Session two which happened last week had the players together at last. They emerged from a crack in the ground and rode into battle in the toxic Foulgrove Jungle on their riding lizards, slaying some Bullywug cultists and mutants, and rescuing four villagers from Sarnath before they could be sacrificed.
Questioning the villagers they learned much about the nearby layout of the surface. They learned of the village of Sarnath that is protected by a trio of druids who harness the power a sacred grove to defend the village, they learned of the dangers that lie within the Foulgrove Jungle, and the nearby cannibal cultist settlement of Sisrugug.
They set out to return the villagers to Sarnath and hoped to rest and get their bearings with the druid trio that defend the settlement, but encountered a band of Blackmoon slavers…the same band who had captured and sold the villagers to the cultists.
Playing the part of slavers themselves, the party led by the lizardfolk Laszh were able to ambush the slavers, free their slaves, and broke one Blackmoon prisoner under harsh interrogation. They learned of the Black Priests of the Blackmoon City who rule their people, the upcoming coronation of the crown prince of the Blackmoon, and of the slave trader’s island network. One of the newly rescued slaves was a kobold from Sirugug, the PCs bound and gagged the madman for his own safety.
Arriving in Sarnath, they faced a warm welcome as one of the villagers that they had rescued was the adopted daughter of the ranger warchief Spider, leader of the Sarnathi spider riders. It was here that they learned of the kindly old drunk wizard, Gauzzad Iceclaw, who dwelt at the edge of the Jungle in a white tower. Iceclaw though a drunk was still a potent frost mage, alchemist and a vicious ally of the Sarnathi (at least when he was sober). Before they could properly rest, the village was attacked by Sisrugug raiders and while the Sarnathi spider riders defended the village, the PCs discovered that Raukhiss the kobold from Sisrugug had escaped. Tracking him down and recapturing him they discovered that
- Raukhiss was one of the two remaining disciples of a secret order of Io in Sisrugug and that his kinsmen had captured and sold him to the Blackmoon slavers.
- Raukhiss had attempted to escape Sisrugug to warn the Sarnathi that Blind Azzhar and his twenty best lizardfolk had left the village undefended as they accompanied a Black Priest to the Lost Temple of Io in the Foulgrove Jungle.
- There is a secret complex that has been guarded by the disciples of Io under Sisrugug and it contained powerful magic that could close the dimensional cyst that covers the heart of the foulgrove and traps the Lost Temple.
The PCs convinced that Raukhiss spoke truth, were able to convince the Sarnathi to strike against their ancient foes to the south across the mudflats at the moment of their greatest weakness.
With the help of the spider riders the PCs were able to quickly conquer the village of Sisrugug and enter the hidden complex, guided to Raukhiss’s secret master and bypassing all the traps they found a dragon sized ritual book that contained powerful magic and after convincing Raukhiss’s master of their strength and skill of arms, they were entrusted with a reliquary containing a drop of the Blood of Io.
Deciding to visit the wizard Iceclaw before going after Blind Azzhar and the Black Priest, to learn if the wizard knew where the Lost Temple was…the PCs rushed off to find that the White Tower had been attacked by Sisrugug cultists, two of which were still frozen in quickly melting ice. Searching the tower in vain of the Wizard until Peko the Kobold discovered a secret passageway leading into a dungeon complex beneath, it was here that they found a wounded Iceclaw who offered to open a linked portal to the Lost Temple which he had found years earlier in his studies of the warping effects of Foulgrove Jungle.