Merchants of Anuire – Session 1 – Wine & Venison

Happy New year!

I’m starting what may be a whole new campaign with my kids. I’ve kept this first session really basic. I hope to get things more imaginative in the next sessions, if we keep at it.

Campaign frame

  • We’re playing in the Birthright (TSR 1995) setting, with the continent of Cerilia. I was fascinated by this setting when I was a teenager and I can make use of the impressive level of details it got for the style of campaign I have in mind
  • Oddly, I’m using Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle Earth (5e OGL adaptation), even if it’s not Tolkien’s world we’re playing in, for the implied low magic setting and also, from this book there’s the Journey Mechanics that suits perfectly my purpose for a mercantile campaign of sort
  • In this homebrewed version of Birthright, there’s no blooded scions à la highlander. Maybe there’ll be a simplified domain/regency play but that would be much further in the campaign
  • Azrai is Cerilia’s version of Sauron and is responsible for most that is evil in the world. If someone do evil he’s in fact succumbing to Azrai’s « Shadow ». Too much of this and you turn into a literal monster.

Background

The kingdom of Anuire is at peace but, with the Iron Throne still vacant, war may not be far.

In Eastern Anuire, in the Barony of Roesone…

Mattheus, Ciavey’s Uncle, has been ambushed by thugs, most certainly from Orthien Tane’s gang. Many of his long-time employees have been slain and Mattheus himself is in a critical state. Fighting for his life and facing bankruptcy, Mattheus relies on his nephew (and his friends) to save the family business.

Character Cast

  • Fancey Fleetfooted, Wanderer, Anuirean Male lvl 1 (Edmond)
  • Ciavey the Peddler, Treasure Hunter, Halfling Male, lvl 1 (Isaac)
  • Lucian the Quiet, Scholar, Anuirean Male, lvl 1 (NPC)
  • Dragon the Pony (NPC)

Roads well-traveled

SHORT JOURNEY- Easy Terrain – from Fairfield to Bellam Castle (Barony of Roesone)

  • Embarkation roll: 11 (with hopeful hearts and clear purpose)
  • Journey events roll (x1): 1 (a chance encounter)
  • Arrival roll: 7 (tall tales and great deeds)

WEATHER – Cloudy

  • Talked to farmers around Fairfield, bought sheep wool, bought an old broadsword
  • Reached Abbey of the Lady, sold sheep wool, bought high-end wine. A woodcutter, a servant of the abbey, is missing. PCs chose not to take part in a rescue sortie.
  • Encountered Spider River Traders merchants going the other way, one Hughes said they could make some well-paid work if they go at their outpost in the west
  • Paid the ferry toll to cross Black river
  • Reached Bellam Castle, sold Abbey of the Lady wine for good profit
  • Just in time for an archery contest! Fancey took part with 3 other competitors and won with the best shot after 3 arrows! The prize is a wonderful Trained Falcon which is promptly named Death-from-Above.
  • The Count of Bellam praises Fancey for his win and offers him to become a game warden. Fancey don’t want to settle down and says so. The Count asks if he would do a one-time job then of hunting down poachers for him?
  • Fancey and Ciavey accept the job. Fancey uses his impressive tracking skills and they find the poachers, 2 Halflings, in the forest near a spring. They kill one with 2 arrows, the other flees but quickly surrender when Death-From-Above is launched at him.
  • Gained valuable Red Deer venison and antlers

DM notes

  • The 3 « Journey » rolls were almost optimal, which means less danger on the road and more profitable deals
  • I had a little talk with the boys about killing a poacher after the session. I should have done it beforehand. I don’t want them killing non-monsters left and right just because they can. Something about raising kids properly and all!
  • Mom roleplayed Count of Bellam to great effect!

Choose a Sponsor for your Dungeon Delve

A neat idea from the gamebook Battlepits of Krarth (Dave Morris, Oliver Johnson) is to make you start the adventure while choosing a sponsor as the first obligatory step before entering said battlepits. In pure gamebook fashion you can choose blindly and then of course you risk getting a bad one (one sponsor is actually a vampire who, guess what, is more interested in getting your blood than having champions to compete), or, you know, you could try to get some information first and make a better choice…

Those are « Sponsors » too but they’re a bit, huh, different?

Of course, a Choose Your Own Adventure has a limited scope and so there’s only three sponsors to choose from (others are mentionned but aren’t availaible). One good, one bad and one really bad (the aforementionned vampire). An interesting twist is that the good one, Magus Balthazar, is harder to get, he’s actually picky as to whom he chooses. It’s not like he wants the first boneheads to cross his door to represent him in this prestigious, yearly competion. No, no, no. You will be tested, and if your intelligence is found lacking, well… You’ll have to find another sponsor.

