Pulled Caravan gate, day watch again. I thought today was going to be like any other day. Peaceful, quite, and boring.
I was killing time playing my fiddle, listening to Primble sing, attempting to keep him in key; that’s when we saw a rider approaching fast.
Sounding the alarm we notice how the rider is slumped in the saddle, barely keeping himself up. Richard Beldath in the lead, the militia leaves the gate to hail the approaching rider. The horse is lathered, and breathing hard, sides bellowing out with each in drawn breath. The rider is covered in dust and blood, most of it his own.
He warns Lieutenant Beldath that a group of Lizard folk have raided the Dukes holding, a rare event these folk leaving their marshes. Lieutenant Beldath asks for volunteers to travel to the Dukes holdings and assist in any way.
Primble and I step forward offering our services; I for action and glory, Primble….well who knows how halflings think?
Lieutenant Beldath is scanning the crowd looking for more volunteers, but more specifically looking for Dirk, his once son in law.
Seeing Dirk hiding in the crowd, I grab his arm and pull him forward. As the Lieutenant sees Dirk a large wolfish smile spreads across his face. “Dirk! Front and Center, I want you to lead this expedition to aid the Duke. Horses will be supplied to you three so you might actually get there in time to be of some use.”
Mine is a fine steed, strong and clear of eye. Primbles mule is.. well a mule; a stubborn ass, but it gets the job done. Dirks horse on the other hand, a swaybacked plow horse that has seen better days. I am not even sure it can see now at all
We see the smoke and ashes before we see the Dukes holdings. The closer we get the more we smell charred flesh and burning wood. As we come within sight we see the bodies of Lizard folk lying on the ground as if struck from behind while fleeing.
The place is a swarm of activity, people hurrying every where attempting to douse the flames. We are eventually directed to the Duchess, who tells us that that Duke has taken his best men into the marshes after the Lizard folk, we must hurry to retrieve the Duke.
The marshes are not far, barely over a mile. By horse the trip does not take long normally, but we ride cautiously, Dirk watching the trail for ambushes. We lose all trace of the Duke and his men as we enter the marsh. Choosing a arbitrary direction as straight we leave the horses hobbled and continue on foot.
After a time we find a small clearing within the reeds, and we see the bodies of several men and their horses.
Exploring the area we find a few more men and their mounts, as well as a large lizard that has been slain.
Primble was the first to notice the body of the Duke, half submerged in the mud. As we stood arguing if we should continue deeper, or call the job done and return with the body of the Duke. Having just about settled on continuing on, there is a sudden rustle of reeds and a second giant lizard bursts out of the reeds closing quickly on Primble, who some how jumps backward throwing a string of sausages at the lizard. Distracting it long enough to put some distance between them; and to let me come in with my axe.
We dispatch the lizard, a few broken ribs on me. the others are hale and sound. Dirk chooses that we continue in the direction the Duke was facing when he met his demise, hoping that he was on the right path. Not long after we head out we are waylaid by a tribe of Lizard folk, there are to many to fight back. Nor did they attack, but stood on the path as if waiting for us.
Dirk steps forward and spoke in their tongue as best he could. The leader of the Lizard folk moves his mouth and jarringly we hear fluent common, not quite coming from the shamans throat. He introduces himself as Red Eye, leader of the Red Eye tribe. We discover the Blue Feather tribe is responsible for the attack on the Duke and his holdings. These two tribes have had minor scraps over territories, but have not come to full open conflict yet.
Offering us luck Red Eye points us in the right direction to find the Blue Feather tribe, as we leave he notices my attempts to hid my pain at breathing. With a light touch of his hand I can feel the bones knit and the flesh start to mend.
Again on the path alone, Dirk notices movement in the reeds. Fearing another giant lizard I pre-pair a Javelin, and throw in an attempt to startle what ever is in the rushes and flush it out into the open. I did not expect the giant toad that leaps over every one to land behind me. As I turn, swinging my axe wildly I miss, throwing my self off balance. The toad leaps back into the fray striking me in the chest. Thankfully the bastard has no teeth. Within a few seconds we send the beast bounding off into the marshes, if it had a tail it would have been firmly tucked between its massive legs. Primble feels the blood lust and chases the toad for a bit loosing one last stone from his sling, as if to say “And stay out!”
A short time later we find the camp of the Blue Feather tribe. Primble scouts ahead, and returns to tell us of the tribes distraction over the loot taken.
We split up, planning to attack from several directions at once. I make to much noise trying to be unseen and draw much unwelcome attention to myself. I have the time to throw one javelin before several of them are on me. Primble looses a stone and hits the leader in the head, Dirk is still hiding waiting for a moment to strike or run, I cant tell which.
A third lizard folk joins the melee with me, two are searching for Primble in the reeds. The leader seems to have smelled something, maybe fear, maybe sweat. Either way he starts off in the direction of Dirk, who sees he has no chance of surprising his foe jumps out of the reeds with sword in hand.
I drop one scaly bastard, and the other two press in closer. Primble is still eluding the two looking for him, Dirk is engaging with the tribe leader, and dispatches him. At the same time I have horribly fouled up, missing so badly that I fall flat on my back. With one last effort I swing my axe and catch the second lizard in the stomach while still prone. Viscera spilling onto me. That was the last thing I saw.
I awake in a camp, the Red Eye tribe all around, my wounds are bound and healed. I find my self wishing that Red Eye and his tribe had joined us in the attack on the Blue Feathers, but mostly appreciating his ability to heal, and his generosity with such skills.
We return what we can to the now disposed Duchess. We are given the Dukes ring, rumored to be magical, and a hundred gold to divide between us. We are allowed to keep the mounts for the return trip to Daggerford and let Lieutenant Beldath worry about sending them back.