Ruins of Chult: Session 7- River journey -day 2 & 3

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Rogue (thief), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud
  • Droidoc, Halfling Druid (circle of the land), Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, now he’s a cannibalistic loony

Day 2

Is it still waste?

Ambiance

After slaying (most of) the gnolls, the victorious PCs entered the river and a few hours later come upon a grisly scene: an entire herd of hadrosaurs had been decimated. It wasn’t hard to guess that the gnolls had killed the beasts, taking meat and leaving most  to rot.

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A dozen velociraptors were doing the best they could before something bigger got there. The PCs didn’t stay to see what it would be…

 

Friendly Frogs- Portage

Combat>>defused

The party had to get out of the water for a portage, unfortunately 2 giant frogs were in the way. Unfazed, the Halfling druid cast the animal friendship spell and the two dangerous beasts let them pass without harm.

Uneventful first night in the outside on a small island in the middle of the river that was indicated by a fisherman earlier

Day 3

In Shallow Territory

Social (1)

Eblis

Paddling for a few hours in the morning, the PCs were met by an eblis who advised to take a side affluent, saying that it would be impossible to go further on the main river. He asked for “shiny things” for his well-timed advice.

After a moment of hesitation, the PCs did choose to follow the eblis’ advice and got on shallow waters full of reeds. Not much further, another eblis proposed to sell them “beautiful and magical feathers” and Varis fell for it.

Deeper in what look more like a marsh, a third eblis whispered an offer to raid a nearby nest while he did a diversion and split the content between them. The PCs declined and forged ahead.

By then, Droidoc had had enough of the shady eblis and when yet another one approached, he threw a javelin at it! (2)

Combat: 1 eblis

The eblis cast a Hypnotic Pattern spell, it briefly affected Flyzus. It then attempted to fly away but was instead shot down. The PCs then cut through the dense vegetation to get back on the main river and away from those damn birds!

Octopus vs Plesiosaur!

Combat: 1 plesiosaur

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A river plesiosaur broke the surface of the water and savagely mauled the surprised Varis. Droidoc shapeshifted once more into a giant octopus and grappled the marine reptile while the elves slashed at it with swords. The severely wounded beast tried to get away but the octopus did not let go until it was dead.

Uneventful night on the pebble river bank

DM’s notes.

  1.  My eblis were more akin to peddlers. Neutral evil peddlers.
  2. Sometimes violence is indeed the solution!
  3. The fisherman’s tip and the animal friendship both removed a combat situation and that’s perfectly okay, the PCs got xp for it.

 

Ruins of Chult: Session 7- River journey

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Rogue (thief), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud
  • Droidoc, Halfling Druid (circle of the land), Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, quite insane now

Prelude: We’ve been waiting for you…

Combat: 6 thugs

Last session saw the Seven associates capture a pirate ship, the infamous Stirge. Now back in Port Nyanzaru, Flyzus and Varis went to the open market in Tiriky’s Anchorage to spend some hard-earned money. Ennemies were waiting for them: Bridgerunners. The gang members wanted revenge against the two elves for raiding their den in Malar’s Throat. Outnumbered 3 to 1, the situation seemed dire as the thugs approached on two sides. However, Varis, ever the sly one, spotted Purple Stranglers nearby (members of a rival gang affiliated to dye works). He convinced them easily of the outrage! that the presence of these rivals in this part of town meant… Also, for some undisclosed reason, one-time partner Droidoc was following the Purple Stranglers and quickly joined the fun. The Bridgerunners should have taken the cue, but… they didn’t.  The fight was  one-sided and bloody affair. The two elves and halfling were rather merciless, shooting the fleeing thugs in the back and finishing another helpless entangled  one.

River Journey

Mission

Having seen firtshand their martial prowesses and ruthlessness in display, the local leader of the Purple Stranglers offered the PCs a job. Their boss, “prince” Jessamine had a lucrative deal with a tribe of Grungs. In exchange for their high quality pottery and rare jungle herbs, she provided the Grungs with goods they didn’t produce (i.e iron knives). But now, the last shipment was two weeks overdue. Would the PCs like to go see what the f*** is going on?

(Payment (1) includes 400gp each and 25% discount on herbal decoctions on Jessamine’s stock) Upon agreeing, the PCs have to go up the Tiriki river for a weeklong journey before arriving into the grungs’s territory.

