Conflict in the Swamp

Talbot Quillfeather

UP: Catskills

    What began as an echoing shout from a town crier, ended up being a vicious struggle for survival, deep in the heart of Britannia’s swamps. Earlier today, in answer to a summons by Aedila, a town crier in the city of Britain, a small rag tag group of adventurers assembled in the Cat’s Lair Tavern, all eager to help a smallish fellow garbed in a homespun brown robe. After downing a tankard of ale, the fellow identified himself as an Elder from a local monastery. The poor half drunken chap greeted each of the assembled listeners and told a short tale of theft and loss. “I fell asleep…look, I’ll admit it. I got careless and let my own slothfulness get the better of me, it’s not easy roaming the backwoods of Britannia. Anyway, I woke up to a scuttling over by the tree where I had placed my baggage. There was a group of lizardmen there digging in my things! I still smell their stink on my undergarments! Before I knew it, one of them seized my most prized possession, which was concealed in a purple velvet bag, and I swear the fiend chuckled as he ran off with it... though who can tell with all that hissing.”

‘Twas not long after this that a group of burly adventurers found themselves at the mouth of a cave north of a large encampment of lizardmen, still muttering to themselves about the drunken incoherency and fizzled magic portals of Elder Epoch, who lay snoring behind them in the cavern’s depths nestled snuggly in a circle of ale-darkened earth. Carefully the adventurers crept forward and leapt out of the reeds and jungle growth that surrounded the camp, catching the lizardmen by surprise. With quick sword thrusts and flawless arcane magic the party swept down upon the lizardmen, rending the hissing horde into piles of oddly shaped corpses. Sadly the surprise attack quickly set the camp to alarm and soon the embattled adventurers found themselves facing an enraged camp of fully awake with armed lizardmen bent on placing multiple puncture wounds into the interloping humans.

Throughout the camp the travelers fought, taking on two, and at times three, lizardmen at once in a vicious melee fought throughout the crudely constructed huts of the village. It was then that this reporter noticed a flickering blue light at the far edge of the camp that grew into a misshapen living fountain of water. With a vicious growl the water elemental advanced through the lizardman host, moving directly for the center of the assembled heroes. Were it not for a dazzling display of the arcane all would have been lost and this tale never told. Thank the virtues that a swordsman to my right dispatched a garishly painted lizardman and seized the purple velvet pouch from its grasp. Our prize in hand, the party retreated in a full run from the snapping jaws and pointed spears of our foes. After a few splashes of cold ocean water on the unconscious elder we managed to rouse him from his drunken stupor and inform him of our victory. Good fortune indeed, for he produced a pouch of gold and gave it gratefully to us. With a smile on his face he clutched the mysterious bag to his chest and thanked us all for our valor and skill. Upon gathering up his spilt tankard and safely returned pouch he requested a gate be opened back to the safety and ale barrels of the city of Britain

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online,
Wednesday, June 7th 2000