Session 3 — Gift of the Batrachos

Session Posts

Apollonios 5th Holk, 4 AR – The Year of Feathered Downs

The party was stunned when Haned started croaking like the frog creatures when he drank the vial of liquid. He served as a moderator between the frog creatures and the others. They came to investigate the fire and lightning in the sky a few suns ago. He found that they are called the “Batrachos” and they follow an entity called “The Night Mistress”. Clinkgot make sure to let him know that only those that follow her may speak her name. If a non-follower was to speak her name, they would be driven mad and eventually die a horrible death. They also learned that the island they are on may be a continent due to the size. Clinkgot said that it would take months to travel across the land. After some more back and forth, Haned and Clinkgot moved into the ruins to look around. This was the opportunity they needed to spring the trap.

One of the Batrachos was hidden nearby and he launched a spell that caused the ground to grow sharp vines around the others in the party. The vines wrapped around them, so if they moved at all, they would get injured. The others launched a volley of poisoned daggers and arrows. A dagger struck Valerie hard in the shoulder. The poison coursed through her veins and she suddenly was afraid of her companions. She ran away and used her magic to wrap them in glowing, glittery lights. Caught offguard, the group tried to regain control of the situation, but it was getting bad. With Haned scooping up Clinkgot and moving him to safety, Valerie making things harder for the group and the others not really being able to move … yes, things were going south.

However, they were able to turn the tides as they negated Valerie’s glitter bomb with some fog and returning fire. The offensive took its toll as the Batrachos launched volley after volley, eventually bringing Baelin down. A renewed effort by the group pushed the froggies back and they began to fall. Haned was able to shake the enchantment that he was under. He grabbed Clinkgot by the scruff of the neck and threw it at the red skinned spellcaster. The toss missed, but he still slammed against the wall with a solid thud. Before long, the remaining Batrachos were killed and the group survived … bruised and beaten … but alive. Nikos was still alive, barely, but his wounds were tended to and was recovering.

Towards the back of the ruins, where the final ones were slain, Khloe found some cages. One of the cages had a dull yellow-orange scaled lizard. It disappeared the moment that she seen the creature. When she approached the cage and opened it, suddenly, there were multiple creatures. Khloe spoke to the creature to calm it and she eventually felt the creature crawl up her back and to her shoulder. The creature spoke in a whisper to her ear and finally relaxed when given some food to eat. The creature appeared for a split second before disappearing again, which had the others questioning things. It was clear that the Batrachos tortured and beat the creature.

After some cleanup and recovering what supplies they could find, including a wrought iron pearl necklace that had a divination magical aura, Nikos went back to his research with the tombstones. It turns out that they are not tombstones at all, but some sort of power stones. Once they were fixed up, they could be activated. When he did finally activate it, the stones grew into a solid, glossy black obsidian-like stone dome. An opening appeared with an inscription above it. In an ancient form of primordial, it stated “Only Magi May Cross”. Of all the party, only the wizard Nikos and the centaur fighter Haned were able to access the dome. All others were blocked from entry.

Once inside, the pair found they were in a dark intersection. It was lit internally as they could see just fine, but there were no obvious light sources and the surfaces were the same jet black stone. Each passage in the intersection lead to a misty colored fog. Brown, White, Blue and Red. Both of them knew that these were indicative of the four elements. When going to the fog walls, they were able to pass objects through and was unharmed. Some further testing with tying a rope to Nikos proved this as well. In each of the elemental rooms, there were four pedestals that held a creature carved of a semi-precious stone. The stone and the creature were symbols of the element. Eventually, Nikos claimed the eagle that was made of citrine in the Air room. Once chosen, a surface appeared with the supplies needed to make the creature his familiar. When he completed, the dome suddenly disappeared, leaving both Haned and Nikos, along with his eagle that he named Aetos.

Now the party has found a suitable location to start the colony and sent the signal for them to proceed as planned. As the boat pulls into the bay, a feeling of accomplishment washes over them. But it was momentary. Who are the Batrachos and why did they attack? Who is this entity they call “The Night Mistress“? What else is on this island? All questions that will be answered in time, but for now the task at hand was to get the colony set up.

3 thoughts on “Session 3 — Gift of the Batrachos

  1. Khloe kept herself busy over the next week. There was certainly no shortage of things to do, and she was accustomed to pitching in wherever was needed for the good of the crew. On a ship, everybody works and everybody earns their share. The lookout is as valuable as the cook or the maintenance crew. Though they were ashore, in her mind there was no real difference: they were still reliant on each other for their mutual survival. She seemed to work with a joyful spirit, the temper that balanced on a razor-thin line vanished entirely. The shift in her temperament was telegraphed by a complete change in her appearance; gone was the golden skin and fiery red hair, replaced by skin a shade of soft rose-pink, lilac eyes and a riot of spring-green curls held back by a crown of flowers woven fresh each morning. She worked with boundless energy and an annoyingly unshakable smile, often with an encouraging word for those who seemed burdened by the current circumstances.

    She would spend some time setting up fishing nets and shellfish traps and teaching the slaves how to set and check them; some time helping to make minor repairs to the surviving ship; some time with scouting crews to explore the jungle immediately around their chosen settlement spot; and of course, some time updating her map-in-progress with everything they’ve found thus far. She is often heard talking to herself in Elvish; those who understand the language may report that it sounds not like stream-of-consciousness ramblings, but more like she believes she’s having a conversation with another entity… not that this is any less disconcerting for those listening.