 

Saving the Little Mermaid (2)

Combat: 2 thugs, 1 veteran

A canoe was prepaid for them at the anchorage but once they got there the PCs saw an unusual scene, 3 Flaming Fists were harassing a captured female merfolk.

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The PCs immediately proceeded to attack the mercenary scumbags, a spike growth softening them up before Flyzus and Droidoc got into brutal melee (with the sneaky drow shooting his crossbow from the side). They killed and looted the mercenaries, untied the emotional and grateful merfolk and then happily got aboard their canoe.

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Something Fishy

Combat: 3 sahuagins

The PCs had been on the river (the bay at this point) for a few hours when they saw a derelict fishing boat farther away. Upon closing in they could see a limp arm dangling from the side of the boat. Still closer (they decided to inspect), they could see obvious signs of a struggle, the arm was in fact severed, the sail was all ripped, blood smears everywhere and 2 shark teeth oddly embedded in the mast.

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They didn’t have time to reflect on this as 3 sahuagins surprised them (still on their canoe). 2 sahuagins embarked on the fishing boat, one holding a spear, the other a shark tooth sword. The third one stayed underwater and shook the PCs’s canoe violently, sending an unbalanced Flyzus in the water. Droidoc shapeshifted into a giant octopus (3) and went against the other sahuagins while Varis helped Flyzus get back onboard. Overcoming the initial surprise, Flyzus and Varis killed on opponent with their combined projectiles as Octopus/Droidoc turned the waters red with another. The surviving sahuagin tried to flee but the Octo-Doom quickly overcame him too.

Loot: obsidian knife, shark tooth sword, 4 silver earrings, seashell necklace

One less War Canoe

Combat: 4 witherlings, 13 gnolls, 1 Gnoll Pack Lord

The PCs had heard from local rumors in town about a gnoll camp being erected on the eastern side of the river, and sure enough they saw it, bustling with activity, and worst still, they could smell the horrible emanations of putrescent meat, dejections, etc. , as they passed by and away. What they didn’t expect was to come head to head with an incoming war canoe as they got out of the bay in the river proper. The leader, a Gnoll Pack Lord, shouted some orders and set his crew on an interception trajectory, tireless witherlings rowing in cadence (4).

Far from panicking from the sight of ravenous gnolls approaching, the PCs quickly planned a lethal strategy that started with the halfling casting a spike growth directly on the war canoe (5). Droidoc then got busy, jumping underwater and shapeshifting once more into a giant barksinned octopus while the elves rowed to the shore, so they could defend themselves more efficiently. Some gnolls were good archers and Varis was severely wounded as a result. The 4 witherlings got destroyed by the magical thorns while they rowed. the Pack Lord have had enough and ordered his crew to abandon ship and swin for the shore. Do I have to say that it gave great pleasure to the Eight-Armed Droidoc? He spotted the Pack Lord and completely owned him while his clueless packmates were being shot by the elves as they swam.

Only 6 gnolls got ashore but it could still have meant the end for the two Elves but they managed to prevail with brilliant swordplay (6). Two gnolls managed to flee (7).

Loot: Ivory Armband, bag of precious stones, dinosaur meat

Tej House

Social

The PCs reached their first planned stop, a well-protected tej house. The clients, mostly chultan fishermen, were happy to learn of the gnoll’s débâcle and offered free drinks and a few good tips to the would-be explorers.

TBC…

DM’s notes

  1. Varis’s player could have bargained a much better reward, he messed up with his maths… Ha! ha!
  2. Saw that image on pinterest and immediately thought about putting it in play
  3. I said half-jokingly later in the session that the giant octopus was the star of the day! This rarely seen beast-form performed AMAZINGLY well.
  4. For this planned encounter, I was guessing that the PCs would flee (with quick-thinking and a few athletics checks) the 18 strong war canoe… But no! Ultra Chaotic Droidoc went full aggro as soon as he could!
  5. I was somewhat lenient with the spell, ruling that the gnolls couldn’t properly manoeuver their war canoe without “moving” so about half of them took damage each round.
  6. Flyzus hunter’s feature: horde breaker,  is ideal in ta fight like this
  7. They are on the wrong side of the river if they wish to get back at their camp so there’s no short-term menace.

