Session #39: The Jester’s Guide to Slaying a Froghemoth

Shortly before Lightfingers the Elf Rogue drew an army of the undead lead by Deddumlir to the LIBRARY of the TEMPLE OF WANJO, where Shelby the Rakshasa Sorcerer, Nathan Garney the Human Cleric of Everly, Kudac the Half-Orc Cleric of Baldnoggin, Pigsnot the Elf Fighter, Acindor the Human Fighter,  Nellson Williams the red Tiefling Artificer with a robotic left arm and his steel defender gorilla Cupcake, Eondul the Human Wizard, and Dumplin Ages the Halfling Barbarian and her death dogs were forced to mount a running defense against an onslaught of ghouls, Davroar Hollysword the Cleric of the Mad God Moriarty, quite invisible, made his way through that same LIBRARY, into the STORAGE ROOM and the tunnel dug into the back of that room, and into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS.

His passage did not go unnoticed.

A Trio of Spies

Meldor Ironforge the Dwarf Wizard, called the Firebringer, picked up Davroar’s familiar scent and followed him.

It was in the first cave that they saw Nikolas the brass Dragonborn Fighter. Nikolas had risen early and left the party in the LIBRARY to explore the WAR’TODE TUNNELS. He could not shake the feeling that there was something in the STORAGE ROOM calling to him. When he opened the STORAGE ROOM door, he heard draconic voices calling from the tunnel at its rear. He instinctively knew these draconic voices did not belong to the living. Yet they distinctly said to him, “Save us!”

Nikolas ventured deeper into the tunnel until he found a cave. He noticed a campfire that had been tended to recently but had been left smoldering. He could see no one else in the cave. He noticed a couple bedrolls, a weapons rack holding some crudely made spears, and two exits, leading away to the southeast and southwest, respectively. From the southeast, he heard the sound of voices indicative of a settlement of some sort.

He was about to venture in that direction when he heard the ghostly draconic voices coming from the southeast exit. He came to stand at the entrance of that cave, wondering whether he should follow those voices, when he heard footsteps behind him.

He tensed. The campfire was still smoldering, he remembered. He should’ve realized he might not be alone!

He was relived to discover that it was only Meldor Ironforge. After a brief discussion, they opted to check out the tunnel to the southeast. Still invisible, Davroar followed silently.

They came to a ledge which overlooked a vast subterranean cavern. The WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT was laid out before them, a hodgepodge array of tents, watch fires and prisoner cages on a sprawling beach. The froggish War’tode soldiers were everywhere!

A wide pier jutted out into the waters of an enormous underground lake. Near the pier stood rows and rows of prisoner CAGES. Over 50 prisoners had been collected and stuffed into crude cages. It was clear that these prisoners were being lined up along the pier and were meant to be sacrificed in order to summon their frog god War’t. Davroar knew that summoning War’t without the traditional staff of summoning was likely to end in disaster with War’t eating everyone in sight indiscriminately. The Big Big Boss Gilderwart had clearly lost his marbles.

To the east on a platform raised as high as their own ledge, the heroes saw a large mound of treasure and the throne of the Big Big Boss. There were much larger War’todes guarding their Big Big Boss. Davroar also recognized a certain half goblin wearing the uniform of the Sisterhood of Shettebrek. They’d met her in battle with the Fearless in the PEACOCK ISLAND DOCKYARDS. She’d escaped at the end of the battle, but what was she doing here? Also of note was a tall stone ring that is obviously the WATER PORTAL to FARRAGO they’d been sent to activate. Davroar was painfully aware of the two sapphire stones he possessed, either of which could open the portal.

Below the ledge they stood upon was a larger mess tent. Between the mess tent and the rock wall, War’todes relieved themselves at a latrine trench. The smell was awful. There seemed no obvious way down until they discovered another tunnel leading down to the beach. Making his way down, Davroar quickly scouted out the area, searching for a path to BIG BOG BOSS’ PLATFORM. This is when he discovered that a unit of War’todes was stationed between him and the way up to the Water Portal. They guarded two large metal doors that seemed to be a proper entrance into the TEMPLE OF WANJO itself.

