For their third quest, the delvers decided to explore the Fens of Despair.
The Fens are about 110 miles away, but there's no definite route to get there.
There are bandits in the swamp: they number about 20. They are mostly humans and are lightly armed and armored.
The Fens have a lot of animals. They are unusually hostile and aggressive, even the herbivores. Predators have been known to attack armed groups.
There is a Druid Grove in the Fens. It has been profaned and polluted. There is a great deal of necromantic energy around it.
Sponsors and Patrons Edit
Lenia was approached by Missus Harlan, wife of a merchant ship officer who was dragged off by the lizardmen of the Fens three days ago. She paid a seer to divine that her husband is still alive and will be for at least nine days more; Missus Harlan will pay 4 lbs of silver for the return of her husband.
Mrugnak and Connell bought amulets that repel vermin and bugs.
- Rescue Mate Harlan within 9 days of leaving Polisberg.
- Resanctify the Druid grove.
Session 1 Edit
The delvers spend 8 weeks in Polisberg, upgrading their equipment and gathering all kinds of rumors. Eventually they decide to set out for the Fens of Despair.
On the way to the Fens, they are attacked by a swarm of flying monkeys. They defeat the monkeys with minor wounds.
Session 2 Edit
After dispatching the monkeys, the delvers continue onto the Fens. One night, Connell is on guard duty when a beautiful woman approaches. She tells him she is the Daughter of Spring and convinces him to disrobe. The other delvers wake in time to prevent Connell from being digested by a hideous plant monster.
A few days later, the delvers arrive at the Fens of Despair.
Session 3 Edit
The delvers decide to press on into the Fens. Lenia casts Hawk Flight on Berkun, and he scouts ahead, finding a lizardman village and the grove. The delvers use Air Walk to cross the river and make good time cross country when they are attacked by Woe Wolves.
The fight against the Wolves is brief. The delvers are not disheartened by their howls and the wolves are dispatched quickly.
Session 4 Edit
After defeating the wolves, Connell summons a raven and questions it about the swamp. Sadly, the raven knows little of use.
The delves continue their air march until they are ambushed by a bandit patrol. Violence ensues, not to the bandits' advantage. The surviving bandits break and run, but are tracked down and killed by Mordreona and Berkun.
Exhausted and wounded, the delvers decide to camp for the night. Sadly, only Mrugnak has brought his camping gear, so they get a cold, miserable rest. The next morning, they set off for the lizardman village.
On the way there, they are ambushed by acid spiders. Mrugnak is grappled by one of the beasts and shocked to find something stronger than him.
Session 5 Edit
The delvers struggle against the Acid Spiders. A new warrior, Hammer, emerges from the swamp and mostly helps them. Lenia is almost overcome by spiders but rescued when Connell turns her into a windstorm. Finally, the spiders are defeated.
After a brief discussion with Hammer, the delvers decide to rest again.
Session 6 Edit
After a quick discussion, the delvers decide to press on. Berkun and Mordreona scout ahead to the lizardman village, but Berkun is discovered. The two separate, with Mordreona working her way around the village and Berkun leading the lizardmen guards on a merry chase. He is cornered but kills four of them and the rest flee.
The delvers continue to the village, which is now prepared for them. Lenia negotiates a deal: a trial by combat, with her and Harlan's freedom as the prize. Hammer steps forward to fight, but quickly withdraws when he realizes it will be an unarmed and unarmored combat. Mrugnak steps in instead.
Session 7 Edit
Mrugnak and the lizardman champion Setherixel engage in a brief but brutal wrestling match. The lizardman shaman tries to interfere with magic, but Lenia detects him and manages to shame him from doing it again. Mrugnak triumphs easily, and the delvers return to camp with Harlan in tow. That night, Connell and Lenia realize the Conjuction of Red Stars is approaching within days, and hurry to get the Grove restored before something awful happens.
