Frog Hat Club

The ongoing adventures of a group of new D&D players in their first game

Episode 99: Invaders and Acolytes

The gruesome hyena creature quickly closed the distance and tackled Keen. The halfling found himself pinned beneath its massive paw, dodging its barbed stinger tail and fending off slathering bites. Yuna sent Stella forward to take down the creature and defend Keen. The two massive creatures fought, and the hyena was felled but so was Stella, with arrows fired from the top of the tower. Whisper traded arrows with the watchtower, covering her friends as they raced to close the distance. Quick as they were they were unable to prevent one of the gnolls from fleeing, disappearing east towards the town of El Zikrin.

Ara was first through the entranceway of the ancient tower. The floor and walls were covered in the gore of several townsfolk ripped apart and fed upon. The monk raced up the stairs and nearly collided with the gnoll archer making its way down from the top of the tower, and the two traded blows. The rest of the party arrived moments later and the creature was quickly slain. Sirlius, Whisper and Ara made their way to the top of the tower, where from the shattered ramparts they could just make out the figure of the fleeing gnoll as it leapt upon some sort of mount at the edge of the treeline and disappeared into the woods.

Meanwhile, Magnus comforted the distraught Yuna at the loss of her celestial companion. Keen, standing nearby, cocked his head as if listening to something no one else could hear and then pointed through a large crack in the wall. “Stella?” he said, “She’s right there.” True to his word, Stella, healed and whole, stood outside the tower. “Keen? Did you do that?” Whisper asked, as she and the other descended into the interior. The rogue shrugged, as his companions regarded him with wonder.

Though the fleeing gnoll had outpaced them, the party made haste to reach El Zikrin. As the morning sun reached its zenith, the adventurers found themselves at the outskirts of the town. An extensive vineyard flanked them on the north side of the road, and farms spread out to the south. They continued along the road until, an hour or so from the edge of El Zikrin, Ara noticed smoke rising from one of the farms. The party diverted to investigate, Magnus and Keen crept into the empty farmhouse while Sirlius, Whisper and Yuna moved to the back of the building to seek the source of the smoke. They found a farm building collapsed and burning, and standing over the flames three hulking, dark-skinned creatures each wearing black iron plate and carrying greatswords.

The largest of the three, easily standing 8 feet tall, barked something in Infernal at the other two turned and walked towards the farmhouse. Hearing this, Sirlius cast Comprehend Languages. Inside, Magnus and Keen had found a typical rural home. In the master bedroom Keen’s eye was drawn to a stack of loose sheaves of paper. Ginny’s apparition seemed to be trying to keep them from his notice, but he saw the title on the first page: The First Acolyte’s Epistle To the Weak; it appeared to be a religious tract dedicated to the Hidden God. Over Ginny’s objections he pocketed them just as the rest of the party warned them of the approaching infernal soldier. Keen hid and drew the Punisher.

The massive humanoid stepped slowly through the house until its eyes drew up to the top of the staircase, where stood Magnus. It unhooked its black iron greatsword, pointed its square head at Magnus and snarled a single word, which Sirlius translated: “Subjugation!” With a shock, Magnus realized he recognized the blade, and announced over the Residium Binding, “I recognize these swords! They were the being forged in that factory we discovered when we were in Dis!” Sirlius, equally shocked, replied, “You went to the Nine Hells and didn’t tell me?” At that moment, Keen lunged, his blade slipping between the creature’s ribs from behind and striking the inside of its breastplate. As he withdrew the point the solider howled in pain, spun, and brought the greatsword down on halfling…

Plot Status: Converging

Horse Types Observed: Wrong

Keen Influence Rating: Celestial

RP Rating: Awesome!