26 Rova 4712
Waking refreshed, our heroes prayed, studied, ate and decided to try round two of negotiating with the demon worshipping troglodyte tribe in hopes that they could use their underground passages to the Lady’s Light and cement a trade agreement for Sabriyya Kalmeralm.
So, off they went.
Returning to the troglodyte caverns, the group found the wood barricade burned to the ground and their offerings still sitting at the face of the caves. Three troglodytes stood, on guard and wary but did not attack.
One troglodyte stepped forward and announced himself as, Sulgesh, and implored our heroes to “help us or leave in peace…”
It turns out that this troglodyte tribe has seen better days. The battle with the boggards decimated their tribe and during the fight, killed the chief and his sons. Bereft of true leadership, the troglodytes’ priest, a battle hungry cleric called, Uggilo, seized power. To make matters worse, several of the surviving troglodytes have accused the priest of abandoning their chief in the heat of the battle, then those troglodytes were quickly sacrificed to their cruel god, Zevgavizeb.
Since the fight, many of the troglodytes who survived have contracted some kind of sickness Uggilo has refused to cure, instead offering the to Zevgavizeb. Searos, remembering the poisoned weapon found at the battle site, confirmed that the troglodytes have been struck by filth fever.
Sulgesh, who clearly saw the writing on the wall for his tribe, their doom, implored the party to eliminate Uggilo and his fanatical followers and help the sick.
The group, seeing their opportunity, decided to brave the reeking caverns to help the remaining troglodytes. And, then, take the fight to Uggilo.
Spending hours tending to the wounded, the group scored points with the troglodytes not under Uggilo’s foul sway. With their wounds treated and bandaged, Searos channeled the power of Erastil to wash over them in a healing wave.
Knowing nothing more could be done for them, the group headed off to face Uggilo. And found him.
Uggilo, his minions and his pet crocodile were up to no good in the tribe’s temple and itching for a fight. Encountering two guards first, our heroes eliminated them with lethal efficiency, and then moved to the larger group. But, they would not fall so easily.
Uggilo was a powerful foe who relished battle and blessed his unholy weapon to inflict more damage. His crocodile hungered for any non-troglodyte flesh and he found it in the form of Kellfrid who charged into the cave.
The crocodile’s powerful jaws bit deep into Kellfrid’s legs then began to viciously slam her wounded body onto the ground in its death roll, causing her strength to waver, her consciousness, to dim. Our heroes responded to violence with violence and pressed the attack.
However, Gedryr pressed to deep and found himself surrounded and punished with a murderous flurry of blows. Dropping to the ground, his life force spent, it looked like our heroes would lose two members in this reeking cave in the middle of the swamp.
But, it was not to be.
Searos stepped forward and channeling another wave of Erastil’s healing power, reviving the elf at the last possible moment and restoring vigor to the barbarian, who had a hankering for revenge.
Seeing a cavern that appeared to lead deep into the ground, our heroes made for it, only to realize the tunnel has been recently collapsed and would not yield passage to the Lady’s Light.
Although the group had become somewhat accustomed to the stench of the caverns, they wished to return to the open air as soon as they finished searching the cave and pilfering the tribe’s treasures. When they returned to the sunlight and open land, they sat down with Sulgesh and his clansman, Arzevev, to discuss their future.
The troglodytes were thankful, and saw a new day dawning for their clan. Unfortunately, as our heroes discovered, their tunnel into the Lady’s Light was collapsed after the boggards made an assault during the battle to smash the tribe’s eggs and kill or capture the females. Sulgesh’s mate, a feisty female called, Azoresh, was one of the captured females.
This saddened Sulgesh greatly.
Through their dialogue, the group discovered that there is rumored to be another tunnel besides the boggard tunnel that leads to the Lady’s Light. But it is the home to, Gegganallag, “Many Mouths” in draconic, a foul beast that Uggilo used to sacrifice sick troglodytes or captured boggards. Sulgesh and Arzevev do not like Gegganallag. It creeps them out.
Gedryr, upon hearing this, deduced the creature might be a hydra, who are said to dwell in marshland.
Additionally, the troglodyte duo warned, there is a nest of “giant snapping, grabbing bugs” that are quite proficient at eating troglodytes. The boggards, they say, have some kind of “magic juice” that makes the giant snapping, grabbing bugs docile. Although the troglodytes have tried to recreate this serum, they have not had any success.
With this information processed, the group began their negotiation for a trade partner for Sabriyya. The troglodytes seemed interested. They’re numbers have been decimated and the promise of gold would help the clan rebuild.
After finding out that they would be asked to harvest whiplily, frog’s eye, miresh and fen pepper, not the easiest to find, but not a challenge, the troglodytes opened negotiations. The duo hoped to be paid seven gold, ten if the stars all lined up, a year, started the negotiation with the standard, strategy of asking for way too much for the least amount of work: 20 gold a year with delivery made every two to three months.
Bold opening move.
With the ball in our heroes’ court, Rhondal stepped forward and countered with the very unorthodox and confusing approach of offering more gold for less work: 25 gold a year with delivery every quarter.
Quizzical glances flashed among the group, and the troglodytes, assuming Gedryr had translated incorrectly, asked him to repeat the offer. It wasn’t his money, so Gedryr didn’t care, and he repeated the 25 gold piece offer which was immediately accepted.
With that task done, and evening approaching, our heroes took their leave from the troglodytes. Sulgesh asked if the heroes were going to go after the boggards, to which the group replied they were since they couldn’t have the boggards disrupting the trade agreement. Sulgesh told the group to camp south of their caverns, and in the morning a troglodyte would be sent to guide them to the boggard village.
Generally pleased with how things turned out, but concerned that Sabriyya might not think the agreement was in her best financial interest, our heroes went to camp for the night. The evening wore on; the mosquitos buzzed and covered the camp while flies flew overhead after their evening meal, they bedded down for the night. It was a peaceful camp until, midway through the night, a cloying green mist of horrid shapes floated hungrily into the campsite. Rallying to face this uncommon creature, our heroes sprung to the attack, fighting off the frightening aura surrounding this strange ooze.
Mundane weapons seemed powerless against this fog, so our heroes hefted what magical arms they had while Searos and Gedryr punished it with spells. Spells and arms, while damaging, did not seem to deter this creature, who seemed to hunger for the party’s life essence.
While its negative energy drained the life from the group, Searos decided to channel his god’s positive energy in a powerful, damaging blast. It worked, and the fog recoiled from the waves of positive energy. Regaining the initiative, our heroes made quick work of the ooze.