Three figures out of a nightmare awkwardly slid from the thick marsh shadows. The humanoid creatures, which appeared to be a sick hybrid between man and frog, stood about shoulder-height, but walked slumped over in their natural state. Large, bulbous, yellow eyes stared, unblinking, at the humans on the path before them.
Mouths, more like gaping slashes, noisily sucked in air, exposing a purplish- pink maw of a mouth, with a worm-like tongue and sharp, needle-like teeth. Draped across their shoulders and hanging down the creatures bodies, were crude leathery harnesses, holding various tools and trinkets. It was apparent that the straps were used more for utility, than vanity. Grasped in bony, webbed hands were wicked-looking short spears and bows of crude, but efficient craftsmanship. The lead creature, in a hopping gait, moved closer, pointing it’s spear towards the corsair’s direction. “Gruouu-uok!”
Tasius, clearing his throat, found himself holding his holy symbol before him. Placing himself in between the two groups, he struggled to keep his voice strong and even, as he had been trained to do. “We mean you no harm, and wish but to continue on our way in peace.” A wisp moved close to his left shoulder, pulsing softly.
The frog-man closest to the priest cocked it’s head to one side for a moment. Its long, slimy tongue quickly whipped out of it’s mouth and caressed an eye, refreshing the orb’s mucous membrane. The wisp next to Tasius began to pulse even more and moved between the man and the frog-thing.
Thrusting it’s squat head foreword, the leader of the things spoke, “Bluu-ok urmool plolp-dvuuk!” Tasius jumped, startled, as a voice almost simultaneously burst from the wisp! “You warm-bloods trespass on our lands!”
Tasius, regaining his composure, quickly answered, “We didn’t know! We are merely trying to travel along the road, to get to the other side of the bog.”
The leader began to tremble slightly, his slimy greenish-grey skin flushing red. “No! Your kind banished us from our nesting grounds long ago, taking it as your own! Now we, the Children of Skolos, have returned to reclaim what is rightfully ours! You may pass, only if you surrender your ‘pk-thuub’; your tools!” The leader thrust his spear towards the wagon.
While Tasius was negotiating with the frog-thing, Savoir began to slowly make his way around, towards the rear of the group of creatures. Better safe, than sorry. He wondered if the creatures could see very well in the dark? Hopefully not!