Warhammer Quest: The Sylvan Epic

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
Dorgath would glare at Carrow but he's looking around him in a mixture of befuddlement, wonderment, apprehension, and wariness (you'll see why soon)
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
"today" meaning actual today... :rolleyes:

Dorgath seems a little younger, if that's possible (it's hard to tell from his facial features). Everyone seems to be in a ruined stone tunnel that seemed to have a cave in. There are two dwarves sitting down on some rubble, dressed in light chain and with pickaxes at their feet. Dorgath's eyes widen, then narrow as he recognizes the location. An older dwarf, from the white streaks in his beard, steps up to Dorgath.

"Look", he says gruffly. "We can't get by this one stone slab and need your help. You're the only one from your clan who's available. I know you're unproven, but we have *got* to get this tunnel cleared. I'm giving you a shot at it because you're cheaper than if I hire someone from the Alchemist Guild, but if you can't do it, I'll have to. Good luck."

Realizing he needs to relive this moment, Dorgath echoes the past and mutters, "Unproven. Just because I haven't lived up to the Stonesplitter clan name. Despite everything else I've done..."

He strides up to the stubborn stone slab. It looks like it was a support slab that came crashing down and blocking any further progress. The two sitting dwarves look bored, the older dwarf looks annoyed. Taking a deep breath, Dorgath swings at the slab with his clan hammer. It merely bounces off with the slab seemingly untouched. Again and again and again, Dorgath swings, but can't seem to smash the slab. Panting with his efforts, he steps back and takes a swig of ale from his wineskin. The two sitting dwarves are softly talking, the older one looks grim with pursed lips. He says,


"I guess I need to get someone from the Alchemist Guild to blow this away. Looks like you're not ready yet for this kind of work."

Dorgath's face grows redder at his words. He's the oldest anyone in his clan has been without earning the Stonesplitter name. Although no one speaks of it aloud, he knows of the muttering that goes on behind his back. The sly, sometimes pity filled glances. The whispers. His ears grow hot and he keeps thinking about it. He growls,

"Wait"

And marches back up to the slab. He stares at it and in his mind's eye, it grows a mouth and starts to mock him. He grips his hammer tighter and tighter and unnoticed by him but by the others, the hammer starts to glow. But all Dorgath could see was the giant stone slab filling his vision. His eyes filled with rage, at the stubborn stone slab for refusing to break and at the silent jeers and jabs from others for failing to live up to his clan name, he swings again at the stone and <SMASH> hits it squarely in the middle and cracks it! He hammers it again and again and it finally breaks in two, him moving to the side as it falls. Clarity returns to him and his hammer stops glowing as he steps back, panting with the effort. The two sitting dwarves jump up and the older one finally grins.

"Ah" he says. "You did it! Now we can clear the way and get back to work."

He directs the other two to drag the pieces away while Dorgath slowly walks down the tunnel back towards home. Exhausted but happy, he can't wait to tell his father the good news about finally earning the clan name.

And the tunnel fades away....
 
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Oversoul

The Tentacled One
And the tunnel fades away.... and the real room reappears.
Ignore this part. It did not happen.

It seems that Dorgath is back to normal, but you're not in a room or a tunnel. You're not in an open field. All around you is a cold and desolate landscape. The sky is full of thunder. The clashing hordes in the distance give it away: you're in the dreaded Chaos Wastes! Closer at hand, you seem to be at the site of a turnip farm. Giant, mutant turnips, that is...
 

Mooseman

Isengar Tussle
"Turnips? Giant and Mutant? Who here was a farmer in their past life? Come on speak up, we need to get through these wlks in the past and get on with killing the villains."
 

turgy22

Nothing Special
It seems that Dorgath is back to normal, but you're not in a room or a tunnel. You're not in an open field. All around you is a cold and desolate landscape. The sky is full of thunder. The clashing hordes in the distance give it away: you're in the dreaded Chaos Wastes! Closer at hand, you seem to be at the site of a turnip farm. Giant, mutant turnips, that is...
The turnips emit a deep trumpeting, gurgling sound, like an elephant caught upside-down in a swimming pool full of porridge... a sound you all know too well. Each one stands at a height of about 4 metric yards, with a girth proportional to what you imagine a turnip looking like, even though you can't recall ever seeing one in real life. Except they don't stand... not really... they move like snakes on their pointy tendril appendage, writhing from side to side as they approach Throg.

