Session 10a – Endangered Frogs

Onward Heroic Flyzus with your new brutish buddy (who conveniently replace your dead, half-eaten companion) onward and don’t worry too much about your missing cannibal Halfling friend (who may eat you too one day), onward I say,  your world-shaking quest (of getting a shipment of pottery ) awaits!


  • 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

Of Preys and Predators

Flyzus and Rufb have a few days of travel across the jungle before arriving at the grung village. En route, Flyzus’ ranger senses told him many things:

  • they were being followed by 5 deinonychus
  • the raptors were first attracted by the scent of dead meat
  • a stegosaurus corpse laid nearby
  •  a giant (large) centipede was already feasting on the carcass

Thus began a complex ballet of circling around the monstrous centipede, the PCs and raptors trying to outmaneuver each other.

At one point, one raptor got too near the centipede and fled the scence after being bitten and poisoned by it.

The 4 remaining raptors finally rushed the duo and a brutal fight ensued. Flyzus got severely wounded by a pouncing raptor but his new companion proved quite unabashed by the many wounds he himself sported.

A few hours later, the PCs were content to lay low when a herd of juvenile diplodocus was being pursued by 3 allosaurus.


Next, they finally arrived at the grippli village of Three Cascades which was accessible only by an arduous climb. (1)

Endangered Frogs


The PCs were clearly unwelcome. They soon discovered that many of the frogmen suffered from some kind of severe skin disease. Furthermore, the plague and its consequences had split the tribe into two rival factions, almost at war with each other.

The disease was not only fatal and highly contagious, the victims were ultimately transformed into horrible mold-monsters. A quarantine of sort was in operation, those with advanced symptoms were forcefully sent into “The Pit”.

One group, led by Nesu the Skinless, had sent its best warriors in the hope of finding a rare medicinal plant, to cure the disease. It had been many days since thay had left, things did not bode well.

The other group, led by Bufo the Mud Shaman, had benefited from having the last reserve of the cure and hoped to seize power even if it meant the death of more than half the tribe.

Needless to say, the merchant’s pottery deal was now far in the list of priority of the Gripplis.

Communication between the Gripplis and the PCs was problematic, until Nesu the Skinless, some sort of magic-user, provided some “Speech-Ferns”. They looked kinda funny with the ferns on their head but at least they could understand each other.

Flyzus and Rufb decided to help the Gripplis, they would go see if they could fetch the medicinal plant they so badly needed. Nesu gave them a clay tablet that portrayed it and a grippli named Leioppe would go with them. The only way for non-jumping folks was beneath the mountain and the only entrance was (of course) through the Pit, to reach the Forbidden City where the remedy was (hopefully) to be found…

DM’s notes

  1. I ditched the silly Dungrunglung location with it’s incredibly dumb scenario (ToA)

Session 9 – Firefinger

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.

The Firefinger

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.

Bittersweet victory

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.

DM’s notes

  1. 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
  2. The whole climbing and falling off a ladder thing was sooo unheroic. Would have been better skipping the checks, I think.
  3. even the elder with the pestle
  4. A last dex check as he fell through tree branches resulted in a 1…
  5. 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…

Session 8 – Soshenstar River

My sister joined us today and played D&D for the first time since… well, the 90s I guess. Guillaume was quick to point out that the group badly needed a “tank”. That was promptly ignored as my sister chose to play another wizard, with poor constitution to boot. So the group pretty much flirt with death in every combat still, but that’s not without fun!

This time around the PCs chose to do two side quests that they could do simultaneously: kill batiri goblins for Camp Vengeance and go retrieve a lost Shield Guardian for Wakanga.


  • 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

Payment promised:

  • 10 gp per batiri killed
  • 20 gp for even more dangerous kuro clan (they have specific ritual scars)
  • 50 gp for those goblin leaders: Bat Queen, Green Strangler, Mantis Warrior
  • 2000 gp for the recovery of the Shield Guardian and its amulet (can be paid in spells, for more value)


The PCs bought a canoe and supplies before leaving Port Nyanzaru to journey on the Soshenstar river. The first few days were uneventful as they passed by plantations and fishermen. They made a quick  stop at a floating market and then later, they stayed a night at the Tanner’s Lodge, a place that offered a safe roof if you can tolerate the awful stench that goes hand in hand with leather working. Corpos bought himself a scuta leather armor.

