It is too dark to see beyond the glow of the torch, the soft flicker illuminating the road just ahead but only hinting at the thick forest to either side. You squint into the darkness, trying to spot any signs of movement. And then, in the low light at the edge of the road, you see something crouched. A couple somethings, maybe. One of them stands and turns, and you can clearly see a giant frog face. It is too big to be a frog, maybe four feet tall, and standing on its hind legs. It raises a wand in your direction, and your hand instinctively goes to the hilt of your sword.
Time to meet the Loveland Frogmen.
This cryptid is an Ohio legend, with sightings reported in the 50s and 70s, plus one in 2016. Funny enough, the first Loveland Frogman sighting was reported in 1955, a few months after the first appearance of Kermit the Frog on TV.
Reports of the frogmen all describe a creature that is three to four feet tall and bipedal, a dead ringer for a frog but bigger, usually seen alongside roads or under bridges. One traveller reported seeing one of the frogmen holding a wand that sprayed sparks, but he turned and fled before learning more about frog magic.
Those who encountered the frogmen tended not to stick around to learn more, so it’s tough to say for sure how formidable they would be in a fight. A spark spraying wand suggests some level of magical aptitude, whether they’re using a cantrip like Spark Shower or the wand itself is a magical item. We can’t rule out that the Loveland Frogmen have skills in evocation, which would make them much tougher to fight than a regular ‘ole giant frog.
It’s also worth noting that there’s a long tradition in folklore of humans being turned into frogs. In Western storytelling, being turned into a frog is typically a punishment, a curse received for greed or hubris. Frogs are portrayed as bumbling at best, evil henchmen at worst, not a creature you really want to be associated with. So, not only could these frogmen turn out to be magic users, they could also be kinda bad dudes. It may be best to assume the Loveland Frogmen are not just giant frogs, but mildly evil magic users if you do ever cross paths.