After dealing with a troll on the road, the caravan of road builders arrived at the Carnath Roadhouse. This was a staging point and equipment storage facility for the High Road Charter Company. It also seemed to be a centre of activity for the Cult of the Dragon. Wagons were brought into the courtyard to be unloaded, then moved back outside to be parked. The goods were stored in the courtyard, for nonperishable items, or in a warehouse for foodstuff and fodder for the animals. There was also a locked strong room, and the crates from the Cult wagons were placed in there.
The roadhouse was run by a half-orc named Bog Luck. This was the third name on Seraphina Tealeaf’s list of people she wanted to get revenge against – the others being Frulam Mondath – whom she killed in the Hatchery – and the half-dragon Rezmir. She curbed her anger, however, and determined that it was more important to find out what was in the locked room.
The common room was above the warehouse, and the proprietor/cook Gristle Pete was busy cooking dinner and mumbling to himself about vermin banging about in the storeroom below, and the strange hissing noises that could be heard at all hours of the night. The stable boy Wump also was heard to wonder what goods the Charter Company might need stored behind a locked door.
When night fell and the workers retired to the common room for the evening meal, Thertranna entertained the room while Heironymous Caine engaged with Bog Luck and beat him in several arm wrestling matches. Meanwhile Seraphina deftly stole the key hanging from his belt and unlocked the storeroom, jamming the lock so that it couldn’t be re-locked, then returned the key to Bog Luck’s belt before he noticed it was gone.
Later that night after everyone had gone to bed, the party gathered in the warehouse, determined to find out what was in the now-unlocked room. Turns out it was lizardfolk, who were carting the crates into a tunnel in the floor concealed by a crate nailed to a trap door. After a brief fight the party overcame the lizardfolk and started to explore the tunnel.
The tunnel only ran for a little way underground before emerging in the swamp in an area hidden from the main camp. Though it was dark, Berrian Amakiir was able to discern blaze marks in trees which appeared to mark a trail that led deep into the swamp.
It was hard going, and difficult to make progress with any speed. Those areas of the trail that were not dry enough to walk on were marked by the cuts in the trees. The party progressed through the swamp until dawn, then stopped to rest, then continued on into the murky day.
About midday they came upon a camp – really just a clearing with a few rough lean-tos, and three dugout canoes. Here, dry land ended.
They were about to have a look around when they heard a group of lizardfolk approaching…