The incessant croaking from the surrounding bullywugs had reached a fever pitch as the monstrous creature lurched toward us, tentacles writhing, maw gaping. Halfred threw our last batch of food into its mouth, and it rolled forward again, making little indication that it had any intention to stop feeding.
I motioned to T.I.M. He nodded, and raced back to the cave where Korinn had gone. The monster’s three eye stalks swiveled around to each of us, and the croaking began to take on a nervous quality. We were out of food.
Suddenly a blast erupted from the cave as an explosion rocked the ground around us. The cave rumbled, and T.I.M. and Korinn came running out. T.I.M. was proudly carrying a glowing yellow sword, and he held it aloft as the situation around us began collapsing.
“Let’s get out of here!” I yelled. We ran as the giant monster roared out in agitation. We fled, and rounded a corner of trees. As we disappeared from view I glanced back to see a massive tentacle wrap around the nearest screaming bullywug, and pull it toward the monster’s hungry mouth.
This week we defend T.I.M.’s old home (and our lives) against warforged agents, then diplomatically deal with a nearby bullywug tribe to retrieve his magic sword.
In Ardeep Forest T.I.M. had just learned that the man he thought was his master/god/creator was really his brother, and that his soul had been forcibly extracted and put into his current warforged body while the two were adventuring in an evil tower, apparently belonging to our blue dragon nemesis.
Outside the cabin Halfred saw a pair of figures emerge from the forest, a warforged mage and a giant metal golem. Unlike past warforged agents of the dragon, this one wasn’t interested in talking. He spread out his hands and unleashed a Cloudkill spell on top of us. Roll for initiative!
Halfred was the only one to act during the surprise round and he made the most of it. After taking the brunt of the metal golem’s giant fist slams, he nimbly ran around it and charged right at the mage, flinging several arrows in rapid succession and ending with a melee bow attack flourish using his Blade Bow (he would later achieve the killing blow on the metal golem using a similar badass move).
The attack worked; the mage failed his concentration save and the Cloudkill spell dropped before it could affect anyone else. Nice!
From there we proved we are force to be reckoned with – provided we’re well rested! T.I.M. summoned his Spirit Guardians and Bryseis used Animate Object on a nearby tree, having it slam some tree-trunk size blows into the giant golem.
The mage used Misty Step to retreat, and Korinn responded by getting out her runic horn and blasting the entire forest, while Bryseis let her animated tree hunt him down and finish him off.
While the rest dealt with the golem and mage, I had my own fight in the back. After the first round a pair of gargoyles leapt down off the roof of the cabin, surrounding me while I was still in the doorway.
With my polearm reaction and awesome Phantom pike weapon (plus a little Divine Smite) I was able to take ’em both out without much of a sweat. T.I.M.’s Spirit Guardians aura helped quite a bit as well.
With their ambush thwarted we turned our attention back to the cabin. There was nothing left but to bury Enebrin, T.I.M.’s brother and the one who had saved him….mostly. T.I.M. said a few words, and we recalled that his brother had mentioned a magical sword and shield that once belonged to him before the whole soul-purging business.
The shield was back at the tower where he fell, but the sword lie buried in a cave to the north. We headed up there and found a contingent of bullywugs surrounding the cave. Korinn cast Invisibility and ducked inside, finding a large, monstrous creature blocking the way.
I decided to engage in some diplomacy, something we hadn’t had a chance to do much of lately. With a good CHA score, proficiency in CHA skills, and several mind-altering spells, it’s kind of Kazin’s specialty.
Thanks to some 20+ rolls on Persuasion I wouldn’t even need to use a spell. With Awakened Mind I could converse with the bullywugs enough to understand the situation. I convinced them there was an evil artifact in the cave and that we were here to take it away.
The bullywug chief informed me that the creature in the back was definitely one of there’s, and it would need to be sated with food. We could lure it out of the cave by feeding it, and at the same time sneak into the cave and recover the magic sword.
We gathered a bunch of food, mushrooms, berries, and even some small woodland critters, and the bullywugs formed a ritualistic path for the giant frog monster to emerge into.
The huge beast came slithering out, ambling forward as we threw food into its maw. The DM kept track of how much food we had versus how many skill checks Korinn used to find and dig up the sword, and we were running out of time.
T.I.M. ran back there to assist her. He pulled out his Blasting Hammer and slammed it into the ground, causing a giant explosion to tear away the ground. This did two things: reveal the magical sword we were after, and cause the cave to collapse. The bullywugs and frog monster began freaking out.
What followed was a comical scenario of “let’s get the hell out of here!” We fled the scene while the poor bullywugs were still trying to process what just happened. As we rounded the corner of a copse of trees, we saw the monster wrap its tentacles around one of the frog people and drop it into its mouth. Well, better him than us!