Escaping Blackmoor was certainly easier than breaching its gates. The group managed to return to the Spiritwode without any trouble. Knowing that their next step was to find out some information, they thought they were headed back to Talynx’ tower…instead, they ended up at the beginning of a swamp which seemed to stretch in all directions as far as you could see.
The swamp water wasn’t too deep at first, but they were happy to find a swamp skiff not too far into it that someone must have lost or simply left behind.
After boarding the skiff, the group headed north. All seem quiet and apparently just grateful they escaped alive. Kit is not able to get her bearings since escaping and although was glad the others were able to discern which direction they need to go.
Night began to settle over the swamp, cloaking the dense undergrowth in darkness and turning the water’s surface to black. With it came a clinging, creeping fog, rising from the water like spectral steam. The fog surrounded them, its dampness caressing like cold, dead hands. The swamp seemed to retreat from the mists, its sights and sounds disappearing into some unseen distance. All that remained visible was the cold, choking fog. Even your companions seem far away. For a moment, everything is quiet. What few sounds they could can hear are amplified by the surrounding mists: their own breathing, their own beating heart. Then the fog begins to dissipate, fading away as quickly as it appeared, leaving you and your companions alone in the dismal swamp.
Each could feel their companions presence…and when the fog fades, they were able to see each one of them, but a feeling of disorientation sits heavily upon each.
It was quite awhile before dry land was spotted. They steered the raft toward the spot where Kor motioned. Kithri finds herself eagerly wanting the group to be gathered and resting around a campfire. She was unable to hear anything around them and instead of feeling safe, she felt they are eerily alone. The men gathered wood and started a fire but Mialee says we need to flee because of the storm.
The swamp grew even darker than it did before. The nearby trees become twisted shadows with claw-like branches reaching out, and a foul odor rises from the murky water. Overhead, through the tangled branches, the sky also appears strange. The stars have subtly changed positions, and the moon is closer, nearly full.
Menacing clouds begin to roll across the western sky like a curtain of black smoke. In but a few moments, the clouds blot out the feeble starlight completely. A storm is brewing – a very bad storm.
Mialee continues to urge the group flee. The others feel we need to hunker down and Fog works on makeshift shelter; making good use of the raft as protection.
For a brief moment the clouds part, the near-full moon’s luminous light spreads a long shadow of the treacherous tree across the island….before its swallowed by darkness again.
The group sees and hears nothing suspicious.
They decide to stay.
Time passes, the watches occur without incident. The clouds move overhead but
not a single drop of rain has yet to come down.
No Morning Light
Morning comes and they are awakened by Kor’s light shake. The fire has nearly died out. Once he’s awakened each, he sits back down near the fire and eats some dried meat and hard tack.
They gathered for a long trip through the swamp.
The day is dark and dismal, painted gray by the mist and clouds. The sun has not shown its face since they arrived, and the air is clammy and cold. The water below the raft is several feet deep. To one side, black logs drift lazily atop the stagnant water. To the other, shadows slip through the trees and the underbrush, moving in time with the raft. The eyes of the swamp are upon you.
Suddenly there is movement heard then crocodiles surface. They had encircled the group. The group fought strongly against them. They stayed together and were careful not tip the skiff to far in either direction. Just as the last crocodile lunged at Mialee, Fog stuck it down.
Declan saw the group was whole save for a few battle wounds then carved meat from the last crocodile. Hecate asked for the eyes and, jokingly, for the testicles for her spells.
Before continuing, Hecate identified a spear for Mialee. It was the one Mialee treasures after receiving it from Maera’s temple. Hecate said, “It’s a Feyspear, a religious icon of Maera. Watch it for approaching enemies of the fey, for it will glow green with their presence.”
The raft slipped through a tangle of tall reeds growing up from beneath the black, murky water. The fog dissipated, but the surroundings are still gloomy.
Overhead, branches entwine to form a dense canopy. The sounds of the swamp are louder now, and they echo through the trees. Unseen creatures slide through the reeds below the water’s surface. A chorus of croaks and ribbits begins, as if to greet you, growing so loud that every other sound is drowned out by their raucous song. Then, all at once, the chorus stops.
They shored the raft on a small dry island. The land is large enough to provide ample items for a fire and makeshift shelter. While the shelter was assembled, Declan gathers herbs for the dinner. All were grateful for the fresh meat.
While looking around what seemed to be a quiet spot, Kit heard a snap near her ear. She called out just as the group was attacked by several giant frogs. One by one the giant frogs fell. Then all was eerily quiet, too quiet, too isolated, once more.
After the fight, Declan found a boat with a chest. It appeared the frogs may have eaten the last owner of the chest. The chest contained: clothing and personal items were destroyed by the water. However, two short shorts were found in immaculate condition. There were no signs of rust. Hecate told Kit she needed to rest before she could look at them. Kit took comfort in the group being together.
With the raft secured; This is where the gang slept, in shifts.