It soon became obvious that their captive – Snapjaw the Lizardfolk – Champion of the Scaly Death Tribe, was not leading them to the place the treasure had been heading.
He was not very good at deception and, when Ragnar started to notice the increasing number of frog and bullywug tracks, they got Snapjaw to admit what he was doing.
“Snapjaw has made solemn vow to Rezmir, Dragon Lady of the Castle.”
“Snapjaw may not reveal location of Castle”
“Scaly Death Tribe may not attack the inhabitants of the Castle”
“Scaly Death Tribe must obey Rezmir”
“Snapjaw rather die than break oath or will not sit with ancestors in the next life”
The lizard man’s face eyes narrowed and he bared his teeth in a cunning smile.
“Snapjaw lead you to bullywug village.(spits) Filthy frog-men also sworn to service of Rezmir but they have no honour. Their leader Pharblex Spattergoo is powerful shaman but all rest are weak and all are cowards. Snapjaw knows Pharblex has been killing warriors of Scaly Death Tribe by treachery but cannot prove it and Rezmir will not listen. Pharblex say warriors have run away, but Scaly Death warriors have great honour, frog-shaman lies and Rezmir pretend to believe him”
“Snapjaw lead you to bullywugs, you kill many easy but capture one and he lead you to Castle, not Snapjaw.”
It was agreed – they were impressed by his honesty and it seemed like a good plan. They even decided to call themselves a new tribe “BullywugsShallDie” Tribe and cut Snapjaw’s bonds to let him help them.
They snuck towards the village but found a bullywug spawning pool a few hundred yards from the village. Half a dozen of the creatures were ****ing in the slimy frog-spawn pool and including three enormous frogs in their debauchery.
Our heroes sneaked closer under the shadows of Cole’s pass without trace spell. One of the frogs was alerted and wandered into the swamp to investigate. Ragnar jumped a solitary bullywug at the edge of the pool, getting advantage – but missed as it bent over to remove its loincloth and then missed again as it leapt into the writhing mass of blubbery bodies.
Although the creatures in the pool were too distracted to notice them, the curious giant frog spotted them and soon they were deep in combat. The frogs had 20 foot tongues and tried to grapple them and pull them into the pool. Fortunately none of them got hit. The bullywugs grabbed their spears and attacked but they were pretty feeble and soon fell to Sir Vassily’s sword, Cole’s flying fists and the deadly sniper bolts from Ragnar.
From the pool of slime, the Shaman rose. He had apparently been at the bottom of the pile, the focus of their frantic mating. He cast spike growth so that they were surrounded by razor-sharp vegetation. Snapjaw spotted that he was wearing a necklace of lizardfolk teeth and went berserk, charging at him. The warrior was slashed and torn at every step and collapsed from wounds before he managed to reach his enemy. He lay there and slowly bled to death.
Vassily also ran across the razor grass but his armour protected him from most of the damage. He started hacking at Spattergoo.
Cole leapt out of the razor grass – using his ki powers to cross the huge distance. Soon he was smashing down bullywugs and attacking Spattergoo too.
Ragnar stayed hunkered down in the foliage and shot bolt after deadly bolt (after dropping a couple on the ground in his usual style).
They took one bullywug prisoner – it grovelled, begging for its life and offering to server them in any way – it clung to their legs until cuffed away. Spattergoo was knocked out and tied and gagged. On his body they found an ornate scroll tube, the necklace of teeth (some still bloody where they had been ripped out, each from a different lizardfolk) and a silvery dagger with willow leaf pattern on it.
The scroll tube had Draconic runes on it saying “Presented to Pharblex Spattergoo for services rendered to the Cult of Tiamat” it turned out to contain a scroll of Revivify (can bring a dead creature back to life if cast within a minute). After a brief debate, Sir Vassily cast it on Snapjaw.
They gave Snapjaw the necklace of teeth and he used it to strangle the grovelling bullywug. He wanted to use it on Pharblex too but they persuaded him to wait while they tried to arrange a plan to get them into the Castle.
Spattergoo was willing to do anything to save his own skin. The plan emerged that they could wear purple robes and carry treasure and then they would be welcomed and shown down to the cellars where a portal was hidden. When there was sufficient treasure, the Cultists took it through – usually led by Rezmir, then returned a few hours later.
They had managed to get some rest before Spattergoo regained consciousness and Ragnar attuned himself to the dagger. It was a magical dagger linked to a magic portal. Killing somebody with the dagger provided a charge for the Portal. He had been killing lizardfolk to charge it up for Rezmir to use. Snapjaw had to be held back from gutting him there and then.
Spattergoo offered to go into the Castle to get them some purple robes (but clearly was just trying to get away and his promise to return couldn’t be trusted). Snapjaw offered to go and fetch robes for them – he wanted to go to the Castle and show his people the necklace and then lead them all out to the bullywug village to slaughter their enemies. This would avoid them having to obey Rezmir’s orders, wouldn’t involve him revealing the location of the castle and would not involve attacking inhabitants of the castle.
They agreed to the plan and, despite his grovelling, they let Snapjaw finish off the bullywug shaman – he was strangled to death by the necklace of teeth. Everyone cheered until they realised they had killed Spattergoo too soon and Snapjaw’s oath still prevented him revealing the location of the castle!
They cleverly asked him to go and fetch the purple robes before they kidnapped another bullywug. Then Cole and Ragnar followed him (using the pass without trace spell again) and weren’t spotted until they could already see where he was going. It was a huge dense hemisphere of mist. No sight or sound escaped it.
Snapjaw just shrugged and said “I didn’t know you were following so it’s not my fault – honour is satisfied and I will still sit with the ancestors. I will bring the robes out as soon as I can”. They retreated back to where Sir Vassily was waiting.
An hour or two later, shortly before nightfall, Snapjaw returned, dressed in bronze armour and an impressive helmet. He threw a bunch of purple robes at their feet, then raised his spear. From the shadows under the trees 50 lizardfolk warriors emerged!
Snapjaw bared his teeth and his eyes flashed. Their hands went to their weapons.
“Today we are not Scaly Death Tribe – we are BullywugsShallDie Tribe” – big shout and waving of spears from the lizard folk and then they trudged off towards the bullywug village.
“We will be gone 3 days” called Snapjaw “Don’t be there when we get back, I don’t want to have to kill my new tribesmen.”.