The team made a daring escape, not without sustaining some scrapes and worse injuries, from 20+ Beast Men who came upon them as they were leaving the ceremonial area. Sh’Rylye was just as eager to escape, and led them northward, through dense, treacherous jungle and to a swift, deep river. Crossing the river seemed to reduce the threat of pursuit, and within a few hours of moving at a good pace through increasingly more open jungle, they reached the massive trees they’d though were mountains, and found a town built up and within the gargantuan roots, many feet above the ground.
Making some headway to bridge the language gap, the team was invited to a celebratory dinner in which they were thanked and honored for bringing back the girl, whose station was still unknown at this point. The ritual consumption of a well-prepared Beast Man was a shock to the Scouts, although all but Ti’ un Ril opted to eat at least some of the meat, served alongside a bounty of other exotic foods.
Given a secluded, open-air platform on which to sleep, the team decided to trust their hosts and relax as best they could.
All four Scouts wake around the same time, in dim light and to the sounds of what perhaps passes for a normal morning in this new place: conversations echo off the massive trees trunks; there is the sound of tool use here and there; and there is even some singing heard – both from men and women, it seems.
The sleep was good, and in fact was the best that any of them had experienced in weeks. Even back at the garrison sleep could be hard to come by, given the communal bunking and duty rosters. This morning greeted the men with the scents of spiced cooking and a ever-present, albeit faint smell of cooking fires, which could be seen dotting the darkness out in all directions, giving the impression of stars at night poking through clouds, although the texture provided to the field of view was from the smooth tree trunks and exposed roots, rather than formations in the sky.
The platform on which they’d slept, constructed of a few layers of woven rope, was about 50 feet off the ground, and partially overlapped a similar, although empty aside from some sacks and rolls of cloth, platform about 20 feet below. Their platform had only one path that led back to any others, with the other four supports being just large ropes connecting, at various lengths, to trees around them.
Upon closer inspection, the rope appeared to be made of many fine fibers, almost hair-thin, and ranging from light browns to black, with the color variation only clarifying as the light level increased. Sunlight was evident, probably 100 or so yards to the south, in the form of a glow near the ground and a few broken views of what was either outside the trees or near to it – the jumble of so many trunks and roots of trees prevented a direct view. But from their elevated vantage point the team could make out many more platforms, small wooden buildings, and other evidence of habitation, giving the sense that this town could be even bigger than they’d initially thought.
Not long after waking, the team is approached by a pair of locals – a man and a woman – who greet them in a manner similar to others they saw the day before, and indicate that they are to follow them. The mood is courteous, not rushed, and yet formal.
What do you do?
I bet that opening within the trunk, through which you can see, is about 2 or 3 feet high. Imagine if you were no larger than a game mini, and that the scale represented the lowest trees. That’s generally the look.