The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 26: … And Dragons

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
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While the Syndicate rested in the bloodworks, I immediately set out to discover what they would be fighting in their final match. The Endgar Games had usually had a penchant for saving the best for last, so any information I could relay to the party could be live saving.

The coliseum workers were not as talkative as usual. Whatever the party was about to face had everyone completely spooked. Since it didn’t seem like I was going to have any luck speaking to the staff members themselves, I decided to take a more direct approach.

Most coliseum fighters are confined to the subterranean ring beneath the arena known as the bloodworks. However, there is a special room in the center of the ring that is used to lift exceptional combatants into battlefield above. The gates to the center room had been under heavy watch over the course of the entire day. However, I figured this would be an opportune moment to peer behind the curtain and see what it is we were dealing with.

Once I found a secluded area, I cast an invisibility spell on myself. Under this veil of magic I waited for the workers to open the door to the center chamber and slipped in undetected.

The moment I slipped through the door I was met by a rush of frigid wind. I pressed onward, but the room grew colder with every step I took. I made it to the gate leading into the innermost chamber, but the gate itself was frozen shut. I could have attempted to break through the ice, but that would broken my invisibility spell. Instead I decided to head back to the Syndicate.

Given the gravity of the situation, I decided that this was a good moment to invest some of my personal belongings into the party’s well being. Over the years I had amassed a considerable number of potions and trinkets. While I typically reserve them for personal use, I had a spare potion that I believed would be especially useful for the battle ahead.

I told the party that the arena was icing over. They weren’t particularly impressed with this bit of information, however their tone changed when I offered them a Potion of Cold Resistance.

Treasure Horde

Item: Potion of Cold Resistance
Item Type: Potion
Description: When you drink this potion, you gain resistance to cold damage for 1 hour.
Recipient: Bellamy

After some deliberation, they decided that the thin-skinned Bellamy would be the best candidate for the potion. He did not object to their consensus.

With the potion administered the party gathered at the gate, and steeled themselves for their third and final battle of the night.

Cold As Ice

Campaign Log Day 8 – Part 5
20th day of Kythorn – Night
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar – Coliseum

The crowd roared as The Syndicate walked in. This time around the battlefield featured four giant blocks of ice spaced out around a large hole in center of the arena.

Like before, I waited for the noise to subside. Once the crowd was calmed down I started my speech.

DM Note: Milo’s Speech

“As you all know, Tanius is host to the most marvelous sights in the world. The sweeping valleys, shimmering seas, and majestic mountains provide homes and resources that allow us to thrive. However, this wilderness can be a dangerous place, and sometimes, it can be an evil place. Some of the beasts and monstrosities have made it their purpose destroy all that is good in this land, and what is about to walk out of the bloodworks is among the worst of them.”

“However, as you know, we are not intimidated by these worthless creatures. As you know, in the end, Tanius always prevails. Endgar, one last time, I need you to rise up. I need you to scream. I need you to show that you are no afraid of the beasts behind that gate. And I need you to stand with the Heroes of Endgar, and scream until these agents of evil are deaf with fear! These monsters have taken their last life, and finally they will learn, that revenge is a dish best served cold!”

A loud cranking is heard throughout the arena.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what the party was going to be up against. I just assumed it was going to adhere to the usual Endgar Games tradition of being something completely terrifying. So I made a few generalizations about how there is evil in the land, and a pretty choice pun about cold revenge.

Fortunately, the crowd seemed to enjoy my speech. However, their cheering was eventually interrupted by a loud cranking noise. A few moments later a bone chilling roar echoed throughout the arena. The syndicate seemed unphased, but when everyone saw the creature on the platform emerging from the hole in the arena, their attitude changed.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor-5), Kiddo(Ftr-1/Wlk-4), Kroul(Clr-5), Lilyth(Drd-5), Meesh(Rgr-4), Ungoldor(Rog-5), Rkard(Bbn-5)
Enemies: Kobold x2, Shielded Kobold x1, Winged Kobold x1, White Dragon(Wyrm) x1, White Dragon(Young) x1
Base Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Modified Difficulty Rating: Deadly – Enemies have cover and ranged spell attacks.
Expected Outcome: Heavy damage with some knock outs or deaths.