The chaos warrior hasn’t changed much. He seems younger, but it’s difficult to say, for sure. He is more lightly equipped than you are used to seeing him, but his familiar axe remains in hand and the mark of chaos is still somewhat visible beneath his armor.

Suddenly he charges at the closest turnip, slicing it in twain. The two halves flop aside and wither on the ground with an audible hiss. The odor of the dying turnip makes you think of what a turd might smell like if it was turned into a skunk, but was somehow still a turd. This illusion is all too real. Jekaena barfs. :poop::sick::poop:

Throg seems unfazed by the various sights and smells and continues hacking at the various turnips, of which there were at least three score on the field at the start of the illusion. Throg has dispatched about a half dozen of the foul vegetables when suddenly the smell goes away and the illusion resets. Throg stops suddenly and looks around, not quite sure of what just happened, but proceeds to slaughter the mutant turnips once again. This time, nearly ten of the aggressors were slain before the scene resets itself once again.

Throg growls in frustration, “You’ve gotta be kidding me. Do I have to kill these things in the EXACT SAME ORDER that I killed them before? :censored:! THIS HAPPENED 10 YEARS AGO! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO REMEMBER THAT????” :mad:

Despite his protestations, the scene goes on, resetting each time the turnips were slaughtered in the improper order. After six or seven resets, Throg takes a nap. :sleep: The mutant turnips continuously attack him, only to fade away after each strike.

(y)

Eventually, Throg gets back up and continues advancing the plot, since clearly no one else wants to do it. After no less than 8 hours of enduring the smell of rotting turnip carcasses and the sound of Throg’s colorful brand of obscenities, you finally see the last of the turnips drop to the ground and wither into the dirt alongside its foul brothers. The turnips have been beeten.

As Throg stands in the middle of this wretchedness, half-triumphant and half-exhausted, a shadowy figure approaches on unsteady feet from a building in the distance. You can not distinguish a race or gender of this new arrival. The figure is hunched over a knobbly cane and covered by a black-brown cloak that falls deep over their eyes, revealing only a wiry skeletal mouth and chin. A string of profanity winds out from their lips, eventually transforming into a list of strange and unfamiliar words that you must assume are people’s names in some strange foreign land. “Timothy! Jennifer! Andrew! Amanda! Stephen! Noooooo! He’s killed you all!” They begin to wail and sob. :cry:

Suddenly, the new arrival turns their head towards Throg and screams out, “WHY?!! Why did you do this?”

Throg remains stoic for a moment, almost thoughtful, as if trying to remember a line. Eventually he replies, “You know why I’m here.”

The figure, who at this point you assume must be a turnipmancer, curses under their breath and turns back toward the distant building, hobbling along the way. Throg soon follows and the entire room seems to move along with him, though you remain standing where you are.

TO BE CONTINUED...
 
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turgy22

Nothing Special
Throg and the turnipmancer eventually reach the distant building, which is much less distant now. It is, in fact, so not-distant that everyone is now inside the building.

The building is dark and cramped. Shattered bones and rusted armor lay piled in the corners, along the walls, and aside a small hearth with a barely smoldering fire still crackling. A stone table stands roughly in the center of the room. On it sits a shallow basin, teeming with plant life and surrounded by small jars. Throg walks up to the table and puts his face over the basin, inhaling deeply. Then he picks up a few of the jars and appears to read some inscriptions scrawled on the sides. One he reads aloud.

“Toh-kin’s Pipeweed. That sounds pretty enticing.”

The turnipmancer responds, “Yeah, that’s good stuff. And if you call it ‘pipeweed,’ it somehow isn’t taken as an obvious drug reference and you can talk about it in books that you read to your kids.”

They choke up at the word, “kids,” and you remember that this particular turnipmancer had an exceptionally strong affinity with his or her creations… something more commonly seen with potatomancers or algaemancers. They get real quiet and sullen.

Throg steps over and puts his arm around the turnipmancer. “Don’t worry about it. C’mon, this is a day of celebration!”

