Episode 3 : Past Exploits and Future Prospects
The strange and mysterious nature of the Heroic Souls have caught the attention of many powerful organizations and factions. These groups devoted massive amounts of time and energy braving the great danger to send envoys to the frontier town in an attempt to broker deals and alliances with the Heroic Souls. Rumors persist that there is a race between each principality to see who will establish a road to the frontier first.
Many Heroic Souls continued to expand their presence and gather more and more resources from the bountiful forest of Eredeti. Meanwhile, Tree Ents continue their chaotic and mindless attacks on the frontier town and it’s visitors, in even more violent and frequent occurrences. Other natural inhabitants and spirits of the forest also seem confused by the Ents chaotic actions and are joining the Ents in their attacks. The attacks on the Treants continued and intensified, becoming more costly for each side after every encounter. Through tenacious investigation and counsel from allies, the Heroic Souls concluded that the point of the corruption was to transform the Emerald hearts of young Treants, into the Amethyst heart of ancient Treants. This process inevitably killed the poor Treant, and the Amethysts would be harvested. Speculation raged as The Huntmaster, The Acolytes of Herros, and even Baron McCormick, were all subjects of suspicion.
They tell of the forest of Eredeti being filled with many things, some are good, but in the shadows lurk some of the most terrifying and horrible fates that one could encounter. In an eerie and twisted plot the babies of local inhabitants were going missing. The Heroic Souls immediately attempted to help some mothers of various races who were locals to the forest and had their children stolen in the night. Later on ,an estranged coven of Witches entered the town offering the Heroic Souls delicious treats and gelatin desserts. Some seemed hesitant, but after testing, the treats seemed delicious and offered magical powers. The witches were speaking of summoning terrible monsters to the realm of Mordavia.
Although their intentions seemed sinister, some Heroic Souls were still intent on helping them on their quest with the promise of receiving rare leather and bones from the remains of these supposed monsters. A few other Heroic Souls, curious about their forbidden powers, decided to follow the witches to learn of their secrets. Upon reaching their coven, they discovered a boiling cauldron and a hooded figure conducting a ritual. As the other witches bowed to her, the shocked Heroic Souls discovered that the food served to them by these women was actually made using the missing babies from the distraught mothers. Now horrified, the Heroic Souls looked on from the shadows as the hooded witch discarded her robes and pulled out a pregnant woman from a cage. The naked silhouette revealed herself as Lillith, High Priestess of a cult that worships the Mother of Monsters. She exclaimed that she needed to release the Mother’s children from the Realm of Monsters, beginning with the one inside of the woman next to her. Brandishing a wicked dagger in front of the cauldron, Lillith plunged it into the pregnant woman’s womb. The woman screamed as Lillith ripped the unborn child from her womb. Without a second thought, Lilith then threw it into the cauldron and with a splash everything went silent. The cauldron began to bubble and as it seemed that something was to emerge from the dark boiling waters of the cauldron there was a flash of dark energy and everything went black. When the Heroic Souls regained their composure and decided to approach the ritual area to investigate, all of the witches had vanished and the cauldron was empty.
The Cult of Knowledge received so much support from the Heroic Souls that they collected enough rare stone to build a new temple. Upon its completion, the Cult was to be officially deemed the Church of Knowledge. They promised to continue their eternal search and collection of knowledge so that they may keep dangerous information out of the hand of the wrong people. They claimed this was all in an effort to stop people from repeating the tragic mistakes of the past, such as freely spreading dangerous and forbidden magic. They say this misuse of power is what led to the Cataclysm.
Even with such danger, few are deterred by the constant threats as they continue exploration deeper into the forest of Eredeti seeking ever more valuable riches and secrets. Other Heroic Souls seemed very happy to oblige the slow, but steady, stream of new envoys. Established groups of Heroic Souls openly begin to work with the other factions and organizations as they begin to maneuver to gain the upper hand in what was quickly developing into a competition to claim the forest.