Fell and Hill stared from cover at the Lizard Man Camp. It was built on higher ground, and happily much dryer than the rest of the swamp. More importantly, it was solid enough to manage to grow a few trees and bushes. This was a great thing, as both Hill and Fell were terrible at the whole stealth thing, and any cover was good.
Leif was particularly good at the stealth thing, and he was quite proud of it. He’d be showing off if it didn’t completely ruin the stealth part of stealth. Right now he was not being seen slinking through the Lizard Man camp, while Fell and Hill tried to watch his back from a distant. It was a difficult back to watch, as once again, Leif was pretty good at his job.
Fell stared instead at the huts around the outskirts of the camp. It wasn’t a camp really; as the huts seemed to be permanent. Still, Fell couldn’t find a better name for the site. Lizard Man Hamlet really didn’t have the proper ring to it.
Fell shook her head. She couldn’t decide if the problem was the hamlet part, or the lizard man part. Lizard Man. It was really lazy as far as monster naming went. Sure, they were lizards, who happened to also be humanoid, but still. Fell idly considered better names for the lizard men as a race. Leif was busy infiltrating the camp, so she honestly didn’t have much else to do.
“What about Alligorns?” Fell tried out loud. “Or Crocanapes?”
“What, like crocodile apes?” Hill shook his head. He wasn’t considering the politics of monster cataloguing at all, but was getting pretty quick at picking up Fell’s random thoughts. “I don’t think so. Alligorn I could force myself to take seriously.” He shrugged. “Barely.”
“Barely.” Fell considered. “Crocagorn?”
“Stick with Alligorn,” Hill suggested off hand. He was getting tired of the hiding bit, and it was starting to show. He fidgeted, and ran his hand over Party Starter’s hilt again.
Fell didn’t feel the same urgency. She laid back on the hill, and soaked up the sun. They’d been soaked for the past two days, and it dawned on Fell that she wasn’t even sure if it had been raining or not. That’s deep swamp for you.
Hill watched the camp for a moment more before sitting down near Fell. “I hate this part,” he admitted. “Damn twig eater goes on ahead, and we just sit here waiting.” He put up a hand to keep Fell from interrupting. A pointless gesture, as she had no intention of doing so. “I mean, I get it,” Hill continued. “But it just seems a waste of time. Leif will make his way around the camp, come back here, and tell us what we already know. There are lizard men down there.”
“And what’s it all going to add up to?” Hill left a slight pause in case Fell wanted to add anything. She didn’t. “We’re just going to attack all of them anyways.”
“Well if you feel that way,” Leif replied from directly behind Hill, “then maybe I won’t tell you about the temple.”
Hill turned quickly, and struggled to hold back the instinct to swing. “Damn it,” he grumbled. “How’d you do that.”
“I’ve been practicing,” Leif replied. “Besides, soft ground. You’d be amazed how easy it makes my job.”
Fell didn’t get up. She tilted her head backwards, and looked at Leif upside down. She’d found a patch of sunlight, and she’d be damned if she was giving it up so easily. “You said something about a temple?”
“Its hard to miss,” Leif explained. “Center of town. Ziggurat sort of building.” He thought on it. “I think everyone in town is there right now.”
“Everyone?” Hill grumbled under his breath. “If everyone in the camp is in that building, what the hell have you been doing for the last hour.”
“Rifling through their stuff,” Leif replied casually. He showed Hill a handful of coins and small gems he’d absconded off with.
“Wait,” Fell added suddenly. She sat up to look at Leif fully. “Have you been calling this a town?” She brushed some of the dry mud from her robes. “I’ve been thinking hamlet at best.”
“Lizard Man Hamlet just sounds wrong,” Leif stated matter of factly. He had been considering it.
Alligorn central, as the three had finally agreed upon, was deserted. This wasn’t much of a surprise, as Leif had only it was abandoned moments ago. They still showed full caution as they walked between the huts. It wasn’t a big place, though it was spread pretty wide. It had several huts, and a central temple, but not much else. Fell was quickly dropping it back to camp in her head.
The temple did stand out. It was a couple stories high, in a stairway design. It looked to be carved from the mud, and hardened to a glaze. The temple was covered with ornate carvings of strange tentacle creatures, and giant winged lizards. Two statues of overweight humanoids were set at the closed doors. Unlike the rest of town, there was a good bit of rubble littering the area around the temple.
“Are you seeing this,” Fell commented as she picked up some of the litter. “It’s all broken statues.”
Hill held up one piece of black rock. It looked distinctly like a dragon’s head. “I don’t get it,” he commented. “It looks like they’ve already stopped worshiping Arthur.”
Leif, Hill and Fell looked at each other, and all drooped at the shoulders in unison. No one had to declare ‘set up’ out loud. They were adventurers, for them, this was a Tuesday.
“Well,” Hill commented.
“Yes,” Fell agreed, though there was nothing to agree with. She pointed at Hill’s rock. “Keep the head. When we see the dragon, we can use it as proof that we stopped the Alligorn.” She turned to lead the others away. “We should probably…”
Fell was cut off by the sound of giant temple doors opening. This sound of course was made by the lizard men all leaving the temple in unison. There was a chorus of confused hisses and yells as the lizard men spotted the completely unhidden trio.
The lead lizard man wore a tangle of bone and shell necklaces over its otherwise bare chest. It leant on an ornate staff that could quite easily second as a club. Long tentacles of scales and skin hung from its head like a mane. The rest of the lizard men seemed to be waiting for this one’s reaction.
“Well, this is awkward,” Leif commented.
Hill nodded agreement. He stepped forward, putting himself between his companions and the mob of lizard men. “I think I can take the Lizard Man Leader, if you two can start taking down the rest.”
“Lizard Man Leader?” the Leader questioned. It stretched out its arms, and smiled wickedly at Hill. “I am the Lizard King!”
Hill looked back at Fell for a moment. “See? Lizard King,” he commented. “That, I can take seriously.”