Eleint 4, Year of the Shield
The pull of the Artifact led them into the Vast Swamp at the eastern edge of Cormyr.
After days of traversing the mist-shrouded cypress trees and muck, the group found a small island situated roughly in what they could only guess was the center of the bog. It did not take long for the companions to discover that the island was inhabited. In fact, it was the lair of an ancient black dragon — Acydikeen.
As fate would have it, the 2nd piece of the Rod had teleported to the lair of this greay wyrm and was now part of its treasure hoard.
With little choice, the group descended into the depths of Acydikeen’s lair and a mighty battle ensued.
Once again, through the grace of Lathander, the Guardians of the Dawn triumphed, but not without cost. Bjorn Slatecutter had fallen in the battle with the ebony wyrm and many others in the group were grievously injured.
Through the divine magics of Valeska and Durrant, the group was healed and ascended once more to the surface.
Wishing to put the Vast Swamp behind them, the group paddled eastward as quickly as they could. Alas, speed was not the problem. The group was beset by two illithids and a beholder. While the companions slew the mind flayers, they acquiesced to the death tyrant’s demands that they leave the skin of Acydikeen within the confines of the swamp.
Having lost a prize, the group exited the bog, thankful to have the piece of the artifact they sought as well as their lives.
Once free of the tangling cypress and willow trees, the group headed south, towards Urmlaspyr…