Kismet is making excellent time towards Brilidien, and everywhere he stops he hears tales of his boon companions Valna and Stumbleduck, who have apparently joined forces with several other adventurers. At a local turnip festival, he meets up with his entourage - Tancha, Shirk, and Berg. They are, of course, thrilled to see him and eager to hear of his adventures in the Kadagast mountains. They have secured lodging in the hayloft of a barn (since all the inns were full) and the four spend the night in comfort and merriment. However, in the morning Kismet is distressed to find that he has lost his friends' trail.
So he goes to the organizer of the turnip festival and tries to strike a bargain. He will write and perform a selection of songs dedicated to a certain root vegetable, if he will be allowed to make an announcement asking after his friends. The organizer agrees, and Kismet and his groupies get to work. They commandeer a stage (built by the festival for awards presentation), and the everyone in town gathers for the performance. After his set (and the encore, and the second encore) Kismet describes Stumbleduck and Valna in detail and asks if anyone has seen adventurers matching their description.
At this point, we had fulfilled the "moderate" threshold for the skill challenge. Mac picked up the story with the main party in the swamp.
The lizardman shaman inhales sharply at the Dragonborn's words.
"Brilidien, you say? So the rumors are true... she has done it."
He speaks with disgust, spitting out the word "she" like it was a rancid scrap of meat. He gives the companions an appraising look, and finally makes a gesture with his staff that causes his followers to take a step back; all but a final honor guard disappear into the fen.
"Proceed, dry-landers. If the tales that trickle into our swamp are to be believed, you shall need all the luck the primal spirits can spare to save your precious little kingdom..."
He holds position for just an extra moment, considering Bishop's words, and seems torn by an inner struggle. Finally, he makes an imperious gesture to the head of his guards.
"The copperblood pods."
The guardsman flickers his tongue out repeatedly, finally replying, "Sir!" The shaman rounds on him with a menacing hiss, and meekly the bodyguard gestures to his men, who all produce a number of black fruits, the size of coconuts but squishy like a tomato. A sack is found, and they are placed in carefully. The shaman himself hands the sack to Bishop, looking torn and very angry the entire time.
"You may find yourself needing this. With this aid, we are absolved of our part in her doings. Now go!"
With those last angry words, he spins around, running deep into the vegetation. His guards, finally given a task they understand, follow. A moment later, there's no sign of them anywhere.
The copperblood pods were our reward for a successful skill challenge! Apparently we were blowing it out of the water, meeting/exceeding the "hard" difficulty check each time. We were definitely getting bonuses to our rolls for our awesome role-playing, as well. Mac let us know at this point that any further participation would get us an even bigger advantage.