Ruins of Chult: session 6

Characters (Seven Associates)

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (Hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Elf Rogue (Thief), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud
  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora (Trickery), Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted
  • Shin, Tabaxi Fighter (Arcane Archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness
  • Pocor, Human Druid (Circle of Spores), Outlander; member of Chultan Diaspora, returned to his roots, literally

Back to the adventure…

Against the Pirates

Both “Prince” Zhanti and her son Shago had a strong interest in defeating the pirates that scourged the Seas around Port Nyanzaru which after all, is a MARITIME city. They had a plan to inflict a first blow and, of course, it involved using the Seven Associates. The PCs would accompany a selected force on board of a seemingly vulnerable merchant ship.

Hidden in the cargo hold, they waited for the pirates to find them, cramped quarters being the main foe in the meantime.

Goals

  • Capture at least a few pirates
  • Capture the Captain
  • Capture the pirate ship

Capturing a Stirge

The pirates did showed up, who would’ve thought (how boring would it have been otherwise!)? The pirate ship had a kind of giant mosquito on its flag revealing that they were the prey of the Stirge!

The false merchant ship did try a token escape tentative so it wouldn’t look too suspicious. The pirates boarded as the crew on deck seemingly surrendered. Half a dozen men were sent below to take a look on the merchandises. The Cleric of Tymora had prepared a nice trick of his own: a Zone of silence, so that when the hidden ambushers jumped on the surprised pirates, it did not alert their comrades above. Next, the pirates’ second in command, a burly Orc, went below to see what took so long. He had time to swing his large cleaver at Flyzus once, wounding the Wood Elf, before he was cut down too.

The already suspicious pirate captain, still oblivious to what happened, decided then to listen to his instincts and called a retreat, dashing back to his own ship. The PCs and their allies rushed at once, throwing grappling hooks as the pirates tried to cut free. Two planks were still in place and fierce fighting ensued. The pirates were now outnumbered but a priest of Umberlee amongst them managed to summon a water elemental in the hope of turning the tide (!).

With the Tabaxi firing arrows after arrows from the crow’s nest and the battle for the planks going in favor of his opponents, despite the water elemental’s fierce contribution, the pirate captain decided to surrender.

The priest of Umberlee jumped in the water, disappearing under the waves.

DM’s notes

  • The Stirge and its crew comes from ToA
  • The PCs found some valuables, including an old Omuan tapestry
  • reward: 2000 gp or a first payment if the PCs want to keep the ship

Ruins of Chult: session 5

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (Hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Elf Rogue (Thief), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud
  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora (Trickery), Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted
  • Phileas, Half-Elf Bard (College of Swords), Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
  • Shin, Tabaxi Fighter (Arcane Archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness
  • Pocor, Human Druid (Circle of Spores), Outlander; member of Chultan Diaspora, returned to his roots, literally
  • Corpos, High Elf Wizard, Archeologist; antiquary, strange fixation on the undead

Ditching the Death Curse of ToA gives me and the players the time to do as we please. The downside, maybe, is the possibility to, huh, not advance anything at all, as this session demonstrates…

Also, show me something like a Grand Coliseum as a location, and of course I will want to stage battles in it!

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I purchased this arena flip-mat from Paizo

And so, I offered the players a 8 teams Tournament which of course, they accepted. The way I planned it, I told them that as first time participants they really had no chances at all to win this. It was to be an avant-goût, a challenge for later. They also knew that the Tournament’s organizers had assembled an All-Stars team of Chultans called the Liberators to honor Liberation Day and bolster local pride.

The teams:

  • The Seven Associates (PCs) (?): newcomers, have done a couple of prelims combats in the past two weeks

And the others, roughly in order of strength:

  • Disciples of Imix (+0): cultists dedicated to Everburning Imix, forced to fight
  • Flaming Fist (+2): mercenaries based at Fort Beluarian, here for the money
  • Sons of Malar (+4): local gang of thugs. here for the fame
  • Resilient Fens (+5): Jungle Dwarves in town for the event only, here for the thrill
  • Gnoll Marauders (+6): evil, mangly typical gnolls, here for the blood
  • Claws of Destiny (+10): Tabaxi monks, here to test their skills
  • Liberators (+16): All-Stars Team of Chultans, here to win

Quarter Finals

The teams were randomly picked for the quarter finals as follows:

Block 1:

  • Seven Associates (PCs) vs Gnoll Marauders
  • Disciples of Imix vs Resilient Fens

Block 2:

  • Flaming Fist vs Liberators
  • Sons of Malar vs Claws of Destiny

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Seven Associates vs Gnoll Marauders

The Maurauders: 3 gnolls (2 with longbows), 2 gnoll whiterlings, 1 Dire Hyena, 1 Pack Lord.