Epic it was Not (1)

The landscape definitely less and less human-touched, the PCs got a first (modest) taste of action. A dead tree lying on the riverbank served as a nest for bloodsucking Stirges. Half a dozen were coming at them as the PCs flung mundane and magical projectiles, killing 4 in no time. A nearby Giant Dragonfly snatched the remaining two midair.

Size does matter

Next day, while they portage, the PCs were surrounded by enthusiastic diminutive velociraptors, chirping (or whatever a velociraptor does to communicate) at each other. Kalohan’s quick thinking prevented an attack, a minor illusion spell put on their canoe let it look like a Stegosaurus instead, further enhancing the fierceness of the group.

A few  hours later they come upon a broken canoe. Kalohan yet again proved her usefulness as she cast a mending spell et voilà, they now had two canoes! This would have funny implications later on as the two elven wizards got themselves on the same boat despite being total wimps…

Later, on the river once more, the PCs warily eyed a big specimen of Spinosaurus who was fortunately busy eating a big prey. The fearsome beast ignored them and they were glad for it.


Reality Check

Fourth night and now in true primeval environment, the PCs had to choose on which riverbank they would spend the night. In typical player fashion, they chose neither: “lets tie our boats so that we stay on the middle of river and sleep onboard” they came up with…

Corpos, his turn to stay awake, was oblivious to the menace and didn’t see anything until he was shot on the chest by an arrow. A second poisoned arrow sent him sprawling on the bottom of the canoe, convulsing and frothing from the mouth. At least, this did awaken his companions.

Shin badly wounded one of the assailants (batiri goblins) with a bow shot of his own, but soon 3 arrows converged on him from the jungle’s foliage, taking him down too (one critical hit).

Things started to look grim…

Fortunately, the cleric managed to stay alive and worked very hard so that his companions would too.


A fire bolt from Kalohan on the already wounded batiri sent him fleeing and Corpos  greedily finished him with a magic missile.

Two consecutive sleep spells from the evoker turned the tide of the battle in favor of the adventurers.

The whole combat took 8 rounds… 8! Against 4 goblins… (2) The shoot & hide tactics of the batiri proved to be absolutely deadly.

Helping Hand

Having survived another day (barely), the PCs saw an unusual scene as two vegepygmies standing on a dead trunk tried to help a third who had somehow fallen in the river. The PC were divided on the question of helping, particularly Shin who remembered well a bloody battle in a mine against some of these creatures. It was Corpos, necromancer do-gooder, that insisted on helping, and he proceeded to do it with a mage hand spell, which would help pull the poor vegepygmy out. It sufficed to get him out of his predicament. It was hard to tell if the rescued creature and its fellows were indeed happy with the help, but Corpos felt that he did what he had to do. (3)

This plant we shall utterly destroy

Kalohan and Lucky hastily jumped from their canoes and swam toward an irresistible scent coming from the riverbank but they shook off the lure before the deadly mantrap could eat them alive. The PCs then proceeded to bombard the slow-moving monstrous plant from afar, just to be sure.

They found a short sword and gold ring near the destroyed plant.


No no no. No!

A medium-sized lizard could be seen, or at least some parts of it, dangling from a tree branch inside a web coccoon. Kalohan, obviously not a big fan of anything spidery (4), shot the damn thing with a fire bolt.

Almost instantly attracting:

1 Giant (large) Spider, 3 Giant (medium) Spiders, 2 Insect (spider) Swarms

Shin efficiently killed the 3 medium-sized spiders with a well-placed explosive arrow. Meanwhile, the horrible Big Spider threw a web full of (normal-sized) spiders (5) directly on Shin and Lucky’s canoe.

Another swarm quickly followed on the other canoe and then Big Spider proceeded to get herself nearer which almost provoked an instant heart attack from poor Kalohan…

The swarms were surprisingly dangerous but fragile against magic. Arrows and fire bolts were enough to kill Big Spider in the end.

Why these two together again?

This could have been avoided. Should have been avoided! But lack of heart and feeble arms meant instead a deadly encounter (6).

11 crocodilians got up on their beach and swam toward the PCs. Shin and Lucky easily distanced the beasts. Corpos looked like he didn’t know which end of the paddle was the handle. Kalohan was… even worst! She dropped her paddle in the river! (6)

And so combat ensued. Kalohan, at one point, unconscious, got dragged into the water to be croco snack. She got saved in extremis by her companions (7).

