Friday, 20 December 2013

Nassan: bully for you

The group historian, Bisclavret, assesses the area and assures them that it is indeed a ruined temple complex, dating back several hundred years. It's difficult to say any more from a distance.

The group decide to go with the probabilities and head straight for the surviving building. They approach with some caution in case anyone's sneaking about, and decide to aim for a gap in the walls rather than trying the main door. As a result, they enter through the back of the structure.

This proves to be a good move, because within the building they hear the sounds of movement, and quickly take cover. Unfortunately, Adrik trips over a stone and sends it clattering along with a resounding echo. Twisted shapes emerge, hopping and shambling, from the murk. They are a hideous sight, a twisted combination of diseased toad and wizened ape, and their faces show only loathing. These sad, horrible creatures are bullywugs, thought by scholars to be incarnations of paradox. They croak revoltingly and bound towards the party, who quickly move to use a handy gap in the walls as a bottleneck, with Adrik and Bisclavret bearing the brunt of the combat. The creatures bound heedlessly over crumbling walls to flail at the adventurers with crude weapons, their apparently uncaring as to their own fates. After a tough fight, with the bullywugs are despatched, and their pitiful visages relax into a strange kind of peacefulness.

The building has long been empty and nothing of professional interest remains, though there are some nice botanical specimens around here. Weather and time, and encroaching nature, have eroded any sign of the temple's original purpose. Finding the trail of their quarry, they follow it to a side-chamber where a trapdoor can be easily seen; recent use has shifted the grime around it.

Acrid, rising smoke warns the party that something is alive down here, and they carefully traipse downwards, discovering a large room that was once a study of some kind. Huge shelves stand around the walls, though some have toppled and most are somewhat broken. The fallen shelves, and some other ancient furniture, jut like islands from the muddy ground. To nobody's surprise, there are several more bullywugs here, engaged in inexplicable behaviour that quickly turns to hostility. Myraneth's sharp eyes deduce that the centre of the room is very boggy, and rather than rushing in, they proceed cautiously. Though the bullywugs attempt to lure them into the deep mud, Myraneth and Raylin hurl bolts of energy to pin them down while the others try to leap across to engage them. Unfortunately, Adrik lands awkwardly and slips back into the quagmire, sinking up to his shoulders in rank mud. The bullywugs take immediate advantage and land some heavy blows, but are forced back long enough for the dwarf to extract himself and wreak vengeance on them. Bullywugs despatched to the bliss of non-existence, the party rest long enough to recover their breath.

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