From the A Ford Across the Skunk River area, just keep following the Skunk River north and west and you’ll stumble across this area shortly.
When you enter the area you’ll find yourself along the northern end of the map, from which head south a short distance to find Lumberjacks led by a man named Corax facing off against a Nixie named Melianse. The Nixie, while outnumbered, does have a trump card in the form of two bewitched Lumberjacks, whose lives she threatens in response to Corax’s aggression. Getting drawn into this stalemate starts the quest Feather Tokens - which is really the key encounter in this area.
If you pick the [Neutral] option you’ll just watch as both sides butcher each other, and Jaethal will show she’s a poor gambler, as the Nixie does not, in fact, have a better chance of winning. After Corax and his Lumberjacks defeat their fellows, the Giant Frogs Melianse summons, and the Nixie herself, you can talk to him again and decide to finish what the Nixie started [Chaotic Evil] by attacking the grieving Lumberjacks. Melianse herself has little of interest to loot and Corax has a Greataxe +1.
Alternatively you can pick the dialogue option [Solve the problem with force] “You know what? To hells with it…” after which you’ll get the option to attack Melianse, the lumberjacks, or both sides. The first two actions are [Neutral Evil] while the last is [Chaotic Evil]. Resorting to violence hastily in this case is an evil act no matter how you slice it, and considering the rewards, there’s not much incentive to do so, you know, save for the joy of killing, experience, and Corax’s Greataxe +1.
If carnage and violence doesn’t appeal to you, take a more diplomatic approach by picking the dialogue option “What’s going on here?”, to find out that the conflict has arisen predictably enough. A fey creature’s home is being ravaged by some hard-working men with axes, and both sides clearly view each other as an over-bred menace.
Don’t bother trying to appeal to the Nixie, she won’t even consider disarming by surrendering her captives. Instead pick the dialogue option [Try to reason with the loggers] “Listen to me, guys…” to get a variety of checks where you can attempt to resolve the situation peacefully. These include a [Knowledge (World) 22] check, a [Diplomacy 22] check or an [Intimidate 22] check, the last of which is a [Lawful Neutral] action and a fair assertion of your property rights. Fortunately if you fail at one of these checks, you can attempt another, so unless you’re dead-set on a particular outcome you should be capable enough of passing at least one of these checks.
After the lumberjacks have been convinced, you’ll have to negotiate with Melianse, who complicates matters by making more demands. It seems the lumberjacks leaving isn’t all the Nixie wants, she wants the restoration of the trees they felled. You can talk some sense into her by saying “Think of you situation, Melianse…” then pass an [Intimidate 25] check and she’ll abandon her demands and free her captives.
Alternatively you can pick the dialogue option “How are we supposed to restore a tree that’s already been cut down?” and she’ll tell you to gather some feather tokens, which are made by “your people’s mages” or by her cousin - a Dryad named Tiressia. This finally starts the quest Feather Tokens.
There are several sources for these “feather tokens” you’ll need to appease Melianse:
- Buy A Pouch of Feather Tokens from Bartholomew in the Lone House area.
- Buy A Pouch of Feather Tokens from The Old Beldame in the Swamp Witch’s Hut area.
- Ask Tiressia (also located in the Swamp Witch’s Hut area) for some feather tokens.
Buying the tokens will set you back 500 gold, and you may need to complete the quest Gnarled Branches before The Old Beldame will sell you anything, making Bartholomew the easier option (not to mention, he’s a lot closer). In fact, if you’re following this guide chronologically you could have bought A Pouch of Feather Tokens from Bartholomew in the Lone House area, in which case, you’re good to go.
If you refuse to pay, merely asking Tiressia for the tokens will also suffice. Alternatively, after asking Melianse about how to restore felled trees you can attempt to pass a [Diplomacy 25] check to convince Corax to get the tokens himself.
The most lucrative way to resolve this encounter is to actually start Feather Tokens by convincing the lumberjacks to stand down, then asking Melianse about restoring the trees. Once done, go get some Feather Tokens yourself (Tiressia is the cheapest option), then return and give them to Melianse for 300 XP (you’ll only get 180 XP if you convince Corax to send a fellow lumberjack after them).
|Reward: For giving Melianse some Feather Tokens|
|Reward: For convincing Corax to get some Feather Tokens|
Either way, talk to Melianse after giving her the Feather Tokens (or after convincing Corax to send somebody after them) and agree to be her friend (a [Chaotic Good] action) as this will earn you another 45 XP and a Ring of Protection +2. You can view it as a little white lie if you’re evil, or otherwise don’t actually care to befriend some river-dwelling sylvan bewitcher - the ring is worth the gesture, in any event.
|Reward: For befriending Melianse|
|Ring of Protection +2|
Finally, talk to Corax and demand a reward for another 45 XP and 400 gold.
|Reward: For resolving the dispute|