The Children of Eisenwald

The Goat Men Cometh

Ambush at the Healing Spring

The party is ambushed by attackers from the forest, who appear to be strange half-man, half-goat creatures armed with spears and bows.  Initially surprised, the group gradually rallies to face their foes, who seem resistant to magic. Kotadi awakens mid-combat and manifests the ability to teleport, flanking one of the goat men with Siegfried. One eventually falls to an arrow from Evonni, one takes Siegfried's rapier through the back when he turns to cut down Kotadi, and one is improbably beaten to death with a stick by Buu. (Who was evidently provoked into a fungal rage by having himself and his new friends nearly murdered by a band of unprovoked assailants twice in one week.)

The group then wearily drags themselves to the spring to rest. As they do, Siegfried begins to feel strange, hearing ethereal melodies all around him, and to his amazement he discovers that he too has begun to manifest magical powers through his voice and music. Moreover, the party discovers that their appearances have changed after bathing in the pool — Ugo and Siegfried have taken on elven features, Evonni and Kotadi even more so, with Coge temporarily manifesting a hard-edged draconic appearance that gradually fades once he leaves the water. Ugo, Siegfried, Evonni and Kotadi also discover that their senses have sharpened, and they now have the ability to see in the dark. Though Evonni has yet to manifest any magic directly, she feels her bond to the forest has taken on a mystical dimension. (Buu does not become any more uncanny than he normally is, much to everyone's relief.) 

Siegfried, recalling stories he has heard, matches the appearance of the elven party members to the description of the Forest Folk, a legendary race told of in fairy tales and generally thought to be entirely mythical, though he cannot recall anything quite like Coge in the stories he is familiar with. They discuss what to do about the pool, initially concerned they may have intruded where they do not belong, though Siegfried comments that since they are seemingly Forest Folk, the forest is where they belong by definition, a sentiment Evonni readily agrees with. 

The party then shares a literally magical experience as they sit about the pool, with Siegfried and Ugo joyfully putting on a show with bright illusory magic, joined by Coge and Buu who manipulate the water around them into fantastical shapes. Before they depart to seek shelter, Siegfried — whose magic awakened after the battle and therefore was not expended during it — sings an old song he knows that was purported to be a healing charm.  He manages to continue it long enough to mend the wounds of the most grievously injured, and the party leaves to seek shelter in a nearby cave. 

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