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A well placed entangle spell from Pocor ensured that the 7As had time to make the most of their ranged firepower: arrows and spells bombarded the Gnolls. Shin’s explosive arcane shot in particular proved very lethal, unfortunately he missed his second shot. The two gnoll archers tried to retaliate but weren’t very successful. The Whitherlings were blasted to bits before they even reached the middle of the Arena. The Dire Hyena moved fast but only managed to get itself impaled on Pocor’s waiting spear.

The confidence of the PCs was understandably high at this point but it was soon to be shaken as the Pack Lord and another Gnoll reached their side of the Arena and rampaged through their ranks, felling three of them in no time.

Judicious use of healing; Pocor, Phileas and Lucky all had such magic at their disposal, ultimately made them prevail, but not without a bit of luck.

Rewards: 50 gp and an Ikakalaka sword +1 (can do slashing or piercing damage)

Semifinals

Block 1: Seven Associates vs Resilient Fens

Block 2: Liberators vs Claws of Destiny

Seven Associates vs Resilient Fens

Resilient Fens: 1 Girallon, 1 Albino Dwarf Druid, 5 Albino Dwarves Warriors (two with a barkskin spell effect, one with a triflower strapped to his back).

téléchargement (1)

The opening round was much like the previous fight with the 7As peppering their opponents with arrows and spells while the Jungle Dwarves dashed forward to get in melee quickly. Three RFs were slowed by a grease spell from Corpos. The Girallon, with its aggressive feature, could even get to the other side of the arena and pummel Flyzus the very first round. The Wood Elf then retaliated with two sword slashes that inflicted heavy damage (one critical hit). Phileas then played a mind trick on the beast with a dissonant whisper, that made it flee. Flyzus killed it with a sword stab in the back.

The Jungle Dwarves joined the fun and soon everyone, except Shin who again had climbed up a spike on the wall, was in a confusing brawl. Varis got into deep trouble when the triflower covered him in corrosive sap AND poisoned him with its grappling pistil. Meanwhile, Lucky’ scale mail offered good protection against the wooden clubs of the jungle dwarves but that made him the target of the druid’s heat metal spell that nearly killed him.

Phileas’ quick thinking saved the life of Varis as he correctly guessed that pouring water would  wash away the corrosive sap. He even asked the assistance of the spectators to shower the poor Drow with, well, anything they had!

Flyzus slashed and stabbed, right and left, very efficiently. The triflower was dispatched with a firebolt and an arrow. The Seven Associates yet again managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!

rewards: 100 gp each and a ankylosaurus breastplate

Final

Seven Associates vs Liberators

Liberators: 7 gladiators (4 with added quirks)

It was already surprising that the newcomers had managed to get to the final but they weren’t in the same league with the local favorites and long time gladiators: the Liberators. The best of the best of the Grand Coliseum assembled in one team for the Tournament of Liberation Day.

The Seven Associates did all they could but predictably, they could not avoid defeat. Between Sukomo the Fragrant and his unnaturally good scent, Wèwè the Killer, a woman who didn’t seem to feel pain, Mkongu Lightfooted, faster than a Wood Elf, Skanga the Ripper and his many shongo knives and the other fearsome gladiators, there weren’t any way to win for the less experienced team.

Nonetheless, the Seven Associates gained valuable experience and a challenge for later.

DM notes:

  • Before the session, Corpos’ Player asked to change his rock gnome to high elf, he read somewhere that gnomes are silly, duh…
  • Corpos’ Player finds the 5E grease spell underwhelming and  changed it for cause fear.
  • This session was pure undiluted, tactical combat. It did help us get used with combat options that we had skipped, somehow, in the previous campaign.
  • I was bit creative with the Resilient Fens, with the girallon and triflower added to the jungle dwarves and it was a great fight!

