After 9 months of not playing, it was once again Christmas break for my daughter and her friends so we reconvened where we left off. This was sort of a short meeting, mostly just in town (keep) role playing stuff they were to do and a short foray out into the wild.
Write up follows:
The party wandered around the bazaar and shops hoping to find what had been whispered as the apothecist where Loq had gotten his healing elixirs from. We got lucky and located the man along the south wall of the keep, near the rat on a stick salesman and the guy who sells gently used cloaks and shoes. Named Brakus he was loathe to sell to us since he only had 4 elixirs left and wanted to sell them all at once (at 20 crowns a piece). It seems the main ingredient, swamp lotus, was in short supply and the last few collectors who had dared to go to the Capeshin Swamp to bring them back had never returned.
It was here that the two of them dickered back and forth with Brakus eventually coming to a deal where if they were to bring him Swamp Lotus, specifically 3 of them, he would give them 4 healing elixirs and would even throw in a virulent weapon coating he referred to as “Foulmusk” which would add some kick to either one sword or two knifes/daggers.
So at 5:30 Charlotte and William found themselves at the inn where they ate a filling meal, listened to some minstrel, laughed at a few jokes, and gathered themselves up to go at 10:30 that night. The swamp lotus had to be picked at 12:00 midnight exactly in order to get the full potency, as evidenced by the faint purplish glow the flower gives off at that time.
The road was dark and the night was scary, but the two friends made it to the Capeshin swamp (roughly an hour) in more than enough time to beat the midnight hour. They combed the banks of the slow moving Capeshin River, torch lit, in order to find the best place to enter the stagnant water and head for the lily pads. Once they felt it was the right place, Charlotte started tossing gravel into the swamp, trying to make noise to attract…whatever. Nothing came into our light. So she then tossed bigger rocks.
It was after she lit a fire arrow and shot it into the gloom that William told her to relax and he would wade in and get ready to pick the lotus. He stepped in, the cold water running under his boots, through his armor, and coating his skin beneath with its chilling slimy embrace. He found a decent cluster of them and tried to get Charlotte to join him, the thief eventually doing so but limiting herself to the closed lily pads by the shore, the water eventually coming up to her midriff.
And then the flowers started to glow purple and the two friends were pulling and yanking at the thick stalks in an effort to pull them free; first one, and then a second. Charlotte had managed to pluck a third and William was struggling with a fourth when she noticed a greenish/grey figure with a wide red crest coming up behind her fighter friend. She yelled to alert him and drew her bow, shooting an arrow at them which arced into the night and disappeared.
William was stunned into stillness, which might have changed the figure’s actions. It instead plucked the flower free just before midnight ended and held it up, rising out of the water and standing at it’s over 7’ in height.
It identified itself in sibilant Common as Bankthas, and was the Chief of his tribe. Tribe? Of lizardmen. And this was his land. Why were they here? Who shot a lit arrow into his swamp and scared his sons? Are you here to despoil his swamp like the others?
Charlotte was told to step out of his waters and if she ever entered them again he would kill her. She meekly left and stood on the road, bow at her side and watching Bankthas and William. William was able to treat with Bankthas and was allowed to leave with his swamp lotus. In exchange for the breastplate part of his armor. He gave it up (armor is cheap, life is not), promised that we had to come back again in the future for more swamp lotus he would bring a sword for Bankthas, and the two friends left – soaked, covered in slime and muck, missing half of William’s armor, but alive and with 4 of the lotus flowers.
We arrived at the Keep at a bit after one in the morning, went to the Inn where they got a bit drunk on their luck, stripped off their foul clothes and left them in the laundry basket outside the door for the morning washer women (who were going to be pissed!) and went to sleep.
They awoke late, eventually getting to Brakus’ stall at 10 AM where they exchanged the swamp lotus with the apothecist who gave them in turn the 4 elixirs and the Foulmusk poison. For the extra flower he tossed in a 5th elixir and thanked them for their efforts. He would work immediately on making more of the elixirs in the future and we hoped we would be able to do business with him again at some point.
We split up the elixirs (3 to William, 2 to Charlotte and the poison) and were going to spend the last day taking care of things around the keep before meeting Loq and Corg again on the morrow.