Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire, don’t read this!
Last time we heard from our adventurers they had just been discovered trying to sneak into the Mantismen lair, a huge 80′ tall mound. Kristos and Evalore were just sneaking up to the entrance when they stumbled, drawing attention of the guards. It was at this point that all hell broke out. Highlights include:
- Evalore sleeping some (but not enough) of the Mantismen
- Kristos slicing the throat of sleeping Mantismen and cutting off its head. I’m worried about the delight he takes in mutilating corpses and slashing throats of sleeping enemies.
- Anistor charging up to the mound just as the others are running away, then launching into the fray
- Oak Staff sending his loyal lynx Lugus, up to the top of the mound to kill a watch guard
- Gravik laying waste around him, killing Mantisman after Mantisman
Ultimately they managed to flee with the prize of a couple of huge Mantis heads in a sack, barely scathed by the combat. They head back into the Redthorn Forest to the south hoping to make contact with the Froglings and are rewarded when a patrol stops and questions them and are hugely impressed by the brace of Mantismen head trophies they have.
The party tell the Frogling leader that they need a way to breathe underwater and they have been told the Froglings can help them with that. With assistance they climb up into Griblett Village, the tree village high up in the forest, well out of reach of the Mantismen and are introduced to Rubigroak, the Shaman Chieftainess of the Froglings. An old Frogling who has guided the tribe through many difficulties, she says the Froglings can help the party and offer many rewards, but there is more to do; she suggests they talk in the morning.
A meal of bugs is brought out, but the party pass, sticking to their rations. Froglings gather around a big fire with the adventurers and mystical herbs are thrown into the flames. Before too long the adventurers start to have visions of forests and something out there with red eyes and black slits; however they are unable to connect with it. The next day they talk to Rubigroak once again and she says the secrets of the Froglings will be shared with them (including how to breathe underwater) if they can finally rid them of the Mantismen.
With that the adventurers head back into Mantismen lands accompanied by a handful of Frogling warriors. While the Froglings cause a distraction, making noise and creating fires some distance away (drawing some of the Mantismen away), the party run to the mound and head in, determined to take out the Mantis Queen. Evalore and Oak Staff deal with the Mantismen Champion while Gravik, Anistor and Kristos take on the Queen and her guard. The trio wear the brood mother down, but it is Evalore who delivers the killing blow, striking the giant insect with her sling.
They take her head as proof of destruction of the Mantismen and prepare to explore the rest of the mound.