Felling The Fell Trees

(22 Lormesta 5115: The Landing)

Mister Crux’s thoughts crossed my mind, “‘Nother tree down!”

I did not even have to ask which trees. Those nasty black trees blighted the landscape for quite a ways. Companions have explained some of their confusing origins, which I will leave to people better equipped than I am to explain. They have existed for 2 years, striking out at anyone and anything in their way, injuring, stunning, and sometimes killing them.

“Is Mister Crux lamenting or celebrating, though?” I wondered.

Then next thing I heard was Miss Gingie’s thoughts, “You’re chopping trees down?”

And Miss Binta, asking for clarification, because we were all thinking the same thing, I’m sure, “The black gnarled ones?”

Miss Gingie asked where he was, and off she went. Soon, we all heard her thought, “Come on people get a axe and chop these trees down, its time to take back our town.”

That struck a chord with me, and I wondered if I could help. The last time I tried to help, I was struck down crossing a street. But … common senses set aside, I struck out to find them in Lower Dragonsclaw – somewhere. So I could help, too.

A little wandering around, and I found where a small party was busy at work. I took out my favorite drakar handaxe and started cutting with Lord Kreager, Miss Binta, Miss Gingie, and Mister Crux.

Now, felling trees is a lot of work. Maybe if we were professional lumberjacks it would have gone faster, but we were not. Each tree took many, many swings to get down. Additionally, it is dangerous work, not just from the random creatures that wandered in, from kobolds to witches, but the trees themselves continued to lash out at us.

Spells were tried, to no avail. Spells on the trees. Spells to protect us from them. And finally a wizard tried a spell of haste to make the work faster. All magics failed to change anything.

I was so glad there were healers on-hand to keep up with all the wounds. We were joined by others, Lady Regwen, Mister Martieln, Mister Goldstr, Mister Fupius, Myasarie, Mister Rowmi, Mister Kizzik, and the Lady Sareyna, who provided all the drink runs people needed to keep up all of this labor-intensive cutting.

Lord Kreager was killed by a tree! So they were still very active, and not just scratching at us or stunning us. Help came and he was resurrected on the spot.

When a tree finally toppled, it always surprised me. It was even more surprising when it was my swing that did it, and that happened a few times. We started thinking out to everyone when a tree went down and who was responsible for it.

I noticed there were names carved into the trees, some of them only had one name. I only recognized Mister Crux’s name, and will have to ask him why.

At one point, a Lady Magister, Raelee Svala, the Scholar of the Hall of Mages, faded into view, squinted at one of the gnarly black trees, and asked us if there was any indication of regrowth. Not so far, was all we could offer, and Gingie reiterated to her that we thought they must go. I offered her an axe.

Raelee quietly stated, “… we should take samples of the wood, now that we can.”

I hope she gets her samples quickly and keeps them under some serious magical wards. There was no doubt that we were willing to put in the time and effort to eradicate these fell creations masquerading as trees.

After about 90 minutes of work, there were 6 areas with nothing but stumps in the Lower Dragonsclaw. As we discussed where to start next, Lady Sareyna had the wonderful idea of taking down the Orchard in the Landing.

We were joined over the course of this marathon adventuring quest by Great Lord Kraytorh, Mister Tservin, Miss Guennwhfar (after a small … let us call it a negotiation … by Miss Gingie), Mister Zhert, Miss Nairena, Sparked, Mister Fjorl, Miss Maeby, Mister Polveiss, Mister Delmorte, Mister Ridic, Trizo, Lord Kazon, Kitagaen, Lord Wolfloner, Lord Dergoatean, Emmerson, Yenfer,  Lord Komoki, Brolem, Mister Diddlebok, and Lady Sareyna continued to provide inspiration and drink runs for the tree-choppers.

For the next 2 and a half hours, as all those people joined us, we cut the trees down in the Orchard at Moot Hall. These trees took far more work than the ones in the surrounding countryside, but we were determined to not to rest before anything standing that we could cut down was nothing but a stump. They might be the oldest of the cursed trees, but all of us were older, stronger, and now, the wiser.

Mister Rowmi added verses that told some of the story to our tree cutting:

“He came in red, and black of heart
Our mayor half dead, but just the start
Marlu laughed and sang with glee
When first black seed sprang to tree”

“Poor Walkar, once a man of bright
Drawn by flesh, sad apples bereft of light
Walked down the path, fate sealed forever more
When we waged war with new Talador”

“Owls, gremlins, wolves and witches
Deep caverns mined of all their riches
A young woman slain, regret from all
And then messengers, from the Hall”

“Humans flee, killed or captured
Elves beholden, taken or raptured
Vathors and chimera fright
Upon us came the dead of night”

“In the end, sobs and cries and frost
Orphans made and husbands lost
We made it smiling ’til the last
With shadows defeated we end our fast”

“And so we say, to set you free
It was not us, nor was it thee
But we think it is for the best
That you all go on, to your rest”

One of the trees had a lot of names carved into it:

Kile              Telsas           Tayre
Nitefallz      Cruxophim   Rarr
Jiarine         Benjon          Abrimel
Songie         Semiera       Eildove
Deckits         Hazado        Raincail
Piko              Daefea

We left nothing but stumps in the Orchard last night as we all finally were able to get to our rests after 4 dark in the morning. (click the image for a more legible view…)


Great Lord Kraytorh summed up the experience very well as he congratulated everyone on the good work, “Safe travels everyone, that was fun and rewarding.”

It was also a bonding experience. Some of us spent hours side by side in this amazing effort. I will treasure this memory, and tell the story to my children and grand-children, about where I was when the trees in the Orchard came down with a group of faithful adventurers.

Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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