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The Adventures of the Havelock Echo- Campaign Diary


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Been on vacation for a while, but I ran a session beforehand a few weeks ago.


One of my friends was in from out of town (from our previous campaign) so I made some adjustments to get him into a pretty big moment of our campaign.  It had mixed results, in that one big arc really suffered for it, but the ending was great.


I began our session with this prompt:





After narrowly escaping the encroaching guards under the Nyanzaru arena and fleeing to a briny coastal cave that Bravura found, you hide out and lick your wounds for about an hour.


There’s a tense moment where you heard some crackling explosions and shouting, but you quickly realize that it is merely midday fireworks and cheering during the city’s behemoth race, distant sounds carried to you from across the bay. Despite the unconventional finale to the Melee tournament, the city-wide party appears to have continued in full swing.


In contrast, one might turn to see your lot and feel pity. Sledge has wrapped in bandages the area on her abdomen where the triceratops had gutted her, and still blood is seeping through. Bravura is also tending to both the nub where the tip of his pinky used to be as well as several blunt arrow wounds, while Maylin and Akrothma sit exhausted from combative spellcasting.  Ripples form on surface of the bay outside as rain begins to fall, first lightly then as a full a jungle downpour. In a bitterweet moment, you realize that in the tense escape you’ve still been wearing the festival masks that Charlene gave you earlier this morning- she still in the city, with no idea where you are or what happened to you.


But despite all this, things may not be as low as they seem. Akrothma has meditated a bit on the spells that she casted, and her proficiency in magic has increased, warming herself by a bonfire she had magically created and likely wishing she could roast some corn over it.  Maylin, emboldened by recovering not only the full rune (which you all may have had doubts about originally) but also additional information, sits reflecting on what she’s learned as she plays with Deathlord. And Sledge, having noticed that Bravura focused so heavily on close quarters combat during their experience in the arena, takes some time to give him some pointers on longer ranged shots, taking aim at various stalactites and bits of moss in the cavern.  When the lesson is over, she opens her satchel and hands him a long grey feather- “You might’ve had a chance against me, if the fight had been fair,” she says, sticking it in his cap..


Still battered and bloodied, but feeling just a little  bit better, you continue your journey south through the jungle.



The heroes traveled south to Bhalig, encounter little resistance outside of some strange bestial laughter at night (the gnolls stalking them, they deduced).


At last, their road turned into a ravine that led deeper into the jungle, so deep that the upper canopy of trees fully blotted out the sun, and eventually were indistinguishable from a cave ceiling (and possible were that very thing).


As they traveled deeper into the Underdark, they sensed a rumbling ahead, and quickly out of the mists emerged a huge stampede!




The party managed to take cover without taking too much damage, when through the mists a lonely baby triceratops struggled to keep up with the now distant herd.  As the party approached it, a new monstrosity with large tentacles followed, and the heroes slunk back to the shadows.  The monster ate the baby dinosaur in a single gulp, then immediately turned to Maylin.




The party engaged the creature, taking advantage of their greater numbers, when they heard bagpipes in the distance (to the tune of Baba O'Reilly, by The Who). 


Brothar Leadfoot, veteran of the war against the Cult of the Dragon and hero who helped defeat Tiamat nearly 250 years ago (and played, once again, by my visiting friend), had joined the fight!


Once a cleric of Torm, Brothar had become a king and in his age turned his talents to his true passion (as was clear in our previous campaign)- music, therefore becoming Brothar the Bard.


With help from their new friend, the heroes defeated the Otyugh that Brothat had been hunting, and another dwarf, this one with greyish/purplish skin huffed up to the group.  In a sing-songy Sweedish accent, he said "Hallo there friends! I am Harald.  I see you helped Brothar bring down the beast.  Now come, to Bhalig, and we shall feast."


On the way to the city, Harald spoke with the heroes.  They questioned about Xa"Ligha, and Harald had bad news- apparently, Drow assassins had killed Xa'Ligha in his sleep.


In the city, the group met up with Sir Donovan, and Maylin noticed he was discussing something intently with Sledge. She listened in, and discovered that Xa'Ligha was indeed killed, but as a lich, he would be reborn soon.


