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S25Map
Session 25


The party leave the cabin moving north across a large expanse of snow. The melt water forms small channels and the party take advantage of one of these to cross the snowfield. The smell of decay and old meat is strong in these channels and Dael spots why. A shriveled green arm pokes out of the creek bank holding a small wooden spear. She looks around and views more signs of battle. What looked like a bare rock is actually a partial skull of a gnoll. She climbs back up to the field and is surprised to see something moving under the snow. She shouts to her party as several of these figures tunnel towards them.

Crawler

Carrion Crawlers usually live deep underground and are rarely seen on the surface.

Massive segmented worms burst from the muddy snow and rake the party with paralyzing tentacles. From the other side come more and a pair of extremely well fed rust monsters. The rust monsters halfheartedly bristle them with their antennae looking for fresh iron weapons. The party makes quick work of these creatures and discovered that the field is filled with rotting corpses and rusting weapons. A battle took place here just before the snowfall between what looks like gnolls and frog men. Alistyre discovers several unrusted cannonballs cemented to the rust monsters belly. Shalazar identifies them as eggs, possibly valuable, they could be raised in captivity as livestock. Alistyre takes them. His thirst for Rust Monster Milk is undeniable. Just the thought of a slippery mug of that rusty, blue clam-paste makes him shiver with anticipation, and anemia.

takes several hours but the party finally arrive at the location described for them by the three young gem gnomes. On the edge of the forest, four massive trees lean together and become one. They wait several minutes, but are not met by any gnomes. Marcelyina shouts up at the tree is gnomish and after a few moments, a small lantern bobs over a branch attached to a 15 foot long pole. The old gnome holding the pole lowers the lantern down to illuminate the faces of each of the strange visitors.


Old man Wilmop Stumbleduck

"Who goes there? Elf. Dwarf. Man... Miscellaneous... What motley crew is this? Explain yourselves."


The party are taken back at this gnome and hesitate to answer. A chill wind blows through the trees nearly sending the old gnome cascading through the branches.


Old man Wilmop Stumbleduck

"Yikes! That's a frosty breeze if ever I felt one! Well, come on in before you all freeze to death. It may be nearly spring but that doesn't mean much to Rebus

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Gnome houses are nearly invisible.

He pulls the lantern back up and disappears into the tree trunk. The party look at each other for a moment and Dael, Al and Marcelyina get climbing. Shalazar and Illiaph stay behind as Illiaph seems to suddenly find gnomes inexplicably distasteful. A tiny three foot door with a river rock doorknob is placed at the base of a large branch. The party manage to crawl through it into a tiny den just large enough for them to sit comfortably on the floor. They scoot tiny chairs and tables aside to make room for themselves.


Old man Wilmop Stumbleduck

"We rarely get visitors and I'm afraid we don't have an inn or much to spare, but I'll go a head and make you all some warm tea. You like woobark and crulk? Oh of course you do. Everyone loves woobark and crulk. I am sorry, but due to the tremendous size of you people, I'll have to make several pots. This may take some time."


He moves to a row of pegs and hangs his cherry-red hat on the center peg along with 5 identical hats. The party don't ask about the woobark or the crulk, but thank the gnome for his hospitality and explain why they are here. Old man Wilmop apologizes for the inconvenience that his nephews kid and his friends have caused.


Old man Wilmop Stumbleduck

"They've not learned to mind their own business yet. We could use some help with the bullys, but we are more than capable on our own. He may not look it, but our town has once fought a pack of dogs to a stalemate. They didn't know when to quit. It was the most trouble anyone had seen since Sood Crystalcobb tried to serve Moomimi for the feast of St. Geshran."


Wilmop chuckles loudly, remembering that years fateful feast. Marceliyna looks around his den to see multiple small Empyrean shrines and church paraphernalia. Among the church documents she spies a small parchment almanac with a closed eye painted on the cover.

