The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 27: Back to the Underground

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
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I was not granted much time with the Syndicate after the final battle. There was much elation at first, but before long an emissary from Torin Highwind himself approached the group. While I knew it was custom for the victors of the inaugural battle to meet with Torin, I was hoping to partake in at least one celebratory beer before they where whisked away.

Sadly luck did not favor me this day, so I said my farewells to the group and watched them ascend the stairs out of the bloodworks. I collected the commission for my services as a herald, and left to join the post-fight festivities.

I did my best to track down the party over the following days, but was unable to do so for nearly a week’s time. The first lead I found was a pair of gnomish merchants named Archey and Marvin cursing the Syndicate’s name.

It turns out that Bellamy did some rather underhanded sorcery during a round of negotiations with the merchants before the games. Furthermore, the party had allegedly violated a deal they made with the gnomes as well! As you might imagine, this resulted in some bad blood between our heroes and the merchants. Unfortunately, other than some details around their dealings, the gnomes were unable to lead me to the party’s whereabouts. It wasn’t until I was approached by a Tiefling holy knight, that I was able to piece together the next part of their story.

Luckily for me, my reputation as the syndicate’s herald had gotten around town. So when a heavily armored tiefling approached me asking for the whereabouts of the party, I was naturally inquisitive as to why he needed to find them.

It turns out, the Syndicate had recently added him to the growing list of people indebted to them. Fortunately for me, in exchange for me helping him track them down he was willing to tell his tale.

Bring In The Professionals

Campaign Log Day 13 – Part 1
26th day of Kythorn – Morning
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar – Undercity

With the battles behind them, the Syndicate decided to take a few days off. Which makes sense, after all what is the point of the loot and spoils they earned from The Endgar Games if they don’t get to use them.

Treasure Horde

Item: 4x Potion of Healing
Item Type: Potion
Description: Heals 2d4+2 HP when consumed.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

Item: 10x Zircon
Item Type: Gemstone
Description: Transparent pale blue-green gem worth about 50 GP each.
Recipient: Bag of Holding

Item: 1x Eversmoking Bottle
Item Type: Wondrous Item
Description: Smoke leaks from the lead-stoppered mouth of this brass bottle, which weighs 1 pound. When you use an action to remove the stopper, a cloud of thick smoke pours out in a 60-foot radius from the bottle. The cloud’s area is heavily obscured. Each minute the bottle remains open and within the cloud, the radius increases by 10 feet until it reaches its maximum radius of 120 feet.

The cloud persists as long as the bottle is open. Closing the bottle requires you to speak its command word as an action. Once the bottle is closed, the cloud disperses after 10 minutes. A moderate wind (11 to 20 miles per hour) can also disperse the smoke after 1 minute, and a strong wind (21 or more miles per hour) can do so after 1 round.
Recipient: Kiddo

Item: 1x Bag of Tricks(Grey)
Item Type: Wondrous Item
Description: This ordinary bag, made from gray, rust, or tan cloth, appears empty. Reaching inside the bag, however, reveals the presence of a small, fuzzy object. The bag weighs 1/2 pound.

You can use an action to pull the fuzzy object from the bag and throw it up to 20 feet. When the object lands, it transforms into a creature you determine by rolling a d8 and consulting the table that corresponds to the bag’s color. See the Monsters Listing for the creature’s statistics. The creature vanishes at the next dawn or when it is reduced to 0 hit points.

The creature is friendly to you and your companions, and it acts on your turn. You can use a bonus action to command how the creature moves and what action it takes on its next turn, or to give it general orders, such as to attack your enemies. In the absence of such orders, the creature acts in a fashion appropriate to its nature.

Once three fuzzy objects have been pulled from the bag, the bag can’t be used again until the next dawn.
Recipient: Bellamy

Item: 1x Splint Mail of Cold Resistance
Item Type: Armor(Heavy)
Description: Grants the wearer resistance to cold damage.
Recipient: Kroul

Item: Treasure Horde Coin Payout
Item Type: Coin
Description: 12 PP, 675 GP, 180 EP, 670 SP, 768 CP
Recipient: Bag of Holding

Their rest and relaxation didn’t last long though. It seemed that someone in the party(my gold is on Lilyth) got a tip that the Mining Guild was running into problems again. My assumption is that since the last trip into the mines was so lucrative, they jumped at the opportunity for additional work.

DM Note: Transitioning from Session 14 to 15

Everybody but Kroul was able to make this session, however Meesh wasn’t able to join until part way through. The clean break from the Endgar games made this transition pretty straight-forward.

This time however, the party was not the first group to take on this contract. While the party was resting, the mining guild had conscripted another group of adventurers for this task. The bad news was, the guild had not seen or heard from the group since they left several days ago. Assuming the worst, they put the mission on hold until some more qualified applicants showed up.

So I can only imagine the mining foreman Brogan was elated to see the Syndicate when they walked through the door.

This cavern clearing contract was structured much like the previous one. The party was to incrementally place torches as they traveled down the cavern, while clearing any and all hostile creatures they come across. The contract would be complete once they determined the whereabouts of the missing adventurers.

With the terms agreed to, Brogan ordered his workers to unseal the entryway, and the party descended into the depths below.

Don’t Forget To Look Up

Initially the trip was fairly uneventful. The first stretch of the tunnel was a long narrow corridor that could easily be assessed for threats. After about 30 minutes of travelling, the corridor opened up into a cavern with about 20 foot clearance. The floors and ceilings of the cavern were filled with jagged rocks, and suspicious looking crevices.

The eerie silence caused the hairs on their necks to stand on end, so they entered a battle formation with their bruisers up front. Ungoldor decided to separate from the pack, moving from rock to rock searching for threats up ahead.

Unfortunately, he should have been searching for threats overhead.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-5), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-4), Lilyth(Drd-5), Ungoldor(Rog-5), Rkard(Bbn-5)
Enemies: 3xGrick
Base Difficulty Rating: Medium
Modified Difficulty Rating: Hard
Expected Outcome: Minor to moderate HP loss

Tactical Considerations: The party was caught by surprise. To make matters worse the soft targets in their back line are exposed. They will need to re-position quickly, otherwise this quest might be off to a rough start.

A trio of large worm-like gricks descended from the ceiling. Despite the party’s senses being heightened, they were caught completely by surprise.

The situation turned dire quickly for Ungoldor. The gricks were able to land a series of punishing blows on the elf, but he was eventually able to slink away and answer in kind.

The other two gricks engage the rest of the party. The syndicate was able to re-position quickly and get the fight under control, but the slithering monstrosities manage to get a few nasty bites in before they were snuffed out.

Actual Outcome: Moderate HP loss
Loot: None

How It Went Down: Other than the initial surprise round, the party was able to do a routine take-down of the gricks. There was some damage spread around, but nothing that should arrest their progress.

Behind The Screen: I was able to leverage the stone camouflage trait of the gricks to great effect here. I was looking for someone to do ANY type of investigation of the ceiling to trigger a perception check. However, the party was too focused on the ground floor so the trap was extremely effective. The gricks also threw some pretty decent attack rolls, which resulted in a decent chunk more damage then I expected.

Once the cavern fell silent the party regrouped. They looked for signs of the missing party, but couldn’t find anything in the immediate vicinity.

At this point the syndicate realized that they were once again going to have to earn their hazard pay. So they tightened up their formation and continued their trek.

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