First real play session of our new #Stonetop group.
Some of the young girls in the village were daring each other to grab pretty stones from the Stream (a thing local kids do, apparently). One of them, the Blessed’s cousin, grabbed something silvery and shiny and wandered off into the Wood, ignoring the other.
The Ranger and the Would-Be Hero set off in pursuit, but (because the Ranger’s player cancelled unexpectedly), we said that they somehow got separated. The Would-Be Hero just turned away for a moment and BAM, the ranger and her saber-toothed lion were gone. So the Would-Be Hero made her way back home.
Following morning, the Blessed, the Seeker, the Would-Be Hero and the missing girls parents outfitted for a search party.
They went down to the Stream and the Blessed called up the Quiet Twins (local ghosts; he thinks they were once sacrificed to Danu) to ask where the girl went off to. After meeting their demands (that they give the Stream something sacred to Danu), the Twins told them that the girl had picked up a “madding stone, like quicksilver, shunned by all that is natural” and wandered off.
The Seeker, holding on to the Azure Hand, studied the ebb and flow of energies as the Twins manifested and departed, and he sensed some other presence nearby, watching them. It vanished as soon as he noticed it, though.
Some lore was spouted. Quicksilver is known to be associated with the Things Below, and madness. (A miss on a Spout Lore caused the Would-Be Hero to remember her days selling slaves to the Southerners, and the sub-human wretches they sometimes brought with them, the remains of less-useful slaves.)
The Seeker then tracked the energy trail that this “madding stone” left behind. They got to where the Would-Be Hero lost the Ranger, and found themselves near a large gray stone, smooth and covered in ancient Maker runes, moss-covered and overgrown with vines. The Seeker, still studying the flow of energies in the area, detects a… ripple in space, like a crease in a sheet. (“What’s a sheet?” asks the Blessed. “Is that some fancy southern contraption?”)
They Seeker reveals that the fae are often associated with distortions in space & time. Maybe this is related to them?
They back away from the big stone and fold in space, wondering what to do next. The Would-Be Hero hears something in the trees, biffs a Discern Realities check, and gets tackled by a nailadd, a giant jumping spider. The Blessed Moves to kick it off her, but gets tackled by another one!
There’s a desperate fight. The missing girl’s father stabs one of the spiders and gets his spear stuck in the thing. The girl’s mother freaks out and runs off into the woods. The Would-Be Hero gets poisoned and starts mildly hallucinating. So does the girls’ father. The Blessed realizes that their quicksilvery poison indicates they are perversions of nature, so he restrains one with Danu’s Wrath. The other he drives off with a spear, and it disappears inside the space-fold (but the iron axe that was stuck in its eye remains, dropping to the ground).
They pulverize the restrained spider, then set about treating the poison. The girl’s father is near death, and the Hero isn’t doing great either. The Blessed has to use all his remedies up to treat them, and the girl’s father is all groggy and barely able to stand. They track the girl’s mother and discuss what to do.
The Blessed mentions the iron axe remaining when the spider disappeared. The Seeker checks the area over and finds the Ranger’s steel-tipped arrows! This confirms that fae magic is involved, and they crack a book to learn more. It’s one of the Seeker’s old books of children’s stories, and they find a tale about this sort of “Waystone.”
The story involves a man who becomes enamored of a fae and sees her vanish near such a stone. He pines and pines for her, never able to find her until finally, in old age, his wits leave him. Finally, he finds the fae pathways and leaves. And according to the tale, almost a hundred years pass before he is seen again by his kin… and he hasn’t aged a day.
The Blessed brings up the idea that they could drug themselves with a little bit of the spiders’ hallucinogenic poison and make they’re way through the fae path. The Seeker suggests, perhaps, alcohol instead. The Would-Be Hero, still sort of tripping from the dose she got, is like “that’s ridiculous! I’ll prove it to you!” and she walks through the fold in space and disappears.
BUM BUM BUM!