Classic Fantasy D&D 5e - Shadow of the Demon (for lack of a better title)
The leering face of the troll split into what it surely thought was a winning smile, it spread its hands in a gesture of welcome, claws scraping the ground as it backed away with a slight bow, it's huge feet smearing the blood on the floor near the half-eaten body into a gruesome line. It pointed at the pile of gems as if offering a present.
"Is it...welcoming us?" Raena asks in a whisper, dumbfounded. "Come into my cave for tea? How stupid does it think we are?"

"A bad idea," Renchant says gripping his staff in his hands.

"Trolls are stupid," Dosaken says, ripping the axe out of his holder, "But it must think we're stupider. But we're not."

"More stupid," Renchant corrects.


"Nothing..." Renchant sighs.

It's then that the gleam in the troll's eye grows an ugly red and its claw twitch. 

Garvis flicks out both his scimitars, and with a yell charges to engage the creature.

(The troll rolled poorly on its Intelligence and the party rolled well to perceive his evil intent. The party goes first: Garvis, then Dosaken, then Raena, then Renchant, then Mr. Troll)

Gravis's twin blades bite into the creatures flesh, and oozing blood drips down its gray arms. It screams in pain and fury.

Dosaken also yells in rage (Rage) and runs up and swings his axe and the troll parries the haft with its massive forearm.
Raena's arrow slams into its chest. (Hunter's Mark)

The troll roars in fury and attacks Garvis, he leaps out of the way of the massive death, rolls under one claw attack, but the other rakes cross his chain mail. A bolt of fire flies past his head and splashes against the wall near the large figure tied up by the cook pot.

Then in a matter of seconds, the flesh on the troll starts to knit together and the one ragged gash becomes only an angry scar.

"The Doom take us..." Dosaken mutters shaking his head, scarcely believing how rapidly the creature could heal.

Garvis yells and attacks again, twin scimitars flashing in Renchant's spell light. Slashes erupt across the trolls arms and legs and another arrow hisses into its side. Dosaken connects with his axe and bones crunch. Fire from Renchant's outstretched hand blackens flesh. The troll in maddened rage and fury slashes and bites at Gravis with untold savagery, claws and teeth drawing blood, nearly felling the warrior.

Garvis falls back to the rear near Raena who stands a few paces behind him. Garvis's scimitars are slippery with his own blood. Dosaken hits the troll again with a massive blow. Another arrow hits the troll in the neck. Renchant's fire scorches one eye.

Does the troll go after Garvis?

(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

The scent of blood maddens him. He wants Garvis!

Enraged that his prey is retreating, and his battle lust rising to the fore, the massive troll knocks Dosaken aside (misses his AOO) and chases after Gravis, rushing at him! Garvis tries to evade, but one claw slams the fighter to the ground, piercing his armor in three places. Blood oozes between the chain link rings. 
Garvis groans and his scimitars fall from his fingers onto the stone ground with a clang, and he goes limp. Another claw rakes the fighter again sending him rolling three times and onto his face. The troll then leaps after him and on top of him bites down hard on the back of his neck and head. (Critical on Garvis) (Garvis essentially "fails" two deaths saves automatically for being hit twice while unconscious--he has one death save left.)
  • ...bites down hard on the back of his neck and head. (I know FG says Garvis is dead, but according toe 5e rules he has to take his total hits in one blow... or something like that to die. PCs usually only die through failed death saves. So, he's still alive, but only barely now. One more death save to see if he dies or fails.)
Dosaken rushes behind the creature and slams his axe down into its head in a staggering blow, the trolls is stunned and stumbles back three steps. It rears back and tries to pull the axe out, an opening that Raena takes, and her arrow embeds itself in it eye socket. (Critical) 
It falls to the ground, but even so, its wounds begin to close again!

"No you don't!" Renchant hisses and with an arcane shout, his final firebolt engulfs the beasts head into a mess white fire leaving only charred flesh. (Critical) It goes limp, a fire burns out of blackened eye sockets.
"It's over," Dosaken says, yanking out his axe.

"Garvis!" Raena whispers, and is about to attend to the fallen man when Garvis suddenly coughs, and his eyes flick open, he spits out blood and groans rolling over onto his back. 
  • ...and his eyes flick open (He rolled a natural 20 on his final death save and actually healed a HP. Dude... He's so lucky! I thought he was a goner).

