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.
Ajada (native Ashante warrior): An employee of House Valaryan, Ajada is a caravan leader. His job is to relay orders between the merchants sponsoring and travelling with the caravan and the native drovers, porters and bearers who take care of the animals, carry the supplies and guard the caravans that pass travel through the jungle. Ajada is typical of his profession, a no nonsense, mirthless man who has proven to be trustworthy in the past and very good at his job. Due to several odd pronouncements the party suspects he might have cannibal blood somewhere in his family tree...
Alando (human priest of Vistna): A tall gangly young man who is awkward in social situations, Alando came to the Temple of Vistna in Port Maurgre under circumstances he won't divulge (except to say he was being "punished" for some undeclared fault). As the newest and youngest priest at the temple he had been assigned to the high priest, Vespasian, and often runs errands for him. He has been assigned to travel with the party to the fabled "Elephant's Graveyard" deep in the jungles of Delos (and later the "Forbidden City" even deeper in the jungle's depths). Along the way he has become a bit more outgoing and has risked his life for the party, especially for Cadelaine who he has developed a bit of a crush on.
Ardu (native Delosian human Ranger): Ardu is the uncle of Mongo, and left his tribe long ago to work with House Valaryan. Over the years he has become a trusted and valuable guide for trading expeditions. As a youth Mongo and his brothers always looked up to Ardu, who has a blunt, black humorish style about him that endears him to most. He has taken Mongo under his wing since the destruction of his village, and has been assigned by Gam to look out for and educate the adventurers on the dangers of the jungle and how to survive them. Later developments find Ardu kidnapped by the evil serpent men and taken as a captifve to their stronghold, the Forbidden City (where Mongo and his friends have traveled to rescue him)
Ark (human ranger): A evil mercenary in the employ of House Tarn, he and his group were hired to steal a map of the Elephant's Graveyard that had come into the hands of the priesthood of Vistna. After stealing the map, Ark and his companions were then paid to find the Graveyard and secure the area so that House Tarn could exploit it (killing anyone who got in their way). Unfortunately, on the way to the Graveyard his party was attacked by cannibal headhunters, and then by the group of adventurers, and he and the other mecenaries were defeated. Captured for questioning, a Helm of Alignment Change was placed on his head, and now Ark loyally serves with the party due to his new LG nature. Ark perished in combat with the priest of the elephant god, Honapo, as he was stung to death by summoned wasps then crushed by a clay golem.
CADELAINE (silver half-elven mage/thief): Daughter of a silver elven ambassador to The League and the head of House Valaryan (making her Nadal's half-sister), Cadelaine stowed away on a merchant ship to Delos to save her adopted family from future problems. Her mother (a sorceress) having passed away, and her father refusing to acknowledge her, Cadelaine moved in with a local baker's family whose son idolized her. Learning the fine art of burglary with her friend to supplement her adopted family's income, she felt she had to leave as she became older and her resemblance to her father became more pronounced (perhaps causing trouble in the future as questions would be asked). Taking a ship to as far away a location as she could, she hopes to start a new life far from the sad reminders of her past. She has been employed by House Valaryan to obstensibly work off her debt for the ship ride to Delos.
Captain Bohema (Human corsair): The Captain of "The Morning Sun" is a large, bawdy man. His job seems to be a continuous circuit of trips, from Delos (where he picks up trade good such as mahogany, ivory and spices) back to the League several thousand miles away, where he unloads his booty to gather steel weapons, beads, and cheap gems, and then back to Delos. Not without compassion, he took Cadlaine under his wing when he found her stowed away aboard his ship bound for Delos, and rescued Endefal when he was found floating in the ocean. He recommended both to House Valaryan as employees on his judge of character.
Damu (wererat warrior): An inhabitant of the Forbidden City, he is one of the leaders of the wererat clan that has existed in the long abandoned sewer system for many centuries. Enemies of the serpentmen, they have quietly battled their reptilian foes from the shadows. Recently Damu and his ratkin have attempted to capture and turn the party to lycanthropy for the good of the wererat clan. His plan failed, and he managed to escape to perhaps again plot for the capture and corruption of the party.
