The party is returned to Cayley via the Teleport spell that The Bard found in the noble’s room in the roadside inn north of the border between Moran and Marabor.
Sadly, the teleport was not without error, as Thuk’k was teleported partly in a staircase, his feel having to be amputated. Thuk’k is now spending the remainder of his time in Cayley forging and selling weapons. He has become liked by the dwarves.
The remainder of the party: Thorax, Krulk and The Bard now meet with the King to discuss what to do next.
They sit in the Chamber of Discussion of the Dwarven City of Cayley. The Baron Skelefdallen, Kind Breward and a number of advisors discuss what the party have discovered and discuss what the new plan would be.
The discussion lasts well into the night before the party is relieved to prepare for what is to come, though they are not entirely sure what that will be.
The following morning they are brought back to the Chambers of Discussion. The King believes that the next step towards Moran’s victory is to find out as much about the secret weapon that Marabor is creating. With that information the party should do what ever it can to disable, sabotage or destroy the weapon – if they are able.
Baron Skelefdallen interjects saying that a direct assault on Marabor will prove to be a disaster at this time. The armies of Moran are still attempting to gather, though the reports of the mysterious ‘ghost armies’ attacking some cities have now dwindled thanks to the help of Sir Albrech. Moran will send an army northwards to the border in the hopes to draw Marabor’s attention to it’s southern border while the party sneaks into the western border.
The party is confused by the ghost armies and is very interested in the whereabouts of their friend Albrecht, and asks for more information. They are told told that some cities, including Lytton, Antares, Cypres and Malder are attacked by forces that seem to be there during the night, lobbing flame filled glass balls at the cities that shatter into razor sharp shards, slicing the Moran defenders apart, while burning the fortifications and severed appendages. In the new dawn, the battlefields around the cities seem to be empty and devoid of any sign of an offensive army.
The King, though, is happy to report that Lytton has been able to defend themselves with the help of Sir Ablrecht, who has since disappeared and has not been seen or heard of since he saved Lytton. The information on how to defend against these ghost armies has been spread around to the other affected areas. Baron Skelefdallen believes that the armies should be gathered in no more then a month, and prepared to launch an attack on the border then.
The magical intelligence on Marabor suggests that the Maraborians are defending against any magical intrusion into their areas through a variety of magical wards including locator spells cast when anyone teleports into their territory. The number and location of any party, regardless of how small they are, when teleported into Moran territory would be immediately known and a large force would be dispatched to intercept. The suggestion, then, is to teleport outside of Maraborian territory and walk. The suggestion is to enter from the western border, near the Maraborian city of Avon. The plan is to teleport into the far eastern area of the Parsetan countryside.
The party agrees to work for the king, and arrangements are made for the Royal Wizard Pythar to teleport the group far West, across the Sea.
With Pythar is his runeborn assistant Number 9 (Or was it 6? Pythar didn’t know) that the party refers to as Ambrecht. The party reacquaint themselves with Ambrecht.
He is as happy as he ever was. He has stopped playing music as much as he has before, because he is very busy helping Pythar.
The party then ask Ambrecht if he would like to come along with them to fight the evils of Marabor, but he declines. He feels his place is at the side of Pythar. Once again, the party try to make him see the relationship with Pythar is one sided. Ambrecht, too loyal, or naïve to see disagrees.
With the chat with Ambrecht complete the wizard teleports the party to the western border of Marabor.
Almost immediately, the party knows something is amiss.
The air is stuffy, humid. The ground below them is soft and muddy. They realize they are standing in a small pond of mirky water. There is the constant buzz of insects around their head.
They were in a swamp and no where close to where they thought they were to land.
Krulk examines the surroundings and sky, and tells the party to head north. If anything, they have been teleported much further south then they thought.
After days of travel, the party finds themselves no further along then they expected. So, then the turn east, hoping to exit this infernal swamp. And they do: to the ocean.
Krulk remains scouting ahead of the party, trying to see anything that he can before the party can become aware of it. They walk northwards along the beach. The party is not pleased. The Bard believes that Pythar has betrayed the party, intentionally sending them away from their destination, possibly to another continent entirely.
Krulk returns to the party explaining that he has found something. The party enter into the swamp, following Krulk until they find a ruined village.
The thatched roofed cottages have been burned and there are many dead bodies littering the soggy ground. All lizardfolk.
The party begins to investigate what they found, learning only that the village was ransacked by someone, slaughtering the entire population.
Then, Krulk returns, with a band of lizardfolk. These lizardfolk are wearing armour, armed with metal spears and accompanied by fish men wnd crossbows. They attack the remaining members of the party, The Bard and Thorax, while Krulk leads them on.
Thorax watches as The Bard turns invisible. He is now left alone in a village being attacked by lizardfolk and fishmen. He is greatly outnumbered. So, he turns and runs into the nearest hut, hoping to escape.
It is not long before The Bard attacks Krulk, for backstabbing them. Then two new attackers appear, a man in full armour bearing a shield and a Symbol of Lyon and another man, dressed in brows ad greens appears seemingly out of nowhere, firing his bow into the lizardfolk band.
Thankful for the assistance, Thorax and The Bard press on.
Krulk demands the party surrender, but they do not, instead they manage to kill all the lizardmen. They also kill the lizardmen, using magic ice to freeze them into place, their bodies falling backwards and forwards with sicking snaps and pops.
The party now meets these two people who have assisted them. The first is Naloor, returned.
He tells his story of how he returned to the Shrine of Lyon and spoke to the Avatar. He explains that he was unhappy with his current choice in life and wished to return to being human. He explains that many years ago he became an Elan, a secretive group of psionically active humanoids who changed themselves into psionic entities, losing their past. With the experiences in the Shrine, and climbing the mountain Naloor has decided to repent and change himself.
The Avatar allowed him to stay and helped him remove the Elan part of him. He was restored to human form and retrained as a favoured soul of Lyon. With his training complete, Naloor was sent, by divine will, to this swamp to assist his friends in the downfall of Marabor.
The other mysterious benefactor is Ardan, a ranger of these parts. He explains that he is attempting to find out who, or what, is causing the deaths of all these lizardfolk. He has learn that there is a large cult of lizardmen slaughtering smaller tribes, but for some reason he has been unable to find them.
The party agrees to combine their efforts.
The Bard and Thorax now know that they are outside the Freelands of Tycho in the swamps that run along the eastern shore. Far to the north lies Parseta and Marabor.
It will take the group nearly a month to reach the border, and another month to enter far enough in Marabor to arrive at the supposed location of the Secret Weapon they have been sent to locate.
Thorax sends a message to the king, and the response comes quickly, telling him that the forces of Moran will wait a few extra weeks for the group to move northwards before sending their forces to face Marabor.