Chapter 5: Into the Brown Lands.   Posted by Azurak the Blue.Group: 0
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 359 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Mon 27 Jul 2015
at 21:49
Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
OOC: With seven characters in the Central Group, I couldn't fit them all under the Subject. Here they are: Borjnen, Borun, Grimfast, Lady Isile, Saxon, Tavaro and Radajast.


Once the two flanking groups have departed, Radagast climbs aboard Saxon's wagon, and this group heads out.

Borjnen and Borun are content to walk along beside the wagon, though they are welcome to climb aboard any time they want.

How will Grimfast travel?

How will Tavaro travel?

Will Lady Isile take to the sky for them?


The gently rolling brown hills not only have nothing growing on them, but the dirt is kind of caked together, not really loose until you step on it.

Stepping across the threshold of the Brown Lands is like stepping through a doorway from inside a house to the frigid cold outside. It's not a change in temperature, but a change in essence, albeit a near-physical change. It's almost like you've taken a weight onto your shoulders.

It's depressing, it's numbing, and at times it makes your skin crawl.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 66 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 14:36
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
As Tavaro steps into the Brown Lands, his green leaves turn autumn brown, his steps lethargic. High overhead, the prince of great eagles circles slowly, regarding the caravan. But Tavaro only had sight for the barren wastes ahead.

"Oh, what a crime, what a crime. Such beauty there once was here. A wonder of nature, among the finest creations of the Ents. All gone, all gone. It makes me sad, my steps heavy. Like stone. So heavy. The air here is... heavy. This is not a place for me. Into the ground, yes, into the ground I go. Hrrrrm."

And so the strange being seemed to turn to sand and stone, and crumbled to dust that was absorbed by the ground.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 103 posts
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 15:11
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
The guardian was inside the wagon and Saxon had lashed himself to the roof of the wagon again. With Radagast driving is was a rather fun ride no matter what way he looked at it. "Interesting, you are a Genus Loci. As such you shouldn't be effected by other lands as you draw from your own. Either my assessment is wrong or you are far more wide ranging than a normal Genus Loci."

The fact the land had so much life lost was depressing but Saxon was never one to really be effected by the past too much. The future was always going to be such a brighter place.

Although it did explain to him why Radagast would have brought him along. It also scared him a little, Saxon was well aware of what he could do and if Radagast needed an ace in the hole when it came to fighting fire with fire... it was not going to be a happy story save for the ending.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 360 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 19:12
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Tavaro quickly discovers that the unNatural effect of the Brown Lands extends below ground as well. His earth elemental form cannot maintain a contiguous connection with the dirt and stones here, so his physical form can move along through the ground, but his spirit cannot.


Even the Dwarves find walking across the ground a bit unnerving. It's like their connection with the earth has been... cut off, as if the ground beneath their feet isn't really ground at all. They have no desire to dig here.


In spite of the reputation of the Brown Lands, nothing you could have imagined prepared you for this.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 104 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 19:31
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon eyeballed the nature spirit and the rough time he was having. He then leaned over the side of the wagon and opened the little pot that he kept all of the fire embers in when he closes down the cook fires. "If you can fit, there is enough fuel and flame in there to house a flame. As it is mine it should help you a little with the doldrums of this place."
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 68 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 20:33
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Like a whale the earth heaves where Tavaro had stood, and a giant form of earth emerged roaring in anger. It stood like a great man, broad and squat, with a skin of rock and a face of stone, and it stomped about in great anger, flipping over rocks in its tantrum.

"ROCK AND STONE! EVEN THE EARTH IS DEFILED! GREAT CRIME! GREAT CRIMES OF MEN AND ORCS AND WORSE!"






OOC: Current form:
http://orig12.deviantart.net/d...tal_by_stevegoad.jpg

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 148 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 20:43
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
It seemed that the groups were dividing again and she was placed with a group for the Central bound.

Like most of her kin, she was very quiet and talked even less than normal.  But her eyes were always moving and watching as if she knew that something or someone was watching them as well.

The land here was something she never crossed for the energy within her own body felt as if was being siphon from her.

Spreading her arms and taking flight she remained high in the sky over looking the land and watching for any movements up ahead of the wagon.  IF any she would screech or send a message to someone.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 105 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 20:56
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon stood on-top of the wagon, still tethered. "HEY! Thrashing about is going to get nothing done but end up knocking over my wagon. We are resolving the situation currently, but it is not something a rock throwing a tantrum can handle. So calm down, and get in the kettle so we can go get the Ent wives back and resolve that issue. They can replenish the plants that will in turn help replenish the land."

He held up the kettle. "There will be a time for reckoning but now is not it old spirit. Let that rage fuel you through this so that you can come back with even more strength to resolve this issue, the wives will desire this resolved even more than you."
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 69 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 21:05
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
That might have been the wrong thing to say to the enraged spirit considering the circumstance. "A KETTLE!? DECEPTION AND TRICKERY OF WICKED THINGS! NATURE WILL NOT BE TRAPPED BY A MAN!" It seemed to be in the process of picking up a particularly large rock, heaving it overhead..
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 149 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 21:08
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
She shook her head as the display of might was shown by Tavaro.  If only he could control his rage.  It would only alert anything in the area of our being here.