She spoke to the agents of Requiem, and the heroes all traveled to Queen Sieglinde, leader of the dureugar and queen of Bhalig (this section perhaps most of all suffered from my condensing of what could've been easily 6+ sessions into a single day, to accommodate Brothar's player's presence).


Sigelinde quickly caught the heroes up to speed- the drow had assassinated Xa'Ligha and had taken over the mindflayer embassy, a large stalactite/stalagmite convergence tower just outside the city.  There, as an advance force, they planned on preparing for a larger assault once their forced had amassed outside Bhalig in full.  Inside the tower, the mindflayers had already found what they believed to be Xa'Ligha's next body, and were working on bringing the lich back into it, including a ritual that also involved the lich's phylactery- but it was unclear whether or not they'd held out against the drow, or if they'd been defeated already.


The dureugar, along with forces from Amantia the queen of Fungus and Sledge/Donovan as representatives of the Knights Requiem, would meet the drow out in the open field.  There, they would draw out their forces, so that the heroes could sneak into the mindflayer embassy and try to recover Xa'Ligha.  


Before going, the heroes stopped and saw Xa'Ligha's body, recognizing it as Nell from the Havelock Echo, the elven druid who'd disappeared mid-voyage.


The plan worked pretty well at first- the dureugar and their allies got the attention of the drow invaders, while the heroes snuck past attracting little attention (and dispatching of the drow agents they did find).


(I used a mass combat set of rules that I'd adapted specifically for this skirmish, in which random rolls would have various effects on the battle including casualties and reinforcements, as well as the heroes being able to contribute from afar).Image


The heroes entered the embassy and found themselves in a relatively straightforward tower carved from rock (I'd had to cut a ton of what originally had been a fully fledged dungeon).


Perhaps most important of all, they'd periodically come across a balcony with a ballista, allowing them to fire upon the battle and help turn the tide.  Occasionally, drow would retreat back toward the tower, but none had yet caught up with the heroes.


However, at one point, the heroes came across a chess puzzle (again, one I'd adapted from a previously existing puzzle). They figured it out and moved upward.  


Near the top of the tower, the heroes found a penultimate room full of slaughtered mindflayers and drow alike, with a door leading to the top of the tower's final floor  There was also another ballista, which Bravura used to turn on what they might've recognized as a Beholder that had joined the battle below (randomly spawned via dice roll.  I probably shouldn't have had it on the table, but I never expected the heroes to engage it, even so). The baloon-like creature began to float toward the tower, and the (horribly under-leveled) heroes immediately recognized the dangerous situation they were in.  Maylin used some thieves tools to pick the lock to the final room, and they entered to find a mindflayer performing a ritual before a sarcophagus, with a chest on it.  


The mindflayer said he was nearly done, and that he needed help.  When the heroes mentioned the beholder approaching, the mindflayer became horrified. "If that is true, than you must help me defend Xa'Ligha- he's the only way we're getting out now."


The room was a large rectangle, with a balcony all the way around and a raised altar in the back (where the mindflayer was performing the ritual).  After a few minutes, the heroes heard a buzzing sound, and began to smell burning wood- the Beholder using its incineration beam on the roor.  As small chunks of wood began to fall away, spiders began to pour into the room, easily dispatched by the heroes.


As the beam continued to burn down the door, more and more enemies of increasing size slid in- large spiders, drow, driders, etc.  The heroes held strong, but took serious damage.




As the entirety of the door began to fall away, the Beholder's incineration beam shined into the room- over Brothar's head, as he stood in the middle fighting a drider.  Past Bravura, sniping drow from the stairs. Near Akrothma, as she tried to stop a drow from stealing the chest on the sarcophagus (containing Xa'Ligha's phylactery).  And right above the mindflayer, and descending.


As the beam lowered, dangerously close to the mindflayer, the heroes slew the remaining drow in the tower, yet the Beholder advanced.  The beam disentigrated the Mindflayer, yet Akrothma looked up and noticed the lid to the sarcophagus had been opened.  And there, standing next to Brothar, was a new orange-skinned mindflayer.