Throg pulls out a pipe, fills it from the jar in his hand and lights it with an ember stick sitting near the hearth. He inhales deeply and passes the pipe to the turnipmancer. “C’mon man, don’t be lame. It’ll take the edge off.”

The turnipmancer hesitates at first, but then reaches for the pipe and takes a puff. Smoke and laughter soon fill the room and a festive and merry time is had by all. :):p:giggle::Do_O

A few hours later, the smoke clears and Throg and the turnipmancer become visible. They sit on opposite sides of the room, relaxed and staring at the ceiling. Throg is in the middle of philosophizing, “…but what if, you know, we’re like not even real people, but just like figments of someone’s imagination being controlled by dweeby halflings or something on some other world. :geek: Do I even control my own destiny or am I just like, a pawn, in someone’s game? You know?”

:cool: “Far out…” the turnipmancer replies, “far out.”

“Yeah. Oh man, I gotta take a leak.”

“I don’t grow leeks here. You’re at the wrong farm, man.”

Throg and the turnipmancer both burst out laughing. :LOL::ROFLMAO: Then Throg hoists himself back onto his feet and stumbles to the corner of the room. You can hear the trickling sound of running water, such as that of a gentle brook or peaceful fountain.

The turnipmancer turns their head in Throg’s direction, “So, you’ve destroyed my pets and stolen my stash. Where do you go from here?”

:unsure:

Throg, still busy in the corner of the room, pauses for a long time. When he speaks, his voice is low and his speech seems forced. “Um… I, uh, I’ve always wanted to, uh, team up with a, um, group of, uh, noble adventurers and, um, assist them in, um, destroying evil and, uh, you know, like, uh, fighting for justice across the world.”

The scene resets. Throg is being attacked by turnips again. Everyone groans. Throg curses.

“GRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.”

Okay, now go back to my previous post and start reading where it says “Eventually, Throg gets back up and continues advancing the plot” and then read through to the turnipmancer asking Throg where he goes from here and then start reading back here again. I'll make it easy by using emojis. Go back to the thumbs up and then stop on the thinking guy and then go from there to the thumbs down.

(n)

Throg, still busy in the corner of the room, lets out an exasperated sigh, then speaks swiftly under his breath. “I've always wanted to team up with a group of fighters, go around killing things for money and eventually murder my companions while they sleep so I can steal their possessions.” :sneaky:

At that, the turnipmancer rises up from the floor, casts off his cloak and stands at full height. You can see him clearly now and he seems twice the size of the hobbled figure you saw approach the turnip field so long ago and then again fairly long ago when you reread the first part for the second time. He is clearly a mutant hybrid. You can almost detect traces of beast, minotaur and skaven in his features. Two curling horns grow out from the sides of his skull, flanking dark red eyes that glow like the slowly extinguishing pipe on the table. :devilish: The skeletal jaw, which you had seen but part of earlier, now seems strong and powerful, though strangely elongated like that of a rodent. His chest and back are bare now, exposed from under the cloak, but not completely bare because he’s a really hairy dude and if he didn’t look so menacing you’d make a joke about how he’s still wearing a sweater, even though he’s obviously not since you can see his nipples and all. Speaking of things you don’t want to see, apparently he’s not big on traditional clothes because he’s got his junk just like all hanging out and it’s kind of disturbing in a way, but I’ll not describe it in detail because that would be even more disturbing and I wouldn’t want anyone here thinking any less of me. At any rate, the lack of pants clued you in that the turnipmancer was, in fact, a man, and unmistakably so. :eek::whistle:

Throg, still busy in the corner of the room, doesn’t see what you’ve just witnessed, but soon hears the turnipmancer’s voice, which has now taken on a new depth and power. “Only a fool would trust you for more than a day! However, I know of a group of particularly gullible individuals meeting at a tavern in the town of Sebmualblal even as I speak. For destroying my companions, I will grant you your desire, but I also curse you! I curse you to spend the next 50 years of your life questing with these idiots in a series of pointless and drawn-out adventures. You will be forced into combat and then suddenly it will stop and nothing will happen for months at a time and then it will resume and you will be forced to remember what you were doing and what you were carrying and what abilities you have. You will be inundated with footwear and given an ass, but not allowed to take it anywhere fun as you engage in endless drudgery, like writing a pointless backstory that is completely irrelevant to ANYTHING!!!! Hahahahahahaha!”

