The kill must have been quick and clean, the absence of any fresh blood on Anastasia’s battle-marked armour said as much, minutes were spent in silent contemplation before a caw from the raven overhead shook everyone back into action.
There was a river to be forded, and a broken ferry unable to cross it, An arrow splashed heavily, almost half way across before being cursed and tugged back by the rope affixed to its shaft, eventually with options and time running short in equal measure, four horses entered the gentle rapids, after many shouts of encouragement, and a steadying hand, grateful hooves again found purchase on dry land, Wet robes were the extent of the damage as the horses were spurred on.
The Raven had just taken off, after gulping a fresh cockroach, when an unfamiliar figure was spotted ahead, his cart was not upturned and aflame, always a good thing, and as it happened the trapper who owned the cart was as glad of the chance to barter with the adventurers as they were to gain information of the approaching swamps, with the location of a village, and the name of the elder, Baba, to ask for, the riders continued on.
By a virtue, the marshland did not create any great hindrance, sadly however, of the local colour the same could not be said, the ambush was sprung from high-ground, announcing itself with a volley of arrows from above, Horses were dismounted, hurriedly and for some, not by choice, as a second flight of arrows came in.
While all party members drew blood, it was Anastasia who commended herself against the Chasind ambushers, fighting off 4 at once with reckless abandon, Zevvi called an end to the combat by way of presenting his new toy, A mostly intact spinal column freshly ripped from a terrified Chasind, the rout was quick and merciless, Remi rode down two of the fleeing warriors with a gout of flame from horseback, their screams of agony intermingling with a lone, drawn, piercing scream from the smoking tree behind which Edarith had dealt with her adversary in a most unspeakable way.
Exhausted, the sight of Dosov, A village raised on stilts to protect as much against the encroaching waters as it was enemy tribesmen, was a welcome sight, Baba welcomed in all but young Edarith who opted to remain behind so as to see to the horses, drink was shared back and forth and a deal struck, a bed and a stable in return for some healing magic in the morning.
Vibrations rippled across the water and a small flock of water-fowl took flight as Edarith approached the parties quarters, baulking at the source of this localized disruption, a chorus of heavy snoring, she sought refuge with a local woman, who enlightened her as to the source of this infection, local tribes’ Shamans crafting new types of poisons for raids on the closest Ferelden villages. The poisons must have transferred to those handling them, however, and they were having less than intended results. She slept soundly with the villagers, away from the rumble that was threatening to capsize the supply hut in which the rest of the party rested.
A swamp-boat was acquired early in the morn and the group continued on their way, passing quickly through the swamp until the raven, as though struck by lightning, flopped gracelessly onto a small island, dead. The reagents given to them by Stoyanka were retrieved and boiled in the helmet of the somewhat disgruntled Anastasia, the reek of the resulting brew proved too much for Remi’s sense, and as he emptied what was left of the mornings breakfast onto the grass, he noticed through blinkered eyes what appeared to be a large swamp crab emerge from the water, shuffling towards the horrific brew…