Today we left the jungle and entered the Blackjaw Swamp, a dismal, sludge-filled marsh caused by the river delta that runs through the desert. We found a chest today pinned underwater by a fallen tree. Natty showed off his muscles by moving the tree aside, and Lucious used his 6-foot “lockpick” to open it. Always nice to find free gold!
However, being ambushed by two Ankhegs and their broodlings was not nice. After we exterminated the lot, we found some past adventurers who were not as lucky, one was wearing a shining suit of magic chain, which Dragonov relinquished with much pleasure.
Later, we spotted a sapphire atop an ancient battle-standard thrust in the ground. Good thing I spotted all the poisonous spores on the ground, or we would have walk through it to get the jewel. Natty braved the spores and came back with the treasure with only minor swelling.
As the sun began to set, we came across a ramshackle hut in the marsh, the windows lit with eerie green light. A beautiful, albeit crazed looking woman regarded us at the door. As we approached, we could plainly see that she was in the process of dragging a heavily drugged girl into her domicile.. for experimental vivisection as she plainly admitted.. Seeing the many signs, I realized that this was no ordinary woman, but a Hag wearing a young woman’s skin! I advised not to invoke her ire, but to instead persuade her to let the girl go. She made a big fuss, but decided to trade her for 200 gold. A small price to pay; I will remember this place so I can return when I am stronger. This dark magic cannot go on, the whole area stank of necromancy. That night, we settled camp on a patch of dry ground. The girl introduced herself as Rhona, a noble’s daughter from Rhythia captured and traded off to that horrible hag. She’s got a lot of spirit, and is very intelligent; I admit that I could not take my eyes off of her.. it took all my concentration that night to not break my vow of celibacy. The last thing I need is a beautiful girl accompanying us, giving me unwanted temptations that if surrendered to, would break my marriage to the Art and cripple my power. I’ll just ignore her, for both of our sakes.
There was a tall pedestal in our camp, with an inscription on it. Dragonov deciphered that the crystal atop the pedestal would reveal the answer to the inscribed riddle. We’ll see about that, for now I should rest, and try not to think about women.