Throg, still busy in the corner, casually replies, “Oh. That’s a bummer, man. Can I still kill everyone in my group at some point and steal their stuff?”

The turnipmancer shrugs and says, “Sure, what do I care?”

With that, he lifts up his cane, now glowing with chaotic power and points it at Throg. A stream of chaos magic begins to distort reality, as a portal to another realm opens up upon the chaos warrior. The turnipmancer screams, “Now GO!”

You can hear Throg’s reply fade into the distance as he is transported out of the room, “As long as I don’t have to carry a stupid torch all the tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime.”

The scene ends and Throg comes back to normal. He seems extremely disappointed to be here. :(
 
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Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Throg does seem to be back to "normal." And if he harbored criminal motives in the past, we can't really hold that against him now, can we? It was years ago. He's probably totally reformed by now. Definitely. :cautious::cautious::cautious:

You now seem to be standing next to a large fighting pit. So this is probably Ty's illusion. Now, where is he?
 

TomB

Administrative Assistant
Staff member
A much younger Ty stands next to the Fighting Pit, spit bucket in one hand, clean(ish) towel in the other. He was lucky to land this job as a spit boy, after losing his last job mucking out the town stables. Again he let his temper get the best of him, and again he found himself out on the street. Now he's standing there, thinking about it, and getting more and more angry, especially considering the nature of the job he lost, and the fact of it actually being a loss...:poop:

An agitated voice startles him out of his reverie. "Spitboy! Get your ass over here NOW!"

Apparently the round ended while he wasn't watching, and his fighter was back in his corner needing attention. And man, did he need attention. Blood was pouring out of his nose, and his right eye was almost swollen shut. His left eye wasn't in much better shape, and his shoulder was hanging at an odd angle. Ty hurries over to the fighter and hands the towel over to the man. "Sorry boss," he apologizes to the manager, who is tending to the fighter's wounds. "Still trying to figure out how I'm going to pay for the damages to the stable."

"Well if you don't keep your mind on your JOB here you won't be able to pay for anything!" The manager continues working on the fighter, but it's obvious the man won't be able to keep fighting. "Bah! This is stupid! He can't go on..."

The manager turns away and heads over to the Pit Boss, worry and concern etched across his face. Ty knows why - the man is deeply in debt to the Pit Boss, and only by supplying the man with a steady stream of fighters can he stay one step ahead of his debt. Unfortunately for Ty's boss the only able-bodied fools he's been able to recruit lately came from tavern floors and drunk-tanks down at the local lock-up. Sure, they could fight, but they had no staying power, often not lasting the minimum 3 rounds like this latest joker.

The manager, looking even more haggard than before, finishes with the Pit Boss and comes back over to where Ty is standing. "I've got a problem boy," he announces. "I need someone to get into the Pit and finish this fight, and I have no more fighters left." He gives Ty an appraising look. "You like to fight, I hear. Isn't that how you got fired from the stables?"

"I wouldn't say I like to fight, exactly. And that guy is huge." Ty thinks about it for a minute, then admits "I could use the money though. How much would it pay?"

"Nothing extra, at first," replies the manager. "Tonight would be more like a tryout. But if the Pit Boss likes you he might agree to train you, and if you're good you'll eventually get certified and be able to compete in sanctioned bouts."

"Figures..." responds Ty with a grimace. He hesitates another moment, thinking it through, then nods his head in agreement. "Let's do this then..."

The scene fades...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
You find yourselves in a beautiful, secluded hillside space around a spring in the Loren forest. An elf is kneeling next to the spring, her hands tracing arcane patterns in the air just above the water and casting iridescent sparkles that fall in faint trails into the flowing water. She's wearing gold jewelry and the green robe of an elven sorceress, but you can just barely recognize her as Nayadra Greenthicket, the elf decried as a traitor by Revaethan, just before she summoned her Horrible Forest Shambler to attack you on the city wall of Welhallas. She was covered in black and white paint at the time and decorated with various bone fetishes, but you're pretty sure it's her.

On the other side of the spring, there's a kind of ceremonial procession. Jekaena points out the white-clad elder who seems to be in charge...


