Subject: Moving on
Flint gives the party an hour or so to help however then can. Ragnar, Harp and Kal spend most of their time doing what healing they can. All of the survivors are wounded in some way. Many have broken bones from buildings collapsing on them while others have far worse. Any one caught outside during the storm has serious acid burns over most of their bodies. The two healers are unable to heal the worst of the wounds, but they are able to alleviate much of the pain. They are just about done when they hear Mund and Ally cry for help.
The two clerics and Kal rush to where the two humans are. They find Mund trying to lift a great beam off a collapsed pile of wood, what looks to have once been a store of some sort. Ally tells them "Sysyphys says that there is someone alive under all this. We need to get the beam off so we can get in there." Harp and Ragnar rush up to help Mund with the beam. Putting their backs under the beam all three of them heave with all their might. The huge log barely moves. Sweat running down their faces Harp turns to Kal "Do you have that spell of strength still prepared?" Kal nods yes. "Now would be a good time to use it. Cast it on me. There is not enough room in here for more than us three." Kal nods and chants the strength spell. He touches Harp when he is done and Harp feels the power surge through him.
"Now, one, two, three!!" Harp yells and the three lift again. The beam moves further this time. Ally scrambles on the ground, trying to get into the small hole that has opened up. He worms his way in but stops short. "It's not enough. I can't get hold of whoever is in there." Mund growls "Damn it, I'm not letting them druids get another body. Not if I can help it." Mund roars with frustration. The sound is animalistic, beastly. Suddenly the beam shifts another few inches. "That's got it" Ally yells as he wriggles his way under the debris. A muffled "I've got him" comes to the three. "Hurry up, I can't keep this up forever" is Mund's strained reply. Seconds later Ally backs out of the hole, dragging a young boy with him.
The young boy is in surprisingly good shape. A bit roughed up, but the pile of fallen timbers has protected him from exposure to the elements. He is hungry and thirsty, but only has minor cuts and bruises. As Ally leads him over to one of the druids, the dwarf, the ½ orc and the human collapse onto the pile slowly recovering from their efforts. Ragnar turns to Mund "I want to thank you for this small victory against what was done to Bodentown." Mund grunts, not sure how to respond to this thanks. "Sure, no problem."
Flint and Salix ride up a few minutes later, Ally already on his horse next to them. "We need to leave in the next few minutes if we are to get the gem today. Kal and the other three nod and soon the party is mounted and on the road again. They ride at an easy gallop for the first hour, reaching the edge of the woods. They move slower the next hour as they move deeper into the woods. Just around noon, they hear a familiar sound, that of a waterfall. Within 15 minutes the party finds themselves at the base pool of a large waterfall. Not as large or as powerful as the one they had seen at the headwaters of the Rushing River, but still good sized. "Gather all of your gear. We will not be riding back from here." As the party gathers their gear, Flint speaks to all of the horses. His stallion knickers ascent and leads the other horses back west, towards where the druids had set up camp.
"What you are about to see, normally only Fathers and Mothers of the Order see. They are brought here to be initiated into Fatherhood or Motherhood. Now, please join hands and follow me. GreenBrother Salix, bring up the rear. Flint leads the party up a winding path that follows the side of the pool and goes up to the side of the falls. Over the roaring crash of the waterfall Flint yells "When we go through the falls, do not let go of the next person in line." Flint then turns back to the sheet of water and starts to chant. As he does a strange shimmer starts to form within the falling water. Seconds later a silvery door or opening can be seen with in the falls. Flint motions the party forward, and hand on shoulders they follow him into the falls.
The thundering sound and pounding force of the falls disorients the party members. It takes them a few seconds to realize that they are not in some dark, wet cave behind the falls, but in front of another set of falls. The sun has moved in the sky and is now much lower in the eastern sky. It appears to be mid morning instead of noon. "Come this way" Flint says, leading them to a green grassed path that leads down from this new falls. The surrounding area is as different as night and day. This woods looks almost pristine. There are no dead trees, everything is green and growing. As they look out from where they are they can see that they are on one edge of a round valley, almost a caldera, surrounded by high mountains. The bowl looks to be a couple of miles across and a sylvan scene spreads out below them.
Salix gasps and points to the middle of the bowl. It takes the others a few seconds to realize what they are seeing. It is a tree, but not just any tree. It looks to be several hundred feet high, easily the tallest tree any of them have ever seen. Also, it is not built like most tall trees, skinny and thin. This tree is almost as broad as it is tall. "This is the WorldTree. As far as we can tell, it has been growing here since the start of the world. We think that the world might end if it ever died. It is the father of all trees." The awe in his voice is obvious. The party is startled when a voice rings out "In the name of the WorldTree, who passes?"
OODM: Any commentary or role playing is allowed. I might write more tonight.
Subject: Moving on
Well, Salix will defer to Flint.
Subject: Moving on
Mund hadn't cared two whits when the druids had looked at him funny for carrying an axe into their forest, but now, in the presence of the WorldTree, Mund wishes he didn't have a couple of axes strapped to his waist.