Return to Cromm's Hold

7 - 9 Eleasis 1491 DR

In the morning, Archibald takes his time to repair Daardendrian's armor. When he is done the group shares their newly learned abilities. Archibald is proud to announce his long studies enable him to cast arcane spells, Illiar tells of a newfound bond with nature. It reminds him of how other rangers in his village used to make offerings to the woods and gained support of an animal companion. He is planning to do the same in the near future.

After a relaxing breakfast, the group plans to head back to [[Cromm’s Hold]] and Daggerford after that. Archibald designs a few simple stretchers to help carry all the chests they’ve dug up from the dragon’s beach. Before leaving their campsite a discussion is held about their mission’s purpose. Did they succeed? How is the altar related to all the things that have happened? Where is Maechen? Who is she really? A lot of questions remain unanswered. Archibald suggests Maechen might have been the Red Wizard Arvik Zaltos in a different shape, although they all had seen the Red Wizard hanging from the gallows.

The group decides to follow the tunnel heading east, since it is the only remaining undiscovered part of the underground caverns. Illiar scouts ahead and waits for the rest of the group every once in awhile. The tunnel leads several miles east and ends in a large sinkhole. Outside the storm still hasn't turned down and continues to pound the coastline with heavy rain and strong winds. A single rope leads upwards to the marshes and Illiar is first to climb up, followed by Blaze. The marshes look vast and empty, but they soon find out it is not. A group of frog like humanoids called Bullywugs jump out from the surrounding ponds and attack. Blaze is quickest to respond and sets their assailants on fire with an [[Aganazzer’s Scorcher]]. The creatures, who are badly burned and seriously injured, keep on fighting. Daardendrien wants to join and with incredible effort rushes up the rope. Blaze then kills three of the frogs with Burning Hands before being knocked out by a spear to the torso. The last of the bullywugs is grazed across the chest by Daardendrien’s glaive. Illiar tries to shoot him, but his arrow is deflected by the creature’s shield. Archibald, who finally joined his companions above the sinkhole, shoots his gun with more force than ever. An enormous boom sounds and the bullywug is thrown of his feet ending several feet away, dead. Daardendrien brings back Blaze with one of his healing touches.

While they head back north, towards [[Cromm’s Hold]], the group wonders why they were attacked by the bullywugs. Was it a trap or were the barbaric creatures just aggressively territorial? Illiar takes up point again and makes sure the group is able to move along the swamp quickly. After a few more hours the storm finally lets up. For several days afterward, the sun beats down on the Lizard Marsh, and the swamp becomes an unbearably hot and humid place alive with hungry insects. Blaze tries to reach a few brightflowers to repel the mosquitoes but doesn't spot a patch of quicksand. Daardendrien, ever ready and suspecting a new challenge, quickly responds and offers Blaze the haft of his glaive. After the fire genasi has been pulled out of the shifting sands he offers the flowers to his savior.

Along the route back to [[Cromm’s Hold]] the adventurers pass the hamlet of Vantage, in the distance towards the east. They wonder if they should visit the place but decide not to do so as they’re only half a day’s travel away from their destination. Daardendrien casually mentions he had seen a dragon flying during his previous night’s watch, flying somewhere in the far distance towards the southwest. He first thought of Bahamut, but then figured it might have been Sjachsmalsvir, looking for them as they had stolen his hoard. The others don’t give much attention to his story and swiftly move on.

Later that day Illiar spots a shimmering of metal in the distance. ArchibaldBlaze and Illiar immediately seek a place to hide, but Daardendrien is tired of slogging through the hot swamp all day and is slow to react. They are spotted by a group of humans who reveal themselves as soldiers from [[Cromm’s Hold]] under command of sergeant Durenn. He is surprised to meet the group and is happy to see everyone still alive and in one piece. Apparently the baroness was anxious to know of the fate of the adventurers and had sent a recon team. After a short break everyone is delighted to be able to leave the swamp.

Durenn asks what had occurred and if the companions were successful in their endeavor. Archibald explains he became some sort of dragon tamer after they found the wyrmling’s egg. He passionately speaks of how Itchie helped them and killed a lot of lizardfolk. He also speaks of the Clotskull orcs who had kept the egg hidden from the dragon and that they were from a place called Illefarn. Durenn explains Illefarn is a mountain somewhere northeast of Daggerford. A place of legend, where once a mighty Dwarven kingdom had its home.

Daardendrien then introduces himself as mighty paladin, Chosen of Bahamut and sent by his high priest to prevent great evil in this region. He also mentions the group had battled against the black dragon and an evil water elemental, awing the soldiers. Blaze adds that the dragon’s lair lies beneath an ancient temple to Amaunator and that the water elemental only appeared after Maechen had disappeared. Unfortunately Durenn and his soldiers haven’t seen Maechen. Before reaching [[Cromm’s Hold]], Archibald tells of their acquaintance with Redeye, the leader of the other lizardfolk tribe. He was stern <meta />and quite territorial but might be interested in forming an alliance.

At the end of a long and very tiring day, the adventurers arrive at [[Cromm's Hold]]. They are welcomed by sir Isteval and baroness Wynne, who are keen to learn of their expedition. Immediately they speak of Maechen, worrying Isteval. Maechen had not returned to the hold, but might have gone back to Daggerford instead. The baroness sends a page to Daggerford to report and learn more of Maechen’s disappearance. After a hot bath and a nice meal the group meet the baroness and sir Isteval once more to debrief their mission. An elaborate story unfolds as the group share their experiences. Baroness Wynne is interested to know if the group had found out where the mysterious disease the lizardmen carried came from, but unfortunately that question remained unanswered. She is very pleased with the possibilities for peace with the lizardfolk and will send a spokesman to Redeye’s tribe. The group is rewarded for their efforts.

Isteval promises to share the information about Thoss Fyurnen and his lair with Duke Maldwyn upon his return to Daggerford. He plans to recommend to the duke that the garrison at [[Cromm’s Hold]] be doubled until the dragon’s threat is no longer present. About the group’s discovery of the contents of the altar and the true nature of it, Isteval concludes there might be two more altars out there somewhere, waiting to be found. One linked to earth, the other to fire. He sets out immediately to find out if his hunch is correct and will contact the group when he learns more.

Mimi also says goodbye to her companions that evening. She is still very upset about the capturing of her foster parents and will travel along with sir Isteval back to Daggerford. Upon her return there she will seek others to help her find her lost family…




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