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

They tend to Garvis and they also investigate the large humanoid naked and bound by the cookpot.

Is it a human?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

Definitely not human; in fact, not even partially human. In fact, naked isn't the right word as a scaly hide covers its body. (I'll say it's a Dragonborn.)

Why is it here? I'll use MAG.

(falling bombs, pot with something oozing out of it, house on fire, birdface, helmet decoration, two hearts/linked together with a tear drop or blood drop, a camp fire, a cloud with lightning, a salt shaker--or a shotgun shell)

Well first, is it willing to talk?

I'll say SL since we just saved it's scaly hide.

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Not only willing to talk, it's willing to help the characters in payment of its debt to them.

"My thanks," he coughs and spits blood when coming too from the ministrations of Raena. He looks around at the dead ogre. "I am in your debt my friends... I--" his eyes fall on his small companion.

Who is the smaller dead one?


(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

If it's little, it must be a child or tween, or early teen. Is it?

(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

I'll say it was a small young man about 13 years of age. He looks at the lad a long time and plumes of frosty air put out of his nostrils as he struggles to sit up.

"What was a mere boy doing her down in this dark place?" Reana asks bending down and brushing away a wisp of hair from the lad's cheek.

Going back the MAG, the only thing that seems to fit is that the dragonborn felt a kinship to it (the two intertwined hearts). Hmmm. Why? Ah... here it comes.

"Deegan here--poor lad," the tall dragonborn growls and hobbles over to the lad. He sits heavily down next to it and takes lad into his arms swaying back and forth. "No... No...." 

For long moments he rocks the lad back and forth and the companions shift awkwardly. Garvis limps over and puts a hand on the dragonborn's shoulder.

With a shuddering sigh that sends a misty frost onto the boy's pale face, the dragonborn pulls the cloak over the lad's face but still holds onto the body as if loathe to let him go. "Deegan was the son of Broderick Hammett one of my dearest companions. Broderick died ten years ago in my arms with an orc spear through is guts during the War of Tyrants. His dying wish was for me to look after wife and son. I was too late to help his wife. Marauding bandits, taking advantage of the war swept through the countryside looting and burning. Kyie Hammet, his wife, had been slain. But I found their little one, here, just a small hatchling, hiding down the well."

"But what possessed you to take the boy here," Renchant asks.

Yeah... what did?

Haggle / The spiritual

"Ever since I told him of the legend of the 'The Pool of Heaven' he has wanted to find it, to see and speak with the spirits of his dead parents."

"Never heard of it," Renchant says, "And I read a lot."

"Nor have I," Raena shakes her head.

"I would be surprised if you had," Grunts the Dragonborn. He shifts slightly and sets the down and moves into a kneeling position over the corpse's head in reverent farewell. He utters something under his breath.

Is he a cleric?

(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No


(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

I see... He speaks in Draconic, a chant or prayers maybe. The cadence 

"May the light and breath of Sheniel carry you home, little one."

Renchant raises his eyebrow and shifts uncomfortably as a soft breeze seems to ruffle the child's hair and then is gone.

"What you said in Draconic just now, about light and breath. It sounded like a prayer."

"It was. To the godess of winds. Her breath will see him home now."

"What is your name Dragonborn?" Dosaken asks.

"I am called Kerdrock of the stock of the Great Silver, Dargwynn the Voiceless.

"I have not heard of this 'Dargwynn'," Renchant says, sounding somewhat miffed.

"Nor have I," adds Raena.

"She is a very ancient dragon. Much of her legends have been lost to time, I'm afraid."

"So you took the boy here to see his parents?" Garvis asks. "To some pool?"

"The boy was going to try and find it whether I took him or not. I tried to warn him of the dangers. I threatened him, in fact; tried to bribe him to give it up; in the end, I had to tie him up," The dragon born's face grows wistful and his toothy grin spreads wide. "But he was a wily one and was gone the next day with a three hour head start. Eventually, I decided it would be better to just help him than to have him wander in unattended and alone."

"So there's a pool? A magic pool?" Renchant asks looking about the cave.

"Magic? You might call it that," Kerdrock says to Renchant. "You have the look of that type."