The element of surprise will surely be gone.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 106 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 21:28
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon slapped the roof of the wagon. "Keep going, I'll catch up. With him uprooting the very earth under the wagon he is going to destroy it by accident."

With that he grabbed the kettle and lept into the air. Then up, and up, and up. His robes billowed about him as Saxon flew. When he reached eye level, and clear enough that any rock thrown at him wouldn't hit the wagon, Saxon burst into flames. A brilliant ring of fire with a dark center of ash.

It was about the only form he could take that would ensure the spirit couldn't kill him outright.

"Do I look like a man to you? I am here as I had given my word to help fix the problem. I swear on Tom's rhyme and the song of the river daughter that this will be resolved if I have to move out here myself to help you. But now is not the time, more so when the land itself is going to end up effecting you."
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 70 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 21:35
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Something in the words seemed to sway the giant's opinion, for the fiery creature was not squashed under a giant rock. Instead its terrible rage seemed to simmer down to a grouchy demeanor. The rock was tossed aside rather harmlessly and the giant turned away from Saxon, walking on in the direction the group was headed. It clearly did not seem in the mood for further conversation for now...


ooc: because incidentally, I am out for the next few days. ;)
Borjnen Boulderol
 Fellowship, 43 posts
 Dwarf
 Barbarian/Hill Giant/Ftr
Fri 31 Jul 2015
at 20:00
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Silence was the best response Borjnen could give considering the circumstances. Being cut off from the earth itself was an unsettling experience and it didn't seem like it would end anytime soon.
With the easiness the land was causing Borjnen had had enough. Climbing into the wagon and sitting down he takes out his axe. Blatantly oblivious to the antics of the others he begins sharping his blafe as they roll along.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 116 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 10:35
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Borun stared slack-jawed at the elemental being's fury. Saxon's response was almost comical, yet it was clearly sincere.

Borun considered the spells that might defuse the situation. Glitterdust might work - or it might exacerbate the conflict. Thankfully Tavaro eventually calmed.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 362 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 2 Aug 2015
at 00:22
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Tavaro was in no condition to sense it, so it was only Borun that sensed the tremor in the ground at first. He'd felt earthquakes before, but this was different.

Suddenly, a geyser of dirt erupted ahead of the group, and a bit off to the right.

It was about 5 feet in diameter and threw dirt 50 feet in the air.

A moment later, a stronger tremor occurred, followed by another dirt geyser--6 feet in diameter and 60 feet high.

This one was close enough for dirt to rain down on the group.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 107 posts
Mon 3 Aug 2015
at 18:37
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
There wasn't a great deal Saxon could do when it came to things he couldn't directly see. Line of sight was his limitation. He papped the top of the wagon top twice. "Some kind of soil whale or something?" He was hoping someone else knew far better than he would, given he lived in the woods, not wastes.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 117 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 09:43
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Borun whispered to his companions "I am going to investigate." He cast a spell on himself that distorted his outline, then carefully crept over towards the nearer geyser for a closer look.

OOC: casting Blur

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/blur

Borjnen Boulderol
 Fellowship, 44 posts
 Dwarf
 Barbarian/Hill Giant/Ftr
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 00:44
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
At the sound of the sand geyser and the mention of "soil whale" Borjnen was on his feet. With axe in hand he moved up to look out the front of the wagon. "Soil whale? I dunno what be going on up here, but soil whale? That would be a new one on me"
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 370 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 06:56
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Borun moves forward to try and get a glimpse of something in the hole where the dirt geyser is erupting, but he quickly realizes that no creature could have maintained that kind of geyser for this long.

The erupting dirt falls back around the hole forming a growing mound... but only for a bit... as it then seems to settle back into the earth.

This is most peculiar. Borun is aware of normal geysers, but he can't think of any phenomena that would cause dirt to act that way.

However, as has been pointed out, the very laws of Nature have been altered here.

He can't see anything down the hole, which is only about a foot in diameter. And just then, it stops. And a minute later, the hole seals itself up.
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 118 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 10:25
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Borun scratched his beard in thought, confused by the sudden disappearance of the phenomenon. He prodded at the soil with his finger, as if expecting it to collapse under him. Still at a loss, he tried casting Divination magic.

OOC: Casting Detect Magic
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 374 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 07:33
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
There's only a faint trace of magic, what he's learned is called 'residual magic'. But that's over the whole land.

