Trout the Sprout

>*You arrive at the entrance to Three’s Forest - marked by a large ornate sign with dark metal furnishings. In the distance, the forest quickly goes from pleasantly forested to dark and densely overgrown. As you approach the sign to enter the forest, you trip over something.*

>Trout: Hey! Watch where you’re going, you almost trampled me!

<What the fuck is that.

>Look, you’ve gone and stepped all over my turnips, you oaf! It took ages to get those planted. Oh, what am I going to do now? Those were the last I had!

<"Apologize profusely."

>*You quickly get up and off the small field. You're kinda surprised your tumble managed to wreck it so much...*

<Descant: I'm really sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going.

>Trout: Well, at least you were polite about knocking me over. I know I’m short and easy to miss...

<Yeah I'm aware.

>I’m Trout, by the way. I live here on the edge of the forest and grow turnips. Or, well, I used to grow turnips.

>Lately, the forest has been changing, and my turnips won’t grow! I’m going to perish since they’re my only food source. They’re where I get my life energy from, I’m a sprout, you see.

>There’s something horribly wrong going on in the forest, but I can’t leave my fields to go check it out. The seedling turnips require almost constant supervision now, otherwise they won’t grow.

>*You look out at the forest. Nothing immediately strikes you as odd about it, just looks like a normal, scary forest. Then again, you might not be the best authority on what's normal around here...*

>But now you’ve gone and trampled my seedlings!

<Descant: Sorry again...

>Trout: Before I tell you what I know about the current state of the forest, could you please help me? I need to get some turnips to replace my seedlings, but I’m too frail and slow to make the journey.

>Could you get me a few turnips? You’ve got longer legs and a quicker stride. I’m sure you’ll find a way.

<"Agree to help, it’s the least you could do."

<Descant: Yeah, of course I can.

>Trout: Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here, anxiously waiting. Don’t worry about me though, being anxious is my specialty.

<That's...probably not great?

<Descant: I think I should have some right here...

>*You dig in your bag and pull out some of the turnips you've gathered, handing them to the sprout.*

>Trout: That was quick! Thank you for replacing my seedlings.

>It’s been nearly impossible to grow anything since the forest started getting darker and darker.

<Descant: What do you mean "darker"?

>Trout: It’s like there’s some sort of malevolent force taking over the area. The air has become rank and the water has gone sour with rot.

>Even the plants in the forest have changed. There are all sorts of horrible mushrooms and thorns that are choking out the native trees and ferns. The flowers are strange too - the meadow in the forest used to be nice, but it feels sinister now.

>*You again look out to the forest. Now that he's pointed them out, you do see the odd plants, their vibrant colours clashing with what you assume to be the native flora. The patterns they grow in don't look entirely natural either, they're too...planned out?*

>Everything is trying to outgrow everything else, and it feels like the forest is almost at war with itself! Not even the animals stick around for very long. It’s all very concerning, and it’s ruining my crops.

>I wanted to move out to Louise Hill, but I can’t just leave. This has been my home for my entire five seasons, and it’s my duty to bring more sprouts into the world. I wish there was something to be done about the invading plants, though.

>*Jevil brandishes his scythe.*

<...You gonna fight the plants?

>You’re brave and more powerful than I am, aren’t you? You’re one of those traveler-types! How about you go into the forest and pluck out some of the thorns, mushrooms, and flowers to thin out their numbers? That would definitely help!

<"That definitely won’t help, but you inquire further anyways."

<Descant: Yeah, sure.

<Just pulling out a few of them won't do sounds like the problems a lot deeper than just a few rogue plants.

>Trout: Oh I’m so glad you decided to help!

>*Jevil runs off and cuts the nearest vine he can find. After a few swipes, it disappears in a puff of smoke, and he quickly moves to the next plant.*

>*You and Chrominance join him in weeding. You go at it for a few hours while Trout prepares his field.*

>*The more you pull out, the more you notice the weird qualities of the plants. Of course theres the exploding into smoke when they're pulled out, but they also grow far too quickly. You can clear out an area, only to come back a few minutes later and find the invading plants beginning to grow again.*

<Why are they so...aggressive.

>*Eventually all three of you get too tired to continue.*

>Trout: Well, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference, but you did try.

>You’re pretty good at running these kinds of errands, aren’t you?

<Please don't make this a regular occurrence.

>I’ll give you a bit of advice - How about you go talk to Irin? They’re a really nice friend to the sprouts and sprites of the forest and I’m sure they can point you in the right direction if you’re wanting to explore a bit.

<Descant: Guess it can't hurt...

>Trout: Here, take this with you so Irin knows you’re a friend.

>*He hands you a small, budding seedling.*

>Just watch out while you’re out there, you hear? There’s something mysterious going on in the forest.

<"Take your leave."

<Descant: I will be. Thank you.

>*You put the seedling carefully into your bag and venture into the forest proper, Jevil's candle flame acting as a good light. Trout didn't give you much of a direction to go in to look for Irin, so you decide on one randomly.*

[Complete quest.]

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