Thursday, May 21, 2015

Encounter at Blackwall Keep/Tomb of the Lizard King mashup part 3

This is actually going to cover 2 shorter sessions that we played a couple of weeks apart.  I just never got around to writing up the earlier session.

Last time the party was very effective at defending Blackwall Keep from attacking lizardfolk, lifting the siege and routing the enemy.

With only three players, each is playing two characters.

My daughter has:
Lylas, drow elf rogue thief, level 5
Third, human fighter sentinel, level 4

One of my boys has:
Narcisso, half elf life cleric, level 5
Dravin, human moon druid, level 4

My other son is playing:
Jackson, human earth wizard, level 5
Kargash, half orc hunter ranger, level 4

The decision was made to bring the fight to the lizardfolk, rescue
the captives (including Marzena, the sorcerer they are here to see), and see if Sakatha is indeed returned.  None of the soldiers from the fort know much about the swamps.  Knowing that Stephan DeManis, the crazy hermit, has claimed to visited Sakatha, so they went to see if he would take them.  

Stephan was as crazy as ever, and I pulled some choice lines from this list.  He agreed to guide them through the swamp as well.  The journey was uneventful, the swamp getting darker and danker until the Tomb rose before them.

They climbed the steps and started exploring the columns of the ruined temple, with an irregular wall at the back.  As they moved further in, the irregular wall turned out to be shell-covered wires, and a volley of crossbow bolts fired from behind!  Stephan freaked out, and ran screaming away, tripping on a log and falling on his face before getting back up and disappearing into the swamp.

The party rushed forwards and was surprised to find Ebon Triad cultists, not lizardfolk attacking them.  They made short work of them, though, with only minor wounds.  I don't remember many details, since this was from the older session.

After the fight they found a sacrificial altar, 3 pools and a huge bas relief on the back wall of the ebon aspect that they had fought down in the Dourstone Mines in the Three Faces of Evil.  Stepping around the pools and altar, they found that the bas relief had a secret door in it, but couldn't figure out the opening mechanism.  They decided to use magical force to open it, Jackson using two charges from a wand of shatter to destroy both the door and the bas relief.  

Behind was a huge cave, with a mud floor that had a huge indentation in it, much like a sleeping dragon would leave...

A side tunnel led down to a smaller chamber with 8 black scaled
Kobold Boss by StressedJenny
kobolds.  These kobolds gave them a good fight, using pack tactics and protecting each other with their shields.  These kobold dragonshields gave the group fits, their ability to give attackers Disadvantage ruined at least three critical hits.

After dispatching the kobolds, they saw what they were protecting.  The next room was filled with a couple hundred lizardfolk eggs, as well as a large, three foot tall black egg.  Jackson and Kargash wanted to destroy all the eggs, and started stomping on the smaller eggs, but the others tried to stop them.  Grappling rules came into effect, but it turned into a comedy of errors, as several fumbles were rolled by the group trying to stop them, with Third and Lylas slipping on the slick, muddy floor and smashing some eggs with their falls.  Jackson and Kargash were finally stopped, and convinced to leave the eggs for now, but not before about a quarter of the eggs were destroyed.  

Lylas wanted to take the large egg away right then, trying to figure out how to turn the three chests they had found in the back of the room into some sort of cart or sled to get it out.  She was convinced to leave it for now, that the rescue mission was the priority.  

A water filled passage left the room as well.  Dravin wild shaped into a turtle to scout out the tunnel.  He found that it led away into a deep pool in the swamp, about 200' away.

Not finding anything else back this way, they went back up to the shrine and started searching for more passages, finally finding a trap door in the floor.  Following the stairs down, they entered a pitch black room.  The twang of bow strings caused the group to all drop prone which helped with the incoming arrows, but a sudden bright light revealed three ranks of Ebon Triad soldiers rushing them, armed with swords, spears and pikes, making them hurriedly get back up.  Jackson launched an exploding boulder (fireball) at the center of the formation, taking out most of them.  Most of those that remained stood firm, being the squad leaders and officer in charge, and a wizard, who launched a fireball of his own at the group.

This was a great fight.  A lot of back and forth and a bit of a magic duel going on.  The wizard cast counterspell when targeted, but spike growth centered on him forced him to use misty step to escape.  The officer hacked into the party as well, until finally Narcisso stopped him with a hold person.  A sleep spell from Jackson took down the wounded wizard and the archers that he was now hiding behind, while another hold person from Narcisso took care of the last remaining squad leader.  The few remaining cult members tried to flee, but were chased down and killed, while Lylas took out the held and sleeping foes with a slash of her daggers.

We wrapped it up here, and the group was disappointed not to find any loot besides the normal arms and armor.

Those familiar with these modules will see that I'm using the Tomb pretty much straight up so far, but added in the egg chamber from Blackwall Keep.  I cut out the magic items used by the soldiers in TotLK completely.

I made a lot of use of the NPC section of the MM again.  Soldiers made up the bulk, with the squad leaders being Thugs, and they were led by a Knight and a Battle Mage.

The kobold dragonshields are by Quickleaf on the EnWorld forums.

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