Ittigo agreed as part of some deal he made with Lucius that he would take the party to any destination within a week’s travel. Wanting to find a place to hide and on the way find out what they can about this mysterious “Clockwork Brotherhood”, they chose to meander up the Lorelei River in the Great Forest until they met the arterial road that goes directly south to Karelle.
This got them a free ride (during which no piracy was observed) to the small town of Lowbough, the southern-most Lorelei township sitting on the u-bend between Sunmoor and the Elven Highlands. Locals welcomed them without a fuss as they were in the mood for stories from afar – and the crowd was already warmed up by Larami. As the party settled in for a dinner of cooked eggs and vegetables (the local specialty), Trix and Lasciel filled the others in about the fact that a fair proportion of the few eladrin in the world are story-teller minstrels called “Scribes” who trade information like currency.
“Cool,” the others seemed to nod in mutual agreement. “Let’s go see what he knows about hiding from immortals.”
After trading everything they know (except for anything to do with timewalkers), they managed to squeeze a bit of information out of Larami concerning a contact in Karelle who may be able to help them in their quest for knowledge about maruts and hiding from them – a former member of the High Council of Karelle called “Scarface” Varis.
Also on Larami’s advice, they got jobs on a flotilla headed upriver to pass through the safest route to Karelle. All went well for what felt like almost a week of (quite unusually, according to the captain) zero monster raids. Then, the party woke up at the bottom of a 20ft deep mud pit!
After slapping themselves awake, still groggy from whatever concoction put them out for so long, the party met their first obstacle: climbing out of the slippery, muddy pit. Clambering over one another and using their rope bonds to belay others out, they managed to all arrive at the top of the pit somehow even muddier. A probing Uthal immediately discovered a strange property of the walls (‘quick mud’) whereby pressing slowly into them eventually caused a small torrent of water to splash out of the wall which then resealed itself (kind of like cornflour). Trix made the best of the strange situation and cleaned her face and hair.
Time for deliberation was at a premium, however, as when Esteban returned from one of the corridors (the lit one) he brought news that they had been captured by a whole lot of bullywugs who were negotiating the terms of their handover to some hobgoblin he saw the leader bullywug talking to via a military sending scroll. Moreover, he added, he may have tipped a few off and they were headed this way.
Trepidation aside, the party easily dispatched the 3 bullywugs who came into the “prison cell” to investigate. It appeared that the bullywugs they fought back in the swamplands off Port Cullis were the same calibre as the ones who were currently in the next chamber. However, though the party had advanced in skill, they were missing all their weapons and armour. A delicate approach was called for to deal with the situation.
The party promptly marched straight into the lit room with 8 croakers, 6 muckers, 5 twitchers, and a mud lord, with Esteban announcing that he’d like some Bullywug babies to chew on. After a LONG stunned silence, the closest bullywugs regained their composure and charged the party in a wall of frogs legs, spears, and claws. The party held the line and, with the help of some kickin’ AoE, cleared out many of the front-line grunts.
“Play time’s over” the mud lord croaked in abyssal, as he summoned a hulking mud elemental and rock elemental, fleeing the scene immediately after. Slicing and punching their way through the remaining bullywugs, the party eventually met up with these elementals and felt none too few devastating blows. Fortunately, Larami and Trix had been working their way around to the pile of weapons and armour they’d spotted on the other side of the room, and between them had rearmed themselves and Esteban (who forgot he could have summoned his sword the whole time). As for Lasciel and Uthal, they were armed with Melora’s Might and a Stolen Spear, respectively.
Just as things were looking up, the mud lord arrived back on the upper level with his comrades from below (who the party chose to avoid earlier on) and re-engaged a flagging party front line. Unfortunately, the frontline happened to be Trix and Larami as the rest of the party were engaged with the two elementals who were packing more punch than the party defenders were ready for.
Things looked progressively more and more dire as the adventurers began to fall under the onslaught of so many reinforcements. Several death saves were failed, and just when, over the small sea of bullywug corpses, you may have seen a look of desperation on the adventurers’ faces, another Larami teleported into existence to save one of their own, Trix, from succumbing to eternal sleep. This strange visage blinked out of existence only a few turns later, but helped dispatch a few enemies before it did.
Armed with the last of their resolve, the party defeated the remnants of the bullywugs, toppling the stone giant and dissolving the mud lasher, and finally got to… Well, we don’t know what they did after that – we’ll find out next time.