The group decides to try to rest before continuing on with the aid of an arrow trap set by Ornith. However, not an hour in strange voices are heard coming from the previous room and before long a lizardfolk sets off the trap and battle ensues! The last lizardman to be targeted by the companions instead turns and runs back into the lizardfolk sleeping area. Following the lizardman hurriedly the companions find themselves face to face with yet MORE armed lizardmen. More fighting ensues! Exploding one lizardman body into bits, both the companions and a remaining lizardman are appalled to see green worms exiting the body. The worms begin to die immediately as Ornith places a couple into a vial for further examination later.
Healing quickly the companions continue down into the depths of the lizardfolk stronghold, finding yet another sleeping area along with another area full of mushrooms and the stink of decay and waste, complete with flies. Upon further examination Ornith determines that they are actually compost piles…the lizardfolk are environmentally friendly! As the companions attempt to pass though they are suddenly grappled by grasping roots and vines! The companions eventually destroy the Assassin Vine (with Ornith taking a sprig or two of course) .
Continuing on their way down the companions of course encounter MORE lizardmen! Fighting once again ensues, with yet more green worms wriggling from a corpse causing the remaining lizardman to run down the tunnel in terror. Thallis is approximately 99.99% sure that he saw brown poo dribbling from the terrified lizardman’s behind. Following the lizardman down the tunnel the companions are excited to find two of the captive humans! Of course more fighting ensues! Having killed the lizardmen the companions check on the captives and find them to be unconscious, but otherwise okay. Neither one however is Allustan’s mage friend Marzina. Deciding to take the captives and themselves into the nicer sleeping area and attempt to heal up and rest the companions do so, leaving Ornith and Torlin to watch the entrances. No sooner than 10 minutes into their rest time does Ornith hear strange voices coming from the northern entrance. Beldor immediately suits up and heads to battle! So…many…lizards…in…here…
Having slaughtered more armed lizardmen the companions finally agree to take the two captives outside and rest outside (finally success!). Just as the last of the sunlight is the leaving the sky however Ornith notices a winged shape leaving the upper part of the grove and flying off into the night; Thallis sees the same thing as morning approaches, only this time the winged figure is returning to the grove. Curious. The captives agree to hide somewhere outside while the companions return to try to locate the last remaining captives.
Returning back into the lizardfolk stronghold the companions enter a much cleaner and organized room and are met with not one surprise, but two in fact. The remaining two captives are finally located, and the seeming shaman holding them captive does not appear to be aggressive. Before any of the companions can make any aggressive moves, Ornith immediately steps forward and attempts to communicate with the shaman. The shaman is known as “Hishka” and in exchange for killing the king (in the other room) the captives will be set free. Ornith further convinces Hishka to enter into peaceful negotiations with the neighboring humans of Blackwall Keep. Hishka agrees, but only if the king is killed. Off the companions go to kill the king!
The king is a much larger and much more impressive lizardman, but the companions manage to slay him without taking too much hurt. Returning to Hishka with the head, Ornith attempts to shake hands with their seemingly new ally, Hishka refuses stating that that hand has slain many lizardfolk. To which Ornith replies with the simple statement “Your hand has done the same to many humans I am sure.” Eventually however, the two come to an official agreement to meet with the head of the humans of Blackwall Keep and come up with a pact that benefits all.
As the two talk Hishka also informs Ornith for the past two mating seasons the eggs of the Twisted Branch tribe have been seemingly infected with these green worms. If the in infection continues the tribe will be no more. Interested in the green worm infection the companions agree to venture into the water-filled tunnel that leads to the eggs and see if they can somehow help the Twisted Branch tribe and their plight. Hishka seems pleased by this plan and will not only come along with the companions, but also immediately jumps to disable all the traps in the tunnel. Hishka also informs the companions that all they need do is hold their breath for a little while and they will be fine.
TO BE CONTINUED!!