The adventurers pressed on this week, eager to get up-river to the ruins. They now knew that the Emerald Claw had about half a day head start on them, and with a House Cannith enclave in the city it seemed a good idea to use the connections available to find a boat. However, with their reserves of spells exhausted in the fight and the night drawing in, they settled for the evening back at their lodgings, rather than wander any further with the threat of undead lurking in the shadows.
The morning saw them eventually introduced to a grizzled river boat owner who needed a degree of persuading to go so far upstream. The ruins identified in the maps and notes suggested a site some five days travel away; territory that the captain said belonged to giants and drow, which explained his reluctance to venture there. With the offer of suitable money, persuasiveness from the bard and glowering intimidation by Bumperklart, a deal was struck, with a departure time set for early evening later that day.
As at least one player noted, they don’t seem to have had much luck with vehicle departure times, so they decided to not just wander off into the city on a shopping spree. Instead they took it in turns to spend time at the boat and provide security. Fortunately, or possibly because they did this, there were no incidents, so they were able to leave peaceably and on time. The druids in particular enjoyed watching and learning about the new species of fauna and flora they saw along the banks and in the skies.
Confined to a boat, the days passed slowly, though some degree of preparation could be made to research the area. Their captain bypassed the most aggressive lizardfolk tribes and kept to the middle of the river as far as possible, but by the third evening, the river was narrowing, with branches overhanging. The party decided to keep a watch alongside the crew, mostly with Ruin not needing to sleep anyway.
Just as well they did – three giant constrictor snakes dropped out of the branches and lashed out at the crew, and the adventurers leapt to their defence. At this point, the cause of the snakes falling onto the boat became clear, as a shambling mound hauled itself onto the deck, intent on driving them away.
The party quickly learned that fire and electricity had limited effects on the animate plant life, and so they were forced to rely on force of arms to clear the boat’s deck and ensure their safety. Fortunately they were more than equal to the task, and aside from three dead crewmen, there were no serious injuries. Some of the adventurers joined the surviving crew in mourning their dead and celebrating their lives with drinking and song into the night – others retired to their beds.
Their fourth day continued without incident, with the river continuing to narrow and a cliff rising to their right. The captain warned that they were now entering the territory of degenerate giant tribes, so they all made efforts to be more quiet and dim all the lights when they weighed anchor for the evening. They arranged a more stringent watch, which was rewarded when two large snake-like creatures with arms attacked. Once more, battle was joined, with the captain horrified to recognise the creatures as Yuan-ti Abominations.
We halted the session there – happy to once more have a cliffhanger…