Part 132: Only You Can Prevent Forest FiresPART 132: ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES
Something is destroying merchant caravans passing through the Wending Woods. Our heroes hurry to Amaranthine to start the investigation...
[The party you asked for and the party you're going to get. Nathaniel, Sigrun and Justice are here to bring the pain.]
[Well, let's get going... Oh? Was there a special request?]
Respec Justice into a damage build. Let chaos reign.
[I respecced Justice as a berserker double handed swordsman and gave him a giant burning sword of flaming death. Tactics? We don't need tactics where we're going.]
How long does such a process take?
I don't know. Can you still walk around once you're simply bones?
So I'm led to believe, yes.
That is incredibly disturbing.
And on that note, I'm leaving forever.
It's probably not going to happen for a while.
[Our contact is... Mervis.]
Warden-Commander! Thank the Maker you're finally here! I was afraid our messages never got through to you!
Are you Mervis?
Yes! Thank you for coming to the guild. We need your help.
Really? "Mervis"? That's your name?
My mother's name was Mavis. My father was Hervis. It makes sense!
Our caravans are being attacked. The wagons are burned to ashes, and there... there have been no survivors.
It's gotten worse lately. People from the neighboring villages have found guards torn limb from limb and left in the village square.
And you suspect darkspawn?
We don't know for sure. Communication has been difficult with the attacks. But people in the area said they saw monsters lurking in the shadows.
Whatever it is, it's completely crippled trade between Amaranthine and Denerim. No one wants to travel the road through the Wending Wood.
Can the Grey Wardens help at all?
Have you asked anyone else to look into this?
Others start making excuses when they hear how brutal the killings have been. The Grey Wardens are our last hope.
I will investigate it immediately.
Oh, Maker bless you and watch over you!
If you can stop the killings, the Merchants Guild will make a hefty donation to your organization. You have my promise.
At last we're going to get paid for one of these gigs.
How have you been supporting the keep without money?
Deficit spending, mostly.
IN THE WOODS...
Oh look. Concerned citizens.
How much do you think we'd get for the boots? They're only a little mushy.
I think we got problems.
Something large and powerful came through here. Large, powerful, and angry.
We'll deal with it! The rest of you, pack up and get moving!
Justice, watch ou--!
You really tore them up, Justice.
I'm beginning to understand emotions. Specifically, anger.
[So, a party of three rogues and a damage specced fighter is quite good at killing things. Everyone was down to half health by the end of the fight against a dozen trash bandits, but the fight itself lasted about 17 seconds.
Anyway, here's some lore.]
Hm. Trouble between the elves and the humans. Again.
These scavengers are having a bad day all around, huh?
[These Charred Sylvans are resistant to fire and magic damage, but vulnerable to being hit with large pieces of metal very hard.]
Mop up the last of them and move on.
[We picked up a sidequest from the Chantry ages back to find five statues linked to Maferath (the Chantry's Judas figure) hidden in the forest. Each one gives us a new verse for the following codex.]
What is this doing here? What does i--?
Wait! Look over there!
Mmmm... trees smell good.
Grass smells good, too. And flowers, of course. The surface is full of such wonderful smells.
In the Deep Roads, all you smell is moist rock or dry earth. And darkspawn. There's a smell I won't miss.
You don't have to. We smell them all the time.
Only thing worse than the smell of darkspawn is the smell of broodmothers. Now there's a foulness that cannot be described.
But trees... trees smell good.
Sure. Except for linden trees.
I'll explain when you're older.
Who, me? Not by profession, my friend.
And yet you were imprisoned for attempted theft.
Of things that belonged to my family, and which were taken from us unjustly.
A likely tale.
[The woods are a large, open area with lots of side paths, although it's not quite as big as the forest from the original campaign. That's true of everywhere in Awakening really; both the story is shorter and the locations are more compact.]
[There's another statue up here.]
Stop hiding friend, we can all see you.
What do you think that ruin is?
Another pompous Tevinter relic. Nice porticos though.
[Another statue just off the path here.]
[And a final statue (for now) by the path ahead.]
It's a little weird that whoever did this just carved a single line into each statue.
Out of my way!
I need to get out of here!
What's wrong? Can I help?
No! No one can help me! I just need to get out of here!
Who's after you?
The elf! She makes the trees come alive! All we wanted was some easy money from the caravans, but--
Maker help me! She's here! Got to get away!
I did not expect to see one of the durgen'len here. Who are you, and what do you want?
What did you do to that man? He's terrified.
I talked to him. That's all.
These caravans belong to the forest now. He wanted to take that which was not his.
Have you been destroying the caravans?
After all the shemlen did to me, to our people... this is justice.
They stole my sister and likely sold her to merchants. I will not rest until I have her back.
Consider this a warning.
NEXT TIME: Why Racism is Uncool feat. Bianca and Justice
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