Renchant leans on the staff that's glowing with a white light, "Well, I wonder what gave that away... so what of this pool?"

Kerdrock grins again. "It's a story, but one that to my knowledge is known only known to the Dragonborn. Though in a moment of careless fondness towards the boy, I told Deegan of it. And that's when the trouble started."

Kendrock starts stacking wood into a small funeral pyre for the boy. Dosaken and Garvis help.

"Tell us," Renchant says.

"It is for the Dragonborn... it...."

"You told the boy," the mage says. "And we did save your life...," Renchant adds leaning easily on his staff. "Look, we're not about to gut you and go after it ourselves, okay?"

After a while, the dragonborn gives a slow nod wincing from this half-torn wing.

"The pools was formed from the tears of Dargwynn the Silver herself," Kendrock explains. "Long before the humans built this fortress, the dragon's mate died, and it is said her anguish was so great, that he roars of fury and pain knew no equal. She cried so long that her moans formed a great tempest. Her voice became one with the groaning of the earth. Cracks and seems formed and her tears mixing with the fire-blood of earth formed a crystal mirror in which visions are said to be had."

"Visions," Renchant mused. "Have you ever seen it?"

(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

He shook his head. "No... and I don't know where it is either. I've only heard rumors that it is in these depths somewhere. I've only heard tales, but I am a believer."

"Why?" Renchant asks.

"A matter of faith," Kendrock says.

"Seems awfully short sighted of you," Renchant muses. "To believe in something that you can't see."

"And yet, you do the same as well, I presume," Kendrock grins again nodding at the scrolls peaking out from Renchant's pack. "Every time you pick up a musty tome and follow some legend into the dark holes of the earth, you choose to believe something you can't yet see."

Renchant mulls that over for a while, then grunts, stroking his beard, "True. Perhaps you're right."

All this time Kendrock has been arranging the boy's form on the small pyre he's made from shattered crates and barrels that litter this cave, a sort of store room. "Mage, will you help me?"

"Certainly," Renchant picks up a stick and whispers a word, and the end bursts into flame. He hands the flaming ember to Kendrock who places the stick into the pyre. "May the light and the wind of this burning carry you into the hall of the queen, little one...and may you find your mother and father waiting for you," he whispers that last, as the flames consume the small boy's frame. A tear flickers on his scaly cheek then hisses down into the burning wood as the boy is consumed.

They all watch the flames for a long time, lost in their all thoughts. 

Time passes.

They rest and explain their purpose here to find a winged beast that has been terrorizing the country side.

"I know something about winged creatures," Kendrock says. "Though if it be a dragon, I don't know if I would be willing to aid you in slaying it. For they are majestic creatures and part of my kin."

"We don't even know what it is," Dosaken mutters. "We've only heard the flapping of great wings."

"We've seen the signs of its passing in the country side," Raena explains.

"But we ran out of food and sought shelter in these ruins from the storm. And our path has led us to you it seems," Ranea ends.

"Perhaps for a reason," Garvis says.

"If you help us defeat or chase off this creature Dragonborn," Renchant says, "I can't speak for the others, but I'll personally help you find this pool of yours."

"Are you then a believer as well."

"I believe in magic," Renchant smiles. "Or the promise of it. That's enough for me."

Kendrock smiles at that and shakes his hand. "Very well. It's a deal--assuming we live through a confrontation with this creature."

Raena says that she thinks the creature is using the mountains as a lair.

Is there food in this room where they could stock up their dwindling stores?

(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes +Event: Decrease / Ambush

They'll gather up what supplies they can find as well as the loot and divide it among themselves. They find Kendrock's gear in a corner.

While they rest, Renchant will spend time copying in the spells from the necromancer into his spell book and will tinker with the automaton that Dosaken dumped on the floor.

I'll use the MAG to determine the spells he's copying.

Fun... I get this:
(cup with rain or blood drops in it, an ice melting, a huge elephant foot stomping, a feather, a heart in a spiky ring, a cracked hem, a whirlwind, a bomb with a snowflake design, a firework or rocket)

He gets 2 second level spells and 1 first level. I paid the hefty price to copy them into his "spell book", carving them on his staff.
Feather --- Feather fall is the 1st level spell.
Cracked helm --- Shatter lvl 2 spell
Whirlwind --- Gust of Wind lvl 2 spell

It takes 5 hours for him to practice and etch the spells into his staff.

