Present Players: Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival
The party retreats from their siege of Fort Hook and plan out their next steps. Their first course of action is to notify Jyronn back in Magnimar with a sending spell, but his reply isn't very heartening given the political efforts he is against when trying to prompt the Lord-Mayor to action. The party does some limited planning for another go at the fort, but after some debate determine that they may want to leave it alone while the ogres aren't on such high alert. Vincent interviews Jakardros a bit trying to get a feel for why the man is nearly suicidal in combat. Vincent learns that Jakardros lost his family to a dragon attack years ago. Apparently, a dragon that Jakardros' party had killed was resurrected by a cult and the beast sought revenge by destroying his family. Jakardros in penance joined the black arrows and rose in the ranks to second in command. This murdering of his now adopted family has nearly broken the man and he feels extremely guilty for not being at the fort when the ogres attacked.
These questioning leads to the whereabouts of Commander Lamater Bayden. It was apparently an open secret that he would often visit the Shimmerglen swamps near the fort to meet with his love, a nymph druid. Thinking that finding his whereabouts and getting him to assist in the retaking of the fort, the party decides to head toward the swamp. From what Purrcival knew, the swamp was basically an enchanted place thanks to the presence of the nymph with happy birds flitting over crystal clear water and beautiful flowers cascading across magnificent trees. However, when the party arrives at the swamp they immediately feel that something has gone drastically wrong. The whole area is under a pervasive aura of dark emotion. The pools are murky and full of (too) many eyed things. The trees seem to weep blood whenever branches are broken and the trees' branches seem to be cruel fingers reaching for the party snagging at their gear. The normally clear pools show reflections of the party dead and the party feels watched the entire time. As they get deeper into the swamp Jakardros tells them something is amiss and even his keen survival skills feel off. Soon the party realizes the swamp's enchanted nature is in large part due to a close connection with the fey plane.
The party wandering through the swamp nearly lost get ambushed by a panicked pixie. The small creature looks entirely distraught and wails that the party should help him. He introduces himself as Yap, and after an initial bit of suspicion the party agrees to help his mistress, the nymph of the swamp. Yap seems to know his way pretty well and excitedly leads them deeper into the swamp. On the way the party is confronted by an ethereal parade of animals and fey who dance about the party. They take cues from Yap who cowers away from the ghostly parade and manage to avoid the ghost's touch. Before long the ghostly dance moves on and allows the party to continue deeper into the swamp. The party's next encounter is a murdered Dryad who is hanging dead from her heart tree. The creature's spirit hasn't fully departed and as the party nears they lean in to hear the creature's last words. She tells them the cause of all this pain was due to Myriana's love of Lamater. The spirit imbues the party with some resistance against the swamp's magic and implores them to set things right.
The party's final encounter on their way to Whitewillow is a strangely abandoned ship. It seems to be of celestial design and is covered in deep green moss but mostly undamaged. Yap seems nonplussed by the ship and explains it has been there for a very long time and that it fell into the swamp years ago. As the party nears, they feel an aura of calm around the boat as the dark emotions of the swamp are kept away. They recognize the shape of an archon on the ship's prow and after some debate decide to explore the ship. Jaren's sword, Celestial Fury, seems to grow more excited as they step onto the boat's deck. In the captain's quarters they find a ruined harpsichord and an old skeleton dressed in a military outfit. Searching the room, Purrcival finds a book of celestial music that seems to vibrate with potential. Vincent spends some time trying to identify how the man died, but can't really say beyond he didn't seem to die violently. Jaren pulls out some nautical maps that don't seem to fit anything the party knows of on the material plane, but Purrcival thinks he could place them on the celestial seas. The captain's quarters offers no more answers to their numerous questions, so the party heads below decks to the crew quarters. All the bunks there seem neatly made but covered in dust. Returning to the deck the party finds a large, celestial dog who stares them down with seemingly blind, solid white eyes. Celestial Fury utters its first word's in Jaren's mind saying, "my friend". The celestial creature gives a small wag of its tail and trots off into the swamp's mist. Confused, Jaren tries to prompt Celestial Fury with questions but he only gets the typical empathic responses. However, when he pictures the celestial hound the sword bursts into holy white flames. It seems Jaren has managed to unlock a bit more power from his mysterious blade.
- Did some behind the scenes stuff for Thistletop that should come into play a bit more in Book 3
- Slightly, unexpected trip to the swamp. We were debating playing because we were missing two people, but the swamp was mostly RP and exploration encounters so the party went ahead with that route. I had to ad-lib and read ahead a bit as we went, but I think everyone had a good time with the session.
- Jaren got a slight power bump with the new enchantment. I didn't really expect it to come into play yet, but well done by the party.
Rewards / Loot:
- Ruined Harpsichord
- Celestial Nautical Maps
- Book of Celestial Music
- "Holy" Enchantment on Celestial Fury
Challenges / Monsters:
End Date: Sarenith 25