The adventurers continued to wade through the muddy swamp, searching for the Brackmarsh tribe.
Sometime near midday, three large crocodiles slipped into the murky water, converging on the explorers. Their unfortunate aggression was costly as the party turned them into handbags soon enough.
An hour or so further on, the party encountered a Brackmarsh Crusher on a Large Riding Lizard. Surprisingly, they hailed the Crusher and the Dragonborn engaged him in dialog, asking him to tell them or show them the way to the Brackmarsh village. This he would not do, and challenged Kriv to a duel.
At first, it was a flurry of glancing blows and deftly avoided thrusts, but as the battle wore on, defenses dropped and more blows landed. It became a battle of endurance. Unfortunately, to the merriment of many of the party, Kriv was struck a mighty blow in the head that had him splayed out on the ground, broken and bleeding. Phalanx helped him up with some good healing magic. While Orin just laughed and laughed.
The Crusher was now more confident and amiable as he had bested the one and assumed he could take the others too. He agreed to lead the party to the village in exchange for a bag of money, which Orin showed him with no intention of ever giving it over
Certain they were surrounded by unseen foes; several had misgivings about this course.
After an hours walk they were nearing the outskirts of the village when the sentries appeared out of the marsh and challenged their passage. The Crusher and the Dragonborn explained that they were looking for Shadowmire and were here to see the Chief. A sentry went to see if the Chief wanted to meet with them. He said, “No.”
When this was relayed to the party, the sentries and the Crusher bristled. The nature of the discussion quickly turned sour and was like to end in blows when Orin declared he had heard enough, drew his weapon, and said, “if they want to do this the hard way. Kill them all.”
It turned out that there were several spies in the marshes behind the party, using their Fastlight attack to modest effect. As they engaged, the Sentries turned out to be easy meet, while the Bog Walkers were less so. The Crusher nearly killed Phalanx but he backed away, leaving the Crusher to Alphazar for the moment. In combined attacks, the Crusher was killed. Orin, charged into the marshes after the Spies, taking on two at a time. One of the Fastlight attacks struck Alphazar squarely in the head, or would have, if Kriv had leapt into his place, tossing him backwards. The Fastlight struck Kriv in the chest. Alphazar, shaken, but not broken, watched in amazement as Kriv took the blow that would have killed him, weakened and bloodied as he was.
Standing in front of the now rider-less Lizard, Kriv got himself a wild idea. He leapt onto the thing’s back, and with a fair measure of luck, managed to stay on and to seemingly calm, or cow, the brutish creature.
Xaelin and Berrian brought a veritable hail of lightning down on the Marshes, finishing several bloodied foes.
After the battle, Phalanx and Kriv helped the others to recover from their injuries, knowing that another fight was probably only 30 minutes away.
127gp total loot
Large Riding Lizard – Kriv
All: 350 ea.
KRIV and BERRIAN are 5th LEVEL!