Breaking camp we were startled by the emergence of what could only be called a giant meandering flying frog. despite the aches and pains the heroes made ready to defend themselves from yet another twisted denizen of the swamp when it stopped in mid air, floating more than flying as it’s diaphanous wings could not feasibly support such a rotund torso. It turned to Ahkiell and spoke to him in fey before conversing with us in sylvan. Greetings were exchanged and he introduced himself and “Watcher”. Watcher spoke to us in the cryptic ways that fey are wont to do and gently pointed us in the right direction before moving off into the swamp chuckling to himself over our lack of knowledge with all things in the swamp.
Not far into our continued slogging we warily approach a crashing racket through the swamp that as luck would have it was not heading in our direction. No, this racket was perpetrated by a pair of enormous cyclops who were busily knocking down trees and stacking them up. Not wanting to confront two giant cyclops in such treacherous environment the heroes gave them a wide berth. Unfortunately traversing a route around the cyclops was made treacherous do to patches of quicksand that we luckily recognized before anyone was lost to it.
As we finally made it back to heading in some semblance of the right direction the swamp exploded in froth and vegetable matter as an enormous lizard creature with 6 legs burst from the swamp. First to recover from the spectacle was Isla who locked eyes with the beast amidst the cascading water and foliage. Time stood still for her from that moment on as the basilisks gaze worked it’s foul magic on her. The beginnings of a marble sheen coating her fair skin. Fenssill was able to put one eye out and the heroes slew the laid into the beast with great vengeance. Such was their desire for revenge on for their fallen comrade that Fenssill did not have time to even try and shoot out the other eye, before it was a quivering mass of reptile, leaking it’s foulness back into the inky black of the swamp from whence it came.
Blessedly the bard saved the yet another member of the heroes from a horrible demise by rattling off the various known facts about a basilisk. one of which was that coating a fresh victim of the gaze in it’s blood may reverse the petrification effect. Thankfully that bit of lore we were able to confirm first hand. Isla was returned to us, bewildered that the lizard she had last seen launch itself out of the murk at her was now a bloody husk, seemingly instantaneously.
With Fenssill’s tracking skills and some quick thinking the party was able to track the basilisk back to it’s lair where Fenssill and Arctos put on the water breathing nautilus shells and searched under water in the the muck of it’s lair for anything of value. Finding only a platinum ring and a tribal necklace after almost an hour of searching was enough call off the search and head for a dry camp site. Such was not to be as the heavens opened up on the band of adventurers, brightening their spirits for a moment as it sluiced the stinking filth of the basilisks den off them before crushing the flicker of light with a constant downpour of cold, grey rain. Reminding them that they are far from home and other than these few friends, very alone in a harsh, harsh environment. each of them hoping to avoid deaths gave for another day.
Slogging on into the dull grey of the afternoon? or evening? One cannot tell as the sky has been the same color of turbulent rain cloud seemingly unending for days. A noise reaches the ears of Isla who beckons the others that something approaches. We huddle together to appear like a much bigger animal in the limited visibility of the pouring rain. It does not matter to the 5 stirges that wing our way and attempt to drain what little warmth they can get from our bone wear bodies. The dejected heroes attacks came more and more sluggish as the stirges leeched the very life from those they attacked. Four of the magical pests were squashed before the 5th escaped in the mist and fog produced by the constant rain. Gone from sight in the space of 20 feet so poor was visibility.
The heroes marched on through the downpour, no end to the swamp in site. When they came upon a large hillock rising out of the swamp some 3 feet. A veritable mountain compared with the landscape of the last couple days. With the rain draining down either side of it the heroes crouched under their cloaks. Miserable , wet, wounded and stinking. Their rubbery, waterlogged flesh pruning from the constant moisture. They huddled together and dreamed of better days.