"That's the high priestess of Talsyn. But I don't know what's going on here..."

A man wearing the armor of a wood elf lieutenant leads his troops, and they halt before the high priestess, their heads bowed in shame. He intones...

"We were overrun. The captain and the scion were both killed. We have failed our mission."

"And the Sylvan Epic?", the high priestess inquires.

"We found no trace of it. I take full responsibility for our failure."

An elven lord approached from behind the ranks of the priestesses and addresses the lieutenant.

"I'm sure you do, but this has been calamitous, and we must decide how to proceed."

The soldiers present their spears and each is taken, seriatim, by the priestesses. Alongside the soldiers are smaller squadrons. From your experience in Loren, you recognize that these are partial troupes of Waywatchers (wielding bows) and Wardancers (wielding twin swords). Revaethan is among the Wardancers. These warriors also present their weapons and the priestesses gather them. The high priestess confers with the lord and Nayadra Greenthicket. Seemingly at random, individual soldiers are called forward by Nayadra. Their weapons are returned to them and they are given new assignments by the lord. A few of the assignments seems favorable, but even those given the lowest postings seem grateful to get a second chance. A few of the soldiers are relieved of duty and dismissed, their weapons left in the care of the priestesses.

The priestesses take the remaining spears and begin departing. Nayadra leads the Waywatchers to the spring. The lord nods at her and departs, following the priestesses. As a group, the Waywatchers gaze into the spring. It's unclear from where you're standing just what transpires, but eventually, all of them seem to be found worthy, and Nayadra returns their bows. They depart in another direction. Nayadra beckons the Wardancers forward. They repeat the same ritual, but whatever happens, they do not fare as well. Only about half of them get their swords back. They leave the way they came. The rest sulk off in separate directions, their destinations unclear. As the last of them exit the scene, Nayadra looks up from the spring and smiles, then summons a wisp of light, which flies off in Revaethan's direction. She sets aside Revaethan's swords, then scoops up the remaining swords and drops them into the spring, where they vanish. A minute later, he returns, looking confused. Nayadra slowly returns his swords to him...


"The Protector of Welhallas is dead. It is left to me to choose his successor. I have chosen you. Report to Lord Cael at the Central Watchtower. He will guide you in your new role."

