Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Oliver and Drippy want to enter Ding Dong Dell. Unfortunately, the guard won't let anyone in because he just doesn't care. You need some help from an Old Man in the Deep Dark Wood—and being deep and dark, they're surely filled with beasts. Save at the waypoint as soon as you enter, just in case.
Old Father Oak
Follow Drippy into the forest, as you can't proceed down any of the branches just yet, and you'll soon arrive at the roots of a massive, talking oak tree. This is Old Father Oak, and he'll instantly recognize Oliver as the Pure-Hearted One. He'll agree to help—and point out that Oliver needs a familiar. He'll give Oliver a page for the spell Form Familiar, and when you use it you'll have your first familiar. Its default name is Mitey, though you can name it whatever you like.
Once you have your familiar, Old Father Oak will also give you two other spells to add to your repertoire: Healing Touch and Fireball. You'll also unlock the Spells Menu for checking and casting your spells. After you've learned a few more things a pair of monsters will come out looking for a fight. Follow the tutorial and use your new familiar to beat them in.
Afterward, Old Father Oak will ask you a favour in exchange for the ability to mend hearts: he wants you to deal with the guardian of the forest, whom he says has become 'unruly'. He's out by the Whispering Waterfalls. Sounds like a challenge worth taking. Check out the Friends & Familiars page, feed Mitey any treats you might have picked up while battling on the world map, then backtrack to the three-way split in the forest and take a right. Along this path you'll find a Loaf of White Bread, and, with enough walking, you'll come out by Whispering Waterfalls. Past this point you're facing enemies, so be prepared for battles.
Follow the path to the stones in the water and hop across. On the other side you'll find a Bar of Chocolate in a box. Further up the path you'll see more stones you can hop across to your left and to your right some grass hiding the path. Go right first and you'll find a blue treasure box that you can't open . . . yet. Note it for later, then backtrack and hop across the stones. Drippy will use this opportunity to tell you more about familiar tricks.
Follow the path forward to a smaller path near the waterfalls. Once you pass the wall ornament that looks suspiciously like a ribcage, check the right side of the path (it should be a hill) for a hidden road leading up to a treasure chest containing Iced Coffee. Run back down the hill, go through the cave, and follow the path around to find a waypoint. Save, as you're about to get into your first boss fight—the Guardian of the Woods. It's down the next passage, and it wants to scrap.
The Guardian of the Woods
The Guardian is pretty easy, despite how it looks. The big lug is strong but slow, and it can't keep up with Oliver if you decide to remain at a distance. Do just that, launching Fireballs whenever you get far enough away to have a moment's peace. With each hit the Guardian will drop a few blue and green glims, allowing you to keep up the barrage for as long as you want. Just be sure to Defend every time it uses Windfall, which it telegraphs a few seconds before using the move, and you'll win easily. Victory earns you a Spirits of the Woods and will unlock the Guardian's entry in your Wizard Companion.
Time to Get Inside Ding Dong Dell!
Afterward, Drippy will comment on the Guardian's bad temper obviously being the product of Shadar's tampering. The fiend. Once you're done talking you'll be whisked back to Old Father Oak, and he'll give you two things: the Telling Stone, which offers a variety of statistics about your quest to date . . . and the Locket, the item that will supposedly cure the guard back at Ding Dong Dell via the Take Heart and Give Heart spells. Old Father Oak will end by telling you to come back and visit periodically, which you should do, as he'll give you items if you've gotten far enough into the story.
That's all for the forest. Time to get inside Ding Dong Dell! Head back to the world map!