The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 3: Finishing The Job

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
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With Kroul leaving the party, I needed another source for the details of that night. Fortunately, Kiddo and Rkard had no reservations recounting the details of their heroics for everybody in the tavern. Rather than engage them directly, I sat back to listen. The details of the story varied with each retelling, but after writing and re-writing multiple times, I believe I was able to piece together the real story.

What Happens In Endgar…

Campaign Log Day 1 – Part 3
14th day of Kythorn – Night’s End
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Entertainment District – Mess Hall

Josh was never told where to find Marco, but his run-ins with the man led him to believe he would be found in an infamous part of The Entertainment District known as the “Pleasure Pit”. The Pleasure Pit is a section of the district separated from the rest by a short wall in a vain attempt to prevent children from looking in on all types of unseemly sights. People usually go to the pit to scratch their gambling itches or introduce themselves to one of the many “companions” available for hire. But most importantly, people who enter the Pleasure Pit know they must come with coin in hand, making it a logical target for a ruffian like Marco.

As the party leaves the hall, a small patrol comprised of a large human thug, a small Halfling bandit, and an elven woman wielding a longbow approach. Realizing Gurash has likely been taken out of the picture, they attack the party.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor 1), Kiddo(Ftr 1), Lilyth(Drd 1), Rkard(Bbn 1), Ungoldor(Rog 1)
Enemies: 1x Bandit, 1x Thug, 1x Scout
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Loot: 14 GP, 26 EP

Tactical Considerations: The party decided to approach the pleasure pit out in the open. This removed the element of surprise that the party had enjoyed in every encounter prior. The two groups met in an open area with no cover and about 40 feet between them.

How It Went Down: The combination of ranged and melee damage allowed the patrol to spread some damage around the party, however the party was able to take them down without any major issues.

Behind The Screen: This fight was a perfect example of how encounter balancing was supposed to work. Both sides of the fight had a balanced composition, and neither side had the drop on the other. I was starting to lose my trust in the encounter experience formulas; however, this fight showed me that on an even playing field the formulas work.

Our heroes were able to bring down the patrol with only minor wounds, and more importantly without alerting anyone else of their presence. After ensuring the area was clear, they moved quietly to the southern wall of the Pleasure Pit.

As they approach the short wall, they noticed hushed voices on the other side. Unable to make out the words, Ungoldor does what he does best, and quietly scales the wall on the southwest corner of the pit. He notices a member of the city watch and a bandit rummaging through purses while two roguish-looking figures have a discussion behind a bar. Ungoldor relays this information to the group, and they begin formulating a plan of attack.

Elle and Ungoldor decide to attack from the side after going over the wall, while the rest of the party attacks through the main entrance on the eastern end of the pit. Once everyone is in place, Ungoldor again climbs the wall and moves along the western boundary without being noticed. Meanwhile, Elle has leapt onto the southern portion of the wall, where she casts charm person on the nearby guard before announcing her presence to the men in the pit.

Party Crashers

“I can’t believe you started the party without me!” she yells as she descends from her perch, holding everyone’s attention. She engages in friendly banter with her newly-charmed acquaintance as she approaches the group, who starts to move towards her in response.

She tries to convince the men she’s a fellow member of The Flock, but one of the men sees through her ruse and brandishes his weapon. In response, Elle immediately uses a Thunderwave spell, catching all 4 enemies and propelling two of them backward. The party hadn’t agreed on a signal to launch the attack, but the thunderous boom was enough to jolt everyone into action.<.p>

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor 1), Kiddo(Ftr 1), Lilyth(Drd 1), Rkard(Bbn 1), Ungoldor(Rog 1)
Enemies: 1x Bandit, 1x Guard, 1x Spy, 1x Human Rogue NPC
Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Expected Outcome: Major Damage or KO
Actual Outcome: Moderate Damage and x2 KO
Loot: 25 GP, 16 SP, 15 CP, 1x Bag of Holding, 1x Potion of Hill Giants Strength, 3x Onyx

Tactical Considerations: The party managed to scout out the encounter; however all of the enemies were fairly close together, and the rogue and spy behind the bar had cover available. Also the party members approaching through the main entrance would need to use 2 turns of movement before they could take an attack action.

How It Went Down: The party wasn’t truly caught by surprise since they were prepared to charge in, but Lilyth was exposed in the middle of 4 hostile combatants with no other target in sight. Lilyth ends up being knocked unconcious very quickly. This caused Josh to attempt to rush to her aid. He was able to stabilize her, but ended up exposing himself and was also taken down.

However, the damage dealt by Lilyth’s thunderwave was just enough to allow the party to clean up the enemies fairly quickly. Marco attempted to escape by running and hiding behind cover, but Bellamy managed to catch him with a sleep spell by blindly casting it into the area he was sneaking.

Behind The Screen: Finally, a real threat to the party! This was essentially the big bad boss encounter of the riots, and it panned out better than I had expected. The party’s initial luck seemed to have run out somewhat resulting in the party taking some serious damage. While the party eventually succeeded, this fight managed to almost fully deplete the party, and they weren’t quite out of the woods yet.

