After Stealing Stones the PCs emerge in the Vast Swamp and after resting bear witness to a grisly scene of trapped and tortured elders of the Bloodclaw tribe. It’s a trap however, and the adventurers help a group of demon hunting warriors fight off mud monsters lurking in the mire. For their troubles the party are lent the use of a demonbane net as the locals lead them through the Muddy Mangroves. The danger sin this part of the marshlands are often and varied, from demon roots and mudcage traps to the blighted tree spirits and lightning gas haunts, not to mention the abyssal influence pervading Bloodclaw Territory.
Once the adventurers have reached the nearest Bloodclaw settlement they are brought before the local chieftain, who gives them a chance to become honorary members of the tribe by undertaking a proving quest. After tracking down some bog troll raiders and dispatching those monsters along with a few other beasts in a cavern nearby, the PCs earn the trust of the demon hunters and are given a trollbone mace, made privy to all the Bloodclaw have to offer—food, shelter, and most important of all, information. The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.ER.S. [BTW GMs: in case you missed it, those cypher notes have been decoded! —MM] have been seen in the area, heading into a maze-like part of the Muddy Mangroves. The Bloodclaw that befriended the PCs (a woman barbarian human named Varssadd) agrees to help them through the labyrinth, promising that her knowledge of the fiendish Mud King’s bogs of bane will prove vital to their success.