Session 13 – Naumachia

Characters (1)

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Rufb, Half-Orc Barbarian (berserker), Mercenary Veteran; captured by pterafolks, his fellow mercenaries killed, seeks riches and glory
  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora (Trickery), Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted

Massacre at the Tej House

With their mission with the gripplis finished, Flyzus and Rufb were going back to Port Nyanzaru. At the river’s mouth they met scouts sent to survey worrying gnolls activity. They learned that the Tiriky’s Tej House  had been attacked by bloodthirsty gnoll reavers, with many casualties. Here with the scouts was Lucky, and whilst the others departed to report to Port Nyanzaru’s authorities, he decided to join his erstwhile companions to take a closer look at the site of the massacre.

Sure enough the members of the Tej House’ staff were all dead but there was also 2 half-eaten gnolls amongst the corpses, killed by defending fishermen by the look of it. The Ranger sensed that something was amiss, the awful odor of a Giant Hyena was terribly overwhelming and very much recent, like less than an hour-recent. They knew that they had to prepare for a fight…

Lucky hid in a damaged straw house and summoned his illusory double. Rufb and Flyzus prepared their weapons. A Giant Hyena emerged from the jungle, followed by a Gnoll Hunter. Another gnoll, a large and battle-scarred Pack Lord, howled a warcry and the 2 dead gnolls got up on their feet: Whiterlings!

The Barbarian filled his soul with rage and cursed the gods that he had lost his great axe in a chasm… He only had this ridiculous lameass trident (however well-balanced), not a true warrior’s weapon at all (2)! Nonetheless he charged the Gnolls with abandon. Flyzus’ skillful swordmanship did great damage while Lucky’s double provided opportune distraction and soon, the PCs had triumphed (for the third time) against the savage Gnolls.

Naumachia (3)

Finally back in town, the PCs  spent well-earned gold and learned that the next big gladiatorial event was near ready. The captured pirates of the Stirge were to meet justice in the arena, and the organizers were quick to publicize the participation of the « Lord Elf « (Flyzus), the very one that had helped capture them!

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At the Grand Coliseum:

The Pirates vs the Mercenaries!

1 swashbuckler, 2 thugs, 6 bandits

vs

Flyzus, Rufb, 4 bandits, 1 halfling acolyte, 1 halfling archer

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Water pumped in the arena wasn’t deep, 4 or 5 feet max, but it was sufficient for sharks to swim in, adding to the spectacle. The pirates couldn’t hope to surrender this time and thus were determined to fight ’til the end. The pirate captain, showing off his acrobatic skills, jumped behind his foes while his men crossed the planks. The Barbarian got in a duel against a tough pirate lieutenant while Flyzus got in a confused melee at the center. The pirate captain tried to take advantage of a busy Flyzus and wounded him with quick rapier stabs but the latter killed the outclassed men around him and focused his attention on the dishonorable scoundrel.

The so-called « mercenaries » had only  lost 2 men and another had fell in the water but had been helped out just before a shark could bite him. As for the pirates, they were decimated, with the Ranger and Barbarian responsible for most of it. The pirate captain fell last, but not before attempting some daring manoeuvers. With multiple wounds already from Flyzus’ swords, he couldn’t escape the enraged Rufb dead-set on killing him.

Victory to the Mercenaries!

DM’s Notes

  1. The passage of time in my campaign got a little fuzzy so I could accommodate players to have their characters together…
  2. It was funny as hell as Chris seemed to botched rolls every 2 rounds and blamed the trident!
  3. It was many sessions ago that we had an arena fight. I figured that an aquatic set-up would be suitably memorable!

Session 12 – Terrible Mandibles

I had a cold and was dead-tired but it was still a worthwhile session, if a little of the filling sort. Guillaume had to look after his baby son (the joy of parenthood!) but he managed to join us halfway in the session.

