Campaign Journal – Spring, 11th year of the reign of Uther Andahar
Tensions were clearly running high as the Raven’s Companions spent ten days on the Gretchin’ in the barge’s cramped, cloying hold. The lingering smell of sickness below decks did little to help. The fifteen minutes breaks spent above deck in the gloomy light and chill Spring air only served to highlight to each traveler the danger of The Great Dismal Swamp.
Amongst those dangers were foot long leeches that drained a hapless deckhand of his lifeblood and schools of vicious fish that stripped the flesh from a hapless sailor who fell into the water when the Gretchin’ ran aground. Eaeros selflessly dove into the frigid, sulfurous swamp water to rescue the dying man suffering dozens of tiny wounds.
Such incidents did little to put the party at ease. Adding to the dangers without, within the hold Veslo Meridan found occasion to pointedly sharpen her sword while re-telling the tale of how her friend Alwyn Morland was lost – after Alwyn insisted on exploring the dead wizard’s tower to help “that charming Eaeros out.”
This simmering powder keg exploded on a small island in the swamp not far from the Temple of the Frog when the Gretchin’ happened upon a group of monks pulling a small rowing boat ashore. Arwan insisted Captain Tehn order the barge ashore to see if the party could be of any “assistance” when he overheard the monks’ white-robed leader implore the others to pursue some escaped slaves.
Arwan and Niko readily volunteered to track down the terrified family hiding in a grove of swamp trees. When the white-robed monk moved to lead them back to his boat, the man in the group slashed at him with a rusty knife. Arwan promptly knocked the man unconscious and dragged him back to the waiting monks. All the while, his wife and young daughter crying and begging for mercy.
This turned out to be too much for Eaeros to bear. He was not content to allow the slaves to be returned to their captive condition at the Temple. He refused an order to load the woman and child into the monks’ small boat putting the party’s clandestine mission in jeopardy. When the white-robed monk gave the order for his four subordinates to kill Eaeros, a fight ensued.
All five monks were felled and Eaeros and Niko displayed newfound and gruesome powers. Not all the monks were lucky enough to experience the relative ease of dying upon Arwan’s razor-sharp blade. The monks white-robed leader wept blood from his eyes, infected with foul contagion by Niko, as he was interrogated kneeling in the stinking mud. After telling all he would, he was granted the release of death.
After witnessing such horrors, only a large amount of gold and a healthy fear of Arwan will likely ensure the silence of Captain Tehn and his crew.
All Miklos, Ruda and Veslo could do was shake their heads and wonder whether the party was cut out for a mission requiring a certain amount of discretion.
Everyone earns an Inspiration.
24th and 25th session –1950 XP (total all sessions: 34, 605)