Sunday, June 13, 2021

Froglings of the Enlightened Empire

 So I was in the process of writing a post with random tables and city information for one of the cities in the eastern satrapies, but I realized it referenced a people that hasn't yet been discussed at all on my blog! That's because it is an addition to the setting that I made during my posting hiatus, but I just figured it would be an important thing to post about first!

from The Mandalorian


When the antediluvian days were waning and the men, women, and sacred ones of the First City were rising, there were some among the sea tyrants who saw their fate, even as the spell to flood the world was being woven. Chief among these were the amphibians, who knew dry land much better than their brethren. The salamanders and the frogs even included some in their number who had visited the First City and dwelt within its walls. The amphibians wanted to keep the land, for they feared that if the whole world became ocean then they would shrivel up in its brackish depths, and they would be consumed by the guilt of the death of humankind. And so, the frogs and salamanders and olms conspired to give humanity magic, to protect them from the horrible flood. It is a frog named Prometheus who is said to have given the first, now long lost, clay tablet of spells to the the thief Keyumars in those long forgotten days. In the telling of events more well known among men, Keyumars simply dove deep into the kingdoms of the sea tyrants and stole it for himself, but those who study the depths of history know better. The first spells for humankind were written in a frog-like hand.

For this, the frogs and salamanders and olms were forced out of the sea and branded as traitors. The traitor frogs fell upon the First City and its surroundings and built a new home there, and began to live among humanity. The traitor newts fled into the wilderness, willing to go along with the frogs' plan to give humans magic but not as enthusiastic about the change. The traitor olms fled into the depths beneath the earth, since they among the three amphibians did not have the physical forms to survive on land. When the sea tyrants began to take over the underground, the olms fought back and to this day that struggle continues. A giant friendly olm is a fine sight for any spelunker in need.

These mythic days are long behind them all, however, and whether there is any truth in the stories of the deeds of the great heroes of the frogs and salamen is a matter for debate. Since the froglings (as they are now called by humanity, although the name "traitor frog" has not left them) descended on the First City after the end of the Deluge, they have been a consistent feature of urban communities. Coastal areas especially, both within the Enlightened Empire and without, very prominently feature frogling communities. They are exiled from the ocean, but often skirt upon its surface on boats, their sails pushed along by the flapping of innumerable fly wings.

The traitor frogs, as the premier masters of magic on the surface world, have developed many unique forms of sorcery. Chief among these is Diptomancy, the art of communication with flies (and other small buzzing/stinging/biting things, although notably bees refuse to speak with diptomancers). This began as a form of divination, ascertaining fate through the shapes of poetically-conditioned fly swarms, but it has developed into a science and an art all its own. During the ancient days of the Warring Kings, there were many frogling principalities lorded over by batrachian sorcerer-kings and mage-mothers, and their spell tablets, secreted away in dank depths and crumbling ruins, hold some of the most powerful spells of history.

I don't intend on having froglings ride on giant frogs but aren't these just so good?


I was going to write up a frogling race-class but I'm at a bit of an impasse with regards to what to do with these guys with regards to the players. I could keep them as NPC-exclusive (keeping the game completely human-only as it currently is (technically the amazons, brinemen, and half-jinn are humans)), or make them a race-class (which to me seems a bit weird because they have honestly just as much flexibility as humans do), or fully separate race and class (which I'm worried about how to puzzle through because of how I've boxed myself in with some of the human nations), SO instead of presenting any character information, here are some example diptomancy spells.


Fly's Last Meal
Level 1
Duration: Until caster ends
Range: Touch
When this spell is cast, the caster touches a fly and is able to ask this fly any question relating to what it has eaten and what was surrounding it when it ate it. The caster is able to end the interrogation at any point. This spell is often used to find out what happened at the scene of a death, assassination, or murder.

Gust of Fluttering
Level 1
Duration: 6 turns
Range: 120'
A training spell of diptomancy. Any and all flying insects in the area congregate in a point designated by the caster within the spell's range and flap their wings very rapidly. Their fast flapping creates a noticeable wind, which will cause any light objects to be caught up in it. The caster can order the cloud of flies to release a sudden and massive gust of wind in one specified direction, pushing any being or object not too heavy back up to 240'. Doing so causes the cloud of flies to immediately dissipate.

Advanced Gust of Fluttering
Level 2
Duration: 6 hours
Range: 120'
The most commonly learned diptomantic spell. Any and all flying insects in the area congregate in a point designated by the caster within the spell's range and flap their wings very rapidly. This maintains the attention of many more flies than the simpler version. Their flapping creates a noticeable wind, which will cause any light objects to be caught up in it unless it is focused in one direction. The caster can order the cloud of flies to release a continuous gust of wind in one specified direction for up to the spell's entire duration. This gust of wind is strong enough to push heavier objects and creatures.

Item: Barrel of Flies
A common object kept by frogling sailors, the barrel of flies is just what it sounds like: a wooden barrel filled with flying insects. These are usually caught and barreled at "fly-factories" that keep rotting material to grow flies in for sale. When at sea, the frogling sailor-sorcerer has no flying insects around to provide for their advanced gust of fluttering, so the barrel of flies is a must.

Noxious Discharge
Level 3
Duration: 3 turns
Range: 240'
A biting insect emerges from somewhere within the caster's robes, and seeks out the target which the caster points at. The target makes a saving throw vs. poison, failing to do so causing them to begin to incessantly spew forth a stinking corrosive acidic discharge, the very same sort that houseflies use to digest their food. They are unable to take any actions in combat other than struggling against their vomiting, and if they fail a DEX check they also begin to take 1d4 damage every other round as they stumble around and cover themselves with their corrosive vomit. The vomit is able to melt through wood and other organic material.

Level 6
Duration: Indefinite
Range: Sight
The caster points at a target they can see. If they have the ability to feel romantic/sexual attraction, they must make a saving throw vs. death or be overtaken by the instincts of the adult mayfly. Those who do not feel romantic/sexual feelings are immune. If they fail their saving throw, they are overtaken by intense romantic feelings and the need to have a romantic moment with someone, anyone. However, the moment they so much as move away from a kiss or finish up with a romantic dinner, they will die, having fulfilled their immediate goal. The only way to stave this is to stop them from being intimate with anybody, and the only way to end the curse is through a magical ritual.

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