Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire, don’t read this!
After defeating the Mantis Queen our heroes clear out the rest of the mound and find a load of goodies, a cache of magical weapons and a load of treasure. With their considerable haul they head back to Gribblet Village, arriving later in the day.
As much as Froglings can be, these ones were overwhelmed with emotion, seeing the Mantis Queen’s head and hearing the news that the dreaded Mantisfolk had mostly been eradicated. For now at least the Froglings were free! Back in the safety of the village high above Redthorn Forest, the party meet Rubigroak once more and tell her of their adventure in the mound; a celebration is called for and the PCs while the evening away in the company of these strange creatures. Iron rations are preferred to the creepy crawlies the Froglings eat.
The next day Rubigroak summons the party and speaks of their reward. As promised they will be given air sac helmets which will allow them to breath underwater for 6 hours at a time; they are also offered the secret of tree climbing in Redthorn Forest, but this will take a week of training. The final part of their reward is to be shown the way to the Forsaken Oubliette which leads to the Underdark when they have the time and a need to go there. It seems that only a few of the most trusted warriors know this secret; the Frogling Shaman keeps that information under tight control. Rubigroak also hints that Yorivar the Druid may be able to help them with their troubles at Illmire.
Fully refreshed and with air sac helmets stowed in backpacks the party once more head to the Misty Lake. After a few hours of travel through the forest they come to the edge of the lake, and are just about to set their gear down and rest when five Giant Toads jump out of the lake and the nearby forest. Our heroes are surrounded; but it was the toads who had bitten off more than they could chew this time, and with two of them struck down the others flee, sensing this meal was too much trouble.
Deciding not to loiter on the shore in case the Giant Toads come back with some friends, the adventurers don their air sac helmets and head into the lake. The water is fairly warm but cools the deeper they go; overall this is a strange sensation, their movement slowed by the water with the helmets weighing them down so that they do not float to the surface. Evalore casts a light spell to provide illumination, and after an hour or so of walking they see a glow ahead – these are the Prismatic Grottoes of the Fishmen.
Two entrances are spotted from a distance, one guarded by the strange fish/man hybrids, so they take the easy way and choose the unguarded entrance. Beyond some of the party are slowed by kelp which clings to their clothing and armour, but they are able to free themselves. As they explore more of the wonders of the cave are encountered including giant clams displaying with huge pearls. A further exploration leads them down a passage that opens into an air filled room; in the centre a Giant Albino Caiman still as a rock. Beyond the huge reptile a blue glow can be seen from a petrified clam. Anistor tries to move past the caiman to the clam, but it springs to life and once more our heroes are drawn into combat.
The battle is over quickly, the lizard defeated. The glow in the clam is caused by a huge azure pearl, an item of real beauty. It is safely removed from the clam by Oak Staff who uses his staff to flick the pearl out, fearing it might be a trap.
And so only the adventure in the Fishmen caves continues… if the party is to wipe out the weird hybrids they had better get a move on.