(At this point, I told Brothar's player to take one of his old cleric spells and that he could cast it at the highest level.  Then, I put on Immigrant Song by Led Zeppin, Brothar's combat anthem from our previous campaign).


Brothar cast Guiding Bolt, an old favorite of his, absolutely blasting the Beholder, as the other heroes began laying into it, too.


The new Mindflayer turned to Brother.  "Good shot, old friend," he said.  (After a few seconds of confusion, my players one by one gasped as they realized that Xa'Ligha the lich was actually the Ulthar Cat, my gnome warlock from the Rise of Tiamat campaign.)  Akrothma opened the chest, revealing a ring inlet with a canary yellow diamond- once known to belong to the Ulthar Cat in the event of a needed Revive spell, as all of his teammates once had of varying colors.


Alongside the Ulthar Cat and Brothar, the heroes brutalized the Beholder, causing the drow below to retreat back to the Underdark.


"Now, we have much to discuss", said Xa'Ligha The Ulthar Cat.


Overall, I have really mixed feelings on this session.  First, it was incredibly rushed, but it was so to accommodate for Brothar's presence played by his original player- and that ending paid off really well.


Second, I know that having some NPC show up in the end to save the PCs is a terrible idea, though that's why I tried to give the power to Brothar rather than the Ulthar Cat- even if he's not a regular PC, he at least wasn't the DM.  Plus, despite the slightly cheese way to end the fight by giving Brothar a massively overpowered spell, all players agreed it was a very cool moment, along with the Ulthar Car reveal.  And to be honest, the PCs held their own pretty well.


I could tell during the fight that my players felt utterly hopeless and upset at the perceived balance of the fight, with more and more enemies pouring in as a freakin Beholder still waited outside. And I do feel bad that this is how the fight came across, but also it was kind of what I was going for.  I had never intended for the Beholder to enter the fray in the tower (instead for the Drow to just break in), but I tried to adapt, and in doing so I only planned on making the Beholder a cinematic part of the experience- his incineration ray was never intended to cause the players harm as long as they weren't stupid, and Xa'Ligha's spawn timer was actually tied to the defeat of the drow in the room on part of the heroes (as was the Beholder's full entrance, as was adapted to). Even so, I felt the drow I was using were a bit poorly balanced.  I went off CR alone, but their armor class seemed a lot higher than it should've been.


I think the biggest problem was that Xa'Ligha's resurrection/Beholder appearance were both tied to something that really is technically arbitrary, so it felt like the heroes' part was a lot smaller (which is totally a fair interpretation of that).


I believe I've learned a lot about encounter design from my mistakes with this session, yet, to be sure... yet, it was still a good time for everyone.  The mysteries of the plot are laid a bit more bare now, and the world feels all the more connected to our previous campaign.  I guess a lot of this feels like ripping a band-aid off, and I think my next session really needs to go smoothly, but I've been preparing for it.  Something a lot more down to earth- a travel session, followed by a more traditional goblin dungeon.  And most importantly, my players are very ready to play again. 

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After recuperating from the battle in the mindflayer Embassy, the heroes awoke and met with the Ulthar Cat, Brothar, Amantia, Harald, and Queen Sieglinde.


The Cat reported that Sledge and Donovan had left to rendezvous with Requiem agents to scout out the Eshowdow. He then suggested that he and Brothar, both exhausted in their old age from fighting off the Beholder, would stay behind and help the Dureugar mount their defense for the subsequent drow invasions.


Gifts were given to the party- from the Ulthar Cat and Brothar, a ring of revivification for Akrothma, a mechanical version of Leomund's Tiny Hut for Maylin (Leomund's Tiny Gadget) and an axe that could track those it bloodied for Bravura. Sieglinde let them pick weapons and armor off the dead drow, and Amantia gave them a jar full of spores, potential myconid allies should they ever be needed.




