Searching the room where they fought the three incorporeal figures, the adventurers find another ghost, who obviously disappears before telling the whole story, and some star maps that help identify and thus locate the constellations from the wizards’ analysis of Suncallers spear. If they got a chance, the ghost suggested to look into freeing her (him?) by doing something with the farseer. Sheranya pockets a couple more scrolls (she really should hand those to the defenseless barbarian and dwarf…), and Q makes sure the expensive star maps make it to the next buyer.
Before heading back to our beds the four poked their heads into one of the last rooms that they haven’t been to yet to find a bunch of bullywugs snoring. Apparently one of their guard rooms.
The night remained calm, and the tea helped with the stink. Just at dawn, however, Carlon came climbing up the wall to the window. He was completely exhausted, but managed to report that the heroes’ cover might blow soon, and they better hurry. Sending him up into the spider room to recover, everybody grabed their stuff and took off to capture the biggest toad in the pond.
They encountered a group of bullywugs that marched across the court yard (guards again?) but left them alone otherwise. Then they sneaked past the sleeping cultist, and entered the cave below the castle. Everybody agreed to not take the one-way down the crane but explore the other path, where apparently more bullywugs used to go. Indeed, soon the four encountered two bullywugs performing some kind of stupid ritual that involved rolling in mud. Galuzard had enough of the charade, and shot one of them. They were quickly disposed off and covered up in mud (probably their favorite place anyway…). Going along, Q managed to disarm another stair trap.
They came to a large room with two paths along a big black pond, and a giant frog sitting on an island that is connected by a bridge. Moving towards the frog made him/her leap into the water and more croaking ensued. Before facing an army of frogs, the four (surprisingly) quickly decided to take the left path, stopped briefly at a stone wall beside the path to listen to Q’s fascinating lecture about the science behind the calcite formation they came to visit, and continued to run until meeting two more bullywugs. Due to their by now expert persuasion skills, the bullywugs told them the way to the shrine, where they would find Pharblax. They also revealed that they were guarding the bullywugs’ offspring from the giant frogs.
Returning to the pond, the watchful giant frog was there again and jumped back into the water as soon as the four appeard. After learning so much about the cave’s rock walls, Osred couldn’t stop himself from exploring more and shone his shield’s light straight into the water. The view was blocked by a giant frog leaping out. And so the four had to face an army of frogs anyway. Q again showed his berserk qualities fighting in tight spaces, and soon the frogs where ready for dinner.
Following along the path, the heroes came back into the room with the crane, just on the lower level this time. They discovered the source of all the fog. It was a teleportation device of some kind in an adjacent room, that probably is a portal to some place in the mountains. It seems to be open, hence the fog/clouds spilling through, but they couldn’t tell for sure. They need to keep an eye out, as this is very likely where the loot is taken, and the easiest exit route once shit starts to happen…
Going down the last remaining stairs to explore, they finally reached the shrine, passing a collection of seemingly random and very exotic deity statues. Osred advanced to check out the situation, and soon was drawn into performing for the dozen bullywugs and Pharblax doing their weird mud thing in the shrine. What followed was a dazzling performance never seen before, a bard rolling in mud, throwing mud, while singing a never heard before song and playing the pan flute. As soon as Osred was close enough to Pharblax, he cast charm on him and his right hand bullywug. They must have had pretty strong coffee this morning, because they saw through his ruse and called for revenge. Osred exited the shrine hypnotizing half of them, Q stormed in and hacked a couple to pieces, Galuzard fired precise arrows into their big bellies, and Sheranya was still hungry for more frog legs and fried a couple of them with a fireball. Not easily being overwhelmed though, Pharblax stood his ground for a while with annoying druid spells and retraeting into his private chambers. With combined engineering ingenuity, Galuzard shot a rope across the room, which had turned into a lichen jungle, so that they could climb across faster, before Pharblax could take them out one by one. Although Q was the fastest, he seemed a little tired already and needed a little longer than usual to knock him out.
Hardly catching their breath, the remaining three alive bullywugs were tied and gagged, the room searched for stuff, the trap at the chest deactivated, and its contents identified and stuffed into pockets.
And so they toad him off to the Lizardmen… Or did they?