The party has returned to Sandru’s caravan but Ignatius is not there waiting for them, so the faerie Spivey is despatched to find Ignatius and tell him of the party’s location. Feeling for his aura and racing in the direction of the Rimerunner’s Guildhall, Spivey finds Ignatius tearing through the busy morning streets, on fire, being chased by a guard. Ignatius’ horrific appearance scares some cityfolk out of his way and he deftly dodges around others while the less nimble guard finds himself obstructed. This commotion is noticed by a huscarl and more town guards who begin their chase of Ignatius. Spivey reaches him just as Ignatius performs his secret escape maneuvre – he throws his disguise in the air and infuses it with magical energy. In an instant the burning rags become an enourmous conflagration that engulfs the entire street and fills it with billowing smoke. The pursuing guards are first startled and then find themselves blinded and coughing on the cobblestones. Unnoticed by Ignatius, Spivey is also caught in this disabling spectacle but manages to find her way free and after a short moment of searching nearby she is able to find Ignatius and direct him to the caravan.
The documents from the Rimerunner’s Guildhall provides all the direction the party needs and Sandru joyfully announces the party’s departure from Kalsgard. The caravan travels southwest towards Ravenscraeg, an appropriate destination as the party continue to find themselves followed by the Blood Feather Raven. At nightfall the caravan makes camp while the party discuss their plans, where it is observed that the maps show a thick swamp between Kalsgard and Ravenscraeg; certainly no terrain for a Rimerunners caravan to take Ulf and Suishen through. It is at this moment that the ever-vigilant Traftar notices an intruder at the outskirts of the campsite and sure enough a Frozen Shadows ninja is found poisoning the food in a covered wagon.
Upon her discovery, the ninja darts nimbly past Shalelu and delivers deadly sweeps with trained fists and a poison-tipped dagger. Traftar remembers the earlier pursuit of a mysterious sniper and is not prepared to let this assailant escape either. Just as the ninja performs a technique to cloak herself in shadow she finds herself immediately illuminated with Faerie Fire and becomes easier to see than even the campfire. Shalelu looses deadly arrows after the fleeing ninja but once again Traftar aids the party’s pursuit by animating the forest grasses and roots to become a writhing, grappling mass that immobilises the hapless opponent before she is blasted by Ignatius’ fire beams and covered in Traftar’s swarm of summoned spiders.
The next morning Traftar takes to the skies in bird form to solve the mystery of the missing caravan path. He observes that there are no caravan tracks nearby except from Sandru’s own caravan. He flies over the swamp to get as close to Ravenscraeg itself as he safely can and observes no gentle entrance at all from this side of the mountains. Instead the entrance appears to be a narrow, wooden stair, clung precariously to the cliff face, climbing in a series of switchbacks up to the front gate. No caravan could arrive at this entrance.
The party convenes and it is decided that unless a better route to Ravenscraeg is discovered, the caravan will need to stop at the edge of the swamp and the adventurers proceed on foot. Ignatius, Traftar, Shalelu, Koya, Senja and Spivey are chosen as the brave adventurers who must take the day-long journey through the swamp and then begin the assault on Ravenscraeg. It is not long after their departure that the true danger of the swamp makes itself known. As the party investigates a human skull and spinal column, a colossal ochre jelly arises out of the stagnant water and attempts to smother and strangle the party.
Ignatius quickly finds that his fire breath is effective at fighting off the gelatinous hulk and so Traftar joins the elemental assault by summoning a mighty bolt of lightning to strike the beast, but finds that the electricity simply flows harmlessly around it into the swamp water. Shalelu’s arrows also do little to damage the jelly but instead it’s mighty impacts being to split the creature’s amorpheous bulk until it becomes two seperate entities that attack the party autonomously. Traftar finds himself engulfed and slammed by one such half but manages to fight his way free before finishing it off with a deadly icicle attach, while Ignatius melts the other half with deadly fire.
From the Frozen Shadows ninja:
- Unknown poison (2 doses)
- Tian-style dagger with a blue metal blade
- 2 shurikens with inscribed fire runes
- 5 other shurikens
- High quality ninja bodysuit that blends into shadows
From the Swamp:
- Necklace with black pearls (900gp)