We gathered outside the entrance of the tavern on this cold and chilly morning. The group of us being Sixer, an artificer kobold. An odd creature who brings unnatural life into metal contraptions, such as Mark one. Next is Fiver, the brother of Sixer and a strong caster in their own right. Then Wolfgang, a strong hill dwarf cleric who held his own. Lastly me, Ruebekka, or Rueb, or Ruby, or Bekka, or Becky, or now Ruebearka. A protector of the wild and friend to almost all the animals.
As we departed from W.M.C. we set up with Wolfgang checking the horizon for anything that could be a concern. Where I made sure that we stayed the course. There was nothing of true not until we came to the edge of the forest. We see a lizardman tied up to the tree badly thrashed and beaten. After some koblod negotiations I went up and untied him, not feeling as if our lives were to be endangered. To alleviate his pain I spoke a healing word.
It was here we learned of more danger within the swamps other than a possible creature eating children. The Lizardman, Sassasussiaus, or Shush, or shoe, or shhhhh, told us of the bandits that jumped him while he was out looking for the kids. After having been beaten and tied up they took his Tortle shield, a gift from the Tortles on tortle island just across the creek. Also his Spear that was handed down from his father to him, it was adorned with two red feathers and some engraving. From where we were it was easy to get a bead on their tracks and follow them to their camp.
So around eight miles away from the second bend in the road we came upon the Bandit settlement. We were discussing our approach, as we finished the conversation a shrub moved and made the entire party alerted. It turned out to be a bloodsuckle, as type of plant that attacks creatures to plant their seed and feed off of their bodies. It was a good thing Shhh tolf us about it. The party took care the plants with not too much difficulty but were fully aware of the depth of this threat.
A small amount time passed before we heard screeching and explosion of bats coming out of a cave in the ground. We attacked the ones that bit at us but when a few of the bats started hiding behind me I had to sate my curiosity. I invoked a druid spell of the first circle to speak with the animals. Doing so I was able to calm down the small rodents and found that they were only disturbed. There was screaming before we came and they were upset because some one had thrown a torch into the cave earlier. Likely to try and escape from the Bloodsuckle.
Once thing became calm and settled down we were able to comb through the area. Shush, received his items back and I got my club back that I loaned to him. We also were able to make sense of three sets of tracks. Two people to the north east, one to the west, and most importantly a large amount of tracks to the south, with some of them being more heavy set than others. We traveled south and slightly to the east. Shush, let us know that to the east of here there is a small settlement. Curious to me is that the cubs that are missing is a human and a lizardfolk. So we knew better than to mover further to the east. Thus we rushed to the west, pushing our bodies. Possibly becoming fatigued. I do believe Sixer was one of us who felt the saddle rot.
It was in the dark of the night we heard the frantic splashing. Our hearts dropped and adrenaline began to pump. Shush rushed over to the children the fastest being a denizen of the swamp so he could cut through the water with ease. Sixer also rushed into the fray on the back of Mark-One. I set up a patch of spiked earth to try and cut off the at the time seemingless gators away from the children. But as soon as you can blink a gator would be upon you. So faster than you can count to five Sixer was surrounded and Wolfgang began to hold off a couple of his own. I then turn into a bear and approach a gator before it could get to Fiver. Sixer went into full defense mode by activating some mechinism’s on MK-1. The rotating shields were a sight to behold. Fiver started blasting gators into the spiked growth I called to nature for our use. A few gators died to this tactic. One gator took Wolfgang away into the toxic pool in the swamp. I put more effort into the gator next to me so that i could help. I believe Fiver cast a spell and finished it while it was in the poisoned pool of water. Everyone of us that was up close in combat had to cleanse ourselves of the liquid. We found out that the liquid is a drug and has mutated the local wild life. They were being fed by an owner/creator/tamer the children may have been easy marks or perhaps even ingredients for more of this drug.
We pushed to the east away from the location. I carried the kids on my back as a War Horse so that they could focus on bundling up and stay warm until we could make camp. After making camp it was just right when I fell to sleep when I was woke up. It was Sixer who woke me up. Once people know you can talk to animals it’s like they want to do it all the time like for real guys. But I had to rub my eyes twice cause i thought I was still sleeping when I looked at one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. they asked if we were edible, I wasn’t sure if I was lying but I quickly told them that we are not edible for them. That we were poisonous in fact and indeed would make them sick if they ate us. Some recollection I found out they eat rotting and live vegetation. So I picked some food and cast Animal Friendship on one of them. I was able to examine this wonderful baby! I thought it would help watch over me while I slept but it flew off. Still I am happy I got to see a bit of nature’s art.
The next morning we moved a little bit and it became close enough to the village that the Lizardman was comfortable on taking the children back to the village. Shush was also close to one of his clan stashes that they keep just in case they need to pay some one they believe to be in debt to. i do believe that the journey home was clear skies.