Aydan and Jimmy, along with Kelmaris, Proax, and Quest the Blue journeyed to the Marshes of the Forgotten in the hopes of finding a coven of hags called the Sorority of Crows. As they made closer to the small island at the center of what seemed like a large lake, an odd house emerged from the mists. The party became trapped and tried to find an escape out of the magical madness perpetrated by some foul force. After breaking free from the haunted mansion, the group were confronted by three towering women. They found the Sorority of Crows, now the group needed to acquire a ‘heartstone’ from them in order to fulfill their bargain with the lich spirit.
The three women stood over seven-feet tall, leaning down toward the party as they inspected them with their empty pools of darkness for eyes.
“Sisters, what mayhap we find here?” Sneered one of the hags, parting her black curly hair. A long black-nailed finger extended and prodded the half-drow Kelmaris.
“We have to treat with you,” Kelmaris replied. Smiling while trying to keep his composure, the rest of the group held their guard against the fiendish entities as the other two began to encircle them.
“Treat? Oh we do love treats!” Cried one of the hags. The trio cackled in unison, never taking their obsidian eyes off the party.
One began to sniff the air, smiling all the while, “they smell wonderful, sisters. I smell: despair, regret, revenge, pride, and fear.”
“Bide thy tongue, sister!” One of the hags with a necklace made of bones spat, the loose pieces rattle against each other to create an ominous jingle.
“What thy wish to treat, little darkling?” The first hag asked, eyeing Kelmaris carefully.
“We have come for a heartstone,” Proax proclaimed.
“Why would thee have need of such a trinket?” The second hag demanded, agitated and glaring at the party.
“Why would thee think we possess such a trinket?” The third hag pondered with a calming curiosity.
“Why would thee come here to search for such a trinket?” The first one questioned, leaning closer on Kelmaris. Her foul stench proved distracting for the half-drow, avoiding her gaze and holding his breath.
“Do you possess it or not?” Jimmy Moon demanded. The druid had grown impatient with the hags, anxiety had swelled within the half-elf since his arrival to the Shadowfell. Aydan was surprised by her companion’s outburst, realizing now the extent of his frustrations with the realm.
“We will take it by force if necessary, but we simply wish to parley with you.” The gold dragonborn kept his arms crossed along his golden chain mail. His claw never touched his weapon, but his presence seemed like a beacon of light and courage in the face of vile and ugly creatures. The trio snickered at the cleric of Alderron, continuing to circle and pace around the party.
“Doth protests thine can slay us and steal from us, sisters!” The second hag cried, her dark curly hair began to flair outward like snakes poised to strike its prey.
Realizing that the negotiations were going nowhere, Kelmaris decided to strike the first hag with his rapier wrapped in emerald flames. The strike missed its target as it vanished into the mist, the illusion was gone now and the group realized that they were standing on a crooked crag in the middle of the lake. Kelmaris rushed after the first hag into the mist and this time landed his blade strike, emerald flames erupted from her bony form. Out of the flames, her sharp claws slashed across the half-drow’s chest, leaving a large gash across his leather armor.
The second hag conjured their coven’s powers over the marsh, large tendrils of water erupted from the edges of the crag and struck the party like hammers. Black feathers erupted around her form while a large cat-like eye glowed an ominous purple aura.
The last hag chanted words of power, summoning bolts of lightning from the sky to strike the party.
Gilda and Proax summoned their spiritual guardians, an entourage of dragonborn and dwarven warriors emerged to fend off against the crooked creatures. Jimmy Moon summoned a field of brambles to surround the hags and divide them while Quest the Blue ran for the third hag since she was closest to him. The tiefling monk enveloped his fists with flames as he struck the hag, she hissed and howled in pain before cursing him.
After taking some blows from the party, the Sorority combined their powers and called forth the mist from the marshes. Some of the mist began to take form and become solid into the shapes of creatures and foes the group had defeated in their past once again. Aydan and Jimmy had to once again confront with the misty images of the dragon cultists, while the rest had to deal with a myriad of foes from black armored knights to cultists to drow warriors.
Once the party slew the shadows of their past again, Jimmy Moon shifted into the form of a large Tyrannosaurus Rex. A creature Jimmy had read once in one of the bestiary tomes when he lived in Lastil-Taswell. The large creature assaulted one of the hags before defeating it under its crushing maw and teeth.
The first hag channeled the powers of the marsh again, summoning a swarm of locusts to distract and assail the party. Aydan, Gilda, Quest, and Jimmy were caught in the thick of it while Kelmaris and Proax continued to pressure the Sorority with spells and blades. A bolt of lightning struck Aydan and Jimmy and Gilda fell under the influence of a powerful curse from the hags. Quest was grabbed by one of the tendrils of water and flung dozens of feet away from the combat zone.
With combined effort, Kelmaris and Jimmy slew the second hag to size, leaving only one of the sisters of the Sorority of Crows alive. Proax pleaded with the fell creature to reconsider and surrender the item to them. The sister merely chuckled and muttered something about a Great Mother and that they were replaceable. In a desperate attempt, the hag transformed into a withered and decayed oversized crow but with four wings with sharp claws on each end. The hag fought against Jimmy Moon before falling to the spiritual warriors summoned by Proax.
Once the final sister was slain, the fog and mist began to disappear from the marshlands, the clouds that hovered over the area lightened to reveal the shadowy outline of a moon or some other false light source. A relative calm fell upon the region as their influence and presence dispersed. While still exhausted and winded, the group managed to search the hag’s belongings to find a large crystal orb that seemed to be emitting a soft red light. It pulsed almost like a heartbeat, which they surmised to the heartstone the lich spirit had instructed them to retrieve. Once in their possession, the few members with the spirit’s “gifts” felt the urge and pull of his voice to return to them item to it. Unwilling to experience the pain of their defiance, the group decided to rest and address their wounds before taking the long journey back to the lost valley where the lich’s tomb lied.
While exiting the marsh, soft globes of light and the sound of black birds could be heard from the dead leafless trees. Jimmy Moon felt uncomfortable and unsure what awaited them, though some of the group professed that it was likely something else for the Sorority was no more and their influence on the land was diminished. As the edged closer to the end of the forest, there they met a tall 10-foot figure woman with an intricate black battle dress with a black veil that concealed her face. Her skin was pale as snow, lips as black as the night. The birds cawed and encircled the entity, the clerics in the group realized what finally stood before them: Morrigan, the Goddess of Death.
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