Deep within the Hool Marshes, between the headwaters of the Dank Brook and the broad Javan River, there lurks an ancient batrachian menace. Beware the Dank Den of the Bull Wug Wug! This article details two magical weapons created as part of the development of the lair of the Bullywug Great Chief referenced in the Module U2, Danger at Dunwater. Their history is described circa CY 576. Both Squall, a harpoon, and Contumely, a whip, are weapons with non-magical but special functions, primarily entangling, that are described in 1st Ed. AD&D Unearthed Arcana. Weapon bonuses should be applied as plusses, minuses or percentages, as applicable, for these functions.
Carved from a single piece of mottled green and grey dragon turtle shell that was found shattered on the Azure coast near Gradsul during its founding, Squall is a harpoon, elaborately inlaid in gold with scrolling fronds of seaweed. It is four feet in length with a four flue head and line hoop at its tail end. This weapon, for indeed it was crafted as such and not for the mundane tasks of whaling or fishing, was made by priests of Xerbo hundreds of years ago in aid of the Keoish Rholan southward expansion.
Squall is a +2 harpoon with the special abilities to perform, each once per day, the spells gust of wind and cloudburst. The spells are activated by speaking the command words, “gale” and “pour” respectively, which are discretely written in ancient Suloise among the inlaid scrolling. Both spells perform as if cast at 15th level. Properly used, these spells are a substantial aid in naval battles.
Squall is presently held by the Great Chief (the Bull Wug Wug) of the Bullywug tribe in the Hool Marshes off the Saltmarsh coast. Washed ashore as flotsam with a bronzewood sea chest and a magical helm of cephalopodian design shortly after the colonization of Salinmoor, the greenhag Agruntha took the weapon and made it her scepter of authority during her fifteen year ravenous reign over the Bullywugs before she was driven north, up the Javan River, by the uber-shaggoth, Nakimas, bestirred by the march of Tavish the Great. Since then, Nakimas has been worshiped by that tribe of Bullywugs as “Blurb,” an animated, tentacled, many-eyed wart upon the back of the bloated and inebriated demon toad Ramenos.
In her flight, Agruntha was able to take many of her treasures, including her helm, which she wore as a crown, but she was forced to leave behind the harpoon Squall. It has been retained by the Bullywugs as a sacred symbol of authority. Legends of Agruntha, with her tentacled-crown, are told to this day by the Bullywugs. This accounts for their reticence to bring an otherwise innocuous chest - with a few coins, gems and a helm of similar design - to the feet of the Great Chief in his lair. This reticence is the primary justification for the Bullywug Ambush of U2, Danger at Dunwater.
Contumely is a whip braided from the black tongues of the elusive giant poisonous tree frogs of the Vast Swamp. Much effort was put into breeding and sacrificing hundreds of these creatures for the sole purpose of making this weapon. Although originally crafted by the Wastrians to torture and slay the demi-humans of Sunndi, after the weapon was only narrowly recovered for a second time, it was sent west by the Cult into the Hool Marshes to aid in the establishment of the Temple of the Gaping Maw. It was thought that there it would be of use against the demi-humans of the Dreadwood and Little Hills, as obviously divinely redirected.
It functions as a normal whip +1, +3 v. demi-humans with the additional power, once per day activated by the command words “Contemnolingus Flagello,” to secrete a viscose, sticky mucus, which lasts for five to ten rounds before drying up and wearing off. It will remain through a maximum of five successful hits before wearing off. This mucus is a contact poison that inflicts three through eighteen points of damages, absent a successful saving throw for half damage. Contumely will automatically untangle itself to avoid damage or upon the will of the wielder. The crack of the whip will always sound to demi-humans as a demeaning racial insult, although this is merely a harmless illusion.
Contumely is a possession of the Half-Wug, Burrup, a rare human-bullywug crossbreed and half brother to the Great Chief, returned home after a long self-imposed exile. The Great Chief has rejoiced as he was fond of this particular little brother. Burrup’s wanderings took him to the distant Vast Swamp and into the enthusiastically welcoming embrace of the new and arising Wastrian cult. He has returned with Contumely to help establish the Temple of the Gaping Maw. Although it is a great edifice, at this time the Temple is little more than timbers and mud and its influence is only beginning to spread.
Burrup has been tasked with converting the bullywugs to the worship of Wastri in the guise of the bizarre frog god Wug’gi. So far, the Great Chief has humored him, saying that Wug’gi and Ramenos are one in the same. The witch doctors of the tribe know better, but dare not offend their Great Chief. With the recent arrival of Burrup, long forgotten memories of a giant sleepy black toad upon a throne beneath the primordial Sea of Hyperboria have entered the dreams of the witch doctors as Blurp/Nakimas attempts to reconcile Wug’gi, Ramenos and his former master, the Elder Elemental God Tsathoggua with the fate of Contumely and the uber-shaggoth’s ethos of atonement with the Hool.
Notes: The greenhag Agruntha is described as a denizen of the Hool in the Dungeon Magazine Issue 19 adventure, By the Wayside. Nakimas is from the module, I7, Baltron’s Beacon. Nakimas is not described therein, except as the Elemental Spirit of the Marsh, but I have developed it in an article for Canonfire!, which at the time of this writing is awaiting publication. It is also posted separately in the AD&D 1st Edition Greyhawk forum. The Canonfire! article, Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes by Osmund-Davizid, describes the Wastrian temple in the Hool as the Temple of the Gaping Maw, not to be confused with the Abyssal layer of the same name ruled by Demogorgon. Tsathoggua is a giant frog-like creature from the Cthulhu mythos and toad-god of the Hyperborean cycle. The Sea of Hyperboria may be seen on the Dragon Annual map of Oerth just west of the Dramidj Ocean.