The Battle of Lake Ogog

There’s a far away land both alike and unlike our own. A land where creatures we call our lessers rise to great sizes. A place the beasts of the land, waves, and air— liberated from the shackles of human hegemony— are free to grow to new heights, both in stature and in brain. Chief among them are the Frogs, the masters of the main and warlords of the waves. They live in a land they call Amphibiara. This is a tale from that land.

It was quite sunny the day that Red-Eyed Jaam attacked King Panymas' spawning ground on Lake Ogog. It was a simple operation: Infiltrate the compound, disable communication, bash through, extract the objectives. But this idyllic scenery was more than just a place of royal relaxation. With dozens of patrols, a river on one side, and hills to the other, Lake Ogag was the perfect spot for housing some the King's most important prizes.

The humid was filled with the noises of life. Quiet chatting from the guards, and of nurses strutting about doing chores. A little quarrel was brewing between a couple of guards. “Listen here, Wormliver,” the larger guard pointed at a nearby barracks. “I don't want to see any of your junk in my locker. If I catch you using it again, I'll turn you into fish bait, Ya hear?The other guard looked down, fumbling his words, “It was my number.” “Corporal Pyxcephes, Private Pylmuck, that's enough gossip, okay ladys?” Striding before them was the gruff little Sergeant Bilcor, a favorite of the camp. “You got it, Chief!” Pyxcephes replied. “Y-yes sir.” Pylmuck stammered.

And so the camp went back to making the fairly jovial noises it usually makes. Unheard went the plip and plop of sticky finger pads scaling a wall. Whilst the guards looked beyond for invaders, skulking below were intruders ready to pounce. Pulling a hollow tip out from a special pocket, a Dart Frog simply had to simply hit his target and they would be dead within seconds. A few moments later, a mass whistling sound broke the drowsy quiet of the midday as dart launchers sent silent strike after silent strike. A yelp, a cough, a wheeze, and fainting was their reply. This hushed offensive was soon ended as a single smoky flame arose from a tower. A ram horn followed, blowing in the distance a tune as triumphant as it was alerting.

The Bullfrog guards were caught unawares as the front gate began to buckle from a mighty force beyond the walls. The perplexed guards in the area had no idea what was going on. It was Sergeant Bilcor, a veteran of many a battle, that made the realization of the impending attack. It was at the same time the battering ram busted through the wooden gate separating those guards from the Tree Frog onslaught.

These Tree Frog raiders came riding in on giant silverfish. The riders wore studded leather armor, with strips of metal covering their mounts' eyes like visors, so that the silverfish are not overwhelmed by the bright sun. The riders' hands grasped long spears which— when used in a cavalry charge— proved effective and deadly.

Sergeant Bilcor wasted no time in rallying what few frogs he had. “To arms! Man your battle stations!” He unsheathed his sword as he rushed towards the closest enemy. He was no novice when it came to courage, and his ten soldiers followed in suit. Standing shoulder to shoulder, the men formed a shield wall, and while they had no spears to counter their mounts, the group could hold better against a charge.

That charge came as twenty riders came scurrying up at a blazing speed. They angled themselves in an arrow formation, and couched their lances, pointing them at their prey. “Hold steady!” Shouted Bilcor. The silverfish slinked forward, sliding across the dirt as if they were snakes. At last, ending those agonizingly long seconds, the wedge charge hit its target. The Bullfrog's left flank found itself trampled under the weight of the massive beasts, the center was pierced through, and the right avoided a fate only when Bilcor shoved the silverfish back off his shield, nearly flipping the beast over.

Metal against metal, sword against spear, the two Frog factions fought with all the might their bones could manage. But the lack of reach put the Bullfrogs at a great disadvantage. Still, egged on by their commander, the shield wall held best they could, and even managed to push their opponents back. As Bilcor was decapitating a silverfish, he heard behind him the distinct sound of hissing. He turned to see a hunched figure, barely visible, peeking out of a bush. A long stick then emerged. Bilcor now realized with horror the blowgun was aimed at the Frog to the right of him, Private Plymuck.

Sparing no time, Bilcor dropped his sword, and crouched down, bending his legs to their full extent. As the plumf of the blowgun sent the dart soaring towards them, Bilcor then stretched out his legs, leaping towards his comrade, barely pushing him out of the way as the dart went careening into his neck.

