Dinner For a Hungry God

Session 3: The Swamp is Annulled

Session 3: The Swamp is Annulled. Day 3 Adeya wakes up and realizes she’s on the floor of the cave, surrounded by rocks and dirt. She slowly stands up, knocking a few rocks aside, and dusts herself off. She can see the faint glow of Jarem’s sunrod and hears Elara’s voice in the distance. She can’t see anything, other than the faint spot of the sunrod, so she grabs one out of her pack and lights it. The firs thing she sees is a strange wolf-dog heading her way. It has runes all of it’s scruff. It seems pretty uninterested in her, once she lights the rod, so she decides to ignore it. Elara, who escaped the collapse of the cave unscathed, checks the freed humans. Jarem is also ok, and sees the wolf-dog attempting to pull something from the rubble. He goes to investigate and finds the wolf-dog trying to pull Thoradin out from under some rocks. He lends a hand and Thoradin is freed. Everyone seems to be accounted for, except Endis.

Meanwhile…Mbutu is awoken by small tremor. It’s not the earthquake that wakes him though, it’s an apple falling off a tree and hitting him on the head that wakes him. As he takes in his surroundings, he hears a voice. He looks around frantically, but there is no one in sight. Sitting on the ground next to him is Plank, his trusty wooden companion. Plank is Mbutu’s implement, though nothing more than a jagged piece of wood with a face scrawled on it. Oddly enough, a mushroom has sprouted on Plank’s face, in the perfect spot to form a nose. Plank begins to speak again. It’s quite possible Mbutu is still hallucinating from the mushrooms he ate earlier. Or it could be that the magic imbued in Plank has given him some form of sentience. Either way, Plank guides Mbutu back to the cave.

At the mouth of the cave, the party is reunited, save for Endis. Thoradin has built a small carne for Endis in the cave, assuming he was buried in the rocks. The party continues on their way to Lacesemere, taking the townspeople with them. When they reach the muck pit, they are attacked by another group of bullywogs. The group attempts to surround the townspeople and protect them from the bullywogs, but there are too many. One townsperson is jumped by a bullywog and injured. During the attack, Mbutu crits and calls down a meteor shower, which does damage to the entire group, including the townspeople. The previously injured townsperson is killed, as are all the bullywogs, except for one. The remaining bullywog runs away into the muck and the party lets him go, intent on getting everyone back to town.

When we enter the town, we are welcomed as heroes as many families are reunited. Upon returning to the 12th Bell, Thoradin announces to the barkeep that our tab is annulled. Mbutu follows with “So is the swamp.” Once Thoradibn and Mbutu take their place at the bar with drinks in hand, the rest of the group notices a large crowd of people standing around a table. Above the table is a banner. It is the banner of the Yellow Jackets of Haete. They are an adventuring group that is famous in this country, the country of Haete, and they’re here to solve the town’s problem. The seem undeterred by the fact that our party has already rescued the townspeople. The leader of the group introduces himself to the party as Sir Decker of Haete. He’s a ruggedly handsome man and the ladies of the group are instantly smitten. Adeya and Elara retire to their room to freshen up a bit, as Decker attempts to get information out of Thoradin. Decker promises Thoradin 600 gold for the location of the cave. Thoradin gives Decker misinformation and heads off to drink and bathe. When Adeya and Elara return to the main room, they join the Yellow Jackets at their table. They are introduced to a rather creepy looking Eladrin, and a Nightslayer, who sits in the corner with the wolf-dog. At the table, Decker plies them with wine and spicy gumbo. Elara grows more and more weary of Decker, especially since she refuses his drink and he judgement is unclouded. Adeya, who has never drank before and has never been the focus of male attention, is oblivious to all but Decker and his handsome smile. He spends the rest of the evening…’pumping’ her for information.
Day 4

