Beginning a short ways north of the Lady’s Light, the companions found movement through the swamp to be more difficult than they thought it would be. An hour’s travel turned into three before they were close enough to see the monolith over the trees. Their erstwhile guide muttered and mumbled through their journey, but when Jasper insisted they take the westward fork in the trail, everyone agreed to follow him.
They came upon a witch’s hut in the middle of the swamp, sitting on an island with a number of ‘keep out’ signs around – skulls, arcane symbols, the actual words ‘keep out’. The witch, Maroux, was willing to give the group advice on how to get under the Lady’s skirts, if they were willing to do a favor for her – gather some seaweed that grew near a sunken ship.
Maroux may not be much of a cook, but at least she’s a looker.
The ship was haunted by its former crew (of course), but it was a simple matter to dispose of the skeletons and make their way back to the witch with a few handfuls of the seaweed she desired. Over a horrid-tasting meal, the witch told of the caves leading underneath the Lady’s Light, and of the boggard and troglodyte tribes that guarded the entrances. She also told of a group of female knights – gray ladies, or some such – that had apparently penetrated the Lady (BG – her words, not mine!).
Armed with this knowledge, the companions sought out the troglodytes and, having found the entrance to the caves, were fighting the guards when Jasper, in his madness, swung a punch at Tyne. The gnome, in a completely justified and not at all overreaction threw a bomb at the mad cleric, who then proceeded to beat himself with his heavy flail until knocked unconscious.
The man came to his senses, along with his consciousness, though any trust the companions had in his abilities had passed. They continued to rampage through the troglodyte caves until at one point they came across a trog that surrendered, begged for mercy, and offered aid if the companions would kill the evil cleric that was ruling the tribe into the mud. Of course the stalwart companion would kill an evil cleric and loot his stuff! That done, they left Jasper caring for the rest of the trog tribe, who had fallen prey to some illness, with a promise of future aid if they ever returned.
Following a secret tunnel from the troglodyte caves, the companions ran into some snatcher-grabber bugs (giant solifugids) that nearly killed Hydra. That chamber had four exits, one of which much surely lead to the Lady’s Light. Of course, the companions had to try all of them before finding the correct one, fighting (in turn) some boggards (who nearly killed Hydra) and a 5-headed pyrohydra (who also nearly killed Hydra), before finding a chamber that looked as if it might lead in to the area below the Lady’s Light.
In that entrance chamber, four caryatid columns attacked, smashing every melee weapon used against them, and sorely pressing the companions’ fighting skills. Fortunately, explosions and arrows don’t really care about the hardness of the creature’s they impact, and the companions managed to destroy all of the marble guardians. They watched as one of the statues’ marble head rolled into the open pit…and slowly sank out of sight. Looking at each other in amazement, the companions jumped into the hole, one-by-one, and floated into the lower levels of the Lady’s Light.