Erdrique’s Journal-Red Fens Explorer Area

Quest: The Red Fens
Level 9 Explorer Area
Crawlers:  Erdrique

Making my way through House Kundarak I learned about an enchanted area called the Red Fens.  The Red Fens are home to an indigenous drow tribe known as the Raveneye.  The Red Fens is also know to be area where large clams grow in the marshes that produce wondrous pearls.  The Raveneye drow have learned to farm these clams and have set up an extensive and lucrative trading venture with the dwarves of House Kundarak.  In turn House Kundarak has become known as a large supplier of these sought after pearls and have set up markets ranging from Sharn to Shae Cardial.

I learned from the dwarf Ormar, the main contact between the House Kundarak ward in Stormreach to the Raveneye drow clan in the Red Fen that the Raveneye have come under a brutal attack from the saughin.  The Red Fens is located at the mouth of an inlet and the saughin have taken it upon themselves to invade and dessimate the Raveneye drow.  Ormar mentioned that House Kundarak is recruiting warriors to send to the Red Fens to help the Raveneye repel the saughin.  Upon hearing of this situation I felt compelled to help, plus I wanted to determine what prompted the sahaugin to attack the Raveneye drow to begin with.

After talking to Ormar, he offered to take me out to the Red Fens as he was gathering a caravan together as he telling me what was occurring in those wondrous marsh lands.  I told him I would be ready to go as soon as I gathered my equipment.  I headed off to the guild airship and left missive for the other members of guild to let them know where I was going and that I was going to scout out the troubles in the Red Fens.  Shortly later I found myself traveling as part of Ormar’s caravan.

A few days later we arrived on the edges of the Red Fens.  From what I could tell from that particular vantage point, the Red Fens were a vast marshland.  You could hear the ocean slapping against the lush estuaries in the distance.  There was a lot of vegetation but it wasn’t forest based.  Instead it contained a lot of marsh grasses and boggy types of habitat.  It was the perfect place for potential predators to hide.  Speaking of the wildlife, I could hear in the distance the roars and grumbles of some great cats and heard stories of large marsh rats that frequented the high grasses.

One thing I could tell right away was the power that this area contained.  I’m not sure how to explain it.  It was kind of like an overpowering aura that cloaked the entire marshland.  As we moved further into the Red Fens we could see sparkling dust filtering through the area giving a beautiful glistening look.  It was something I have never seen before.

On the trip to the Red Fens, Ormar told me that the remnants of the Raveneye drow clan were holding up in a clearing just on the outskirts of their destroyed village.  He mentioned that their numbers were decimated but I really didn’t understand the true scope of their plight until we entered their encampment.  The survivors were definitely few in number and you could tell they were broken, both physically and mentally.  The sahuagin attacks were completely a surprise and it was clear that the Raveneye were not prepared to handle the invasion.

Once we arrived at the camp, I started to make my way around to talk to few refugees that survived the sahaugin assault.  Many of them told me about mysteries of the Red Fens and what to expect as I explored the area.  As we approached the camp, I happened to notice a large zigguarat out in the distance.  I talked to a Raveneye Drow named Craneclaw who told me that the sahaughin have taken a number of the captured to excavate the ancient structure.  Evidently they are looking for something.  He asked for my assistance in rescuing them from their tormentors.  I also learned from another drow named Gullwing that a small band of Raveneye are making  a stand to protect the rest of the village.  Gullwing asked me to convince the elder to retreat and come back to the refugee camp.   I then ran into another Raveneye named Croaker who told me that a small band of Raveneye drow took an expedition to the Fire Giant territory in order to find the rumored Claw of Vulkoor.  He mentioned that any assistance I could give them would be greatly required.

I basically learned that the Raveneye drow were in dire straights.  Before I rushed into anything I decided to explore the Red Fens a little more.  The thing I noticed about the Red Fens is that it is a beautiful marsh landscape that just has a flowing stream of magic.  I can tell this marsh land is steep in history.

