Sunday, March 21, 2010


With their injuries healed and stomachs filled, the party set watches and got ready for possible interruptions of their evening since they had made waves with both the lizard men and frog men in the swamp that day. Trouble was not long in coming. During first watch Kal and Mongo sat quietly inside the thick plant curtain in front of the cave entrance, listening for unusual sounds.

Soon, froglike croaks and grunts filled the night. They heard the screams of what was left of the boar herd as they were obviously killed, which alerted them to possible intruders. Soon sounds of the frogmen filled the area outside the cave (as the totem only protected against reptiles, amphibious beings were free to come within it’s influence), and several normal frogs began hopping into the cave, obviously frightened. Not long behind them several large frogs with sharp teeth and claws followed….killer frogs! Kal and Mongo, as well as Kal’s ape and boar, began battling the amphibious menace as the guards shouted for help. Soon, a pure wave of killer frogs seemed to hop over the two like a deluge! Fully thirty of the monstrosities were attacking the pair, and the two each used his ring of jumping to leap back from the entrance and temporarily out of reach of the killer frogs. As they left the front of the cave, Cadelaine quickly cast Web at the entrance, trapping all but a handful of the frogs (the four not trapped were stomped and stabbed to death). The frogs were hung in the web with no way to get out, and nothing could enter the cave, so for the time being the adventurers were safe. Endefal quickly cast a Protection from Enemies ’10 on Mongo, and the group readied themselves for battle. Soon, the sounds of dozens of croaking beings filled their ears from outside the cavern, and the group heard the decidedly unpleasant sound of sharp objects striking the magic totem!

Not wanting their barrier vs reptiles to be destroyed, the party quickly made a plan. Using her Wand of Fire, Cadelaine shot burning hands at a trio of frogs caught in the net (frying them) and set the web afire, doing damage to the couple dozen frogs trapped within. Endefal, Kal and Mongo quickly ran to the front of the cave and attacked several frogmen trying to hack at the totem pole with their crude spears. The battle was on! Endefal activated his innate Sanctuary power, and the frogmen ignored him as he strode past them to find the leaders. Kal quickly threw up an Entangle spell that caught many of the frogmen in it’s grip; Mongo began laying about the creatures with his twin swords. The numbers were overwhelming as almost 50 of the frogmen hopped forward with spears to attack, but Kal and Mongo held them off with flaming spear and swords, respectively. Inside, Nadal, Sholo, Cadelaine, Kumar, Gra Gra and even Alando began smashing the surviving killer frogs against the rock floor. Unfortunately, the charmed wild boar fell under the frog’s assault and was bitten to death by several (causing Nadal to remark that wild boar would again be on the menu that evening!) The other deadly frogs were slowly crushed one by one, even as Kumar and Alando took ferocious bites about their body and had to retire from combat to bandage their wounds. At that point, frogmen began hopping inside the cavern from the outside, and Sholo and Nadal went forward to join combat as Cadelaine provided missile cover and fortuitous Sleep spells to stop the invasion into the cave. Gra Gra was badly speared by a frogmen and fell unconscious, requiring bandaging from Kumar to heal the nasty wound.

Outside, Mongo proved just as effective vs the amphibious beings as he usually did vs reptilian creatures, cutting a huge swath through the creatures with Kal aiding him. Endefal had made his way to the leader types, but he was spotted and a couple resisted his innate Sanctuary power enough to attack. The leader of the frogmen sat on the back of a giant frog with dozens of other frogs hopping all around him, and he finally stirred his mount to action as they hopped forward, croaking orders. After battling the frogmen for awhile, the entangle spell fell and even more of the frogmen tried to pour onto Mongo and Kal, who fought their way to the leader. In their minds the destruction of the leader frog might turn the tide, as the frogs now attacked with fanatical fervor. With Nadal and Sholo guarding the cave entrance, the druid and ranger slowly worked their way towards the leader, killing frogmen all the way. At the same time, Endefal had managed to finish off the two frogmen attacking him, and came at the leader from the rear.

The frogmen leader and his giant frog mount hopped into combat, and the giant frog’s tongue wrapped around Mongo and dragged him to it’s maw. However, with two swift strokes Mongo cut the frog in half, and then knocked the leader to the ground, where Endefal crushed the skull of the startled amphibian. Suddenly, panic set in among the still living frogmen and they began croaking in panic and hopping off into the darkness.

With the siege broken, the party members dragged the sliced up bodies of the frogmen far away from the encampment, then went back to the cave to rest up. Sholo, Kumar, Alando, Nadal and Gra Gra were heavily injured and required rest. Frog blood and guts covered the floor of the cavern and had to be cleaned and the dead boar was sadly (or hungrily, as Gra Gra and some of the party members salivated thinking of the cooked meat) skinned and butchered for food.

