After having slain two orcs, the Lone Wolf Club decided it was in their best interests to leave town as fast as possible. Whether or not the orcs had been sent to attack them, it was certain that Lord Laken would be unhappy with the outcome. So the group backtracked to the castle and then left the way they had come, through the southern city gate. Fortunately a road led around the exterior of the city gates, so traveling northward was a simple matter. Fortunately the forest was close enough to see, so a map was not immediately necessary.
As they approached the forest around noon, the Lone Wolf Club heard the distinctly unpleasant sound of halfling screams. There was a small corral near the only apparent entrance, so Lone Wolf made a brilliant leap of faith and left Deloris and his cart with the other animals. The others advanced into the forest, with Eric the Blond hanging behind in the bushes as usual.
Before they had gotten very far into the forest, a small halfling boy ran out of the underbrush, screaming and waving his arms about. His behavior was pretty self-explanatory when considered in conjunction with the giant mosquito clinging to his head, its probiscus buried deep in the boy's neck. Without stopping to think, Kell rushed in to grapple with the monstrous insect – soon finding himself the victim of the vicious blood-sucker. Anova, Rev, Eric the Blond, and Gray the Bold stepped in to help while Lone Wolf set off in another direction and began to fire arrows into the air, as is his wont.
After a few rounds of intense grappling, Eric the Blond stepped in from behind and managed to stab the blood-engorged mosquito, which promptly exploded and covered the Lone Wolf Club in a shower of halfling blood.
Lone Wolf soon found himself confronted by a large buzzing beetle. He slew it easily, and Eric the Blond—following behind—deigned to dirty his hands with insect ichor for the sake of retrieving a glowing orb from the giant insect carapace.
At this point, a member of the Lone Wolf Club finally had the good sense to look up, discovering an entire city built in the trees. This was the source of the halfling screams. They also discovered a sort of lift by one large tree. A halfling man at the top begged them to come up and save the village from the swarming infestation. Fearing a trap, the majority of the LWC declined to help the desperate man. Kell, on the other hand, stepped right in.
He soon found himself on an open platform constructed between trees, in the midst of a battle with more giant beetles and mosquitos attacking halflings. Undaunted by the task, he began to swing his sword left and right, mowing them down without regard to his personal safety. As he dispached with the giant insects, he also noticed something interesting about the halflings.
Below, the untrusting, suspicious members of the LWC were amply rewarded for their lack of compassion: although they managed to slay a few beetles and obtain more glowing orbs, they were soon surrounded by more insects than their small group could handle. Gray the Bold managed to make it to the lift, while the others were left scrambling up trees. Lone Wolf in particular scraped his hands quite badly, filling them with splinters. It seems doubtful he'll be able to play his strange instrument until he is healed.
Finally, however, all of the LWC got to the lowest platform in the forest city. Eric the Blond, the first to successfuly climb a tree, managed to stay out of sight of the swarm long enough to encounter a halfling villager and begin the climb up to the next level. What will he find when he gets there? Will he regret having passed up the opportunity to chat with the halfling? Only time will tell…