The heroes left Bhalig, taking an Underdark highway south to the Lifetree near New Luxan.  Beneath the plains area of Chult, they found themselves tracked by goblins.  By using the unfolding mechanism of Leomund's Tiny Gadget (it takes a total of ten minutes to set up and take down, automated) they ended up with a sort of fort around themselves.  They gave Akrothma a boost, which she used to take out dozens of goblins, as Maylin's deathlord splattered them with poison and Bravura marked a chokepoint and felled any goblin foolish enough to try to get past it.




That next night, the heroes had a strange dream.  They found themselves in a city, with a nearby wall bearing Ub Tao's rune.  People were running in fear, and the sky was red and black with fire and smoke.  At the gate of the city, an orc woman stood among a shield wall of troops, ordering them to hold.  "Robin, drop the payload" she shouted, as an aarakocra flew overhead, tossing rocks on whatever was outside the gate.  


"Who are you?" Akrothma whispered.


"You must defend Mezro", responded the Orc, holding out a hand.


"From who?" Maylin asked.


"Ras Nsi", she responded, and the shieldwall buckled from some charge on the other side of it.


The heroes woke back up in Leomund's Tiny Gadget, and for a second Bravura saw a spectral shape similar to a praying mantis. Then, it was gone.


After some time, the path turned upward, and soon the heroes found themselves on a plain area above the underdark.  Dozens of herbivores grazed the plains, and ahead was the treeling, with the lifetree itself absolutely dwarfing everything else by several hundred feet.


The heroes walked to the edge of the tree line where they discovered a village, presumably New Luxan.  The place looked scavenged and abandoned- rather than investigating, they snuck away toward the lifetree.


At its base, was a pedestal, and sitting atop it was a bowl.  Bravura poured in just a smidge of the Elysium Dust that the Ulthar Cat had given them, and the pedestal swung down on a hinge, knocking out loose earth beneath it.  There, there was a small opening, framed by roots- the way into the lifetree.

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Been a while since we've played, due to bad weather laterly, but we got in a short session during the midgame lull of last night's Superbowl.


First big exciting thing is the players all have minis for their heroes that they've painted themselves!  I'm a proud DM today.





So after entering the dirt tunnels below the Lifetree near New Luxan, the heroes heard some voices from up ahead.  The chattering led them through the mire and to a small group of goblins.  They quickly dispatched of the monsters, but it wasn't long before more joined the fray.  As the tide once again turned in the heroes' favor, the goblins retreated further into the tunnels, while the heroes followed.


In a dead end, three goblins stood guard over two of the Yuan-Ti cultists that the heroes had battled so often.  Bravura quickshot two of the goblins down, while Maylin finished the last.  The elf then tried to interrogate the cultists, but they refused to answer.


In a swift move, Akrothma decapitated one of the Yuan-Ti purebloods with her sickle.  "Do you want to talk now?" she asked the remaining one.  He was still silent.


Bravura, a ranger specializing in stealth while in low light, managed to become invisible and stood next to the Yuan Ti, whispering to it.


"Shadow, is that you?" asked the cultist.  Bravura played along.


"Tell them what you know," Bravura demanded.  "They cannot stop our victory.  


And so the cultists revealed what had happened to them.  After having raided the Mistcliff shrine, the majority of the cult had come down to the New Luskan Lifetree while Shelshi, Isshtti, and a few purebloods remained behind. The expedition stayed at the abandoned city of New Luskan, where they too experienced the strange dream that the heroes had- the blockaded city of Mezro.  Each night the city's predicament grew worse as the siege continued, and the Yuan-Ti expedition spent longer and longer in the city.  Eventually, the Yuan-Ti stayed in the city long enough for its denizens to realize what they were- Yuan-Ti, like the besiegers themselves apparently, and so they set upon the cultists. killing many of them before the experience ended and they were transported back to New Luskan.  In an effort to avoid being sent back yet again, the Yuan-Ti invaded the lower portions of the Lifetree, and it wasn't long before Shelshi arrived with tidings from his attempts at securing the tree in Nyanzaru (failure, since the heroes had won the tourney and blocked his entry).  The Yuan-Ti infiltrated the Lifetree in full force, and the cultists our heroes saw now were the rear guard- a rear guard that was eventually captured in a goblin counterattack.


