This location, the Firefinger, is from Tomb of Annihilation. I used it (almost) as is. It’s one of the few good locations in the module IMO.
- 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(1)
- Droidoc, Halfling Druid (circle of the moon), Outlander; was there when Camp Righteous fell, now he’s a cannibalistic loony
Inside a dead explorer’s backpack the PCs had found a map with scribbled notes about some sort of signal tower . They had decided to look for this « Firefinger » as it wasn’t very far from their destination.
Cautiously approaching the impressive structure (it didn’t look man-made), they could see two holes, entrances really, on one of its square side, with the lower one a good 60′ above ground and the other almost as high as the canopy. A flimsy rope & wood ladder dangled from a ledge, not exactly confidence-inspiring, up to the lower entrance.
A pile of corpses and a crude net-trap indicated that the place was inhabited by more than critters.
Droidoc shapeshifted into a Giant Badass Spider and rapidly climbed to the first ledge.
Varis tried the rope but fell and almost killed himself in the process (2). Hands shaking, he drank a potion of healing and hid, whimpering amidst the ferns, as a pterafolk flew over him.
The second attempt was more fortunate for Varis and he was joined by Flyzus on the precarious ledge soon after. Meanwhile Spider-Droidoc bullied his way through the webs of giant spiders (albeit a lot smaller than him) and found a dead explorer wrapped in a cocoon.
The PCs cleansed the level of its critters and got to the next climbing up a chimney. 9 dead stirges and another duly searched corpse later, the PCs continued their ascension.
No pity for the elderly
Level 3, above the trees, was home to 4 old pterafolks, 2 of them cooking with a fire under a large cauldron, one (badly) sculpting a piece of wood and a fourth poking something in a small makeshift cage with a stick. The whole lot noisily bickering, as the elderly are wont to do.
The PCs attacked the frail pterafolks but that soon attracted the healthier ones from above. Two pterafolks, started flinging javelins at them from the outside. Another, the apparent leader, big and scarred, clutched a magic wand.
With half the pterafolks dead (3), the combat was fierce but the PCs were mostly in control despite magic missiles hurled at them many times.
And that’s when disaster struck.
A pterafolk inside the tower saw the opportunity to shove one of the wingless invader out to let him fall to his doom. Varis, the would-be victim, saw it coming but attempted a risky manoeuver, hoping that it would turn to his advantage. He failed miserably and, indeed, fell to the ground, 200′ below (4).
He died, the outlander, far, far from home.
The wand-enthusiast leader (5) and one of his underling, both severely wounded, fled to safer skies. Flyzus and Droidoc looted the place andalso looted the body of their fallen comrade.
Droidoc may have eaten part of him and he may, have kept some for later.
They found an half-orc prisoner on the highest level of the Firefinger. They also found a sad, badly malnourished pseudodragon in the makeshift cage.
- First casualty of the Ruins of Chult campaign, I’m definitely a Lenient Dm… That and also, the « pop tart effect » of 5e is very forgiving
- The whole climbing and falling off a ladder thing was sooo unheroic. Would have been better skipping the checks, I think.
- even the elder with the pestle
- A last dex check as he fell through tree branches resulted in a 1…
- I wanted it to be more like Clark Ashton Smith’s magic-prone Pterosaurs or some such but I can’t say that I managed to pull it off…