Part two of our campaign takes us deep inside the Bullywug cave, I wonder how our heroes will get out of this one?!
“Looks like we should probably head into this cave if we want to find that last Bullywug and slit his throat!” exclaimed Outis whilst wiping the blood off of his sword on a loincloth worn by his fallen adversary.
“And more importantly to see what happened to those potatoes.” interjects Constantine.
Our three heroes approach a small opening in the side of a craggy mountainside. Pulling away some branches and leaves, the opening reveals itself and a small cave covered in claw marks and potato peelings can be seen. Outis, followed by Osborn and then Constantine, subconsciously falling into height order, enter the cave which is lit by several old, oil lamps hanging on hooks.
“We oughta be quiet,” whispered Osborn, “that last Bullywug has surely mentioned to the rest of his clan that we’re here.”
Stinky the owl glides through the cave entrance and creeps towards an opening at the end of the corridor they have found themselves in.
“Stinky, go up ahead and check the passage.” Constantine asks of his feathered companion.
YOU MUST ATTEMPT A PERCEPTION CHECK
The voice bellows through the eardrums of the three, now very startled, explorers.
“What was that?!” all three say in unison.
CONSTANTINE. THIS IS YOUR DM, DON’T ASK WHAT THAT MEANS
YOU MUST ATTEMPT A PERCEPTION CHECK
With all of his innate power and knowledge, Constantine searches in his deepest thoughts and memories for any meaning to this deep voice that echoes through the halls of his mind. Memories from his days at his Wizard school and the loss of loved ones fills every synapse. A fog is cleared over parts of his subconscious that had been left behind and wilted with time. Like shots of light firing through all the cells in his body, Constantine opens his mouth and defiantly states:
The voice returns with knowledge of their surroundings.
YOU ARE IN A CAVE
IT IS DARK
“Well,” Osborn says, whispering as quietly as he can, “what did you see?”
“Ermm…we need…to..err….go quietly…as there are….erm….some bullywugs in the next room.”
“Shhh, keep it down. How many?”
“I say I go in and chop..” says Outis.
“Alright, alright. I’ll go in and chop their heads off.”
Outis charges round the corner and finds two Bullywugs who are startled by his sudden appearance.
YOU HAVE ADVANTAGE
YOU HAVE ADVANTAGE
Not really knowing what that means, Outis raises his longsword vertically over the head of one of the Bullywugs before bringing it down and slicing his foe in half. Osborn jumps over the shoulder of Outis and aims his shortsword at the body of the second Bullywug and inflicts minimal damage. Knowing that his foe is still alive, he retracts his sword and follows up with a left-handed punch, knocking the Bullywug to the floor. Constantine, late to the party, slides through Outis’ feet and starts to prepare a spell.
“No need Constantine, we got them down super quick.” announces Osborn with pride. “They hardly had any health at all!”
YEAH, I MAY NEED TO RE-EVALUATE HEALTH POINT DISTRIBUTIONS IN THE FUTURE
“Look!” Constantine points to an iron door to the left of the small cavern they are in. “Get over here Outis, we need you.”
Feeling somewhat flattered by the gnome’s words, Outis obliges and approaches the tall, iron door.
“What d’ya need?”
Constantine climbs up Outis’ back onto his shoulders and peers through a set of iron bars at the top of the door.
Through the cracks in the iron bars, a large cavern filled with thousands of potatoes stacked up in boxes can be seen. Clearly the potato thief has been busy.
“It’s locked, but I’m sure we can find the key in here somewhere.”
A voice echoes through a tunnel to the right of the iron door. Outis, followed by his smaller companions rush through the tunnel to find a man sat cross-legged on the floor. The man is of human descent and is wearing a fine red robe. His accent clearly speaks of his wealthy upbringing and education.
“The Bullywugs took me and left me here to die. You three fine fellows do look like the hero type!”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to say that myself, but if the shoe fits…” interjects Osborn.
“There’s a great big Bullywug that speaks Common through that doorway to the south and he surely has the key to open up that door back there. I presume that’s why you’re here.”
“…yes. Howard the Coward?”
“Absolutely! By golly, you guys really do know how to save a fella in a pinch!”
Outis sidles up to Constantine and whispers, “this guy isn’t even chained up. I suggest we use him as bait.”
“What are ya saying back there big guy?” questions Howard. “I can hear ya you know. These ears aren’t just here to frame my face! They didn’t chain me up because, look at me! I’m Howard the Coward, couldn’t do a thing. Trustworthy, no, but reliably cowardly? Absolutely! That’s me!”
