Exiles of Damara

Chapter 6A - Castle Naerytar

A foray into the Mere of the Dead Men

The three decide to follow their quarry and end up trudging through the swamp for hours. An hour or so before dawn, they encounter a pair of lights like bobbing lanterns in the distance. A sleet storm cast in that direction seems to have no effect and the lights approach them. Hiding, the group watches as the lights disappear… then reappear far on the other side of them and the trail. Luca decides to follow, with Clara and Jamna in tow, but begins to grow suspicious of the lights. When Clara fails to follow them through the trees, falling into the muck below, Luca errs on the side of caution and suggests they head back. Luckily, Clara is able to find their way through the swamp back to the trail as Luca was lost!

As dawn breaks, the group finds a camp in good repair albeit empty. They eat some of the food left behind and take some time to rest their eyes. As they discuss continuing their journey deeper into the swamp, Clara spots canoes approaching and everyone hides. They watch from the edges as a group of lizardfolk settle in to the camp for the evening; when the three adventurers decide to leave it is Luca who trips and alerts the reptilian hunters. They surround Luca, who is acting belligerent toward them and questioning them in Draconic. When Clara not-so-gracefully lands nearby, she is almost surrounded before Luca calls forth an icy storm that sends the lizardfolk (and herself) to their knees. Forcing the leader to answer a few questions, Clara, Luca, and Jamna then escape in a canoe and continue on the watery path.

Although seemingly out of danger, all three soon find themselves under attack by wild life. Feeling something hit the boat and deciding to test the waters, Luca is nearly bitten by a crocodile… and retorts by punching it hard in its eye. Soon the group is under attack by a trio of the beasts, nearly pulled into the water when Jamna decides to abandon them and disappear off to safety. Clara quickly slaughters the creatures and saves a now pissed-off Luca.

As they are approaching the end of the path, they once more encounter the leader of the lizardfolk hunting party they met… a creature known as Snapjaw. In awe of Luca’s power, he admits that he heard rumors of a “Wizard of Winter” who showed kindness on a member of his clan in the past week. Snapjaw believes Luca can rid them of a problem: his people work for the cult, but have lost much of their land to the bullywugs who also deal with the dragon worshippers. He leads them to some guards who were hiding and tries to convince them of his plan; at first, they don’t agree, but when Luca speaks the lizardfolk’s own tongue they agree there may be hope.

Snapjaw leads them into the small village set outside the Castle Naerytar, where the cult has set up. Warming themselves up on a longhouse, they begin to formulate a plan with the lizardfolk…

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