Your first stop in this quest is the Swamp Witch’s Hut, where you’ll need to ask the Old Beldame about the missing kid. In response, she’ll instantly bring up cannibalism, which… doesn’t exactly make her look less guilty. If you succeed at a [Perception 26] check, however, you’ll be able to discern whether the witch is lying or not.
Well, that was a waste of time. Nothing to do now but return to Tuskdale and have a chat with Jenna, who should still be waiting in your throne room. When you talk to her, she’ll seem genuinely surprised that the witch didn’t abduct the boy before. By process of elimination, she concludes that an altercation between the two may have caused the scamp to run off to Candlemere Lake.
Searching Candlemere Lake
Note: Before you leave Tuskdale, be sure one of your characters knows the Glitterdust spell. It can be purchased from Hassuf in Tuskdale for 150 GP.
Leave Tuskdale once again and note that Candlemere Lake is south, southwest of Tuskdale, just south of the larger body of water, the Tuskwater. Looks like you’ll just need to explore the coast of Lake Candlemere and hope you stumble upon a lead. Follow the directions below:
- Southwest to reach landmark: A Ford Across the Skunk River
- South (cross the Skunk River)
- East to reach empty node from which you can reach Candlemere Tower
- Southwest (along Candlemere Lake and the Murque River)
- Northwest (path veers north)
- Southwest (cross the Murque River)
There are two random encounters you’re likely to find along this journey, which is the primary purpose of all this running around, along with other practical aims such as treading new ground and moving closer to your ultimate objective. If you don’t get these encounters (the second one is the one that really matters) just roam the coast of Lake Candlemere and along the Murque River until you get it.
In one random encounter you may find a trio of trolls near a river. When the trolls spot you they’ll recognize you and comment on your recent feats before wisely deciding to flee. You can attempt to chase them down and with a bit of luck you’ll pick some of them off, but otherwise there’s little else to do with this encounter.
The more interesting encounter involves two groups of Lizardfolk fighting, the smaller of which is led by an individual named Rashor. Fight off the hostile Lizardfolk, then talk to Rashor afterwards (perhaps helping Rashor out with a [Neutral Good] moral choice to get some experience) to learn that there are two types of lizardfolk, the "Longtail" tribe and the "Thickskin" tribe. Rashor belongs to the former and claims to be no enemy to humans (save for the odd tasty traveler, of course) and paints the Thickskins as irredeemably belligerent. Most importantly, Rashor will have invited you to his village, which is on the southern end of Candlemere Lake. Having no other leads, perhaps you can look for Jenna’s son there? If you choose the standard [Chaotic Evil] action to attack Rashor, you can nab a Greatclub +1 off of him.
|Reward: For tending to Rashor's wound|
Lizardfolk Village - Kagar the Rattler
Sure enough, near where the Murque River empties into Lake Candlemere you should find the "Lizardfolk Village" map marker, which to be fair was on your map for quite a while. But now you have a reason to visit!
When you arrive you’ll immediately be pestered by an elderly lizardfolk named Kagar, who wastes little time confirming that the "youngling" you’re looking for is here. Since it seems you’re bound to be searching this area in depth - which will doubtlessly involve dealing with lizardfolk tribal politics - you’d be well served by questioning Kagar thoroughly and learning about their past glory and present problems. Apparently a "Great Ancestor spirit" claiming to be the invincible hero Strishchak came from the "Forbidden Island" in the middle of Lake Candlemere and convinced their leader - Chief Vesket - of its authenticity. Naturally the spirit has made some… esoteric demands, but its aid in battle with the Thickskins has thus far earned it the loyalty of the Longtails. Unfortunately for you, Jenna’s son, Tig, is in the lizardfolk village, forcing you to meddle in this business.
Lizardfolk Village - Entering the Lizardfolk Village
There are two ways to get into the lizardfolk village: either via the front gate, or by sneakier, less direct means. If you want to try your luck with diplomacy, continue north to reach a bridge leading to the Longtail village where you’ll be called out to by the lizardfolk guarding the gate. If you rescued Rashor earlier, he’ll have made it back home and will get you inside. Otherwise, you’ll either have to succeed at a [Diplomacy 15] or [Intimidate 15] check, or give the guards five Rations and Camping Supplies to bribe your way inside.
If you wish to sneak in, make your way east, then north along the moat and walls respectively that surround the village, stopping to dispatch several Greater Monitor Lizards as you go. When you spot a damaged section of palisade, approach and pass a [Perception 15] check to spot a suitable ingress point. When you interact with it you’ll get a short Illustrated Book Episode where you need to pick the option [Athletics 15] We climbed over the palisade. then Without wasting any time, we entered the hut. If instead of the latter option you pick We came out to meet the lizardfolks., you’ll be forced into a dialogue similar to the one you’d find at the gate, allowing you to bribe your way to meeting the Lizardfolk King with five Rations or pass an [Intimidate 15] or [Diplomacy 15] check. Avoiding the lizardfolk after sneaking into the village will allow you to reach Tig quickly, which will be covered under the heading "Lizardfolk Village - The Great Ancestor", below.
