The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 10: Eggs Over Easie

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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As I was writing down my notes I noticed the farmer staring at me from the farmhouse window. We locked eyes for a moment, but much to my relief he eventually just shook his head and went back to his business. I interpreted the exchange as a sign of permission and promptly continued my conversation with the goat.

Next Time Remember The Dog Treats

Campaign Log Day 4 – Part 3
17th day of Kythorn – Highsun
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Outskirts – Mount Easie

As the party entered the cave they immediately noticed they weren’t alone. Huddled up in the back of the cave was a trio of abnormally large wolves. The beast in front snarled as the party approached, but did not charge.

Roll Persuasion

Party: Bellamy(Sor-3), Kroul(Clr-3), Lilyth(Drd-3), Ungoldor(Rog-3), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-2),
Enemies: 3x Dire Wolf
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: No HP Loss
Loot: None

Tactical Considerations: The wolves are not being immediately agressive, but there is no guarantee that this won’t change moving forward. The cave is very dark, but the prevalence of darkvision in the party makes this problem negligible.

How It Went Down: Lilyth decided to try a diplomatic approach, and cast a “Speak to Animals” spell. The wolves immediately asked her if creatures were gone, prompting Lilyth pointed out the recently felled griffons. The dire wolves revealed that they had been taking shelter in the cave, and were in danger of starving very soon. Lilyth made a proposition to the dire wolves, if they help kill the remaining griffons the party will let the wolves eat the remains. The dire wolves accepted this offer, and followed the party through the mountains after eating the griffons outside.

Behind The Screen: This fight was more or less placed here as filler encounter to help weaken the party before the grand finale. However, in typical D&D fashion the party managed to find a way to make the complete opposite happen. Now instead of the party being depleted, they are up 3 more party members going into the final encounter. It is times like these I question my decision to be a DM.

Elle halted the party and told them she had an idea. She cast a Speak with Animals spell on herself hoping to appease the beasts.

Once the druid started speaking the creatures became noticeably calmer. After a minute or so of discussion, Elle told the group to let the wolves pass. The party stood aside and the beasts cautiously walked past. Once outside, they immediately set to devouring the griffons’ remains.

Elle told the party the dire wolves had been trapped inside the cave since the griffons arrived, and were on the verge of starvation. She claimed to have convinced the wolves to help the party defeat the rest of the griffons in exchange for the opportunity to fill themselves on the remains of their former oppressors. The party’s initial skepticism faded when the wolves calmly followed them after eating their fill.

Satisfied the creatures did not pose a direct threat, the party regrouped and continued their trek.

Mama Bird

The last leg of the journey was relatively peaceful, with nary a griffon in sight during the climb to the nest. The tension that had been building began to dissipate, even with a literal pack of wolves on their heels.

The mood shifted when our heroes realized what their final task would be. Seeing the nest, it was clear the final climb would be perilous; one misstep could send them tumbling to their doom, and an intense crosswind didn’t help matters. Though determined to make the climb, they suspected one last battle may lie between them and their prize.

They were right.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-3), Kroul(Clr-3), Lilyth(Drd-3), Ungoldor(Rog-3), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-2)
Enemies: 1x Griffon(max HP roll)
Difficulty Rating: Medium

Expected Outcome: Moderate HP loss, with a risk of instant death.
Actual Outcome: Moderate HP loss
Loot: None

Tactical Considerations: There is a walkable path to the top of the nest, but it is on difficult terrain the whole way up. The narrow pathway will make it very diffiult to assist party members should the griffon assault on land. The sheer cliffs on the side represent a signficant threat should the griffon try to grapple and drag a party member off the cliff.

How It Went Down: The griffon initially took flight and attempted to flank the party. Her initial grapple attempts were unsuccessful. Meanwhile the party recognizing that this was most likely the final encounter went weapons free on their spell slots and unleashed several high damage salvos. The griffon had very high health, but her inability to land anywhere with a soft target put her between a rock and a hard place. The party was able to bring her down before the end of the 4th turn without any real setbacks.

Behind The Screen: This was my first real attempt at a boss monster, and it really didn’t work the way I hoped it would. For starters I underestimated the party’s overall ranged DPR, and I also was not expecting to have a couple of dire wolves to deal with. The griffon was almost able to grab someone and drag them off, but her grapple rolls were just a bit too low. Once she moved into melee range she was subjected to overwhelming DPR. To make this fight work I needed to beef up the griffons HP some more, and give her some legendary and/or lair actions.

About halfway through the climb, a deafening screech accompanied a large creature’s emergence from the mountaintop. The party wasted no time and immediately launched a powerful ranged salvo. Many attacks were true, but this monstrosity proved much tougher than her predecessors.

The griffon matron bowled into her antagonists in an attempt to knock them off the ledge. The party maintained their precarious positions and went blow-for-blow. After a wild flurry of claws and steel, our heroes prevailed. The final blow (delivered by Elle) knocked the creature over the edge and sent her tumbling down to the rocks below.

With no other enemies in sight, the party approached the nest. Inside they found three large, off-white eggs. Recognizing these as the objects of their quest, they carefully secured the eggs and began their trek back to the farmstead.

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