When asked what the cult's goal was at the tree, the heroes just saw a smile creep up under the pureblood's hood.


"You really still don't know what we're doing, do you?" he sneered.


With the information given that he was willing to supply, Akrothma gutted the second cultist as well, killing him.


The group pressed onward into the tunnels, not quite sure what they would find.  They discovered small animal bones in the tunnels, and some sort of white cracked substance- segments from large eggs, Maylin surmised.


As Bravura scouted ahead, he saw some fearsome sights- a large insect with hook-like claws, and three of what seemed to be its larvae.





The monsters proved little challenge for the heroes, though, and were quickly dispatched of.


At the end of the tunnel was a staircase made of dirt.  It stretched forward, slowly arcing to the left as it went up.  Over time the stairs transitioned to wood instead, and finally the staircase ended at a door, on the right.  Bravura opened it to see that they were hundreds of feet in the air, above the main canopy of the jungle (though still far from the top of the Lifetree).


The large tree's branches formed a sort of path upward on the exterior of the tree, and ahead stuck in the branches... a ship, tattered and broken, but very high in the air.


Aaaand... well, I was hoping that we'd get one more big combat in last night, but the superbowl delayed things quite a bit (dang sportsball).  But next week, we'll start off right away with that combat, then get to a digital map that I'm pretty dang proud of.


Looking forward to it!


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Kind of a quick session this time as well, since I was having tech problems (Arkenforge was mad at me).


Picking up where we left off, the heroes approached the ship stuck in the branches of the tree, but were attacked by three su-monsters and a giant white ape!




Bravura shot down two of the su-monsters, scaring the other away.  Meanwhile, Akrothma used Thunderwave to knockback the giant ape, and it just barely managed to catch itself by its fingertips on the edge of the lodged ship.  Not enough of a save, though, as Maylin finished off the job by firing a firebolt at the dangling monster's back.


On the ship, the heroes found some loot, as well as a picto-journal of the previous captain of this airship.  Apparently, gleaning from the illustrations, the crew had been en route to the top of the tree when they crashed.  There, they expected to find some sort of "forge" (though I was careful to note that this did not quite seem to be the correct word either) with which they could dip a quill and create a powerful artifact of a pen.


The heroes continued up the wide branches that wrapped around the tree, about 500-600 ft up in the sky now.  The branch led to a door that lead into the large tree's interior, and then a staircase, which Bravura both led the way in exploring.   Finally, they found themselves at the edge of a four way intersection.  The heroes choose to go right, where they ran across a bashed in (but subsequently barricaded) gate.


Unfortunately, this is when my Arkenforge files crashed.  I was able to bring a somewhat similar replacement map in Dynamic Dungeons to finish off this encounter.


After dodging some shots from the other side, the team assaulted the barricade.  On the other side they found a force of goblins guarding their camp, bolstered by a goblin leader and an ogre.  The heroes took a bit of a beating, but managed to kill all of the goblins, sparing only the leader (who unfortunately did not share a language with any of the PCs).  They tied him up and left him to go explore more of the tree.


Definitely a frustrating session, as I had designed quite a large and complex dungeon for the players to explore, only to seemingly have lost it all when the files corrupted.  Luckily, I managed to restore them today (after trying for the past few days).  Feeling good about next time when they'll really be able to get down to exploring, but maybe I should plan a backup in case it happens again...

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After getting a new Husky/German Shep puppy, we finally got back to it this weekend (and with much less technical difficulty!)


After cleaning out the goblin camp, the adventurers spared the chieftan and stashed him in one of the rooms of the makeshift fort.


They then continued onward, and soon came upon a row of prison cells.  Inside the first few cells were Yuan-Ti cultists, captured by the goblins.  


"Hello, anyone else here?" Akrothma called out.


"Hello?" answered a voice from one of the far cells.  "Who's there?"


"Your mother", answered Akrothma.


"Mother?  Is that really you?  It's me, your boy Johnny!"


