The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 28: Avert Your Eyes

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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The tiefling paused momentarily. He seemed fairly shook up recounting the events that took place, even unsure of some of the details. He apologized for the disruption, stating that recounting the tale made some fresh wounds start to sting.

I asked him what wounds could be inflamed by merely telling a story. He assured me that these wounds were not physical in nature, and the explanation would come in due time.

Rather than press for answers, I ended my inquisition and let him continue speaking.

Watch For Falling Rocks

Campaign Log Day 13 – Part 2
26th day of Kythorn – Afternoon
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar – Dig Site

Every member of the syndicate was on high alert. They were a bit shook up at how quickly and effectively the worms struck from hiding.

A shadow suddenly flickered behind that group, causing Rkard to raise the alarm. However, everyone exhaled when the light revealed a friendly face. It appeared that Meesh had finally concluded her business elsewhere, and was able to join the group once again.

The cave started to slope upwards interfering with their ability to look ahead as they marched on. The cracks and crevices in the floor started to turn into holes and caverns. A pungent stench emitted from them, signaling to the Syndicate that they had to be close to their goal.

They marched for a few more minutes before Rkard halted the party. He signaled for Ungolder to come forward and inspect a patch of dried material on the ground. Upon completing their inspection, Ungoldor and Rkard immediately drew their weapons. It was blood.

Rkard took his torch and threw it up the cavern. The light revealed a trail of blood leading further down the path. Rkard looked back at the party to tell them danger was around the corner, but by the time he turned around trouble had already found them.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-5), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-4), Lilyth(Drd-5), Ungoldor(Rog-5), Rkard(Bbn-5), Meesh(Rgr-5)
Enemies: 4xGrick
Base Difficulty Rating: Hard
Modified Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP loss

Tactical Considerations: Once again the party was caught by surprise. They are in a bit better of a formation, but Ungoldor is in the precarious position of being the first target of yet another worm. The party will need to adjust quickly to get out safely.

Four more gricks descended from the ceiling. The party was slightly more prepared this time around, but their fixation on the trail of blood left them exposed to the threats above.

Rkard, Kiddo, and Lilyth did the best they could to draw the attention of the monstrosities, but one of the worms caught Ungoldor’s scent, and moved in. The elf tried to dodge out danger, but he was snared by one of the gricks tenatacles, and when the worms beak connected with his head he immediately fell unconscious.

Lilyth saw her ally go down, and immediately charged her ally’s would be killer. Fortunately, when the grick saw a dire wolf charging it’s way, it was more concerned with self preservation than starting its meal.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the battle Rkard was in a frenzy. His reckless strikes successfully drew the ire of the worms, but he got battered and bruised in the process.

On the bright side, Bellamy, Kiddo, and Meesh were having considerably better luck. The worms’ fixation on their allies allowed them to fire upon them with impunity. Joey the wolf jumped headfirst into the battle in an attempt to protect the half-orc hero holding the gricks at bay. Eventually they were able to fell the last worm, but as they caught their breath, our heroes started to consider returning home to live to fight another day.

Actual Outcome: Major HP loss
Loot: None

How It Went Down: The gricks rolled very well during this battle. The surprise round put the party on their back foot, and the gricks were able to sustain that pressure through the whole fight. Eventually the party was able to thin the herd enough to get control of the situation, but by the time that happened the damage was already done.

Behind The Screen: Once again, I was just looking for someone to say they were looking up as they moved forward down the cavern. This would have lead to a check to discover the gricks outright. Even if they didn’t discover them, anybody looking up would have avoided the surprise round. That all being said, I couldn’t be happier with how this battle turned out. What was supposed to be a fairly straight forward battle ended up pushing the party to their limits.

As the party pondered over their options, a welcome and familiar face came stumbling down the tunnel.

DM Note: Transitioning from Session 15 to 16

Kroul was able to join us for session 16. Believe me when I say his presence at this session was deeply appreciated by everyone involved in the previous battle.

Kroul was nursing a hangover from the night before, and slept in a bit later than he planned. Fortunately Kiddo told him where the party was going, and even more fortunately Kroul remembered enough of the conversation to know he needed to make his way to the mining guild. Kroul started to whine to the group about how they him walk so far on his own, but when he saw the state of his companions his complaints quickly turned to compassion, and more importantly healing magic.

The syndicate breathed a sigh of relief as the warming light of Dionysus mended their wounds. After filling in Kroul on what they had faced thus far, the party came to a consensus on how to proceed.

Stay together, stay armed, and Ungoldor stays in the middle.

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