Aarklash, The Time of Subversion

Danger in the Swamp

Making his way to the inn, Ryfar was looking forward to talking with Styx. No sooner had he entered the room than the Trixie buzzed by his window. Explaining the situation, he asked for her assistance in the swamps. A cleric would be a good ally to have. She asked about possible treasure, and Ryfar agreed to split the loot. After all, there should be some good pickings from a necromancer. Agreeing, she told Ryfar she’d heard some odd things in the swamps while flying around, and undead made sense as the source. It being late, they both got some rest at the inn.

The next morning, they met the caravan. Ryfar took up a high position on a wagon top, and Styx cruised up and down the train keeping an eye open. The day passed uneventfully until the sun was near the horizon. Suddenly there was a great shuffling sound from the swamp near Ryfar’s position. Try as he might, Ryfar could not see the source of the sound. Styx flew out to see what she could, and rushed back reporting two undead crocodiles charging the caravan. Aiming low, Ryfar tried to hit them early, but with no way to see them his crossbow fire was ineffective. Oddly, Styx has also seen that the crocodiles had a glowing sigil on their heads.

The caravan crew was now alerted and acting. They sent off a hail of sling stones at the crocodiles, managing to wound the beast in front. Styx sent an icicle flying at it as well, further injuring it and slowing it a bit. Breathing steadily and controlling his nerves, Ryfar loosed another bolt and hit the front animal squarely. It was in bad shape now. It was also closing on the wagons rapidly.

The gnomes managed to damage it a little more, allowing Styx to end it’s existence with a wounding spell. Unfortunately, she was now within range of the second croc who jumped at her barely missing with its great jaws. Ryfar pivoted and fired at the second croc, scoring another solid hit. Seeing that the battle was moving into a position where his bow would not be as useful, Ryfar jumped down and moved steathily among the towering stands of grass in the shadows. He easily moved into position for a killing blow and took the opportunity, slicing off a large portion of the undead monster’s head with his shortsword. Meanwhile, Styx landed on the great tail, stabbing the croc with her dagger.

Seeing Styx in danger and knowing the shadows would protect him, Ryfar drew the beasts attention. The zombie tried to bite him, but was too wounded to be effective. This movement, however, threw Styx into the water (accompanied by much cursing). Ryfar smiled as he dispatched the undead monstrosity, knowing his friend was safe. With this final strike, he also got a good look at the symbol on its head. While he’d never seen it before, he was able to reproduce it in the mud, and a somewhat damp Styx identified it as a symbol used by some necromantic schools in the Frozen Lands.

Determined to find the source of these abominations and end them, Ryfar and styx headed off into the swamps at the next solid piece of land they found heading in what seemed to be the direction that assault came from.

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