Leaving early the next morning, the delvers get lost in the swamps and find themselves on the wrong side of the river from the Grove. Hammer moves ahead to secure a ford, but is attacked by giant zombie crocodiles! With Berkun's help, he manages to dispatch one of them, but another menaces Lenia and several more attack from the water.
Session 8 Edit
The delvers continue to battle against the zombie crocodiles. One of them flanks Hammer and then captures him in its jaws, nearly dispatching the warrior. Another manages to bite Lenia, giving her a near mortal wound. Connell throws lightning with abandon and Mrugnak crushes one to death, while Berkun begins dispatching them by shooting arrows into their brains through the weak underside of their open mouths. Badly wounded, the delvers finally triumph.
Berkun leads them back to the edge of the swamp, where the corruption of the grove is weak enough that Connell can barely heal Lenia. She, in turn, manages to heal Hammer. Lacking magical healing resources but short on time, the delvers plunge back into the Fens to cleanse the Druid Grove before the Conjunction of Evil Stars.
They arrive at the Grove sometime after dark. The powerful dark energies of the Grove taint the very air, and Hammer and Berkun are plagued by hacking coughs. Lenia and Connell, as Fey creatures, are sickened by the tainted mana they depend on.
Session 9 Edit
Guarded by the other delvers, Lenia and Connell attempt a sham exorcism to draw out the spirit that is corrupting the Grove. To their shock and surprise, the evil spirit possesses their shadows and use those to attack them. A desperate battle begins. Lenia embraces the corruption of the grove in order to defend herself.
Session 10 Edit
The session begins with the delvers fighting skull spirits and their own shadows. The succeed, but are left weak and badly wounded.
The delvers resurvey the Grove and realize that it has been polluted by buried objects that form a pentacle. Mrugnak digs into the pattern, eventually unearthing a rock of Pure Evil. Though it wounds him, the delvers manage to neutralize it with Holy Water. After digging up another, the delvers realize they won't be able to get them all out before the Conjunction of Evil Stars. Connell uses his magic to disinter the rocks of Pure Evil and cleanse the Grove just before the Conjunction starts.
Session 11 Edit
The Conjunction starts and ends without directly affecting the delvers. Relieved but slightly confused, they leave the Grove and camp for a few days, recovering from their wounds.
Their rest is interrupted by a pair of patrolling Giant Eagles. Connell tries to use magic on the eagles but is rebuffed. They attack instead, their screams causing an unearthly and unseemly fear in the delvers. Nevertheless, the delvers manage to kill one of the eagles and drive the other off.
The delvers rest some more and decide to look for the last Druid of the Grove. Connell summons a raven and questions him. He gets directions toward the druid's home, but also a warning that someone is watching them. Annoyed and disbelieving, Connell walks into a grove and is ambushed!
Session 12 Edit
A panther jumps on Connell and rends him while the other delvers charge to the rescue. Connell is left hovering on death's door when the panther is driven off, and Lenia's corrupted magic can no longer reliably heal him. Led by Berkun, the delvers hurry toward the druid's home.
They soon determine they are lost. While wandering around, Hammer trips a tripwire, sending blades through the delvers and alerting a nearby bandit camp. The delvers charge into the fray.
Session 13 Edit
The session starts with the delvers in combat against a group of bandits. Mrugnak and Mordreona advance on the right flank, smashing and slicing three or four of the bandits. Lenia, Connell, and Berkun stay in the center, firing magic and missiles at a skilled bandit archer. They also deal with the return of the giant eagle, who attempts a bombing run. Hammer charges in on the left, massacring several bandits before getting outflanked, knocked down, and crippled. The bandit swordsman then takes Hammer hostage.
Lenia tries to negotiate a fair deal, based on the way the bandits have taken heavy losses and continued fighting will go in the delvers face. Then the bandit leader shows up, accompanied by a warrior in mithral plate, a mage with a ready fireball, and several other bandits. Lenia, aided by Mordreona, Berkun, and Connell, tries to trick Benton into letting them go in exchange for the location of a powerful magical artifact.
