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Warhammer Quest: The Sylvan Epic


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...


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?


Isengar Tussle
Um, probably a bunch of stuff I forgot, but does that answer your question?
Wow, now that is a recap...… thanks
Carrow can't believe that all these elements of chaos are working in synchronized precision, no matter who is pulling the strings.


Staff member
Ty breaks out the elvish flatbread and sits quietly over to the side, contemplating just how far he's come and what it all might mean in the grand scheme of the universe...:unsure:


The Tentacled One
You think you've spotted Kelgar. He's a small, scrawny boy. Perhaps if you squint you can make out some of the features that will mark the grown man, but at this time his defining feature are the pox scars dotting his face. You briefly hear the voice of Kelgar, "That poor boy, bereft of Sigmar's light, but not for long..."

The boy crouches in a narrow alley along one of the side streets near the cathedral. Then you hear coming from behind him a voice, "Rat. Rat! RAT! Get up Rat, you're coming with us." A pair of bigger, stronger boys approach the young boy. "Rat, get up and follow me," one of the boys says. The pair then stomps off down the alley, confident that the young boy will follow, a confidence not at all misplaced when he gets up and trails them. The trio travels the back alleys, alleys that steadily get a little less garbage filled as they are clearly heading into a nicer part of town. Even the two older boys start to walk with a little less swagger, knowing they don't belong here.

Finally they arrive at their destination, the rear of a building, with a busted grate over a hole in the wall. "Rat, we busted this grate, but the passageway is too small for us to get through, but we figure you're just the right size. We want you to crawl inside and bring us back anything you find inside. You'll do that for us, right?" the boy says with a palpable air of menace. "Yeah, I'll do it, you don't have to worry about me," replies the young boy they call Rat.

Rat squeezes through the grate into the tunnel, a tight fit even for the small boy. Crawling through waste and garbage (it appears that the tunnel is a waste disposal tube) the boy eventually emerges in a kitchen. A quick search reveals food in the pantry and fine silverware in the drawers. The boy grabs all he can carry of both and makes his way back to the tunnel. He is about to head back in when he hears shuffling behind him. He looks around and sees an old man standing in the doorway, robed with a medallion around his neck. Each of them pauses for a moment considering the other. The man then says to the boy, "There is a path to the light for you, if you choose to take it." The boy looks quizzically for a moment at the man, then flees into the tunnel. Finally making his way out, he presents the spoils to the other boys, who quickly pocket everything and start heading back to the alleys where the scene began. "Good job Rat. Now all you need to do to get your cut is meet us tonight at the temple three streets over."

The scene then fades to the late evening, dark and still. The three boys stand beside another building. The two larger boys boost the small boy on their shoulders, which allows him to climb up the building until he eventually reaches a window, which he jimmies open and goes inside. He drops down from the raised area and proceeds towards a door, which he is able to unlock from the inside, letting the other two boys inside. The three proceed deeper into the sanctum, the older two boys eventually leaving the young boy behind and proceeding further into the temple. The young boy stops and simply waits, perhaps sensing the moment that is about to occur.

"I knew your path would come this way," says a voice from behind the boy, the voice of the same old man from earlier. The young boy turns and sees him standing there and a glow coming from the symbol he has on a necklace. "You can choose the path to the light, you can choose the way of Sigmar. It can guide you, it can give you strength, it can heal you." The young boy reaches out almost involuntarily towards the glowing symbol.

"What is going on here?" The young boy's reverie is broken by the return of the older boys, carrying a larger, golden version of the symbol. The old man, looking frail and week, blocks the way out, "You boys will not take that relic, put it back, and leave, and leave this boy to me." The two boys look at each other and size up the old man, "I don't think so. You get out of our way, or you'll get what's coming to you," says the older of the two boys, as they both start advancing on him. The old man stands firm but the two boys quickly overpower him. Attacking him viciously, the young boy simply stands there, watching, as he sees the symbol around the old man's neck seem to glow stronger and stronger, even though the two older boys seem not to notice it at all.

Finally, the young boy springs at the other two, attacking them with a zeal that belies his size. In the tussle the symbol has fallen off the old man. The young boy grabs it off the ground during the fight and he feels its power flowing through him. The older boys stand back, looking at the young boy warily, first sensing the power, then gasping as they see the pox scars on the boy's face begin to visibly heal under the light of the symbol. The older boys sensing their danger now flee the room. The young boy returns to where the old man is lying. The old man looks at him, "Yes, you see the power of Sigmar, you feel his healing touch." Even as he speaks, you can see the injuries from the scuffle seem to fade away from the old man.

"Truly Sigmar has blessed you, and I will guide you in his teachings, just as he will guide your path forward in this world," the old man pauses, then speaks again, "What am I to call you, boy?" The young boy responds, "No one calls me anything but Rat." "Well that simply won't do. From this day, you shall have a new name, a name in the manner of the lord of light, a name that will always remind you of Sigmar's light, from this day forward, you will be called Kelgar, and may Sigmar bless your path."


The Tentacled One
The illusion dissolves again and you find yourselves in a workshop brightly lit by a series of magical orbs. Tomas and an unfamiliar elf, both clad in dusty brown robes, labor over a sprawling, complex assembly of wires, gears, plates, bulbs, cylinders, and crystals. The elf struggles to tighten a bulb of iridescent liquid mounted near the top of the mess, and mutters, "The alignment must be off."

"The alignment," Tomas returns, "is fine. You'd have cracked one of the focus crystals already if it hadn't been. Something else is wrong."
"It must be the human flute thing," the elf ponders. "Is it broken?"
"You mean the shawm? How should I know?"
"It's a human device. You're a human wizard."

