Having decided to look into the Achekek culling sponsored by the Elven government, the party applies for a warrant to travel to the surface and hunt the dangerous mantis creatures. Though there are usually pretty strict restrictions for travel to Garden, particularly for foreigners, Cecilia is able to push the application through with added permissions.
They set off for the surface, flying along the massive starfly vine before reaching Trunk - a treehouse city built into the truck of the 1st branch and overlooking the thick jungle of Garden. There, they rent rooms at a lodge of Obad-Hai and begin the search for information about their quarry. They speak with some other tennants of the lodge including a preistess of Pelor and her silent companion, and a duo of hunters also here for the Achekek. The hunters point them in the direction of the creature's nest and impart a few words of wisdom. The party picks up some ranged weapons and supplies before heading into the jungle.
Passage through the thick overgrown jungle is difficult and the living flora moves and shifts. They trudge through and eventually are interrupted by Gilbur's spotting of a number of small woodland creatures playing on a nearby stump. Gilbur seems unusually attracted to the sight and wanders towards it. Ramrod fires his weapon into the trunk. The trunk springs to life, flailing vines and branches in every direction, and the alien tree creature attacks!
The party fight back, but Hunter X is grappled to the ground by the trunk and Ramrod is lifted off his feet by vines creeping down from the canopy. At this point a helpless Hunter X discovers the stumps terrifying method of reproduction as it forces a seed down X's throat. Though the creature is defeated, X can feel the seed sapping his strength and growing inside him. Wilco with the steady hand of a crafstmen is able to cut the seed out, ending the immediate threat but leaving Hunter X weak and worried.
Continuing their journey, they spot some movement in the forest... something is following them. Ramrod decides to shoot first and ask questions later and one well placed shot later a monkey goblin falls to the jungle floor quite dead. In response, Ramrod finds himself pelted by stones from other monkey goblins but scares them off with another blast.
Finally, they find their mark. Two of the Achekek feed on a recent kill. The party springs into battle but the creatures flee. Hunter gives chase but stops in his tracks when a rumbling in the forest reveals an immense, 60ft tall achekek rising up to protect it's young...
Next Session: Quit Monkeying Around