Saturday, March 27, 2010


The next day was beautiful, clear and warm, and no weather to speak of. There had been no attacks that night, and the party began to feel that they had finished off most of the organized opposition in this area of the swamp. Plans were made to head to the stockade of the frogmen that day and hopefully finish off the remainder of the tribe. As they had killed roughly 50 of the frogmen the night before, and the same number the day before that with Cadelaine’s fireball, they hoped not much more than token resistance awaited.

After curing and healing from the events of the day before, Kal once again gathered a large crop of Goodberries, and the party made their way into the swamp. The stockade of he frogmen loomed about 300 yards away atop a large raised mound in the swamp, and seemed to be surrounded by some sort of fence. On the way there, they stopped to rescue a small group of monkeys that had somehow been chased into the swamp and up a tree, one of them being attacked and killed by a swarm of leeches. Mongo accidentally stepped into this swarm, then spent time lighting a torch to pick off dozens of the creatures that had attached themselves to his legs and any exposed flesh. Endefal tricked the swam into following him with some dripped blood, and while the leech swarm slowly surged towards the priest of Attar, the monkeys were rescued by Kal and Mongo. Afterwards, the five monkeys talked some more about the city, giving general pieces of knowledge like the presence of undead, lots of serpent men and other dangers, and told Kal that a group of humans or those that looked like them dwelled in an enclosure on the far west side of the city.

This piqued the curiosity of the party and the resolved to check this out when they finally began exploring the city proper. First, however, they released the monkeys into the spur where the chittering furry creatures could begin a life without immediate predators, protected from most creatures by the nearby swamp. The party once again headed back towards the frogmen stockade. They got close and Cadelaine volunteered to invisibly recon, seeing if an entrance existed in the spiked bamboo wall surrounding the mount. While walking around Cadelaine came upon a wandering black pudding sliding through the tall grass that ignored her and she quickly put distance between the ooze and herself. Coming back around, she told the party that there were no entrances (the frogmen obviously just leapt over the fence when they wanted, as broken and crushed down foliage around the edges pointed out).

The party had also notice a large stockade type structure on top of the frogmen’s mound, that looked like something of a lookout spot. They decided to breach the wall and make for that area first. Using the spell Warp Wood Kal was able to take out a five foot section of the stockade fence and the party slipped inside…but were seen by a lookout at the tower, who began banging on a brass gong! Cadelaine quickly silenced him with a well placed arrow, but it was too late. Giant frogs began pouring out of several dark holes in the mound, and the party ran up the earthen mound to the small tower. Cadelaine climbed the wall to the top to find…nothing but a dead frogman. No escape or way into the interior of the mound! The party would have to battle the six foot long, 250 lb frog monstrosities after all. As the battle began, the giant frogs began shooting out their tongues to entrap the characters and pull them to their mouths, but in every case the party member was able to strike the tongue and free themselves. The only mishap in the battle was Cadelaine accidentally hitting Kal in the back of the head with an arrow as she fired into melee, but no permanent damage was done. Soon the nine giant frogs lay dead with no injuries to the adventurers. Picking one dark hole in the ground, they cautiously entered the mound.

As the party had battled the giant frogs Cadelaine stood as lookout, and noticed in the middle of the lake nearby a large, bubbling spot that filled her with anxiety. Something large below the surface of the scummy black waters had become aware of intruders and she hoped whatever it was would not show during the battle! She told the others after the giant frogs were finished, and they all agreed that they needed to be cautious upon exiting the mound after their business here was done.

Mongo should have know right at the start the mound was not going to be kind to him, he led the way into the mound and fell into a very shallow (2 foot) deep pit, catching some nasty pungi sticks smeared with a weird ichor that looked like excrement. After crawling out on the muddy floor the party began to be attacked by waves of spear wielding frogmen. Although the amphibious creatures were easily dispatched in most cases, they continued to attack after every few rounds. Cadelaine, searching invisibly, managed to find a strange room in the mound with several pits of bubbling goo, so she returned to the party just in time for an attack by a group of killer frogs. She thwarted the attack with a web spell, followed up by a burning hands spell which fried the vicious frogs.

Going ahead alone and eschewing a light source, Mongo thought that he would practice his blindfighting skills instead of relying on a light source…perhaps he felt the light would not allow him surprise further inhabitants in the mound. Maybe he was anxious to prove himself battling the frogmen on their home territory with no advantages. Whatever his motivations, he was set upon in a large dark and damp room and began to get the shit kicked out of him. Falling on his back on the muddy floor, he was stabbed again and again by the aggressive frogmen. The only thing saving Mongo from death was a fortuitous Protection From Enemies ’10 radius spell Endefal had cast on him upon entering the mound. While the party dealt with a few various frogmen Mongo found himself facing several tougher leader types, riding giant frogs, in the dark of a muddy room. Soon even the brave jungle ranger realized things were not going his way and began shouting for help!

