The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 17: Ruined Upholstery

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Renlia stopped speaking for a moment to share a word with Josh in private. Once they had finished speaking she looked up at me and leaned over the table. Before I was able to react she snatched all of the notes I had written about the party off of the table and stepped away. It turns out that my ability to prepare her words for the council was not enough to gain her trust.

I leaped over the table, but before I was able to grab hold of the thief she pulled a piece of iron out of her pouch and suddenly my body started to seize up.I have to admit her magic was far stronger than I expected it would be. I tried to break free but the command in her voice caused my will to falter. Recognizing I had been bested, I stopped resisting.

Renlia walked up me and looked me dead in the eye. She told me that before she could divulge any more secrets of her’s she needed to hear one of mine. I looked up at Josh who slowly started making his way over to me.

Josh spoke very plainly. He told me that they had opened up to me, but I had not repaid in kind. He explained that the only reason that both of them were not in the stockades was the mutual trust between the two of them, and the heroes of this tale. Before they could continue, they needed to know more about who I am. I exchanged a glance with both of them. Realizing that now was the time to plant my flag I offered up a response.

I told them that my name is not Milo Bottleluck.

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

Campaign Log Day 7 – Part 3
20th day of Kythorn – Night’s Heart
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Outskirts – Blackheart Manor

In an attempt to address their mounting wounds, the party decided to go back to the master bedroom and take a short rest. They were able to clean up some of their scrapes and bruises, but the unsettling noises croaking throughout the manor signaled that they needed to move on.

After carefully exiting the master bedroom, the party formed up on the first bedroom door on the west side of the upstairs balcony. They followed their standard breaching procedure, but this time Bellamy used a Dancing Lights spell to investigate the space beneath the bed. Confident that there wouldn’t be any additional surprises, they moved on to the next room.

Our heroes breached the next door, and inside was another small bedroom with spectacularly painted walls that were styled to look like the night sky. The furniture in the room was in fairly good condition, but by far the most interesting part of the room was the wand and note sitting on top of the night stand. Erring on the side of caution Bellamy used a mage hand spell to grab the note and read it to the party.

I think it is nonsense that so much of our wealth is locked in Baron’s coffin. I get that he is largely responsible for our family becoming what it is today, but future generations of Blackheart’s should be able to use it. One of these days I’m going to take my wand into the crypt, and see what other treasures the family has been hiding.

Excited at the prospect of a magical wand that could lead to additional treasure, Bellamy used his mage hand to retrieve the wand and bring it over to the party. Lilyth was able to determine that the wand did in fact have magical properties, but didn’t know what the specific properties were. The party didn’t want to sit still for too long, so they decided to give the wand to Lilyth for safe keeping until it could be identified. Once the loot was stowed away, the party checked the usual nooks and crannies and left the room.

The final room was painted blood red and all of the furniture was in good condition. However, the bed had a pair of skeletons tucked in under the covers. This time around the party decided to take a more aggressive approach and had Bellamy set fire to the bed. After watching the skeletal bodies wither away in the flames the party was eventually able to snuff out the fire, but room itself had sustained a fair bit of fire damage. Satisfied that there were no more threats in the final room, the party was finally able to conclude that the upstairs was safe.

Dinner Party

The party formed up in the foyer and decided to explore the Library in the eastern wing. The room itself spanned nearly the entire length of the eastern side of the manor. In the center of the room was a series of tables with books and parchment sprawling all over the tabletops. The perimeter of the room housed nearly a dozen bookshelves stuffed to the brim with literature. Between the bookshelves was the occasional decorative glass window peering out at the growing storm outside.

Although a couple members of the party were tempted to start digging through the books, they eventually decided that securing the manor was the main priority. However, they did think it was worth checking the contents of the tables, and the space behind the bookshelves before leaving. Their curiosity was rewarded when they found a magical scroll on sitting on the northernmost table.

Treasure Horde

Item: Scroll of Dispel Magic
Item Type: Scroll
Description: Allows the user to cast the ‘Dispel Magic’ spell once. Once the spell is cast the scroll is destroyed.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

While Bellamy was identifying the scroll, Lilyth was able to locate a hidden passageway behind a bookshelf on the northern end of the room. The passageway contained a dark and narrow tunnel curving beneath the manor. Not wanting to become sidetracked, the party noted its location and moved the bookshelf back in place. Once Bellamy was able to successfully identify the scroll of dispel magic, the party stashed it away and formed up at the dining hall entrance on the northern end of the library.

The dining hall was a massive open air room with high ceilings. The room spanned the entire width of the manor, and was adorned was a number of decorative paintings, rugs, and tapestries. In the middle of the room was a large solid oak table with enough space to host at least two dozen guests. Along the southern side of the room was a pair of doors leading back into what was presumed to be the kitchen. However, the party immediately drew their weapons when they saw a pair of familiar looking sets of plate armor standing near the kitchen doors. Along-side the suits of armor was a trio of decorative long-swords hanging on the wall.

