A year later the team have become trusted agents of the Imperial shogunate and report out of the Norther City of Kem. Beyond being a city Kem is one of the great dragon turtles that represent the spirits of the land. No one has talked to Kem in long time nor has he moved in an age so most of the residents take it on faith they live on top of one of the 4 mystic dragon turtles.
Imperial Eunuch Lim summons the adventures for a quick mission into the dark lands the Spider Clan have stolen an important scroll detailing the defenses to Lion Castle to the north. The scroll was taken by two ninja brothers. Black Kirin and Green Viper. They are sure to have fled to the hidden ninja village to the east.
Eunuch Lim: “Do I look like at atlas? Of course I don’t know exactly where the hidden village is, that’s why I hired you lot. Get back the scroll!”
After a year of working in the Darklands the team no longer pays much heed to the haunting dreams and the are fairly adept at navigating the dangers of the swampy terrain.
After a quick tour of the seeder sides of town looking for information on the brothers. They settle on talking to the assassins guild and after greasing some palms with gold. The guild leader a disreputable looking dwarf with one good eye says there’s one person in the swamps that might know the location of the Hidden Village. She is a hag that lives in the center of the marsh. Party: “You mean an old woman that lives in the swamp?”
Guild Leader Nobu: “No fools, I mean a dark witch that eats children. Mind that you don’t become her dinner.”
The team navigates a skiff into the Broken Marsh in search of the . They don’t encounter much on the way in. One evenings camp is broken up by a large cloud of giant mosquitos looking to feed on blood but the pests are quickly scared away by fire.
The center of the marsh is a overgrown maze of woven together foliage. The canopy of the trees has grown together forming a tight roof over about a 2 mile per side square.
The team is leery of wandering through the hedge row maze. So they decide on a quick flight over the top of the witches abode using summoned giant bats to the center of the roof. There they spend the next 2 hours boring a hole through the roof using acid slash at 3 table spoons of acid at a time. This takes them into an open pavilion area with some wicker furniture, a bubbling cauldron, a small hut, and a slow moving slime monster that doesn’t do a very good job of sneaking up on the team but is really poisonous and manages to do some damage to Gowan.
A previous test of the cauldron revealed it contain a super caustic soup of nastiness that dissolved the tip of Dim-see’s finger when he touched it. A little concerted effort and the cauldron gets dumped on the slime monster destroying it.
A spike pit trapped entrance to the hut leads to a passage into the hedge row maze. The party finds rooms full of refuse and decay.
- A disgusting pantry full of poisonous mushrooms and tainted food stacked on shelves and hung from hooks. Gershwin wanders a little to close to a hanging side of meat and takes a puff of caustic spores to the face.
- A room with strange humanoid mushrooms standing stock still.
- A pool of filth with a large tentacle that snakes out every so often. The party gives this room a wide birth.
- A sleeping chamber with rot grubs in the bed. The grubs jump off the bed and try to make a new home in Ben Awn. Quick action from Gowan shocking Ben Awn destroys the grubs.
- A lab with poorly maintained equipment for brewing potions and half finished portions and lab jars full of pickled small animals.
- The party eventually finds their way to a secondary glade area with wicker furniture. After defeating a pair of very strong wooden golems.
- The witch Selene appears to be a beautiful elf maid and makes a proposition. If the party brings her the horn of a kirin (unicorn) that dwells not too far north of the swamp she’ll tell them what they want to know. Killing sentient good creatures doesn’t really sit well with the party so they ask of another deal instead.
The second offer is if Gowan (who is a warlock) apprentices to her and does as she commands she’ll tell them what they need to know to find the ninja brothers. But she cannot tell them where the hidden village is since she and the ninja clan have an arrangement.
Gowan accepts and is marked with a tatoo of the Jade Scorpion sealing the pact between the two witches. Selene states the Black Kirin and Green Viper will be meeting the East Dutch Trading company at the furthest eastern Etherium mining facility where the edge of marsh where the sea meets the swamp in 3 weeks from now.
Gowan now has poison resistance. He takes no Con damage from poisons up to 2 points and cannot be sickened or weakened by poison. +2 to Fort save vs all other poisons.
Gowan is now also curse to serve Selene at this point.