A trio of fey approached the tear and told Red Justice that they shouldn’t be here and needed to leave. Red Justice was provided time to get out of the Dreaming while the fey group soothed the lost souls trying to escape and set up a device which would seal the tear. Meanwhile, there was something huge and shadowy barrelling through the forest directly toward them. Time was short and they had to make a decision /now/.
Though Archibald argued for departing the Dreaming, he was heavily outnumbered… and too reluctant to just take the lead. Fagen and Qui’las began galloping away, and the rest of the party followed. Quickly. The tear was sealed, denying exit through that means, and the fey were left to fend off the massive shadowbeast.
They headed off to the east, where the fey had mentioned they might be safe, in Lastlight.
The Wandering Stranger
After several minutes of riding, they came upon a man in the middle of the road, walking toward them despite the strange sounds off in the distance. Unlike the lost souls, he looked fairly corporeal. He offered to help escort them to their final resting place—why else would a non-fey be in the Dreaming—but they explained that they were heading to Lastlight to speak with Queen Sibella. Unsure of where he was going and where he even is, when the party offered to allow him to travel with them, the stranger, Jishin Kala, agreed and was provided a magical mount by Arch.
Tricks and Treachery
Further along the road, the earth rose up to attack them. Well, specifically, to attack Carver. A dirt-covered teenage girl appeared in front of them, calling out to Carver. However, his fears proved flimsy and easily conquered: Tomu charged the girl with the intent of subduing her… and she crumbled to dust. When Carver fell to the ground upon attempting to hastily dismount the horse he shares with Qui’las, no further phantoms attempted to attack.
Instead, Spikka had picked up on another consciousness nearby… and, upon finding the source, welcomed Wul, a blackish green tree-fey, to join her. Wul was all too eager to do so, climbing up onto Spikka’s horse with very little hesitation… which made the rest of the party suspicious. Wul tried to steer the party toward a nearer city, explaining that it was closer, safer… but certain members of the party were having no part of it. After some discussion with Archibald, Fagen suggested setting Wul on fire… and Qui’las agreed, burning her from the inside out. After trying to put the party to sleep, she fled. It’s unknown whether Wul died from her injuries.
The Sacred Grove
After a long day of travelling, trusting Fagen’s confident navigation, they chose to stop in a copse off the side of the road. Qui’las setup an alarm spell, but they scheduled a watch all the same. Near midnight, when the moon was directly over the grove, they heard giggling off in the distance and found a pair of female fey leading a distractedly aroused man to the grove. Upon finding it already occupied, they were quite disappointed and took their catch elsewhere to bind him to their will with food and fucking. As she was leaving, one of the fey girls said, “Don’t forget to pay the toll,” but refused to answer further questions as the party had not been particularly polite.
Jishin, who had been invisible, courtesy of Qui’las, so that he could scout, went to talk to the girls after he became visible again, catching them mid-coitus with the man. The friendlier of the fey girls, though, stepped away to invite him in; he declined and asked more politely about the nature of the ‘toll’. He brought the answer back to the party, and, much to Ychora’s delight, most of the party chose to sacrifice a little blood to the grove in gratitude for the safety and power it provided them. Well, not that most of them took advantage of that power…
Qui’las did perform a divination in the grove before they left, though he had to give more of himself than usual to get any answers.
While the party was mostly content to just follow Fagen who seemed so confident in where he was going, Qui’las dissented upon coming across a particular intersection, advising the middle path instead of the left path which Fagen was so certain would get them where they needed to go. He explained that he had performed a divination which indicated an opportunity to cut their travel time from eight days to, perhaps, four. Fagen told him, “I need a little more to go on here. I don’t just blindly follow people on paths…” Much debate ensued, but Archibald and Spikka, trusting in Qui’las’ skill as a diviner, started down the middle path before they could agree.
Fagen’s distrust for this departure from what he knew to be the right path caused shadows to darken along the path and inspired the party to see differing things when a pair of riders approached in the distance. Some saw, truly, the Summer Court guards in their gilded traveling regalia, while others saw sinister Winter Court guards demanding that they lay down their weapons. Thankfully, Jishin greeted them as Summer Court guards, which caused others to rethink what they were seeing. Qui’las struggled to shake off the illusion, however, and nearly drew his rapier on those who might be able to help. Clever as he is, Qui’las knew something was wrong when he was the only one of the party not convinced they would soon be under attack or arrest, and he, too, was able to clear his vision.
The guards informed the party that the path they were walking was dangerous… but upon finding out that Red Justice is seeking to deliver a message from the Viridian Maiden to Queen Sibella, they offered to escort them through the Veil, down shorter paths, to expedite their arrival at Lastlight.