The party gave the suspicious arsenal a wide berth, and decided to start pillaging a series of cabinets standing along the northern wall of the room. The cabinets were filled to the brim with high quality silverware. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to make some extra coin Lilyth took the bag of holding and started shoveling the silverware in as quickly as she could. The party kept a watchful eye on the swords and armor on the southern wall. However, while their gaze was fixed on the potential threats across the room they forgot to watch where they were stepping.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-4), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-3), Lilyth(Drd-4), Meesh(Rgr-4), Ungoldor(Rog-4), Rkard(Bbn-4), Renlia(Brd-4)
Enemies: 2x Flying Sword, 2x Animated Armor, 1x Rug of Smothering
Base Difficulty Rating: Medium
Modified Difficulty Rating: Hard – Ambushed
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Loot: None

Tactical Considerations: The party understands at this point that virtually any part of the manor could come to life and start attacking. They are in a solid combat formation and are proceeding with caution. Their location in the middle of the room gives them plenty of options to escape, but there are also many directions they could be attacked from.

How It Went Down: The party was correctly paying attention to the decorative swords and suits of armor on the far wall, however they failed to identify the rug beneath their feet as a threat. As a result the battle started off with a surprise attack from the rug, resulting in Lilyth being smothered. Lilyth was able to use her dire wolf form’s high strength to break free, but once she had broken free Bellamy was immediately smothered. Bellamy got taken down to low health, but Renlia was able to break him free with a strategically positioned thunderwave spell.

While those three were tangled up with the rug, the rest of the party focused on taking down the flying swords and animated armors on the other side of the room. The party ended up splitting damage pretty evenly between the available enemies, but the high burst damage from Ungoldor resulted in some easy sword kills early on. Eventually the party was able to take down all of the animated objects, but not before taking a fair bit of damage.

Behind The Screen: I was somewhat surprised that the party didn’t figure out the rug trap. I took some time describing the decorative tables, windows, and tapestry out of hopes that it would tip the party off. However we ended up discussing it later, and they agreed that there was more than enough information to identify the trap. So in the end I just chalked it up as another point for the DM.

A large rug that Lilyth was standing on suddenly sprang to life, and quickly wrapped her up. As anticipated the swords and suits of armor also started to move, and menacingly made their way towards the party. Lilyth responded to the bone crushing grip of the rug by transforming into a large dire wolf. The brute strength of this creatures form allowed her to break free from the rugs suffocating grasp.

Rkard, Kiddo, Ungoldor, and Meesh engaged the animated equipment on the northern end of the room while Lilyth, Bellamy and Renlia attempted to deal with the rogue rug. The swords and armor proved to be fairly resilient foes. Rkard’s attempts to deliver large and crushing blows consistently fell short, however Ungoldor’s scoped crossbow allowed him to land a couple of decisive blows early on. Meanwhile the rug wasted no time finding another victim, this time choosing to go after the scrawny sorcerer.

Bellamy quickly found himself in a very tight spot as the rug fluttered around him and tightened its grip. His attempts to cut himself free were ineffective, and his vision started to go dark as the crushing fabric wrapped itself tight. Fortunately Renlia was able to stick her arm into the rug before it was full cinched shut, and unleash a booming Thunderwave spell. The force from the spell loosened the rugs grip allowing Bellamy to slide out while his carpeted captor was flung away.

DM Note: Thunderwave and Grappling

This scenario took a little time for me to adjudicate. I initially believed that anybody the rug has tightly wrapped up would move with it when pushed by a spell or other outside force. However, a quick check of the grapple condition immediately revealed that this was not the case. Any forced movement that caused the rug to leave melee range would free Bellamy from his cloth prison. This time around Bellamy lucked out succeeded his save while the rug failed, but looking back he could have hypothetically failed his save voluntarily, and allowed himself to be propelled away from the rug.

Sick and tired of being pushed around Bellamy unleashed a series of high powered spells on the rug. His onslaught combined with Lilyth’s bites and Renlia’s crossbow bolts quickly shredded the rug. With the rug reduced to yarn our heroes were able to quickly dispatch the remaining threats.

When the last suit of armor finally collapsed, the party quickly regrouped on the table in the center of the room. Their wounds were once again started to pile up, but fortunately all of the commotion caused Kroul to come running downstairs.

DM Note: Transition Between Session 10 and 11

Session 10 ended with the party huddled on the table immediately after the fight with the rug. Meesh was unable to make session 11, so we sent Meesh back up with the ghost in the master bedroom, and had Kroul regroup with the party at the start of the session.

The cleric did what he could to start patching up his brothers in arms, but he was concerned that his magic was starting to run dry. Meesh was concerned that Joey’s wounds were beginning to pile up, and decided to take shelter in the master bedroom while the party moved on.

In an effort to avoid taxing Kroul more than necessary, the party decided that taking a quick rest on the table was the best move. The party had Ungoldor act as a sentry while the rest of the party tended to their woulds, hopeful that one last rest would give them strength to complete their task and get out alive.

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