As you cut through the hoard of dense branches and thick vines, your sweat begins to feel colder on your skin. The temperature is dropping rapidly to the point where you can now see your own breath. Hacking and slashing, you feel a moment of relief as your path starts to clear. Finally able to see on the horizon, that sense of relief is quickly lost as an eery thick fog descends over top of you. The unnerving fog wraps itself around you in all directions, bringing with it the putrid scent of rot and decay. Looking back at the uneasy faces of your companions, you can only speculate what lies ahead.
Cautiously making your way along the twisted trail, the fog blurs your vision making it next to impossible to see a few steps ahead. Out the corner of your eyes, the dark twisted trees coil their branches giving the illusion of thin skeletal fingers reaching out in your direction.
As you reach a clearing, a light in the distance cuts through the thick fog. Continuing closer to the clearing, the smell of death grows so strong you can practically taste it. At the edge of the clearing, the fog begins to lighten giving you some view of your surroundings. You find yourself at the edge of a marsh with a rickety bridge overtop murky waters. In the center of the clearing, the light dances within a lantern that you now see hangs from the front porch of a decrepit and worn-down hut.
Surveying the surroundings there is no other buildings in sight, just more of the dark woods. As you continue your observations, you note that the brownish waters occasionally bubble, each time sending the remains of a previous visitor to the surface. First a mud-stained skull followed by a boney hand wrapped in waterlogged Pondweeds. However, your focus is broken, as you hear the creaking of floorboards from the hut up ahead. Your hand instinctively reaches for your weapon when you hear the hut’s rusty hinges squeal as the door slowly opens wide. A momentary flicker of shadows from the now open doorway.
Suddenly a blood-curdling scream comes from the treeline behind you! Its quickly followed by the sound of large branches snapping and further rustling. Spinning around in place, you and the party all draw your weapons. Bursting from the tree line, a young child comes rushing towards you. Their eyes filled with fear and terror. Not a moment later, a pack of tall gangly creatures appears chasing after the child. The ghastly figures tower over the small child with their sickly yellow skin and bony limbs.
With only seconds to react, what do you do?
A Special Thank you to DM Dave for the edit and additional details in the story. You are an amazing part of the community.