A sinking feeling
The group continued moving across the island, intent on rescuing their shipmates and finding water and food to replenish the ship supplies. They entered a swamp but kept moving along the path from the abandoned fishing village. That path led them to patch of quicksand 70 feet across, with the remnants of a bridge that had long ago been reclaimed by the island.
After taking stock of the situation, Teech Blackfyre deftly climbed up a tree and attached a rope to a branch hanging over the innocuous looking sand. After securing her rope, she used it to jump down from the branch in an attempt to cross this obstacle blocking their path to the grindlyglows’ home. Just as she was about to make it across, two giant frogs revealed themselves in the quicksand and attempted to catch her with their large tongues. Narrowly missing one, Teech thought she was in the clear but was jarred when the second one grabbed her around her leg, causing her to loose her grip on the rope and fall into the quicksand.
Jheron immediately loosed an arrow at Teech’s amphibian captor, while Fae and Solaruus Grakkor used the rope to reach the opposite side of the quicksand and be closer help for their comrade. Xorlox tried to follow but lost he too lost his grip on the rope and fell through the brittle boards that remained from the bridge that once spanned this ancient river. The second frog took advantage of his fall to grab him up with its tongue.
Conchobhar and Crimson joined Fae and Solaruus while Teech tried to gather a rope tied around her waist to throw it to the rescuers on the solid ground. The rope fell short of the shore and Teech’s captor, slowly retracted its tongue, bringing the pirate closer to its maw of razor sharp teeth.
Jheron fired another arrow that grazed the head of Teech’s frog, while Fae picked up a fist sized rock and threw it at her captor. Suddenly the temperature on Fae’s left dropped and she looked over just in time to see Solaruus breath into his hands and gasped as it turned into a ray of ice that hit the same frog. As the temperature returned to normal, he turned around without any harm and moved towards the trees to find a large branch to use to pull their comrades back to safety.
Meanwhile, Xorlox attempted to free himself from the grasp of his frog’s tongue but was unable to find any leverage from the slimy saliva of the giant creature. While he struggled he noticed something moving through the quicksand towards them and called out a warning. Crimson and Conchobhar both fired their bows at the frog holding Xorlox, which only towed the druid closer toward its mouth.
Teech pulled out her cutlass and slashed at her captor by failed to hit it as he began to chew on her leg. Jheron, still stranded on the other side of the quicksand from the party while the rope hung loose in the middle of the liquified sand, began to leap from piling to piling, stopping on one to loose a shot from his bow that severed the tongue from the frog holding Teech. The creature’s death throes tossed the half-elf back towards the shore where Fae was able to roll her out of the tongue and onto solid ground.
Solaruus, returning with a branch, saw that Teech was safe and moved closer to assist Xorlox. At that moment, the druid was astonished to see a snake fly out of the water and attack the frog grappling him with its tongue, and was even more surprised to see the frog release him from its grasp. Taking advantage of his fortune, Xorlox began to swim back to shore in serpentine movements he had seen the snake use.
Once Xorlox was clear of the frog, Conchobhar and Crimson killed it with two well placed arrows. Unfortunately, the frog knocked the snake 20 feet on to dry land with its death throes. Xorlox was able to tend to it and realized it was only stunned. He fed the animal and became its friend. Fae asked Solaruus about the temperature change but was told that he did not talk about those things.
Leaving the quicksand behind them, the party moved further along the path into the swamp. As they were crossing an especially dense area of the swamp, they stopped at the sounds of a large number of bugs in a tree ahead. After a quick conversation, it was decided to try and sneak through the area and hopefully avoid another encounter. Unfortunately, Fae tripped on a vine and crashed into a muddy puddle of water, attracting the attention of a swarm of mosquitoes which attacked Jheron. Teech called out for everyone to run.
Jheron, cover with bleeding bites from hundreds of the blood sucking insects and infected him with ghoul fever, darted down the path, followed by Fae, Xorlox, and Crimson. The bugs, high with lust for the flesh and blood beings in front of them, swarmed over Fae next and covered too with bleeding wounds. Solaruus rushed by and dragged her out of the swarm and down the path, followed by Teech. Conchobhar, realizing he could not keep up with his longer legged companions, attempted to sneak through the dense swamp brush.
Jheron tried to move further down the path but fell unconscious from his excessive wounds, dropping to the ground in an expanding puddle of blood. Solaruus had no time to help the ranger though, as Fae too fell unconscious from her extensive wounds, forcing him to continue to drag her to safety. Xorlox moved to help the Elven archer but was trying to not move too far away from his new serpent friend, so Crimson reached him first and dragged him further down the path away from the blood sucking insects.
The swarm however was more enticed with the slower moving flesh and blood behind it, and enveloped the Gnome bard trying to sneak by it. Teech realizing they had no weapons to stop the insects decided to leave the Gnome to his fate, since anyone who tried to save him would probably only end up consumed as well. She shouted for everyone to keep moving and handed Solaruus a healing potion to give to Fae.
Being dragged down the path caused one of Jheron’s potions of health to break open and be absorbed into him, healing some of his injuries and stopping his bleeding. Xorlox reached the Elf in time to help him to his feet and moved down the path and across a large, shallow puddle of water that covered the entire width of the path. As the others joined them at this zone of safety they watched the insects return to feed off the fallen Gnome’s body. Teech ordered everyone to move on down the path and made a comment about the Gnome being responsible for his own fate.
Confrontation with Crimson
Crimson told them that he had not wanted to come on this rescue mission because he thought he would be used as cannon fodder for the new officers but that Conchobhar had convinced him to come by saying the new officers had taken care of their allies and would do the same for them. Apparently the Gnome had been mistaken because Teech had no problem leaving him behind while Crimson saved one of Teech’s friends. Teech responded that friendship was loosely defined and that Conchobhar got what he deserved. Fae interrupted to say that they needed to focus on saving the living then approached Crimson to give her condolences for Conchobhar’s death. Crimson replied that he only wanted to make it off this island alive and that he would remember what Teech had said.
PCs earned 320 xp.