We needed something to prop the wagon up while the dwarf repaired it. Between us we decided a boulder and lever made from a tree would work. Melech and I set off into the woods to find one while Amafey and Beiro set about finding and cutting down a suitable tree. Melech and I quickly located a large boulder and managed to roll it back towards the wagon.
We lifted the wagon and positioned the boulder just behind the front axle. With the boulder being sufficiently large we didn’t need the tree as a lever. The dwarf set about repairing the axle and we chatted to him while he worked. We learned his named was Smordin Ironhammer and that he was on his way to Coombesgate having left Westpine earlier on.
After the axle was repaired we pushed the wagon out of the ditch. Smordin refused our offer to help reload the wagon. To reward us for our help he gave us a golden token which he explained could be exchanged for metalwork from him or a number of other traveling blacksmiths.
We parted ways with Smordin and set off again towards Westpine. We had learned from Smordin that it was about a two hour walk.
As we approached Westpine an angry cow came thundering towards us down with a shouting farmer running after. I jumped aside out of its path, as did some of the others. Amafey however took out her flute and started playing. This seemed to calm the animal and it came to halt before us. The farmer caught up and thanked us for stopping the cow. We asked about a tavern to stay at and he informed us the only tavern was the The Moody Cow just off the square.
We got to the tavern in the early afternoon. Melech and Beiro thought it was too early to drink and set off for a walk around the village and nearby woods. Amafey and I however ordered some drinking and began talking to the tavern keeper and his wife about the Fey Woods. They told us numerous stories about strange events and people entering the wood to never return. The tavern keeper insisted the stories were rubbish but nonetheless cautioned against entering. It all Sounded like a load of superstitious nonsense to me. We also learned of a path leading to a old hall in the woods. Likely a good lead to follow on the morrow.
Amafey performed that evening in return for free board at the tavern, though the rest of us had to pay. That silver from those bandits is coming in handy! The tavern itself had no rooms, so we slept in the main room after it had emptied out.
We woke early, ate breakfast and then set off down the path into the woods. We soon arrived at an old dilapidated hall with its entrance at the path’s end. We scouted around the outside of the building, It was two stories high, with windows on the second level. There was a stream flowing through a grate into what looked like a fountain at the back.
We headed back around the front and made our way into the hall. We could see a stone walkway around the height of the second floor, two doors further in that looked like they might lead up to it and the fountain at the far end. As I moved towards the stairs with the others in tow, piercing screeches erupted. Melech shouted out that this sound was possible Shrieking Fungi and that they were potential dangerous. I could see them just ahead beyond the doors, looking like deformed enormous mushrooms. To avoid going past them we made our way up the stairs onto the walkway. One end of the walkway lead to a set of doors into what was a separate room above the fountain. I likely place for the painting I thought.
We attempted to enter the room via the doors, but soon discovered the doors were blocked by the collapsed roof from above it. It occurred to us that with the roof gone we would be able to climb in from around the back. As we headed out the building a number of harmless but annoying pranks were played on us. First a mirage of a chest Beiro and I fruitlessly tried to uncover. Water was then thrown over Melech, followed by much giggling! I couldn’t for the life of me see who was doing it. Amafey said it was probably the Fey.
We continued around to the back of the hall and saw the hole left by the collapsed roof we had missed earlier. Amafey and Beiro climbed up the outside and then using a rope Amafey was lowered down inside. After a short while I heard a weird voice speak out. Maybe one of the fey?