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.