The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 11: A Hole In The Wall

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
Campaign Analysis D&D Drinking Game
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The party regrouped at The Blackmule in the morning, and it appeared they were rewarded quite handsomely for their efforts on Mount Easie. Ungoldor seemed particularly fortunate, as the tall slender elf was now sporting a sleek, dark set of studded leather armor and a fancy scoped crossbow.

Treasure Horde

Item: Potion of Climbing
Item Type: Potion
Description: Drinking this potion makes your climbing speed match your running speed and grants advantage on strength checks while climbing. Lasts 1 hour.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

Item: Crossbow Bolts +1 x40
Item Type: Ammunition
Description: These magical bolts grant the user +1 to damage and attack rolls. Once the bolt has struck its target, it loses its magical properties.
Recipient: Ungoldor

Item: Homebrew – Clausen’s Scoped Light Crossbow
Item Type: Weapon
Description: Looking through the scope grants the user advantage on attack rolls; all enemies attacking the user have advantage until the start of the user’s next turn.
Recipient: Ungoldor

Item: Art Object(25 GP) x6
Item Type: Art Objects
Description: A bone statuettes carved in the shape of a griffon worth 25 GP each.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

After reviewing their options, they grabbed their gear and left the Blackmule. I followed from a comfortable distance as they trekked into the Endgar Undercity and into the Mining Guild.

Rather than follow them inside, I decided to wait until they had concluded their business. The party emerged a couple of hours later, and I, still not prepared to approach the party directly, tried to piece together what they’d done.

I persuaded the worker at the front desk to let me through without much difficulty, but getting to Brogan, the mining foreman, was much more difficult. I knew the party must have been offered the mining contract I’d recently seen posted, as it is fairly common for the Mining Guild to hire adventurers to secure caverns deemed too dangerous for guild workers to clear.

Typically, Dwarves like to discuss a good tale of heroism, but Brogan was unusually tight-lipped. Not wanting to fall behind, I used a Suggestion spell to convince Brogan I’d be able to help clean up the cavern if he allowed me in. This did the trick, and within minutes I was investigating the recently cleared dig site with pen and parchment in hand.

Nobody Told Me There Would Be Spiders

Campaign Log Day 5 – Part 1
18th day of Kythorn – Morning
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Undercity – The Dig

The first fight in the caverns took place more or less right away. After moving the barricade at the cavern entrance, the party was greeted by a group of Giant Spiders.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-3), Kroul(Clr-3), Lilyth(Drd-3), Ungoldor(Rog-3), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-2),
Enemies: 4x Giant Spider
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Light HP Loss
Loot: Spider Venom

Tactical Considerations: The narrow cavern entrance could serve as a boon for the party as they clear the first room. They could use it to limit the number of enemies they face at once, but doing so would create cover issues for ranged attackers. Furthermore, if the battle dragged on too long, the melee players could be in a problematic spot. Running into the open cavern would put the party at risk of being surrounded.

How It Went Down: The party decided to hang back and let the spiders approach them. They were able to clog the entrance and use primarily ranged damage to take the spiders down. There were a couple instances of friendly fire, but overall the party suffered low damage.

Behind The Screen: This fight would have been more dangerous if I had been more willing to subject the spiders to opportunity attacks. I was generally only sending one spider at a time at the party, which kept the damage low. The spiders were able to land a few hits, but the players successfully resisted the poison every time.

The party brought down three giant spiders in the first room of the cavern, but a trail of arachnid blood suggested the fourth escaped. After prudently placing torches throughout the first chamber, they moved on to the next area.

DM Note: Transition from Session 6 to 7

Session 6 ended after the party defeated the giant spiders. Ungoldor and Kroul were not able to make session 7, but Rkard was able to join back in.

Lore: Dig Torches

The Mining Guild uses specialized long-burning torches to secure caverns. The cavern is considered secure only when the entire chamber is lit. With this condition met and all hostile creatures confirmed dead, the guild can begin mining, and the adventurers responsible get paid.

At the end of the first chamber was another narrow passageway leading to a large open cavern with high ceilings. On the left side of the cavern was a pathway leading up, and to the right was an open area with several large pits in the ground.

The party spotted the wounded spider crawling along the wall on their right and immediately opened fire. The noise created by one of their spells spooked a nearby colony of giant bats, who immediately swarmed the party.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Lilyth(Drd-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Meesh(Rgr-3), Rkard(Bbn-3)
Enemies: 1x Giant Spider, 8x Giant Bat
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Light HP Loss
Loot: Bat Leather

Tactical Considerations: Between the bats and the spiders, there were 9 enemies visible on the field. The party’s options were to either try retreating into the first chamber or tough it out and apply damage as fast as possible.

How It Went Down: The party chose the second option. Initially they focused on the bats, which allowed the spider to close to melee range, but Meesh’s pet Joey kept it at bay for a couple of rounds. Kiddo’s Hex + Eldritch Blast combo and Rkard’s excessive use of Reckless attacks helped them dish out some serious damage in this encounter. The bats made it to melee range with little trouble, but poor attack rolls kept their damage to a minimum.

Behind The Screen: This was the largest fight the party had encountered thus far. They handled it fairly well, but poor rolling on my part made it much easier. Dice rolls aside, the party did a good job focusing their damage and quickly removing enemies from the field.

Our heroes stood firm and launched a salvo of ranged attacks at the approaching swarm. Once the bats closed in, they fell victim to Rkards brutal strikes and Lilyth’s shredding claws. The loyal beast Joey even braved the dark and managed to hold the attention of multiple bats while the party struck their foes down.

Once the last bat fell dead, the party wasted no time pushing forward. They ignored the shelf to the east, instead walking north towards the pits. The pits seemed innocuous, but their purpose became clear when our heroes moved forward, right into an ambush.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Lilyth(Drd-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Meesh(Rgr-3), Rkard(Bbn-3)
Enemies: 1x Giant Crawler, 6x Giant Centipede
Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Loot: Carrion Crawler Venom

Tactical Considerations: The party has a giant crawler entering from a cavern to the north, three giant centipedes crawling up from a nearby pit, and three more emerging from a pit about 30 feet away. They have some space to work with, but it’s unclear what other monsters may be lurking nearby if they stray too far.

How It Went Down: The party decided to put all of their energy into taking down the crawler. Lilyth engaged first, and was knocked out of Dire Wolf form, but shifted back before taking any serious damage. Fortunately, the giant centipedes had difficulty making their climbing checks to crawl out of the pits, giving the party time to work down the crawler before engaging and killing the centipedes in short order.

Behind The Screen: The only place I went wrong here was requiring a climbing check for the centipedes to get out of the pits. The centipedes have a climbing speed, which usually precludes a climbing check. Had they all swarmed at once, they would have presented an immediate threat, and possibly dealt some very high damage with their poison. This also would have taken pressure off the crawler, giving him another round or two to deal damage and potentially paralyze party members.

A giant fetid monstrosity emerged from a cavern nearby and charged the party. Elle boldly charged the creature and held the front line on her own while the rest of the party launched a barrage of ranged attacks at the beast. A group of giant centipedes emerged from the pits behind them, but the party remained calm and dispatched them without incurring severe wounds.

With their immediate threat defeated, the party regrouped. They carefully searched the hole that the crawler emerged from, but found only a dead end. At this point, it was clear the creatures in this cavern were far more dangerous than originally thought. Erring on the side of caution, the party formed up and crept more cautiously towards the northeast end of the cave.

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