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[IC] JM's A Bit of Trouble (Book 2)


the magical equivalent to the number zero
Brother Pelegon manages to slouch even while riding his large white stallion. He is remarkably quiet during the ride, sipping from one of his waterskins every now and then.

Some of his companions may have noticed the smell of beer surrounding him, and the pitchers of wine carried by the draft horse are nearly impossible to miss. But somehow the known drunkard appears to be serious and sober, at least for now.

"Shall we press on to Ss'slass?" the monk suggests. "No need to postpone our destiny."

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"The lizard-folk of Ss'slass are surprisingly hospitable." agreed Swithun, "We have friends there. I believe that we can reach it before it gets too dark. Let us press on."


"I agree, I believe we should carry on." Surina says, hoping that at least some of the children will still be awake when they arrive. She still remembered her conversations with them last time they were in the village: they had been a bright spot in a dark time.

After slowing down to get through town, on the eastern edge of town there is a signpost, recently erected. It has three arrows: one pointing back into Leed's Crossing, one pointing east to Eastend, and one pointing northeast to Sss'slass. What was just a pale set of wagon ruts a few months ago is now a dirt path that someone has been clearing of large rocks.

You gallop northeast along the dirt road. The ridge south of the temporary prison a few miles for Leed's Crossing is now a small army outpost with a signal tower. A few soldiers can be seen on the top and at the bottom of the tower. They wave in friendly manner as you go by.

About an hour before dusk you reach the edge of the swamp and have to slow down. The road is not nearly as clear of rocks and as before but much of the swamp underbrush is cleared away. Just after sun down you arrive at the village of Sss'slass. For those who have been here before, it seems slightly more urban than it was before. The center of the village has a few more permanent structures and is currently well lit by torches.

A lizardwoman of some stature stands in the middle of town and raises a hand to you. You ride up to her. Some of you recognize Chief Warden Wesspra from a few months back. "Greetings." She says. "Welcome to Sss'slass. I have been expecting you. If you'll dismount and follow me. My men will corral your steeds."

Several youthful lizardfolk come out and reach for the reins of your horses. She leads the group to a communal building that is otherwise empty at this time of night. "You have missed evening meal. But I can have something prepared for you if you like." She indicates a table where you can sit. There are only short sturdy stools around the table. Tails are not conducive to high-backed chairs. As you sit down she sits as well. "Please introduce me to the new faces."


While Swithun had taken a leadership role in organizing the group and its mission, he believed that Surina was the best qualified to lead the party. He gave her a nod, that was partly a bow, in acknowledgement of this fact.


the magical equivalent to the number zero
Brother Pelegon takes his seat at the table, immediately asking for some of the lizardfolk brew he had on his last visit. Then he points at every member of the party in turn and quickly lists their first names.

"Any news?" the aasimar inquires before his drink arrives and his attention is diverted to it and the lizardfolk who brought it.


Surina shakes her head at Brother Pelegon’s laser like focus on the brew set before him, although those watching closely caught the ghost of a smile. “Thank you for the meal. How is your village faring in the midst of all of this? While some of our companions are new to this area, we are all eager to put an end to Ariamhodary’s threat to you and to the people of the other villages.”

As you eat an older dwarf enters the room. "Welcome Thorbin," Wesspra says.
"Good day, Wesspra," he says. "Lord Tommilson said he was sending a group into the swamp. You're the lucky huntsmen I guess. We've stabled your horses. We'll have them ready for you when you are ready to leave the swamp. Provisions are also being prepared for you when you leave, I presume, in the morning."

How is your village faring in the midst of all of this? ....

"Ss'sslass is thriving. We have become a trading hub between other lizardfolk villages and the pale skin folk. Thorbin and his retinue are well-liked by some of the village children."

"They love to tug on me beard." Thorbin says affectionately.

When dinner is done, Wesspra rolls out a map of the swamp. "While I wish you luck in your hunt for Ariamhodary, I tell you what I told Tommilson's son. My scouts have found no trace of the Tyrant or his followers. It is as if the swamp swallowed them whole." She points to a few places on the map to indicate where the scouts have search thoroughly.

"Or he is moving around and is thus even harder to track," Thorbin says.


GM: I'll have a map ready soon. I've been putting off posting this until the map was ready but that's taking a bit long than I'd like.

The areas she pointed to are mostly south and east of Sss'sslass.


Anna tried not to gawk, but it was difficult when she was surrounded by lizardfolk, whose ways werenew to her. But she did her best to be respectful of local custom, trying not to think about the lizard on a stick she'd recently eaten as she watched them prepare a meal.

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