Seeing as how they have been Standard Slayers for multiple missions, and they have performed…competently, I decided that it was time for my group to venture south, to protect the Slabí villages formed outside of the valley. For now, The Pánov have ruled that these settlements are still vital need to be protected, as humanity should not be trapped within the gulch.
As we all know, the first step to taking part in this missions is to activate the Portal Stone of the forest. This was the objective of our mission. Rin was not readily available, unfortunately, and I will arrange for her to activate the portal stone herself before any missions within the forest take place, and Kain, having fled The Citadel, was also unavailable. However, I was sent a new recruit, a being known only as WAR. Many of the group members were uneasy about the creature, if it can even be called that, and stayed uneasy about it throughout the mission. I, myself, am not entirely sure what it is.
In the briefing, I gave the group a folding boat and instructions on how to get to where they needed to be. Before leaving, Julius had the magical rope from a few missions prior identified. Apparently, is was a magical rope that would obey his every command.
So the group set forth through the valley. Thankfully, the thawing season was ending, and the worst they had to deal with was slush and mud. Unfortunately, I must report that WAR showed a strange disrespect for the other Slayers, and managed to scare their horses into fleeing simply by glaring at them. The group was scrambled, and thankfully managed to reorganize themselves, still, if they had been attacked during this, the results would have been disastrous.
They were attacked, however, the next day, by a group of Carnage Demons. Thankfully they were not powerful, and were easily dispatched by the party. However, further on in the forest they found a hastily built hut, containing a slaughtered family. Within the hut they found an amulet and a sword, both with strange eye-symbols on them. When tested for magic, they found no evidence of it on the amulet, but a powerful aura on the sword. Not knowing exactly what the symbol meant, they packed away both, and continued on.
After a few more days of travel, the group ran into a gnome burrow, which had probably once been built underneath the snow, but was now no longer hidden. Just as they encountered this den, the occupying gnome himself opened the door, and ran out, carrying a bag of goods. Most of the group took up chase, while Gonson stayed behind. As expected, they quickly caught up to the gnome, however, as soon as they did, they found that he was an illusion. Gonson, staying at the gnome den, spotted the real one leaving, and ran after him. Once again, a horse can easily outrun a short man with stubby legs, and Gonson tackled the gnome. The rest of the group arrived in time to see the two of them struggling on the ground, and everyone else joined in. They apprehended the Gnome and tied him up. He began to make negotiations, to which the group was cynical. They found four magical items in his bag, and he warned them that these were not properly made. However, he told them, there was something better. Cautiously, they followed them into his house, and he showed them what was apparently a stone that transformed into whatever gem they wanted it to be. They had the opportunity to sell this thing back to The Citadel for an unimaginable sum of money. Say what you like about these Slayers, but they did not accept the offer, and decided instead that the Gnome himself would be more valuable. So, they kidnapped him, and brought him with them.
As they moved south, they continued to harass the gnome, at some point forcing him to urinate while they held him above the ground from his hair. I, personally, don’t feel proud of the cruelty the group showed, but clearly within The Citadel this was not a problem.
Eventually, they reached the lake, where they activated the folding boat, and moved south across the water. Eventually, they ventured into the river, where the currents became rapid. They encountered ice floes, here, and slowed down or avoided them. Unfortunately, this became more difficult when they were attacked by a strange monster with a massive number of tentacles. The fight was long, and difficult, and during it Zayn was seriously injured. Thankfully, however, they eventually defeated it…only to almost run into the mountains on the edge of the river. After quickly turning the boat, they went the rest of the way down the river.
Finally, the group arrived in the forest. They folded the boat back up and traveled along the mountains. On the edge of the forest, as they wandered, Gonson decided to throw dirt at a tree.
I am not making this up.
He threw dirt at one of the trees. This tree and the tree next to it, with their roots, then formed a massive clot of dirt, and threw it at him. He was plastered to the ground, but thankfully alive. The rest of the group dragged him away. As they continued to travel through the forest, however, they encountered a strange woman sitting on a tree. Her skin and hair were pure white, and her eyes were bright red. Her speech was abrupt and random, and she would frequently call them rude and tell them she might eat them. Eventually, she introduced herself as Shanara, and told them that she would be their friend. The implications of this are uncertain.
Finally, they encountered the Portal Stone. Here, they injected their blood into the symbol so that they could teleport back to The Citadel. However, unfortunately, they realized that the Gnome they had been planning on bringing back did not have his blood in the Citadel fountain. Therefore, there was no way for him to come through. The discussion on what to do with him was short, Julius decided that he would kill him, and did so with no hesitation. Zayn prepared to cast a spell, but WAR interrupted this by grabbing him, and knocked Zayn unconscious. The group moved through the portal and returned to The Citadel.
As I write this, a trial will take place for Zayn. Several of the Slayers are disgruntled about Julius’s behavior. I am inclined to agree with them, though it certainly was not alright for Zayn to cast a spell on a fellow Slayer. After the results of this trial, we will see what the future of this group will be.
-High Priest, Novy Poradie