then it speaks again….“You won’t find anything if you are, hehe, it’s not here anymore, once you fail, you fail.” To which The eladrin queries “Here for what?”
And she replies “I’ve seen a bunch of you eladrin, prancing through goin’ on your trials…”
Andurel recommends that they move on and ignore the voice, Mentathenis responds that he is not on any trial, and they are trying to find their way back to Baldur’s Gate.
“Oh, interesting.” The girl says.
Sam continues to look around for the girl, but instead discovers a small red and black frog sitting on a log. It stares at the changeling and then looks at Mentathenis and speaks! “It is nice to see one more anyways, and his friends” Mentathenis picks up the poisonous frog with Mage Hand. Upside down she says “I could be a friend! I could be your best friend! For the right price.”
“Who are you?” He asks.
“My name is Nitzi, and I’m very poisonous, so be carefull!”
He shakes her around a little bit in attempts to get information but she doesn’t give in, only begging to be let down as she is starting to feel sick.
In effort to sell she tells him that The other eladrin, those who return, have told her stories about the trials. Finally Sam talks her price to speak down from 300 gold to 20 and she accepts, yawns and asks that they Just drop the gold in the water. Mentathenis sets her down, and she tells him “You must choose the weapon. It’s the only thing that will save you!” And he asks “From what?” She smiles, turns, and starts to climb back down the log into a hole.
“From your friends.”
The mist is clears, shapes begin to emerge from the white, and in the everpresent light they bloom into fanning ferns, beautiful flowered stalks and twisting bizarre plants of all shapes and sizes. In the water at their feet, they can see hundreds and hundreds of gold coins scattered about. There is far more than their own 20 coins under the water.
Behind them, they can hear Nitzi yell out…
“The forest is dangerous between here and the trials. Be-waaaaaaare! Hehe!”
The Friendly Satyr
The Feywood begins to grow dark and the four hear music on the wind. Following, it grows louder, the sound of a pan flute, and quite a beautiful melody, until winds pick up and drown it out. It appears that a fey storm is gathering. Up ahead they can see a dark wall of foliage, that they push through into a beautiful little glade, On an enchantingly ray lit grassy mound, is a cottage. There is a Satyr on it’s porch, playing the flute.
When they enter the glade, the little daisies turn their petals and awe at the four walking into the garden.
The goat man notices them, then hesitantly walks over to them and introduces himself as the friendly Satyr. They ask if they can find shelter and he says yes, but only for the night.
The winds outside begin to pick up to hurricane levels. A heavy shower pours into the forest. Trees at the edge of the glade are waved back and forth, struggling to hold themselves together.
“Oh my-y, a feyyyyystorm! The friendly satyr says. “Very dangerous! You stay safe in herrre.”
He turns to each of the heroes and asks them to tell him about themselves. And they do. He then offers to show them some magic, enters his bedroom and returns with an illuminated sword. Which he presents as having been his grandfather’s, a great slayer of unfriendly satyr.
Mentathenis asks to examine the sword and identifies it as being called the Infinity Blade. He is awe stricken by it’s power and says " In the wrong hands it can be very dangerous, but in the right, it could be used to great effect against the forces of evil." The satyr asks if his hands are the right ones and Mentathenis replies that they are, and the Satyr offers him the blade. He accepts.
The friendly satyr also offers three more magical items to Sam, Andurel and Reginald, a dagger called the Shifting Slicer. A Codex of Sorting and a Halberd of Courage respectively. They accept them all along with four trinkets of moderate magical properties. An hour glass, a stepping stone, a key and a vial of air.
The friendly satyr laughs maniacally then begins to grow. His eyes turn a burning red and he says “Your greed has made me powerful! Now you will pay in kind with your lives!” He attacks.
After a quick battle, they manage to lay the satyr in his bed and put him to sleep, the weapons that he gave disappear but the trinkets remain, and the fey storm outside subsides, allowing the four to exit the glade and continue on.
Four for Four
After a short trek they come across a wide dry river. Huge boulders are scattered about. Using caution, Sam picks up a rock and chucks it into the bed. The pebbles begin to shift and roll to the side. Then the larger rocks begin to follow. A huge stone flips itself on end and rolls away ricocheting off of two larger rocks which rock back and then come barreling forward, slamming against other giant boulders. All the rocks in the bed start rumbling. Thinking it far too dangerous to cross for fear of being crushed, Mentathenis tries to use one of the trinkets. He pulls out the hourglass and flips it over, suddenly all the rocks stop in time, allowing the heroes to make their way quickly to the other side. The hourglass disappears
Soon after, the four find themselves standing in front of a fifteen foot high Wall of Writhing Thornes, Sam takes out the flat stepping stone and places it on the ground. It creates a floating staircase up and over the wall allowing them to pass. The staircase and the original stone disappear.
When they find themselves in the middle of another beautifully lit glade in center of five trees at each point of a star. Mystical sparkles rise from the grass, as if the whole area is imbued with magic. They discover that each tree has a word written upon it in a language they have never seen but Mentathenis thinks it similar enough to elvish that he can translate them. One of the trees has a hollow knot in it.
“Mani naa ta lle merna” meaning: “What is it you want?”