Characters

  • 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
  • Corpos, High Elf Wizard (Necromancer), Archeologist; antiquary, strange fixation on the undead
  • Kalohan, High Elf Wizard (Evoker), Inheritor; noble Elf, ill-suited for adventuring life
  • Phileas, Half-Elf Bard (College of Swords), Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
  • Goro-Tso, Human NPC (Berserker template), Mercenary, devotee of Malar; bought by promises of gold and tej, have yet to see much of either

Spider Riders (1)

The previous session the PCs had a fight against a small patrol from the Canopy Drummers (batiri goblins)  and had emerged victorious. They tried to put some distance before nightfall, between themselves and their goblin foes, and had crossed into another tribe’s territory. This, apparently did not suffice to deter pursuit, or at least, from some fast-moving skirmishers: Spider Riders.

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A (spider) Swarm descended from the trees upon the poor, terrified Kalohan, while 3 Spider Riders moved to attack the PCs from a distance. Shin, quick to assert the main threat, let loose 2 magically-charged shadow arrows, killing the leader of the skirmishers, a goblin wearing a weird spider hat. The cleric of Tymora and the Elf wizard blasted to bits the spider Swarm with magic bolts and divine fire while the bard tried in vain some mind-trick on a Giant (medium) Spider.

The 2 remaining spiders failed to catch anybody with their webs. The goblins threw venom-dipped javelins and one downed Kalohan and the other wounded Philleas. However, the adventurers still clearly had the advantage after these first exchanges and they finished the skirmishers despite their annoying shoot-and-hide tactics.

A few antitoxin vials and healing spells from the cleric later and the PCs were ready to go.

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Jason’s character is now wearing this, on his head… The start of a new trend?

The Mantis Warrior

On top of a huge fallen tree stood a Giant Mantis, eerily still (2). Already upset with her recent encounter with giant spiders, Kalohan immediately hurled a fire bolt at the thing. The Giant Mantis dashed towards the PCs but their combined attacks forced its transformation into its true form, that of a disgusted-looking goblin shaman. The latter didn’t wasted time and transformed back into his more threatening Mantis shape and attacked savagely Philleas with spiked forelegs and bite.

The Mantis Warrior proved to be a worthy adversary but he was alone against 4. His wild shape once again used up, he tried to flee but the adventurers shot him in the back and he died.

Should have killed that dude the first time

Later the same night, the PCs were alerted by some ruckus, something was approaching. In fact, it was Corpos and Goro-Tso, running away from a pack of ghouls (3). Scavo, the ghoul they’d freed (and tortured) earlier, told them that he wasn’t such a big fan of goblin flesh after all…

The 5 ghouls caught up with the 2 they were pursuing, but the cleric of Tymora intervened and his Turn Undead sent 3 of them sprinting wildly the way they came. The PCs had no intention to let them go however, they used their always efficient ranged attacks to mow down the flesh-eating monsters.

Scavo attempted a pathetic plea for mercy (yet again) and Philleas the bard responded with the quote of the day: « indeed, I know, I totally agree, it’s just a big misunderstanding », then he lopped the ghoul’s head off…

A Giggle in the Dark

Now near exhaustion from back-to-back fights, the PCs  saw goblin scribblings on the trees that Lucky deciphered as a warning to Batiri, that further ahead laid a dangerous area. That certainly posed a conundrum, it would mean a place away from the goblins but at what risk? What if whatever it was that rendered this area dangerous for the goblins proved too lethal for the depleted adventurers? They tried their luck.

But what was that they heard? A giggle? (4)

They were fortunate to have stumbled (5) in a friendly, somewhat over-excited dryad’s territory. After some chatter to satisfy the socially-starved fey, the PCs could finally have a decent rest. Next day, after offering them a delicious breakfast of berries and nectar, the dryad asked if they could solve a problem of hers: a burrowing monster was damaging the nearby trees’ roots to her great dismay. She had gifts for them if they would be so kind…

Acid-Spitting Giant Motherfuckin’ Centipede!