Lizardfolk Village - An Audience with the King
However you manage it, once inside you’ll be granted an audience with the Lizardfolk King, Chieftain Vesket. Ask him some questions if you wish; he’ll largely tell you more boastful versions of what Kagar said. More importantly, if you pass a [Perception 20] check (checked automatically during dialogue) you’ll notice that the Lizardfolk King, despite all his bravado, is a bit worn out.
When you’re done listening to the reptile boast, be sure to say "Your tribe is holding a human child. I came to take him back.", which will elicit a prompt denial from Chieftain Vesket. You’ve got many possible ways to resolve this, but if your protagonist is [Lawful] or [Evil], you’ll get alignment dialogues that’ll get you what you want, otherwise you’ll have to pass a [Diplomacy 20], [Intimidate 20] or [Lore (Religion) 20] check to achieve the same end.
Failing all that, you can simply resort to violence, which will pit you against the Lizardfolk King, two Lizardfolk Stalkers (armed with bows), and two Lizardfolk Sentinels. The lesser Lizardfolk are little threat to you, having stats you’ve long since outgrown, but the Lizardfolk King is a bit stronger, having a decent Attack Bonus and a respectable number of HP. By now, however, his Armor Class is barely a hindrance to your best of warriors, and he’ll struggle to hit your tanks. Debuffing them with Slow and buffing yourself with Haste should be all you need to overwhelm your foes. Just be wary, as, after the fight progresses for a bit, the lizardfolk in the king’s dwelling will be joined by some reinforcements, including some Lizardfolk Patrolmen and two Greater Monitor Lizards. Don’t let them catch your squishy characters by surprise.
Should you emerge victorious from a conflict with the lizardfolk you’ll be able to loot the fallen king for Bound Thunder (a Shock Trident +1 that deals +1d6 electrical damage and can be used to cast a 10d6 Lightning Bolt once per day), a suit of Hide +1 an Amulet of Natural Armor +1 and King Vesket’s Key. Each of his Lizardfolk Stalkers will also leave behind a
Composite Longbow +1 and a suit of Studded Leather +1. Further treasures lie in a nearby chest [Trickery 35] (also unlocked with King Vesket’s Key, including a Diamond, an Emerald and a Shard of Knight’s Bracers, among other, less valuable gems. Keep in mind that you don’t have to fight the lizardfolk to loot this chest, should your Trickery skill be up to the task. They won’t attack if you pick the lock and plunder the chest.
If you kill the king, you’ll have to fight the rest of the lizardfolk in the village when you leave the king’s hut, which is honestly not that tough of a fight. This of course will void any potential interactions you could have had in the village which, honestly, are less lucrative than simply killing them all would have been. Oh well.
Lizardfolk Village - Explore the Lizardfolk Village
Assuming you didn’t kill the Lizardfolk King and talked him into letting you speak to this Great Ancestor spirit that’s been terrorizing the village, you’ll be able to leave the king’s hut at your leisure (after hopefully looting his chest!). At this point you’ll finally have free reign to explore the village, which is fortunate as there’s some loot worth grabbing and conversations worth having before you meet the Great Ancestor.
First, loot a weapon rack near the king’s hut to score some Masterwork Longspears, a Masterwork Shortspear and a Masterwork Light Shield, all of which will fetch some worthwhile gold from any merchant. Various fishing racks are less lucrative, but you can score some Rope, Acid Flasks and other marginal treasures from some sacks near a hut to the west of the king’s hut.
Speaking of which, enter the hut west of the king’s hut (marked on your map as the "Clutch Hut", inside of which you’ll find a lot of broken eggs and a wounded lizardfolk named Virish. Talk to Virish and question him to learn that the Great Ancestor apparently lied about an impending famine, in response to which the Longtails cannibalized their young. While a necessity in genuine lean times, since there’s no actual famine this just constitutes the eradication of a potential generation the Longtails couldn’t afford to lose. After learning what you can from Virish, either put him out of his misery [Chaotic Neutral] or heal him [Neutral Good], the latter of which will earn you some experience and demonstrate your goodwill to this wretched creature.
|Reward: For healing Virish|
With that done, loot some containers to the west for various food items, and a crate for a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, some Acid Flasks and some gems. Once done, head back outside and continue southwest to find an urn you can loot by another lizardfolk hovel, inside of which you’ll find a Taldan Warrior’s Dog Tag. Further southwest is another lizardfolk, Fashor, whom you can talk to, and like most lizardfolk you’ve met he’s instantly suspicious of your motives.