The Raveney Refugee camp was based on the top of a complicated outcropping of stone that was covered lightly with various forms of marsh moss and algae that was on top of a small waterfall that overlooked the Red Fens.  There were a few tents spread throughout the encampment and an impressive fire was roaring, presumably for cooking any game that was to be harvested later that afternoon.  The refugees were rummaging around with a distant lost look in their eyes.  There was also an enchanted altar at this location where it was rumored that special items that were “dampened” could be restored to their full magical potential by combining them with a special sign of Vulkoor inside the altar.

As I made my way away from the camp, I headed off to the north and followed part of the river down the sloping façade.  As I reached the bottom of the falls, I landed in a large swath of marsh land and noticed a large rock structure jutting out of the ground.  As I started to make my way to the large rock, I noticed a decomposing body in the water and then groaned as the body stood up.  The refugees told me that a large number of their dead were turned into horrid zombies known as “drowned” by the necromantic sahaugin.  I quickly engaged the drowned and dispatched it before it could cause any more problems.

I also noted some very large mire rats.  I hoped that the mire rates would simply ignore me or run away but hope was quickly dashed as I approached the outcropping the mire rats decided to attack.  However, these oversize rats became aggressive as I continued on my way and before I knew it they were upon me.  I didn’t waste too much time dispatching them but I was disappointed in this encounter.  It became evident that everything I would encounter out here I would to kill.  After the situation with the mire rats, I head up the rock that dominated this portion of the area.  I noticed a large amount of drow bodies and then realized this was a center of the drowned.   As I watched, three drowned arose from the bodies and shambled toward me.  It was time to put them to rest, finally.

Once the three drowned were taken care of, I headed off in the direction of the Raveneye Village.  As I left the rock that was overlooking the marshes I encountered a few more mire rats and some more of the drowned.  I kept heading north and I couldn’t help but be amazed at the beauty of the area.  The landscape was layered with a number of small streams that help define and separate the various portions of the marsh.   I traveled upstream at one of these locations and proceeded to the Northeast until, I encountered some more drowned and mire rats and then I came across the first of many sahaugin.

The first sahaugin that I came across was a mage who quickly summoned a large monstrosity of mud to attack me.  However, before any of them could actually do anything else I attacked and took them out.  I then came across a few more of the sauhgin troops that were overlooking a large waterfall.  It didn’t take long for them to spot me and I had some spears flying in my direction.  I then noticed that in the mix of the sahaugin there some large green-moss like monsters and sleek black panthers among them.  I quickly realized that the green-moss monsters where vine thrashers and the black panthers were known as Fen cats and were what I heard in the distance.  I began to realize that this was going to be a vicious fight.  After the battle, I then noticed the Raveneye Village in the distance.

As I approached the village I noticed the smoke and destruction right away.  Standing on one of the wooden walkways was a large pinkish colored sahaugin that was evidently leader of the ransacking sahaugin force.  He had a large and dangerous trident and he had a number of other troops with him.  I didn’t wait to be spotted but instead rushed right in to challenge him.  Before I got to him, he noticed me and we quickly engaged in a short battle.  I didn’t take very long, as I was able to bypass and slip past most of his defenses to take him down.  With their leader down, the rest of the sahaugin were quickly dispatched.  I later learned that this particular sahaugin was named Vyk ka and he was responsible for a large number of the Raveneye deaths.

After the battle on the outskirts of the village, I noticed a strange looking crest.  I picked up and continued to move to the northwest along the ride of a waterfall.  I encountered a few more black panther fen cats and a few more vine stalkers.  I then saw a path that led to the shallow pool that the waterfall ended at.  I went ahead and made my way down the path to explore the waterfall a little more closely.  Once I reached the small pool I encounter a peculiar monster.  It was a medium size sphere of light that like to try to fear me or to hit me with small blasts of electricity.  I learned later that the Raveneye call these creatures Will-o-Wisps. I also noticed that a huge black pudding started to advance on my position from the deeper portions of the pool but its movements also revealed to me a cave behind the waterfall.

Once I made it past the Will-o-Wisp and the pudding, I then made it into the cave.  The cave was poorly lit, moist, and pretty dank.  As I moved further into the cave, I noticed quite a bit of movement and then before I could fully comprehend what was going on I was attacked by slings of mud.  I then realized that these slings of mud were being tossed at me by large creatures composed entirely of mud.  Once I defeated these “mud men” I then left the cave and went back up the path that led to the shallow pool.

