We row across Old Gate Lake and up the tributary for a few hours.
We meet an old man in a boat coming back down – he has empty cages and smells like pigs. He tells us we’re on the right path to the old woman in the stilt cabin – she uses the pigs he delivers to feed the blood midges so that they stay away from the Keep and fishing village. There was another group of people who came through a few days ago – camped near the stream, rented a boat to go upstream but abandoned it – seemed in a hurry and didn’t speak much.
We row up to the stilt cabin, in the middle of a still pond. The old lady calls to us and has us step onto blue mushrooms which puff out a gas that wafts us up to the cabin wraparound balcony. The interior is dark – she has a number of mysterious jars, 3 coloured bowls, a circle made of bones & feathers that emits a faint magical glow. Gnargle recognizes it as some sort of transport based magic. She scrys in one of the bowls (Puddle Sight) and tells us that the nobles are safe for the moment, and that Berith is awaiting orders and has her hands full keeping the orc chief Krunk from killing them. She’ll get us to Deep Quag, further in the swamp.
…teleport to pig cage w. key. Discover method of teleporting back. Travel through swamp.
1 hour in – See mound w. stone coffin, tall headstone – glimmer of gold. We avoid it.
Gnargle notices a red cloak fluttering from a tree – we investigate – corpse, and a giant frog – we defeat it, get 5 GP from corpse in tree.
Another hour of travel – dead giant frog + orc body in path – blood midges burst from corpses. Kill them, end up with brass helmet (2 GP), 2 copper rings (1 GP ea.) & emerald (20 GP).
After 4 hours get to edge of forest. Find elf corpse – midges burst out – kill ’em, get 25 GP, fine silver brooch (25 GP) & illegible scroll.
Hour later, sneak up on 3 ogres in a clearing – 1 larger w. javelins, 2 smaller. One of the smaller ones is holding an object, is clearly afraid of it. 2nd small one is lying down. Giant frog leg roasting on a fire. Atack from a distance, defeat them, get a Potion of Power (50 GP), 4 javelins, boot pouch w. 250 GP, wooden wand case caarved w. mushrooms & skulls, containing a +2 Doomspore Wand.
In distance fog in forest is actually webs – can’t get past in any direction but forward. Aelodir uses Sacred Flames to burn a path through.
Hour later, tree canopy covered by webs, pods dangling -containing bodies, corpses. Something large behind us crashing through trees – giant spider, size of an elephant. Gnargle lures it away with Mage Hand. Spider finds an Orc, starts wrapping it in pod.It continues on its’ way as we hide. We get pair of Rogues Gloves 25 healing, +1 saving throws, 1,000 GP). A pod is still moving – use Mage Hand to send up a knife, help creature free itself. Rescue Karleigh Lodefoot – recognize her from meeting back in Belfanoc City. Rest of her group killed, she joins us.,