"I have been around quite a few druids during my time with the knights and temple. They were always coming and going to and from meeting with the high clergy and the Lord of the keep. I have always found them to keep to themselves mostly and not talk much unless necessary." Beetlejuice pauses for a moment... "With that said, when I have found myself in battle with a druid close by they have always been extremely useful with healing, offensive spells, slowing the enemy, and once I was even privileged enough to see 1 who was a master with a scimitar and easily wiped out a whole squad of orcs by himself with scimitar and magic." Beetlejuice throws a thankful look towards the druid and says.. "Quite useful I find in any situation."
Syna: A wood elf with hair as black as a merchant's soul and piercing green eyes approaches. He is medium height and slight of build for his race, dressed in a linen shirt, black pants and brown jacket and cloak of canvas, and short black boots. He carries a quarterstaff in his right hand, and a plain handled scimitar in a worn scabbard on his left. W. hen he reaches the table, he bows, keeping his eyes on the group.
"Syna Vovka, by name I am called. A student of Nature and the Inner Self. A Druid some would call me. I am pleased to meet you, and hope that we shall be boon companions."
"Look who finally woke up!!!" Beetle says as the group continues it journey. "Syna any chance you have some experience with oxen? We could use someone steering the cart, they seem to be all over the place right now, we go left, left, straight a step, then right, left.....it's soooo confusing, try to get a handle on them is you dare"
Zyltris: Being used to animals Zyltris takes the reins of the oxen and drives the cart. With his shield and Morningstar next to him on the driver seat he is ready for anything. “Be mindful of the woods all. One never knows what lurks on the side of the road waiting for an unsuspecting trader’s cart.”
Serak: While making a last minute check that the cargo is secure before heading out, Serak greets the Druid. "Glad to have you with us, Syna. Serak The Skald at your service," he says with a bow.
"With Sir Juice and I on either flank and Zyltris driving, that leaves rear guard position open, if you'd be so kind as to watch our backs with your spells and healing magic?"
Serak falls into marching position. As the group travels he begins telling a ripping tale from the old days about a sinful priestess of Helm, a trained monkey and a senile old wizard who can't remember what spells he has memorized.
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"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien
"Serak I don't know where you get these stories from, but keep them coming..." Beetle chuckles about the trained monkey. "I've seen my share of sinful priestesses however" Beetle recalls a memory, "unfortunately she turned out to be a warlock and that is how the dark pact forces found a way into this paladin."
Serak: With a hearty laugh, Serak answers, "So they call it "dark pact forces" in the priesthood, eh? They make an ointment for that. Happens to the best of us. I'll get you some at the next apothecary we visit. Apply three times a day and you'll be good as new."
"LOL, if it were only that easy, but thank you my friend I will try anything. I fear I may be battling this the rest of my life." Beetle pauses a moment then adds with the biggest grin you have ever seen.... "she was worth it though!!!"
"Either way,I will control these forces and use them to my advantage."
“Laughter and merriment follow the party as they continue down the trail, now half a day from their destination. Beetle and Serak on the carts flanks, Zyltris at the reins and Syna protecting the rear (for now at least). The cart trundles along, its wheels groan slightly between the weight of the cargo and the hard mud beneath. Otherwise the trail and the nearby woods are deathly still and silent.
Turning a corner one of the party spots two odd shapes blocking the road about 50 feet ahead - two dead horses. On either side of the makeshift blockade, steep embankments topped with dense thickets and trees.
From the apparent safety of the cart, the shape of several black-feathered arrows can be seen sticking out of the horses. A flock of crows shriek out as they take off from the trees beside the cart. As they disappear over the treetops the familiar stillness follows once more...”
“This talk of dark pacts and troubles is an ominous start to our trip. Unfortunately that is the world we now live in. Good conversation and stories lightens the mood though. Keep the stories coming and I’ll keep the oxen moving.”
“Halt” says Beetlejuice, “seems we may have some trouble ahead, possibly in the tree line from the way those birds are acting.” As that is said Beetle begins using his Divine Sense ability, and readies his sword and shield.
Syna: "Let us not be hasty here. A trap as surely as the spider lays for the fly. Let us not disturb it until I have a chance to find what the creatures of the wild may see."
Given time, Syna will cast Speak with Animals as a ritual, and release it on a bird within range (preferable a raptor, crow, raven). Once cast, he shall ask the bird if it has seen who tends the strange nest ahead and if so, where they might be found now.
OOC: So this is the current situation as I understand, correct me if anything is wrong.
Serak: You have taken stealth cover in the trees to the right of the cart, looking out for any enemy movement in this area.
Syna: You are still at the rear of the cart and have cast Speak with Animals on a nearby Raven.His response is in the spoiler for you:
The Raven responds with:"The small nest building creatures caused quite a squawk before the last moon rose. They shot those poor horses with their small sharpened sticks and captured the tall and short ones, pulling them up the bank. Most of the evil little creatures have left now, but we have still heard a few of them about here somewhere below the trees ahead, watching over their nest on the ground and making strange noises"
Zyltris: You are still seated on the cart, calming the oxen and ready for action with your morningstar and shield.
Beetle: You are standing left of the cart, sword and shield ready. Your casting of Divine Sense hasn't uncovered anything so far.
"In the time Syna has taken to cast the spell, the forest has been mostly silent, only broken the faint sound of flies buzzing around the distant horses and the creak of the older trees."