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Updated 
 11 August, 2006

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Bad Luck in the Umber Marsh

Players:  Turath (Jeremy), Fineous (Mykal), Welf (Kyle), Kal (Dave), NPC-Heima (Josh), and NPC-Rendemor (Tom)

I handed Kyle a packet of spell information from the System Reference Document as he doesn't have a PHB, and it's time for him to learn what his spells do.  Kyle seemed happy to get it, and even used it to look up his spells. 

Two new players came to play, Josh and Tom, and I handed out NPC characters to each of them.  Since I gave out XP last game session, I gave an abbreviated summary to refresh the players and give the new players an idea of what came before.

Mykal was late, and our club advisor, Julie, stepped in to run his character.  Another note on Mykal; he's leaving for N. Dakota over Thanksgiving and therefore leaving the campaign.  So, I set up this adventure to resolve his character's plot.  Therefore, Mykal's character was the adventure hook.

To get the adventure underway, I handed Julie a handout that gives the information that Castigir had for Fineous about "the thing" that Fineous was supposed to get.  Fineous asked the other characters if they would join him on his adventure into the Umber Marshes to recover "a bony hand".  Oddly, his friends agreed.  Erland suggested that Fineous bring some muscle, specifically, one of his bouncers.  With this, Heima Azad was introduced to the group.  Erland also suggested that they go to Nethjet and find a guide that could lead them through the marsh.  Welf wanted to learn some spells, so they waited 10 days to leave Amruthar and left.

The only toll of note was at the northern edge of the escarpment, where the party paid 15 gp per person, except for Welf, who was charged 75 gp.  Other than some general grumbling, the tolls were paid and they headed to Nethjet.

Nethjet turned out to be a very small town, with a wall.  They paid another tax at the gate and went to the tavern that Erland recommended they try to find a guide at.  The tavern was called the Duck Inn and was a tiny, run-down hole in the wall.  Inside, the place was dark, with few tables crowded into the main room.  There was an old man behind the bar, and he asked if they wanted drinks.  Fineous stepped up and said yes, and the party began requesting various drinks.  The barkeep seemed confused, and got them all some ale, which was very disappointing to Kal and Welf, who definitely do not drink ale.  Fineous inquired about a guide to the swamp, and was quickly corrected to call it a marsh- swamp was an illegal title.  So Fineous corrected himself and continued, explaining to the barkeep that he was searching for "magical creatures" and worked for himself.  Heima was quickly consuming the ales that the rest of the party rejected, and was disappointed that the ale was severely watered down.  After some negotiation, the barkeep said he would make some arrangement, and suggested the party take a table, specifically the one under the dart board.  With that, he began cleaning the bar.

After some time, the party realized that the barkeep was not paying any attention to them, and quite possibly forgot them all together.  Heima left to find an alley to relieve himself in.  Fineous approached the bar again, and renegotiated the hiring of a guide.  This time, Turath chimed in with the mention of Erland, and the barkeep was suddenly much more on the ball.  He got the party another set of drinks, this time getting them what they had ordered before.  He went out the back door and came back in a short time later, about the time that Heima returned from the alley.

The barkeep told them that it would be a couple of days before the guide arrived, but they could have the room upstairs to crash in.  He suggested that the party go to the market before it closed if they wanted some food, and that they might want to get some blankets; the last people to stay took the ones that were in the room.  The party headed out to the market.

Turath and Fineous did some work to discover some information about their host.  Fineous discovered that Jon (the barkeep) is a bird-lover and kept a large number of birds behind his tavern, one of which is a pure-white hawk that is rarely seen.  Turath discovered that Jon is actively watched by the town guard, and that Jon is reputedly very poor- the locals don't go to his bar (he forgets to get them their orders).

After getting some food and blankets, Jon showed them to their room, complete with bar on the door, and told them there was a well in the alley behind the tavern where they could get water.  There  were two beds in the room, neither fit to be slept in, so they laid out blankets and bedrolls and slept.  Jon locked the door to his room and was not seen until morning.

In the morning, the party got breakfast and looked (unsuccessfully) for an alchemist.  When they returned to the tavern to pass the time and found there was another group of adventurers there.  Only Turath managed to overhear their conversation (Kal was rolling miserably all evening), and gathered that they were a group form Aglarond who had a map and some information about the estate of a Red Wizard that recently died.  Fineous decided that they needed his advice and set about warning the Aglarondians about the toll and some of the creatures they had been attacked by in the south of Thay.  The Aglarondians were only slightly impressed, and Fineous showed them his holy symbol, which he usually keeps tucked away under his tunic and returned to the party's table. 

After a while, one of the Aglarondians came over to the table and asked if they had any potions or scrolls for sale.  Fineous volunteered that he could write one for them, if they had the money.  They offered 120 gp, and Fineous cheerfully retired for the afternoon, creating a scroll of Cure Light Wounds.  In the evening, the other adventurers retired to the Inn (yes, there's an actual inn with rooms for rent).  Their guide, Rendemor, also arrived at the tavern.

Rendemor had a private conversation with Jon the "barkeep".  Jon is a actually a Ranger, and Rendemor's mentor.  Jon uses his birds to send messages, and Rendemor responded to this call.  Jon told Rendemor that he thought the party was pretty full of themselves, but that they were friends of Erland's, so helping them out would be a good thing.  He really didn't know what they were up to, but they wanted to get into and out of the swamp and it shouldn't take more than a few days.  Tom asked some questions about the critters of the swamp, and went to talk to the group.

After a short introduction, the party was fully assembled and ready to head into the Umber Marshes.  Fineous and Turath had rented a shallow barge to take them to the marsh and wait for them to return- the price was very high as they were renting a barge that could hold Heima's pony- which they promptly left on the barge.

The first day of tracking through the swamp was uneventful- Rendemor found some tracks and they avoided any major predators.  The evening was a different story, as they were attack on the 3rd watch by 2 trolls.  It was a nasty fight, with Turath nearly dying very early into the battle and Kal ending up on the ground practically wrestling with the mangy monster before they doused both of them in oil and burned them.

In the morning, they decided to track the trolls back to their lair, where they discovered another troll sleeping inside their carcass-strewn hut made of brambles and vine.  Fineous gave Kal his Sovereign Glue, and Kal headed into the hut to smear the glue on the creature's feet.  The troll came awake as Kal was finishing the job, and he bolted out of the hut.  They heard some stomping and hollering from in the hut and the troll lumber out angrily, with the remains of some creature permanently glued to it's feet.  The troll was quickly surrounded by the party and doused in oil, which Welf cast Burning Hands onto.  The troll swung around madly, and after Welf cast Melf's Acid Arrow at the troll with arm's reach, the troll turned it's attention to destroying the painfully annoying elf.  The giant grabbed Welf with both of it's razor-sharp claws and literally tore him limb from limb.  Horrified, the rest of the party beat, stabbed, and punctured the monster until the acid of the Arrow finally melted into the chest of the creature and it fell.

After a short discussion and quick looting, the party decided to compose Welf's body and continue through the swamp to find the artifact that Fineous was seeking.

 


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This page was updated on Friday, August 11, 2006