The PCs accepted gladly. Following her advice, they baited the monster with dead animals placed near its lair. The thing did showed itself and combat ensued (6). The well-rested adventurers had many tools at their disposal. The Tabaxi blinded the (Large) Centipede with a special arrow. The beast’s tremorsense couldn’t detect the levitating Kalohan, Shin perched on a branch, nor Corpos and Lucky whom were too far. It left the tough Goro-Tso and nimble Philleas as targets. It did managed to grab the bard between its fearsome mandibles, grievously wounding him, but it soon succumbed under the combined onslaught of its attackers.

The Dryad was overjoyed with this victory and gave the PCs well-crafted bows and magic mu-ngyengyue bracelets.

DM’s Notes

  1. I’m a bit cruel with my arachnophobe sister…
  2. The Mantis Warrior wished to make a deal with the PCs. It just didn’t happen the way I planned!
  3. A player that is late is very often the cause of such a dissonant scene, whereas his character oddly re-appear just like that…
  4. Okay, turns out that  I’m totally inept at giggling! Ha! Ha!
  5. Lenient DM
  6. Took an ankheg from the monster manual and boosted it a little.

Session 10b – Into the Pit

Characters

  • Flyzus, Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Rufb, Half-Orc Barbarian (berserker), Mercenary Veteran; captured by pterafolks, his fellow mercenaries killed, seeks riches and glory
  • NPC: Leioppe, Grung, Martial Artist (Volo’s: template); level-headed frogman, member of the Order of the Infinite Leap
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art: Conor Nolan

The Pit

The PCs waited for night-time, as the ritual chants of the Gripplis would provide the opportunity to get to the pit whilst most of Bufo’s gang would be otherwise occupied. They cautiously approached, two burly (1) frogmen patrolled the area. Their newfound ally made a diversion so Flyzus and Rufb could get closer. Rufb then charged one guard and sent him tumbling down the pit.

The PCs then attacked the other guard (2), losing precious time. This led to Bufo the Mud Shaman intervening, summoning 4 mud mephits. Those were easily dispatched but then a more imposing mud elemental took shape before them. Flyzus and Rufb finally decided to go on with their mission and jumped in the pit, Leioppe following.

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Grung Zombies

Below, the guard that was pushed was being overwhelmed by grung zombies (3) but his pleas for help met indifference.  Rufb jumped over the dying frog and shoved multiple zombies aside, his companions close behind.

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The mud elemental messily got down too. Flyzus and Rufb sucessfully destroyed it while Leioppe did his best to lure the zombies away to give them space.

Killing about fifteen of these zombies was hard work once they turned their attention to it. They had to burn them (with oil and torches) or else they just kept coming.

Nearby, in a hard to get cave, the PCs found a group of survivors, infected gripplis that had not been transformed yet. There was hope for them still, but time was of the essence.

Mold  Monster

Further through the caves, Rufb entered headlong into a tunnel infested with brown mold. That was painful… Aware of the danger now, the adventurers jumped from safe spot to another until they got pass the dangerous patch (4).

A few oozes later and less a short sword for the elf, they got before a massive, disgusting pile of mold and half dissolved grippli corpses, a shambling mound.

The poor Leioppe got grabbed and engulfed before he could do much. Fortunately, Flyzus and Rufb hacked the mold monster most efficiently and could get him out just in time before he was asphyxiated or crushed to death.

Through the Wall

After a short rest, the PCs pressed on but were soon faced with aa obstacle. A precipice some 12 feet across and a brick wall the other side. They remembered something that Nesu the Skinless had said just before they left: « you will have to make the Blind’s Leap ».

-What the heck is that supposed to mean? asked Rufb.

The glass-skinned frogman had shrugged, palms up, in the universal « I’ve no idea ».

Well, here was a leap for sure but would they be so foolhardy to try it?

Nah… A lot better to throw a rock at the wall… Sure enough it seemed to become transparent, unreal.

So reassured they jumped across and through the illusory wall.  No problem, except (!) that Rufb let drop his gigormous axe in the chasm (5). Uh oh.

