Sometimes, I really hate being in the Feywild. Nothing ever stays the same. One moment, everyone is fine and dandy, wandering around town figuring out our next step. The next, POOF! No one is to be found. Not that I had any time to think about this, as Drow started attacking everyone and the Bara‘Lohim suddenly started reverting to their old habits. Two of them even killed my father. His guards turned on him, not long after the mayhem started. Stabbed him through the heart, they did. That same night I packed my bags, found a traveler willing to phase to the material world, and left.
Things were looking up for the Feywild when I left, so I wasn’t worried. The one thing I was worried about, however, was Grandfather Oak. Something was wrong with him. He seemed to be…dying. Leaves were falling off and his lower branches were drooping. I don’t know how that would be possible, though. I think something is poisoning him. Maybe it has something to do with this crazy invasion of drow. Stupid drow…
Anyway, the traveler I hired crossed us over into Bradlick, which is the last of the traveler’s towns between Blackport and Moringrad, in the Khazak Mountains. It was getting late so I decided to stay at the Inn and wait till morning to set off so that I could avoid freezing in a snowdrift. I had just checked in and was getting settled in my room when I heard raised voices from the tavern area below. I stepped out of my room with my bow and looked over the ledge in order to investigate. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted by red-skinned best friend, Hope. I could, however, believe it as she was punched in the face. Such a hothead, Hope is. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but when that guy in the red cap kicked her, she flew through the air and landed on a table. Needless to say the table was destroyed. Hovan deflected an attack and Korgul bashed a red capped guy upside the head. I pulled back an arrow, aiming for the biggest guy in the room, and missed. My arrows clinked off of his armor. Not quite the entrance I was expecting but I’ll take what I can get. One of the offenders attacked Korgul, kicking him in the solar plexus. He went flying through the air and landed on the balcony with me. I stepped out of the way to avoid the half-orc. He looked at me, shrugged, and jumped over the ledge and back into battle.
I finally sank an arrow in the neck of one of the offenders, killing him. As he was gurgling his last breaths, his features shifted, becoming grossly grotesque. I recognized him as a fey creature with a special love for children. Damn fey creatures. A sick feeling entered my stomach as I looked at him. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt like this was my fault…
The last standing offender threw up his hands, crying out his surrender. Hovan lowered his weapons, but the damn thing attacked anyway. I figured he would… Korgul killed the idiot, and I started making my way down the stairs to the tavern below.
As I reached the bottom floor, I heard the outraged and panicked voices of the village people who had been in the tavern during the fight. I greeted the Champions and was introduced to Jonas, who was escorting the Champions, minus Brigga, to his homeland to help secure what lands the dwarves still held. Hovan explained to the tavern people that the appearance of the red caps meant that there were not enough candles in the windows to keep them away. Many of the town’s people spoke of loved ones who had gone missing, mainly children. The appearance of the red caps at the same time as my crossing over was no coincidence. They probably used the same portal I did. We decided to get horses and go looking for the children the next day.
The next morning, I lead the Champions to the access point I has used to cross over. Along the way, we met a man looking for his son, and explained that we were looking for other children who had gone missing. We promised to keep an eye out for him and continued on our way. At the circle of dead trees which served as the portal’s location, I see heavy boot prints and horse tracks in the frozen ground leading away from the access point. This just confirmed our suspicions. We headed back into town to see if anyone new in town had stabled their horse.
We left with more questions than answers. We head up the main road, to the Carter house, and find a little girl. I knelt down and start talking to the little girl, Teresa. She offered me tea, while she told me about her friend, the Butterfly lady. Hovan lost his patience and ambled over to us. He declined the offered tea, and then decided to sit down where the ‘butterfly lady’ was sitting. Teresa was not happy with Hovan. She quickly stood up and began walking up the street, away from us. I glared daggers at Hovan but then decided to follow Teresa, hoping she would be able to shed some light on the disappearances in the town. Korgul and Hope followed her as well, but Hope is so obvious it’s pitiful. Teresa spotted her quickly and raised the alarm. The towns constable hastened towards them and arrested Hope for harassing the poor little girl. He went off on some rant about how children were missing and she looked suspicious and more junk while Hope attempted to get an explanatory word in edgewise. I just shook my head and continued following the girl. I would deal with the Constable later.
Teresa knocked on a door at the end of the road and was admitted entrance. The man who opened the door gave me the willies, especially the way he looked around before shutting the door. I watched Korgul sneak up to the window, and kept watch while he looked around. We headed back to get the rest of the Champions and spring Hope from jail. I still don’t know how she gets herself into these situations.
Korgul and I gather Hovan and Jonas and headed towards the jail house in town. I talked to the constable, explaining that though Hope looked dangerous, she was really quite harmless. Hope wasn’t helping anything, though. She kept exclaiming that she was harmful and it took everything I had in me to keep from killing her myself. Finally, the constable agrees to let her go, after I convince him that we are the Champions of Blackport and were trying to find the missing children and that we needed Hope, for 50 pieces of gold as bail. I gladly gave him the money and dragged Hope out of the jailhouse with me. We stop a man on the street and ask about the house that Teresa had gone into. He said it belonged to the Butcher family. They had two daughters, Susie and Karen. The family hardly ever showed up at church was rumored to follow the old ways. The man didn’t seem to be excited about talking about them, so we bid him farewell and made our way back to the house.
The first thing I noticed, that I hadn’t seen before, was hoof prints in the ground. I slowly made my way around back while Hope headed towards the cellar. I see her and begin making my way to her. Jonas knocked on the front door as Hope tries the cellar door and I fall on my arse. A unicorn charges out of the cellar doors and impales Hope with its ice encrusted horn. Hope fell and the unicorn pushed me past him, into the room. I stop dead in my tracks, my eyes staring around the room unbelieving.
The cellar was coated in several layers of ice and frost. The missing children were all there, smiling and playing on ice slides and with snowmen in the twisted winter wonderland I had stumbled into. The children were smiling, obviously having the time of their lives, but I could tell that they were getting cold. Their little lips were turning blue, and one child lay frozen in the corner, dead, with a smile upon his lips.
A pixie flew up to me, an angry twist to his mouth.
“What are you doing?! We are having fun! You’re going to ruin it! We are just having FUN!!” One of the snowmen came to life, his coal eyes bursting into flame. Smoke rings enveloped me for a moment, but I heard Hope fighting with the unicorn. I stamped down on the panic that threatened to rise up in me. I fought my way out of the room as Hovan, Korgul, and Jonas, fought to get in. I needed to move back so that I could use my arrows, but it was hard. The pixies seemed to be picking on me, and that damn unicorn just loved Hope and Korgul.
It was hard to fight around the children. They seemed to be enchanted. Jonas blasted through a group of them, knocking one down. When one of the snowmen was finally defeated, it blew up and the child died. In the end, we defeated the fey creatures and pulled the rest of the children to safety, out of the room. I choked back tears as I carried the frozen boy out and laid him next to the child killed during the battle. We sat the surviving children on the horses and lead them back to town. I wanted to get my money from the constable and get the hell out of dodge.