The heroes discover that Johnny the Sidler, once Bravura's quarry aboard the Havelock Echo and now bounty hunter for the Bundreon Syndicate, had come looking for them.  After the events of the melee tournament finale, the Ytepka had taken the full blame, and the city had considered the adventurers to be merely victims of the onslaught.  However, Johnny had discovered that Bundreon had isssued a bounty on the adventurs, and with the help of some Ytepka, he set out to find and warn them.  In the process, he'd gotten separated from his Ytepka companions, and at one point had even had the dream vision of the besieged city that so many others seem to have shared.


After getting caught up, Johnny and the adventurers headed forward, where they discovered a strange garden within the tree itself.  Maylin collected some of the fruits therein (none of which she recognized) and it wasn't long before Bravura heard the sound of approaching enemies coming down the hall- a goblin patrol.


Four goblins, each astride a deinonychus, entered the grove and fanned out, as the heroes hid behind the trees.





The adventurers ambush worked, dispatching of the goblins quickly.  Johnny even managed to kill a goblin by throwing an apple.


Forward still they marched, ascending the interior of the tree.  Eventually they came upon a barricade up ahead.  Choosing another path led them to another barricaded goblin camp. 


Desiring to still continue in that direction, Maylin devised a plan.  The adventurers returned to the prison cells and grappled/gagged one of the Yuan-Ti.  They brought it forward and presented it to the goblins, as well as their ogre companion.





The ogre gestured toward Maylin and Akrothma, then pointed at the cultist.  The two heroes brought the cultist forward, and the ogre brought down his hammer on its head, smashing it.  It then allowed the adventurers to pass through the camp, unharmed.


They continued up a bit more steps, at which point they ran into a door.  Opening it, they found it led to the tree's exterior again, leading out onto an enormous branch. The heroes began the process of climbing from branch to branch, when suddenly were beset by pteradons and pterafolk.




They defeated the flying attackers, though taking some damage along the way.  After some climbing, the heroes discovered a door that led back into the tree, as well as a lift and pulley outside.  Using mage hand, Akrothma started the lift, while the adventured packed onto the lift.


After some time, they were attacked by a griffon, but Bravura did massive damage to it with his crossbow before it was able to do much harm.




As the lift ascended, the air grew thin and cold.  Once it reached its stop, it was flush with a ladder.  Bravura climbed it, through the canopy of the tree, and poked his head out to finally see the sky... and snow.  The top of the tree, thousands of feet above the jungle floor, was a snowy field, and nearly forty yuan-ti cultists wandered around, freezing and dying.  And floating in the air above was an earthmote, a floating chunk of earth.


Next session, we'll probably finish this dungeon.  The players may want to end up exploring more of the tree map because it was a huge map that they honestly managed to circumvent about 80% of, but regardless, we're really close to a big shift in the campaign... possibly as soon as next week!  If so, just about all will finally be revealed... though, judging by what the PCs have been saying to each other, I think they're close to unraveling this mystery themselves.

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It's been a bit since I last updated, so storywise a lot has happened.


For simplicity's sake, let's just say the players have found themselves in the midst of a large battle! It was a heck of a session.


Outside the gates of False Mezro



Inside the gates.  Rank and file troops are from the GOT Battles for Westeros board game, map tiles are Arkenforge.  The catapult in the background, as well as the ballistas, are Wizkids.




More inside the gates.  In the background, you can see the Firefinger signal tower (changed a bit from the standard lore).



Sallying forth out of False Mezro to deal with magical sappers.  This served as the battle's "minimap". The minis are the "good" batallions, meeples are the "bad" batallions and ships sailing on the River Olung.  Game board is from the GOT Battles for Westeros Baratheon expansion, minis are various including Reaper, meeples are from Cyclades and GOT 2nd edition.




Outside the gate, the PCs' batallion suffered a charge from enemy cavalry, supplemented by a triceratops and its brood.



Eventually the reached the sapper's den, guarded by a Stone Giant (Reaper).




Enemy soldiers and tortles began to pour back out of the tunnel.




