We camped again in the corrupted halls under the tree and the evil influence of the place wreaked havoc upon so many of the men-at-arms. I do not fault them, though, for even a being as strong willed as I fell prey to their vile powers. I believe everyone experienced some form of nightmare that night. Except for Floyd who slept as peaceful as a babe. I worry about that youth. I hear him mumbling to himself more and more. I’ve caught him asking “where is he?” and “who is he?” several times but when I inquire as to who “he” is, the boy just looks at me and tells me that I’m not him. Him, who? During the night, the evil nightmares got so bad that I awoke to find one poor soul running about acting the fool while another wept in the corner. As Daphne argued with one of the others as to the best course of action, I cast forth a cloud that sent the two poor sods off to the sweet bliss of dreamless, magical sleep. That, I believe, is why Daphne has not acted on her feelings towards me. She is unable to act decisively and thus doubt settles in and forces her to push away that which she desires most.
Anyway, in the morning, I sent Brume out to reconnoiter the area prior to our departure. Not having detected anything, I led our group out of the hermit’s tree only to realize the tree itself was a source of corruption. It swung its branches at Ming and Floyd and assaulted our greatest weapon, my mind. As I fought against what must’ve been an ancient and terrible sentience, the hangers on were swinging their clubs and smashing about. My apprentice, Star, claims to have channelled a good amount of force against our foe, but as he was taking shelter INSIDE the tree as my two bodyguards and I faced the ancient, fury of flora, I could not tell you if he truly was successful or not. As it was, my men-at-arms did a fine job of protecting me while I fought the main battle – a battle of wills. In the end, I proved the stronger and as I came out of my mental struggle, I quickly dispatched the physical remains of the tree with one of my signature Flaming Arrows of Fate. I’m sure the others helped, but it was obvious that I had saved the day – once again. Daphne was overcome with desire that she rushed out towards me and almost too late realized her lack of decorum. She covered her faux pas by pretending to attend to Floyd’s wounds but I noticed her glance kept drifting my way. Poor thing fighting her feelings for me, but she must remember she is a priestess.
After battling the tree, we headed towards the outpost where we were met with celebration and praise. I gave my team their due for it would be unseemly if I failed to recognize their “efforts”.
Where shall we head to next?