Ruins of Chult: session 4

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Rogue (scout), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud

I was more than happy to make a special session to my friend and his son who managed to be there again, despite the distance (300+ miles).

After a bit of survey of Flyzus’ new abilities, young Félix is fairly new to D&D after all, I had them choose a side quest among some they could  achieve with only the two  of them.

Get Him Out

They opted for an extraction mission given by Captain Soshen (with the backing of Ekene-Afa). They had to bring back an informant whose task had been to spy on “Prince” Jobal’s activities, that had been captured by the Bridgerunners, a gang of thugs in Malar’s Throat. Unfortunately for the Drow, who would have liked to do it at night, time was of the essence as they knew that it was quite possible that the gang gave over their captive to the mightier Sons of Malar.

They had two ways to get to the thugs’ den at the cliff side. The first was simply by the suspended bridge and would surely get the attention of the thugs. The second was by climbing down on the west side of the canyon to get on the precarious ledge beside the wooden shack. They choose the latter and managed to accomplish the feat without being seen. The two Elves then waited for the right time and it came when the thugs got together to eat a meal, leaving the target tied upside down nearby.

The PCs quickly seized their chance, approached the prisonner with discretion, untied him and made a diversion with a good ol’fashionned oil fire. They killed two thugs efficiently, the quickness of it ensured that they had time to flee before more Bridgerunners could do anything about it. They escaped by exiting Malar’s Throat at the edge of the city.

The Old Man’s Pet

A little Arena fun was now in order to call it a night.

Cockatrice-5e

They had to defeat an innocuous looking old man holding a cloth covered cage. The fight was on and the old man let go of his caged pet: a cockatrice! Varris got bit once and shook off in extremis the oncoming petrification. A few sword slashes got the better of the small beast, despite its master doing his best to heal it with magic in the fight.

Ruins of Chult: session 3

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Varis, Drow Rogue (scout), Far traveller; exiled scion of a noble family on the losing side of a feud
  • Droidoc, Halfling Druid, Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, lost his mind, he’s a loony
  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora, Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted
  • Phileas, Half-Elf Bard, Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
  • Shin, Tabaxi Fighter (arcane archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness

This time was a rare 10+ hours session, with players going in and out along the way. It served also as an introduction for a good friend and his 10 y-o son who’s just beginning  tabletop gaming. Ah, the innocence!

Smuggler’s Cove

  • (Flyzuz, Varis)

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Flyzus and Varis had to secure some illegal stash hidden inside a cave not far from where they had beached. Some giant crabs could be seen, fortunately they didn’t look too aggressive but the axe beak was another matter, coming out of the trees it made short work of one the crustacean. F and V  did a bit of climbing to evade the large carnivorous bird. A few minutes and a dead poisonous snake later, F and V arrived at the entrance of the cave. Flyzus spotted some assassin vines dangling in front but a simple oil fire solved the problem. Inside the cave they could see a pond and understandably, that arouse their suspicion. Varis threw the dead snake near it and there was something in, who would have thought?! (the pond was actually connected to the sea by a tunnel) A long tentacle quickly snatched it. F and V decided to feed something bulkier to the aquatic thing so it would be busy eating whilst they did what they were there for. So a few arrows and crossbow bolts later, a freshly slain axe beak joined the snake in the water. The plan worked. Inside the cave, a darkened leather hid a passage leading to another area, with a little light coming from natural chimney above and to the smuggler’s goods. There was also a swarm of bats that they chased off, not without receiving a few painful bites.

Arena: The Mercenaries vs the Skeletal Horde

  • Flyzus, Varis, Droidoc and Shin

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6 skeletons with rusty spears. The PCs barely survived.

Arena: The Mercenaries vs the Gladiator

  • Flyzus, Varis, Droidoc ans Shin

The PCs were offered to replace a gladiator who was sick. Yes, yes, he had severe diarrhea okay? They didn’t have to win, just show up against his opponent, a hardened veteran of the Grand Coliseum. They did not win, but it was a close call.

