Mission report penned by Ugruk Stargazer Githenoshkira. Requests for further inquiry may be left at the Axe and Thistle.
During a previous incursion into the forest north of White Moon Cove, several members of the expedition encountered a tribe of grung (to my knowledge, it was Nalkris, Vestrivan, Timmy, Zak, Charlie, and Dorro). After some form of misunderstanding, the creatures attacked the expedition members, who defended themselves successfully, then retreated back to White Moon Cove after a much larger creature – a “white frog” – made an appearance.
After some deliberations, expedition members Snipper and Araurian made the decision to return to the forest with a larger group and assassinate the white frog.
We set out 8-strong from the Black Footpad Inn, our group consisting of the following expedition members: Abu, Araurian, Gork, Mac, Nalkris, Snipper, Vestrivan, and myself. The weather was sunny and hot. We traveled north for most of the day then west, and after some disagreement as to where the last grung encounter was, we retraced our steps to turn east instead before making camp. The evening was uneventful; while the goblin, Abu, set up magical defenses around the camp, the half-elf, Vestrivan, and I went hunting. Unfortunately our efforts were mostly in vain, but we were able to find enough forage enough for Abu to make a hearty soup before bed, though some complained about lack of meat.
During the fourth watch (manned by Mac and Snipper) we were set upon by wildlife, two creatures whom the locals have quite aptly named “gorilla bears”. Between the shouts of Mac and Abu’s well-placed alarm spells, we were able to rouse and muster a defense before anyone was mauled. The defense went near flawlessly, with the only noteworthy injuries being to myself (which, as the toughest member of the group, was my duty and honor to bare). Furthermore, we now had meat for breakfast.
After that, we wandered further east as it began to rain (though the rain did nothing to soothe the heat) where we finally encountered a grung, a small frog-like humanoid creature. Based on my observations, the grung (or this particular individual at least) secret a poison from their skin that makes any afflicted begin to act like frogs. Group members who physically interacted with it began to act like frogs themselves, with most hopping around and attempting to climb trees. I admit, with some embarrassment, that while I was not poisoned myself, I did not understand what was happening to my comrades and attempted to climb a tree. Even so, the interaction seemed to be going well, as someone presented the grung with a gift of food. It began to go wrong when Mac attempted to touch a few of it’s possessions and it shoved him away, things got worse when the gnome, Snipper, attempted to swipe the dagger from the creature’s belt and failed (I imagine to neutralize any threat it might have posed). Losing what little trust it had for us, it began to back away from us, only for Mac to make things worse by shooting it with his bow.
As the creature ran, the group made the (in my opinion) foolish decision to pursue it and it led us right into an ambush. We were outnumbered, so I sheathed my blade hoping to deescalate the situation. One of he creatures approached Nalkris and offered him some manner of elixir, which he accepted reluctantly. Fortunately it enabled him to speak with the creatures, who demanded our surrender. With my backup, he was able to convince the rest of the group to lay down their arms and we were all given a dose of the liquid, then marched away for a “trial”.
The focus of the trial seemed to hinge on the events of the previous group’s incursion. The grung demanded a blood price be payed for the grung killed by the previous party. Neither the fact that it was all the result of a misunderstanding, nor the fact that the party was defending themselves and that it was all the dead grung’s fault to begin with in the first place mattered, they wanted blood. They threatened us with war, even going to far as to state that they desired to attack White Moon Cove and massacre the residents.
At first their price was four members of the current party. Mac made the mistake of speaking up and the grung he had shot spoke out against him. He was then killed by a single bite from the white frog, who has been lurking invisible nearby. Snipper then tried to teleport away, but was also slain, this time by spell.
Somehow, Abu managed to convince the white frog to let us go, in exchange for the blood already spilled and our promise to bring a peace proposal (along with their demand for reparations) to the rest of the expedition. We beat a hasty retreat back south and managed to avoid any further conflict.
In the interest of brevity, I will refrain from adding my analysis of the grung themselves here, and will endeavor to submit a report on them in the near future,
There can be no doubt that mistakes were made, both by the previous group and ours. While I cannot condemn the previous group for defending themselves, perhaps it would have been better for them to retreat, rather than stay and fight.
As for our group, I take no pleasure in condemning the actions of both Mac and Snipper. Both displayed unwarranted aggression towards an otherwise passive sentient being, ruining any chances we had at negotiating a better outcome. As they are both dead, I cannot recommend sanction against either, except to hold them both up as examples of how not to act towards sentient beings. We must all remember that it is we who are new to this island; many of the natives may see us as invaders, and it should be the duty of all to avoid giving them further reason to be hostile towards us.
That being said, may both of them rest in the peaceful embrace of their chosen gods.