DM’s notes

  1. the fascinating morphic diversity of the frogs ought to be exploited more than just colors or whatnot
  2. they should have simply ignored him
  3. Flyzus could recognize from past experience that those were in fact akin to vegepygmies
  4. for once they managed to not screw up their acrobatic checks
  5. another 1! I mean, isn’t that amazing? It seemed a bit too cruel that Chris would lose 2 characters falling to their deaths in back to back sessions so, just the axe…

Session 7e – Tiryki River – day 7

The PCs are now very near their objective (the grippli village) but they’ve decided to sidetrack a little, following the clues found on a dead explorer that pointed to a place called « Firefinger ».

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 moon), Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, now he’s a cannibalistic loony

Day 7

Angry Green Grippli (1)

River – N-C encounter

Brandishing a stick and yelling at them, the green grippli standing on a rock didn’t seem too happy to see the PCs. Unfortunately, none of them had any means to understand or communicate with the frogman. (2)

Leeches, they suck

River – Combat

Rapids in the river forced the PCs to portage again but while they were getting their canoe out of the water, two Giant Leeches attacked them. The PCs killed the creatures and kept going, less a pint or two of blood.

The Boots I Needed

River – Combat

Anaconda-ref

A huge Constrictor Snake sprang from under the water and tried to get away with one passenger but ever-alert Droidoc reacted quickly, shapeshifting into a snake himself. The confusing battle left once again the PCs as victors. (3)

6 arms is better than 4

Jungle – Camp – Combat

Now the PCs had got out of the river and hid their canoe expertly. They were a day’s walk from this Firefinger they wished to find. Setting camp attracted the attention of a local resident. Varis poisoned bolt hampered greatly the monstrous 4-armed ape’s combat ability. A moment later, after a quick melee, the severely wounded Girallon tried to flee but the PCs, as usual, were having none of it.

Day 8, morning (end of session)

Parrotbears (4)!

Jungle- Combat

Walking through the dense vegetation, the PCs spotted two parrotbears (4) a mere 200 feet away. The pair was moving directly toward them so the PCs prepared for battle. First, Droidoc cast a Spike Growth spell. One parrotbear moved directly through it, taking full damage, while the other circled around. Varis and Flyzus shot at range the wounded beast, killing it. The surviving parrotbear, far from dissuaded, charged its foes but soon rejoined its mate as worms’ food.

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GrrrRRrr?

DM’s notes

  1. Grungs or gripplis, I don’t really care, all I know is that I don’t want them to be yet another evil humanoid race
  2. Just a bit of foreshadowing
  3. we we’re playing sunday morning with a 12 hrs session the day before, this part is a little hazy for me…
  4. Parrotbear or Dire Kakapo, which is more evocative?
  5. refluffed owlbears, ’cause jungle!

Session 7d- Tiryki River – day 6

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 moon), Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, now he’s a cannibalistic loony

Day 6

Old River King

Crocodile head, Siem Reap Croc farm, Cambodia.

River – N-C encounter

A Giant Crocodile was basking in the morning sun on the riverbank. Oddly, a shotel (sword) was protuding out of its scaly back. Tempting, huh? (1) Well, Droidoc got up to the task. He shapeshifted into a rodent, jumped unto the giant lizard, unshapeshifted, managed to get the weapon free, reshapeshifted, tumbled down before the mildly-annoyed-but-also-kinda-relieved Old River King decided to swallow him whole. (2)

Pristine Waterfall, Naked Elf

Waterfall – Combat

Me: There’s a waterfall in view, you’ll have to portage again. »

Player C: « A waterfall? There must be a cave behind. There always is! »

Me: « Yeah, yeah, sure. It looks like there’s one!

Me, grinning evilly: « Soooo, who’s first? »

Players C and D: « Flyzus! »

Player F, a bit unsure: « Okay, I guess. »

Me: « You go through the waterfall and BlOoooOOOooooOoP *mime floating*… »

Player D: « Gelatinous Cube! »

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Flyzus was in a really bad spot (3). Droidoc and Varis slashed and bashed the ooze but to the Wood Elf it seemed like an eternity. Two times the druid healed him in extremis before he died from acid damage. Finally the Gelatinous Cube was defeated, releasing his now-naked and shaking prey.

