A Road Well Travelled: May 2007

22 May

Flying Visits

It has been almost a month since I last wrote in my journal, and for that I am truly sorry. At the present time I should be keeping a daily record of the events that are taking place, but I have been so busy rushing back and forth across these lands talking to my wizarding brothers and trying to arrange an emergency Gamot.

Fortunately I have been spared the use of my legs, as Tomepicker spoke to some of his race and secured me the services of a great dragon to carry me above the lands. The site of Methtintdour tiny below us as we soared across the skies was a truly magnificent vision, and in these dark times it was a welcome moment of bliss.

Anleim has been very busy checking through the old parchments and wizard diaries that I return with daily. He has worked through the nights almost continuously trying to locate the remaining two elemental crystals that Yermej is looking for, however the answers are not coming easily. There are cryptic records from some of out brothers that lead us down one path only to then come to a sudden stop.

The air crystal has been mentioned several times in the records, although it seems that during the history of the land this crystal has been relocated on several occasions. Anleim's careful cross examination of the parchments leads him to believe it may currently be situated in the watchtower to the west of Midmarch, however we must be sure before we attempt to seize it and announce to Yermej our intentions to stop his plans.

We are running out of records and time. There is only one more wizard I have to visit, and dragon flight is not going to help me here. I must travel into the heart of the Gnarlbark forest and visit my old friend Menag to confirm what we now believe.

28 May

Into the Forest

I have ventured back into the Gnarlbark Forest, this time with only Tomepicker for companionship.

My memories of this place are hazy, for I recall seeing great Oak and Elm trees towering above me. The occasional sunbeam sneaking through and lighting the dim and cool forest floor. I do not recognise this place. It is so different.

The trees still stand, so tall and straight, yet the canopy of the forest is no longer preventing the sun streaming through. Looking up I soon noticed the reason why. The trees have died. They stand like tall gravestones to the former beauty of this place.

Something terrible has swept through this forest at some point after my last visit, decimating the plant life. My concern is to find out whether Menag has been affected by this disaster.

Tomepicker is snuffling around off the track we are taking through the forest. He senses something, but is unable to explain what it is as he has not come across a smell like it before. I think it best we reach Menag's abode as soon as possible.

29 May

The Cave of Menag

The relief I felt yesterday as we saw the rocky outcrop, still turfed and with whisps rising from the smoke hole, was immense. I noticed that Menag's strong oak door had seem some recent activity as the evidence of slice marks, and gouges, was clear.

I stood close to the stone home and called his name, announcing my arrival. It took a while, but the door did eventually open and Tomepicker and myself were quickly ushered inside. Menag, looking much older and frailer than I remembered, quickly sat us down and asked us for news about the forest and further afield.

He hadn't been outside of his cave for months. His only source of food and drink were the acorns that Dryhoot, the ageing owl sat quietly above the small fireplace, returned with daily. It made me recall my previous meeting with Menag, when I sat and drank a mug of acorns then as I had spoke of momentous events.

I first gave Menag good news. I told him of Rhonas and Coraniel, living in Tingamel castle, and having started a family. Menag was visibly delighted to hear of this, as he had for so long not known where his ward was.

Then Menag asked us why we were venturing so deep into the forest, at a time when it was so dangerous. I explained the trouble Yermej was causing, and the recent discovery of Goblins within the land too.

Menag warned us not to return through the forest in the dark as there were Goblins roaming around. So that was the smell Tomepicker had picked up on the way in! We accepted Menags offer of his floor to sleep on, and settled down to a night in the forest.

31 May

A Forest Dies

I've spent the day in Menag's cave listening to him telling me about the forest. It seems that over the past few months, the same time in fact since Yermej has come to my attention, there has been a steady decline in the health of the forest.

Menag first noticed it in the northern area of the forest. He told of a strange brimstone smell in the air some days, and an occasional drifting smog that contained a yellow tinge. Over the months, the trees to the north died off, and the poison moved deeper into the forest, until now it had killed off all but the most southerly edges. Menag even spoke of yellow rain on some days that caused the leaves and grasses to whither almost instantly.

We also spoke of the reappearance of the dreaded Goblins. Following the war of all peoples it was assumed that the Goblins were no longer a threat, and neither of us are sure of how they could have hidden away undetected for so long. Menag had seen plenty of Goblin attacks in the forest, and knew it was only time before they entered his home and took him.

I've offered him the chance to travel with me out of the forest and back to the relative safety of Kinrew. He has gone to sleep and to think about it.