End of session

DM’s notes:

  1. Just to familiarize my sister with combat rules
  2. Albeit they weren’t standard goblins, those batiri are tough mofos, having 18hp as in Jungles of Chult. Plus, they were using Fire Ant poison
  3. And got an inspiration point
  4. Here I am, making fun of my sister’s phobia, yet again!
  5. I kinda pimped the spider “boss” a little
  6. bad timing for a 1!
  7. with 2 failed death saves and 2 succeeded before the cleric could finally stabilize her

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”.


  • 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


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.


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


  • 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!”


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 7c – Tiryki River – day 4 & 5

The first few days weren’t exactly uneventful, but being closer to Port Nyanzaru, things weren’t so rough either.  By the fourth day on the river Tiriki though, the three adventurers had some close calls…


  • 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 4


River – Ambiance


Piles of bones on the shores with humanish footsteps around gave the cue: ghoul territory…


Portage – Jungle – N-C challenge – Combat

Droidoc failed to notice the danger and sank waist deep into a quicksand. The two (flimsy) elves threw him a rope but that wasn’t enough as something was holding unto him. They could see a clawed hand clasped to his back. After the creature began to rake him with its claws, the Halfling got really mad and he shapeshifted into a giant frog, quickly swallowing his assailant (a ghoul, of course) before disappearing under the surface. His companions were understandably upset for it seemed that quite some time had passed but then, sand erupted into a spectacular geyser as the giant frog jumped out of his predicament!


Floating Cadaver

River – Ambiance

Its face in the water, both legs missing, the PCs (wisely) stayed clear of the floating body.

Sometimes Darkvision is not Enough

River – Combat

Not very warm to the idea of making camp on friggin‘ ghoul territoty the PCs opted to paddle all night- or rather- Varis would paddle all night while his companions slept (!) on the canoe. That… did not went that well… Sure enough the Drow had no trouble seeing at night but- maybe it was sleep deprivation (1)- he couldn’t react fast enough when an assassin vine attacked him viciously from above. At least, his panicked and womanly screams did wake up Flyzus and Droidoc as their canoe went without direction. The dangling Varis soon lost consciousness as the plant’s lethal poison coursed through his veins. Fortunately, Droicoc could save him before it was too late, as he climbed up the tree in gorilla-form and applied much strength so that the drow fell in the river. Flyzus picked him up and they all fled further away, having survived one more day…

Day 5

Riverside Ruins


River- Combat

Having finally put ghoul territory behind, the PCs felt they could do a bit of exploration. They had spotted some ruins, visible from the river. Crumbled walls and toppled columns, the site invaded by the surrounding vegetation, it sure felt like it could hide something interesting. Moving cautiously around so they could take a peep inside, the 3 companions could see someone standing idly aside a column. The stranger turned to face them, a yellow flower was emerging from one of his orbit instead of an eye.

Musk Creeper” whispered the Halfling druid.

They started to shoot at the zombie but then Varis was distracted by an irresistible fragrance nearby that lured him toward the monstrous plant. Fortunately, he regained control of himself before he was turned into yet another zombie and together with Flyzus and Droidoc he slashed the Musk Creeper into pieces. They searched the now inert body of a dead explorer and rummaging through his stuff they found a map along with some notes that referred to a “Firefinger” (2).

Deinonychus Ambush

Portage – Combat


Portage in the jungles of Chult is always a tense affair. This time the PCs were being followed by half a dozen deinonychus. The Elf ranger could figure that the predators had some kind of ambush prepared. The PCs could see a large fell tree, a perfect spot for a few more of the beasts to wait for them. Droidoc decided to take the initiative, he shapeshifted into a deinonychus himself and jumped on the tree to issue a challenge. He then pounce on one of the raptor, savaging him enough to make him flee. He then duelled the apparent pack alpha in a flurry of claws and bites. He had the upper hand again and gained the acknowledgement of the pack as the new (albeit temporary) leader (and an escort to the river).


River- Combat

A Mantrap (monster plant again!) tried to lure the PCs nearer to the shore where it waited. Almost worked with Varis (3).