Once I reached the top of the path, I looked across and back over to the waterfall and noticed a couple sahaugin sitting and standing guard.  I went off in that direction to make sure they didn’t notice me or anything that happened back on the outskirts of the Raveneye village.  The encounter didn’t last long as I was able to completely overwhelm them.  I then made my way back into the marshes, I came across a wide and open area that was covered pretty densely with marsh grass and with glowing dust particles drifting in the air.  The dust particles intrigued me but my attention was more focused on the number of sahaugin and other enemies I noticed, which included more Fen cats, will-o-wisps, and vine thrashers.

As I made my way through this area of the Red Fens, I took not e that a number of small passage ways that were marked by streams that flowed freely between them.  I went up one of those passages way ran across another large pudding.  I also ran across some more of the drowned zombies and a stray will-o-wisp.  I also noticed the passageway continued through a small rocky overhang that overlooked the open ocean.  At this location was a sahaugin but he wasn’t hostile.  I learned from him that there was a movement of sahuagin that didn’t agree with the current state of affairs and a resistance had been formed that was prepared to join up with the Raveneye clan once they were ready.

I made note to talk to the Raveneye refuges about this situation and made my way back to up the path and back out into the open expanse of the Red Fens.  I noticed some more of the scaly sahaugin in the distance and made me way over in that direction to confront them.  They had a few warriors, mages, and archers in their ranks but they weren’t very organized and they weren’t very well trained and they went down quickly.  This particular areas of the Fens had a set of small hills and plateaus with small streams cutting through them.  As I moved up one of the hills I came across the ancient ziggurat that I initially learned about in the refugee camp.

The ziggurat dominated this area of the Red Fens.  It was an ancient and huge structure that had a winding path to its summit.  From my location, I could see various sahuagin patrols on each level of the great structure.  However, before I could explore it I had to make my way through the rest of the enemy forces along the kills and bogs that surrounded its base.  As I came up the hill, I ran headlong into a band of sahuagin and some of those magically enhanced Fen cats.  These particular troops seemed to be a little better organized than the ones I had just dispatched and this time the fighting was much more intense.  However, I was able to defeat them and to continue my exploration.

I continued to explore the foot of the ancient ziggurat where I encountered even more the sahaugin and and a few other natural enemies as well.  After I took care of the me I made my way up the stair stepped slope of the ziggurat.  It was crawling with a large number of sahaugin from warriors, to casters, and ranged enemies.  It was a grueling task but I eventually made my way to the top.  At the apex of the ziggurat were another small contingent of the fish people troops.  They were guarding the entrance way to the ziggurat and I could hear through the entrance way people working deep inside.  I decided to hold off on entering and to continue to explore the Red Fens.

Once I made it back to the ground, I made around the far side of the ziggurat.  The streams continued to meander around the landscape around and were crawling with enemies.  I encountered a few more of those strange elementals made entirely of mud and then I ran across another sahaugin captain.  This one was similar to the one in the Raveneye Village and he was obviously directing the ground troops around the ziggurat.  He wasn’t doing a very good job.  I quickly assaulted and took him out.  I later discovered that this captain was named Kar Xyr who was responsible for gathering many of the Raveneye and forcing them to work in the ziggurat.

I then continued to explore the immediate area around the footprint of the ziggurat.  I came across more of the sahaugin, mud men, and vine thrashers.  I also encountered some darkfang spiders.   As I made my way further away from the ziggurat I noticed two more structures.  One was obviously a hunter’s scouting post that was built by the Raveneye.  From the distance I was at, I could tell it was overrun with a few will-o-wisps.  I then noticed a huge red tree that had a large rocky altar laced between its roots.  I couldn’t really distinguish any markings from this distance but I could tell it was a magical altar of some sort.

I then turned back towards the ziggurat and encountered some sahaugin and mud men.  I then made my way over to the hunting stand and encountered a will-o’wisp.  I noticed from there a number of other mud men in the distance and made my way back towards them by crossing a number of small streams and through a huge fallen tree that was turned into a make shift tunnel.  Mixed among the mudmen were also more will-o’wisps and some darkfang spiders.  As I was making my way through these creatures I came across an enchanted forest of huge mushrooms.