Mentathenis pops the top on the vial of air and as he approaches the tree with the knot in it, he begins to discorporate and flow into the dark hole. Then he thinks about what he wants, to return to Baldur’s Gate and through the hole he can see the ruined wizard tower of the city. Changing his mind, he chooses to continue on to his trials and the vision through the knot changes accordingly, to another area in the Feywild. He and Sam allow themselves to be sucked into the hole to the other side. Andurel says he wants to see his daughter, and through the knot sees that she is alive and well in Silverymoon, working in a library. He is happy with that vision and asks to see Mentathenis, then discorporates and drifts to join he and Sam on the other side. Reginald, tired of the Feywild and just wanting to return to his duties as guard of The Gate, changes the view to the ruined wizard’s tower, and drifts through. The knot closes and the vial of air disappears.
Mentathenis, Sam, and Andurel make their way into a darker area where a strange viridian glow is present. As they crest a hill, below in a blackwood, burning green sap belches from the trees, pouring out in streams and forming slow moving rivers of sticky flaming molten sludge. Andurel uses the last trinket, the key and walks towards the sap where it clicks into an invisible lock. When he turns it, the glowing outline of a door appears and he opens it. A mirror of the door becomes visible on the far side of the sap field. They walk through the threshold and come safely out the other door. The key and the two magical doors disappear.
The Tower of Starlight
They move into a large field of flowers and watch as three huge roots erupt from the ground before them. They twist around each other and stretch toward the canopy of the forest. As they rise together, they pale and begin to change into a pearlescent, semi translucent structure, stars and galaxies swirl within it’s crystalline walls. A door forms at it’s base and the roots extend five stories into the air before stopping. Something emits a glow at the top of the tower.
Andurel stays at the bottom as Mentathenis and Sam climb it’s spiral stairs.
At the top, a glowing being, shaped as an eladrin female floats in the center of the disc that they now stand upon. Her eyes are locked upon Mentathenis. And in his head he can hear a whisper…
“Mentathenis, you may ask me one question.”
He asks, “Why am I here?” And she replies, “For your trials, let’s begin.”
A spectral image of the Infinity Blade appears, and spins in the center of the floor. Around the edge of the tower, spectral images of Mentathenis’ and Sam’s friends.
Lythannis Ec’thillion struggles to sift through the rubble of the Wizard’s Tower in Baldur’s Gate, A look of fear masked by resolve across his face.
Aces, Modreg, Ehd, Cliff, Terrlen, Megilwath and Fanidea are circled, talking. They share a look of worry coupled with determination, they rock back and forth on a ship in the ocean.
Saranine Lunathalia is chained by glowing shackles, she has her nose buried in a book. Something draws her attention and she looks up, hesitant hope is glimpsed in her eyes before she sighs and returns to her reading in disappointment.
Symernia the Nightbringer leads an army of demons against a small village on a strange desert landscape. For a moment, in her eyes, flashes a cry for help then they burn up in focused hatred as she slices through her enemies.
Krushi appears to be flying through darkness, really fast, and straight down. Lightning trails out in lengths behind her and she leaves a funnel of swirling mist in her wake. For a moment, Mentathenis and Sam think they see her grin.
The glowing eladrin woman giggles.
Mentathenis says “Let’s get this done!” And grabs the Infinity Blade.
“Battle Mage indeed…you may not like my choices.” says the glowing woman…“Lythannis. Just a friend or is he more? As you are unwilling to sacrifice for him, you must fight for him.”
The spectral image of Lythannis steps onto the platform anger in his eyes. He draws an arrow from his bow and fires it at Mentathenis hitting him in the shoulder. He returns fire with his spells and Sam helps to keep the eladrin wizard alive against his friend. Eventually, without too much trouble, the arcane archer is defeated and his image is dispelled.
“Saranine Lunathalia, Saranathia, the Radiant Dawn. Though she can still be saved, lets see what will become of her if she is not.”
The spectral image of Saranine breaks her shackles as her skin decays turning into a lich. She steps onto the platform, and moves to destroy Mentathenis. She attacks with necrotic spells and abilities and the Eladrin fights back with Magic Missiles. Below, hearing the impact of the magic, Andurel decides Mentathenis may actually need his help and runs up the tower to engage. Sam does a good job of keeping her eladrin friend alive and with Andurel’s radiant damage preventing the lich of Saranine from regenerating, they are able to take her down, and she disappears.
“Though you have chosen battle as your answer, you have the will and power to carry it through, no matter the obstacle. You are ready.”
The glowing woman raises her hands and into them she summons Nitzi the frog. Who cries out “Whhoaaaaaaa! Where am I? What’s going onnnn?” The frog explodes into golden light and transforms into the shape of an eladrin girl. A red robe swirls out of the air to cover her dew kissed porcelain skin. Her hair turns from golden light to a shining black.
She looks at her arms and in shock she says, “I, I have…fingers! Oh wow, I’m tall! I’m! I’m! What am I?”
Mentathenis asks the glowing woman “Who is the dark haired eladrin?”
The glowing woman answers “Her name is Nitzi Starfeon, She is your apprentice. Train her well.”
Then she turns and opens a portal into a forest.
“This will lead you into Silmataurea, Neverwinter Wood, where the next stage of your your journey begins. Tenna’ telwan san.” And she turns back into a wisp and disappears.
Andurel congratulates Mentathenis and bids both he and Sam farewell, jumping from the tower and blinking into the Feywild below.
Mentathenis looks towards Nitzi and says “Come along!” She and Sam follow him through the portal and into Neverwinter Wood.