After taking some time to rest and allow their lizardfolk guide Ssrasha to eat his fill of the fallen fauna, Bronn Thunderhoof, Mstislav, Nadarr and Thogal Faithhammer continued their journey deeper into the swamp. Eventually coming amongst the Murkstill Tribe of lizardfolk, the heroes were brought before the tribe’s chief, Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun. To him the party presented their tribute, the captured eladrin primordialist Polenadnun Toraethmae, who the Murkstill Tribe showed every intention of eating.
Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun seemed pleased with his tribute, and after some discussion he declared that Ssrasha was to lead the adventurers deeper into the swamp, where they might find the knowledge that they sought in the great stone library of the temple Svernixen (a name which literally translates as “above fire” in the tongue of dragons). Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun told a little of the history of Svernixen, explaining that it was built long ago on the site where the lizardfolk god-king Lashyig defeated and bound Ulm-Haagi, a great fiery beast that served the primordials. While Svernixen was once a gathering place for all of the lizardfolk, over many centuries it eventually came to be populated entirely by the okopipi, batrachian lizardfolk mutants who were xenophobic fanatics devoted to the worship of Lashyig. When Nadarr asked if the Murkstill Tribe would take offense if any of the okopipi were to come to harm, Heshrak Basking Glory, Child of the Sun stated that it would make no difference to him, but that he believed it more likely that the frog-priests would kill the adventurers and throw their corpses from Svernixen, thus giving the Murkstill Tribe more meat with which to fill their bellies. With that, the party departed with Ssrasha, leaving Toraethmae to be devoured by the hungry lizardfolk.
Ssrasha guided the party through the swamp until they reached Svernixen, a temple of massive size hidden amongst the ancient and enormous trees of the jungle. Although the temple’s face showed a great many entrances, Ssrasha explained that the information that the adventurers sought could most likely be found in the highest level of the temple, in a series of rooms known as The Root of the Sky. Although Ssrasha’s fear of the okopipi prevented him from entering Svernixen, he agreed to wait outside in the hopes of securing first feeding upon the party’s corpses, which he seemed confident would shortly be ejected from the temple. Bidding their guide farewell, the heroes descended into the temple.
Upon entering Svernixen, the party was immediately attacked by bloodsucking four-winged creatures and the ancient crumbling skeletons of long-dead lizardfolk. This battle quickly ended as the flying bloodsuckers were hacked and blasted and Thogal called upon the power of Moradin to destroy the undead.
Coming to a fork in the hallway, the adventurers turned to the left, opening the door that they found there into a room filled with vicious lizards, large and small. The tiniest of the lizards gathered in groups and rushed to attack while the largest of the beasts stayed safely back and spat great gobs of burning acid at the intruders. As the party fought their way into the room, they noticed a side room from which further antagonists emerged in the forms of two okopipi and a pair of great undead serpents. It was only with great effort that the battle was won, and afterward the group decided to barricade themselves within the room and rest. A careful search of the makeshift haven uncovered a potion of healing and a pair of strength-enhancing magical gloves, which were claimed by Bronn.
After their recovery, the party removed their barricades and returned to the forked hallway, choosing now to continue in the opposite direction. They were met in force by more of the okopipi, accompanied by the rotting animated corpses of several of the lizardfolk. The battle was fierce, but the party was ultimately triumphant, and they prepared themselves to face whatever further dangers Svernixen might hold.
XP: 654 per character (1004 total)