Billy says, "There are some things you don’t know about me. I’m a Gruff. I am a shapeshifter too. I come from a long line of Gruff’s, and I have convinced them to let me take you to them.
There is something going on with the trolls in this city. My family and I have been fighting them for generations, with no problems. Lately; however, it’s getting too much for us to handle. It’s a matter of pride, but we need your help.
Billy takes you to his folk’s house.
There, they find his mom and dad inside. They regard them gravely after they introduce themselves.
Barbara Underhill, “We wish Billy would have chosen friends out of our ilk, but he insists that you two are fighting the good fight.”
Billford Underhill, “We could use your help”
They take Victor and Erik down into the basement where they see a circle of Elder Gruffs. Most of them look human, with grey, shaggy beards, but some of them look just like goat people. Billford explains to Erik and Victor that they have been fighting trolls for generations. Upon mentioning trolls, a soft bleat of distaste is heard from the Gruffs. Recently, the trolls have been more organized in their attacks, and there have been more of them. It seems there are more than just trolls on the lurk, as well. An Elder Gruff snorts, “Smells bad out there, like cold magic”. Billford Underhill looks at them frankly, “Help us stop this Wizard and Half God. Turn the tide of this war we find ourselves in.” One of the Elder Gruffs speaks up, “You guys may want to talk to Freah Fellflower. She’s been in town lately, pulling some strings. Despite being the Summer Court Knight, she’s cold and mostly not cooperative. She may not tell you anything, but it’s a good place to start.” Billy doesn’t want to go with them, so Erik and Victor use social combat to get him to go.
[[Forest Park | Forest Park]
Because Erik and Victor won the social check, they get Billy to tell them where to go. If they didn’t win it, they would have had to find their way to the spot on their own. Getting into the Nevernever from any other way would have been disastrous.
At the memorial, they try to open a portal to the Summer Court. Very hard DC (17). They tried everything, and it was kinda funny. Victor tried opening the portal a couple of times, and the Erik tried to hammer a portal open. I was almost on the ground in fits of giggles.
After several attempts at opening a portal, they notice a figure almost pull itself from a tree. It’s a woman, barely clothed except for cleverly placed leaves, with long hair, full of branches. She has spaced out, green eyes, with stars in them, and has bark-like skin in some areas. She almost ripples like a tree in a breeze as she moves toward you.
“Why have you come?” she asks them with a wispy voice.
They explain their mission and she seems oddly willing to except them at their word.
“Here,” she holds a dry herb in her hand. Victor takes it but peers at it hesitantly.
She mentions idly as she moves away, “this will help you focus; you are…not Fae enough to understand how to open this door. Take this, and you will know the way.” They kinda eye Billy and he shrugs, as if to say, “Waddaya want from me?”.
After mulling on this for a while, and Victor getting increasingly paranoid, they notice that the herb is growing in patches all around them. There is almost a scuffle with Erik shoving the herb down Victor’s throat to see if it works. After all, Victor is the wizard, but eventually he burns it and easily opens a portal to the Nevernever.
When Erik, Victor, and Billy enter the realm, they see that it’s almost as if they are in an parallel universe, and can see the other reality through an almost “curtain” in the woods.
They can make out Dryads and Pixies all around them.
There is a path, and as they follow it, they hear whispers like the wind all around. Eventually, they come to a gazebo, with a woman standing in the center, talking with a Dryad. She turns to them as they approach.
Her eyes are glowing, white hot like the sun. She is wearing golden armor, and carries a broadsword upon her back, burning with a corona of fire. She sizes the three up in silence for a while.
“How can I help you?”
She tells them everything they want to know. She seems so helpful for a Fae…. In summary, the Winter Court has been trying to make Portland an industrial wasteland. The Portland government is involved somehow. There are more trolls and Winter Court denizens than there used to be. The bridges are charged with Winter Court magic, and trolls guard them. Freah is weakened crossing them.
She tells them to find out what is going on with the bridges. There are more bridges being built, why?
Obviously being controlled by the White Court, which they find out (shuffling through her papers), that is also connected to the government. It’s sloppy, but most of the papers for the work on the bridges is being approved by the Mayor’s Office. Not unheard of, but certainly uncommon.
Note: I kinda screwed this part up a bit. At first I forgot that the White Court was controlling Laure, and so I made it seem like a Winter Court compel, when it was really the White Court. The Winter Court compel looks magicy and blue, and the White Court makes her look drugged and white eyed, when seen by a magical being.
I also should have guarded her somehow, instead of her silly secretary, who was easily distracted.