The next morning, an uneasy night’s sleep bore little rest for the exhausted party members. However, they did re-learn their spells, and Kal used the opportunity to cast multiple Goodberry spells on the surrounding foliage. The tasty berries could be used to bring many of the party members up to speed, as did the healing spells of Kumar, Alando, and Endefal. While walking through the spur, Kal noticed the dearth of any life, including the rest of the wild boars (who had been slain by the frogmen). Dragging a couple of boar corpses to the cave, these too were butchered and the meat added to the party’s dwindling stores of fresh food.

After spending the early part of the day healing, cleaning, and once again fortifying their cavern base (Kal assisted this by re-casting a Plant Growth on the entrance to again block it from sight; the attack of the night before had torn down most of the vine and ivy curtain shielding the opening), the parry discussed their next move. Two items of interest were on the table: the frogmen and the lizard men. The frogmen, losing fully 50 of their number the night before (as well as a large number to Cadelaine’s fireball the day before) might be ripe for a final attack. Their stockade, surrounded by a bamboo fence, could be seen several hundred yards away from the edge of the spur on a raised hillock in the swamp. However, Mongo’s hatred of all things reptilian soon convinced the party that the now-depleted ranks of the lizardmen were ripe for conquest also. As over 30 of the beings had been killed the day previously, perhaps their cavern would be lightly guarded and ready for conquest.

Finally, the party decided that they would deal with the depleted lizard men and their cave first, saving the frogmen’s enclosure for a future date. Unfortunately, this would mean another trek through the swampy mess that had bothered them so much the previous day. Resigning themselves to the muddy travel, they first had a flying Mongo check out the cave entrance, but he saw nothing. The group, traveling along the cliff wall, did not encounter anything but found their battlefield the day before. Surprisingly, except for churned up mud and broken plants, little evidence existed of the battle…crocs and other predators may have carried off lizard man bodies and parts, and the grass and plants seem to already be growing back into place….in a week there would be no evidence at all anything unusual had ever happened here.

When the party reached the large cave mouth, Cadelaine volunteered to invisibly scout ahead and see where the lizardmen were. She quietly swam up the wide corridor, as it came to a division into three directions, each guarded by a lizard man. There was, however, no further sign of lizard men, and the caverns were quiet. Going back to tell the party, before a plan of action could be decided on, Mongo flew ahead to confront his foes. He immediately came into battle with the three lizardmen, and with Nadal and Kumar backing him up, slew the trio. Investigation of two of the corridors found large rooms that looked hastily abandoned, with no eggs or belongings of the lizardmen. Apparently a quick desertion of the area had occurred with the slaughter of most of the warriors of the tribe. Kal, in crocodile form, floated up the third corridor and found one leader-type lizard man guarding a chest of treasure. Thinking Kal was a “friend”, the lizard man spoke to him and told him to help him in his ambush he was going to spring on the humans…when battle was joined, he would ring a large gong, causing a group of lizardmen in the swamp to rush in behind the humans. Playing along, Kal spoke with him awhile in croc form, finding out the tribe had left after the disastrous attack the day before to join another tribe further to the west. All indications were that the force left behind was not extensive. Going back to tell the party, Cadelaine snuck up and using her Stone of Silence, stood invisibly near the gong as Mongo, Endefal, and Kal attacked the lizardman, killing him. They in turn set their own ambush for the lizardmen, getting in place and then ringing the gong themselves. Over twenty lizardmen rushed into the chamber and immediately entered pitched combat. The joke however was on the party as these lizardmen (soon joined by another 7 leader types) fought with a desperation and ferocity that threatened to overwhelm the adventurers. Even after two Sleep spells by Cadelaine and two Hold person spells cast by Endefal it was still a tough battle. Again and again the lizardmen scratched and bit the adventurers, until finally, slowly, the battle turned and after many rounds of combat all the lizardmen lay dead.

Extensive healing was in order, and the party would have to rest after the day’s events back at the cave, due to the damage the lizardmen had done to them. Taking the chest with them (which had obviously been left as some sort of lure), they found it contained 700 old silver pieces, one gem, and a scroll tube with a single mage spell within. Nothing of note happened on the way back except for Kumar being attacked by a swimming giant bloodworm, which luckily was killed after only doing a small amount of damage to the priest. Back at the cave, they roasted the wild boar, and again several party members began stiffening up and running fevers due to something they had caught while traversing the swamp. There were enough Cure Disease spells for all except Endefal, who after being diagnosed by Mongo as having a sickness known as “Stiff Neck”, learned it often faded away after a day causing no more than stiff muscles and neck joints. Determined to fight his way through (and, since he possessed potions vs disease he could cure himself if it progressed any further), Endefal resigned himself to having the disease and becoming immune to it in the future. As the night before, the party set up watch hoping for no repeat of the last evening’s festivities, but prepared in case the frogmen or something worse made an appearance.

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