« Last post by Murometz on December 11, 2014, 07:01:15 PM »
Spiderheart once more listened to their words, and once more marveled at them. He nodded his head in thanks and comprehension at Tusserk's suggestion, and with some amazement at what the others were saying.
Mystic seemed better after a few hours. Whether all traces of basilisk milk poison had left his body was impossible to tell however. But he seemed better...though the wound still looked bad. Thanks to Echo's "double-major" in real surgery and curing light wounds however, the giant warrior survived and was recovering.
Spiderheat, the poison running up his arm more slowly now, led them quickly into the Vast.
The next day they entered the slop proper.
The Soulmarsh Vast extended for sixty miles north to south and one hundred fifty miles east to west. Perhaps not a great expanse if it were a grassy plain, where horses could gallop freely, but with the Vast's treacherous terrain and notoriously slow travel times, it may as well have been twice larger.
Within this primordial land's confines stretched bogs and fens, mires, and marshes, sink holes, swamps, and quicksand. Insects, amphibians, and reptiles were dominant in these parts. Humans and and their kin, much less so.
But hardy folks adapted to hazards here as well, as hardy folk tend to do. Villages, thorps, and other, stranger communities, were sprinkled through out the Vast.
Elves were present here as well. The Soulmarsh Vast being one of the few remaining places left where elves were still only uncommon as opposed to rare.
The part of the Vast the companions found themselves in now was called Viper Pools. The going was not so rough. The ground was spongy but at last, free of treacherous rocks and rills. Occasionally, huge puddles of water, anywhere from six inches to three feet in depth, would appear along the semi-trails. The horses managed easily so far...
The Viper Pools happened to live up to their name unfortunately. Short and fat snakes, like gaboon vipers, the same color as the muddy water they slithered in, could occasionally be seen undulating about and plopping into the mud at their approach.
After sloshing through the uninspiring terrain of the Viper Pools for the better part of the day, the companions noticed a change in the land. The ground was a bit drier here, and featured a reddish tint. Trees appeared, mostly of the skeletal variety, from copses bunched together at first, to eventually, an actual, albeit sparse, forest rearing around them.
The Red Fens this place was called. The cold sun cast cold shadows all about, and then the roiling mists arrived...
The most unsettling thing here was not the fat vipers, endless puddles, and swarms of biting insects (Sil's acquired Treant Sap helped a lot there), like in the Viper Pools earlier, but rather the thick, almost solid mist, rising and sinking about. At times it seemed they were walking through clouds, and breathing the sweat of the gods.
If the elves, who were apparently after them, wanted to stage a surprise assault, this would surely be a great place for it...
Lucky paused while scouting ahead. Something set the wolf's senses to tingling mode. Some sort of danger but not the identifiable kind. Just straight up animal sense. He sniffed at the carpet of decaying leaves on the ground and then the humid air. Nothing. Then something. He smelled human up ahead, and...chemicals?
"The Red Fens and the flooded forest up ahead. The Alchemist dwells here. Somewhere nearby is her hidden factory. Another day or so south lies the monastery." Spiderheart said quietly. The poison had spread, and he was in quite some discomfort by this time, his arm dead weight almost up to the shoulder, despite the previous aid received.
"If the Alchemist refuses an antidote, I will ask you to amputate my arm" he muttered to Tusserk calmly.
"Be wary friends", he advised the rest of the group louder now, "This part of the Vast has many hidden dangers."
Val heard a weird sound just then. Couldn't place it to save his life, but "weird" described it well. Like some deflating balloon...or air-sucking sigh...or something.
Gyma spotted a whole swarm of peculiar butterflies overhead. Lacrimosa Daucas Homitobi, the Stenchtear, an odious insect with powerful acidic secretions.
It was deathly quiet all around them, the trees silent sentinels, the swamp mist consuming all sounds in its soft embrace.
Tusserk felt something just then. A tiny splinter or something similar, as he ran his hand over his cheek. Didn't hurt a bit, it barely even registered, but was buried surprisingly deep. The monk pulled it out and examined it. Yep, splinter. Where the hell did it come from?