The players were travelling from the city of Lodestone to Restwell Keep, a keep on the wild edge of the Khaedian Empire next to the notorious Blackened Dale. The keep is due to be annexed to the empire, but is renowned as a place to seek fame and fortunes who don’t mind risking life and limb in pursuit of their goals.
The party consisted of Bryth; a gnome wizard, Eryn; a halfling cleric, Gendrin; a dwarvish barbarian, Gilly; a halfling ranger and Kallista; a tiefling bard. The group had been aboard a merchant caravan for nearly 2 weeks, and thus far the journey had been fairly uneventful.
The caravan suddenly halted, and the donkeys at the front of the wagon began to panic. The party disembarked the wagon and went to investigate – to find one of the donkeys being dragged into what looked like a living puddle of mud. Acting quickly, Gendrin, Eryn and Kallista seized the reins and tried to pull the Donkey free. After several attempts, the donkey was pulled clear and the puddle exploded into several small, muddy creatures. These creatures (mud mephits) attacked the party and tried to drag several members into the mud, but were promptly dealt with.
After assisting with repairs to the lead wagon, and clearing a path around the puddle, the caravan continued, still making good time to Restwell Keep. At the gates, the party were met by Corporal Fallek and the keep scribe Syradon. The party were instructed to relinquish their weapons to be stowed in the armoury for the duration of their visit – after several tense moments of negotiations they eventually acquiesced and were allowed into the keep.
After visiting the keep inn (the Stumbling Giant) the party secured an apartment and cleaned themselves up, before heading to the inner bailey to report the attack on the road. They were met by Guard Sergeant Blackoak and Captain Ebony Callahan. After explaining what happened, Ebony informs them that this was not the first incident – and that if they were willing to look into it for them (the Keep’s resources already stretched thin) the Keep’s commander (the Erathian Paladin, Lord Merec) would be able to spare some gold if the players were to investigate the problem.
The party approached Syradon, the keep’s mute scribe, who furnished them with a rough map detailing the locations of two further attacks in recent days.
Armed with the map, the party set out towards the Blackened Dale. After an hour of searching, the party found evidence of a skirmish, and following a blood trail found a dead frog-like humanoid (bullywug). Kallista, in an effort to loot the body ruptured its skin, causing noxious fumes to burst from the corpse damaging her.