Friday, April 13, 2018

D&D Post Game 4-7-18 Part 2

Town Q&A
The first stop for the party was  (insert tavern here ) here they procured a room for the night and began their investigation.  What they found was little to nothing. The barmaid had seen the coins in question. She had noticed them months ago, but didn’t give much thought to them. They spent like any other gold coin. She still had a trio of them that she never spent.

They moved on over to the By-Water Brothers Trading Post. Here they fell into a huge crowd of people shopping. This was by far the largest store they had ever been. The store was more a warehouse with shelves than a typical store. It looked like anything one could want from day-to-day life to high adventuring, plus the entire place had a heavy floral aroma. Here the party found Thomas and Nicolas Soapmeister the owners of the store and also creators of the floral smell. See these two brothers come from a long line of soap makers. The Bayou Bliss, a fragrant soap with subtle hints of rose, lavender, swamp lily and cattail bloom is  their biggest seller.

The two brothers had little more to tell the party about the money. They too had noticed it began circulating a month or so ago but they were concerned about it. When they showed the chest to the brothers, they led the party to a trio of shelves holding similar made and sized chests. Another dead lead. They had also seen the slugs before on several shipments of grain from the Southern swamplands. No new news there. However, the handful of oats intrigued the brothers. They told the party that this breed of oats was grown on one plantation that had gone under years back, due to slug infestation. This plantation used a long defunct  but  nearby grist mill to grind their grain.

This was the best lead the party had. The Soapmeister brothers drew them a rough map to the location of the mill then they went back to dealing with the influx of customers. The party decided to set moving and find this grist mill, but first they were going to load up on some oil and or acid. Knowing they were heading into a swamp they wanted to be prepared for any trolls they would encounter ( like I would throw trolls out in a swamp, how boring ). The By- Water Bros store was completely sold out of any and all oil. The tree other shops in town were sold out as well. It seems the people purging had bought all the oil they could for the exact same reason. Well, they decided to head out with only a few torches and the dragonborn’s innate acid breath as their troll regeneration deterrent.

Into the swamp

The trio made their way out of town and down the small road heading east into the swamp. It was only a  mile into their trek that the well-worn road turned into a rough path and then eventually it became nothing but ankle to waist deep ( sometimes fetid sometimes fresh ) water and the occasional small patch of dry land. They kept to the directions on the map. It was obvious the route they were following was at one time very well-travelled, the majority of the trees and large vegetation had been cut back. It was almost like they were following a road that had been reclaimed by the swamp over the years.

It was about an hour after they entered the swamp proper that the trio discovered the bodies of five men dead in a small pool. Their bodies looked to have been stabbed, beaten, bitten and partially torn apart. They found weapons and equipment scattered around and floating in the pool of water. The best guess is this was a group of swamp cleansers that met something they weren’t prepared for or expecting.

Suddenly the party was pepper with a barrage if tiny darts from the underbrush. The few that managed to strike flesh burned something awful when they were removed. Thankfully, whatever poison they were laced with didn’t hinder anyone in the party.  
Next came a low throated burbling growl followed by the slashing of footfalls. Four large lizard men armed with colorful shields and wicked clubs rushed the party from the side and rear. Another salvo of poison darts flew at the party. This was followed by the appearance of another lizard man who was adorned in a feathered headdress and several bone and bead necklaces. He was waving a staff about and chanting.

The water around the monk exploded with a multitude of vines that quickly ensnared and restrained him. The lizard men behind the party rushed the rouge and entwined monk. The barbarian flew into a rage due to being ambushed and leapt at the lizard man shaman. Two quick sword slashes later and the caster was all but cut in half. The vegetation ensnaring the monk went limp and fell away. Just in time for him to engage the lizard men rushing toward him.

The rouge and monk made quick work of the quartet of lizard men warriors while the barbarian chased down the blowgun wielding lizard people. A few minutes later and the reptile ambush was over. The trio went about policing the area and rummaging through the equipment scattered about the small pool. They also tool a few  trophies from the bodies of the lizard men to turn in for bounty. They did manage to find a pair of small vials containing a very caustic acid and one bottle that was familiar to them. They had seen these when dealing with the Alchemy Guild. A bottle of chemicals that when mixed and introduced to air would produce a most fiery and loud explosion. They pocket these and the handful of coins they found and continued onwards.

