1205 Summer/Fall - Road Into the Lion's Den

Celeste knows Lencor is not likely to be deterred by mundane wolves. His appearance affects mundane animals as well as humans. But still there's a nagging feeling these might not be mundane wolves, and then there's no telling what they will do. She takes a moment to calm herself, and casts Intuition of the Forest, and steps off the road. Time to find Lencor.

Celeste walks through the forest slowly. Her legs are hidden by the vegetation and her clothes keep getting caught on the branches, which makes her path though the wilderness more difficult than necessary. Surely with more appropriate clothes she would have fewer problems.
Her irregular progress also makes it more difficult for her to know how far she has strayed from the road, or its exact direction. However, the howls became closer and closer, and now the maga could even distinguish barks. By now it was clear to her that the only sounds she heard were from Lencor, who sounded nervous, although she couldn't tell if he was in trouble or not... or rather, what kind of trouble.

Celeste continued with renewed energy until she was close enough for Lencor to begin calling to her by her name. Surely he could tell she had been getting closer just by the smell. The maga made one last effort and was finally able to see Lencor on the other side of a bush, wagging her tail energetically and apparently happy to see her. He did not appear to be injured or in any immediate danger.

Lencor jumped forward to receive her, and Celeste could see how his head hit with an invisible force, unable to move any further towards her.

"I was trying to get to you, but I couldn't!" - Lencor exclaimed without being able to move, but without stopping wagging his tail with joy - "I was afraid you couldn't hear me..." - this one Once, Lencor leaned his snout against the invisible wall - "It's like there is an Aegis..." - he explained, looking frustrated.

Celeste looks at Lencor "Well, my guess, which is probably as good as yours, is that the ancient road might be enchanted in some way. So, we might need to make way to the start of the road, and go from there." This was an intriguing piece. Maybe they should take the time to study this at some point. If such a powerful magical effect is still here, it could be the basis for some investigation.

Lencor whined softly while Celeste walked the last paces to reach him, and then he nearly jumped above her, licking her face and moving the tail with happiness.

Once reunited, and following Celeste's advice, they both try to walk around the magical force and return to the road.
The ferns and bushes are just as annoying as before, so Celeste has no choice but to advance slowly as before. Lencor, on his part, seems to mostly ignore the branches and he follows Celeste with energy, running and jumping from time to time and stopping to smell random things. Sometimes, the large dog test the boundaries of the magic force, and both correct their path to follow the effect.

Fortunately, either because they are still at the edge of the forest or because of the spell that Celeste previously cast, the place is calm and silent. In fact... too silent. It's then when Celeste notices that the birds aren't singing anymore and that the night is almost upon them.

OOC: Roll Survival (remember the +3 from the spell) and, if your total is 9 or higher, roll for Artes Liberales (Geometry) too.

@discobot roll 1d10

:game_die: 8

That's 14 total (+1 Perception, +1 Survival, +1 Forest specialty, +3 from spell)

Artes Liberales

@discobot roll 1d10

:game_die: 8

That's total 11 for Artes Liberales

As they moved forward and corrected their path several times to remain next to the magic force, Celeste was able to notice that they weren't the ones that changed direction, but the magic boundary was the one that didn't followed a straight line.

She looked to the path that they were following, and she found that they were walking in a perfect circle. She was unable to find any ring inscription, but now she had enough clues to deduce that they were most likely next to a magic ward shaped as a dome.
Furthermore, based on the arc of the curve, it must have been a huge dome... at least half a mile in radius.

If that was true, then probably she wouldn't find any open path at the road entrance, since the perimeter would be closed.

OOC: at this point, the rolls were good enough and Celeste has enough info to deduce that the center of the dome (and thus, the protection origin) is the milestone (if you want xD).

Celeste turns to Lencor when she comes to this realization "Looks like this ward is quite big, and I don't know if we can enter from the entrance. It might be designed to keep Faerie creatures out. What do you say? Shall we give it a try anyway? or just travel the forest, without the protection of the road?"

Lencor looks around "If you think the entrance isn't open, we'll just be wasting out time. So, it's up to you whether you want to go through the forest, or follow it's edge as far as we can, and then cut through."

Celeste would have loved to study these ancient milestones, and their enchantment, but she didn't have the time, and she was reluctant to go through the forest, even with Lencor by her side, if the road had such powerful enchantments. But he was right, they could just skirt the forest, and come back when they got close to their destination. With a sigh she says "You're right, let's skirt the forest."

OOC: Sorry, i'm not sure if i understood your plan.

When you say "skirt the forest" you mean the road? Because you are already the closer you can be of your destination without entering the forest.
Celeste know that this part of the forest will open again when you reach the surroundings of Waldmössingen. So you could cross the forest to reach that part first (feasible, it still the outer part of the Black Forest), so you are closer to follow the river valley to Dankmar.

On the other hand, you could also backtrack and skirt the forest through the south until you walk all around and reach the entrance that took Regulus (then you would directly enter through the river valley).

Going directly through the forest... well, you can try. But Celeste has heard about how difficult its the terrain (thats, without taking into account the mythic dangers).

Are you refering to some of those options (ofc, those aren't your only options or anything, but they are what i understand about your plan) or you mean another thing?

PS: I planned the adventure of Dankmar, but at the end this will result into a full adventure just to reach the place xD Sorry :stuck_out_tongue:

OOC: No worries. Sometimes the road can be more exciting than the destination... :slight_smile:

This is the option she will choose

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Celeste walked through the forest slowly and with difficulty. The birds no longer made any sound for a long time, and under the shade of the trees it seemed that the night was coming faster, which didn't help her orient herself in the growing dimness. If she didn't had learnt and cast Intuition of the Forest, at this point she would be lost already.

Lencor, for his part, seemed as happy as usual to walk alongside Celeste. Although he was alert, his tail waved happily as he crossed the bushes much more easily than the maga was able to follow him, so he then had to trot back to Celeste and ended up greeting her each time with a lick and a happy bark, encouraging her to continue despite the difficulties.

Finally, the night came, the smell of the humidity grew stronger and the darkness became complete. Although she was sure that she had not deviated at any time, she didn't know how far she was from the village... perhaps it would be worth trying to go a little further... Although in the middle of that dense blackness their advance would be even slower and more dangerous.
Celeste had made much less progress than expected that day, but at least now she had a plan to continue. Also, although Lencor had sniffed out the tracks of wild boar and deer, he had not encountered any dangerous creatures, for now.

And she was just thinking about it, when from afar she heard howls of unmistakable origin. Lencor stood up straight, staring menacingly in the direction from which the sound had come. They could be heard very far away, but knowing that there were wolves in the area sent a chill down Celeste's spine.

OOC: Just be careful, don't end up having more excitement than you can handle... :innocent:

PS: Remember to recast any spell that you want to use at night.