East of Winter

Fens & Frogs

So I am sitting there at the bar, like you do, and old Garoka Brightmine comes in looking purposeful.  He gathers up this little goblin girl Kawli, two half elf birds Soraya and Aila, and your's truly to go track down a couple of missing woodworkers at some pier being slapped together up north.

We get together a cart and hitch up a mule and a very fine horse for all the essentials to not freeze our collective arses off tromping round in wet ground during waxing winter.  I am looking into getting some soda tablets to hold off the heartburn that comes with cheap booze and trail rations of a march and Kawli, who is a chatterbox mind you, says she has the food covered. So instead I double down on blankets and some extra wool socks. Don't underestimate the importance of warm thick socks.

We make pretty damn good time getting to this pier where the carpenters have finished the pier and are now working on a boat. Good rutting work.  Speaking of rutting, according to ol' Jacob his two wood workers got a little lonely one night and went for a toss.  Got waylaid and drug off.

Aila got all fancy and described a water based ambush and a bit of a struggle, but the gobbo girl and I saw enough to see a couple big ass frog feet dragging some randy day labors north west.

I'll admit these adventurer types have some skills.

So I am not one to complain.  But details or whatever.  So it was cold and we made it.  

We made camp one night on stretch of dry ground that Kawli was able to locate. Now this aint her fault, but we got ambushed by a whole mess of creepy little frog men. She gives a warning shout and then rattles her stick around then the swamp sort of…starts…trying to drown those little frog bastards.

I jump up and grab my trusty but never rusty halberd and take one bastard's stupid frog face off. I know the magic elf birds work some terrible wonders on these puddle jumping slime slingers. I saw magic bolts flying around and arcane words of power.  When this kind of stuff happens I put on the old battle blinders and just start hacking and swing the weapon at anyone who didn't take a watch with me.  I got a couple more I think, but they are little fellas so I'll only count them for half.

Well that camp was ruined so we loot them and find some decent hazard pay. Hit the trail.  A couple of hours later we see two more of the little bug eaters.  Aila holds up some of her fair decent dandelion hooch as a peace offering.  And this pink one draws a line in the sand.  Now I am not a learned man, but I know what a line in the sand means.  We spot a couple more hiding out in a puddle.  

I move up with my weapon a heart beat before Soraya runs up and just does something.  Not sure what.  And one of these little spearfrogs jump up at her.  But I've seen this move. So I give the marshy moron a free pass to whatever little swampy hell he prayed for with one blow. 

Aila shoots fire, bleeding real fire, at them.  The gobbo stomps her feet and blast the pink one back with a deafening thunderclap.  I don't understand Soraya's magic, but it seems akin to a drill sergeant just making you want to curl up inside and die.  But worse cause it is also wrapped up in that like smirky better than you noble bearing thing. Is she a noble?  Anyway she mostly talks at people or stares at them but things happen. And then if you run wham, steel to the guts.

Anyway pinky gets his head out his arse and covers the whole place with thorn bushes that seem part shark or something. And Kawli is like suck eggs frog boy and makes the swamp try to kill em again.  The whole time Aila just shooting fire like its arrows pulled from hell.  Well I chuck a few throwing spears, but eventually see we are both pinned down pretty damn good.  Figure we can't stay this way and charge out.  It hurts. Pretty bad, but not the worst I've had.  Then once I break out the whole thing disappears after smacking pinky around a bit.

I don't regret it. Can't let the spell slingers think that stuff would work on old Jelder.

Well we decide to take a halfling lunch since the camp screwed our sleep last night.  And feeling a bit better if I do say so we head out.  Sun goes down but during the break I lashed about five torchs in a loose bundle to light quick fast and in a hurry.  We eventually find a bonfire and two yokels, one was Harold by the way, strung up in cages over some nasty looking water.  We throw a few torches around move into the camp expecting an ambush.  Which we got.  Big ugly muscle orange looking bull frog jumped down in front the half elves.  But the caster were ready.  Kawli jumps around and waver her arm and bam the tree starts trying to kill the damn things.  (Side note don't fight Kawli outside.) Soraya decided we needed some terribly ominous pipe accompaniment.  I don't understand what she does, but it works.  Anyway Aila shoots some fire at croaky the big necked orange toad and misses.  Kawli makes a vine jerk the little green spearfrog over near me. Wrapped up nice like a present. So I open it lips to toe tips.  Then Aila blasts the thing with three glowing magic bolts and Soraya gives him ghost eyes and rapier rib tickle.  I think Aila even gave him a shiv when he went running past.  Anyway I figure we shouldn't waste all the hard work so I run him down and break his knee with the haft of my weapon. But he tumbles head over heels and brains himself to death on a rock. 

Well while lethal lady trio search through the corpses, I climb up to get lovebirds out of their cages.  I pop one open using my halberd like a pry bar.  And Kawli turns into a sodding black cat bigger than a wolf. Comes trotting up the tree, drops some keys in my hand, and pleased as punch sits down for some scratches.  Now normally this is not something I would oblige, but when you seen someone attack her enemies with basically the whole world and then turn into a giant murder kitty you go with it.

Kitty Kawli gives the place a once over while Aila helps Harold and the other one get warm.  Kawli finds a puddle with barrel sunk ten feet down or so.  I look around see a sad soaking kitty, and two ladies not looking to jump in freezing cold swamp water and realize this why you take dumb grunts like me. So I take my chain off jump in and freeze my jublees tying a damn rope to a heavy ass barrel.  They had the good sense to bring the mule over to pull the barrel up while I stripped down and warmed up next to the fire.

We hightailed it out of there once everyone was warm and dressed.  On the way back watching the magic people work through the potions and papers, and worse count all that coinage I think the swamp swim was the better deal.

Anyway.  I made damn good money even after Brightmine broke his piece out.

This ain't a bad way to make money.  Saved some lives, killed some monsters.  I should probably tell the Captain that camp looked like an expeditionary force.  Or maybe the guild will handle it.




drewsph_dunn jhoran

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