Savage Tide 5e

Session 5

Curse of the Swamp Hounds, Part 1

Following a lead, the group set sail for Ft Fendawor, where they hoped to access naval charts and locate Kraken’s Cove.  The fort was situated east of Sasserine, on a rock outcropping bordered by open sea on one side and dark swamps on the other.  Commodore Montrose Brandlock, known as the “Young Commodore” due to his advanced age and elf blood, welcomed the group and warmed up to them over dinner.  Late that night, he bid them join him on the wall to view a ghostly scene from a hundred years past: the phantom of a young woman emerged from a puff of smoke at the base of the wall and ran desperately into the swamp.  She was pursued by a pack of phantom hounds, who were in turn followed by the specter of a young man.

The group left the Young Commodore on the wall and gave chase.  Though the phantoms left no trail, Immeral was able to envision the lay of the swamp as it would have been a century earlier, and intuit the path a frightened person might have traveled.  Thus, Immeral led his companions to a patch of quicksand, where they encountered a young woman.  As they spoke with her, she seemed to wither and desiccate, then demanded in an unearthly howl that the party bring Brandlock to her.  As she vanished, a dozen hounds composed of mud and sticks emerged from the quicksand and attacked the party.  Though ultimately victorious, the party was chased out of the swamp by the threat of more swamp hounds.

Back at the safety of the fort, Brandlock recounted the events of a dark night one hundred years past.  Natayla was a pirate witch captured by the navy when they captured the fort from the Sea Princes.  Brandlock was a young, idealistic officer, and took her in as a servant rather than allow her to be hanged.  Though he believed the arrangement was equitable, she apparently thought differently.

One night, he caught her skulking around brandishing a knife.  He attempted to disarm her, but was wounded.  She dropped the knife and fled.  He caught up to her at the top of the wall, where she stepped into a patch of mist and vanished.  She reappeared at the base of the wall and sprinted into the swamp.  Brandlock fetched his hounds and gave chase.

The unfettered hounds quickly outdistanced the young half-elf.  They drove Natayla deeper into the swamp, where she fell into a patch of quicksand.  The hounds barreled in on top of her, biting and thrashing as they all sunk deeper into the muck.

By the time Brandlock arrived, it was too late to save Natayla.  She cursed him with her dying breath, and Brandlock watched helplessly as woman and hound were pulled into the muck.

It was clear that witch’s spirit sought rest, but Brandlock refused to speak of the issue.  He dismissed the group as he finished his brandy and went to bed.

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