With a knock on the door, the team are surprised to see Aryane standing there. She explains that she is being sent to Fimorran – a small village several days travel to the east. The children of the village have come down with a mysterious illness that the local Priest of the New God is unable to cure. The priest has sent to the church in Crossings for help, and Aryane has been dispatched to investigate.
Aryane asks the group if they could accompany her – a lone female traveller is inviting trouble.
Pointing out that the church will be invoiced in the event that any evil needs salying, they agree to go with Aryane, and set off that morning.
The trip to Fimorran passes uneventfully – though evidence can be seen on the road of other people, but the large heavily armed group appears to function as a deterrent, and the group is left well alone.
On the evening of the third day, light waves of smoke can be seen ahead, marking the location of Fimorran. A new, pristine sign is spotted nailed to a tree – “Wanted: Grulag the Witch. Reward 50 gold crowns. Inquire with the Sheriff of Fimorran”
Picking up the pace a little, the group cover the remaining distance and arrive at the village. They find Fimorran to be a small community with a few shops in the center and numerous houses beyond that area. A temple to the New God stands at the far end of the village, and in the middle are a store, a blacksmith, the sheriff’s office, and a baker’s shop. Only a tavern appears to be open, with a sign above its door that reads “The Tattered Net.”
Aryane says she is off to talk to the priest. The rest of the group head to the inn, true to its name, Fimmoran’s watering hole has a number of old nets hanging from the walls of the tavern. The menu includes several varieties of fish as well as frog’s legs, eels, snails, and the like, for modest prices. Poultry is more expensive, and there’s no beef or pork to be had.
The tavern has a few patrons, all of whom eye the characters as they enter. Some of the folk begin muttering among themselves. Not long afterward, a heavyset, hardlooking man approaches them with a nod. He says, “I’m Sheriff Dalgren. You look like experienced sorts. Are you interested in collecting a bounty?”
Dalgren continues. “We are beset by witchcraft. I can pay you 50 gold crowns plus food and lodging to solve our plight.”, “Two weeks ago many of our children came down with a terrible fever. The priest tried to cure it, but the miracles of the New God didn’t work on our little ones. Clearly some curse is upon them. We believe it is the fault of a wretched witch that lives beyond the marshes in the deep swamp. Her name is Grülag. We’ve known of her black sorcery for years and years, and some of us have long feared that the crone would do us harm eventually. Now it seems that day has come.”
“Some of our people are out looking for her even now, but they’re poorly suited for fighting such a creature. If your group can bring us her head and save our little ones, we’ll pay you everything I promised.”
Parker is suspicious that the witch is the actual cause, and negotiates a concession from Dalgren that if it turns out to be something else and they deal with it, the bounty will still be paid.
After being told the witches’ hovel is about a days travel, the group decide to head there tomorrow.
Settling in for the evening, they eat some of the food and imbibe of the beverages on offer.
During the evening, a skittish villager approaches, and asks if he can join them. With Parkers nod, he sits and introduces himself as Ellsworth. He goes on to tell them, he doesnt think its the witch causing the illness. Its the scarecrows! They watch him when he comes and goes into the village. Mark is dismissive of this, but Parker thinks it could be worth checking out.
Just after midnight the innkeeper starts making hints he wants to close up for the night, so the group head off to bed.
Early next morning, Parker heads out to investigate the scarerows. What he finds, is that they are …. scarecrows! No evidence of them being anything more can be seen.
Gathering themselves, the group headed off overland through the swamps towards the witches hovel.
In front, Mark sees a large number of eels swimming towards him and past him.
Shortly, the reason for this appears as two large creatures come crashing out of the brush, right on top of the group.
A lengthy fight ensues, these creatures are amongst the toughest ever encountered. Blows are traded back and forth – and to make matters worse, the swamp trolls appear to be regenerating!
Inevitably though, first one then the second is defeated.