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Sunday, 4 September 2016

U2: Danger at Dunwater

And the adventure continues with the kids' party of six:

Loren: half-elf Paladin of Pelor (a Crusader) from Celene
Loki: human ranger from Duchy of Geoff
Emelia: half-elf thief-magic user from County of Ulek
Vicdak: half-Orc fighter-cleric of We Jas. His mother was Suel, hailing from the Wild Coast
Crue: elf Magic-user, from County of Ulek
Elangos: half-elf drow assassin (Flan origins on human side, from Duchy of Tenh, then onto Greyhawk city)

Having trained now to second level (and in some cases, third) the refreshed characters and their mentor, Gideon, are sent by the Council of Saltmarsh to investigate the Lizardmen threat gathering at the swampy mouth of the Dunwater River. The smugglers in U1 (Secret of Saltmarsh) were found to be running quality arms to these Lizardmen, and naturally the Council are scared about attack. It seems swifter to send the characters than lobby the King for aid, especially given that Saltmarsh is on the fringes of Keoland, and very close to the border of the Hold of the Sea Princes.

Taking a small boat, the players sail along the coast and land in the swamp. They have gained some very useful assistance in the form of Pseudo-dragon familiars, and this allows several of their number (most usefully Emelia the theif-mage) to become camouflaged. The gang enter the Lizardmen lair via the main entrance, immediately scrapping with the guards. They beat them fairly convincingly, then tackled the second wave from the adjacent room.

With a swift bit of healing they continued into the lair--moving first into a Banqueting Hall, where they encountered some of the Lizard females. Crue sent them off to sleep with a spell, and the party tied them up with rope and gags. Exiting the Hall, they then came into the Throne Room where two kids were playing. Deciding that they (a) would loose a ton of XP for bumping off the kids, and (b) didn't want the kids stalking them, they grabbed them, tied them up and bunged them in the Hall with the mums.

Back into the corridors, Emelia scouted ahead and found more lizard women cooking in the kitchens. The bloodthirsty adventurers were tiring of these non-combatants! Back into the corridors, the party move around to the east and come into the barracks, wherein they find nine warriors and a shaman. An almighty scrap ensues, driven by the shaman's fervent hatred of humans/ elves as heretics and infidels. Emelia disables one of the warriors with a sleep, and when the battle ends, they question him. At this point they learn that the Lizardmen are actually living in exile from their prior home, and that there is argument between clergy and the Minister about humans and whether they are enemies or not.

It's at this point the adventurers realise that the Lizardmen aren't the big enemy. Given the trail of green blood and orphans they've just left behind, it is with some trepidation they go to make peace with the Chieftain. A big discussion ensues, and ultimately the party accept that to recompense the Lizardmen (a weregild) they must perform a task: to slay a Giant Crocodile that the Lizardmen can't tackle due to religious reasons.

So, out into the swamps and what begins as a battle against a huge crocodile is soon joined by an Oriental Dragon. It's a close battle (see Hidden Dragon ), but the characters prevail and return to Saltmarch with cash, a few choice items ( a periapt of proof against poison, a magic sword, and some potions). And the conclusion to the adventure awaits, in The Final Enemy.

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