    For herself, she is truly delighted, and encourages the little dragon to stick around. She refuses to chain or cage it, but makes a small nest out of her palla for it, and allows it to come and go as it pleases. She vividly remembers the first time she saw it locked in that cage – and the sense of wrongness that drew her to open it. She could not have explained it with any sense. She did not object to slaves, so why did a tiny, bedraggled dragon in a cage pull at her heart so? Perhaps it was the playful giggle as it vanished that made it seem harmless. Perhaps it had seemed needlessly cruel to leave it caged, alone, to starve to death. After all, even slaves were fed and their wounds treated. Her intention had simply been to set it free, but once it had perched upon her shoulder she found herself quite taken with the little creature, and pleased any time it found its way back to her over the next week. For some reason, it reminded her of the small monkey that had accompanied her captain for so many years, and eased a bit of the homesickness she felt for her crew.

    She would ask it many questions and tell it many stories from her travels, and tempt it with whatever treats she is able to find among the supplies or scavenged goods, which she pilfers whenever no one is watching. But in general, she is happy to help with whatever projects the others may need her assistance in doing.

    One thing in particular she will want to do is investigate the wreckage around the lost ships. If there is a rowboat, a calm day, and an apparent lack of sea-monsters, she will attempt to gather a few of the best swimmers among the survivors to return to the area where the ships went down and look for anything that may be of exceptional use.

    [I’m uncertain how far out from shore this occurred – this may not be logistically possible, depending on the depth of the ocean at that point. Khloe is a fairly good swimmer and is willing to make a risky dive, but she also has a deep respect for the ocean and knows she does have some limits!]

  2. Word by word. Circle by circle. Spell by spell. Standing trees fall rapidly to wine-red Bonfires conjured by wizard staff. Lumber hauls quickly over rough terrain when transported on hovering discs of arcane force. Defensive moats, earthen walls, and structure foundations form without tools when Earth is molded by spell. Freshwater redirected into newly carved channels Shaped straight to animal pens helps everyone.  If “Wizard” has a second meaning in the eyes of the Expedition Commander it surely was now sure “shortcut” as task after task of the initial construction was completed ahead of time with a little magic. Nikos was welcomed whenever he showed up, and it scared and confused the awkward boy beyond anything he’d ever experienced before.

    His primary respite from all the unexpected attention came in the hours between the evening meal and moonrise with the companions he had already shared so much with since the fleet sank. He found himself every night spending more time around them, listening to their stories, and even if he got in their way or asked too many questions he felt more comfortable around them than self conscious. He found the right kind of wood in the jungle and carved each of them a Whistle with his woodcarver’s tools.  Nikos’s mystical bond with Aetos, the citrine-eyed eagle, allowed him to communicate wordlessly, and even see through his eagle’s eyes, but only when Aetos was within 100’. Aetos could fly outside that range in less than 5 seconds! So every night was training with whistle commands to tell Aetos to return, to swoop, to fetch, to grab, to stay aloft and dodge, etc. and Nikos encouraged all the party to join in and help him train the bird that was far more than what he seemed. After all, if Nikos fell unconscious again in battle Aetos would need direction without their telepathic link.

    While the party was playing with Aetos Nikos would spend the time going through the Batrachos Component Pouch; the bag the frogman had used to cast his spells. There were dozens of plants, shells, and stones Nikos had never seen before and several more he had. It took little experimentation to find out the properties, alchemically speaking, of the arcane components inside and now that he knew what to look for Nikos was able to find more materials nearby to finish processing the 12 pounds of bark he had already collected into a fine extract boiled down to an ink so darkly green it was nearly indistinguishable from black until the candlelight hit it just right. He knew with time he could learn more and do more with what he could find on the island. His mind raced at the additional possibilities once he had finished translating more of this ‘language of Titans’ on the ruins across the bay and uncovered the secrets therein.

    The first real experiment with these new ingredients went very well.  Nikos managed to find 2 types of wood; one brittle and lighter than cork and the other hard as stone and nearly as heavy. He carved the light wood into a Shield sized for Jomrumir, then Transmuted the harder wood into Silver. That silver was melted in a cooking pot over a hot fire, and ever so carefully the molten silver was poured, layer by layer, onto the carved shield.  Within an hour the silver hardened, cooled, and reverted to its original form of incredibly tough wood. The resulting shield was strong as iron but light enough to float easily. Jonrumir had healed Nikos after the exotic blue-horned crocodile nearly crushed him with its scaley tail, and Jonrumir had helped properly bandage his wounds after removing the arrow from his stomach following the battle. The pain had nearly made him pass out a second time, but that wasn’t Jonrumir’s fault.  Nikos hoped this small thank you would be the first of many for his new companions.
    [Every party member may, with DM’s permission, add 1 Wooden Whistle to their inventory]
    [Jonrumir may add one Floating Shield with DM’s blessing.  Message him for the special characteristics this shield has assuming I succeed in whatever rolls the DM may or may not require]

  3. Baelin’s Journal entry:

    Frogman asked Haned if we came to watch the fire and lightning in the sky.  Sounds like when we broke through the shield. They also mentioned a ‘Night Mistress’ and her name can only be spoken if you are a follower. They call themselves the Batratas?

    They attacked us! For no reason! The horseman walked into the building with them and they attacked us with thorny vines, poisoned arrows and daggers. My party took some damage but dispatched them as well. When Nikos went down, my heart nearly stopped!

    After looking around the ruins Khloe found some sort of tiny, disappearing, blue dragon. Nikos managed to cast some sort of spell and raised a dark stone tower…closet? I saw that it had “Only magi may enter” in a very old language, primordial as I remember. Nikos and Haned went in but no one else could enter. Very strange. When the two emerged Nikos had an EAGLE! He must be very blessed by the gods.

Leave a Reply