Cuthbert, a Geating Warden of Carlton --> Mortally Wounded by a Sword-stroke!
Eirikr, a Brimman Axiomar, a Liberated Prisoner
Orhan, a Wry Alfarn Spellsword
Osric de Mandeville, a Reckless and Fell-handed Dreaman Warden
- Bogusław, a Dwergar Warden of Hewflore
- Emyr, a Geating Explorer (in camp)
- Godric, a Geating Canon (in camp)
- Urien, a Weallack Canon Hailing from Carlton
Zephyros, a Scarred but Silver-tongued Ellasene Mage
- Ansger, a Loyal Dreaman Fighter
- Athelwine, a Geating Explorer from Acworth (in camp)
- Dudda, a Cheerful Geating Thief
- Fionnbharr, a Dim-witted Gallowglass (in camp)
- Henryk, a Dwergar Guard of Hewflore
- Wilburg, a Self-Confident and Sickly Apprentice (in camp)
- Xenocrates, a Cautious Ellasene Mage
NPC: Agapetos, a Horse-headed Beastman of the Sunken City, a Liberated Prisoner (in camp)
THE CHRONICLES OF ZEPHYROS
Chapter 4: The Trouble with Frog-men
As it turns out, it was a good thing we decided not to torch the inn. As we investigated upstairs, we came across a couple prisoners. Eirikr was drugged similar to us in the same inn. As an axiomar of the Maker, he’s a welcome addition to the company. The other gentleman claimed to be a merchant, but after trying to make his escape and evading our questions, we believe he is associated with the cult. The eyes seem to give it away. We decided to tie him up for now; perhaps he’ll end up being useful later.
Anyways, we liberated quite a bit of loot in a few chests scattered across the inn. During our search, we uncovered a trap door leading to the basement of the inn. Poor Dudda may need to find another profession: his ability to sniff out traps is in question after tripping two separate traps. Fortunately, he is still alive. As for the trap door, I would have hesitated to enter such a place, but considering Osric and his followers met us at the inn, we figured we were strong enough to face whatever might be down there.
We went down a set of stairs into the basement and Orhan noticed footprints leading to a secret door on the far wall. Henryk and Ansger made short work of the door; beyond were stairs leading down to a chamber in which there were several freshly-excavated shafts going in various directions. The corridors were all quite narrow and winding, making it difficult to see very far. Henryk led the way to the far-left passage, and it wasn’t long before we came across the first horror.
Three frog-men were in a small chamber, behaving almost like zombies. They had human bodies with frogs’ heads. Their fingers ended in sharpened bone points, and on their heads were two shiny metallic plugs, one on each side behind their eyes and writhing with energy. Their mouths had several rows of sharp teeth. Their furious attack caught Henryk off-guard, and he was paralyzed as his muscles involuntarily cramped and became rigid.
Fortunately, Eirikr was able to drag him to safety and Ansger took Henryk’s place, shielding Osric and dispatching the lead frog-man. Osric managed to call on the power of The Maker to hold at bay the two remaining frog-men. Confronted by Osric’s holy symbol, they clasped the metallic plugs on their heads and howled. Ansger and Eirikr used this opportunity to dispatch them. I thought to myself, “Who is responsible for these abominations? Whoever he is, he is far more powerful than us, and therefore we must be very careful how much further we venture into this place.”
We decided to retreat back to the secret room before the tunnels and rethink our situation. Plans were made to secure our position by defending the entrance through the basement. Dudda and a few others hid near the stairway into the basement. Meanwhile, me and my men would hold up within the secret room itself, while Osric and a few others explored the tunnels. This way, we could bar up the tunnels and only have to defend ourselves from one direction at a time… or so we thought.
As soon as Osric opened the door to the tunnels, our prisoner screamed out something to his master. This gave Orhan just the excuse he desired to fill the prisoner with arrows. Moments later, the hatch to the basement opened, and men with torches appeared. We were quiet as several of the men descended the staircase and entered the room. Then, I motioned for Henryk and Ansger to charge.
Together, the two dispatched a couple of the advancing men, but others behind them pressed the mass forward. I prepared a spell even as I noticed a commotion where Osric was returning to the basement: apparently, he had company. Summoning ethereal berserkers, our ranks were bolstered. At the same time, Orhan used a scroll we recently discovered to animate a corpse and direct it towards our attackers. Soon, we realized that we were facing Cowal, the local teacher, and his followers.
Henryk, Ansger, Eirikr, Bogusław, Dudda, Cuthbert, the berserkers, and Orhan’s zombie quickly gained the upper hand, cutting the enemy down right and left. However, just as the tide seemed to have flowed entirely in our favor, Cuthbert – who had sought to finish Cowal personally – was blinded by some trick on the part of the supposed teacher. Disoriented, Cuthbert twisted around, and was cut down by one of the local reeve’s sergeants. Orhan now put many of our surviving attackers into an ensorcelled slumber, and we finished the fight with Cowal’s party. At the same time, whatever was attacking Osric withdrew back into the warren of dark tunnels behind us; after the battle, I learned that it was another group of frog-men.
Osric’s men treated Cuthbert to the best of their ability, but his missing right arms and slack look made it clear he would never be the same again. Orhan directed his undead servant to pursue the creatures fleeing into the darkness. After taking a moment to equip my berserkers with torches, I dispatched them into the tunnel system ahead of Orhan and Eirikr. They encountered a large constrictor snake; they were able to finish it off, but not before it killed two of them. Exploring the tunnel system further, we found evidence of the zombie’s last stand along with a dead giant viper. However, we were unable to locate the frog-men. The only unique object we discovered was a large frog statue with a precious gem embedded in its head. Considering Eirikr sensed that it was evil, we must be cautious with what we do with this discovery.