FroggVentures: Episode 1-3: Back to the Surface

Posted: November 1, 1998 in Writing
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Episode I

(part 1) The Baron-Frogg-Prince of Mythril is doubting his sanity: he could be miles underground, he could be very lost, and he could have just witnessed the meeting of three Very Powerful Things that were concerned with ruining his Lady Alliah’s Land. He was hoping that the ultrasensitive high-tech microphone that was implanted in his tongue was still working and transmitting to his little Oriental buddy Abu Dabu Dabu Day…

“Webbed feet don’t fail me now!” thought the Baron as he hauled Frogg down the dusty corridor. Another shriek of rage came from the Temple he had just left behind, shaking dust and debris from the cobwebbed ceiling and obscuring his already limited vision. “I shouldn’t have winked at the Spider Queen,” the Frogg reprimanded himself, “She took it the wrong way.”

The Froggacuda skidded into a small room, coughing from the dust he was raising with his big feet. Several choices presented themselves: the iron rungs of a ladder were bolted to the east wall, passing through a hole in the ceiling, and two hallways continued east and north. “Oh, no contest!” thought the Frogg Prince, “I want out of here — I’m going up!” He mounted the ladder quickly and climbed through the roof.

The ladder kept going up, through a cramped tunnel-like passage liberally festooned with spiderwebs. These ones were sticky, and the Frogg paused to remove a particularly gauzy one from his left eye. Freezing, he heard a peculiar rattling noise from above him; purple drops of steaming venom dropped on his forearm. Without looking up, the Froggacuda let go of the ladder, dropping down the shaft as something started rushing down. He landed on his feet and kept on running as a humöngous black spider boiled out of the ceiling, baring massive fangs and continuing to make that irritating chittering.

This corridor was somewhat cleaner than the one he had used to escape the temple; instead of cobwebs, there were neat piles of bones, human and otherwise, that the Frogg Prince skedaddled over on his way through the catacombs. He didn’t dare look back — he didn’t have to; he could hear the Son of Shelob behind him and it sounded like he was gaining. It did have six more legs than him. There was torchlight up ahead, around a corner.

The Frogg was barrelling down the hallway, and he skidded as he went 90 degrees to his right. Bouncing off of the wall, he balked momentarily at what he saw. Two very surprised Drow warriors looked at the Frogg, then at each other, and reached for their weapons. Past the guards, a large room seemed to have been converted into a barracks of sorts: three rows of rude beds, about sixty in all, occupied the room, with medium-sized footlockers at their feet. Well-maintained torches graced the walls in iron sconces, and at the far end, a large table with matching benches was set up. It was much cheerier than the dusty hallways he had been sprinting through, and would have been a welcome place to rest, except for the Drow soldiers that stopped their menial labors and gawked in disbelief at the 350 pound amphibian cruising down the southern hallway right for them. Or maybe they were looking at what was right behind him. The Frogg was running so fast his eyes were watering, but he thought he felt the hairy limbs of the massive spider reaching for his back.

Episode II

(part 2)…The Froggacuda has a quick choice to make: Drow to the front; Super Big Spider to the rear…

Covered with streamers of spiderweb and howling like a demon, the Froggacuda burst into the barracks to the sound of swords being drawn and yells of surprise from the Drow. He didn’t look back — the chittering of the Widowmaker was nigh deafening — the Frogg just leaped with all of his might, clearing eight beds at once, feeling the snicker-snick of foot-long fangs in the space he had just recently occupied, and hearing two awful screams, probably from the unfortunate Drow whose turn it was on guard duty. “BANZAI!” he screamed as he hurtled towards a poor startled Dark Elf who wasn’t getting any traction on the floor to move out of the way. He was flattened as the Frogg tried to aim for a bed to bounce on. “NICE!” he yelled as he saw his trajectory was going to take him right on to the ninth bed in the row. Drow were running everywhere at once, and they seemed to be more concerned with the Great Spider than with him. A Dark Elf priestess was foaming at the mouth, she was screaming so loud in a vile Drowish language, gesturing with a spider medallion at the part of the room the Frogg came from.

The ninth bed splintered under the impact of the Almighty Amphibian, and the Froggacuda went sprawling. It was lucky that he did, for a pair of gleaming hand axes would have intercepted him if he had remained standing. They continued across the room to imbed themselves in the Priestess, who stopped foaming. A Drow rushed him with an upraised shortsword. The Frogg Prince grabbed him and kept him going on the same line of momentum, right over the broken bed and into the melee behind him. The Frogg struggled to his feet, shrugging the bedframe from his shoulders. Three Drow had seized short barbed spears, and were advancing on him. “Look!” he pointed over their shoulders, “It’s Lolth! What’s up, Spider Queen!” One Drow stopped and looked; the Frogg Prince grabbed his spear beyond the barbs and hauled him in, elbowing him in the face. He got his other hand on the spear and twisted it out of the Drow’s grasp, throwing the Dark Elf behind him by accident and hearing him roughly connect with someone — or something. The other two Drow weren’t amused by the Frogg’s taking their Deity’s name in vain; one stuck his spear into the Froggacuda’s shoulder, the other attempted to gut him but was foiled by a deft parry with the javelin the Frogg was holding. Roaring in pain, the Frogg spun sideways, dragging the first attacker with him on the end of the spear that was stuck in his shoulder. His tongue licked out and hit the second Drow warrior in the head. When he was retracted, the Frogg bit his head off and spat it to his left to roll around beneath a bed. The Dark Elf hanging on to the spear was snarling and twisting it into the Frogg’s shoulder as best as he could while being flailed around by the Baron’s movements. He left the spear stuck in Another throwing axe embedded itself into the Froggacuda’s back.

