Aug 25, 2009

Blackwater Keep: Lair of the Jarak-Sinn (part 2)

After leaving Blackwater Keep, the party journeyed into the Blackwater Swamp in search of Marzena and the soldiers kidnapped earlier by the jarak-sinn.

In the swamp, the trails were hard to follow, but Hunter found enough tracks to keep the party moving in the general direction. The party sloshed through dirty water and damp high-ground for most of the day. As they looked for a camping location for the night, they came upon a stream. At first glance it appeared to be a safe place for rest and get fresh water, but looking around they noticed a bunch of small woodland creatures, all petrified into stone; they promptly found another place to camp.

The night was damp, and as darkness descended, all manner of strange noise rose from the swamplands. Luckily for them, noise was the only thing they had to contend with. The next morning, the group continued their journey into the forest and arrived at the site of a huge cluster of inter-grown mangaroo trees by mid-day (the cluster of roots and branches were a few hundred feet in diameter). In order to avoid a lantern or other light source, Hunter started to scout down the central hallway. After making it about 40-50 feet inside, Hunter heard the sounds of several creatures moving in his direction. He beat a hasty retreat and the party outside, on alert the whole time he was scouting was prepared to attack what ever emerged from the tree.

A few moments later a patrol of jarak-sinn emerged from their lair. The party waited just long enough for the lizardfolk move further into the swamp before unleashing their attack. With a well planned strike the patrol was defeated in short order and before any of the jarak-sinn could get word back to their lair.

After hiding the bodies, the party re-entered the tree-lair. At a cross way in the tree, there was a small alcove ahead and paths at each side. Inside the alcove was a small clay pot adorned with symbols that Adow believed were to whatever god or spirit the jarak-sinn worshipped. Inside the pot were a few spears and clubs, all with similar decoration and the same symbols as the clay pot.

As the party explored down one of the pathways, they entered a large room with a dome ceiling. On various perches around the room were several hideous looking half-bird half-woman creatures. A pair of them immediately began crooning. Something about the tone or melody transfixed Hunter, Theo, Jes.

harpyAdow recognized these creatures as harpies. In an attempt to stop the song that was fascinating his friends, Adow unleashed missiles of magical energy on one of the singing creatures. Meanwhile, the last harpy flew in close to rake the mage with her sharp claws. Ignoring the pain caused by the one harpy, Adow continued casting spells on the singing harpy, until that creature was too hurt to continue. After it stopped singing, Hunter and Theo snapped out of the enchantment and began attacking the other harpies in the room.

Hunter used his bow to eliminate one of the harpies in mid flight, while Adow and Theo concentrated on the one still enchanting Jes. Moments later, all the harpy bodies laid scattered around their aerie.

After the battle, Jes noticed a shinny bauble weaved into the structure of the aerie. Climbing up to take a closer look, he found it be a very expensive looking necklace. Meanwhile, down the hall, the party heard the sound of footsteps, the sound getting louder as something (or several somethings) made their way closer and closer...