At this point, it is getting late, almost dusk. The party rides into base camp, beat up and tired. Lieutenant Fireheart tells them to take a break, and take a later shift on rounds. After a peaceful evening spent playing cards and meeting various members of the Stormfast Guard, it is the party’s turn to take watch. Some time after they take their posts, they hear the distinct sound of a screaming human coming faintly from the forest. Following the sounds into the forest, Adrik decides to use a neat trick he’d seen bats use in the past: echolocation. He begins to let out high-pitched yelps, in an attempt to track down the source of the pained cries (critical failure on a Perception check).
Before Adrik can successfully echolocate the screamer, however, the party stumbles across a tangle of thorny vines, inside of which lays a lone Guardsman, pinned to a tree by a two-foot long thorn, screaming for his life. Pētor rushes to the man’s side and delicately extracts the spine, diligently staunching the bleeding. The man continues to whimper, until the party yells at him to shut up. Shocked at their rudeness, the man complies. Norixius sarcastically thanks him, asking him why he was “crying like a little baby.” Affronted and more than a little terrified, the man responds that “the trees are alive,” at which point the vine the man is resting on begins to move. Pētor quickly tries to pull the man away, but he is too late. The not-tree stands, taking a humanoid shape (Twig Blight), and crushes the man’s head beneath it’s foot. Norixius quickly lunges after it, shocking it with his Skyfire (Shocking Strike). His teammates pitch in, pummeling the Blight, and Berrian steps in with rapier to deal the death blow. Unfortunately, a single Twig Blight is the least of their worries. Hearing a rustling behind them, the party turns to face a mixed group of Twig and Thorn Blights.
The first to move is Berrion, who charges the nearest Twig Blight, slashing at it with his rapier, dropping to the ground. Next is Delmirev, who blasts another with a Fireball. A Needle Blight, standing towards the back, skewers Berrion with a thorn, launched dart-like from its own body, and Berrion goes down. The lightly charred Twig Blight launches itself at Adrik, raking him with its claws, but it does little to faze the Dwarf, who beats him down with a mighty yell. Pētor goes to Berrion’s side and channels positive energy into his body, healing him (Cure Wounds). Now, Adrik charges the second Needle Blight, throwing his handaxes as he goes, killing it. Norixius enters the fray, diving at the other Needle Blight. Despite the grievous wounds to his hands, he successfully grabs the Blight’s head and fires a blast of Skyfire down what passes as the beast’s throat. The bolt blasts the Blight into the air, where it quickly disintegrates (critical success on a Breath Weapon attack). Boldly, the last of the Blights rushes at Norixius, who turns the heat on him, burning him to a crisp where he stands (critical success on a Breath Weapon attack). Yet again, the party trudges into base camp battered and bloodied, and falls quickly asleep upon reaching their beds.