Question him about your missing "youngling" and he’ll reveal the sadistic side of the Great Ancestor, which disturbingly seems to have plans for the poor child. You can also pass a [Diplomacy 20] check to get Fashor’s sincere opinion on the Great Ancestor, whose actions seem to have caused quite a bit of quiet discontent among the Longtails. End the conversation with either a [Lawful Evil] or [Neutral Good] response to flavor your relationship with the Longtails and earn some experience.
|Reward: For chatting with Fashor|
Finally make your way to the east to find a small garden, near which the lizardfolk TTassath and Shalur argue. Interject yourself into their conversation to find out that the Great Ancestor’s reign of arbitrary bad advice has continued, this time targeting the Longtail’s crops. Instead of useful "heal-herb", the Great Ancestor has demanded the crop to be replaced with "dope-weed", instead. After hearing both sides of the argument, you’ll be given a chance to comment: either pick the [Lawful Evil] action to recommend following the advice of a supposed elder no matter how stupid it is, recommend they just flip a coin to decide [Chaotic Neutral] or urge them to apply some common sense, even if it means rebelling against authority [Chaotic Good]. Picking either the [Lawful Evil] or [Chaotic Good] options will earn you some experience.
|Reward: For advising Tassath and Shalur|
Lizardfolk Village - The Great Ancestor
After you’re done pestering the poor Longtail reptiles, make your way to the hut east of the king’s hut (marked on your map as the "Spirit Hut". Inside you’ll finally find Tig, but when you talk to him you’ll quickly notice that something is amiss… the fact that Tig refers to "the boy" as a separate entity. Pick the dialogue option "Who or what exactly am I talking to?" to get a [Knowledge (Arcana) 20] check that lets you know that whatever you’re speaking with, it’s external to Tig. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to be possessing the boy, but rather it’s using lesser magic to conceal itself somewhere nearby.
If you have the Glitterdust spell prepared you’ll get the dialogue option [Make the spirit visible and attack] "I don’t negotiate with monsters!". The statement itself is probably untrue, but hey, it’s clear this being, while malignant, isn’t omniscient. This will cause the spirit - Count Shimmerglow - to appear behind Tig. It’s a pretty simple combatant, using Shield to boost its already high (but not insurmountable) Armor Class, after which it’ll repeatedly cast Searing Light. The spell hurts, but nowhere near as much as some foes you’ve fought, and isolated, Count Shimmerglow really doesn’t have much of a chance.
The only possible complication to this fight is if you ended the conversation (pick the dialogue option [Leave] "Goodbye.") before attacking, in which case Count Shimmerglow will summon the Lizardfolk King and his lackeys. You’ll end up fighting the same assortment of lizardfolk here as you would have had to fight if you picked a fight in the king’s hut earlier, but with the added disadvantage of Count Shimmerglow pelting you with magic during the fight. There’s absolutely no reason you should put yourself in this position, as you can pick a fight with the Lizardfolk King any time you wish via dialogue, and you can expose and attack Count Shimmerglow at any time as well. If you do end up in this unadvised situation, Haste and Slow should be enough to muscle your way to victory.
Either way, be sure to talk to Tig after defeating Count Shimmerglow to send him on his way back to Tuskdale. Your business with the lizardfolk isn’t quite over yet, however, as when you leave the Spirit Hut you’ll witness an altercation between Kagar and the Lizardfolk King. Despite his acquiescence earlier, it seems that he’s since changed his mind about the authenticity and/or benevolence of the Great Ancestor… or maybe he’s just not on board with you killing the spirit? In any case, he chooses to vent his anger out on you, and the fact that this time none of the other lizardfolk join him is essentially a vote of no-confidence on Chieftain Vesket and the Great Ancestor.
Kill the Lizardfolk King and loot him for his Bound Thunder weapon, a suit of Hide +1 an Amulet of Natural Armor +1 and King Vesket’s Key. Before leaving the village grounds you can talk to Kagar one more time to inquire into the fate of the Longtails and their future plans, if you wish.
Lizardfolk Village - Exploring the Wilderness
Now that you’ve resolved the issue of Jenna’s missing son (one way or another), finish up this area while you’re here. Leave the Lizardfolk village via the front gate and immediately turn east and work your way clockwise around the palisade. Kill several Greater Monitor Lizards when you find them, then pass a [Perception 25] check to spot a chest half-buried in the muck. Unlock it [Trickery 20] then grab a Cloak of Shadows from inside, a useful cloak that’ll give its wearer a +10 bonus to Stealth checks as well as immunity to blindness and dazzling.
Not a bad start, but there’s more treasure to be had. Continue clockwise around the palisade (it gets tight along the northern end of the screen, but you can fit!) and when you reach around 1:00 o’clock keep an eye out for a stump which hides a Token of the Dryad. Finally, around 6:00 o’clock you’ll find Kagar (he’ll have moved east after your initial encounter), near which is a cluster of foliage that hides a second Token of the Dryad.
Whew. With that ordeal resolves, return to Tuskdale and talk to Jenna in your throne room. If something went amiss and Tig didn’t make it, the traumatized mother will leave the throne room without a word, but you’ll still get some experience for your effort. If you successfully rescued Tig, however, you’ll be treated somewhat more warmly and more importantly you’ll earn double the experience for it.
|Reward: For failing to rescue Tig|
|Reward: For rescuing Tig|