Baylee sat an the floor of the cold cave with her eyes almond shaped eyes closed. Centering her mind, she felt the weariness she had felt from the previous battle slowly fading, replaced by a keen sense of focus. Across from her, Bakaruda was wiping blood off of his shield and cleaning his sword. Even Baehrface was looking spent after their last battle despite the crooked smile he perpetually wore.
“Which way should we go?” asked Baylea.
BArannis spoke up. “I’m going to continue this way. I’ll meet up with you guys later.”
“My friend,” interjected Bakaruda, “perhaps we should stay together. When first we met, you were floating half unconscious down a waterfall.”
BArannis chuckled and replied. “Trust me. I’ll find a way to get to you later.”
With that, the trio picked themselves up and with a few more words, said goodbye to their new friend.
After some debate, they decided to go down the unmarked path. The stone passages snaked in front of them, leading them down further and further. The rough-hewn stone suggested the worn remnants of an ancient culture having been there long ago. Baehrface lead the way, slinking along the edge of light provided by his dragonborn ally. Here, between the edge of darkness and light, he felt most at home.
Before long, they found themselves at the corner of a glowing cavern. Baehrface signalled a stop and quickly looked around the corner. Several more frogmen stood sentry around the bend. Silently. he signalled the attack with the flash of his dagger speeding through the rank, dark air. Despite having seen the light coming towards them, these frog-monsters hadn’t spotted the rogue sneak up on them. The first foe was quickly dispatched, but not before the alarm sounded and a stream of menacing amphibians threatened to surround the heroes from all sides.
Working in concert, the team covered each others backs, picking off the weakest, yet still dangerous, of the monsters. Knowing they were outnumbered, they kept their backs to each other except for those two or three key times when it made perfect sense to exploit a weakness in the enemy’s approach – Bakaruda smiting an approaching group with the holy fire in his belly, or Baylee single-handedly plugging a chokepoint where the foul creatures sought to flank the heroes.
Down to the last two, Baylee reaches out over the closest frog-monster’s head to reach the further foe. Before the closer one can gurgle a twisted sigh of relief, she draws her quarterstaff back against it’s skull, striking a vicious blow. With the immediate threats taken care of, she hustles over to her friends, who hadn’t expected her back so soon…
The rest of the battle fell into the easy rhythm of a dance they were all used to by now.
After the battle was over and the rest of the frogmen lay slain, the party searched about. The huts around them seemed to be barely inhabitable. The only building that seemed to have been used with frequency was a foreboding structure with an altar to the frogmen’s evil goddess. The shrine was covered in blood and a foul stench lay in the air. Baylee swam beneath the water in the pool beside the statue. The water ran deep and she was forced to return before asphyxiation took her.
Looking about further, the party crossed a stone bridge and found an ornate door covered in shells and coral. Baylee attempted to pick the lock but was unable to slide the pins into place. Baehrface took a look and with a few nimble twists of his green hands, the lock clicked into place and they were able to break through. Inside, they found what looked like a prison for the frogmen. As soon as they crossed the threshold of the corridor, the cells opened and
deranged frogpeople attacked. In the midst of the frogmen’s attack, a figure stood silently watching. A purple-skinned being carefully gazed, watching the stoic paladin and brave halfling fight the swarm of frogmen around them.
Without a word, he glided past them, using a powerful barrage of psychic power to knock them away. In his haste, he did not notice a little green hazard in his path. Baehrface knew this one for what it was. An Illithid. A powerful denizen of the underdark. As the tentacle-faced monstrosity moved ran past him, Baehr interposed with a well-placed dagger in his bony skeleton. Quickly leaping up, Baehr knocked out the mentalist and landed atop his thin frame,
delivering another blow to the back of his head. “Don’t kill him!” yelled Baylee. With a shrug, Baehr rejoined the party.
Bakaruda, still reeling from the mind blast, collected himself and threw his weight against the remainder of the frog men. Together, they trio finished off the slimy cretin and turned their focus back to the Illithid. Only Baylee was able to speak to him in his own language but the other two spoke with him using the language of the mind. The Illithid was reluctant to speak with the green terror that stood before him, and instead chose to commune with Bakaruda and Baylee. The two of them quickly found out that the Illithid was a prisoner there and decided to let him go, but not before finding out more about the frogmen. They were an ancient evil, a bane of sailors throughout the ages. They were here to reclaim the land, pulling it into the sea. The party, weary from their efforts, hustled back to Akelos’ tower for refuge before heading back into the fray. The next day promised more danger, and a chance to rid the city of more foul frogkind.