The Tanius Campaign Journal – Chapter 25: Light Match, Then Walk Away Looking Cool

The Tanius Campaign Journal
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Behind The Screen
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With the first fight completed, our heroes regrouped in the bloodworks. A coliseum worker came by and informed us that it would be another hour before the next battle took place. While their wounds weren’t mounting, the Syndicate didn’t waste this opportunity to mend their injuries.

It was fairly quiet for a while, but about half way through the rest I noticed Rkard eyeing Kiddo. Kiddo wasn’t paying attention at first, but she definitely took notice when Rkard sat down next to her a few minutes later.

It seemed that the burly and oiled up half-orc had taken a liking to the Dragonborn ronin. Unfortunately for Rkard, the dragonkin was not interested in his advances.

Kiddo was able to politely and peacefully push him away. Once it was clear that nothing was going to happen, Rkard returned to his original seat and sulked in the corner.

DM NOTE: Bad Romance

The Rkard and Kiddo encounter happened near the end of the 13th session. The person playing Kiddo actually had to leave early, so I was running his character for the time being.

I had opened up the final moments of the session to allow players to RP with NPCs around the bloodworks, but Rkard thought it would be more entertaining to start an inter-party romance. Rather than put words in Kiddo’s mouth, I decided to let the dice determine her overall disposition towards Rkard. Unfortunately for him the dice were not in his favor and Kiddo fended off his advances.

However, he was right. It was very entertaining!

While this encounter was taking place, Ungoldor decided to make friends with the fighters around the bloodworks. He hoped to find someone who could point him towards some potent poisons, but the best he was able to find was a strung out elf named Sikelia who could only point him towards a very different kind of herb.


Session 14 was a full house! It was one of those rare times where everyone could make the session.

Preparing For Battle

While the syndicate was mingling in the bloodworks, I was doing some preparation of my own. You see, with Torin’s speech out of the way, the task of introducing the Blackthorn Syndicate had fallen upon me.

Although I had some notes prepared ahead of time, once again my nerves were getting the best of me. To address this I decided to separate myself from the group for a bit and collect myself.

As luck would have it, while I was in my secluded corner inking my thoughts, I overheard a group of workers discussing the upcoming fight. It turned out that they were fighting a group of pirates who terrorized the Blue Moon Isles on a ship known as “Treachery’s Maw”.

Once I knew what they were up against, the ideas started to flow into my head. A few minutes later I had finished my script, and brought word of who they would be fighting to the party.

Armed with this information, the party adjusted their gear and made their way to the coliseum gates.

Coliseum Part 2: Brigand Boogaloo

Campaign Log Day 8 – Part 4
20th day of Kythorn – Night
Year of The Rebuked Storm – 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar – Coliseum

While the party walked up through the gates, I took a different path leading up to the herald’s platform. The platform was overlooking the gate the Syndicate was walking out of.

In the hour of downtime between battles the coliseum was actually completely flooded with water. Floating in the middle of the newly created pond was a pair of nautical vessels connected by a series of gangplanks.

The crowd roared as our heroes marched down the bridge connecting the bloodworks to their ship. After a few moments the noise eventually settled, and without hesitation I started my speech.

DM NOTE: Milo Bottleluck’s Speech

Once again rather than paraphrase the speech, I’ll pull up the original material I wrote down for the session! Enjoy!

“Anybody who has sailed The Blue Moon Isles knows that the high seas can be a treacherous place. Many good men and women have lost their lives while trying to move the goods and supplies Tanius needs for their cities to prosper. Most of you who live the nautical life are some of the best Tanius has to offer, however sometimes temptation manifests in the creature of something vile. The men who are about to walk out bloodwork gates have sank ships, stolen freight, and killed our families.

However, those with an evil heart cannot run un-hindered in Tanius for long. One year ago, the crew of the pirate ship known as the Treachery’s Maw was captured by the Endgar Navy, and since been seeing out the last days of their miserable lies pissing themselves in the stocks.

Today, they will receive their final judgement. However, today it won’t be the armies of Tanius, but the people of Tanius who cast the final stone! Rise up Endgar, and show the world what happens when the people of Tanius are challenged! Stand in solidarity with the heroes of The Tanius Festival, and prepare yourself for swift and merciless justice!”

You hear a loud horn, and the portcullis slides up.

Taking a page out of Torin’s book, I spoke to the goodness of people who live on the Blue Moon Isles. I was empathetic to those who have lost their friends and families to pirates on the high seas.

Most importantly, I told them that they would get to witness their revenge first hand, by the hand of The Blackthorn Syndicate.

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: Acolyte x2, Scout> x2, Thug x2, Priest x1, Veteran x1, Bandit Captain
Base Difficulty Rating: Deadly
Modified Difficulty Rating: Deadly – Enemies have cover and ranged spell attacks.
Expected Outcome: Heavy damage with some knock outs.
Actual Outcome: Heavy damage with some knock outs.
Loot: None

Tactical Considerations: The arena was flooded for this battle, and the fighting takes place on two ships floating inside the arena. The ships are joined by three gangplanks, and both sides have a crows nest that combatants can climb into. Furthermore the masts and railings on both ships can be used as cover.

How It Went Down: The party started the battle by aggressively charging into the pirates. However, this proved to be a questionable choice since the pirates opted to take a more conservative cover-based approach. The small arena combined with the high amount of ranged damage actually caused quite a few issues in the party’s back line. Bellamy was knocked out in the middle of the fight, forcing the party to triage, and protect the squishy sorcerer.

They were eventually able to break the fight open when Lilyth dropped a pair of dire wolves behind the pirates, forcing them to scramble. Then Kiddo followed up with a very well placed darkness spell that cut off a good portion of their ranged attacks. Once the pirates broke formation Rkard was able to get inside and land a handful of brutal critical hits that swung the fight back in the party’s favor.

Behind The Screen: The goal of this fight was to create an interesting set piece that allowed the party to fight creatively. I am happy to say that this battle succeeded admirably in that regard. The party was forced to utilize cover, positioning, and non-damage spells in ways they never had before; resulting in a very satisfying battle.

As if on cue, the moment I stepped down from my platform a horn sounded and the opposing gate opened up.

The pirates blitzed through the gate, and spread out behind whatever cover they could find. The Syndicate started things off by fighting out in the open, but after being on the receiving end of several well placed shots they retreated behind cover as well.

This initially proved problematic for the syndicate’s brawlers, because the moment they stepped out from behind cover they were swarmed with bolts and arrows. Part way through the bout Bellamy caught a few too many arrows, and ended up passing out from the pain!

However, a pair of well placed spells from Lilyth and Kiddo allowed our heroes to break the deadlock. Kiddo shrouded a group of pirates in darkness, disabling their ranged assault, and Lilyth stirred things up by conjuring up a duo of direwolves on the enemy ship. The ensuing panic allowed Rkard to charge onto the ship, and deliver punishing blows to the party’s nautical nemesis’.

With their formation broken, the pirates eventually succumbed our heroes superior combat prowess. The crowd cheered as The Syndicate cut, shot, and blasted down the last of their opponents.

This time around, rather than do some individual showmanship, the party opted for a more dramatic exit. Using whatever flammable spells and agents they had available, they launched a fiery onslaught at the pirate’s ship.

Once the party was satisfied with the inferno they created, they casually strolled back into the bloodworks as the crowd showered them with gold.

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