Treasure Horde

Item: Bag of Holding
Item Type: Adventuring Gear
Description: A bag that places it’s contents into an extra-dimensional space. The bag weighs 15 lbs, holds 500lbs, and 64 cubic feet
Recipient: Rkard

Item: Potion of Hill Giant’s Strength
Item Type: Potion
Description: Drinking this potion sets the users strength ability to 21 for 1 hour.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

Item: Gemstones(50 GP) x3
Item Type: Gemstone
Description: A black gemstone worth 50 GP

Recipient: Bag of Holding

The men inside the pit proved the most formidable challenge the party had faced yet; over the course of a brutal melee brawl, Elle and Josh were knocked unconscious. In the middle of the fight, one of the roguish men attempted to flee, and would have very likely escaped were it not for a well-timed sleep spell from Bellamy.

The party was able to stabilize everyone after the fight, but Ungoldor was left with a deep distrust of the party’s new “friend”, Josh, and threw his dagger at the unconscious guard. It landed, but the other members of the party intervened to revive Josh again and force Ungoldor asleep. While the weakened members recovered, the rest of the party restrained the unconscious rogue before he woke from his magically induced slumber.

I prodded Rkard, hoping he would tell me the specifics of his conversation with Marco, but even in his inebriated state he decided it would be best to keep them to himself. Not wanting to interrupt the story, I decided to drop the subject and let the dwarf tell me the rest of his tale.

Dungeon Master Note

Once Marco was awake, the party was able to use their persuasive abilities to get information regarding the location of The Flock’s headquarters. Marco told the party that “The Nest” was located in the Commercial District, inside a warehouse belonging to “Blackheart Agriculture”. Marco hoped revealing this information would grant him favor with the party, but this particular group of adventurers doesn’t forgive or forget easily. Upon realizing the party was not going to let him live, Marco tried to break free, but was quickly laid to rest.

On Marco’s body was a Bag of Holding containing some coins, three Onyx Stones, and a Potion of Hill Giant’s Strength.

After a short rest, the party moved on as a group. Things seemed to have calmed down in the Entertainment District, and with their first set of major battle wounds fresh, our heroes decided it was time to head to safety. Only Ungoldor was having second thoughts about leaving right away, and elected to leave the party and instead head back to The Hasty Loft. The party didn’t contest his decision, and for the rest of the night they proceeded without him.

Cross That Bridge When You Come To It

Before the party could cross the bridge, one last challenge stood in their way. Opposite them were the silhouettes of a large thuggish figure and two smaller henchmen. In their weakened state, simply engaging these men directly seemed dangerous, so the group took a slightly different approach. Lined up side by side, the party sprinted full bore at their would-be foes, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor 1), Kiddo(Ftr 1), Lilyth(Drd 1), Rkard(Bbn 1)
Enemies: 2x Bandit, 1x Thug
Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Expected Outcome: Major HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Loot: 15 GP

Tactical Considerations: This fight was shaping up to be a pretty straight-forward showdown. There is exactly one way to cross the bridge, and the bridge is lit enough to prevent surprise attacks on either side.

How It Went Down: The party using what amounted to a group intimidation check of sorts managed to chase off the two smaller bandits, but the Thug stayed put. After a couple rounds of floundering the party managed to take him down, however the Thug did bring almost everybody down to low health.

Behind The Screen: There are 3 bridges connected to the Entertainment District, and this was easily the most difficult one. I had to wing this one, as I wasn’t expecting the party to attempt intimidation to chase the bandits off. I ended up treating it almost like a sleep spell, where each enemy had a “resolve” value, and the group’s combined intimidation check determined who fled, starting with the lowest “resolve”.

I’ll probably come up with a better way to handle it moving forward, but in a pinch I’m happy with the result. The encounter still ended up a challenge because the party had a run of bad luck, while the thug freely landed multi-attacks.

This tactic succeeded in scaring off the smaller henchmen, who immediately ran for their lives, but the large brute’s resolve was not shaken, and he engaged the party. The way Rkard described the battle, the brute managed to land some strong strikes on members of the party. Sometimes the gods are not in your favor, and a seemingly trivial engagement can push you to the brink. The hulking brute was eventually disposed of, and once the dust had settled, the party crossed the bridge into the Commercial District.

They were quickly found by patrolling guards who were only recently made aware of the events taking place across the bridge. Seeing the party in their wounded state, they recommended a trip to the Southern Market to find healing materials while the guards secured the district to the north. At this point, Elle told the group that she had other matters to attend to, and they parted ways. Josh, exhausted from a night of many new and often near-death experiences, also used this opportunity to head to his home in the Residential District.

A Bonding Experience

Kiddo and Rkard however, weren’t quite ready to call it a night. Rather than making the prudent decision of getting patched up, they scoffed at their minor wounds and went straight to the tavern known as The Blackmule in the Southern Market.

It wasn’t long before some of the patrons rescued by the party just hours before started filtering into The Blackmule, and Kiddo and Rkard were soon surrounded by wide-eyed men and women eager to hear their story. Happy to oblige, they spent hours telling and re-telling the tale of the Endgar Riots. Eventually Kroul found his brothers-in-arms, and the three ate and drank their fill until the wee hours of the morning.

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