Dinosaur Stampede

River – Combat

A few hours later, the relative tranquility of the jungle was shattered by an incredible ruckus, as a herd of brontosaurs crossed the river at full speed! The reason soon became apparent to the PCs:  BIG ASS MOSQUITOES! Or stirges rather, dozens, harassing the dinosaurs.  A few of these bloodsuckers spotted the adventurers and split from the main swarm. The PCs dispatched the nuisance effortlessly.

Light is Fast and Evil

Camp – Combat

Some kind of battle had happened there; rusted armors, broken weapons, but no corpses or bones. Ominous. But the PCs badly needed to rest (Flyzus in particular) so they set up camp. Varis was on duty and he saw light, two lights in fact, fast approaching. He quickly woke his companions and then the two light-creatures were upon them. The PCs weren’t sure what they were facing (4) but they soon got their hands full. The lights, will-o’-wisps, were really hard to hit and gave generous doses of shocking attacks. In the end, the adventurers prevailed but it was a hard-fought battle.

DM’s notes

  1. kinda like excalibur, or maybe not
  2. yay! a better sword for Flyzus
  3. The joy of a first time with a Gelatinous Cube!

Session 6 – To Catch a Stirge

Back to the adventure…

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

Against the Pirates

Both 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 (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!

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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 wreaking havoc, the pirate captain decided to surrender.

As for the priest of Umberlee, he jumped into 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

Session 5 – Tournament of Liberation Day

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

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

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’ve purchased this flip-mat  arena from Paizo

I offered the players a 8 teams Gladiatorial Tournament. The way I planned it, I told them that as first time participants (low-level characters)  they really had not much chances to win this. The point would be to go as far as they could in the competition.

The teams:

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

And the other teams, roughly in order of strength:

  • Disciples of Kossuth (+0): cultists dedicated to Everburning Kossuth – 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 Ferns (+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 Kossuth vs Resilient Ferns

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 +1 sword

Semifinals

Block 1: Seven Associates vs Resilient Ferns

Block 2: Liberators vs Claws of Destiny

Seven Associates vs Resilient Ferns

Resilient Ferns: 1 Girallon, 1 Albino Dwarf Druid, 5 Albino Dwarves Warriors (two with a barkskin spell effect on, 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) got to the other side of the arena and pummelled 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 did 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. An impressive feat indeed, but they were clearly not 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 ferociuous woman who didn’t seem to feel pain, Mkongu Lightfooted, faster than even a Wood Elf, Skanga the Ripper and his many shongo throwing knives and the other fearsome gladiators, there weren’t any way to win for the less experienced team.

Nonetheless, the Seven Associates gained valuable combat 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 Ferns, with the girallon and triflower added to the jungle dwarves and it was a great fight!

Session 4 – Extraction in Malar’s Throat

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  hope to achieve with only the two  of them.

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

Rescue Mission

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 underworld boss 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 would soon give over their captive to the fiercer Sons of Malar.

They had basically two ways to get to the thugs’ den on the cliff side. The first was simply crossing 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 swiftness of it meant 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 incoming petrification. A few sword slashes sufficed to slay the small beast, despite its master doing his best to heal it with magic in the fight.

Session 3 – Beaches & Caves

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!

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

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. They could see some giant crabs that fortunately didn’t look too aggressive but the axe beak nearby 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  bird. A few minutes and a dead poisonous snake later, F and V arrived at the entrance of the cave. Flyzus spotted some carnivorous vines dangling in front but a simple oil fire solved the problem. Inside the cave they could see a pond and, understandably, that aroused their suspicion. Varis threw the dead snake near it and 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. Further in the cave, a darkened leather hid a passage leading to another area, with a little light coming from a 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. Hum, 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 more miles 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 and Shin let loose an arrow from 300′ and hit! The two harpies, noticing that their song had no effect, took to the air and closed the distance on the PCs. Only one came close but was put down easily.

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 gianr 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, also, 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, and was the target of a thrown rock, 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 and did not stay down. Finally, 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 his 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 something of an infamous 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.