The party decides to head southwest to Mbala because why not? Then cut eastward over to Firefinger because also why not? They have a brand new shield guardian, a brontosaurus, some swanky extra class levels, and several hexes on the map that aren't explored yet. So it's time to do some exploring!
They set off!
And then they don't!
They go back to Camp Vengeance real quick-like and speak to Captain Breakbone atop the causeway. "Hey remember how we told you that the magic was inside you the whole time?" Valour says. "Let's talk a bit... Y'all wanna come south with us to Mbala?"
Captain Breakbone says that he is only interested in the swarms of the undead that are located in that yellowy portion of the PC's oddly detailed map, which is east. Not south. The PC's tell him that they will go east towards Firefinger eventually, so maybe Captain Breakboke could send some troops southward to the Aldani Basin in a few days to rendezvous with the PC's as they head east to Firefinger.
Speaking of heading places, the party asks Eku what she knows about Mbala since they're paying her for this shit anyways.
"I had great love and respect for the people of Mbala," Eku says. "They were tricked and eaten by a witch! She is one of the greatest evils in Chult. They called her... Nanny Pu'pu!"
Except Dur-Dur-Dur is the one relaying the information since he's one of the only ones who speaks brontosaurus, so he tells them, "Well Eku has a boyfriend in Ebola that a witch took from her with a love potion and stuff. It's okay Eku, we'll get your boyfriend back!"
Eku sighs brontosaurusly.
"How do we kill witches? With fire?" 🌱 says.
"Well you can definitely kill them with swords," Valour says.
"If you say her name three times, she'll appear!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Then we can save ourselves a trip and just say her name three times right now in Camp Righteous and kill her with all these soldiers nearby," Zanzibar says.
"No! Then she'll show up with her lair and everything!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
The party then begins planning out how they want to assassinate this Nanny Pu'pu witch woman. They've never encountered one before, but hopefully a knight, a wizard, a dirt wizard, an orc Tarzan, a robot, a brontosaurus, and a frog dude contain enough ordinance to put the witch into her warty grave.
"Be careful, Minion, that witch might get you," Dur-Dur-Dur says. "They love froggies!"
The party sets off into the rainy Chultan jungle because fuck it everyone's on board for killing a witch that stole Eku's boyfriend.
While paddling down the river into the Aldani Basin, the PC's come across Lilac, the Emerald Enclave escort from several days ago! She waves at them. They wave back. 🌱 rolls a 2 on a persuasion check to get her to come with them and she politely passes. Zanzibar chimes in, saying that they'll soon go eastward with Camp Vengeance to clear out all sorts of undead. Lilac is totally down with killing undead, so she joins the PC's for a bit.
Later that night, the PC's camp out. Sleeping is a lot easier now that there are four NPC's with the party, one of them being an autonomous robot. Before sleeping, 🌱 summons a meteorologist with his druidcraft ability which tells them that tomorrow will be "a sunny day down here in Chult!"
As the party sleeps, Valour tosses around, his dreams filled with visions of a cackling crone woman lashing out at him with spindly fingers. Before he wakes, the witch places a finger against his lips, then disappears.
You know... just Chult things!
The next day Zanzibar rolls poorly on his portents after waking up from a poorly made tent due to ten pours from the alchemy jug. This failure means Eku rolls terribly on her survival check, which means the party gets LOST!
After wandering around for a bit, the PC's come across a strange patch of the jungle that's cool and refreshing. Traipsing further through it, they get even colder. Ice is forming on the ground, and bits of snow flurries drift in the air. 🌱's meteorologist needs to be fired immediately!
Lilac keeps her distance. She knows Chult too well to fool around with this kinda ice bullshit. Eku has never heard of Nanny Pu'pu using ice magic, so this is new to her. 🌱 lights a torch to stay warm, but Valour and Zanzibar notice a giant patch of snow ahead with a lizardfolk frozen in it.
"It could be the evil witch, I.C. Sickle!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"The only thing I would expect to cast an aura like this is an adult frost dragon living nearby," Zanzibar says.