This asshole doesn’t care one bit if you die horribly…

With a Tabletop RPG, of course, you could have a lot more options to choose from, leading to interesting roleplaying opportunities.

But what’s the point of having a sponsor? Well, suppose you get one that’s interested in your prolonged well-being, a sponsor could ensure that your chances of success are a bit better, providing you with starting funds, equipment, henchmen and so on… And, depending on the style of play, maybe a kind of insurance against setbacks (healing services, or even resurrection).

In any case, there would have to be something to gain for the sponsor too. A share of the profits, first bid on precious stuff, etc. In a TTRPG, a sponsor wouldn’t be a simple employer, there’s a long-term relationship (or debt serving) to consider.

If I ever do something like a megadungeon campaign, you can be sure there’ll be sponsors around!

More locations for Jungle/Chult hexcrawl

Dinosaur Boneyard

Miles upon miles of massive bones with no vegetation whatsoever. Somewhere in the middle is the ancient mansion of a necromancer. But first you’d have to get past the carrion critters and various undead dinosaurs.

Pit of the Broken Idols

A cave where a long-lost civilization have thrown offensive statues down the 60′ deep shaft. Their residual power has taken shape as a powerful Eidolon.

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Treant Permaculture

A spectacular array of flowers and rare medicinal plants amongst the tallest trees of the jungle. This is the works of a cigar-smoking treant that doesn’t take kindly to trespassers. Sometimes, he does need help to get a rare plant he wants to add to his domain or to eradicate something particularly bothersome.

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Plateau of the Aarakocra

A rocky promontory that serves as a place of commerce for Aarakocra traders of the Mistcliffs and their partners. Huge quetzacoatlus are used to bring goods from afar.

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Ubtao’s Tooth

Rogue, evil Aarakocra, have made their lair atop this lonely peak. They’re given to banditry. They have tongueless harpies as their wretched slaves.

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Sacred Cenote

A very ancient site of worship, originally to some obscure amphibian deity. Glittering precious stones can be seen in the pristine water of the pool. Evil winds are always present as well as more tangible threats.

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Tunnel Cave (Mistcliffs)

A several miles long cave makes the link from dense, batiri-infested jungles to the coast, through the mistcliffs mountains. There’s many divergent paths and a lot of dangerous critters along the way.

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Jagged Summit (Mistcliffs)

The greatest aarakocra « nest » of the mistcliffs, the numerous sentinels patrolling the air don’t miss much. Only rare visitors are considered trustworthy enough to be allowed further.

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Sunken Firefinger

One of several rock tower that served to guard the border of the now defunct mezroan empire. This one has sunken below ground, only the uppermost tip remains. The lower part is now in the middle of a cave system inhabited by strange creatures.

Seashore House

Along the eastern coast, this lonely house is inhabited by a friendly hermit. Friendly unless you’re a pirate, if so you better give a wide berth to his house.

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Session 15b – Serpent-Skinned Monks

The PCs could not afford to take another long rest if they wished to be away from Tamaochan before the arrival of the Pick & Axe co. 

Characters:

  • Shin (level 4>>5), Tabaxi Fighter (Arcane Archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness
  • Flyzus (level 5>>6), Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
  • Rufb (level 5>>6), Half-Orc Barbarian (berserker), Mercenary Veteran; captured by pterafolks, his fellow mercenaries killed, seeks riches and glory
  • Vorn, Shield Guardian, found masterless beside a gaping hole in the ground

Stay Still Forever

In a part of the dungeon yet unexplored – the PCs successfully avoided a sand-filling trap – a few turns later they got almost in the middle of two rows of skeletons, a sort of honor guard by the look of it, standing on a ledge each side of a passage. The 15 skeletons jumped down and attacked (1)…

The adventurers kept their calm, even after seeing a skeleton still fighting after receiving a killing blow, what should have been a killing blow anyway. It helped that they could  now count on the powerful Vorn to back them up. An exploding magic arrow from Shin did a lot to soften the undead warriors. It took some time but they managed to prevail with only a few light wounds in return (2).

You don’t see any traps

At the end of another passage they could see a golden bat statuette. Rufb took it from its pedestal and got shot in the back by several crossbow bolts. Wounded and angry, Rufb smashed the statuette under his foot. This released a creature made of light, a will o’ wisp (they knew from previous experience), that quickly got away along another passage.

