- "That cave is home to both toad demons and ogres, and both are in a foul temper from fighting over the space. Running in there is like moving from the claws to the fangs".
- –Sagacious Zu
The entrance to the Swamp Cave is located on the outskirts of the small camp set up by Gao the Lesser's mercenaries. After dispatching them and collecting the loot, you can choose to either spare (Open Palm) or kill (Closed Fist) one of the mercenaries. Then, you can proceed to the cave and enter.
Once you enter, and walk down a small hallway, a cinematic will play where Gao the Lesser causes a cave-in, forcing you to take a path wrought with danger to the back of the cave.
There are three Ogres that stand in your way. One by itself by a campfire, and two others near where the cave-in took place. Ogres move slowly, but they do cause a whole lot of damage if they manage to hit you with their mighty clubs. Attack quickly and evade if you need to by double-tapping the W, A, S and D keys.
After defeating the Ogres near the cave-in, you can loot some items from the two chests nearby. The left chest is trapped and contains a small stash of silver coins, while the right chest contains a random essence gem (for example: an Inferior Intimidation gem).
It is recommended that you save your game before this battle, because the Toad Demon does a lot of damage. A good way to fight this creature is by moving in quickly when you can, attacking, then backing away before it attacks again. Their attacks not only cause a lot of damage, but they can also poison you, which causes damage over time.
When it is dead, you gain the transformation style that allows you to change into a Toad Demon.
Gao the Lesser
After a small amount of dialogue where Gao the Lesser suggests that something sinister is happening to Two Rivers, you will enter battle. He uses the Dire Flame style that causes a lot of damage if you don't defend yourself with evasive moves. Using the same tactic as you did with the Toad Demon, continue to jump around Gao, move in and then back away until he is defeated. He may use an area-attack that knocks you down, but does not cause damage from time to time.
When the battle is over, you will obtain the Gentle Persuasion essence gem and can also have a short chat with Dawn Star before deciding if you'll leave straight away or continue to explore the cave. It is a good idea to choose the latter option, so that you can replenish your Body and Chi at the nearby spirit font. Also, there is a focus shrine that you can use to replenish your Focus.
There are also two chests for you to obtain loot from in the chamber.
Upon exiting the cave, another cinematic will play showing Gao the Greater|'s flyers headed to destroy Two Rivers. With Dawn Star and Sagacious Zu now accompanying you, you will have to use Gao's flying mosquito to return to Two Rivers. This triggers the first of the game's thirteen Flyer missions.