"Dragons aren't real!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Zanzibar casts detect magic, realizing that this winterscape is extremely peculiar and magical in origin. At the center of the icy radius, the temperatures will reach -30 farenheight, which is a super lack of farenheits! Also, I can't spell farennheit! Celsius and Kelvin are all cool but fuck why couldn't Doctor Bob be the one who invented measuring the goofy USA temperature instead of Doctor Farenhyte?
Dur-Dur-Dur sees the frozen lizardfolk ahead and throws a lasso around its arm to pull it closer, but instead he just rips the arm off the lizardfolk instead.
"Maybe he'll grow that back?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Valour thinks that avoiding this place is best, but then Zanzibar avoids Valour's thoughts and offers his own. "Were we not told that there was a Ring of Winter?"
Now everyone's on board with poking around some more! The PC's make Zanzibar go full Hot Pocket by covering him in bedrolls, and Valour ties a rope around him. Zanzibar casts detect magic and steps into the center of the ice zone. He doesn't detect any ancient Sauron/Night King items, but he definitely knows that this winter wonderland was created by ancient voodoo.
Valour spots two other lizardfolk, each posed in aggressive stances. He postulates that these scaly folk were attacking before they were frozen, as though this snowscape was created in defense. He and the bundle of Zanzibar return to the rest of the party after the cold starts getting to them.
"Whoever did this was very powerful," Valour says.
"... It wasn't the witch we're trying to kill who did this, right?" 🌱 says.
Eku shakes her head. "This scene is neither good nor evil, and that makes it scariest of all to me."
The PC's wander around, avoiding the snow place. They set camp for the night, hoping to regain their bearings in the morning. Valour spars with Minion a bit, and the little frog man shows that his skills have improved. 🌱 transforms into a giant frog to try and get on Minion's good side, and Dur-Dur-Dur is totally amazed by this!
Zanzibar puts Stevorn the shield guardian on guard duty, and the PC's sleep soundly until the next morning. Zanzibar predicts the future, and he predicts that the brontosaurus guide won't get them lost! And she doesn't! The PC's find out that they went northwest by accident, so they head south into the swamplands of the Aldani Basin.
And that's when they come across...
THIRD PARTY CONTENT!
While poking around in the murky, acrid swamps, the PC's discover a moss-covered statue of a gigantic warrior poking out of the murky water. Peering around, they see the ruins of a long-gone... ruin! Deep within this hidden, marshy muck lies the untouched remains of an overgrown garden, a rising ziggurat, some kind of jade temple, and other shit that's half sunken in the stinky, peaty bog.
Oh and then a FROGHEMOTH ATTACKS AAAAH!
From the depths of the marsh, three creepy eyes creep out creepily, like crappy crepes cripplingly croaking crackling crackers. I don't know what that means! The PC's get ready to engage, then freak out because they think the froghemoth is Nangnang, even though the froghemoth is a completely different trickster god altogether but ah fuck who cares WE'RE GONNA FIGHT! Wait the froghemoth is CR 10—
🌱 calls upon the moon and beams the froghemoth from afar, then Minion sinks into the water to do spooky sneaky shit. Lilac fires twice at the froghemoth, misses, then clings to the warrior statue. Zanzibar doesn't miss anything because his misses are missiles and they're magic, so he pelts the Froghemoth, then ducks behind Stevorn.
Stevorn sloshes through the marsh water, closing in on the froghemoth! The powerful, arcane weapon is the perfect device to tank against such a monstrosity and draw it's attention away from the fragile party members—
So Dur-Dur-Dur runs out of formation towards the dry ground.
Valour also breaks formation behind the HP tank and casts shield of faith on himself.
The froghemoth attacks Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur.
One tentacle hits Dur-Dur-Dur so hard that half his hit points run away, another tentacle lashes out and misses Valour, but then the froghemoth lashes its tongue out and drags Valour towards him so that he's right there in close combat.
🌱 keeps beaming moonishly, then touches the froghemoth chillingly as Minion leaps from the water and stabs the frog with his own frogginess. Lilac still can't figure out how arrows work, but Zanzibar manages to roll maximum magic missile damage and starts making it rain d4's all over the swamp.
Stevorn closes in on the froghemoth and snatches its tongue off of Valour, freeing him. Dur-Dur-Dur has a hissy fit and tries to get the tentacle off of himself, but it's too tight and he probably secretly likes it (trust me, he's drawing some freaky shit in his journal later on). Valour boils up a wrathful smite and just BRINGS it full force into the froghemoth. Speaking of beating the shit out of something...