The Frogg Prince was getting upset; this was taking too long, plus he was starting to grow tired with all of this excitement. Snapping the spear in half, he left a foot and a half of the barbed end sticking out of his shoulder. The Drow was left holding two feet of haft with a dumb expression on his face, which the Frogg promptly wiped off with a well-placed handful of claw. The Dark Elf went down, holding his face and screaming. Glancing quickly over his shoulder, he saw that the Great Spider was doing almost as well as he was: ten or twelve Drow bodies were piled around it. But the Drow had stuck a bunch of spears in it, and a couple were pincushioning it with their crossbows. A quarrel thunked into the Frogg’s side, and he yelped. “I gotta get out of here!” he grimaced as he yanked the axe out of his hide and sank it into the chest of an incoming Dark Elf warrior. Picking him up by the haft of the axe, the Frogg headed for the far end of the room and what he hoped was the exit. He grinned at the expressions of pain that played across the face of the warrior as quarrels from his comrades started punching into him; the Frogg used him as a shield and then threw him aside. Bellowing loudly, he grabbed a bed and held it in front of him as a flurry of magical missiles flew from another Priestess. “Yog-Sothoth’s balls, you pests are persistant!” he grumbled and hurled the smoking wreck of the bed into the group of Drow that had gathered around her. Flexing his muscles, he sprang over their heads and trucked down the corridor, turning a corner and mustering his reserves of strength. Passing several doors, he saw a four-way intersection and put on the brakes. Standing at the crossroads, he caught his breath and winced at the pain of his wounds. The three choices he had in front of him all looked rather equal: roughly dressed stone, clean and lit by torches. Voices sounded from the left-hand one, as did the quick, sharp footfalls of several people. Looking back up the hallway that he had come down, he saw a door open and a group of Dark Elves in chainmail rush towards the barracks. “Right,” thought the Frogg, and that’s the way he went.

Episode III

(part 3)…Taking a right-hand turn, the Frogg Prince is fleeing a horde of nasty Dark Elves, bleeding and homesick for his Jacuzzi in his suite at the Manor…

The hallway twisted and turned through the earth, passing several empty rooms. One room looked like a guard room, but nobody occupied it. A leg of mutton rested on a wooden plate, half-eaten. The Baron confiscated it in the name of Mythril. Another room seemed to be outfitted as a stable, but it was devoid of mounts, containing only food bags, tackle, and a worn saddle. Munching on the leg bone, the Froggacuda quickly followed the corridor to where it ended at a huge oaken door, bound in strips of a silvery material that made the Frogg’s eyes bug out. He looked around and stooped to examine one of the thick bands of metal. “Holy Dwarf Dung!” he breathed in awe, “Mithril.” He peered through the keyhole and saw nothing. He listened at the door and heard nothing. Shrugging, he grasped the handle and pulled.

The door opened outwards, and the Frogg Prince peered around the six-inch thick door. A rush of fresh air filled his lungs, and he blinked his eyes in the hazy sunshine that filtered through the huge moss-laden trees that met his view. A grey ground mist still hugged the massive arching roots of the ancient trunks, softening their outlines and dampening the sounds of a healthy forest. The Froggacuda slipped outside, and the portal silently swung shut behind him, blending perfectly with the bark of the tree it was built into. Sighing with relief, he took the clean air deep into his lungs and trudged down the slight slope to the forest floor. Turning around, he studied the tree for a moment, trying to find any remarkable features, of which there were none, save a knot directly above where he imagined the door to be that was shaped like a crow. Then, feeling fatigue overcoming him, he flung the gnawed mutton-bone aside and looked for a tree to climb to get his bearings.

Part way up a massive oak, he paused. He heard the sound again: the snort of a horse, and he alighted in the fork of two mighty branches. Scanning the misty forest floor below, he saw a rider swathed in a dark cloak appear out of the fog, heading towards the Tree. The Frogg Prince squatted in the crotch of the tree and watched the figure dismount directly in front of where the door was and look around warily. Throwing back her hood, for it was a she, she spoke three common words aloud and the door opened. The Froggacuda gaped; this was no Dark Elf — this was a True Elf. “I thought they weren’t too fond of each other,” mused the Frogg to himself. The Elf lead her horse through the door. and it again slid silently shut.

The Baron of Mythril noted that he was high enough to view the position of the Suns, got his bearings, and slid down the trunk of the tree. He headed West — quickly!

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