Along the coast

  • Flyzus, Varis, Droidoc ans Shin

Shin had a proposition for his battered new friends. His employer offered 250 gp for cleaning a newly acquired mine from its critters. They accepted and paid a fisherman to drop them 30 miles northward. They had a few miles more to walk  along the rocky beaches and high cliffs. As they progressed, they began to hear singing, the lure of harpies! Fortunately, none of them succumbed to their song and Shin let loose an arrow from 300′ and hit! The two harpies, noticing that their song had no effect, took to the air toward the PCs. Only one came close but was put down easily.  They looted the harpies’ nest.

The Mine

  • Flyzus, Varis, Phileas, Lucky and Shin

Having found the mine, the PCs saw that giant wasps seemed to inhabit the place as they saw them come and go constantly. They also noticed that one of the wasp was strangely infected by some sort of fungus. The PCs decided to smoke the wasps, collecting all the wood pieces they could before sunset and then they made a fire. A few groggy wasps tried to get out but were easily dispatched. After the smoke had cleared, the PCs entered the mine. They found quite a few dead  wasps near the entrance and the rotten carcass of a dimetrodon a little further. Something ran off before they could see it clearly.

They went deeper and that’s when the real fun began…

Vegepygmy-5e

The Tabaxi was in front, a rock was thrown at him, hurting him lightly. The next few rounds were surprisingly testing for the PCs as they received a LOT of rocks from the angry vegepygmies while a thorny kept them tied in melee from the other side. They were downright anxious when they found out that the little fungi men could regenerate. They managed to prevail, using oil and torches to burn the vegepygmies but one of them escaped and the PCs badly needed a rest. That’s what they did before going into the deepest level of the mine.

The first trouble below was an encounter with the surviving giant wasp queen which succeeded in stinging the young cleric of Tymora. The poison nearly did him but once the queen was dead he healed himself with his goddess’ magic.

Soon after, the final battle was against the vegepygmy that had escaped earlier and his chief who was busy absorbing… nutrients? in a pit, with some tendrils jutting from his arms.

The peak of the battle was when the vegepygmy chief released his spores, poisoning Flyzus and Varis. Lucky saved Varis’ life with a merciful spare the dying and did the same a moment later when Phileas was grievously wounded by claw attacks.

Shin found a few gems carefully placed on a rock, with a delicate mushroom in the middle. He didn’t take the mushroom.

Arena: The Mercenaries vs Mr Sticky and Darling

  • Flyzus, Varis, Phileas, Lucky and Shin

Back in Port Nyanzaru, the PCs received their reward for clearing the mine and after a well-earned rest they were back in the arena! This time they were against a well-known gladiator: Mr Sticky the Ettercap. 

Mr Sticky had a large cloak on when he entered the arena and while he moved to meet the PCs in battle, he removed it releasing his pet giant spider Darling that was hidden underHe then restrained Lucky with a web. Phileas played tricks on the ettercap’s mind with a dissonant whisper- Mr Sticky was convinced by the spell that the crowd was booing him–  forcing him to flee in shame while Flyzus, Varis and Shin killed Darling. The ettercap was rather mad at this point as he came back but the combined attacks of the PCs proved too much for him.

DM’s notes

  • The group of PCs was missing frontliners badly. Most of them are good at range but they had problems when it was time to engage in melee.
  • The vegepygmies, with their skirmish tactics were way harder than I tought they would be.
  • This session was really heavy on combat, perhaps a bit too much.
  • The vegepygmies could have been persuaded to leave the mine if diplomacy had been tried. The players were a little freaked out with some of my descriptions by the time they met them. I think that’s why it didn’t occur to them.
  • Arena battles are a little silly but we’re having a lot of fun doing them.

Ruins of Chult: Session 2

Characters:

  • Shin, Tabaxi Fighter, Outlander; Big-game hunter
  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora, Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted
  • Pocor, Human Druid, Outlander; Traveller of chultan descent
  • Phileas, Half-Elf Bard, Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
  • Corpos, Forest Gnome Wizard, Archeologist; antiquary, strange fixation on the undead
Port_Nyanzaru
Tomb of Annihilation, WoTC

And now what’s the plan?