BRONTOSAURUS FOOT OUT OF NOWHERE!
Eku plows the froghemoth in the face with her foot, and Lilac damn near gives up because she still can't land any shots with her arrows. Vorn beats the froghemoth twice in the face and Valour cuts more hit points off of it.
The froghemoth tears off chunks of Vorn with its bite, then grips Minion in a tentacle and keeps smashing away with its other tentacle.
In the end, 🌱 goes full moonbeam and annihilates the froghemoth, sending spores flying everywhere in the marshland.
The party survived... somehow!
So then the party starts poking around the ruins in search of stuff. They dig into a dilapidated library, and 🌱 finds a scroll case that is holding not only a protection for undead scroll, but also a secret poison dart that sticks him for 5d10 damage and REALLY puts a dent in his hit points. He also finds a note written to a woman whose name might as well just be "Vowels,"
Eh, 🌱 thinks. Circles and Quomecs and stuff aren't really his concern. Moldy libraries, however, are awesome! He plays around in the rotten books as the PC's go upstairs and find a circle of teleportation with a riddle! Solving the riddle shows that there are missing runes, and the only way to decipher the complex arcane mystery—
They figure it out because it's just a sequence of eight symbols repeating, and they activate the teleportation circle!
Zanzibar says that, if they find another circle of teleportation, they can use it like a waypoint in Diablo II to go back and forth between this place and other places with circles.
The PC's leave the library and decide to rest, but WHOOPS sorry sleepy PC's, there's another random encounter. This time it's rot trolls. They're like regular trolls... but like... moldy and gross. Like 🌱. But a troll.
So the beat up party is fighting again!
The trolls start creeping through the water, and the PC's set up their fighting line with Eku and Stevorn in the front. Like, you know, good battle lines. The party lays down suppressing fire from behind, then Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur close in to engage the trolls with Stevorn and Eku.
The trolls engage, targeting Stevorn and Eku, and their attacks carve out massive amounts of slashing and necrotic damage from the tanks. They then deal 2d10 necrotic damage to all enemies within five feet of them, which fills the swamp with stinky doo-doo air that the PC's really suffer from.
Eku tries to stomp the nearest troll, but everything is just too stinky and she can't land her feet where they need to go. Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur and Minion close in on the trolls and all three of them proceed to drop to 0 hit points because 2d10 necrotic damage is purdy nasty!
Zanzibar panics, poops out his own familiar, then gives it some goodberries to fly over and shove up Valour's ass so that he can come back to life OOPS Valour takes more necrotic damage and drops. Dur-Dur-Dur rises as well from 🌱 casting healing word. He draws his warhammer and starts whacking the trolls.
The PC's within melee range drop again as the trolls do more 2d10 necrotic damage. Eku and Stevorn keep the front line fighting while Zanzibar drops 2nd level spell slots into magic missile and starts slamming the trolls while 🌱 keeps his moonbeam zapping the trolls.
Stevorn eventually uppercuts a troll and knocks it the hell to death. Eku tries to land a stomp, but can't quite hit. Lilac finishes reading her how-to book on archery and learns how to land some arrows into the bad guys for once, scoring some critical hits.
It's a regular bobbing for apples game as the PC's keep getting resurrected by goodberries and healing word only to drop back to zero from the rot troll's 2d10 necrotic farts. Eventually, Eku raises her tail and ends the final rot troll!
The other players run around to bring their allies back to health. Their spell slots are gone, their HP's are fractured, and their brontosaurus is feeling pretty hurt. The PC's try to take their short rest again, but Lilac notices some undead closing in and is READY TO LEAVE!
At this point the party starts accusing Lilac of being phonier than a Verizon store since she wants to leave right when the undead arrive, and she shouts about how the party is hyper weakened at the moment and the dungeon master is just lining up series upon series of random encounters because of all those 1's they rolled on their d10's that the dungeon master had them roll "Just because... you know!"
The PC's decide that they want to explore more stuff, but maybe they need to rest for a day and get all their stuff back together. Valour tells the dungeon master, "I can always tell when you go and grab some internet bullshit because it kicks our ass!"