The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 29: Stone Cold Redemption

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
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At this point I was starting to figure out how this holy knight met the syndicate. It was becoming increasingly clear that he was a member of the other group that tried to clear the mines initially.

However, given what I know about the ravenous nature of gricks, I was at the edge of my seat to find out how he survived such a hostile environment. When I expressed these thoughts, the tiefling let out a sigh.

“At this point my only hope is if I do find the syndicate, I can live up to my namesake.

The Trails End

Campaign Log Day 13 – Part 3
26th day of Kythorn – Late Afternoon
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar – Dig Site

The re-introduction of Kroul to the group gave the party a renewed sense of vigor. His healing powers made their wounds more manageable, and they knew the dwarf had a few nasty tricks up his sleeve if the situation got dire. With their plan set in place, they formed back up and once again continued following the trail of blood.

The tunnels narrowed up, but before long the party was once again deposited into a larger open cavern. The party moved through slowly, but this time they made sure someone was always looking upward.

Part way through the open cavern, Ungoldor spotted a suspicious looking tunnel ahead of them. Rather than look ahead and potentially expose themselves, Bellamy came up with a plan that was a bit less discrete.

The half-elf launched a firebolt into the tunnel, which was answered by a loud screech originating from inside. A moment later, another group of gricks charged towards our heroes.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-5), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-4), Lilyth(Drd-5), Ungoldor(Rog-5), Rkard(Bbn-5), Meesh(Rgr-5), Kroul(Clc-5)
Enemies: 3xGrick
Base Difficulty Rating: Hard
Modified Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP loss

Tactical Considerations: This time around the party is fighting on even footing, and the gricks have to approach from range. This allows the party to engage the enemies on their terms.

Unlike the last few rounds, this time the party started the battle with the upper-hand. Without hesitation Rkard, Lilyth, and Kiddo lead the charge.

The initial volley of spells and arrows was enough to immediately bring the first worm to the dirt. Once the bruisers were able to engage, the battle was over before the gricks could cause any real harm.

Actual Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Loot: None

How It Went Down: When on even footing the party didn’t have much of an issue with the gricks. It was a fairly routine takedown with meatshields up front backed up by heavy ranged damage.

Behind The Screen: The gricks’ relatively small health pools are supposed to be bouyed by their normal weapon damage resistance, but at this point the party has many magic items and spells at their disposal. This allows them to dispatch the gricks with little ceremony when they aren’t caught by surprise.

The noise from the battle carried down the tunnel. A loud roar coming from around the corner signaled to the group that this battle wasn’t over.

Rather than waste any time and allow the worms to find another way to drop on their heads, the party formed up and rounded the corner. What awaited wasn’t exactly a surprise, but that didn’t make it any less grotesque.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-5), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-4), Lilyth(Drd-5), Ungoldor(Rog-5), Rkard(Bbn-5), Meesh(Rgr-5), Kroul(Clc-5)
Enemies: 3xGrick, 1x Grick Alpha
Base Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Modified Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Expected Outcome: 1+ KO/Death

Tactical Considerations: Once again the party is on even footing. However, they will need to deal with a much larger and much more dangerous grick that can make short work of their squishies. Proper positioning will be paramount to the success of the party in this battle.

The party immediately realized that they had entered the gricks’ lair. A grick more than double the size of worms the party faced previously immediately lunged towards the group.

However, our heroes’ will did not falter. Rkard and Lilyth lead the charge on the grick alpha while Kiddo and Joey contained its smaller brethren. A fourth grick further down the tunnel started barreling its way down the tunnel threatening the back line, but Ungoldor put an arrow through its eye stopping it dead in its tracks.

I don’t know if he was emboldened by the kill, or feeling vengeful after being battered around in the previous engagements, but for the rest of the battle Ungoldor could not miss a shot. He took brutal aim against every foe on the field, and turned what could have been a precarious engagement into a farce.

The smaller gricks were being shot down at an alarming pace, and the grick alpha was not faring any better. Rkard and Lilyth were able to keep the monster contained, and eventually brought it to the ground. Once the last of the alpha’s pack was laid to rest, the party descended on the bloated beast and tore it asunder.

How It Went Down: The party’s initial ranged assault was extremely successful on account of Ungoldor becoming a crit factory. Using a fresh set of magic bolts acquired from The Endgar Games, he was able to slice through the gricks’ damage resistance and deal extreme damage. If he didn’t kill the gricks outright, then they were close enough to death’s door to be finished off quickly by someone else.

The fight against the alpha also went more or less perfectly for the party. Lilyth in dire wolf form was able to continuously tackle the grick alpha, leading to its quick and brutal demise.

Behind The Screen: If Ungoldor didn’t go on a rampage, I think this could have gone very differently. I thought the 4th grick was going to bring in a great tactical wrinkle, but when you have a rogue going around borderline(or outright) one-shotting the bosses minions, it dials down the tension pretty quickly.

As bad as the smaller gricks had it, the situation with the Grick Alpha went arguably worse. It rolled initiative very poorly, while Lilyth rolled initiative very well. So when Lilyth was able to tackle the alpha, it was subjected to advantaged melee attacks from the rest of the party all the way down the turn order. To make matters worse, every time it stood up Lilyth was able to tackle it back down. The grick alpha failed to break free of the dog pile, and was ripped apart within 4 rounds.

Ungoldor walked over to the oversized monstrosity and stuck his blade into its gullet. It was well known that these creatures aren’t particularly choosy of what they eat, so when they were able to extract a fully intact gold purse they weren’t overly surprised.

Treasure Horde

Item: Treasure Horde Coin Payout
Item Type: Coin
Description: 8 PP, 268 GP, 42 EP, 30 SP, 146 CP
Recipient: Bag of Holding

What they were surprised to see was a stone statue of a tiefling on the far side of the room. The tiefling depicted in the statue was heavily armored, and in obvious distress. It appeared to be reaching towards the center of the room where a pile of dried blood and bones had pooled.

Kroul investigated the statue, and out of curiosity cast a spell of detect magic on it. The statue radiated with magical energy, which lead to Kroul pulling out a scroll of dispel magic they acquired from Blackheart Manor and reading the words on the parchment.

DM Note: Wait I thought You Couldn’t Dispel That?

So technically you can’t use dispel magic to remove the petrified condition that results from the “flesh to stone” spell. However, I didn’t want the tiefling to be a loose end in the plot-line. So I decided to use my license as DM to have the spell cast on the tiefling be a lesser form of stone to flesh that could be reversed by magic. I felt it was fair because its magic nature could be discovered via detect magic, and dispelled accordingly.

Plus it has the added benefit of messing with meta-gamers!

The tiefling’s skins started to shift from stone to flesh. As the last part of his body softened up, he fell to the floor. Kroul knelt down and put his ear to the demon-kin’s mouth, and after a moment he cracked a smile. The tiefling was breathing.

He a cure wounds spell on the fallen warrior, and after a few short moments the tiefling’s eyes opened up. Once the shock of being surrounded by strangers wore off, and he was convinced that the grick threat was dealt with, the teifling thanked our heroes profusely for saving him.

Kroul helped the tiefling to his feet. Once standing the dwarf asked if the the demon-kin remembered his name. The fallen knight stood a bit taller before he spoke.

“My friends all call me Red, but my chosen name, is Redemption.”

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