It can wait until morning

Camp – Combat

It was Flyzus’ turn awake while his companions slept, some ruckus alerted him and there he stood in front of a beautiful nubile woman with her leg in the bear trap that he had set… She asked for his help… Plaintively… He looked at the wounded leg, he looked at the attractive lightly-clad female, and said: “it can wait until morning” !!! (4)

She had other plans… Discarding disdainfully the bear trap, she let down her apparently useless magical disguise to reveal a (river) Sea Hag. She clawed angrily at the elf but he was too nimble. Flyzus was soon joined by the sleepy Varis and Droidoc and together they killed the ugly creature even as she attempted to dive in the river to flee.

The rest of the night was uneventful.

DM’s notes:

  1. he got a 1!
  2. exploration should be rewarded with riches (even in 5E), or at least, lead someday to riches.
  3. Varis’ player always roll bad against plant creatures it seems. The drow must have allergies or something!
  4. Flyzus’ player, poor young Félix, had no idea what to do… We had a good laugh!

Session 7b- Tiryki River – day 2 & 3


  • 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 2

A lot of meat


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.


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


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 as they slept on a small island in the middle of the river,  indicated by a fisherman earlier

Day 3

In Shallow Territory

Social (1)


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 marsh terrain, 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 lying birds!

Octopus vs Plesiosaur!

Combat: 1 plesiosaur


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.

Session 7a- Tiryki River – 1st day

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. And soon after, this campaign have a much-needed step up…


  • 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, quite insane now

Prelude: We’ve been waiting for you…

Combat: 6 thugs

Enemies 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 for the adventurers 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 sure didn’t.  The fight was  a 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


Having seen firtshand their martial prowesses and ruthlessness in display, the local leader of the Purple Stranglers offered the PCs a job. Their boss, Jessamine, had a lucrative deal with a tribe of Gripplis. In exchange for their high quality pottery and rare jungle herbs, she provided the Gripplis 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 Grippli 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.


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.


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’ve 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.


They didn’t have time to reflect on this as 3 sahuagins surprise-ambushed 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


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.


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 later said half-jokingly 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 very good in a fight like this one
  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.

Reputation Chart: the 7As and Port Nyanzaru’s “Princes”

In the Renown option the DMG tells us that it cannot get lower than zero. I disagree, I think it can reflect an increasing enmity. As I see it, a -5 renown score would lead to a NPC/faction actively trying to hinder the PCs. A +5 renown would be the opposite, helping the PCs as they can.

Here’s how the 7As renown stands after a few dealings & side quest with Port Nyanzaru’s denizens:

Zhanti: +6

  • defended the Amnian Fop (+1)
  • Pokor asked for support on behalf of the Chultan Diaspora (common goal: +3)
  • played an important part in capturing the pirate ship The Stirge along with its captain (main interest: +2)

Ekene-Afa: +2

  • have freed a spy working for Captain Soshen that had been held prisonner by the Bridgerunners in Malar’s Throat (took side: +2)

Kwayoté: +1

  • exterminated the critters in newly acquired mine (+1)

Jobal: -3

  • have freed a spy working for Captain Soshen that had been held prisonner by the Bridgerunners in Malar’s Throat (took side: -2)
  • the meddling of Pokor in an arena fight, from his spectator seat, led to a scuffle with a pair of affiliated hooligans (-1)

A note on Jungle Dwarves

téléchargement (1)

I’m going against the Tomb of Annihilation lore, again.

The only Jungle/Albino Dwarf NPC in ToA is Musharib, a guide who will forgo his pay if the PCs help him reclaim the dwarven forge of Hrakhamar.

A forge.

I mean,  come on Musharib, what will you do with the damn place? That’s not who you are anymore!

Here we have Dwarves radically different than the usual tolkienesque cliché. What’s the point to sorta get them back on track? That’s lame. In my campaign, the Albino Dwarves don’t want anything to do with their (distant) past. Indeed, it’s taboo for them.

The Earth Shook and Spat Fire

The ancient way of life led to apocalyptic disaster (many generations ago). Better forget about it. And better make sure nobody sneak around  and mess with the sites and artefacts of the ancient ones!

So yeah, the PCs will have to deal with that particular prejudice…

Also, in my campaign, there’s no wild dwarves or gold dwarves (as per 2e lore), just albino dwarves (and foreign typical dwarves).