All Vigilant Citizens of Irvanshire,
I hope your winter was warm and restful, and you were able to spend time with loved ones. The Great Frostwood had a rather mild winter, with only a handful of snowfalls, which was a welcome contrast from the last few years, let me tell you.
But, alas, I wish the reason for this open letter was to bring you all nothing but good tidings, but I fear it is not. Some of you may remember my entreaty for citizens in the wooded areas of Irvanshire to stay watchful for any strange activities regarding migrating wood trolls. For almost the entirety of this winter, wood troll activity around my compound has been almost non-existent. I had begun to ease in my wariness, attributing the recent behavior of the trolls as some strange fluke, and was ready to put the matter to rest.
Until last week, that is.
I had just returned home from a survey in a nearby grove, and was sitting at my kitchen table while drinking some tea and thinking about the upcoming bloom, when my front door was shattered by a tremendous crash as two wood trolls entered my house! Now, anyone who has ever dealt with this manner of creature can immediately understand how off-putting this situation was in which I found myself; two wood trolls INSIDE my house. As I readied my axes to dispatch them, I also couldn’t help notice that, at first glance, these trolls looked…off. Sick, even. It was when I engaged in combat with them that my suspicions were further aroused. These trolls employed none of the usual tactics typically used by their kind, and it was clear that, under more intense study, large patches of mold and fungus appeared to be growing in and on their bodies. They almost…looked dead entirely.
As I beheaded them with my axes, I was greeted with one final surprise. Instead of lying there motionless, the bodies of the wood trolls convulsed violently for a few moments and then exploded; showering both myself and the inside of my home with a noxious, viscous fluid. It was toxic enough to make me vomit a few times and feel a bit of fatigue, however, I’ve also built up an immunity to various poisons, so I’m not entirely sure what effect it would have on people without said immunity.
It is my belief, at this point, that the wood trolls were not migrating north for some unknown reason; rather, I believe they were fleeing whatever malady seems to have befallen them, much like normal wildlife would flee an encroaching forest fire. Over the next few days, I heard reports from several other colleagues of mine that they, too, had had similar experiences. One had even mentioned fighting off a HUMAN with similar symptoms.
Something terrible is upon us. I don’t know where it came from, but, I only see it getting worse from here. If any of you folks are brave enough while encountering these afflicted wood trolls, I am seeking out collected pieces of various molds and fungi to further research, and welcome deliveries of these objects at my estate in The Great Frostwood.
Until this is resolved, be wary. Travel in numbers. And keep an eye to the woods.
-Arados Holfax, Woodwarden of The Great Frostwood