The brothers and sisters of Tinkleton welcome you as Fron promised. You are given room, comfort, medical attention and plain, simple welcome. It feels good. You are gaining strength as the brothers tend you but something doesn’t feel quite right. They seem a little ‘too nice’. More than once you catch them exchanging glances as they attend to your almost every need.
Finally, after several days of amazingly recuperative rest, the prior approaches you as you join the brothers for their evening meal.
‘Adventurers’, he begins, as if steeling himself for the inevitable, ‘something is amiss, of which I am sure you are well aware. The forest is our home. We have striven as a community for decades to be a part of it, not apart from it. Yet recently this is exactly what has happened. The forest is tended by a kindly old druid who goes by the name of Amsel the Tame. We have had a wonderful working relationship with him and despite the abbey possessing several small villages and hamlets on it’s demesne which are located within the forest, we have managed to keep it a place of beauty and a natural habitat for the original denizens while still using our fair portions for lumber, charcoal, natural foods such as the mushrooms we are famous for and some culling of the larger herds of deer for our tables.’
‘Then suddenly, things changed. Amsel showed up several months ago, as was his habit, but instead our usual exchange of news and agreements, he was frothing angry. He stood outside our walls, though our gates were open to him, ranting and stomping his feet like a man possessed. He railed against our ’abuse’ of ‘his’ forest and made many threats against us, our people and our gawds. Then he began his rant anew, promising to ‘cleanse the forst with fire’ and ‘teaching the forest children of the true god’ and he invoked a name of an ancient fire gawd and ran off sputtering and screaming.’
‘We went after him, to talk and to calm him but to no avail. He continued to utter threats and promise our ruin to the point where our brothers returned home in the hope that whatever madness filled him would pass.’
‘Unfortunately, it did not. Then things began to happen. Animals, usually docile and friendly turned against us. The sentient forest creatures, good and kindly by nature, have become mischievious at the least and deadly at the worst. Farmers, woodcutters, charcoalers turned up here mauled, bitten and worse. People are disappearing. We’ve sent several parties of brethren to Amsel’s grove but none have returned. We are fraught with fright. The forest is ill.’
He looks you in the eye. ‘We have nothing to offer you except that which we have already given: our hospitality, our food and our help in the medical and healing arts. We will keep the elf safe and make her whole again. Would you please see if you can find Amsel and bring him to reason? We are afraid there is not much time or hope remaining.’