Drums In The Marsh

DDEX1-07, “Drums In The Marsh”, is the seventh adventure in the Adventurer’s League Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Path.

We played this adventure in one session on Friday 27 July 2018. Players present were Sonya, Elinor, Warwick, Nick and Dylan.

Official Blurb

For the past several nights, drums have been heard on the wind, coming from the Twilight Marsh. Each morning, more turn up missing from the nearby farms, leaving only muddy, clawed footprints heading towards the marsh. Can you help to find the lost and bring justice to the abductors? An adventure for 1st-4th level characters.

Synopsis of Play

With Elisande missing, the Moonsea Rangers travelled to the Twilight Marsh. Guided by a local named [[Taroo?]], they travelled down the Trank River into the heart of the marsh.

They discovered that a black dragon named [[Throsulgrael?]], or “Velvet”, had recently arrived in the marsh, killed the local Lizardfolk King, and set the three Lizardfolk tribes a competition to see which could capture the most live sacrifices and earn its favour. Elisande and other locals had been taken by the Lizardfolk and were likely imprisoned on the Island of the Lizard King in the Ringcurrent Islands, near the Trank delta. The dragon had departed the marsh for the duration of the competition, but would return some time in the future.

The players encountered Bogclaw, one of the mutant “Lizard King” strain of Lizardfolk, who believed himself the rightful ruler of the marsh and who refused to bow to Throstulgrael. With his help, they infiltrated the Island of the Lizard King and freed the captives. However, Bogclaw turned on them, and Qelfras was forced to fight him in a duel. She was victorious, and Bogclaw, now ruler of his people, swore to end Lizardfolk raiding outside the marsh.

The Moonsea Rangers, and all the captives, returned to Phlan, but Qelfras was still troubled by dreams of a great winged shape in the sky, of green tears weeping from the sky, and of citizens of Phlan dying, accompanied by the words, “You can’t save them all….”

Behind the GM’s Screen

I restructured this adventure significantly to overcome some perceived weaknesses. Most notably, I deleted the entirety of Act I. This would have involved:

There was another encounter on the river which you skipped by travelling overland, where you find Lizardfolk guarding a raft of prisoners that they’re taking downstream to the island to join the other captives. Freeing them would have let you chat to a dwarf NPC named Rolk, who would have handed out exposition about the marsh’s history.

Other options for dealing with the Island encounter included openly negotiating with the tribes, or sowing dissension among them; targeted assassinations of tribe leaders; or (quote) “something else the party thinks up”.

Define external redirect: Throsulgrael Taroo