Session 14 Edit
With Benton disbelieving the tale, Lenia almost successfully negotiates an unhappy ransom for the delvers and Hammer. Then Hammer grabs a knife from his guard and starts a fight. In the resulting melee, all of Hammer's limbs are crippled, Connell falls unconscious, Berkun's bow arm is crippled, Mrugnak inadvertently crushes Lenia's chest, and Mrugnak loses an eye. Fortunately, the bandits are defeated.
Session 15 Edit
The delvers drag themselves to a semi-defensible position in the bandit camp and hunker down. Meanwhile, the powerful and enchanted animals of the swamp continue to attack them. Berkun and Mordreona patrol around the camp, and Berkun is attacked by the same panther that attacked Connell that morning. Mordreona kills it from counter-ambush and manages to scare the giant eagle off.
Session 16 Edit
Berkun is recovered and eventually healed, but not before a group of goblins attack the camp. Finally, after several days, the delvers recover enough to attempt a return to their base camp. Berkun confidently leads the delvers back through familiar territory and stumbles across the lizardmen village! Lenia attempts to negotiate safe passage, but Connell takes issue with the shaman and both sides agree to settle their issues in a grand melee.
Session 17 Edit
The 5 delvers (less Hammer) face off against the lizardman shaman, the wrestling champion, and 15 other lizardmen. Mrugnak starts off the fight in grand style by charging a mass of lizardmen with set pikes. Berkun tries to assassinate the shaman, but he stays behind his bodyguards. Lenia casts a massive Grease spell to pin down the lizards, and then a Concussion spell to knock them stunned.
Meanwhile, the delvers' luck is mystically and strangely bad, and then some being begins creating deadly clouds of entropic haze on the battlefield. Mordreona leaves the melee to deal with the strange dire badger responsible. A group of goblins for some reason ambush Mrugnak, loosing a hail of arrows into his face and poisoning him. Lenia eventually takes down the shaman, but not before a group of shocker lizards and his shoulder dragon knock out Connell.
At the end of the session, Lenia runs past the wrestling champion to position herself to blow the stunned lizardman halberdiers out of the fight, but foolishly intercepts the wrestling champion's club. Berkun prepares for his duel with the eagle of terror that has returned again, and Mrugnak is still facing the entirety of the lizardman halberd line.
Session 18 Edit
The delvers triumph over the lizardmen in a hard fought battle. Mordreona successfully kills the badger, while Berkun kills the eagle after it descends to attack Lenia. Lenia, half-conscious, manages to cast a Blur spell on Mrugnak, which makes him unhittable by the remaining lizard. Out of options, they are happy to surrender at their chief's command.
The delvers stumble out of the swamp and make camp with their retainers. Mrugnak and Lenia conspire to destroy the shoulder dragon's corpse in an attempt to render it down for valuable mana organs.
Session 19 Edit
The delvers decide to give the rest of the Fens a miss and return to Polisberg. Lenia scares off a pack of gnolls and Mrugnak and Connell alert them to a band of blood sucking ticks, so much off the journey is painless. However, they are ambushed in camp by a phase python, though they do drive it off.
Just outside of Polisberg, they are accosted by a large band of horse nomads. Discussion with the nomads soon degenerates to threats of violence.
Session 20 Edit
Mrugnak loses his temper and slips into a berserker rage, charging the nomads. Bloody violence ensues, as the nomads are demon-tainted and quite powerful. Lenia and Connell blow many of them off their horses with air jets, but Lenia begins succumbing to the effects of the Taint. Mrugnak faces off against their champion after killing their chief, but the champion proves to be too skilled and blinds the battle rager. His victory is short-lived, as Lenia and Connell arrive to freeze him to death.
The delvers lead Mrugnak into town after the battle.
Session 21 Edit
Lenia retires and is replaced by Ayake. The delvers head out to Fens of Despair to finally deal with the druid. On the way, they realize they don't have any magical light sources anymore and they fight off a ghost lion with some small success.
At the end of the session, after getting lost in the swamp, they find the druid's house, floating in mid-air next to a large tree.