Another dirt geyser erupts about 50 feet away.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 378 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 08:03
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
As the group pushes on, wary of the frequently erupting dirt geysers, you come upon a small mound of dirt that appears to have a single flower growing out of it.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 108 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 03:00
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Barab leaned over with a smile on his face. "Well, I was hoping I was right. I do endorse caution but given the situation I do not think that I should approach the flower. If it is one of their signatures I dont think it would respond so well to me as it would one of you."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 150 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 20:27
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Flying overhead she looked ahead to see if there was any signs of life.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 381 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 00:11
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Lady Isile's aerial reconnaissance doesn't turn up anything that looks or acts alive. Certainly there is no sign of people or Orcs, nor any animals or monsters. In fact, as she flies about while still trying to keep the others in sight, she also realizes that there are no birds in the area, no reptiles, and not even any insects.

However, if she flies high enough, she can see the other side of the Brown Lands. It's still far away, and she can't really make out any details.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 31 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 00:23
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Upon spotting the lone flower, Radagast stops and just studies the hill for a few minutes, letting his senses roam outward.

"Ah," he finally says. "It is not something connected to the Entwives, though it may have descended from something they planted centuries ago."

"By all rights, of course, it should not be growing here. I don't know the method by which it is growing, but there seems to be a Hobbit heart-stone beneath it. Somehow, the heart-stone is warding off the effect of the Brown Lands."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 109 posts
Sun 23 Aug 2015
at 00:26
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Seeing as no one else was stepping up to inspect the only complex plantlife around for miles...other than the brown wizard Saxon clamored down the side if his wagon and pulled out his alchemy kit. He wanted pollen samples at least to take back home.

Who knows what interesting cross pollination he could get back home. Still, art of the trade was to get a visual inspection, then soil samples, then review prior to taking any samples of a living thing.

"Not sure what a hobbit stone is but if it wards its good enough for me. Few samples and then off again? May prove interesting... Never know."
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 119 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 28 Aug 2015
at 08:37
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Borun watched silently as Saxon fussed with the little flower. Borun knew little of the workings of flora, and even less of the entwives. If Saxon could find some clue as to their whereabouts from this plant, it would be worth the wait.
Tavaro
 Fellowship, 71 posts
 Maiar Undine
 Druid/Mighty Godling
Fri 28 Aug 2015
at 11:05
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Tavaro stood morose, regarding the flower but giving it little mind. He knew it was too puny, too small, to commune with, or his magic would have worked on it the night before.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:05, Fri 28 Aug 2015.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 383 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 30 Aug 2015
at 19:14
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
The flower is somehow getting nourishment in this land where nothing else is... apparently from the Hobbit heartstone.

Saxon has heard of such stones, but never had any cause to pursue it. A heartstone is similar to a hearthstone, but where a hearthstone is placed in a fireplace and serves to insure good food, the heartstone goes in the front door. Besides warding off evil spirits, it protects the home.

Hobbits seldom talk about it with outsiders because it's just a way of life to them, kind of like second breakfast.

Saxon takes his samples. There doesn't appear to be anything stopping him, and nothing immediately different.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 32 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 30 Aug 2015
at 19:19
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
"I could not sense it, either, Tavaro," Radagast comments.

"Hobbits continue to surprise me. Who'd have thought that a heartstone could ward off this... this... hmmm... I have no idea what pervades this land. It is not inherently evil; that we would detect. I fear it may have something to do with entropy. Essense of Entropy? Who know what foul concoctions the Dark Lord was able to produce."

"The flower is a good sign, though. It means that there is hope that this land will once again bloom with green things. Perhaps then the Entwives can return."

"Give it some water, Saxon, if you please."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 110 posts
Wed 2 Sep 2015
at 04:04
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon nodded and opened up his pack. He pulled out a bottle of not just any water but the good stuff! Rain water from his forest, twice purified! It was the same water he used for the really volatile alchemical creations. He took some time to pour evenly and he took time ensure to spray the leaves a bit.

Once that was done he took one of his treated fuses, for the fact it was cotton, and gently dabbed the pollen with it. Barely a hundredth of a testable sample, but it would be enough to take home and cross pollinate one flower. It also meant he was as unintrusive as he could manage.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 385 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 6 Sep 2015
at 19:37
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon takes his samples without anything happening, though he could swear the plant looked a bit greener after he gave it some water.

Except for that solitary plant, the rest of the area is still bleak and desolate. Nothing else can be seen of any interest, so the group moves on.

Having seen that one glimmer of hope, however, has helped to stave off the oppressive miasma of the Brown Lands. The group presses on through the night and reaches the other side of the area by dawn.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 111 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 20:16
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Saxon went about sealing the vial of pollen for later use. He wanted to be sure he could cross pollinate it later with a flower local to his home once it proved to be a noninvasive species. Flowers told all kinds of unique stories if you took the time to listen. and who knew what it did!

Once on the other side he stated setting up as he always did. It would likely be a moment before everyone was in the same area again, and it sounded like refreshments would be called for.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 151 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 19 Sep 2015
at 05:17
Re: Into the Brown Lands: Central Group
Flying overhead she wasn't able to see much of what was going on down there but she did take notice of the flower.  The only thing within miles that showed a sign of life.

There was hope for these lands after all.