Upon waking, the group quickly packed up camp and continued their trek northward. There still had been no sign of a road, or anything remotely resembling the remains of any such man made structures up to this point. Many in the group began to openly question the decision to press onward deeper into the mysterious swamp. Wet, cold, miserable, and tired many felt it was time to head back to the Deadwood Forest to the south. After a short discussion it was finally agreed that the group would press northward for the time being. It was often during these heated discussions that Fin LaVie began to notice that Dirk was often following his lead, and agreeing with Fin on what might be the best course of action. It seemed a bit odd, but then again Fin couldn’t argue with such sound judgement.
Later that day the companions began to notice a presence nearby, as though the group was being watched. Then late that night their fears were realized when Altain was hit with a poison dart while the remainder of the camp was asleep. Luckily others woke due to Altains words of warning before the surprised Eladrin fell unconscious. However not much else came from the short lived attack, as several shots into the marshes were believed to have hit their mark, but no bodies were ever found? The group did manage to catch a quick glimpse of their attackers however, lizard-men, before they managed to vanished into the dark waters of the surrounding swamp.
The next day a submerged road was finally discovered as the group continued pressing northward. It was then decided that the caravan in which they sought had most likely already passed. This lead to the decision to head west in the hopes of catching up to the caravan. It wasn’t long before ruts in the mud below the waters surface would lead the group directly to the wagons. But what they discovered was not a pleasing sight as wagons stood nearly wheel deep in the mud and water, their skeletal horses still strapped into their harnesses! It appeared to be some sort of ambush, but the supplies of the caravan were strangely intact? Arrows and a few small darts providing the only little evidence to what might have happened. It was then decided that the hours were growing late, and the group decided to set camp nearby the wreckage. It was during this late hour that someone took note of four parallel tears in one of the covered wagons. Each was spaced approximately ten inches apart, they appeared to be the large claw marks of an unnamed creature.
Then during that nights rest Altain heard something moving in the water somewhere out in the darkness. Nervously he awoke his companions while the sounds of snapping wood broke the silence of the night. Soon the large creature came into sight, it’s large green body covered with numerous large warts – a troll. The massive creature stood atleast twelve foot, and it’s heavy breathing could now be heard sniffing the night air. Then it picked up on the parties scent and the first volleys were quickly released towards the massive enemy as it approached. But to the groups dismay they soon witnessed the creatures wounds healing nearly as fast as they were inflicted. The troll was regenerating before their eyes! Then the creature landed a massive blow with its fist, and Altain collapsed unconscious!! Luckily one of the companions retrieved the unconscious man from the water before his lungs fatally filled with the putrid waters of the swamp. The battle continued for nearly a minute until finally the large troll fell. Relief rushed over the group as they contemplated their good fortune. Then suddenly the creature burst up from the dark waters and fatally struck Dirk with a massive blow to the head, killing the unfortunate rogue instantly! Quickly the others rushed to fell the beast once again, but it was too late for Dirk. His lifeless body was beyond repair, his head crushed in on the left side from the powerful blow.
This time a burning arrow fired by Wolven dropped the regenerating troll once and for all. It was from this fortunate shot, and the need for a light source, that the companions discovered the power of fire over their now fallen enemy. Shortly after the group witnessed an incredible sight the like of which none had ever witnessed before. The unconscious Altain was given one of the mysterious liquids the group had discovered earlier in their journey, and the Eladrin’s wounds began to mend before their very eyes, and then swordmage’s eyes slowly began to open! It was an elixer of healing from ancient times long forgotten, and the group found themselves marveling at its divine power. Unfortunately such gifts were nothing short of a miracle during these dark times, and all quickly came to the realization that each should be used only under the most dire of circumstances.
The remaining companions took to the nearby trees for protection for the remainder of the night. With heavy hearts over the loss of yet another companion each began to ponder their own mortality. It would prove to be yet another difficult night, as another emotional loss wore on many of the companions. Then as the gray-dawn of the Misty Marshes approached, the group listened as nearly a dozen crocodiles tore the final pieces of flesh from the nearby troll carcass. Never had each been more thankful for trees than on this night.