The party engages in battle with four gatormen cultists of the Coils of Dendar that have slaughtered a miner at a dragonshard claim a few miles outside Nexus. Heading into the swamp, the characters meet Wovoka, one of the elders of the Spearbearers Gatormen tribe, who tells them the legend of the Coils of Dendar, and who shares the location of the ruined keep where the sect was once based. When the characters have faced the threat of the gators that guard access to the site, they enter a chamber within the skull of an ancient black dragon where the leader of the Coils of Dendar conducts his dark rites—and where they must defeat him to end the cult’s threat.
Buckle and Mugen spent a TON of dragonshards to buy some magic items. After doing so (during the downtime activity time), Mugen decided to go gambling. He won big, but rather than get his monetary payout, Mugen came back with an indentured servant in the form of Pamdemonium, a goblin sorcerer.
Just as the trio met up after a night of carousing, a villager set upon them spinning a wild story about a friend of his (“Farool”) having been kidnapped by Gatormen. This was especially curious to Buckle because the Gatromen in the area have an active cease-fire accord with the non-Gatormen villages.
Perhaps Farhool and this coward were actually the instigators (no pun intended). Perhaps there is a new tribe of Gatormen that have riled things up. Or… most dangerous of all, perhaps the Bogman is somehow behind this whole thing!
The group set out to shed some light on this mystery.
The group easily tracked down Farhool and found him dead: skinned alive and hanging from a tree. Enjoying his tasty insides was a group of Gatormen (from a tribe that Buckle could not recognize). Pamdemonium unleashed a fireball upon them and scorched their very bones into ash.
Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the Gatormen each have a brand/tattoo of a coiled snake as well as a totem that celebrates the Bestial god “ Dendar” (basically the serpent enemy of “ Ubtao”, the Cultan god… dude loves mazes).
Buckle decides to contact his own Gatorman confidant (“Wovoka”) and the “ Spearbearer” tribe to see what’s the haps.
On the way, the trip sees a group of slain Spearbearers, hung up and skinned in much the same way as Farhool.
In speaking with Wovoka, the group finds out the new tribe of Gatormen is called the “Nightstalkers.” They have taken over a ruin to Dendar and have tapped into dark, mystical powers within.
The group promptly busted out of Wovoka’s crib and went Nighstaker hunting… err… STALKING… dammit… it was right there!
Anyway, as the group approached, the storm outside worsened.
The bog water near the ruins is red with blood from dead Gatormen. There is a gigantic serpent skull (roughly the size of a house) with a weird, magical purple light emanating from within.
As the group stealthily approached, they uncovered some Gatormen patrols and had the opportunity to avoid them altogether. However, this is Mugen and Buckle we’re talking about here… they jumped them instead.
The battle erupts and the trio slay some Gatormen and even a giant anaconda (without taking a single point of damage).
As they traversed the swamp to the giant skull, they came across a one-legged gatorman. They nursed him back to health (what a fine bunch of heroes) before heading into the Serpent’s Skull… toward the purple light.
A Gatorman cloaked in darkness jumped Buckle almost instantly and stabbed the piss out of him. Buckle retaliated in kind, scoring a critical hit with one of his flurry of attacks. Mugen joined in and started slicing away with his Greatsword as well. Pam let a few firebolts fly.
Soon, the Gatorman sliced Buckle again, which would have killed the orc, had he not been so damn stubborn… he stayed to fight. The Gatorman also began summoning ghouls into the fight.
Mugen and Buckle again assailed the villain, but couldn’t drop him. Once more, the villain turned, now to Mugen and laid into him with his dangerous swords. Mugen took the damage, but remained standing.
At this point, Pam had seen enough. She got out her protractor and compass and positioned herself just right to unleash a lightning bolt that Thor would’ve been proud of. She blasted the shit out of him and the ghouls.
The group looted the ruin and recognized that it is actually in pretty good condition. With some repairs, it could actually function as a Keep for Buckle.
End of Session