Here’s how it went down:
Raynard managed to finish his comps and still have time to make us some steaming good dinner. We ate and drank like pigs, then settled to work.
Our heroes stirred from their long rest. Just then they noticing the approach of nine lizardmen in three dugouts. Tense “negotiations” followed. The scaly captain, “Longtail” died at the hand of Garr in the “conversation.” (Donuts!!) Another, Snapjaw, was interested in seeking our heroes’ help to overthrow the Bullywug overlords. Terredon, the half elf monk/druid, was the only team-member who spoke draconic. A tenuous truce resulted from their diplomatic efforts. The heroes agreed to kill bullywugs. The lizardmen agreed to lead them to the castle, past the pickets and guards.
The group paddled across the swamp for some seven hours – and then waited until early morning to attack. As they finally crept forward, just outside the main gate there was a moment of confusion. The lizardmen wanted our heroes to go with them and kill bullywugs where they slept. The party was content to rush the main gate and let the lizardmen go for the sleeping bullywugs themselves. Snapjaw was adamant, “no help kill bullywugs, no truce…” It didn’t even take that much convincing. Charge! Soon our heroes were hacking, burning, clubbing, and shooting down bullywugs left and right.
But, as it turns out, there were a lot of the filthy frog-men. The battle was joined a bit hastily and our heroes were a bit spread out. Several took more damage than was necessary in the skirmish. Heroes became separated in their blood lust. Slower members of the team (Garr, the dwarven fighter) strode out beside Terredon and Himo, the fastest. When it came time to withdraw, more senseless wounds were taken. Then, the first fireball from the castle hit home. Then, the second. Characters were in full retreat now… Himo (monk) ran for the castle gate, got pelted from above by Bullywugs with melon sized rocks. He fell in the greasy fetid mud, incapacitated by his wounds. Tan Meng sent a Spiritual Weapon through an arrow loop hoping to distract the fireball flinging caster. Terredon, in dire-wolf form, carried Himo in his jaws away from the castle. But where to go? Tan Meng shouted, “we can’t hide from hundreds of frog-men in the swamp!! We’ll never get a rest out there!”
Briefly, amid the fray, an antlered figure dressed all in bark, leaves, and vines and calling the name of the earth mother herself, Chauntea, appeared and urged an end to all the senseless destruction and loss of life. He was overtaken by the wildly croaking Bullywug mob – turned into a raven and flew to safety. He reappeared a round or two later to bring Himo back from death’s door, then disappeared again.
There was only one choice. “We’ve got to get into the castle!” yelled Valeriya! Everyone ran inside. A few more of the skull-sized rocks hit home causing heavy wounds. Inside, bullywugs and lizardmen were fighting for their lives. Our heroes lit into the fray – killing more bullywugs coming from a causeway to the left and from ahead, down a staircase leading to the rooftop.
Arrows came hammering down the long causeway from the castle proper. With deadly accuracy, they sought for the heart of Tan Meng, Cleric of Chauntea. Terredon, in the form of a giant brown bear, sought to find their source – and came upon the shooter, as well as two horrible faceless white women-creatures with toothy gaping maws. Others, lest swift, followed after. The shooter ran for the end of the hall and passed through two black-clad dragon cultists as they rounded the far corner.
Terredon slammed into the two cultists, teeth and claws ripping. They responded in kind with flashing and slashing scimitars – but worse was the two bulky, pale eyeless women who dove for Terredon’s flanks, their toothy mouths opening improbably large. One bit hard and instantly hit blood, yet fed on something even deeper in Teredon’s soul. He felt profoundly weakened.
Far behind, Tan Meng, Snapjaw, and Raynard were involved in a life or death struggle with half a dozen bullywugs. Tan Meng healed Snapjaw to keep him in the fight. Raynard cast his Arms of Hadar, pummeling two of three nearby bullywugs to death and leaving the third badly wounded.
At the front, Garr, Valeriya and Brokk came running up to join Terredon. From ahead and around the corner, a particularly corpulent bullywug wearing a filthy wedding dress and an assortment of gaudy jewelry appeared around the corner and with a croak and a gesture, brought piles of thorny creepers up through the muddy causeway floor, separating nearly everyone from Garr and Terredon.
In the next moment, Terredon viciously tore one of the cultists to pieces. But his forward focus left him vulnerable to the two horrors on his flanks. He was bit again and felt further, and even more devastatingly drained. He collapsed, incapacitated.
Valeriya and Brokk tore themselves from the thorns and Himo ran around the obstacle with his great speed to cut the two white hags to the ground. The archer figure, a tall elf of regal bearing withdrew from the hall, and the corpulent bullywug followed – but not before Valeriya heaved a mighty blow on the bullywug, sending it screeching and shrieking from the chamber. Other bullywugs, taller and more heavy set than the rabble on the field before the castle, let the fat one pass through their ranks as they advanced to cover its retreat.
The group paused. Fighting continued both within the castle and on the field outside. All were beaten nearly to death. Many had fallen once or twice, only to be brought back to the fight by Tan Meng’s channelled healing of Chauntea. But that capacity is now exhausted. Many have wounds plastered with simple bandages.
All this fighting and only a couple of cultists have been killed. The castle proper has yet to be entered. Can the fight even continue? What is the goal of this assault and is it still achievable? How many more of the blind horrors can there be? How many cultists? Raynard remembered he had a scroll of Leomund’s Tiny Hut. Could that be useful? But how could the battle be put on hold? Is there even a safe place to accommodate the hut? The lizardmen are, even now, fighting to their last. And what about all the treasure from perhaps how many caravans? Is it all here somewhere? And, what are these cultists up to?
What do you do?