The Marsh – Part One
Gather round fellow Adventurer’s and listen to this tale of my dashing and daring adventures in the marsh. You will “oooh” and “aaah” at my tales of bold actions and heroic strength!
I was escorting a group of townspeople that were on a quest for herbs. The local hospital was running low on medicine to combat the illness running rampant through the town. The herbs were needed to restock the medicinal supply being rapidly used by the staff on the sick town.
After trip on the river, then a short trek overland, we had come to a marshy area lush with growth. Among the tall grass, were most of the herbs needed by the hospital. Since we had arrived just before dusk, I advised them that it was best to make camp on a rocky outcropping that I had spotted that overlooked the marsh.
As night fell, and we settled in for the evening, the night sounds of the forest became a comforting backdrop for the those that were drifting off the sleep. Crickets, owls, frogs, the chorus of noises was indeed relaxing and soothing after the long day’s journey to this site. The stars and moon lit the night sky with plenty of light for the watch to see the immediate area. A fire burned where dinner had been prepared, and tea now brewed in a pot hanging over the flames.
I was on first watch, along with the Ranger, Morwin. I sat at the edge of camp with my axe laying across my lap. I stroked my long beard while allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness out beyond our campsite.
Morwin could best be described as a beautiful sylph, as deadly and graceful as she was beautiful. She was quick with her bow and her wit.
My axe was just as deadly as her bow. I dare say I craved battle almost as much as ale. For a dwarf that was quite a lot. Anytime I unsheathed my axe, my clan battle cry would follow.
Towards the end of our watch, a thick, grey fog rolled in from the far side of the marsh. It had an unnatural movement and was too thick to be a normal mist forming over the murky water. I signaled to Morwin to be on the alert.
Within a few moments of the fog completely enveloping the marsh, it started building up to blanket the shore around us making the land impossible to see. In the mist, ghostly lights began to appear, blinking in and out, moving erratically through the mist and gradually getting closer to the camp. I looked at Morwin and placed my finger to my lips. then mouthed the word “Will-o-wisps”. Morwin’s blue eyes narrowed and she nodded agreement with my assessment.
We both sat as still as statues noticing that the marsh sounds had disappeared. The ghostly reflection of the wisp’s lights continued to briefly light the fog as they moved around the breadth of the marsh, as if looking for something.
They finally made their way up and into the camp. Their disturbance, and the sudden silence of the night, had brought restlessness to the sleepers. One of the wisps lingered by the foodstuffs overlong and our dwarven cook, named Maita, turned suddenly in her sleep, and muttered, “Don’t touch the bacon”. The wisps paused, and then just as suddenly as they had stopped, they unerringly sped to where Maita was asleep. A bolt zipped from a wisp and stung Maita on the backside. She bolted awake yelling, ‘BACON!” The rest of the camp was startled awake at the sudden cry! I could hear calls of, “What was that!?”, “What’s happened?!”
In an instant, I slipped the hood of my cloak over my head and disappeared before moving towards the eminent battle.
…To Be Continued…