The situation pretty quickly got out of hand, but the heroes eventually finished off the sapper batallion.  Now, far from the city walls and battered with casualties, they must fight their way back, as more enemy reinforcements are landing from the river.   Sounds like a good thing to do next weekend!



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Minor Spoilers for Tomb of Horrors


In the aftermath of the battle, the council of False Mezro split up into several different teams, each with various goals to try and accomplish to stop Ras Nsi's machinations across all of Toril (and beyond).


As the survivors of False Mezro spread to the winds, the PCs elected to remain on Chult and investigate the Tomb of the Nine Gods to learn more of Chult's history, and see if they could find wisdom from the ancient trickster deities.


Though in the spot of the Tomb of the Nine Gods in Omu, I instead ran a modified version of the Tomb of Horrors that we've been playing for the last few weeks.  Inside, they found a rival Barae- Fipya, the Laughing Inquisitor- Acererak having been defeated by the old Barare during the Death Curse long ago.



The first Four-Armed Gargoyle






The "Siren" encounter- toxic myst replaced by Zombies, and Siren herself replaced by a Chwinga (which I got earlier that day printed from one of my players, so was not painted yet)




The Falce Acererak encounter. I added in a little "It's a Small World"-esque ride puzzle in the hall leading to him to up the cheese factor.




I replaced the "Pillared Throne Room" with a four elements puzzle that was a lot of fun- lots of mixing of puzzle solving with combat, as the PCs tried to stem the four outer elementals from feeding into the large conglomerate elemental in the center.977495338_ScreenShot2020-08-25at12_05_00PM.png.004f2becc41744b7bb389e231bab17d6.png


Trapped by Fipya "The Laughing Inquisitor" in the final boss fight.


After killing the once Barae Fipya and escaping her trap, the PCs found a portal on the far wall, the Oculus of Omu.  There, they found it led to where they desired to go, flipping back and forth as their whims took control.  They saw friends, family, allies, enemies, duty... places all over the planes that they needed to go and save from Ras Nsi's plans. 


But they could only go one place.


And so now, they must choose.




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We've been distancing since October, but we're all vaccinated now and ready to meet again!  


Regular play will commence either this weekend, or the one after.


I made up this short video to recap last year's adventures and to play us into our new ones.  Unfortunately, our last session in October was one session away from the end of an arc, so it's once again kind of awkward timing, but that just means our return is marked by the potential of an epic fight!


Since I last updated, the players checked in with a one shot as the Bundreon agents they'd dispatched to Thay.  


We then returned to their regular characters, who had chosen to take Acererak's portal to Maylin's apothecary-centered home island of Eshelthes, in the Moonshae archipelago.  There, the dark bara Kwalu, also known as the Surgeon of Steel, had besieged the island city with large metal cruisers and galleons full of undead.


The heroes worked with the local government, the alchemical Seafoam Society, and the Jade Razor trading post to form a plan to infiltrate Kwalu's flagship valance and disrupt the dish atop it that may facilitate control of the automatons aboard his ships.  







They used dolphins to sneak up to the flagship, a mile offshore.  Aboard, they rescued Maylin's brother, father, and a local masked folk hero known as The Draught.


After some sneaking, they battled their way to the bridge, taking on wooden and metal automatons alike.








While Bravura and The Draught held off incoming automatons on the bridge, Maylin and Akrothma headed to the roof to disable the relay dish.  There, they faced off with Kwalu, though he flew away after taunting Maylin with the fact that her daughter Sylhana had been taken to the Yuan Ti capitol of Hisari.






So yeah... I really cannot wait for the next session!  It's been so long!


If there's some silver lining, it's that Bones V should be here relatively soon.  Could definitely put those minis and set pieces to good use as this campaign approaches the end of the second act.



Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 2.57.50 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 2.57.50 PM.png

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Finally got to meet again!


The heroes escaped the collapsing flagship, but not before some strange clawed creatures that had escaped from the biolabs ambushed them in the hallway.




