Episode Thirty Three - The Wild Zone
Episode Thirty Three – The Wild Zone (Level 13)
DM – Kristy
*Vash and Ichtaca are deep in the wild zone, drawing a feral Chamanaltia after them, in hopes of bringing her back to the others and finding a way of restoring her missing sentience. Mosslings are attacking those back at the boat, dragging them off into the wild zones, where certain moss-and-vine filled groves of nut-trees have become killing grounds
*Vash and Ichtaca become spiritually connected when Ichtaca visualizes a spiritual tree spreading out of him while perched on Vash’s head. A series of other magical mishaps have left Ichtaca six inches tall and glowing brightly.
*Ichtaca tries again to force his will on the semi-sentient jungle, and his mind is swept into the jungle consciousness, leaving only a feral wild animal’s instincts and reasoning behind, in Ichtaca’s case, much like a wolf. Joined to Vash’s spirit, Ichtaca’s mind takes Revikoth with him into the jungle’s consciousness. He and Revikoth clash there, arguing over Vash and the best course of action.
*Vash rushes to the boat, all while keeping the feral Chamanaltia from catching him. He uses shadow-cold magic, which the wild zone enhances so much that he’s freezing plants, to shatter a path through the jungle. No one is left at the boat, however, when he slides to a stop in front of it.
*Meanwhile, the shadow-creatures summoned to protect Captain Harr rose up not as mindless servants, but beings of intelligence and power, born out of his shadow. One of them is the shadow-creature of Catzin’s that Revikoth murdered back in Imminaron. He gives that shadow stewardship over the new ones, and it seems relieved to have him back instead of Revikoth. Vash convinces the shadows to immobilize Chamanaltia inside the boat.
*Vash rushes to catch his friends before the mosslings get them to the killing ground, but it’s a close call. The mosslings have given their prisoners to vines, and everyone is being dragged across the ground into the wild zone. Tobias suffers multiple fractures, and is knocked unconscious. Everyone is pierced by feeder vines, being sucked dry.
*Vash tries to communicate with feral Ichtaca, and, finding his intelligence like that of a wolf, convinces his “packmate” to “hunt” with him and “defend their females” through basic gestures and their spiritual connection. Feral Ichtaca seems particularly excited to be reunited with the group’s females.
*Vash and Feral Ichtaca catch up with the group, where the six inch tall, naked barbarian enthusiastically leaps onto Lyda, trying to free her from her vines and confirm her as his mate. Vash is left to help the others, and calls on shadow magic, using the wild zone to make it even more powerful. Because his shadow magic is connected with Ulmhasa, former goddess of ice as well as shadow, he unintentionally invokes cold, too. He kills 150 smaller mosslings, also severely chilling his own friends, which kills crewman Bayereth. The remaining mosslings, some 30 larger ones, are enraged, moving in for the kill.
*Meanwhile, Ichtaca’s mind, still merged with the jungle, finds and frees Chamanaltia’s mind, sending her back to her body and asking her to guard the ship. He then struggles to control the jungle and use it. He agrees to work with Revikoth, letting that one enter his mind a little, just a little, so the two of them can coordinate dominating the jungle. Between the two of them, they manage to get the wildlings to attack the eitharmos instead of the party. The wildlings move vast, using root gates to teleport from tree to tree and cover miles at once.
*Ichtaca channels huge amounts of primal magic into the jungle from its wild zones, enabling it to grow rapidly and attack the nearby eitharmos camp. Although he kills 80 soldiers, 20 demon dogs, and severely damages both Nassa, rendering them unable to pursue for now, he unintentionally creates a larger problem for the region.
*Reaching out to determine what is going on with the jungle, Ichtaca finds that it is connected to other jungles and vast forests around the world. Not just here, but all around the equator, where the spreading edges of the worldfire fire with primal magic, the jungles are coming to life, spreading slower than the naked eye can see, but still far faster than they should, consuming cities. Wild lands everywhere are becoming nexxi of primal magic. This particular stretch of jungle became even more off balance during the conjunction of stars, when a local circle of standing stones erupted in arcane magic, creating the wild and dead zone. A bulge in the worldfire pressed downwards, bringing the jungle to semi-sentience. Now, Ichtaca has charged it with reams of focused primal magic and flooded it with even more aggression. Left unchecked, it will spread much faster and be nearly unstoppable, consuming nearby cities in a manner of weeks, including the one they just left behind.
*Ichtaca harnesses the wild primal magic again, and channels the extra energy of this forest into a massive root gate by the ship, knowing that it will take them to some other jungle in Vinramar, but not knowing where. The gate will draw in the jungle’s excessive magic to stay open. When the extra magic is gone, and both wild and dead zones are destroyed, the gate will collapse. This process will take months, but should restore the local jungles to the lesser state of imbalance that existed before the conjunction of stars.
*Returning to the ship, Ichtaca and Lyda (escorted by Vash) go back into the wild zone, where Lyda is able to restore him to his normal size. In doing so in the wild zone, many of the spirit animals he has been seeing (under the influence of spirit-herbs) form a permanent link with him as spirit-guides, granting him some of their wisdom and promising to tutor him further in wisdom in his dreams. (+1 attribute bonus to wisdom)
*The party uses Waylin’s cleverly engineered sledges and pulleys to lever the ship into the root gate, which manifests as a huge, dark sink-hole in the ground, festooned with roots hanging down into the darkness. They are swept through darkness and find themselves in another jungle. Tobias and Jennish search the stars, identifying their location as in Arrochule, the great jungle of Holthirien.
*Vash and Ichtaca are still spirit-linked, and Ichtaca can now hear Revikoth talking.
*All those dragged off by the mosslings were pierced by the vines’ feeder tendrils, and most fall ill with the same fever that afflicts Jennish and the crew. They are delirious, and the ship needs crew. The warforged are functional again, and are a huge help, but they cannot handle more complicated tasks.
*Chamanaltia has her hands full treating the sick, and Vash and Ichtaca have their hands full keeping the warforged crew on task and getting the ship out of the jungle. They head north for the coast, then west along it to the city of Dulunum, Arrochule. They pass by many abandoned villages and cities on the way, empty buildings being devoured by the jungle.
*Port authority officials arrive, and a Yaelcar kindred heathfolk (anti-magic, anti-religion, shave manes, dress in black) is brought in as a translator. He tries to overcharge them for docking fees, but Vash talks him back down to the normal fee of 200 gp for the week. The officials search the ship for contraband, but do not find the warforged or any magic items, which Vash and Carmenith hide in the bilge in crates, under stagnant water. The Yaecar, an ex-patriot of Yarcarrach, gives them a list of local friends and relatives who may be interested in hiring on as crew, and patronizingly warns Vash not to indulge in his fey magic, if he has such tricks. The locals will stone him.
Glory points for Ichtaca, wisdom increase for Ichtaca, both due to fusion with his spirit-guides
Regained the airship Harlequin