Last we left, the party had just met Timbre the Dryad, caretaker of the flaming forest. She expressed concerns that either freeing or slaying the Stag would result in the forest collapsing into ash; however, in discussion with the party, they discovered that Anyariel’s great sword, currently pinning the Stag to the bottom of the lake, is in truth the Living Blade. The Living Blade was originally taken from Timbre’s tree and gifted to her love Anyariel to become an instrument of justice for the warrior elf. While every other part of the forest was engulfed by never-ending flames, the Living Blade still thrived. Possibly, in a new hero taking up the Living Blade, the forest could be saved and start to regrow.
Renewed by this hope, the party returned to the Seela village. Lahspar spent time learning to express himself in Sylvan and learning the Song of Forms, while Vic scouted the lake and Mel pressed local Seela for more information about the potential consequences of slaying or freeing the Stag. The party rested in the village that night.
After careful preparation the next day, the party decided to move forward by pulling the Living Blade from the Stag and preventing as much harm as possible. Vic swam to the bottom of the lake and with a mighty tug, the Blade leaped free in his hands. Instantly the Stag scrambled to its feet and charged the shore line. At the same time, the Blade bonded itself to Vic, shifting form to his native trident. The Blade found its new owner!
As the Stag reached the beach, the party unleashed spells and attacks hoping to contain it, but it proved too strong to be slowed. Weapons barely pierced its flesh as it charged the tower on which the Seela were singing the Song of Forms, shattering it and slaying one unfortunate bard. Seeing the desperate nature of the situation, Lahspar burst out into the Song as well, joining with many in the village using the song to hold the Stag in corporeal form as the party rained blows upon it. Fortunately, the Stag proved much less resistant to the arcane powers of Chaucer, and with only some injury to Mel, the beast was felled, and its boon transferred to the party.
Immediately upon the death of the Stag, the roaring flames of the forest burst out as a snuffed candle, and the vegetation began collapsing into coal and ash. As the Song swelled in the hearts and lips of the Seela, though, the Living Blade began to respond, and ever so small amounts of growth pushed in and around the forest life, bringing promise of restoration one day, possibly decades in the future. As the body of the Stag hit the forest floor, wisps of spirit fled it and struck each of the party members, endowing them with Indomitability’s Boon. This Boon promises to provide defense against the elements and some of the sustaining power demonstrated by Indomitability in the forest.
The Seela rejoiced, even those who had given themselves up to Vuhl’s fatalistic guidance. However, Vuhl himself was nowhere to be seen, and the party’s only indication as to his destiny was from a bizarre utterance from Crystin’s lips, regarding the day when they’d meet him again. The party then turned their sights south toward Seaquen, and began planning their continued mission to join with the magic users at Lyceam.