Half an hour or so later as they swatted at mosquitos they were set upon by a hideous troll. The beast came rushing toward them through the ferns and Cypress knees. They drew weapons and made ready to accept the charging troll. That was when a second troll rushed them from the side! One troll is a taxing opponent and now they had two of them barreling down upon them.

The barbarian stepped up to intercept he first troll while the monk moved to face the second troll. The rouge dove into the shadows and made to flank the troll facing the monk. The barbarian drove his sword repeatedly into the troll as the creature rained blows upon him. The rouge made an attempt to backstab the second troll, but the creature was able to smell the dragonborn advancing and swatted at him to prevent the sneak attack. However, the monk’s magically infused fists did a substantial amount of damage to the rubbery skinning body of the troll. Within moments the beast was down and the dragonborns’ acid breath kept it from rising back up to fight again. The trio then piled upon the other troll and managed to drive in to the ground. Where the barbarian poured a vial of acid over the creature’s body. The rouge scrapped up some burnt troll flesh and teeth to turn in for bounty as well. Even though this trip was wet, humid, smelly and bug infested…it was looking like it would pay off when they got back to Wychlight. A 100 gold piece bounty for trolls was nothing to sneeze at!

As the day wore on and the swamp continued to be just a terrible place to travel in ( giant spiders in the trees, the constant threat of gators, the strange animal sounds, the bats, the constant droning of bugs, the mosquitos, the humidity and the smell ) the party stopped as they thought they heard arguing ahead over a small hill.

They slowly advanced and confirmed they did hear voices yelling. Three ogre voices! Two of the brutes were holding ropes and tugging wildly. The ropes were tied around the long snaking neck of a strange bulbous four legged critter. The third ogre was holding onto the creature’s long bony club tipped tail. The party noticed that the head of this beast was covered by a large burlap bag. It looked as if they were trying to lead this strange beast somewhere. The party wasn’t sure what was officially happening, but they knew that ogres are trouble. Plus, the barbarian really enjoyed fighting them! They advanced on the ogres and attacked!

The lead ogre let go of the rope and lashed out in defense. The second ogre chastised him for letting go of the rope. The ogre holding onto the tail also let go to aid his buddy. The rouge melted into the shadows to try and get behind one of these brutes. The monk unleashed a flurry of blows on the rear ogre.

The hooded beast began to thrash about with his tail. It struck an ogre a glancing blow and bashed the monk as well. The creature began to thrash it’s he about to try and remove the sack covering it.

The barbarian finished off the ogre in front of him and moved up to help the poor creature with the bag on its head. As he advanced he toward it he was struck by a stench beyond description. He choked back some bile and moved forward. He gingerly grasped the bag and pulled it from the beast’s head. The barbarian was suddenly staring down a head that looked part warthog and cow. It was a hideous looking and smelling creature. The beast turned to look at the barbarian. It’s eyes began to glow and pulse with an unnatural dull green-yellow light. The barbarian was driven to his knees as he felt his very life force being drained from him.

The rouge appeared from the shadows behind an ogre and drove his weapons into his back managing to pierce both lungs. The ogre gasped for air, stumbled and fell face down into the muck. The monk moved to help the barbarian against the smelly cow creature after dispatching the ogre that had been holding onto the creature’s tail. As he approached he was overtaken by the same hideous odor and began to retch.

The smelly cow beast lashed around with tail trying to drive the party away. The barbarian recovered from the strange gaze attack and quickly lashed out with his giant sword. The rouge moved closer and he too began to dry heave once the odor of the creature struck him. The monk dodged the tail and struck several blows. The smelly cow was laid low moments later.  The rouge moved over and removed a large tusk to bring back as proof of their kill. They had no idea what this beast was, but killing it must bring in some kind of reward.

They stopped to recuperate and catch their breath before moving  deeper into the swamp. Within the hour the party noticed the land around them was clearing a bit. The water had begun to recede a bit. The ground was actually getting higher and drier. The vegetation was still thick as were the bugs. Roughly a quarter mile later they discovered the remains of a cobblestone road the led to a small rickety looking bridge. Across said bridge stool two silos, one in fine shape. The other had somewhat collapsed upon itself. Nest to those stood a very old looking building. The upper roof had collapsed and there was vegetation wildly growing all around and on the building. A water wheel that had seen better days slowly turned in the swamp waters slow current. This had to be the long defunct grist mill they were trying to find. Now to investigate and find out if this decrepit ruined building was the source of these strange gold coins.

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