Hearing voices in the tunnels behind them, Nikolas and Meldor returned to the previous cave where’d they’d first rendezvoused. Nellson Williams was returning from the LIBRARY of the TEMPLE OF WANJO. He quickly informed them that those in the LIBRARY were being attacked by a ghouls coming out of a foul green mist. Nikolas and Meldor quickly filled him in on the nearby WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT and their proximity to the WATER PORTAL.

The focus of the quests was within reach!

How to Slay a Froghemoth


Ladies and lords, both in fancy and by letter, I humbly submit you to the first in a series of easy-to-understand instruction guides to most efficiently vanquishing monsters, based on the many tales I have gleaned from my time in courts and taverns. In our inaugural Jester's Guide, we take you step-by-step through the necessary steps of slaying a truly unique and hideous specimen: the froghemoth.

Step 1: Make the necessary preparations.

One does not want to just go rushing at a froghemoth willynilly, swinging a blade about wildly like an idiot. Careful preparations must be made. It is preferable that you not attempt to slay a froghemoth all by oneself! Oh ho! Only a fool would go it alone against such a creature with no thought of preparations!

Talrus the Tiefling Bard and Warlock awoke amid the stench and rotting corpses of the PIT OF THE DYING. As he adjusted to his surroundings with increasing anxiety, he was further alarmed to realize that not only was he not supposed to be in this charnel pit of recently slain and long dead corpses, he was in the wrong body! He knew everything about his new body’s capabilities though nothing much of its history beyond a name.

Step 2: Plan your attack strategy

Several things need to be taken into account when preparing to meet the froghemoth, including terrain and the monster's possible allies.

This giant amphibian horror lurks in the darkest swamps and dankest subterranean pools. The froghemoth's 18-foot-long, 10-foot-wide body is yellow on the belly, shading to a light green on its sides and a mottled green on its back and thick, bowed rear legs. Two tentacles sprout from each shoulder. The tentacles are 15 feet or more long, green on top and yellowish underneath. The creature's nostrils are stalk-like, and its three eyes are housed on a protruding, retractable appendage that can be withdrawn. Its eyes are amber with a green tinge and have vertical slit pupils of bright green edged with orange.

When it is submerged, its tentacles trailing ashore and its eye and nostril stalks at water level, it appears to be nothing more than a plant growth of some sort. It can operate on dry land, but it moves in a series of awkward hops at half speed.

The froghemoth is very likely the dominant predator in its home region. Only very powerful creatures (like dragons or well-equipped adventurers) can hope to succeed against one. Froghemoth tadpoles cannot be trained, but it may be possible to capture one and move it someplace where it can act as a vicious and somewhat unreliable guard animal. If someone is mad enough to keep a froghemoth as a guard animal, one must obviously take pains to either subdue or evade these allies.

Talrus got to his feet and surveyed his surroundings grimly. Only two exits were evident; both the smaller and huge one were barred by portcullises. There was also a high ledge in the northwest corner, where a strange frog-person stood staring down at him in a drunken stupor.

Talrus’ first thought wasn’t the nicest and it certainly shouldn’t have been voiced out loud.

“What in Tiamat’s armpit is that thing?”

Snizzle the Cleric of Kroakatoa was instantly offended. The rum-soaked cleric zeroed in on him with his shrewd gaze and croaked, “Who speaks to me in this manner? To I, Snizzle, the faithful of Kroakatoa? Who speaks? Choose the manner of your doom!”

From a quick examination of the creature’s robes, Talrus quickly surmised that the creature he’d offended was a War’tode, one that served the old volcano god Kroakatoa whom the War’todes once served before most of them came to worship War’t. A zealot, to be sure. If he recalled correctly, clerics of Kroakatoa took an oath of drunkenness, which tended to make them unpredictable and prone to brawling. He needed to take care of this quickly.

Thinking he could perhaps knock the drunken War’tode from his perch, Talrus picked up a halfling skull and heaved it at Snizzle. He hit Snizzle in the kneecap, causing him little harm but nonetheless placing the cleric in high dudgeon. In retaliation, the Cleric of Kroakatoa casy a thunderwave at him, knocking him backwards until his back was against the larger portcullis to the south.