Revaethan stares blankly ahead and says nothing. The illusion dissolves again, and you find yourselves just outside the grand entrance to a massive temple. Some of you might never have seen it in person, but it is instantly recognizable from its sheer size and unique style. This can only be the Great Cathedral of Sigmar Risen and Transformed, the largest single structure in the Imperial capital city of Altdorf...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Carrow turns to Revaethan and asks, "If you are the Protector of Welhallas, what has happened to Welhallas?"
Revaethan wouldn't necessarily have much better of an idea about this than Carrow would, but updates have been sporadic here and it's been a couple of years since this adventure started, which is all almost all entirely not 100% my fault. So let's recap what your characters have probably heard by now. Kelgar is going to turn up any second now (in-game, albeit perhaps not from our point of view), so we'll assume that this was probably discussed piecewise by Jekaena and perhaps a bit by Revaethan, rather than in one big pile of exposition...
  • The Heart of Welhallas was attacked, but this was clever and subtle sabotage that damaged the Heart irreparably without any sign of immediate attack or invasion. Usual suspected enemies like orcs, dwarves, beastmen, skaven, etc. are generally ruled out because they wouldn't have the insider knowledge on how to reach the Heart undetected and damage it without raising any alarms.
  • The Wildwood, a partially Chaos-aligned part of Loren that borders Welhallas, began to expand, pushing up against the neighboring region of The Pine Crags, where it has been held at bay at great expense by the wood elves and their allies within Loren. This weakened the Pine Crags and made them vulnerable to a goblin invasion, which you've witnessed some of. The Wildwood also completely swallowed up Welhallas. The city is protected by walls and its status isn't clear, but communications were cut off between the city and other wood elf settlements.
  • You uncovered evidence that dark elf servants of the Witch King have been plotting to destroy the wood elves, and that a dark elf sorceress named Khaligri corrupted Jekaena's cousin, elite wood elf warrior Coril, in a plan to destroy the Heart of Welhallas and absorb its vast magical power, for use in service of the Witch King. You've already killed Khaligri (Ty stabbed her a bunch of times while the other Warriors had her surrounded and weakened her magical shield). Coril is still working with other dark elves to destroy the Heart, but you know that he can't be the mastermind behind this scheme. The dark elves recruited him, not the other way around. Someone else brought them here.
  • The group of dark elves involved in the plot to destroy the Heart of Welhallas include Khaligri (dead), an assassin named Arjen (he can teleport, for some reason), a warrior named Nazzrakin, and a male whose name/face you don't know, but who could be heard issuing commands. Also with the group was Nayadra Greenthicket, a high-ranking wood elf mage known to Revaethan. While Revaethan wouldn't have known, Tomas recognizes that Nayadra shows signs of being a witch. This information and her association with dark elves would seem to indicate that she's an agent of the Witch King, and probably has been for a long time.
  • Nayadra had the authority to choose the next Protector of Welhallas, and was present for the untimely death of the previous Protector. It seems likely that she is the one who sabotaged the Heart of Welhallas in the first place, as she would have had the knowledge and power to do so. It is unknown if she killed the previous Protector and it isn't known why she chose Revaethan as his successor. The realization that she was an enemy agent and that she chose Revaethan as Protector for unknown reasons is deeply disturbing to him.
  • The Witch King may be behind the plot to attack the Heart, but the goblin invasion would seem to be totally separate from that. And yet, it was convenient for the conspirators and their plan. It allowed them to raid the temple in the Pine Crags unimpeded, and it has thwarted attempts by the wood elves to stop them from reaching Welhallas, effectively covering their tracks, with the sole exception of your own adventuring party, which has caught up to them. So that's suspicious.
  • The expansion of the Wildwood was another factor disrupting attempts by the wood elves to fight back against Nayadra/Coril/dark elf conspiracy, but it also seems to have nothing to do with either the Witch King or the goblins. Instead, it is related to some internal matter within the Wildwood itself, which included a power struggle between a priest of Tzeentch (Bysshan) and a priest of Nurgle (Utronicus). Those Chaos gods and their priests seemed not to care at all about the other events going on, and were focused instead on fighting each other. Throg chose to tip the balance in the favor of Tzeentch, which seems to have stabilized that part for now. But much like the goblin invasion, it's a little suspicious that the timing of this seemingly unrelated factor lined up in favor of the dark elves and their mission.
  • You have some evidence of a connection between the goblin invasion and Utronicus, the priest of Nurgle. But it's unclear exactly what was going on there.
  • Although it hasn't come up in forever, a member of this conspiracy is known to have been working with yet another enemy. Khaligri was actively seen collaborating with Darenaeok Sedrazzi, who turned out to be the servant of a necromancer named Orm. Coril's raving journal also made reference to Orm, so it seems likely that Khaligri was connected to Orm in some way. You don't know much about Orm, other than that he's an immensely powerful necromancer. But his name also came up as being the apprentice of another necromancer known as "Shalaz the Meek." And it was in a fake tomb built for Shalaz that you found The Sylvan Epic in the first place. Then the whole surrounding countryside was swarming with undead, and you've seen evidence that Orm is behind that.
So far, you don't seem to have enough information to connect all of the dots. Is the Witch King pulling the strings from afar, using Orm's necromancers, the goblins, the Chaos priests, etc. as part of his own plan? Or has Orm subverted a dark elf plot for his own purposes? Are the two groups allies, actively collaborating? Are the Chaos gods just manipulating both of them outright, and if so, what's the dynamic there in the Nurgle vs. Tzeentch struggle? How deeply are the goblins involved? So many unanswered questions!

But yeah, Welhallas is still standing, more or less. It's surrounded by the Wildwood. The tree that forms a bond between the forest of Loren and the elves living there is is dying. The ancient book pulled out of the False Tomb of Shalaz by Carrow seems to be the key to saving the Heart. Jekaena wants to use the book and Carrow's magical link to it to perform a ritual to save the Heart. Coril wants to sacrifice Jekaena to the Witch King to destroy the wood elves (and the unicorns of Loren, which he despises above all other things). You made it to the tree, but some magical shenanigans are going on and you don't know why...

Um, probably a bunch of stuff I forgot, but does that answer your question?
 
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