Tomas gapes in baffled annoyance at the elf, but says nothing. The elf tinkers with the apparatus some more, then picks up the shawm and examines it. He offers it to Tomas.

"The instrument appears to be completely undamaged. Your father packaged it very carefully, but without instructions. Perhaps he assumed that he'd be able to come back for it. I suggest that we use it to play that mysterious song we heard in the dungeon. Ed is your father, so you should be the one to do it."
"I don't know how to play a shawm, and even if I did, I couldn't just play the song from memory."
"Really? It seems such a simple task. You humans and your pathetic lack of rhythm."

The elf casually plays an eerie melody on the shawm, manipulating the instrument with obvious skill and grace. The assembly on the table begins to glow green. He places the shawm on a platform attached to the assembly. A smoky silhouette of some humanoid figure manifests in the air above the table. Shifting and contorting, the apparition calls out in a strange language. Tomas seems alarmed at first, but adjusts and studies the event. He paces around the table watching this display. Stroking his beard, he muses,
"Well, I know enough to know my father didn't do this. Either the shawm held this spirit before he ever got his hands on it, or somehow the spirit attached itself to the shawm after he sealed it away, but before we found it. The first would seem likelier, but until we know more about what happened in that dungeon, we can't be sure. I don't suppose that your talent for music makes you a specialist in dealing with haunted musical instruments?"

The elf grins.
"No, but I know where we can find one, right here in Middenheim..."
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The Tentacled One
Mooseman sent me something a while back, but I'm only just now finishing this. Here we go...

The illusion dissolves again, replaced by a forest vista along a mountainous ridge. It is late in the evening and the dark sky allows little light to illuminate the scene as figures hurry along the ridge. You catch a glimpse of another figure closing in on the group. As the gap closes, you see that the lone figure is Carrow. He lacks his equipment, but looks much the same as he did outside the illusion. The group of figures on the ridge espies Carrow just before he gets in reach of them, and they fan out in a semicircle. Flashes of lightning illuminate faces under their hoods, and you see that three of them are human. The fourth, the largest of the bunch, is something else, perhaps a half-ogre.

"Give it back, Tuggar!", Carrow shouts at the bulky mixed-breed figure.

Tuggar raises an arm and twirls a delicate golden torc on his index finger. He pockets the item and snarls back,
"Carrow, you should not wager what is not yours to lose. Now then," he turns his head and addresses his companions, "If he takes one more step, take him down. And make sure to finish the job this time." Tuggar pivots and bounds off along the ridge.

The three humans move to draw their swords, and Carrow leaps onto them. It's three against one and they manage to shove him back, but arrows strike them from afar and the fight is over abruptly. Carrow turns toward the elven archers emerging from behind nearby pine trees, his face white with shame. He stands motionless as a row of six archers glide toward him. One of the elves whispers,
"Carrow, this is the last time. Your gambling has led to this crisis. Now it falls to us to retrieve the torc. Leave our lands and never return."

Carrow descends from the ridge and wanders down the road toward the villages below.


The Tentacled One
Once more, the illusion dissolves. This time, taking inventory, everyone seems to be back to normal (relatively speaking). You find yourselves at the bottom of some dark, unscalable chasm. The only way forward is through another of those huge timber doors. This time the brazier alongside the door burns with a pink flame. As before a torch is leaning on the door and a board is mounted in the middle of the door. This board is surrounded by alien glyphs.


The Tentacled One
To Dorgath, the glyphs look like inkblots with long scratch-like lines inside them. Series of diagonal hatch marks intersect the longer lines in certain places. Closer inspection indicates that the hatch marks occur in nodes that conform to some kind of logic (they never appear where the long lines intersect and always appear when the long lines terminate, also seeming to show up in inflection points where the long lines are about to curve or waver). It seems that each node would have either zero diagonal hatch marks or between two and seven of them (no node has one hatch mark, and no node has more than seven). But if there is a code behind this, it eludes Dorgath.


Nothing Special
This time the brazier alongside the door burns with a pink flame.
A burning brazier! We must be in some sort of women's liberation chasm.

To Dorgath, the glyphs look like inkblots with long scratch-like lines inside them. Series of diagonal hatch marks intersect the longer lines in certain places. Closer inspection indicates that the hatch marks occur in nodes that conform to some kind of logic (they never appear where the long lines intersect and always appear when the long lines terminate, also seeming to show up in inflection points where the long lines are about to curve or waver). It seems that each node would have either zero diagonal hatch marks or between two and seven of them (no node has one hatch mark, and no node has more than seven). But if there is a code behind this, it eludes Dorgath.
Let's see some pictures.


Staff member
Oh, I seriously thought you were drawing them, like the tic tac toe board

"Anyone know what these glyphs are? Carrow, Jakeana, Rev?"


The Tentacled One
No one recognizes the strange symbols surrounding the board. Tomas reminds everyone that other than those glyphs, this looks a lot like the puzzle door from earlier, which required using the torch and the blue fire in the nearby brazier. This time the fire is pink. Blue flames and pink flames are sometimes used by the Chaos god Tzeentch in dealings with mortals, and you've already met a priest of Tzeentch during your journey through the Pine Crags, so this may be more of the enigmatic god's handiwork.

However, the glyphs are definitely not Chaos runes. Tomas, Jekaena, and Throg would easily recognize them if they were. Perhaps something else was added onto this door afterward, unlike the one with the blue flame...