The party comes to the lowest point in geography just before the foot of the mountain. They must cross a nasty-looking swamp before reaching the mountains. It’s the type of terrain that makes the orcs think twice before bringing an entire army north to fight the city-state, because movement is difficult terrain and swamps are hostile environments.
Once a party member reaches the 30% mark, if he or she makes a perception check at DC 20 or higher, they can see that up in the trees appears to be a hut 40’ above the water and muck. After the clamor the party will likely make while crossing the swamp, a medium-sized lizard comes out of the hut making a weird sound like a cross between hissing and barking. A round later, one of the hut’s inhabitants appears, he goes back into the hut to get the others.
• Your right foot bumps into something in the murky water. Is it a stone? A lost piece of gear from a previous adventuring party? Or maybe just the stump from a long-dead tree.
• You hear a quiet but distinct cracking sound from the muck and splooshing beneath your left foot. When you lift your foot, you find it covered with mustard-colored goo. Strands of the goo dangle from your foot, and some of those strands lead to shards of white, slightly speckled shell.
• You notice a basket of woven reeds lying nearby. Its edge is broken and it is filled with dead leaves and other detritus. As you watch, the contents rustle as if something unseen was stirring them. Suddenly five bright green snakes slither out of the leaves, they drop to the water, making quiet splashes, and swim out of sight.
• Turtles, mostly a handspan across but sometimes larger or smaller, slide into the water with barely a splash. You cannot get close to them on land, but you can see them scrunched together on a log a dozen yards out in the swamp. They bask in a strange posture in the occasional beam of sunlight, their heads and legs all sticking stiffly out from the shell.
• Ahead the landscape flows like a green, velvet carpet of leaves and algae. Your footsteps make ripples in the surface of the swamp water, and it eddies out from you to slap lightly upon the wide, black bases of the trees that rise out of the gloom. Hoary beards of moss drip from the boughs of the trees, filtering the sunlight and casting an amber glow on the water through which you wade. You hear the croaking of several frogs.
• Looking down at the water, it is pale green with many tiny floating leaves. A dozen small bugs swim away as you near the water’s edge. Your feet sink down very quickly into the soft mud when you step, and water rushes into your footprints when you move on. The muddy water slides back out into the swamp, giving off a strong smell of decay.
• The mud gives way beneath your feet. Make an athletics check to shift 1 space to the side.
The party was able to heal up after making it through the Leech Farm without angering the Leech Farmers or getting bitten by turtles or snakes or whatever else inhabits the swamp. This was a difficult challenge but the party smartly double-moved wherever possible, which was the only way to make it through alive.