The PCs disembarked in Port Nyanzaru at dusk and their first move was, unsurprisingly, to find shelter for the night. They opted for Kaya’s House of Repose, a cozy inn located inside the walls, feeling confident that their meagre funds would soon be replenished. Puzzled by the lack of other customers, they asked around and learned that everybody (except the staff) went to an unusual sight: a Halruaan airship had landed in town! Joining the crowd in the plaza, the soon-to-be explorers could only marvel at this efficient way of locomotion. Young Lucky, accustomed to city life, quickly became aware that wily pickpockets were taking full advantage of the diversion. Fortunately, targeted Pocor was vigilant enough to evade theft.

With so much people around, the PCs  heard some tidbits they could benefit from.

Let’s talk money

In their first couple of days in Chult, the PCs have found out a few ways how to earn some gold pieces, before leaving Port Nyanzaru for their dangerous jungle expeditions:

  • Arena Fun: The Mercenaries vs the Velociraptors
  • More Arena Fun: The Mercenaries vs Ras Nsi’ Skeletal Horde!
  • Middleman Mboka have a job: Cleaning a Mine from critters (coast, two days away)
  • Captain Shago have a job: find a certain Mpanzu thought to be in league with the pirates  and bring him to the captain.

Arena Fun

Shin, Corpos and Phileas happily enlisted, whilst Pocor and Lucky had some mischievous plans of their own.

Mercenaries VS Velociraptors!

From his spectator seat, Pocor cast an entangle spell at one of the two porticullis where were kept the raptors, effectively blocking it.  Two raptors entered the arena from the other side and advanced rapidly to the center of the arena, where Phileas and Corpos were ready for action. As for the Tabaxi, he climbed with celerity on one of the spike jutting from the encircling wall, intent on using his bow on the beasts.

Corpos’ mage hand threw sand in the eyes of one raptor and Phileas attempted to skewer the other with a fancy move of his rapier but only lightly wounded it. The savage bite and claw attack against him nearly put an end to his barely-started adventuring career but for the help of Pocor’s healing powers.

As Corpos, Phileas and Shin finished the two raptors, yet another magical intervention from Pocor triggered an angry reaction from two young hooligans. If he was so intent on helping the “mercenaries” they told him, he might as well join them in the arena below! A short scuffle ensued and Pocor got the upper hand (but not without losing his concentration on his entangle spell).

Below the two remaining raptors were finally free and Phileas, quite the crowd-pleaser, made a loud cracking noise with his whip that sent a magical wave, killing one raptor and wounding the other. A flame bolt from Corpos finished the poor beast.

(Shin’s player wasn’t too lucky with his dice throughout the combat. I think he hit once with an arrow?)

Meanwhile, Lucky tried to gain money another way. Feigning intoxication, he attempted to pickpocket a richly attired Chultan but got his greedy hand stung and was poisoned. He felt ill for an hour or so for his trouble. The locals aren’t the easiest of targets it seems.

Dinosaur Racing!

A dinosaur race was announced for the evening. Two contenders: the ill-tempered allosaurus Bonecruncher was a 2:1 betting favorite against the young ankylosaurus Grung Stomper!

Of course it occurred almost immediately to Phileas to mess with the race and try to win against the odds! Corpos and Lucky were both convinced by the bard’s greedy enthusiasm and put a sum on Grung Stomper.

Phileas’ plan was to wait somewhere further on the circuit and play tricks on the allosaurus’ mind with a well placed Dissonant Whisper spell. And oh my, how it worked! The ill-tempered Bonecruncher failed spectacularly  (rolled a 1!) to resist the mind intrusion and went berzerk, losing precious time before his handler managed to steer him back on track. The race was still close but it was enough so Grung Stomper won!

DM notes:

  • With Pocor’s player agreement, I’ve decided that his character’s ancestors were from Chult.
  • I did some foreshadowing for the Halruaan airship before it become, huh, a jungle location?
  • This session was rather short with 3 hours of play. I had thought that a lot more would be accomplished but it’s ok, the players have learned a lot of stuff about the setting and had some ideas how to tackle it.
  • Last campaign finished with lvl 20 characters, beginning anew at lvl one is so different!
  • Phileas’ player loves when his PC shines and has fame! That’s certainly a good way to keep his interest in the campaign.
  • Both in the Arena and dinosaurs race, the players cheated their way to victory. That was a lot of fun. But… They are not the only crooks in town! I have to keep this in mind…