AiS 038: The Hideous Frog Thing

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The party waited for the fetid air to clear from the shaft and finished their breakfast, which Thangrimm had cooked. Before they could begin their exploration of whatever lay beyond the shaft, Warg declared he was feeling unwell and wouldn’t be able to join his friends on the day’s delve. The party were crestfallen as Warg’s unique blend of unsubtle violence and barely restrained homicidal mania came in surprisingly useful in many of the situations in which they found themselves. The party’s spirits were substantially lifted, however, when Grogor arrived!

The erstwhile rogue had been resting in Languard for several weeks, going about his own—unspecified and no doubt legitimate—business when he was approached by a messenger looking for Thangrimm and Johann. It seemed Uncle Borrin required their presence in Don Galir in but two short weeks. The pair excitingly speculated, Borrin may have finally got word about the mysterious Delthur and his whereabouts and that high adventure would shortly ensue! Luckily, however, this deadline meant they still have time to investigate whatever lay beneath the tower and to hunt down some bandits!

Without further ado—and with their ranks bolstered by their half-orc scout—the party descended into the shaft. Grogor crept down the stairs at the bottom of the shaft and discovered the staircase spiralled deeper into the earth. His stealthy descent, however, was ruined by Thangrimm who jumped into the hole and began to clank down the stairs. Muttering to himself, Grogor continued onwards and discovered a stone door and a large chamber at the end of the passage. 

The door fit snuggly into its frame, but didn’t appear trapped. As the rest of the party joined him, Grogor pushed the door open to discover it opened about a foot before hitting a rough hewn stone wall. Ominously, as he made this discovery, the ceiling above the door began to groan. Several of the party—Johann, Orithur and Alice—rushed passed the door into the large chamber at the end of the corridor while Grogor cautiously moved backwards out of the way. Unfortunately, Thangrimm and Genobar didn’t get out of the way quick enough and the ceiling caved in on them. Disastrously, Genobar was pinned beneath the falling rock, but Thangrimm was pushed out of the area as the rocks thumped down on his hastily raised shield.

While the ceiling was collapsing, Orithur had cautiously advanced to discover four burial niches piercing one wall of the chamber beyond the corridor and two other natural passages leading away to the east. Skeletons clad in archaic armour lay in each of the four burial niches and—predictably—they rose to face the intruders. The three made swift work of these pitiful foes while Thangrimm and Alice began to dig out Genobar.

As they shifted the rock, several of the sharp-eared party heard the sound of escaping gas from under the tumbled stones. Acting quickly Orithur brought forth vast quantities of water to damp down the dust and smother the gas; none of the party suffered any ill-effects as a result. 

After gathering themselves, and clearing the rock fall in case they should need to rapidly flee the heroes pressed on.

Grogor discovered a natural cavern, which both of the small passages leading away from the crypt intersected. Two burial chambers—each with a stone bier upon which rested the skeletal remains of some ancient hero or the like—pierced the cavern walls, and a large pool of fresh water dominated the main chamber. 

Threat and danger lurked in one of the burial chambers. As the party moved to investigate, the ghostly, translucent figure of a warrior materialised above one of the biers. It moved to attack the interlopers, but the party had prepared well for this, having learnt about ghosts several months ago in the cellars below the Alanen’s ruined manor house. The foul undead was beset by a barrage of magical attacks and it was quickly destroyed, but not before Thangrimm barely resisted being possessed. 

Surprised at the ease of their victory, the party searched the rest of the cavern and the adjoining rooms. In the other burial chamber, they discovered a heavy iron ring shaped like a swooping eagle. After much magical divinations, Alice identified the ring as a variant ring of the ram, but one that had only a few charges remaining. Several of the heroes wondered about the possibility of recharging the ring in someway and resolved to question Urmas on the subject when they returned to Languard. One other thing of interest was recovered, but this time from the bottom of the pool. The object was a small, squat statuette of some kind of hideous frog-thing. The creature had three eyes and three fanged mouths. None of the heroes had ever seen the like before except Alice who shuddered when she first saw it. She didn’t know why, but the thing awoke a strange feeling of familiarity in her mind. She couldn’t put her finger on the exact sensation, but she was repulsed by the thing but also drawn to it by some kind of unknown familiarity with the hideous idol.

Finally, with their explorations complete, the party emerged once again into the sunlight of the surface of world. They carefully replaced the capstone and obliterated every sign of their tampering from the surrounds. With this done, they gathered their possessions and returned to Languard…