After an overnight rest, Erdan and Pantriss set off on their way back to Fallcrest. But as they retraced their steps, they noticed that the landscape had changed… as if the dry ground they had previously crossed had somehow become a swamp, or the Witchlight Fens had extended overnight. And the land felt somehow wrong.
This feeling of wrongness extended to the human-sized froglike creatures that emerged from the strange swamp. Pantriss named them after the croaking cry they made: bullywug.
Examining the area, they found that the new area of swamp appeared to be replacing the world in an area several hundred yards wide – and that it was growing. Pantriss took bearings from the growth at two points, and led the two of them to the heart of the anomaly. Inside a cave at the heart of the swamp, they found more of the un-natural bullywugs, together with plants, which were somehow alive – and tried to kill them. A glowing pool of water was spawning the monstrosities, and more were forming within.
Pantriss pulled the starstone that Galen Windracer had given her from her pack – and found that it was glowing with the same light as the pool. She touched it to the pool, and both returned to their inert state. The swamp remained – but it was no longer un-natural, and no more of the monstrosities were appearing.
They returned to Fallcrest, and Pantriss delivered the starflowers to Dirina Mornbrow. Dirina would brew them into a potion and give it to Galen – if he survived the next week, he would live.
Meanwhile, outside the town, Erdan was surprised by the touch of cold steel at his throat and a voice that he recognised from his past, saying “Now. Tell my why you killed my brother.”