Desteri (human mercenary fighter): A member of a ill-fated caravan raided by serpentmen, Desteri was captured, then escaped, from the reptilian clutches and eventually made his way to the mongrelmen's camp in the Forbidden City. Soon charmed by the elven mage Aratheas, he was her willing bodyguard and plaything until a Free Will spell cast by Endefal gave him his mind back. Escaping with the party after the death of Aratheas and confrontation with the mongrelmen, he was found to be a crude, rude and impetuous warrior with few redeeming qualities but his sword. Soon charmed again by Kal, he followed orders until once again being freed from the charm by a inadvertent Dispel Magic. Taking back up his impetuous ways, he was badly injured by a group of evil Kani dolls who he accidentally activated while adventuring underground. For now, he is still with the party until they tire of his nature, or charm him again. Finally, catching the figther in the act of searching Cadelaine's unconcious body, Alando attacked him and was seriously injured. Mongo at that point was fed up with the ill-mannered mercenary and chopped his head off, ending his brief association with the party.
ENDEFAL (gold half-elven priest of Attar): Little is known of Endefal's past, except that he was captured and held aboard a Taranthian slave vessel, where he learned the word of Attar from another priest posing as a simple slave. When that slave-priest was beaten to death, Endefal found his calling in the word of Attar, and attempted to destroy the ship many times until he finally escaped. Found floating in the ocean by Captain Bohema of House Valaryan, he is being employed by them to work off his debt for his rescue. Endefal is quiet, brooding, and has a hatred for slavers that perhaps encompases even Mongos.
Gam (human ?): Called "The Patriarch" by most members and employees of House Valaryan, Gam is a older, scarred, grizzled individual of a few years. How he came to Delos, and how he became the leader of House Valaryan on Delos is unknown. He is gruff and blunt, but not entirely cruel. Above all he seems to be motiviated by profit, for himself or his masters at House Valaryan no one knows.
Gra-Gra (Carnivorous ape companion of Kal): Charmed and befriended instead of killed, Gra-Gra has proven to be quite a beneficial addition to the adventurers. Fighting with the strength and ferocity of any warrior, he has proven himself time and again a valuable fighting force. His habit of stopping to take a bite of almost anything he kills in battle (usually by ripping it in half with his claws) is distasteful but .... Sadly, the ape was killed in battle, burnt to a crisp by a delayed blast fireball cast by The Immortal King in the caverns under Kitanga.
Horan (Black necromancer in the Forbidden City): A enigmatic force in the city, he controls many of the patrolling undead that walk the streets of the ruins. He says he is only there in search of ancient knowledge, whether foe or ally cannot be determined, although he seems to be bearing a grudge for injuries to his servant Kwano (a female necromancer apprentice of his) by the party, and is apparantly shadowing them through undead servants such as bonebats. To display his power he killed the priest Endefal with a Death Spell, and seems to have various unusual and deadly spells at his disposal (as well as the power to speak and act through undead). He resides in a large, well kept mansion in the city's SW area, behind a stone wall, guarded by various undead creations.
KALPHISTANE (gold elven druid): Kal (as he is known) was part of an ill-fated expedition to find some trace of an elven force that had landed on Delos over 500 years ago and then disappeared. With members of the Vistnan priesthood assisting, the expedition had not gone far into the jungle before being attacked by the dreaded Snake-men and their allies, killing his mentor and the other elves Kal traveled with. Returning to Port Mauge with the survivors, Kal stayed with the Vistnan priesthood awaiting further contact with the priesthood of Faerel. As the weeks wore on he realized that no further assistance would arrive, and is now working for House Valaryan to pay his way and hopefully use his time with them to become more attuned to the jungle so he can search for this lost elven city on his own.
Kumar (human native priest of Attar): Rescued by the party from slavers, this horribly scarred young man (a large ugly whip lash crosses his face) found Attar when he prayed the night he was captured. The god came to him and offered him help if he would assist others who also had been taken slaves, and thus Kumar became an acolyte. Seeking out Endefal when he had been rescued, Endefal realized the native boy had been touched by Attar, and took him on to guide him. Since then Kumar has participated in the group's adventures, often showing a reckless disregard for his safety when he rushes into combat unarmored screaming "Attar" and wielding a large war club.
