At first, we hid behind a bush, watching the tower. Inside was the staff of Earth and Stone the lecturer Horton Swinth had hired them to acquire. It was guarded by a sleeping Bullywug and two giant frogs, which Ronson failed to grasp the length of their tongue. I estimated 15 feet, as a regular frog has a tongue roughly thrice its body and these frogs were at least five feet nost to rump.
Ronson slipped away to stalk the Bullywug, with Ruskiel following close behind. Ronson loosed a shot at the frog-man, and battle started. Ruskiel charged the bullywug, whilst the rest of the group peppered the frogs with arrows and magic.
Halfway through the battle, a Sporeback frog emerged from the lazy stream. It attacked Gedserth, knocking him over and pulling him close with its tongue.
The bullywug lept away from Ruskiel and attacked Ronson. The rogue had no chance, with the frog on oneside and the bullywug on the other. I shot at both, leaping from behind a boulder. With one draw of my bow, I loosed two arrows, one at each amphibian. They both fell, as did Ronson.
Ruskiel, Adara and Gedserth finished the Sporeback. I don’t recall who killed the final frog, so I’ll mark that to Salix.
With the battle finished and Ronson licking his wounds, we observed the tower up close. Obscured by a bush was some writing. I alerted the others to this and we saw a script with five interchangable symbols. It read;
Within the earth are deep secrets, best to keep something betwixt them and the arcane.
The twin elements of Earth and Water are inseperable.
In the eyes of this scholar, Fire is second.
Lofty air rises above the magic. Always.
Quickly I discerned that the stones represented the five elements. I nimbly rearranged them so, from top to bottom, they went Earth, Water, Magic, Fire, Air.
A secret stair opened behind us, and we descended.
At the bottom was a bedroom that was in remarkably good condition, considering the state of the tower. Ruskiel searched the room and found a note on a table, the note read;
Note to Self;
Until the lever labels arrive from Warrenchester, I must not forget what they all do.
The purple one casts a summoning spell to cause lots of nasty giant insects to appear. Biting ones. Quite vile! Awkward to clean up, however; use sparingly!
The orange one will cause the room to fill with noxious gas. Enough to make anyone inside queasy!
The pink one will cause a gust of bitterly cold air to rush down from upstiars. If it doesn’t knock the intruders down, it will certainly chill them to the bones.
Finally, the black one will cause teh room to be filled with a burning and blistering vapour. I’ve tested it though, it won’t harm the furnishings!
All in all, I think I’ve got more than enough things there to weaken my enemies without damaging the fittings! And to think, Horton said I should just use fireball! I’ll remember to point and laugh when his tower explodes!
The irony of the last paragraph was not lost on me.
Looking through a small window, I saw the next room. It was filled with bullywugs, including one of thier shamanistic leaders. It croaked at the others, and fled down a corridor, sealing it with mud.
After pulling the Pink and Orange levers, we entered the next room and slaughtered the bullywugs. The battle is hardly worth noting.
Ronson and Ruskiel discovered a way to break down the mud the bullywug leader had filled the door with. I paid them little attention, though did help Ronson break a table leg off so Ruskiel could use it. It puzzles me why he did not use his axe.
With the seal unplugged, we saw the remains of a wizard’s laboratory and the bullywug leader. He had summoned mudmen and bade them to attack us. Ruskiel charged him and struck him down with two swings of his axe.
With that, it was merely a trivial matter to dispose of the mudmen. The others mentioned the floor being slippery, but I did not notice. Ronson fell over again in agony, but it was merely bruises, we discovered afterwards.
After a cursory search of the room, we recovered the staff from the bullywug leader and made to leave.
As we exited the tower, we met Jolin Tarsis, the Duke’s son. Banter was passed between us, but to preserve space, I will merely say the unpleasant oike wanted the staff. He had a small army of bullywugs and his own adventuring troupe with him. I say troupe, I figure they are little more than hired thugs dressed pretty to make him look good.
We denied him the staff and regrouped in the tower. In there, I made a decoy staff, and it was agreed I would flee and draw the Duke’s whelp away.
I fled the tower, and the dukewhelp sent the bullywugs after me. The others snuck out of the secret stair and ran to our boat. I was later told that the duke followed them, but apart from some trouble with a log-bridge, they got away fine. I too was unharmed.
We got to our boat and made our way back to town. All in all, a successful venture.