Puppets of the Shadow

The Encoaching Swamp

Nothing like a mudbath - but who left the tap on?

Raedin, Lazareus, Menathrodon and Melion were hired by Lt. Renthik to investigate the curious expansion of a swamp near Furner's Rest.

 When the party arrived, they found the village nearly abandoned, and a local farmer told tales of hair-raising screams in the night, haunting shadows, and – most upsetting to him – his pigs were unnerved and restless. The party promised to put a stop to the goings on, and convinced the reluctant farmer to show them what was left of the old road through the swamp.

The road was muddy, foul, and plagued by monstrous beasts. The party suffered attacks from Shadow-tainted dire wolves soon after entering the  marsh, and would encounter spectres, giant shadow bats and creeping vine horrors before reaching their destination.

A graveyard full of zombies hardly slowed the party, but a village of lizardfolk gave them pause enough to cleverly taint the water supply with a poison designed to knock out the sentries long enough for the party to get by.

Eventually, the party came to a clearing near a foul lake. Across the churned mud, they could see a cave, deep within which a curious purple light flickered. Moving closer to investigate, they were ambushed by a young black dragon who was hiding in the lake!

The creature's inherent abilities of shadow blinded the party, making it nearly impossible to hit for several minutes. The team suffered heavy damage before the shadow spell wore off, but when it did, the tide turned in their favor, as they gave the juvenile dragon back every hit it had delivered on them.

When the beast lay dead, the party investigated the cave, discovering a rift opened between the material plane and the Shadowfell. Bizarrely, the rift was guarded by a magical barrier, which had to be deactivated before the ritual of closing could be performed. The team paused briefly to wonder who might have wanted to keep the portal from being closed, but had precious few clues to dwell on.

Before returning to Faldale, they swung back to the village of lizardfolk that had so worried them. Bearing the head of the young dragon, they attempted to intimidate the creatures by claiming to have killed their god. Instead, the village's two dozen warriors descended on the party in rage!

The battle of the village was short – and profitable. Carved idols and rough gems made a fair reward for the party, added to the curious weapons and armor they had collected from ancient dead in the swamp earlier.

And of course, there was still the matter of collecting the job's pay from Renthik back in Faldale..



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