The Swamp Chorus

After hearing that all the famous princesses had a chorus of animals to join in when they sung, Princess Eanchith became jealous.  To quell her incessant whining her father indulged her.  King Dulfa hired a wandering hedge wizard who set to work on the swamp surrounding the royal palace.  Good at his craft, the wizard crafted a spell to give the princess her singing companions.  However, Eanchith had no singing talent, being barely able to even keep rhythm.  No matter the power of the spell, her musical ineptitude was too much for it.  In the end, King Dulfa had to have the palace get up and move to quell his daughter’s musically backed tantrums.

What’s been left behind, deep in the swamp, is a perfectly normal toroidal pond.  It’s marshy, muddy and covered in thick binding plants.  Should a person wander by though they will find that if they try to speak, they will instead sing.  The pond will then come alive, dragging the weak willed into an elaborate song and dance routine, no matter how mundane the topic.  All the animals participate be they leeches, fireflies, frogs or apex predators.  The music is always tacky, the lyrics overwrought, the acting poor and the rhymes peculiar.

Plot hooks:

  • The creatures of the pond have been rendered immortal by the spell.  The pond is so old that the climate has long since changed, leaving a damp oasis on a dry steppe.  Maybe thousands of years old, the animals now exists in a desperate torpor as they wait for a passing traveller to sing with.  They long for death and hope that the players might be able to give it to them.
  • The spell has given the animals near human intelligence, so that they may better craft their musical numbers.  Imbued with a love of song and dance, the pond only wants to perform.  With the departure of the swamp palace and no passing roads, the pond has been left alone.  The animals are now ranging further from the pond, causing trouble wherever they go.  All they want it to perform, will the players help them sing?
  • King Dulfa didn’t give the hedge wizard his half payment on completion. His argument being that the princess wasn’t happy with the spell’s result.  The hedge wizard was infuriated by this, but didn’t take his revenge straight away.  Instead, he snuck back several days later and changed how the spell was fueled.  With twisted blood magic, the swamp now feeds on the souls of those it ensnares with endless medleys and dance routines. When the players arrive they’ll find a deserted palace deep in the swamp.

    Image Credit – Swamp by Joshua Mayer – CC-BY-SA-2.0