Arriving to assist the foolhardy and now pin cushioned ranger, Nadal, Endefal, Kal, Gra Gra and Cadelaine (Kumar, Alando and Sholo took up the rear) brought both light sources and badly needed weaponry. With their arrival the tide began to turn, although fully half a dozen more giant frog riding frogmen appeared to do battle. The battle was a slippery, muddy, gooey mess with the fanatical frogmen fighting to the death to protect their home from the intruders. Soon the king of the frogmen emerged, riding the largest frog yet, croaking his anger and hatred. Several poisonous frogs hopped alongside of him, attempting to bite anyone who got close. Mongo used his Ring of Jumping to leap to the attack, and soon everyone was fighting in the large room inside the mound against the froggy menace. With the help of Nadal and Endefal, Mongo defeated the frog king and after a long battle the room was covered with dismembered frogs and frogmen. After healing their many wounds, the party examined the rest of the mound and found a small bit of treasure in the frog king’s lair, along with a tunnel leading somewhere beneath the swamp, and a room with pools of water containing smaller frogmen…tadpoles, really, the next generation of frogmen warriors.

Saying that everyone was thinking the same thing, Nadal was soon relieving himself in the tadpole pool, joined by Endefal and Mongo, hoping the potent brew might kill the future frogmen. Meanwhile, in a nearby room Kal managed to disturb one of the bubbling pools (which after examination appeared to contain some sort of fungus food for the frogmen) and let loose a deadly ochre jelly! The jelly lashed out at Kal but appeared to only want to leave the complex. As it rolled past the surprised Mongo, Nadal and Endefal, they struck at it and chopped it to pieces.

Soon the mound had no more secrets and it appeared that every frogmen had been totally wiped out. The party had ended any menace the frogmen might have been to the swamp and environs. Investigating the tunnel, Cadelaine (and Kal in crocodile form) found it traveled about 300 yards in five feet of water until it ended in the basement of a building in the Forbidden City itself! Having found a secret way to the city, the party decided to take the way in rather than exit the stockade more visibly and perhaps get into another combat with creatures they could easily avoid.

The trip in the dark, wet, slimy tunnel was not easy (especially for Cadelaine who was the shortest of the group and had to hang on to others to stay above water) but soon they emerged in the basement of a ruined building in at the edge of the swamp. Climbing a set of stone stairs led to a completely collapsed building, right next door to an old ruined church with one standing bell tower. Looking out over the swamp, Cadelaine saw a blood chilling sight: a gigantic, black and yellow toad thing (fully 65 feet long) with wings emerged from the black water of the lake, followed by dozens of crocodiles of every size, The frog-dragon flew to the top of the frogmen’s mound, landed on the top and crushing the tower, as the crocodiles swarmed the mound and entered the black holes. As they went inside the frog-dragon screamed its anger to the heavens and that chilled the adventurer’s souls, for if they had decided to not take the secret tunnel they might even now be facing the dozens of deadly crocs plus the dragon!!! Cadelaine, remembering there was no way to close up the tunnel, began yelling down into the basement what she had seen.

Thinking quickly, the party moved several large broken pieces of stone to cover the opening in the basement, which Endefal used stone shape on to quickly form into a large trapdoor that could not be opened from inside….not a moment too soon, as he finished he could hear noises in the water filled tunnel and see shining eyes in the darkness! Shutting the stone cover the party was well protected from any thing attempting to enter the basement from the tunnel end. Up top, Cadelaine saw the huge toad dragon rise on wings and splash into the waters of the lake, followed by his crocodile entourage. Apparently the party had gotten quite lucky this day not to face the further reptilian horrors of the swamp.

As dusk began to fall the party decided that although damp and not ideal, the basement was the best place to spend the night since it was easily defendable now that the tunnel entrance had been blocked (the only other way in being the stairway that led outside). Using flint and tinder and some wood they had found, a fire was started inside to dry off everyone’s soaked clothing, and guards were put on the stone stairway leading up. Alando cast Detect Magic on the items found in the frogmen's stockade, as well as Identify on the one magical item (the frog-king's weapon), which turned out to be an Ashante made spear of +2 power. As the party prepared for rest they uneasily noticed the abandoned church next door did not seem to be totally empty…as two bright lights went on at the top of the one standing bell tower!

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