“I’m not convinced. Let me intimidate him. Constantine, surely you have something that could help.”
“I have a plan.” exclaims Constantine.
Constantine waves his hands in front of him causing a fluorescent, blue light to wisp from his fingertips. In the blink of an eye, a second, but slightly shorter and translucent Outis is side-by-side with the original Outis.
“Ooo, magic, I do love me some magic.” exclaims Howard.
“It’s not working! Also, why is it only 5ft tall?!” shouts Outis.
“Well, it only allows me to make an object that is 5ft by 5ft,” states Constantine, “I tried my best!”
“It looks ridiculous!”
“I have another idea.”
“But wait, we need to decid—”
Constantine crouches down and is surrounded by an aura of purple, bright light. The light swirls around him and pebbles on the cave’s floor slowly rise up as if being summoned for a higher purpose. Howard the Coward gets up and rolls through Outis’ legs before escaping through the entrance by which our heroes entered.
“DAMN!” shouts Outis, “THIS BETTER BE GOOD!”
The light finishes its motion of swirling and is raised towards Constantine’s head. His mouth agape, the light enters disappears inside his tiny body.
The loud noise exits Constantine’s mouth, reverberating around the cavern and causing several stalactites to vibrate and crash to the cavern floor.
“Quick! Behind this wall!” shouts Constantine.
The three hide behind a wall that runs along the center of the cave.
“What kind of noise was that?!” demands Outis.
“It was the mating call of a female Bullywug. Bullywugs are actually facing extinction due to low-level adventurers like ourselves killing them off by the dozen!”
Loud footsteps echo through a tunnel located just in front of the small wall our heroes are hiding behind.
Outis, Constantine and Osborn spring up from behind the wall and unleash a flurry of attacks and high dice rolls. The Chief Bullywug can’t do anything to respond to this vicious display of violence and is soon rended across the cavern floor.
“Oh, didn’t expect that to go quite so easily or violently as that.” puzzles Osborn.
I ALMOST DEFINITELY NEED TO LOOK AT HEALTH DISTRIBUTION
A small iron key soaked in Bullywug blood hangs from what’s left of the Chief Bullywug’s loincloth. Osborn crouches down to pick it up when he hears a faint cry from the tunnel through which the Chieftan came.
“Not again…” grumbles Outis.
Entering into the largest cavern of this particular cave system, the three adventurers spot a small, frail and frightened human male chained to a stalagmite, whimpering in the corner.
Osborn approaches the man with the iron key when Outis grabs Osborn by the shoulder.
“The last time we trusted someone, he ran off. This guy might be a threat.”
Outis reaches for his sword and out of the man’s mouth leaks a whimper that would make even a wounded puppy embarrassed.
“..maybe not.” Outis takes his hand off of his sword.
“My..my..my name is Howard. Those Bullywugs and that man ambushed my wagon and then went into town to steal all the potatoes. They must have been using some kind of magic as the potatoes levitated in here. Nobody was carrying them!”
“See, Outis, he’s fine.”
“I’m not convinced.”
“Here, let’s see” interrupts Constantine.
The same blue light that was seen earlier radiates from Constantine’s hand and in the blink of an eye a 5ft tall, floating potato appears inches from Howard’s face.
Howard recoils in horror as a small patch of moisture appears in his trousers.
“This is definitely the guy.” says Osborn as he leans through the illusory potato and unshackles Howard.
“Oh, why thank you! We need to get back to Jimmy straight away.”
“First, we need to know what we should do about all these potatoes.” states Outis.
“Well, we can only take 3 buckets worth but there only seems to be about 1 bucket of actual, good potatoes that haven’t become rotten yet.” explains Osborn.
“Rotten?! They’ve only been here 4 days!”
“Maybe the magic used to levitate them caused them to age really quickly.”
YEP, THAT’S IT
THAT’S DEFINITELY IT
DEFINITELY NOT DUE TO BAD TIMELINE PLANNING ON MY PART
“See! Wait, what?”
“Well, the way I see it is that we can grab three buckets of bad potatoes and just kinda put the good ones on the top. Jimmy is never gonna check all of the barrels, surely?”
“Sounds good to me.” says Constantine.
With three buckets of mostly rotten potatoes and a man covered in his own urine in their possession, the three intrepid explorers exit the cave and make their way back to their caravan. Thinking quickly, and for the upholstery in the caravan, Outis strips the old man lying in the road and throws his purple robe to Howard.
“At least you won’t stink on our way back.”