The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 12: Nooks and Crannies

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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I continued investigating the scorch marks, blood splatters, and tufts of fur scattered around the cave, and piecing together the events was easy enough. I started to notice that each warrior left a very distinct footprint. For example, a bat crushed against the ground was obviously Rkard’s work, and arrow holes and scorch marks in the crawler were clear evidence of its suffering at the hands of Meesh and Bellamy.

Confident I was getting an accurate picture of events, I continued on, but began to think it might be time for me to get my stories directly from the party. It would certainly be easier than performing an autopsy on every corpse I came across…

Snakes In A Cave

Campaign Log Day 5 – Part 2
18th day of Kythorn – Morning
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Undercity – The Dig

As our heroes ventured onward, they noticed two more openings along the northern wall, which they cautiously investigated. Unlike the hole that housed the crawler, these tunnels seemed to lead deeper into the cavern. A brief discussion ended with their decision that their first priority was completing the Mining Guild’s contract, and they left the tunnels for another day.

Venturing east, the party noticed a large trench carved into the cavern, descending downward. Hoping to avoid getting caught from above or below, they split up, with Elle and Rkard walking the trench while the rest of the party covered them from above.

Soon Elle spotted a waist-high (if she were in elf form) hole on one side of the wall. She stuck her nose in the hole to see if she could smell anything of interest; unfortunately, her dire wolf form’s heightened sense of smell didn’t make up for her lack of dark vision, and immediately a creature was upon her.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Lilyth(Drd-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Meesh(Rgr-3), Rkard(Bbn-3)
Enemies: 1x Giant Constrictor Snake, 4x Constrictor Snake
Difficulty Rating: Medium
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Loot: Snake Skin

Tactical Considerations: The party is split up, but should the need arise, the members above can jump into the trench. As long as Kiddo and Joey can hold off any melee attackers up top, Bellamy and Meesh are well positioned to apply ranged damage. However, if multiple party members get constricted, they could soon be isolated from one another and forced to spread damage on individual targets.

How It Went Down: The initial surprise attack allowed the snake in the hole to constrict Lilyth. Meanwhile, two more snakes slithered out of holes above the trench and a giant constrictor snake emerged from around the far end of the trench. Kiddo held the line up front while Joey leapt into the trench in an attempt to help Lilyth. Rkard decided to test his might alone against the giant constrictor snake, and was promptly grappled. The party cut through the smaller snakes, but not quickly enough to prevent the giant snake from pulling Rkard into his nest. Fortunately, Rkard’s Bear Totem Rage and high HP pool kept him conscious until his allies caught up and finished the giant snake off.

Behind The Screen: This fight ended up going really well. The party had to manage positioning and pick targets intelligently. For once, the monsters didn’t roll horribly, so the party took a fair amount of damage. I was also entertained by Rkard’s repeated failed attempts to break the constriction despite rolling with advantage.

A large constrictor snake leapt out of the hole, catching Elle by surprise. As she was being wrapped up, several large snakes emerged from holes scattered around the cavern and descended on the party. Not long after, an enormous constrictor snake emerged from the trench. Rkard tried to fight the larger beast on his own, but was immediately wrapped up and dragged into its nest.

Our heroes sprung into action and took down the snakes one by one. Rkard struggled, but never managed to escape the snake’s grasp. Though the orc seems to have made it out intact, I imagine his pride was somewhat tarnished by the ordeal. Eventually the party slayed the enormous serpent and freed Rkard from his scaly prison.

Packed Rats

The cave was now fully lit, save for the shelf in the southeastern section. Emboldened by their progress to this point, they climbed the shelf.

There was nothing of note on the shelf’s top, but they did notice a sheer drop in the cave’s corner. At its bottom was a small cavern, which they figured might house some baddies. Without a moment’s hesitation, they slid down the drop and started squeezing through the hole.

It seems their confidence may have gotten the better of them.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Lilyth(Drd-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Meesh(Rgr-3), Rkard(Bbn-3)
Enemies: 10x Giant Rat
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Expected Outcome: Minior HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Major HP Loss
Loot: Rat Tails

Tactical Considerations: The rats’ nest required the party to squeeze into very tight quarters. Whoever was standing in front would be subject to a large number of attacks in rapid succession, but the tight quarters would also allow for very effective use of area of effect spells.

How It Went Down: Meesh decided to make a bold move and run past a couple of rats at the entrance to hit them with Hail of Thorns. This subjected her to several opportunity attacks, whose damage was initially mild. Unfortunately, she had cast Hail of Thorns prior to running in, and the hits caused her to lose concentration. Before she could attempt another Hail of Thorns, the rats landed multiple critical hits and brought her health perilously low, forcing her to disengage. Kiddo quickly took her place and landed a highly effective fire breath. The remaining members filed in and finished the rats, but lost considerable health to some good rat rolls.

Behind The Screen: Of course what I thought would be my easiest encounter ended up being the most challenging for the party. This can largely be attributed to the rats rolling very well and the party moving in one at a time. Once the party realized the threat was real, they brought out the big guns, but I don’t think any of us expected this fight to go the way it did.

At the drop’s end was a large group of Giant Rats. Individually these creatures pose little threat, but ten can be dangerous to even the hardiest adventurers. Meesh recognized the threat for what it was and tried to charge in quickly to unleash a Hail of Thorns. For some reason she was unable to unleash her spell before the horde descended on her.

Kiddo ran to the rescue and unleashed fiery retribution on the rats, but not before several members of the party received some nasty wounds.

With the rats dead, the party planted their final torches and returned to the entrance of the dig site. I imagine Brogan was very surprised by the contents of the cavern, but based on his generous rewards he was very pleased with the results.

Treasure Horde

Item: Coin Payout
Descrption: 12 PP, 161 GP, 37 EP, 166 SP, 67 CP
Recipient: Split between party

Item: Homebrew – Lightglobe
Item Type: Adventuring Equipment
Description: Globe that shines a bright light once per day. On command it shines bright light for 60 feet, and dim light for another 60 feet. It can pierce through some, but not all magical darkness.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

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: Homebrew – Spelunker’s Shadowed Studded Leather Armor
Item Type: Armor
Description: Studded Leather that grants +1 to athletics(climbing) checks, and +1 to stealth checks
Recipient: Ungoldor

Item: Broom of Flying
Item Type: Adventuring Equipment
Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide
Description: Mounting the broomstick grants a 200 lb character 50 fly speed, and a 201 – 400 lb character 30 fly speed. Can send the broom stick on its own to a known location 1 mile away. Must speak command word to activate broomstick flight.
Recipient: Lilyth

Item: Gemstone(10 GP) x7
Item Type: Gemstone
Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide
Description: A handful of black opaque gemstones worth 10 GP.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

With the dig site secured, the Mining Guild workers could block off the tunnels on the northern side of the cave. Soon digging crews were back to extracting riches from the earth.

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