How much food per person is there in this room. A lot per person?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 9[d10]) Yes

There are a total of 50 food rations: barrels of old salt pork but still edible, grain with weavles, a cask of aged wine. The trolls must've had some underling raiders who brought down the goods from the surface or maybe this was a store room from orcs that the troll took over. Either way the party is very grateful as they had just consumed their last meals earlier today.

And now the small pile of gems that the troll was counting. Are they expensive gems?

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Ooo very nice. GM was extra nice today. I'll say there are 3 diamonds and 5 garnets.

Is there any other gear worth taking, on the troll maybe?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

There's a golden sunburst wedged into his belt. Is it magical? (Renchant will do a ritual to detect magic)

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Seems religious. Does it belong to Kendrock?

(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

"That is mine, little mage."

"Are you sure, I don't see your name on it."

Kendrock's grin turns less friendly, and tinged slightly with danger. "I can assure you. It is...mine. Do not test me on this."

"Fine, fine, no need to get testy," Renchant hands it over but he eyes linger on it.

Interesting... Must be some magical item of some personal significant to Kendrock.

I'll say it's a fine, woven gold and silver pendant, with the sun burst twinkling merrily in the firelight.

Anything else of value?

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Everything else is cracked and ruined or rusted beyond repair.

They swap tales while they rest. 

They spend two days down here resting up until Garvis and the dragonborn are mended, and then they move out, dividing up the remaining food among them. 

(They each had 1 ration of food. So they each eat one more after that, leaving 45 rations, or 9 apiece.)

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

They traverse the darkened tunnels, seeking the passage upwards, Renchant's light emanating from his crystal atop his staff, bobbing along as he walks. The halo of light pushes back the darkness in these dank passageways, ancient with time.

Has Kendrock been in these caves before?

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

No, but he has a map. Cool... Where did he get it?

Release / Tension

Joyfully / Military

I'll say when he was serving in the military a decade ago, he was given a map by a battle mage and tasked to lead a group up here to search for some mystical weapon to help lift the siege of Ironwreath but they never arrived. Their squad was ambushed by enemy soldiers and most were hunted and killed. When the war finally ended, he had to care for the boy and never had a reason to explore its depths.

"You have a map?" Renchant asks when he pulls it out before they set out, peering over his shoulder.
"Aye," and he gives a brief history where he got it. "But it's incomplete. There are many passage-ways and caverns that are not mapped. But it does show the major exits how to get there." he explains that there's a lift that goes up and trends in a generally straight and slightly upward direction to exit on the west side of the peak.

They'll head that way.

How many days of travel will it take? 1d4+1.

2 = 1[d4]+1

With the map, they should exit the caverns beneath the ruined keep in two days. (They were in an unmapped area and that's where Kndrock ran into problems with the troll). They've turned back to head toward the tree.

Does anything interesting happen on the way?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 9[d10]) Yes

Okay. What?

Softly / Tranquil

Is it water?

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

What else would be soft and tranquil underground?

I'll see the MAG spurs anything. Lovin' me the MAG.

(Heart with a faucet--weird, starburst, lightning bolt hitting someone, an arrow, a black cat... hmmm, a glass of liquid, a strange mask, a boot with wings, a book)

I'll run with the two things that make the most sense... the cat and the book.

"This passageway here," Kendrock explains as they pause for a mid-day meal, "Looks like it goes to a library of sorts."
"Who would put a library this deep underground?"
"Someone who knew their keep was about to be overrun," Renchant muses, "Someone who wanted to keep their knowledge safe..."

Does Renchant know about this library? I'll say DC 17+ and he does.
[SKILL] History [PROF] he got a 21 total. Nice!