After escaping on one of the orcas in the biolabs, they made their way to shore, where a horde of undead was attacking.  A massive battle ensued, with the heroes fighting their way through the tide and up the beach as the waves tossed more undead onto the shore.  Using the barricades as choke points and relying on the growing pile of corpses to create a difficult climb for the attackers, the heroes held their ground.









Eventually the barae Kwalu arrived.  He used necromantic tech on his suit to deactivate the undead in his army, and surrendered, citing the destruction of the automaton army as an insurmountable defeat in his campaign.


His terms were simply that the heroes let him leave, and he'd give him the gauntlet that could disable the undead.  However, he made an offer to Maylin- join him in Hisari, and reunite with Sylhanna to help overthrow Ras Nsi.  Kwalu had plans of his own, apparently!


Maylin laughed away the offer (tbf, this DM was really tired at that point, and he might not have made the best case for himself).  Regardless, Kwalu kept up his end of the deal, and handed the gauntlet to Maylin, also showing her how the team could use it to contact him in the future.


Next week- a slightly homebrewed one shot from the new Candle Keep book, as we rejoin H'om, Robin, and Sledge in their quest to recruit mages on the Sword Coast for False Mezro's army.



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Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 1.11.17 PM.png

Edited by cawatrooper
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Last weekend we started a one shot with one of the other teams that the players had dispatched to the Sword Coast.  The one shot is based on an existing 5E adventure, so no spoilers, but if the characters succeed then they may gain some support of mages to aid in False Mezro's resistance.



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The players' regular characters are also now headed to the Sword Coast, so things might get interesting.  If both groups meet, I'm considering letting them mix the teams up a bit and play as whichever characters they want for a while.





Edited by cawatrooper
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Been busy preparing to move soon, but we've had a few more sessions the past few weeks.  Note that these sessions include some heavily adapted takes on the Divine Contention module, so be warned for potential spoilers. 


The players finished the Tome of Zikran interlude, and have returned to playing as their main characters who were on a boat en route to the sword coast, when they ran into some serpentine entanglements.



They luckily made it to Candle Keep, though, where the Arch Magus informed them that the town of Elturel was in danger of being overrun, and that a wizard there was in the process from retrieving an artifact from it.  If the Bloody Baron (the barae Dhalmass) were to take the city before the artifact was retrieved, it could spell incalcuable disaster.


The players traveled to Elturel and explored the city a bit




They found the wizard, but he was busy preparing for the ritual.  So, they took a job looking for the Sarnath Grenade, supposedly to be handed over by gnomes from a village of the same name.  This weapon might turn the tide, if the Bloody Baron's undead and Cormyrian mercenaries were indeed on their way to Elturel.


The heroes met the gnomes in Dumathoin's Gulch, where this plane's version of the Ulthar Cat actually revealed themselves to be a woman (and in fact this was before Loki aired, though the mechanics of how this is the case aren't quite the same).


They fought off some scary undead at the gulch and retrieved the Sarnath grenade. The uneven terrain proved difficult, but the heroes prevailed in the end and saved all three gnomes.  (For reference, I keep track of everything in game on a real calendar, and the fight in the gulch happened just a few hours after Sledge and company fought Zikran in the mountains).




 Upon returning to town, the militia leader Hazz Yorum offered a pittance of a reward for the grenade, so Bravura used some amnesia powder he'd crafted back at the Nyanzaru Port Festival on him and the heroes kept the grenade for themselves.


As Gallileo (the wizard in Elturel) still was not ready for them, the heroes planned on heading back down river to Baldur's Gate to petition shipping magnate Ulricio Peppi to send reinforcements to the town, to protect his own business interests.  






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It's been far too long since I've made an update here, but we're in the endgame now. The heroes have returned to Chult, with support from Candle Keep, various Sword Coast mercenary guilds, and the defenders of Mezro to lay siege to Hisari. As the battle rages, they attempt to sneak into the Tower of Apotheosis on an island in the center of the city. There, the door to the final dungeon awaits.


Probably one of our most extra sessions, including a Ren Faire-themed feast of smoked lamb and chicken, soft pretzels, cheesey potatoes, handpies, fresh squeezed lemonade, and home brewed mead. 












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