MONGO (native Delosian ranger): Mongo watched his entire family except for an older brother taken captive and sold off into slavery by Tzulan warriors working for the Taranthian priesthood. They were not the first or the last Ashante tribe to be treated thus, so he swore sword vengeance against the Tzulans and their Taranthian masters and vowed to slay them and rescue his family. His older brother left him in the care of his uncle Ardu (who is employed at House Valaryan as a ranger scout) while he tries to track down their family and get word back to Mongo to join him. By then it is hoped that with the teachings of his Uncle Ardu, Mongo will have become an experienced and deadly warrior. Now that Mongo has taken up worship of the Elephant God and wields the sword Sentinel, he has also become the protector of the Armec tribe in their secret valley. Mongo's chosen enemy is the serpent men and any reptilian monster, due to some unspecified event that happened early in his life.
Roho (Human native fighter): Roho was an Ashante tribesman who was assigned to guard Kalphistane during a battle against Tzulan warriors. Kalphistane was the first elf Roho had ever seen, coupled with the elven druid's flaming spear, spell use, and generaly inability to fight well, Roho had assigned himself to guarding the druid and protecting him in battle. Kal's exoticness and spell use made him (in Roho's mind) an emissary of the Forest Gods so he must be protected. After several adventures with the party, Roho was killed with a poisoned blade while battling the evil mercenary thief Jakk
Sholo (native fighting man): Sholo was part of the Armec tribe, a "lost' tribe that had for centuries lived in the valley of the elephant and then guarded the entrance to the valley (after being chased out by the evil priest Honapo). Sholo was the chief's son, fully ready to take over the dying tribe for his father when the burden of leadership was passed on. The arrival of a group of adventurers, who destroyed Honapo and made the valley once again safe for habitation, was a turning point in the young man's life. Inspired by these heroes, especially their leader Mongo, he vowed to follow them to learn more about the outside world and experience adventure. Perhaps he could also spread word of the Elephant God, and someday come back to lead his people with the experience and wisdom of having traveled the jungles of Delos. Sholo is quite young and raw but quite strong and fast, and after being given a magical short sword by Mongo, has proven quite skilled in it's use.
SIR NADAL KINSWORTH VALARYAN (human fighter): 5th son of the present head of House Valaryan, Nadal has been sent to far-off Delos to get him out of the way so he won't muddy the waters of succession. Thinking he was beng sent to Delos in order to take command of an army of men, Nadal quickly had his hopes dashed as he given the the lowest position (mercenary) upon reaching the House Valaryan outpost in Port Maugre. However, despite some initial disappointment and prissiness, Nadal has seemed to adapt well to the vagaries of life in the jungle and is looking at the experience as a "toughening up" period that will make him even more suitable to one day lead House Valaryan
Talith (human fighter): Talith is head warrior of House Valaryan. Although not a native Delosian, he has come to know the jungle well after many years serving the merchant house there. All preparations for trade expeditions are nominally under his control. Right now he is stationed in the Valley of the Elephant supervising the gathering and shipment of hundreds of pounds of valuable ivory
Tula and Ular (native Ashante warriors): Twin brothers of a young age, the two cheerful warriors were captured by serpentmen to be used as sacrifces. Escaping their clutches, they joined the mongrelmen area of the Forbidden City and were well liked by their fellow "lost explorers". Escaping with the party after the mongrelmen attacked following a mishap, they loyally follow the party in their quest. They are especially impressed by Mongo, who they hero worship from afar. Unfortunately, Ular had been bitten by a wererat while in the undertemple below the city, and after showing signs of being ill, changed into a giant rat and disappeared into the darkness.
Vespasian (human priest of Vistna): The head of the temple of Vistna in Port Maugre, the old gray haired scholar has spent many years in the jungle port. He seems to be driven (like many other Vistnan priests) by a thirst for knowledge about the jungle continent, it's legends, history and people. He is known for sponsoring expeditions into the jungle interior to aquire ancient or forbidden knowledge.