"Let me see that map," he says and Kendrock passes it over somewhat reluctantly. "Yes... yes, it is as I presumed."
Dosaken rolls his eyes watching Renchant's eyes light up as he studies the map in detail, one finger tracing different passageways.
"He used the word 'presumed'," Dosaken groans.
"When he talks like that with that fevered gaze, you're bound for trouble," Garvis adds sitting down and munching on some hardtack and jerky.
"I heard that," Renchant says, his eyes never leaving the map, then he hands it back to Kendrock without even another word and starts marching down a side passageway.
"Renchant?" Raena calls.
"He's got the fever," Garvis says.
"Fever? Is he sick? Perahps I--" Kendrock says.
"Friend, there's no curing what he's got. He's sick with wanderlust of the brain," Doskanem nods. "Come on, we better go with him or he'll run into something nasty."
"Would that really be so bad?" Garvis smiles.
They quickly gather up the remains of their meal and follow after Renchant.

What's the terrain like?

Softly / Good

Fairly even, covered with moss here and there from water that seeps from a crack along one wall.

What does the library room look like. MAG MAG MAG!

(dove, radar ping, sleepy frowny face, denied symbol, large segmented arrow, a figure with a crown, a shield with arrows, a snowflake, and light)

Snow flake is cyrstalline, and light...

They came to huge cavern and a gigantic column of crystal juts up out of the center, a faint blue light flickers within the crystal.

Renchant stands at the threshold he holds up a hand and the party shuffles to a halt behind him. He raises his staff higher and light reflects off the crystal and surrounding walls. But the rest of the chasm curves away into darkness.

(I think the arrows and shield and denied symbol mean this place is trapped.)

Let's see if anyone notices. DC 17 to spot. They've stopped and are looking so they can use active perception.

Renchant is in the lead, he takes a few steps into the room when of a sudden there's a click as his foot depresses something and a sudden whooshing sound as black spears shoot out of the darkness.

I'll say he's surprised so he doesn't get his dex bonus. That means his AC is 10 unless he has mage armor on. I think it's likely that he has it enabled already. We'll see.

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

With mage armor it's 13. Not that great. How many spears does he take (1d6)?

5 = 5[d6]

Ooo. Five attacks. I'll say they have an attack of +4 each.

Wow... Poor Renchant. Each attack gives 1d8+2 damage. The problem is he got hit by all of them and by two criticals:
19, 24 (crit), 18, 24 (crit)

But let's see. Garvis wasn't on point, but he was the only one who spotted the trap. So he can step back without taking any damage. He shouts a warning. If anyone makes Ref save at his warning (DC 13) the attacks will have disadvantage on them.

Okay interesting. Everyone but Raena, including Renchant, made the Dex save. So, I will actually roll a second set of rolls against Renchant to see if he/them really gets hit, essentially giving advantage.

(yikes... 23, 10, 24 (crit) 18) -- so better for Renchant but still bad.

Renchant reflexively yelps and spins his staff, blocking one of the projectiles, but the other three slam into him, piercing him against the wall and he sags unconscious, blood seeping down.

The others also take 1d6 attacks each--- Ranea next.

1 = 1[d6]

Just 1. Whew...

She's hit but just with 3 damage.

Dosaken next. 1d6 hits.

6 = 6[d6]

Doh... six... hrmm. His AC isn't much better than Renchant and he doesn't have his rage on. This is going to hurt.

Ow ow ow ow. (24 (crit), 16, 24 (crit), 10, 6, 16). -- Luckly he gets advantage so we reroll the hits and take the lesser of the two.

(19, 5, 21,19)
Okay. So he gets hit 3 times but at least no criticals.

(His AC is 14)

And now Kendrock. 1d6 hits.

6 = 6[d6]


(23, 16, 22) but I reroll those... and get (17, 21, 24 (crit) -- he'll drop the crit but will still take all 3 hits.

Spears slash across the opening everyone except Garvis takes some damage, Raena managed to duck under the worst of it, but Kendrock took two through his shoulder pauldron, the chain armor doing little to protect him against the heavy attack that slams him into the wall with jarring force.

Hits taken were Dosaken 14/42, Raena 3/38, Kendrock 19/34. Rechant is unconscious and bleeding out on the floor.

It's then in the dimness, they see a large form shift. A large form with soft fur. A tail slowly swings back and forth in lazy anticipation, and twin amber eyes regard them. The giant feline creature awakened from slumber leaps down from a ledge near the crystal and starts to pad in their direction. (This was from the earlier mag with the black cat)
"I've got Renchant!" Kendrock shouts in his gravely voice. As the huge creature slowly comes on, its gaze intent on the little figures moving about in such agitation, the paladin jogs out and grabs Renchant, his armor clanking. He drags the body to safety slightly back into the hallway. The blue light from the crystal gleams on his armor. Then he casts Lay on Hands and channels healing light into the mage. He coughs and the pallid skin regains its color and his eyes flicker open.


