**Miko rides a summoned giant owl to keep herself above the swamp waters, using two of them if necessary. If she mentally suggests Christov use her magic to do the same. Any extra owls are offered to the shorter members of the party.**
Miko - "There may be something hidden in the muck, be on guard. Anyone who can stay above the murk should do so."
As they moved forward a purple mist suddenly swept off of their clothing and into the swampland in front of them. The spores from the queen flowed into the ground and the earth seemed to swell up and push away the murk. A path formed in front of them laden with purple flowers. The sun broke through the misty and burned it away on the path.
After some time walking on the path the group came to another open field. In the distance they could see the castle. It looked like a straight shot from their position. Although between them and the massive front gates they could see several large lanky looking insects. Exactly how large it was hard to tell from this distance but they were big enough to be dangerous to be sure.
As they approached they could see the features of the large insects more clearly. They resembled a mantis but were fifteen feet tall and covered in six inch spines. When they got close enough to one to speak to it the thing immediately smashed a summoned owl to pulp with a single swing of a claw. The monster let out a shrill scream at the group.
Jebidiah began drawing the string and firing the dragon bone arrows towards the insects. Not being that practiced, he simply aimed for center mass and hoped for the best. He also made sure his shield was ready on his right arm while too looked for options to get past.
The other mantoths were still roaming in the distance between them and the castle. One or two of them looked in the direction of the group when their kin screamed but they seemed otherwise disinterested. Darla could see an opening under the thing's massive claw as it slammed one of the slavering hounds to the ground. The other hound leaped onto the mantoth's arm. Jeb's arrow hit true but seemed to be lodged in the chitin uselessly. He was too far away to be able to duck under the thing safely. As they noticed the vast distance behind the beast and with it's surprisingly swift movements it soon became apparent that they wouldn't likely be able to outrun the thing on foot even if they did get past it.
Cursing a blue streak, Darla rushed forward and filled herself with strength as she raised a dragonbone blade in a diagonal slash she hoped would throw the beast off guard. Or bisect it, bisection would be preferable.
In an attempt to help, Jebidiah waited for Darla's strike to connect/miss then threw his silken dagger and had it burst into webbing before impact hoping to entangle the thing. He also shot an arrow hoping to distract it even the tiniest bit from his allies.
The mantoth skittered back and just out of range of the deadly blade. it hissed as an arrow cracked its shell along the abdomen. The web pinned one of the monsters arms to its body for an instant before it spat an acidic stream onto the mass that sizzled through the mess.