Kayrn the half-troll-half-orc awoke one night to the voice of his lord, a secretive Shadow Dragon, who led him and his shadow drake eidelon through the tunnels of his subterranean home to the Grove, city of Wildlings. At this same time, Enantos, Wildling by birth and Shapeshifter by blood, was headed out to explore the nearby swamp with his companion, a plant creature in the shape of a cheetah. That is when Kayrn arrived. A crowd formed around the outsider on the streets, but knowing the laws against outsiders to be strict and often deadly, Enantos convinced the crowd to let him lead the newcomer out of the woods. The two of them traveled through the woods, just barely skirting the Treant guards and making their way into the swamp.
Once into the swamp, they headed for a camp site Enantos knew about, but saw a mysterious form standing tall in the distance and decided to investigate on their way. There they discovered the skeleton of a great dragon with a Kobald city built haphazardly into, onto, and around the corpse. The Kobalds, and a handful of Pygmy Boggards milled about the village, looking anxious and angry. Though the two travelers were met with a pointy hello, reason prevailed as they spoke to Kartho, the leader and apparently priest of the Kobalds. Kartho explained that their sacred artifact, the Briarstone had been stolen mysteriously while under guard. Further discussion uncovered that Briarstone is the mineralized heart of their dragon god Rokshabar, who saved them during the Sundering but died himself as a result. The artifact allows them to farm food in this strange land, and keep to the vegetarian tenants of their faith, laid down by the great dragon before his death.
The travelers decided to ask around, in hopes of helping the Kobalds; they talked with the suspicious looking Boggards first, plying them with drink. Once drunk, the Boggards admitted their disdain for an alliance attempt by the Kobalds, stating that the recent cold snaps had ruined their own crops, or they would have no interest in the deal. They insulted the state of the kobald city and called it “squalid”. They also bragged loudly about the deviousness and cunning of their leader Lord Gosstog, and his great skill for backstabbing. Unable to locate Gosstog at the moment, they decided to question those that had guarded the Briarstone.
The guards were all very young, having just been initiated as adults, and seemed very ashamed by the loss on their watch. With some pressing, the teens broke one after the other. Finally, one admitted to falling asleep, and being woken by a strange bird song and some splashing, which he investigated to no avail. Afterwards, Enantos gave some of them chocolate, and Kayrn shot off some of the fireworks he had made to cheer them up. From there, they located Gosstog, but he was in the middle of a serious discussion with Kartho; the travelers listened in on their conversation for awhile, and then revealed their locations, flustering both officials. They were summarily shooed out of town, though not unkindly.
From there, they made their way to The Black Wall, a campsite that Enantos had scouted out, though never used. On the way, they were harried by giant leeches, which sucked their blood and weakened their constitutions, though the two travelers prevailed. After the battle, they made it safely to the camp, and set up for the night to rest. The two, once strangers and now fast friends, discussed their location and creatures of the swamp. As Enantos went over his illustrated journals with Kayrn in Orcish, he heard a soft voice say in the same language, " You speak Orcish?" Suddenly the vines on the wall began to move and form themselves into the shape of a person, who shortly introduced himself as N’keepir.
N’keepir turned out to be a lone Plantani who had been born here alone due to a trick of wind and pollen. He was especially excited by Enantos’ journal, and pulled out some of his own, showing them his maps of the area as well. Eager for intellectual conversation, they discussed much, including languages, which revealed that N’keepir was familiar with the chirping language the Kobald children had heard. Through a stroke of luck, he had witnessed several small forms carrying something incredibly large across the swamp. Before the two travelers slept, N’keepir noticed their leech bites and provided them with a remedy that would heal them by morning. As the meat beings slept, N’keepir spent much of the night in awe and discussion with Enantos’ plant cheetah friend, as he had never met another sentient plant.
In the morning, all three set out together to track down the thieves, who they had now identified as Squodd, a strange secretive race that N’keepir had only seen while in vine form. The Plantani led them as far as he could, but then the three had to struggle to track further; through their combined effort, they found solid pathways hidden below the water. Realizing that these were probably Squodd made paths, they followed the winding underwater bridge-way through the swamps to a dense thicket of mangroves. The keen eyes of the travelers could see three small forms and one large one in the middle of the thicket and sought out the secret entrance with ease.
Slipping through the watery tunnel of underbrush and roots, they sneaked into the small camp without alerting the shy Squodd children. But then, just as they were about to confront the thieves by magically enlarging their size, a juvenile Frogemoth broke through the outer wall of trees. The terrified Squodd suddenly found themselves between the giant travelers and the massive beast, and backed up against the trees, turning almost invisible. Pygmy Boggards swarmed in after, the young Kobald guards hot on their trail. An epic battle ensued, where Enantos, Kayrn, and their pets fought wildly against the beast. The slimy creature wrangled them in its tentacles and bit at them madly, but the heroes fought it tooth and nail, eventually killing most of the Boggards and driving the huge beast away.
The Kobald guards got to the fray just as it was ending (much to their disappointment) but were overjoyed to see their people’s holy artifact. The heroes tasked the Kobalds with returning the stone to its rightful place and set off with the Squodd children to take them back to their home elsewhere in the swamp….