The tea tastes like sweet pond water and is bright green in colour. Wilmop serves the tea with a handful of dried berries and stale colourful crackers threaded onto a string. He explains that the bullys have been invading their territory all season and have ransacked their stores for months. They had plenty to share for most of the winter and were happy to do so, but the bullys have gone too far and now their food stores won't last another week. They have pooled all of their food into one last store room, still undiscovered by the bullys.


Old man Wilmop Stumbleduck

"The bullys only attack at night and so far, haven't hurt anyone. We'd like to keep things peaceful around here so bloodshed is out of the question, but they keep leaving their garbage behind and it's starting to make us upset. Some of our people claim that they repeatedly make a sound, "Olgaran" it could just be a sound they like or it could be the name of their leader."


The party speak among themselves and try to eat some of the chulk crackers. They come up with a plan to camp out in the last store room. Old man Wilmop explains that they won't be able to pay much for the service, but gathers all twenty or so adult villagers. They lead the party to the last in tact cellar. A small ladder in the hollow of a tree leads them to a dry but sparse dirt floored cellar. It's large enough for them to stand in and will serve well as a place to rest. There is plenty of room with little more than some shelves and barrels of potatoes to defend. The village wishes them the best of luck and goes about their nightly business.

It's only a matter of hours before Marceliyna wakes the party. A scratching sound is heard from somewhere in the walls of the cellar. Dael listens closely to a wall as the floor beside her bulges slightly. A pair of green nostrils pokes from the muddy dirt and begins sniffing. Dael slowly puts her foot on it and smooshes it back into the floor with an audible "WERK" sound. There is a moment of silence...

The party leaps back as multiple tunnels open up into the cellar wall. Five bullywugs slither through the tunnels and begin hastily scrounging through the shelves and barrells. They eye the party suspiciously before emiting dismissive noises and going about their business. Alistyre conjures several large toads to help block the bullywugs but many of them end up being frognaped and shoved into the tunnels themselves. Illiaph's quasit, Zalbar, scares one of the bullywugs who flees up the ladder out into the forest. Another walks to the center of the room and dumps a bag of colourful snail shells onto the floor. He emits a loud croak before asisting another who is pushing a barrell through the hole in the wall.

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The terrible form of Great Olgaran as he appears in the mind of the bullywugs.

Illiaph mind-links with one of the frogmen as they do not appear to understand Daels shouting. The bullywugs thoughts are simple but understandable. He claims to have paid these gnomes for their food.


Bullywug

"Great Olgaran said that the gnomes like gold and shiney things. These shells are gold and shiney. They are what the gnomes want. We pay, we take."


Illiaphs blood runs cold at the mental image of the imense horned frog man. He relays the image to his companions and Marcelyina identifies the creature as a green slaad. Illiaph threatens the bullywug with bodily harm, should they take any food. The little frogman doesn't understand why he would do such a thing.


Bullywug

"Gnomes trade shiney for food. This is known by Great Olgaran. You would hurt us like the gnolls did? War with bullywugs?"

The bullywug lets out a long sad croak

"Great Olgaran said no more war. He promised. Bullywugs need food and gnomes have food. We pay in shiny. We get food."


Illiaph tries to explain what gold is to the simple frog by presenting a gold coin. The frogman reaches into his vest pocket and pulls out a golden snailshell.


Bullywug

"See? The same!"


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Bullywugs are selfish, simple minded frog-men.

This conversation is going nowhere. Alistyre and Dael offer the bullywugs a few dozen goodberries. The bullywug protests claiming that it is not enough food. He tries one before letting out a long satisfied burp and agreeing to their terms.


Bullywug

"This food is magic! You must meet Great Olgaran. Come with us now."

He croaks orders to his companions and they slip back into the muddy hole in the wall.

"You come now! Come see Great Olgaran! Make magic food!"


The party insist that they meet in the morning. A bullywug agrees to stay and guide them. Hopefully they can get this whole ordeal sorted without any bloodshed.


EXP and Journal