These huge mushrooms turned about to be the home of a large nest of darkfang spiders.  There was one darkfang spider that was particularly dangerous and must have been the nest’s leader.  From the tops of the mushrooms, I could see further out into the Red Fens.  From that vantage point, I could tell there were still a large contingent of sahaugin, mudmen, and spiders throughout the area and moving around the lower reaches of the mushroom forest.  I then made my way down to the lower reaches of the forest and started to dismantle this ragtag band of enemies.

After I had defeated the darkfang spiders, mudmen, and sahaugin I found a worn down path that lead from the edges of the mushroom forest through the steep mountains and into a unique mud pool.  The area here was extremely humid and hot with bubbles of gas oozing out of the mud.  I couldn’t but wonder if the source of the mudmen was to particular mudhole.  When I moved further into the mudhole, I noticed a number of different enemies including will-o’wisps, more mudmen, and darkfang spiders.  I ran around the perimeter of the mud pit and took out all of the enemies I encountered.

I then made my way back out of the path and left the muddy pool behind.  As I rounded the path I encountered a few more of the sahaugin and mudmen.  I approached a small opening in the middle of the bog and then realized that it was a stomping round for a pride of Red Fen black panthers.  As I approached the area, I was attacked by the black panthers, which seemed to come out of nowhere.  I was able to maneuver myself around them and to eventually defeat them.  I then noticed a pathway that into the mountain range on the outskirt of the Red Fens.  The path also had a natural bridge crossing over it.  As I moved closer and up through the path I noticed a set of braziers and a shrine.  This evidently was the marking of the reclusive Fire Giants in the area.

I decided not to head into the area for now and made my way back into the Red Fens.  I was encountered by another stray black panther whom I was able to dispatch of quickly.  I kept move along the outskirts of the Red Fens and encountered a few more mudmen, vine stalkers, and will-o’wisps.  I was also able to locate a rather serene pool that was tucked away on the edge of the Red Fens and the mountain range.  I then made my way back along the perimeter to the huge red tree that I had noticed earlier.

As I made my way towards the huge red tree and the mysterious altar I encountered a number of enemies again.  I primarily battled through vine stalkers, will-o’wisps, mudmen, drowned, and mire rats.  I eventually made it to the huge tree and noticed that the altar on top had placards that would hold three crests.  This was curious, since I had picked up three crests while exploring the Red Fens.  One was in the Raveneye Village, the other was by the Zigguarat, and the third was in the mud pool area.  The crests showed the same marking as those on the altar.  I decided to match the crests to their respective slots to see what would happen.

I later watched in amazement as the altar began to glow to watch an ancient devil warrior to appear before me.  He was actually an abishai devil.  He immediately sent out to attack me but I could tell he was completely confused at what was going on.  He was more prepared to fight demons as opposed to humans such as myself.  He also complained that his imprisonment had resulted in him becoming very weekend.  In any case, I noticed that he was exuding a large source of evil and didn’t waste too much time in fighting him.  I took advantage of his confusion and was able to take care of him and to lay him down permanently.

After my encounter at the altar under the huge red tree, I made my way back to the small refugee camp, which was just over the edge of the nearby waterfall.  When I got back to the refugee camp I talked to the village elders and other leaders to learn more about the situation here.  I could tell from short exploration that the sahaugin were definitely out in full force and were quite formidable.  I also asked for whatever information the Raveneye knew of the Ziggurat and the ancient altar and its respective crests.  They mentioned that both structures were ancient and have been around ever since they settled in the area and rumors were made that they were sources of great evil.  The crests were found in various locations throughout the Red Fens and were safeguarded when it was realized they could be used at the altar.  It was recommended by the elders to keep that secret so that nothing evil would be unleashed on Red Fens.

It is definitely clear that the Red Fens are mysterious and hold a great amount of power.  I’m not entirely sure what the sahaugin want but the Raveneye drow definitely need help in fighting them back and to rebuild.  This will not be an easy mission at all.  However, it is time to begin!!

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