Albrecht has emptied out his waterskin, pouring into one of the plants by the windowsill, and filled it with the remaining portions of the wizard's homebrew. He takes a final sip from his glass, and wipes his moustache with the inside cuff of his sleeve.
"Well, we should be going," he suggests. "The lad won't find himself."
The collection of houses collectively known as Knotwood is fairly quiet. There are a few children playing enthusiastically, and a handful of chickens wandering about. But, otherwise, the place is fairly quiet. apparently most of the citizens are out at their fields. Just on the north edge of the village, you find the path that Mertrand mentioned and begin upon it.
The path is relatively straight and flat, with only the occasional stone breaking up the hard-pack surface. The path curves up to the top of a small hillock and, there, you get your first look at the woods itself. There is a wide swath of stumps and thinner trees where it's been cleared for housing and other needs but, beyond that, the bank of trees stretches to the left and right in a tight, dense wall.
Walking to the edge of the dense copse of trees, the path leads you to a small break in the wall of trees and underbrush of ferns and some sort of thorny vines. Even from the edge of the trees, you get a feeling of foreboding, as if someone or some THING is aware of you and not at all happy you are there. And, at the same time, there is another sense of pleasure, even giddiness or joy. Even without entering, you can tell that the woods is a very odd place.
Andar focuses on the whispers as they walk, listening for thoughts he is unfamiliar with.
Detect Thoughts lets me do a passive scan for intelligent thought within 30 ft of me, and if he's not doing anything else, he's going to be doing that. It doesn't tell him where they are, just that they're within 30 ft, and they have to have an INT score over 3 to detect them. I have to keep Concentration, but since it's cast at will, I only have to do an action ever minute to keep it going.
As you stand at the edge of rhe copse of trees and open your awareness, you are nearly overwhelmed as a flood of senses pour into your mind. Beyond the general apprehension of your companions, there is a mass of other inputs. Not so much thoughts in the "normal" sense but, rather, something simpler and more primal. If you were to attempt to put them into words, it would be a combination of fear, hatred, anger, and a desperate need to feed.
Stepping into the grove of trees is akin to stepping into some alien landscape, maybe this is what the Shadowfell is like? almost immediately after the tree line, there is a hard right turn in the path, making it difficult to see where you came in.
Between and around the trees, there is a heavy, cold, fog or mist that obscures the view more than about fifty feet ahead of you.
Somewhere in the distance you can hear a skittering noise, light, like a small animal, and also a more heavy thump-thump as of something large and heavy.
As you get deeper into the trees, more and more thoughts and feelings are barraging you from all sides.
it seems reasonable to ask for a concentrations check, DC 13 at this point.
"Shadows? What shadows?" Terry says cheerfully. "There's fog. But otherwise the forest seems well lit."
Eyes of Night: Your eyes are blessed, allowing youto see through the deepest gloom. You have darkvision with no maximum range; you can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light.
As they enter the forest, the mist swirling between the bare tree trunks like it has a mind of its own, Albrecht places the brick in his hand on the ground, as if it were a marker to show that once crossed, he has left behind a world that was familiar and entered one that was not. The brick itself had come loose in his hand as he had left the wizard's home; the mortar was loose, and he had taken it with him out of habit.
As you walk ever further into the woods, if anything, the fog gets denser and colder, the wisps of it seem to drag upon your skin like cold fingers. after only a few minutes the trail splits. either path seem equally well trod and neither looks particularly more inviting than the other. Somewhere, not too far away, the skittering and thumping continues.
Your keen eyes just manage to spot something, several very dark, almost black somethings, moving in the mists to the groups left.