In the morning, the group meets in the main room of the 12th Bell and discovers that the Yellow Jackets have already left. Endis also appears downstairs, much to the surprise of the group. He is unsure of how he got there, as he has no memory of the evening. The party decides to head back into the swamp, more to find out what’s down the right passage in the cave, and less to check up on the Yellow Jackets. The party reaches the cave without any trouble from the bullywogs. Once inside the cave, they light a few sunrods and head in deeper. They come around a corner and find Sir Decker’s ward suspended above a cauldron surrounded by hungry bullywogs. The party attacks in an effort to save the boy. During the battle, Endis throws the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch into the fray. Elara cuts the rope that the boy is suspended by and he falls into the cauldron. Adeya rushes over, pulls him out and drags him out of the blast zone. Thoradin, who is fighting the leader of the bullywog group, manages to throw his opponent into the blast zone and the bullywogs are defeated. Elara sees to the ward, checking that he is ok. His name is Jakob and he informs the group that the Yellow Jackets all went crazy, talking to themselves. Sir Decker killed one of his own party members, the Nightwalker. At this news, Adeya’s puppy dog devotion turns to dread as she knows that loyalty is everything to a group of adventurers. The group, unsure of Decker’s whereabouts, continues to head into the cave, taking the right passage. At the end of the passageway, they find a mausoleum. In elvish, the name Arch Druid Woodrove of the Forgotten Grove is written upon it. Endis attempts to pursuade the group not to desecrate the grave, but Thoradin knocks down the door. The mausoleum is filled with fresh flowers, a coffin, and little else. As the party enters, with Jakob in tow, the cave behind them begins to fill with vines and mushrooms and moss, similar to what grew in the part of the cave Elazarel had taken over. The vines and muchrooms continue to grow at a rapid rate, seeming almost of chase after the group. In a panic, Mbutu shuts the door of the mausoleum behind him. A cold wind begins to blow and the wind speaks in elvish. It asks what

we seek. Jarem, ever the curious bard, attempts to bluff that the group is looking for information on the Arch Druid. A breeze blows some of the flowers on the wall apart, and a passage way stands before the group. It leads to a large grove of trees, reminiscent of the fey wilds where Elara grew up. She frolics through the groves, as the rest of the group is visited by a specter of the Arch Druid. He tells them the story of Elazarel and how she became corrupted. He speaks of how the fey wilds and our world were somehow connected and Elazarel made her way here, her corruption creating the swamp that is the Grey Wallow Miasma. He explains why she was attempting to summon the dragon Belarius, who was once her thrall. He also tells the group about how Elazarel has been trying to get into the mausoleum for years, as it is a remnant of the Arch Druid’s grove from the fey wilds. She seeks to use his power to her own end. Elara returns to the group and the Arch Druid explains that her necklace was once worn by the Goddess Sehanine Moonbow. He gives her the Seed of the Forgotten Grove, telling her that she will know when to plant it.
A knock sounds on the door of the mausoleum. It is Decker and he requests and audience with Adeya. Assuming that he is now a thrall of Elazarel, the party refuses to let him in. They realiz
e then that they are back in the mausoleum, and never actually left. The grove was nothing but an illusion. Jarem pushes aside the now dead flowers where the passageway to the grove had appeared and finds a door. The party rushes through the door in an attempt to escape Decker, who is now attempting to knock down the door to the mausoleum. The hidden door leads the group through a long passageway, and as they run, they can hear Decker knock down the door behind them as him and his creepy Eladrin companion give chase. The party eventually comes to a door which leads to the surface. They find themselves on a hill overlooking the swamp. They are much farther North than they cave. They bar the door behind them and hide in the brush on the hill.
As they hide, they can see the swamp spread out before them. They watch in horror as the cave collapses, sending a plume of orange spores into the air. The spores are caught on the wind, which blows towards the mighty Belarius, who has taken wing. The party, unable to do anything, watch as Belarius is hit by the spores. He collapses into the swamp, only to rise again a few moments later, with an awkward, lilting gait. Once again, the party assumes he has been thralled by Elazarel. They had hoped that he could help them defeat her. Running out of ideas, they decide to head to the seat of power in Haete and warn them of what is going on in the swamp. It’s about a week to get there by horse. Knowing they have little time to spare, Jakob suggests that they return to Laecemere to get the Yellow Jacket’s horses so that they can ride as quickly as possible.

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