It was time to move onward with heavy hearts. The groups lost companion, Dirk, would surely be missed in the dark and dangerous swamplands of the Misty Marshes. A few hours into their wet and miserable journey the group came across a pile of what appeared to be human skulls, with long bones standing at the center of the pile on end, and topped by one final skull. It was a disturbing sight that many in the group concluded must certainly be some sort of territorial marker. None could be sure but the companions felt they were most likely entering the lizard-mens territory. These markers continued to be seen in increasing frequency as they moved further ahead, and many were on edge pondering if these skulls might be the remains of any number of the vanishing caravans of the past? Some seemed older than others, but none could be sure of the affects the swamp might have on the skulls.
It was nearing noon when the group came upon another wreckage of wagons along the sunken road. Much older than their previous discovery it was yet another clue speaking to them about the past. Could it possibly be as simple as a lizardfolk tribe jumping the unsuspecting caravans, and if so how did several others successfully make the trip? With these thoughts flooding their collective memories the group once again began to press ahead.
Shorty after the tension suddenly broke, as poisoned darts once again whistled from the marshy mists. Then oversized bat-like mesquitos assailed the group. The group quickly found themselves in trouble. The number of lizardfolk attackers couldn’t be discerned, but the group was certain they killed a few before the others fled. But the stirges were another matter, as the blood sucking critters nearly drained the life from more than one member. Thankfully the six flying bat-like creatures were finally put down but it was a close call. Robyn, realizing his good fortune, was certain he wanted nothing to do with the likes of them ever again.
It was during this conflict that a dwarven straggler came out of nowhere to assist the companions. His name was Mongo, and he was apparently lost in this very deadly land. He told the party of the lizardfolk tribe that littered the area, and of strange hooded folk he had spotted several days earlier walking in the distant foggy mist. After a short conversation it was decided that the dwarven warden should join the group. After a short trek dusk began to fall and the group decided to set camp, and although the night was full of strange noises, the group woke well rested the next morning.
The next day as afternoon approached ruins were spotted in the distant fog. Robyn and Fin decided to approach stealthily as Wolven followed a short distance back. Inside the temple ruins the two spotted several lizard-men guards. The took up a position in the shadows flanking the ruins entrance. It didn’t take long before the guards made their way outside, apparently spotting the other group members approaching in the distance. After a short skirmish the lizardfolk guards were defeated, and a short rest was in order. But Fin was unwilling to let down his guard fearing further attack by other lizardfolk holed up inside the unwelcoming ruins. His fears were soon realized as he suddenly came under attack as he entered the premises. Quickly others raced to help their accosted team member, but just when it appeared all was under control a draconic order suddenly echoed through the ruins. Then a giant lizard-man suddenly appeared from around a nearby corner. It was a blackscale, and the power behind his blows was evident by the creatures immense size! Fortunately the companions proved the better once again, killing all advesaries, with the exception of one lizard shaman. This one they trapped in a corner before attempting to parlay, but unfortunately the draconic tongue was no easy task to decipher. Finally several in the group decided to do away with the lesser creature of the swamp, as they beat it to death as it crouched helplessly in the corner. Others feeling disturbed by the sudden course of events merely walked away, choosing not to witness what they felt was nothing short of cold blooded murder.
Little talk took place during the rest inside the ruins, as many thoughts turned towards the bloody corner nearby. What had just happened and why? The sheer brutality of the moment shocked more than a few in the group. Relationships now seemed strained amongst several in the group, and many wondered what the long term implications might be? The two killers, Robyn and Altain however had other thoughts, as they focused on something the lizard mystic had said as the final blows fell – Drathmar, Drathmar, Drathmar.