Part 2 – Marsh Witch – 215MoMaCa
The Dancing Drake having suffered a wound to its hull and becoming stuck between marsh banks looked to be in some difficulties. While wondering how to fix it two unarmed and unarmoured toad-kin approached the crew and were eventually lead to Lizbet and the party. Whilst able to understand common communication seemed hard, body language and communication with hand gestures revealed that these two toad-kin (Kiri and Trip) wished to help those who walked amongst the walking star and could show them the way through the marsh, they think.
The crew and Kyoko both agreed that travelling the marsh would cut days off their travel, considering their ship was grounded until repairs could be made, and it would take a savvy survivalist to lead them through unscathed, particularly the darker deeper parts of the marsh and jungle that lay between them and the port they were travelling to.
The issue is that the Toad-kin could not communicate traditionally but they wanted to take them to someone who commanded the spirits and magic of the swamp to create a charm that would lead them through the worst of the marsh and perhaps find a way to enable the two Toad-kin to communicate with those they wished to serve and assist.
Reluctant to agree they considered their other options, sure that they could find a spell or charm to speak and communicate with the diminutive humanoids they set off on their own, heading in the direction with a compass borrowed from Choi to seek help at the port to retrieve supplies and a crew to repair the dancing drake and get it sailing again.
Kiri and Trip not wanting them to fail followed them but not being able to communicate effectively started to wear down the party and their guides nerves as the marsh got thicker and the sun got lower as the day went on..
Areas and places of note
The Marsh banks – If someone was to fall overboard a DC10 Dexterity check would be required to stand up safely on the river bank (or they fall prone), made with disadvantage if the person on the bank is wearing heavy armour. The islands are 5ft by 10ft on average with some longer but skinnier, and some 10ft by 10ft banks of mid and reeds sporadically spread out either side of the deep river.
The marsh – See Map
In this encounters let’s assume that our party of 4 have all reached level 5, I think that would be fitting for being this far in the adventure-year.
The first encounter is more to shock the party into action and drive them to seek aid in crossing the marsh. One, or two (dealers choice) giant marsh newts ambush the toad-kin once they have revealed that they are mostly harmless to anything they they cant fit in their mouth. The newts should swallow one toad-kin and lumber off with the aim being the party to fight it and kill it near the waters edge.
Once it’s (they) are dead a Longsnout Sharptooth will lunge out of the water, not revealing its fleshy flower looking appendages at all, and attack the corpse. Anyone who fails a perception check (vs its stealth) will get hit by the creatures tail as it dives up onto the bank with a successful STR saving throw preventing them from being knocked down as it then drags the newt into the water, only once the toad-kin escapes.
Day 2 on the Marsh:
The walk to Varda’s hut is easy, the toads know the way. She then requests the petals of the Longsnout Sharptooth and feathers of a Mirestrider Kookastem (a four legged fast bird).
Area of note:
The Marsh hut – A small hut in the marsh which is home to Varda, the toad-kin who needs some reagents for a charm to assist the party.
The encounter for this can be straight forward where the party hunt the birds and the Longsnout sharptooth or have the Longsnout attack the party during fighting/hunting the Mirestrider as an ambush for the party.
I would picture it as the mire strider fleeing from the party, they almost going to capture it and the Longsnout lunging at the party, first one to come into Range. Jaws closing on both Mirestrider, killing it in a plume of feathers.
The alternative is spotting two bright flowers unlike the others in the marsh growing from a log that’s floating in the marsh near the shore. This of course isn’t a log but the Longsnout. There are a lot of ways to run the encounter and the most thematic and challenging for the party would be my preference.
Kiri – a small toad-kin of young years who believes in the old ways. Spirited and savvy he volunteered to help guide the adventures through the swamp despite thinking their plan foolish.
Trip – a larger toad-kin of more advanced years. He is good with his spear and quite experienced at moving about the marsh safely. It’s a rare occurrence that he is taken by surprise.
Varda – a old one footed toad-kin shaman who is fond of cooking and who is rumoured to be so old that she walked amongst the fallen stars. Her name is also rumoured to be a gift from those people who taught her how to speak (elves and draconic).