After agreeing to take Thog with them to Santa Cora, they decide to use Malefagor to see if he can teleport them any closer to Santa Cora. As luck would have it, he does manage to get them somewhat closer. Unfortunately, that location is smack in the middle of the stinking swamps and marshes of the Knee Deep.
As they wander the swamp searching for a way out, they come across the hut of a swamp witch. Wisely deciding they don’t wish to anger the witch, they politely knock on the door and introduce themselves. She happily invites them in and introduces herself as Irim. She explains that she lives in the swamp because it provides her with the ingredients necessary for the various potions and formulas she brews. Kinich and Belkas perk up at this point, hoping that she might be able to cure the diseases they’ve been stricken with.
Irim says that she would be happy to help, but that they will need to gather a few ingredients for her. She asks them to collect a handful of a purple wildflower that grows nearby and the tail of a manticore, who has a cave to the north-east. The group readily agrees and heads out in search of pretty flowers.
Finding the flowers proves simple enough, but they find that a group of lizardmen have beaten them to it. Wishing to avoid conflict, Sarik manages to bond with the lizardmen over their lizard heritage. Explaining that the others are just her slaves, she asks if they would be willing to share the flowers with him. Us lizard-folk have to watch out for each other. The lizardmen are impressed by the slaves Sarik keeps and agree to part with some of the flowers. With the first half of their quest complete, they set off to fetch a manticore tail.
Outside its cave, the manticore is found sleeping peaceably. Fawkes and Belkas attempt to sneak up on the slumbering giant but are quite unsuccessful in the attempt. A pitched battle ensues, as is wont to happen, that ends with our heroes bloody but triumphant in the end.
Returning to Irim’s hut, they provide her with the requested ingredients. She then brews up two very effective and very vile potions, curing Belkas and Kinich of their ailments. With directions provided by Irim, they head towards Axis and the next leg of their journey.