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Shed Skin

Now, for some reason, having a will o’ wisp on the loose didn’t sit well with the PCs (3) so they tried to find it, backtracking a little doing so. Flyzus ordered his pseudodragon pet to follow the evil light but the poor creature got zapped and… died (4). Next, the PCs got into a room they had opened but had chose not to enter before. A room with two slabs of stone with shed serpent skins… waitaminute… weren’t there bodies the first time around? Darn! More things roaming free…

Stuck in the Middle with You

To go further in this area, the PCs had to move a heavy block of stone on some rail mechanism up a ramp, the Shield Guardian was put to the task. They were halfway when things got complicated… First, there was sudden resistance against the block, something was pushing back… Second, bats. Lots of bats. Third, the will o’ wisp chose this moment (of course it did) to come back…

Vorn proved more than strong enough to keep the block from crushing them. The Ranger got rid of the bats around him quickly and then attacked the will o’ wisp. He was joined soon after by Rufb (Shin was still swarmed by bats) and the two successfully avenged the pseudodragon.

No Escape

Finally out of this passage, the PCs saw two nimble figures sprinting away from them. The Barbarian, the fastest runner of the PCs, caught up with them in the central room of the ziggurat’s lower tier. Attempting to communicate  proved fruitless, as Rufb could not understand a word they said. Resigned, the two mysterious sleepers-no-longer assumed fighting stances (5).

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Rufb wasn’t in full combat shape at all, so facing these two adversaries with unknown abilities was daunting. He chose to use one charge of his gem of mud elemental summoning, a reward he had received from the Three Cascades’ frogmen. This proved a wise move as the mud elemental pummeled and mired in mud one serpent-skinned monk. Rufb then finished her with one massive blow of his greataxe. The surviving monk shrieked in anguish and attacked Rufb, sweeping his legs from under him.

Flyzus and Shin now got at the scene too. The outnumbered monk turned his back and fled once more. Shin shot an arrow at him but amazingly, he catched it middair without even looking!

Try to dodge that

He then started to cross the passage to the north, the one with spikes at the bottom, swinging from bar to bar. Rufb got back to his feet and jumped right beside his foe and started grappling him. He easily outmuscled the monk and sent him crashing through the spikes. Flyzus put an end to his life with precise sword thrusts (6).

The PCs finally felt comfortable enough to get down below, to the Hidden Shrine.

DM’s notes

  1. I had described them as skeletons but they were statted as zombies, with the undead fortitude that do a lot for their durability. But this fight was meh.
  2. Too easy! Would have been better if they had to be smart about it…
  3. Players paranoia!
  4. Félix kept forgetting that it existed, so… no big deal, I guess?
  5. The monks tried their best  to escape, the PCs, the barbarian in particular, just wouldn’t let them.
  6. This proved to be a really good fight, with a lot of cool, cinematic manoeuvers.

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. Near the river’s mouth they met scouts from the city and 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 hay 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 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 responsibles 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 had the PCs in a fight against a small patrol from the Canopy Drummers (batiri goblins) and they had emerged victorious. Next, 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 not 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 warchief 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 good 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 ferocious 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 killed him.

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 and 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 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) into the territory of a friendly and somewhat over-excited Dryad. 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 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 was waiting patiently and wished to make a deal with the PCs. He never had the chance! 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 pimped it a little.

A note on Myconids

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I don’t think I’ve ever used myconids, but that’s something I want to remediate soon enough. However, if I were to stick to D&D canon lore (which I won’t), myconids are supposed to be found exclusively in the underdark, the subterranean world home to the iconic drow. This was set in stone, so to speak, by Gary Gigax’s D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (1e), which of course, borrowed heavily on established hollow earth fiction (Jules Verne’s Voyage au centre de la Terre). More to the point, Gigax also borrowed the myconids, which were created in the earlier module  A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, which was an subteranean adventure (mostly) but in no way deep in the bowels of the earth-subteranean.

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They belong on the surface!

Leaving the myconids out of most of the more typical (surface) encounters is both sad and needless, in my opinion. Put in any setting, the potential is just mind-blowing…

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Deathbloom Thallid (MtG), perfect for a Chult campaign conversion

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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
  • Leioppe (NPC), Grippli, 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 followed.

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Mold Zombies

Below, the guard that was pushed was being overwhelmed by grippli 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.

Another 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 an 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 Man’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 somewhat akin to vegepygmies
  4. for once they managed to not screw up their acrobatic checks!
  5. But wait! 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 of Three Cascades) 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

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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 were playing sunday morning with a 12 hrs session the day before, this part is a little hazy to 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! »

MM35_PG201

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!