Intermission 2 - Ida's Dryad Adoption

Ida is visiting Rubrik's dryad sanctuary with the intention of inviting one of the dryads to live in Knightstower, inhabiting the great tree and enriching the land.

There are three dryads who have indicated their interest in relocating to Knightstower:

Briar is a dryad with pink-tinged skin and a long ponytail comprised of thorny vines and blooms. She has an obvious crush on Ida and a flirty, vapid personality. Despite her stout stature, she moves with a weightless, graceful ease as if on the moon.

Lilly is a dryad that Ida has met before - on their first visit to the dryad sanctuary, she became corrupted and was rescued by the party. She has bluish skin and wooden knots around her eyes that resemble smeared eye shadow. She speaks with a flat affect and has a gloomy personality.

Tulip is not known to Ida, but met Uusi and Glob and tasked them with the quest of finding a boggle. For their efforts, Uusi was rewarded with a kiss. She seems willing to trick people into getting what she wants. Tulip claims to be a powerful spellcaster and Rubrik affirms the claim, noting that she may have the potential to surpass her mother's magical abilities one day.

The three Dryads are paraded before Ida and she's given a choice of who to adopt. Terry, Robby, and Gilly provide their opinions:

Terry: "Well, I think Tulip seems pretty fun to hang around with, so if ya gotta pick that's the one I'd pick."

Gilly: "I reckon that dear Tulip would be a good pick - if Glob's gonna be there then he'd be able to get in on some action too, like the two of y'all."

Robby: "Any of them would be good for your land. Briar and Lilly, well, I'd say they're real easy to get along with. But Briar's a little clingy and Lilly's a little lazy."

"Y'all probably want someone who can also be useful to you in other ways. Tulip's magic's mighty powerful and she can keep up with the likes of Uusi. But, well, Tulip seems to like you an awful lot and... I don't... I can't compete with that..."

Ida is tickled by the subtle display of jealousy and comforts him. Adopting a dryad normally costs 450 gold but Rubrik is willing to provide a discount. He charges 300 gold to Knightstower.

After much deliberation and paralysis, Ida chooses... not to choose! She pays 1200 gold in order to relocate all of them - the price for three dryads and a fee to prepare two additional trees, as Knightstower currently boasts only one suitable tree.

Ida sets out from the sanctuary the following day with Briar and Terry. Lilly and Tulip will be relocated to Knightstower at a later date when the additional trees have been planted.

Briar reveals that she's been summoned to the Court of Liliaceae, and so the party detours through the Fae Glen to return home rather than taking the main road.

The party is first met by a frog with a platinum coin in its mouth. Ida recognizes it as the frog she saw many tendays ago with a gold coin in its mouth. It drops the coin and hops away, starting the puzzle. Ida quickly solves the puzzle of the trick coin by speaking its command word aloud and obtains a trick coin.

A fey disguised as Uusi shows up and leads Ida, Briar and Terry to a giant tulip bulb. A voice from within the bulb introduces itself as Pluriflor, princess of the Court of Liliaceae. She asks Ida what she would do if Briar fell to corruption:

"If this one were to willingly surrender to Blight, wouldst thou forcibly set her back onto the path of life, or perhaps abandon thine beautiful young fortress and leave it in her corrupted hands? Or, wouldst thou uproot her as one might a weed?"

Ida frowns at the question and thinks it over before answering:

"If you had asked me months ago, I would've said something dumb like 'I would kill anyone willingly doing evil'." Sighing, her shoulders slump. "I was told recently that I am too quick to kill, and I think I have to agree with them."

She pauses again, mouth pulled in a grimace. "I would purify her. Though it would be against her will, Blight is too dangerous to be played with. I'm sure her mother could convince her what a fool she was being after that."

Pluriflor hums and thanks Ida for her frank answer. She permits them to leave and tells them she will likely be seeing them again soon.