Thrones of Dust

18th Session

At the entrance of the cave stands an obelisk, covered with names (though there are a number of blank spaces at the bottom). Intrigued but unable to glean any knowledge from it, the party decides to move through the cave. Once through, the heroes step out into the brilliant morning sunlight in the Goldenwood valley. The colors here seem brighter, the air fresher and hinting of flowers. Around the party and far ahead up the slopes of the valley, tall, beautiful trees climb high into a clear blue sky. A shallow stream flows across their path, glittering in the sunlight, with banks of soft, warm, sun-dappled sand.

But it would seem that the Goldenwood does not appreciate interlopers. As the party makes its way across the shallow water, roots and brambles writhe and rise from the sand and dirt to fight them off. Though pinned by foot long thorns, battered by rocks wrapped in roots and lashed by vines, the heroes dispatch the animated plants, and continue climbing the uphill trail.

They manage barely a minute of travel before they are once again stopped. However, this time they are confronted by a pair of whimsical creatures; Satyrs, who had been watching the fight, hidden in the woods. One is a youthful piper, who greets the party warmly, welcoming them to the forest. The other is a bald, surly older pathfinder, who is distrustful of the heroes and disgusted with the genial nature of his companion. Once the heroes reveal that they seek the Goldenwood tree, the piper seems even more inclined to help.

“The guardian of the Goldenwood has always welcomed visitors, there have been so few since the unfortunate incident with the town”. When pressed, the piper bashfully, hesitantly replies that there was “bad business” and the townsfolk “did something they shouldn’t have.” The piper invites the heroes to join him, his brother the pathfinder and the rest of their family; this evening they intend to go visit the guardian of the Goldenwood, to bring her a great feast. With a smattering of jokes from the piper and a liberal dose of verbal abuse from the pathfinder (towards both the heroes and the piper), the pair of satyr lead the party through hidden paths and winding forest trails. Though the way is confusing, Koteth’s years as a ranger and his natural Elven senses allow him to memorize the way back, should things… go wrong.

Once at the Satyr’s lodge, however, the party is quickly rebuffed by the Elder of the group. While Jacen keeps trying to catch glimpses of the satyr faun (sister of the piper and pathfinder) bathing in the nearby waterfall, the Elder informs the party that the “price” for being led to the guardian’s grove (and location of the Goldenwood tree) would be a pair of owlbear eggs from a nearby nest. They are apparently the guardian’s favourite meal, but the satyrs have been unable to steal any from the territorial and vicious owlbears.



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