Last time: the group travelled towards Kineshi swamp. Nalia and Eagan spoke of the gods and the concept of inherent goodness. Afa and Riaeki spoke about visiting Afa’s family. Bellana complained. They encountered an abandoned town, inhabited by three hags, which the party miraculously avoided. Bellana was chastised for walking directly into danger, then the party proceeded down the road, and was attacked by bandits. Nice. Through some spell use and threats we managed to avoid fighting them, and totally nothing happened involving a spell being cast on Bellana and Bellana being pissed about that. Nothing at all.
We proceed further and further into the swamp, spending the night with Bellana glaring constantly at Riaeki. The party sets out the next morning, starting to finally arrive in the swamp proper, with muddy road and wispy fog through the morning— until we finally come up to the roads end, where the road has been washed away by the swamp. Wide, tall trees rise up in every direction, and one is lying broken in the middle of the road.
We look down into the swamp, and snark at each other about spirits in trees. We all aggressively don’t want to go in first (and bellana is the worst about it). Eventually, at Eagan’s insistance, Afa goes first, and we all follow. Riaeki lashes a makeshift raft she found to her horse. We make our way decently far in- when Nalia notices a set of mushrooms that move, and then open, revealing a huge eye. Rising out the swamp is a gigantic poisonous tentacle frog, which is one of the worst things I’ve had to type.
→ Soraya and Eagan open strong, with burst of sacred flame and good arrow.
→ Nalia throws a fireball. It’s not very effective, but we’re still proud of her.
→ The Froghemoth attacks Afa and Bellana, grappling them. Then it swallows Soraya. Fuck.
→ Afa throws some good good eldritch bolts.
→ Nahwea tries to charge, but fails. Riaeki Attac, but also Protec, using a Turn. It doesn’t work, but it could have, which is good.
→ Bellana gets ungrappled, then bravely runs away.
→ Eagan is pissed, and throws scorching rays at the frog. ‘Let her go, you slimy motherfucker!’ Soraya tries to attack from inside. It’s… bad content.
→ Nalia also scorches the rays at the frog. It, again, is not very effective. Love that fire.
→ Nahwea does a cool kick. It’s sweet. Then the froghemoth destroys her and grapples Riaeki. Much less sweet. Then it swallows Riaeki. It… does that. It does that.
→ Afa eldritch blasts it. We love her but it’s not the Most Damage That’s Ever Been Done.
→ Riaeki hits it incredibly very hard and… lets Riaeki and Soraya go. Nice!
→ Eagan does MASSIVE HEALING. Soraya moves away from the frog and shoots an arrow. It hits!
→ Nalia throws a chromatic orb and I’m Love Her. The acid eats through the skin of the creature.
→ The froghemoth fails to attack literally anyone this round, so basically, we’re the best.
→ Afa does the warlock spell, and she does it good.
→ Riaeki slices the creature’s tongue off with a branding smite, following through on the motion to stab the frog through the jaw and the head, releasing a blast of radiant energy to turn it into a frog kebab.
We proceed to take lunch in the middle of the swamp because fuck it.
Riaeki asks Bellana for horse usership permission, and Bellana (very reluntanctly) agrees to let her use Orchid, her hunting horse. Bellana goes back to cleaning daisy when the Mosquitoes appear.
God damn it.
→ Bellana & Riaeki are attacked by Mosquites. It uh, it really gosh dang hurts.
→ Eagan fails to sacred flame. Soraya shoots one of the mosquites on Bellana.
→ Nalia casts gust of wind, blowing the mosquitos back, off of Bellana and Riaeki.
→ Afa plays her garklin so good that the mosquitos explode.
Bellana wants out, so we leave. After a half a days journey, we finally arrive at the keep. Bellana lies about knowing Dellahn. Then, we notice the keep is empty. Unmanned. And the gates of the keep are splintered. Inside lies Dellahn and many others- dead, maybe a couple days. Bellana rides through the keep looking for survivors- finding none, but also no bodies. At least 30, maybe 35 people are missing.
Bellana begins moving her bags into her room, while everyone else tries to figure things out. She asks everyone to help her move her bags, then when that’s done, shuts herself in the room. Eagan and Soraya discuss why Bellana would be acting so odd, which makes Nalia thinking face emoji. Finally, Bellana emerges, in a (very slightly) more padded outfit which might stop, I don’t know, a single drop of acid, carrying a sword and shield in a manner that indicates that she doesn’t know how to use them, and goes to the gates. Riaeki stops her, and Bellana activates the shield, causing a ghostly figure to emerge and highlight the tracks all around. She explains that she wants to go after the people in the castle and find them so as to defend her families reputation. Everyone believes that? For some reason? Though then again, she is /awful/. The party decides to head deeper into the swamp to try to locate the survivors.