- The party, now rejoined above the forest cliffs continue on their return trip to Maya, the window’s Estates with news of fresh victory.
- Pausing to recover the for the evening, shifts are established and the party hunkers down hoping to recover from the recent battles. Faleen the failed fisher fails at fishing in the fine frosty river by the forest. In the earliest hours of the morning, Chisurah successfully picks up some strange movement down the river banks. Investigation determines that the would be threat is none other than the slightly mad hermit Jare. Chisurah in frustration with Jare’s weird antics turns him away and returns to camp to calm the worries of the party and return to rest.
- Recovered, the party arrives at Maya’s and is put off when they realize that she is not satisfied with a few Kobold kills, requiring instead the ousting of the problems source. Her concerns about this strange ‘rift’ that the attacks originated through, and the parties lack of information or reassurance that nothing else will come through lead her to resist fully backing their request to the town’s leadership with a full vote of confidence. Eventually the party is able to convince her and she turns over the majority of her stored food assets to the adventurers for the ‘trade gift’ for Durnhal. Still, she is fearful of additional attack and the resources given would have been usable to purchase other insurances.
- The return trip to Ra’sel is managed, with a wide birth given to the now plagued portion of the route affected by the Necrotic influence of the Oblisk.
- Supplies are gathered and prepared for the long trip to Durnhal with the successful support achieved from the majority of the towns community leaders. A hired hand is brought on to help assist with the horses and pony and general stockpiles by the name of ……, a local farmer who recently lost his lands and family to violent attack and had until now been drowning in the local bar. A guide is secured for the first part of the trip, navigating the eastern forest to the edges of Marrow Marshlands, where by the party is left to Renee & Eilonwy’s familiarity to help guide them.
- Days quickly turn into weeks as the party moves east. Muck and rock, hunger and thirst, wild animals and monstrous attack all become the day to day dangers as the party drives into the heart of the wild. Crossing between swampy mire and rocky hills at the feet of the southern mountains already cresting their early snows of the fast approaching winter.
- Early in their travels the party sought the easier ground of the hills bordering the swamps. Encountering a path that led through jagged rocky cliffs on one side, and pillars of shale and rock forming a loose canyon, they approached with caution. Something felt amiss to the parties most observant, and some scouting yielded information that the strange little holes permeating the walls of the cliffs and the bases of the pillars along with the edge of hearing clatter and buzz might belong to some kind of swarm. Caution proved the way and the party circled back, surrendering a loss of a couple of days travel against the, until now, quick path-finding work accomplished by the party.
- Pushed down into the swamp (when given the path of higher into the mountains or the swamp), the parties progress speed was slowed by the nature of the terrain, but countered by the the home turf experience of Renee. Still, his path-finding couldn’t keep the party wholly safe. A large howl and roar shattered the soft sounds of the marsh. Investigation led to what appeared to be a large swamp troll struggling with vine nets. As the party moved in to attempt to remedy the situation, seeking to potentially tame a possible ally, the ruse was up and the Troll began to weave its supernatural powers controlling the razor-vines to attack in large bursts and blasts. The party pushed in to attempt the rescue of their party mate who’d braved the trolls proximity only to find its power daunting and it’s attacks fierce. And the verge of rout, the swamp surged alive with an entire tribe of Bullywug’s. In the confusion and chaos, Renee urged his allies to fall back and then to pick up the trail and move with haste before the battle finished and they again turned to prey, trespassing on Bullywug land as they were.
- Falleen throws rocks (skips) across swamp water for the lack of exciting combat. Still no combat. Ponders growing a beard.
- The Party arrives at the near halfway point (The would-be village of Veruccia Falls) of their journey after nearly 3 weeks. The cold winds of the mountains are beginning to chill the night air, even in the humid swampy lowlands.
- Some time is spent talking to the local non-aggressive Bullywug’s of Renee’s nearly decimated home tribe. Some intuitive digging uncovers that there is a problem in the village that isn’t being mentioned by the elders. Some kind of smaller scale repeated attack that is slowly reducing the population. Where as no larger scale attacks have resulted from the local enemies of the swamp, the number of missing persons without witness has begun to grow. Bardic knowledge of Alewyn results in some information, albeit not specific enough to give name to the enemy. The attacker is thought to be intelligent, cunning, and fear, always attacking lone children, elderly, or easy prey.
- The party sets aside their mission temporarily to attempt to set a trap. Initially their trap is either ineffective or detected, however an additional attempt strikes with just enough luck and success to pull out some activity. The battle itself that results is still one of confusion, darkness with the only luck resulting from the narrowly achieved expert shot of Chissurah who managed to bleed the creature as it slipped out into the dark waters, still unknown and now alerted to the active opposition.
- Investigation and some tracking on the part of the witch, Eilonwy returned evidence that the creature was bleeding from the arrow wound. The party convinced the elders to finally help, small village canoe’s were requisition and the slow chase through the swamp was begun.
- In a particularly fetid and putrid portion of the swamp a small island covered in dense swamp brambles was located as the probable lair. Witch’s light sent beneath the surface and some swimming on the part of the native, Renee, revealed an underwater passage into some kind of mud and root cave system.
- The party in hot pursuit encounters its first trap, a simple mudslide-to-pit-of-spikes type. Luck was on their side and the party proceeded with more caution for engineered traps, only stumble into a naturally occurring defense, mushroom spore of the poisonous type. Still, the party navigated its way down a large vertical shaft with narrow ledge and several broken points where climbing and jumping became necessary.
- Finally, a tunnel broke away into the earth as the floor would have opened out beneath the shaft onto a floor of stalagmites, leading down and then out on that level. The party, sending their wisp light ahead to light the cavern find the ramp curves around and down the cluster of stalagmites.
- Navigating as such, Renee decides to double back to the higher ground for a better vantage, only to come face to face with a youth, of what appears to be dark elven descent. Pleasantries were exchanged followed by violence, darkness, acid clouds, claws and wings and snarling teeth all sung to the music of swords, song, arrows, primal and witch magic. There was even a cat. It died though.
- Both sides under prepared and wounded, end the battle in a stalemate. The young black dragon weasels his way out from between the adventurers, pouring one last blast of caustic burning acid down on them before making his escape through a side exit hidden in the as of yet unexplored portion of the cave. The party is left with a temporary reprieve, rushing to tend wounds and attempt to recover before deciding the next plan of action.
Game #5 outline