Today we've got a player-written journal from one of my currently running games; the character, Aurelien the Greenmantle, a level 5 wizard who has been questing up and down the Lonely Lands and most recently entered the Rootwood with his companions, the Lamplighters (the ranger Jaquelline le Fevre, the paladin Quintis Beauclerc, and the strange and unpleasant wizard Theylon the Faceless).
3rd Furrow, 502
I have seen so many things, met so many wondrous and dire folk, but what record is there? When I saw that elven caravan before the wood, smashed and scattered by giant-tossed stones, I was reminded by that senseless wreckage by other black days. They left no record, and how many others fall to similar fates? I thought of the dessiccated corpse of Milea Potioner - long dead when I met her, but through her written word, in a way, I knew her there. So I will do the same; I will write of my travels, and if I should die, perhaps others will know me even still.
And so much is there to write upon! I have spoken this past night with an ent! And in the afternoon, a giant of the Rootwood! Birchtongue, and Terelos, respectively - these are great peoples, wondrous and inscrutable. How many men of eighteen short years have treated with giantkind in this Age? A lucky little few, I would wager, and more of them will I speak with in the coming days, if all goes well. It is morning, and soon I will speak to the withdrawn wizard with whom we travel - I thought to begin last night, for how could I sleep despite my weariness in the presence of such an ancient and thoughtful creature as the ent? but of course there can be no fire-light in his grove, so now let me gather my thoughts and I will present you, my future reader, with the marvels I have seen these past days.
Aha! First, let me begin with the whys and wherefores have I seen these things! If you are reading this and I am gone, perhaps so too is Thymrik, who I know now must be a lich or somesuch similar, the goblin-king, and that is the short of my purpose here. We Lamplighters seek a spelled blade called Goblindeath, or the Sword of Orne, for he fears it and we would have it, therefore, to discourage him at the least, and it is said that this blade was brought here by the giants who slew the goblin-company that stole the thing from the crypts of Orne before they could be sealed.
I feel we are getting closer to it - Birchtongue assures me that the Giant-lord Atreus of Asfelas in the Rootwood will know of it, or if he does not then Ogmenes Farwalker will.
We came to this place along the Black River on a black ship of the Moonstar Coster, captained by one fair elf called Theralonia Dayblade, and no sooner had we disembarked from her and gotten our beasts and wagon onto the smooth-worn stone pier than did the giant Terelos (somehow previously hidden! To think of the powers nature or skill must grant these massive people!) address us, amiable in his way, and inform us some of what we might find up the wide forest road - this is where I learned of Asfelas as the last haven of these forest giants of any size or import, and its Lord Atreus, and where we were told of Birchtongue, though not his nature (not that one who has never before met an ent can be prepared for the experience by word alone!) and his peaceful grove.
Along the way, we encountered a hideous thing, felled thankfully before it could do us much ill, in the shape of an ettercap. If you have not seen such a thing (nor read of them in some estimable bestiary), they are strange and cunning trapmakers with great-fanged maws, long-faced and with red, inhuman eyes, with great distended bellies and long clawed hands each reminiscent of a dangerous spider! Their bite is said to be poisonous, but luckily none of us Lamplighters had the misfortune of finding out for sure!
Thereafter, the night was peaceful - we had a scare when we saw what must surely have been its pets, great spiders in the trees (apple trees of a curious immensity, bearing fruit the size of a man's skull or bigger!), until Birchtongue awoke. So great and powerful and beneficient was he that we knew sooner than he said it that no such devils would molest us. Ents, if you have seen nor read about one, unlike the foul ettercap, I can only advise meeting! They are wondrous and strange - toeing the line between giant and tree, indeed, is as best I can describe that race, for it is sure that they are as diverse as the woods in which they live.
He hinted at some of the dark history of this place, how the giants have become scarce, and the elves have gone since the time of the bleeding plague, but I will not dwell on these things so close to my goal here and so much else. Now I must try and draw Theylon out and see what he might teach me, for here in this place of ancient power and mystery I can feel my own art - my very own being - maturing. He did suggest that we might learn from one another on the very day we met!