Flopping to the ground, Bilcor began to start coughing. The panicked frog, whose life Bilcor just saved, knelt down by his superior. “Why, Sir? We need you!” The sparkle from the Sergeant's dull eyes shone brightly as he looked his soldier in the face. “You don't need me. You need honor. A Righteous frog has nothing to fear, but a dishonest one fears even his shadow.” He inhaled sharply, then breathed no more.

The riders blitzed small group after group of bullfrog guard, sparing no quarter. This tactic also kept the guards from grouping up and massing a counterattack. The raiders' goal, however, was not mere whittling of Bullfrog numbers, they were instead hunting after the royal brood. A hundred little children of the King would make a hefty ransom as well as leverage.

As the first row of guards met their end, the nearby nurses scrambled to alert the rest of the camp, and to grab as many tadpoles as they could get their grabbers on. The nurses scooped them into buckets, and rushed them to the stables, where Golden Stag beetles were hastily fitted and sent off with the froglings riding on top. A great wall of wailing formed there, for many of these little ones were not yet a month old.

The riders were soon upon even them, too. For there were few steeds in the land of Amphibiara was quick as the Silverfish. Within the next few moments, the noise from the stable went from infant mewling to adult screaming. A substantial slash of the saber, and a nurse is left clutching her croaking throat. A lone sun ray's sparkle upon a spear, and a beetle's brain is left pierced. A few veteran nurses made an attempt to fight back against their attackers. Their knives might as well have been butter knives when compared to the riders' superior armor. The helpless tadpoles were swept up one by one, stuffed into moist sacks hanging on the sides of the mounts.

Outside, a tree frog raider was charging toward a group of militia frogs when a glint of light from the nearby water caught his pitch black eye. He turned quick, and focused in on his new target: A lone tadpole swimming frantically for life.

He rode close to the shore, and leaned over greatly, remaining mounted only by nature of his sticky toe pads. He made a great lunge and grabbed the frightened youth by the tail. He stared at his catch hungrily. The Bullfrog Kings has so many children, surely the sergeant won't notice one little morsel gone? The rider almost made away with his midday snack when a sudden javelin shot through his forearm. He shrieked in pain, dropping the tadpole, and reared around toward his aggressor.

Standing before him was a short, slim little thing. He was wielding a Greatsword, a little more than half his body length, and was clad in a chainmail shirt, which mostly concealed his yellow spotted skin. “Well, well!” The Challenger shouted toward his wounded opponent. “Snacking on your superiors? I'd say, old boy, that's poor form. Why don't we have a real fight? Have at thee!”

The rider grinned wickedly as he grabbed his lance. His right arm was wounded but he could still couch his lance with his other arm. The Silverfish jerked forward with such speed that the tail smacked the discarded tadpole, knocking him back into the water. As the behemoth mount strode forward, gaining speed every second, the Frog-At-Arms stood steadfast, crouching so low that his torso almost touched the ground. He gripped his sword tighter, as he would give no quarter to the marauders that defiled his homeland.

Just as the rider came within breathing distance, the unmounted knight sprung gracefully into the air, flying forward into the face of his foe. He pointed his sword intently at the tree frog's throat, and with a great heave he slammed it upon his enemy. The great sword made easy work of the little armor the rider was wearing, slicing through the leather and mucus and skin like wet butter. A gurgling scream wailed through the knight's ears as he was shoved back by a distraught silverfish.

Launched backward, the knight fell to a thud. He was bruised, and was quickly surrounded by other riders who heard their fallen comrade's death throes. The knight came to, and quickly realized he was pinned by the spears of frogs who knew his rank. He was the Count of Muddy Bank, and could fetch a king's prize in ransom and military intel.

Yet he was not focused on his immediate surroundings, for out of his yellow eye he could spot the young prince, swimming quickly to the end of the lake. There was a narrow causeway separating the pool from a river. If he could reach the river, they would never be able to catch him.

The prince dived below the waves, and for a few seconds the Count held his breath. The plucky polliwog reemerged just as quick, sailing above the causeway, and into the arms of freedom.

The Knight uttered out. “Well I'll be.” just before being knocked unconscious by a rider's fist.

CreativeAdam Hoeft