Talrus then attempted to cast earth tremor, again hoping to skae the War’tode from his ledge; however, the drunken cleric was far too accustomed to staying on his perch no matter how imbalanced.

Snizzle then summoned a quartet of giant frogs to keep his captive pinned against the portcullis. “You have been chosen by Kroakatoa as a worthy tribute!” The portcullis behind Talrus rose with a loud mechanical screech. “I will offer you a choice: Be consumed by the frogs or enter the lair of the Avatar of Kroakatoa?”

Talrus glanced into the adjoining room. It was roughly 30 feet long by 15 feet wide, so as wide as the portcullis itself. It was little more than a giant hallway leading to another giant portcullis. He was pretty sure he could hear something breathing on the other side of the second portcullis, but the hall itself was empty. With a deep sigh, Talrus stepped across the threshold.

Snizzle cackled as the portcullis descended between them, trapping him between the drunken cleric and the mouth breather at the other end. Taking advantage of his tiefling devilsight, Talrus peered into the darkness beyond the new portcullis and made a horrifying discovery: his cellmate was a froghemoth!

Step 3: An effective attack 

A froghemoth prefers to ambush prey, so you may have to lure it out for the kill. Preferably, you should do this with a goat or pig and not something sentient who will be missed if the bait isn't quick enough to escape. Be mindful of its long tongue, their preferred method of catching their prey, if said prey is about 10 feet away. It uses its tentacles on more distant prey. The froghemoth can attack up to four different man-sized opponents with its tentacles. If small enough {man-sized}, the victim is quite often immediately snapped into the froghemoth's mouth and swallowed whole, where they die most unpleasantly.

So it cannot be stressed enough that you do not want to fight a froghemoth in close quarters! Distance attacks are your best bet. Think: thrown javelins, crossbow bolts or magical fireballs. Wear the froghemoth down and do not let it retreat back into its watery abode, or you'll have to lure it out all over again.

“Now you will experience the full glory of the the Avatar of Kroakatoa!” Snizzle roared drunkenly as he caused the portcullis separating Talrus from the froghemoth to raise. “Mock us, will you? Throw halfling skulls at us, will you? Death to you! Imminent, it is!”

The froghemoth began approaching Talrus, clearly intent on devouring such ready prey.

Furious at his predicament, Talrus turned back to Snizzle and stared at him through the bars, casting vicious mockery. “I spit at you! Your father was a small furry mammal and you mother smelled of some kind of berry!” The drunken War’tode looked at him as if he wasn’t quite sure he understood the insult but he recognized it as an insult nonetheless.

Talrus then used used misty step to teleport up as high as he could, hoping to get out of the froghemoth’s reach. Appearing in thirty feet off the ground in midair, he desperately grabbed for the top bars of the portcullis to unsuccessfully prevent himself from falling. He did manage to grab onto the bars and stop his fall a little lower down. He was now twenty feet off the ground.

The froghemoth quickly closed the distance between them and shot out its sticky tongue, pulling Talrus from his perch. He tried to gobble Talrus up after pulling him to the ground, but Talrus managed to roll out of the way. Finding himself uncomfortably close to the belly of the beast, Talrus scrambled away until his back was to the bars.

Determined not to go down without a fight, Talrus cast arms of Hadar. The spell failed him, delivering an ineffectual slap. The froghemoth glared down at the tiefling. Grabbing him with one of its tentacles, the froghemoth tossed Talrus into his mouth whole.

Step 4: Celebrate your victory

Slaying a froghemoth is no mean feat. As mentioned, they are usually the top predators in their area. You and your band of adventurers may well have earned yourself the honor of being immortalized in bardic verse!

Trapped inside the belly of the beast, Talrus felt his life slipping from him. Talrus’ last conscious thought was that it all felt like a bad dream. He was being digested inside a giant frog monster and he wasn’t even himself, whoever that was really supposed to be! Maybe he just needed to wake up…

And then his nightmare ended.

Next: Session #40 – The Glory of Moriarty

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