Tactical Considerations: The arena is configured with 4 large blocks evenly spaced around the center of the battlefield. In the center is a platform that can be raised and lowered. The platform is how the monsters enter the arena. The young white dragon is on a chain that prevents it from flying away, but it still has full mobility throughout the arena floor. The party will need to avoid grouping up to mitigate the dragon’s breath attack. The dragon’s minions aren’t a major threat, but if left unchecked could create issues in the back line.

Every culture has their own unique tales warning of evil creatures that lurk in the dark. However, there isn’t a civilization in the multiverse that hasn’t struggled against the might of the draconic.

When the monster covered in snowy white scales emerged from the recess, the crowd let out an audible gasp. To make matters more complicated, the dragon was accompanied by a group of kobolds, and a baby dragon wyrm.

Our heroes did not let this display of savagery dissuade them. Lilyth transformed into a brown bear, and charged the dragon along-side Rkard, Josh, Joey, and Kiddo. Kroul, Bellamy, and Meesh positioned themselves behind the front line and assaulted the lumbering beast.

Ungoldor on the other hand had a different idea. While the kobolds were fixated on the group in front of them, he was able to use his scoped crossbow to land a series of devastating shots on the diminutive dragonlings. However, despite the elfs success on the minions, the frigid horror in the middle of the arena was pushing the syndicate’s abilities to their limits

Rkard was able to land a series of powerful blows early on, but the situation turned dire when our heroes thirst for valor caused them to group together to tightly.

The snowy white horror drew a deep breath, and let loose its icy breath. Kroul and Rkard were able to brace themselves against the elements. However, Joey was caught unprepared and his fur coat did little to protect against the frigid winds.

Meesh was the first to realize what had happened. In a fit of rage she marched straight towards the dragon, letting off arrow after arrow with reckless abandon. While Meesh screamed her faithful beast remained motionless. The sight of the fallen companion filled the party with rage.

Rkard, Kiddo, Josh, and Lilyth charged in, but in spite of their zeal none of them were able to hold their own in melee range for long. The dragon relentlessly bit and swiped at the party, shaking the bruisers resolve and forcing them to withdraw within seconds.

Fortunately, Kroul and Bellamy decided to join Ungoldor, and had great success on the perimeter. The kobolds and wyrmling were dispatched within the first 30 seconds of the fight, freeing up the shooters to target the monster in the middle.

The syndicate continued to press the assault. The battle was a flurry of spells and swords, but the horror was finally brought down when Meesh buried an arrow in its eye.

Actual Outcome: Heavy damage with some knock outs or deaths.
Loot: None

How It Went Down: The party put a heavy emphasis on trying to take down the larger dragon as soon as possible, but this proved to be fairly difficult for a group of level 5 PCs. None of the melee players could tank the dragon for longer than 2 turns without risking being knocked out, which caused the players to occasionally clump up in a bad way.

The dragon was able to take advantage of this grouping and launch a devastating breath attack. Fortunately all of the players saved, however Meesh’s wolf companion Joey was instant killed when he failed to make his savings throw.

While the party was struggling with the dragon, Ungoldor was able to use his scoped crossbow to great effect and nearly wiped out all of the kobolds by himself. The fight ended when the dragon was poetically put down by Meesh, who rolled a natural 20 to land the killing blow.

Behind The Screen: I was both excited and nervous about about the breath attack. The ability had some instant kill potential if the players didn’t make their saves. While killing players is a goal of mine, I hate full health save or die situations. However, my concerns didn’t stop me from using the breath attack as effectively as possible…

With the threat removed, Kroul rushed over to his canine companion. The crowd fell silent as the holy man knelt down next to his fallen friend and communed with the gods. After what felt like an eternity the silence was broken when Joey let out a feeble yelp, and once again started drawing breath.

The crowd let out a thunderous applause, and showered the party with copper, silver, and gold. Meesh ran to comfort Joey, and thanked Kroul profusely for using a revivify spell to save her best friend.

Beaten, battered, but never broken, the party collected themselves and triumphantly returned to the bloodworks.

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