A Visit to the Wildlands

Acgozluk has returned for Adventure April! Stop the Demon

Written by George Sanders

A battle swirled above the trees. Dark creatures flapped their wings and slashed with long claws as they spiraled around my cousin. Her disheveled hair tangled tighter as she dodged and spun. Her notes about the fortress layout were crisp in my hands. She led the demons off. Now I needed to get to the portal.

I grew up in the Wildlands and felt a close connection to the land, but standing in that place was unreal. The ground trembled as demons burst forth. The trees and plants responded with the agility of veteran warriors. A flying menace zeroed in on me, but a vine snapped it from the air. Branches cracked overhead. Another demon was blocked from approaching. The forest never did that before.


But, it was time to run!


My grandmother used to say I was born to run, and endurance was second nature. I didn't bat an eye at running for a couple of hours. The adrenaline-fueled feeling of running with the hunters through the woods in my youth drove me forward. A notable part about my running related to the demons in the sky. Particularly one demon, Acgozluk.



He could spread through the forest and invade your mind. However, the Silver Dragon revealed his evil curse spread through the ground. So, children were carried until they could receive the Blessing of the Community at age four. My feet didn't touch the ground until that ceremony. Since I could run so naturally after the blessing, my people took it as a good omen.


For generations, we tried to starve the demon. Or we hoped we did. A few years ago, an uncle disappeared, then a friend's sister went missing. More and more people slipped away, so we moved to Etonia. Once my family got housing, I joined the Church of the Silver Dragon to train as a knight. I'm only a week into my training.


I had been walking through the church sanctuary after this morning's training when a portal opened right on the wall. The church gave us a path right to my cousin's location. We could not have had a clearer sign, so we raced in to help - Ezra, Milne, Lorn, Tavil, and me. Ezra told me to run back through the portal when the forest started fighting for us.



One the way back, the scene around me weighed on me more than my armor. I made it about halfway when one of the flying demons hit me from the side. Its claw was dense like stone. My helmet took most of the impact and rolled out of my reach. I don't think it would have fit back on my head anyway.


I found myself on the ground stunned. I felt the thud as the demon landed next to me. My mind wanted to move, but everything inch of my body moved slowly. Before the demon struck again, a mushroom looked over at me. I swear. A mushroom. Its cap moved up like a hat. A tendril reached out and healed me. At least enough to spin on the demon and slip away from it.


I heard the branches snapping as the demon raced after me. Then the tiger slammed it into a tree. The demon shattered like a broken boulder. Sir, I am not making this up.



Lazarus turned toward the front wall of the church. Swirling light covered the wall. In the center, near the floor, a ten-foot hole in the wall opened into a forest. He could see dark shapes in the sky above the trees. Trees that were not on the other side of that wall outside the church.


"Kale, I see the portal, and I've seen your cousin fly. Thank you for your quick reaction. You need to get that bruise on your head looked at in the infirmary."


"Sir, my cousin, and the others are still out there."


"I'll summon the rest of the knights...and everyone else I can find."



Experience the World

Heralds repeated warnings through the morning in the streets of Etonia. Messages sent via magic soared to allies asking for their immediate support. Plans were still being hatched as the first knights entered the portal.

Will you aid the forest and help banish the demons? Yes? Then, sign up for a free tabletop roleplay game session in May. This one-shot adventure emerged from the World Anvil Adventure April challenge. We'll use Roll20 as a virtual tabletop for this 5e-compatible game, so you only need a computer and Internet.

Check Dates and Times      

Cover image: Forest During the Daytime by Tim Mossholder


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