The Great Work I
Blood of Wintersbreath
Book 1
Chapter XII
The Taking of Fangwood Keep


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On one cloudy morning, Sloan left Fangwood Keep shortly after brekfast to meet with Jora at his new residence in Marideth's Crossing. Pleased to see Jora in good spirits and in as stable health as could be expected, Sloan followed up with Jora's request he had made about his life's work. Sloan learned that Jora's alchemical grand work was a potion of some sort, though he remained cagey about its exact specifications. Jora also revealed that the alchemy kit he had entrusted to Sloan contained a component to the grand work he'd recovered in his youth: a petrified dragon's heart.

Jora needed Sloan to venture into the Fangwood to recover a sample of greenwood bark, but the location was reportedly home to mischevious and sinister fey creatures. Sloan gathered Ashera, Durgan, Mechiam, and Iandra then ventured north into the Fangwood to recover this bark sample. While the journey was without peril, the site of the greenwood tree carried a sinister air. The tree rose hundreds of feet into the air, ancient and majestic, but was wrapped in talismans and vibrant red rope that indicated protection from curses and hexes.

Seeking insight currently unavailable, Sloan had her group camp at the base of the tree for the night while she explored the Dimension of Dreams for answers. There, Sloan encountered the psychic impressions of dead children and a corpse hanging from the greenwood tree. Psychic impressions of nature spirits—dryads who had once been bound to the greenwood tree before their deaths—informed Sloan that the greenwood tree kept a terrible undead creature imprisoned in its roots. A hundred years prior, a murderer had claimed the lives of local children and was put to the noose by their vengeful parents. The killer's spirit fused with the earth of his shallow grave and arose to claim vengeance on them, only to be thwarted by the spirits of the wood who sacrificed themselves to imprison him below their tree.

Sinister and psychotic gremlins had since moved into the grove, cutting and picking at the blessed rope that kept the ritualistic binding in place. The spirits implored that Sloan get rid of these terrible creatures, and as Sloan left the Dimension of Dreams she was chased out by a horrifying manifestation of the creature thus trapped.

On waking, Sloan led her companions into a battle against witch-like gremlins, craven and sinister creatures that delighted in the suffering of others. When the gremlins were defeated, Sloan scaled the greenwood tree and repaired the damage done to the rope with alchemical glue and took a sample of the greenwood bark in return, completing one part of her mentor's great work.

Continued In The Power of a Word
Continued In Dreamwalker II