After the heroes dispatched the hobgoblin garrison at the foot of the Eastwall Mountains, they woke the next day to find the half-elf ranger missing. They began a trek over the rugged range, but the mountains proved too challenging for the party, and they were forced to turn back. They spent several days trekking south and around the Eastwall Mountains, then heading north on the other side of the range, through Dire Wood. There, they avoided a nest of giant spiders thanks to Zayander’s magic, and made their way through the forest, crossing into the swamp of Xak Tsaroth.
There, they discovered that the swamp was a network of earthen islands in the mire connected by tangled vines, fallen trees and obelisks, and rusted iron bridges. Crossing a fallen ironclaw tree, they were ambushed by three lizard-like humanoids with dull brown (bronze?) scales and a uniform, similar to the hobgoblins they fought in the foothills. The heroes were surprised that the creatures cast arcane spells, and exploded when they died! After dispatching these, the heroes attempted to cross an ancient rusted bridge. Embarrassingly, the most agile of the heroes got stuck putting their feet through the rusted latticework, while the Telia gracefully danced across. The heroes were met by five more lizard-men, these with gold-brown (brass?) scales, who used their wings to stay light-footed on the bridge. These ones turned to stone when they died, and as they were slain, the statues burst through the fragile lattice work, like slingstones through paper, dropping into the disease-ridden water below. There was a tense moment as Zayander, in giant spider form, sank his fangs into one, which became stuck in the statue as it fell through the bridge. Fortunately, the spider was strong enough to grip onto the bridge until the statue crumbled to dust.
Again, with the help of druidic magic, the heroes avoided an encampment of dozens of the lizard-soldiers, some of whom seemed to be worshipping(?) an enormous wicker effigy of what looked like a dragon, if such things existed. The party was alarmed to learn that Quetzal could naturally speak their language.
Crossing a fallen obelisk bridge, the heroes find themselves in the remnants of a ruined city; a large plaza surrounded by crumbling buildings, including a larger edifice that seems more intact than the others. In the center of the plaza is a large well, with vapor rising ominously from it. The plaza is absent the buzzing and croaking of the swamp, and is quiet … too quiet …
Each character gained 450 XP to put us on a total of 1,460 XP (I think).