Noble House: A D&D 4E Essentials Campaign

Episode 9: "Toadswallow Meet"

Time: Late Afternoon
Location: Toadswallow caves

Near a waterfall they believed the bullywugs entered with the missing halfling children, the thief, Alexa was caught in an Iron Circle tent she was investigating by a guard who’d come back from hunting. Failing to escape the tent, the guard and Alexa had words, which ended with Alexa putting a dagger through the man’s throat. She finds a strange necklace made of mushrooms around the dead guard’s neck and takes it. Alexa sprints back to the party.

While waiting for Alexa to finish her scouting, the remaining party hears the sound of something coming up the path behind them. They scurry to hide while the assassin, Xune’ril circles the approaching sounds and comes up behind a group of bullywugs with some human children in tow. The bullywugs and the party spot each other simultaneously and a fight begins. Alexa arrives and climbs a tree and rains death from above.

Bullywugs dead, human children run off into the swamps, the party makes its way to the waterfall and the cave mouth. While climbing the assassin noticed something in the pool below, a strange “stone” surrounded by skeletal remains.

Passing into the cave, each wearing one of the mushroom necklaces, they are allowed to enter by the bullywug guards. Within they find a strange meeting hall of sorts. Various distributed caves where dwellers from below and above the surface come to trade goods (jewelry, animals, slaves, etc.). In the market area of the caverns, the party meets Senta, a drow merchant and her body guard – a legendary figure from the southern drow lands. The warpriest, Tondrek also has an encounter with b, a duergar. The two quickly come to dislike each other. She makes it known she’d like to take him back with her down below – as a pet.

They quickly find, with the help of a goblin trader named Boshke, that there are more than just the Halfling children here as slaves, but also many others from around the Harken area. The halflings are kept in cages above a greenhouse of toadstools – tended by giant, sentient mushrooms. The children provide fertilizer and will eventually BE fertilizer. The party arranges to buy the children from Boshke.

While waiting for the children to be delivered, they come upon the throne room/bath of the bullywug lord. He is in conversation with an IC adept and his troops. The IC open a golden box, and out steps a spine devil! The devil is trying to impress upon the bullywug lord that he needs to do what he has agreed to: 1) Harass the local humans. 2) Find the “ring” and 3) grow more of the mushrooms for the IC troops. The group quickly decides to take out the bullywug lord and leave the bodies of the IC as proof that it was THEY who killed the lord – hopefully sparking a war between the two. Minutes later the IC and all the bullywugs are dead and the party has the head of a dead IC adept in a sack.

Back up in the market area of the Toadswallow, the party meets Boshke and he has the halfling children in tow. Alexa and the party (with the help of the drow Senta) begin squabbling with the goblin over the price of the children as the Xune’ril sneaks the children out of the cave. As all of this is going on, a small goblin child repeatedly attempts to steal goods out of Alexa’s back pack.

Xune’ril and the children get free of the cave complex and meet Cutter who has been waiting outside. All of them flee into the swamps. Meanwhile, the rest of the group makes a run for the cave exit with the goblins, duergar and bullywugs in pursuit. Tondrek is separated as they are fleeing and has to bowl over two duergar enemy to get free. They all race down the twisting, wet, stone path from beneath the waterfall and make for the swamp…

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