On a beautiful summer afternoon, NAFI plays Dungeons & Dragons for the first time with her younger stepbrother, SAWYER, imagining a world where an EVIL MAN threatens the woodland home of plump little forest creatures. Nafi is finally beginning to accept Sawyer as family, but that newfound relationship is suddenly ripped away when a pickup truck accidentally hits Sawyer, killing him. Nafi is filled with grief. An ominous figure lurks in the dark woods as she stands over Sawyer’s lifeless body.
Nafi hides away in her apartment, depressed and angry, lashing out at her family, until she is interrupted one morning by a familiar creature: PAKA, one of the imaginary forest critters from her D&D game with Sawyer. Paka urges Nafi to help save his forest home from the mysterious “Evil Man.” Unsure of whether she is dreaming or losing her mind, Nafi agrees to follow Paka out of sheer curiosity.
Paka whisks Nafi away in a flying bubble of water, delivering her to the very forest she imagined with Sawyer. They are met by the ominous figure that lurked in the woods the night Sawyer was killed: a mute, corpse-like creature named MORDO. Despite his gruesome appearance, Nafi soon believes Mordo is there to help and follows him in search of clues to find the Evil Man.
Their search soon leads to a pair of vagabonds who surprisingly believe Nafi’s story. MARIAN and BODI are friends of Paka, and teach Nafi how to find the Evil Man’s monstrous minions, which should eventually lead her to the man himself. They give her a special FISHING LURE to attract the monsters, then send her flying off into the abyss from their rooftop fishing wharf high in the clouds.
With Mordo always in tow, Nafi proceeds to battle two of those monsters. The first takes the form of a crying teenager, alone in an elaborate version of Sawyer’s old tree house. The girl’s tears turn into a torrential flood which threatens to drown Nafi. The second is hiding aboard a peculiar train, where each carriage resembles a room from Nafi’s old family home. After an exhausting effort on both accounts, Nafi is able to defeat the two monsters and earn clues to help find the Evil Man. Each time, Nafi retreats further emotionally, and Mordo grows larger and more grotesque.
Nafi’s third encounter is with an ancient and seemingly harmless Koi fish named FORA, who traps Nafi within her garden dwelling. Fora says Nafi must slay her in order to learn the Evil Man’s identity. Nafi refuses, until she begins to piece together the puzzle herself, realizing he must be the same man who killed her brother. Filled with rage, Nafi takes up a sword and strikes Fora down.
Nafi finds the man, BRIAN, in the same forest where her journey began, near the site of Sawyer’s death. Shaking with fear and rage, Nafi holds the sword to his neck, but soon sees Brian’s sincere remorse and equally shared grief. She lowers the sword.
Suddenly, Mordo transforms, no longer a passive observer. He attacks Nafi and Brian, trapping them within the forest. They team up to battle the monster, Nafi realizing Mordo was leading her astray the entire time, deeper into her grief. After a hard-fought battle (with help from Brian, Paka, Marian, and Bodi), Nafi has Mordo pinned, ready to take the killing strike . . . but she stops. She drops her sword, knowing deep down that killing him won’t heal her pain. She must accept that this grief will always be a part of her, something she must learn to live with. She touches Mordo, absorbing him in an explosive storm of black smoke.
The beast is gone.
Nafi awakens in the forest with Brian. She consoles him and offers her forgiveness. She makes amends with her family. She befriends Brian, and the pair continue playing D&D in memory of Sawyer.