In the morning, Balasar announces that he is departing from The Company of the Black Wagon. Bidding you a fond farewell and handing off the black cone to Hypatia, he accompanies Bissle, Bledsoe, Meadowbrook, Poppit, Renthro, Katuun, and Valtier Blackthorn to Restwell Keep.
Now with only four adventurers remaining in the company, you travel to The Chaos Scar. You reach the old gatehouse at The King’s Wall and encounter a blind-folded oracle. She tells your fortune for a fee.
From mud wallows comes an earthbound choir,
In this house frogs and toads croak for your blood,
Watchful Spirits caught in the Vortex,
Animal faces drowning in mud!
March swiftly for the Mud Men cometh,
To snatch your prize from your feeble clutches!
A few miles further, you arrive at a crumbling ruins now occupied by the Muckracker Bullywugs. You slay numerous Bullywug Croakers, Muckers, Twitchers, and Guards. You find a pair of magical Wrestler’s Gloves in the undergrowth.
Descending through a trap door in the ground, you enter a former study and defeat more Bullywug Muckers and Twitchers, as well as two Dretches. You open double doors to the south and battle four Bullywug Croakers, a Bullywug Mud Lord, three Gnaw Demons, and a Super Giant Frog. Rook is knocked unconscious and trapped in the jaws of the huge frog, but Wolvar revives him and he rejoins the battle.
You enter a muddy chamber with a mud vortex swirling at the far end. A magical totem with animal faces is trapped in the spinning elemental mud. Numerous Mud Men materialize from the vortex and attack you. After quelling all attacks, you use your knowledge of nature and the arcane to extinguish the mud vortex. Wolvar obtains his long-sought Totem of Watchful Spirits. Hypatia finds a ceramic pot with the label Wormtongue written on it.
After a short rest, you hear screams from behind you. Cookie yells out that Dog Boy is floating in the air and being whisked away. You bolt out of the lair and pursue along a dry stream bed, attempting to keep Dog Boy in sight. Agapanthus races ahead of the pack, passes Cookie, then arrives at a spring and follows it to the edge of a lake. He witnesses Dog Boy float into a misty cloud hovering over the middle of the lake, accompanied by a twisted gleeful laughter that emanates from the mist.
Cookie jumps into the lake and swims toward the mist. After the rest of the party arrives at the lake shore, Wolvar spots a raft with six paddles. As you paddle toward the mist, you are attacked by two Dolgaunt Dark Hailers mounted on Blackwater Serpents. A Water Dervish joins the attack, but you defeat all opponents.
Paddling into the mist, you bump up against a 15 foot high wall of black rock. Cookie is perched on the wall and tells you it is easily climbable. You climb the wall and peer down a deep crater on the other side. You descend sixty feet into a large cavern with fungal growths dimly illuminating the cavern walls. You are attacked by a Dolgarr Berserker along with three Dolgrim Warriors and a Mud Lasher. Rook forces the berserker and one of the warriors down a deep sink hole.
You hear the faint screams of Dog Boy from down the sink hole. Rook, Wolvar, and Hypatia attempt to descend by rope but fall into the black lake of a deeper cavern fifty feet below the first cavern. Agapanthus descends into the second cavern without difficulty. Strange things begin to happen to Rook, Wolvar and Hypatia who spend time treading water in the lake. Rook feels compelled to strip off his armor. His toenails grow uncontrollably and agonizingly fast, penetrate through his boots, and curl into a large spiral. Wolvar’s tongue becomes glued to the roof of his mouth and he can’t speak. Hypatia feels compelled to toss her weapons into the lake, and her chain mail armor turns to wax and melts away. Eventually Rook, Wolvar, and Hypatia swim to the lake shore. You spot Dog Boy trapped in a bridge of webs that hangs five feet above the lake surface.
Rook, Wolvar, and Hypatia become drowsy and begin moving back toward the lake. Agapanthus shoves them away from the lake edge and the three fall and pass out. A phase spider grabs Dog Boy and begins encasing him in web. A voice from the lake says, “Agapanthus, so nice of you to drop by!” It’s White Crane, who has transformed into a Dolgaunt Monk, and she is accompanied by Ruby Blue, who herself has just started to transform to Dolguant form. Cookie descends down the sink hole to the ceiling above Dog Boy and White Crane. White Crane tells Agapanthus to surrender and succumb to the powers of the Black Lake of Aberrant Splendor just as she and Ruby Blue have done. White Crane claims that Cookie has been hiding secrets from you from the very beginning, and challenges the Hobgoblin repeatedly with the question, “Is it safe?” Cookie denies any knowledge of White Crane’s allegations.
Cookie addresses Dog Boy as ‘Prince Galerant’, telling him to use the powers that were taught to him by his father, Prince Graid. Wolvar and Hypatia notice a pair of deformed goblins peering out from a secret door in the cavern wall. Wolvar hears one of the goblins say, “Too dangerous, beat feet!” before they close the door behind them. The Dolgarr Berserker and Dolgrim Warrior that Rook had pushed down the sink hole emerge from the lake fully healed. With White Crane, Ruby Blue, and the phase spider, they launch an attack. White Crane, wielding the Chaos Shard, attacks the party with a variety of strange effects and afflictions. Dog Boy teleports out of the web and onto White Crane’s back and begins stabbing her in the eyes with a knife. White Crane screeches loudly, bringing Rook, Wolvar, and Hypatia out of their stupor. Cookie drops onto White Crane from above and the three engage in a frenzied scuffle. Rook is knocked unconscious by the Dolgarr Berserker but later recovers on his own and rejoins the battle. Agapanthus is pulled into the lake but quickly swims back to shore. Ruby Blue falls unconscious, and the spider, berserker, and warrior are killed. Declaring that you haven’t seen the last of her, White Crane escapes from the clutches of Cookie and Dog Boy and jumps into the Black Lake.
You begin to search the bodies but are quickly interrupted by Cookie who spots a huge hoard of phase spiders descending into the cavern from the sink hole above. With just enough time to evade the spiders, Wolvar finds the mechanism to open the secret door. You escape into the relative safety of the tunnels beyond the door, the hungry spiders scratching on the cavern walls behind you. You find a small cave to settle down in and rest the night uneventfully.