"No time to talk. On your feat and fight. The creature is upon us!"

(He dumped all his healing power into Renchant -- 20 hps, putting Renchant at hits taken of 4/24, so nearly healed)

Garvis rushes to the entrance, nocks and arrow and lets fly. It misses (8 + attack 5 = 13)

Dosaken, with his battle axe in his hands, runs in front of the others and readies an attack.

Raena, stands next to Garvis and sends her own shaft. It flies true burrowing into the giant's fur. It hisses and growls in pain.

It's Renchant's turn. Did he somehow manage to have a death grip on his staff when Kendrock dragged him to somewhat relative safety?

(Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

No but it's not terribly far and if he rushed to it, he could reach it and use it this turn, snatching it from the ground. Of course he'd be in the front again. Not the optimal spot for a mage.

Hopefully they can recover it later. He'll need it for some spells. But not for others. He chants and bolts of power slam into the creature (magic missile)

He then sends his familiar to fly about the cat to distract it.

Does the cat deal with the owl familiar first?

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

With a single claw swipe as quick as lightning she smacks the familiar which dissipates into smoke and then nothingness.

Then the cat charges!

It races the distance towards the party grouped about the large double-door entrance.

Next round it'll be upon them unless they fall back.

Kendrock casts bless  on Garvis, Dosaken, and Raena.

"Fall back!" he orders. "To the T passage where it's more narrow! It can't fit in there!"

They all do a fighting withdraw.

Garvis looses another shaft and jogs back to join Kendrock.

Dosaken is going to try and pull the massive doors shut. Str check DC 15 I'll say to do both doors at once and he'll have to drop his battle axe. He'll try it!

Nice! He rolled an 18 (+2 from bless, +2, +6 from his stat). He drops his axe and grabs both handles slamming the doors shut.

"My staff!" Renchant shouts as the doors shut.

"It's not worth you life," Dosaken growls.

"Magic is my life!"

Raena nocks another arrow and backpeddles to stand next to Kendrock, readying an action.

The hinges on the door cause the door to push outward into the room. But it's best to not take chances. He moves up to Dosaken. "I need those." And without waiting for an answer, Renchant pulls out his javelins and slides them through the door handles. It might give a little extra solidity to the door.

I'll say the DC is 22 str check for the cat to smash down the door.

It rolls a 10 and gets a 17... dust shakes from the roof as the cat hisses and smashes a paw into the door.

Kendrock casts Shield of Faith on himself and urges the party to move back to the T.

Garvis, like Raena, readies his bow as well to shoot if the creature shows itself.

Dosaken jogs back to the others, using his action to run.

Raena also pulls back some more.

Renchant casts Blur on himself and the air seems to warp about him as he also moves further back. He's now closer to the door than the others since he took time to put the Javs in the door.

The cat again slams into the door. It rolls a 9 and gets a 16 total. The door is still holding. It's giving them all time to prepare and more importantly to gain distance from the giant cat.

Kendrock He casts "Searing Smite" on his two handed sword and imbues it with holy power.

They all continue to pull back, readying actions as they can. They're close to the T section.

And the door smashes open. With each hit, it's DC lowered by 1 so the DC was 19 exactly what the cat got (10 roll + 9 str)

The door crashes open, splinters fly backlit against the blue light. Renchant's staff is seen beyond, it's light still shining glimering. The characters see the cat's massive form backlit against the blue light and the staff's white light.
"Fire!" Raena shouts and lets fly her shaft as does Garvis.

(They're interrupting based on their readied actions)

Both shafts fly true striking it. It hisses rears up and then dashes forwards.

The giant cat dashes at them with incredible speed, a blaze of fur. (Aggressive adv-can use bonus action to move it's speed toward a creature it sees.)
The distance they managed to put between it means it can't attack this turn, but all but Renchant are threatened by its reach.

Kendrock steps forward and attacks, shouting a battle cry!

He rolls a 19, +7 attack = 26 a hit!

He plunges the sword into an the cats side. A pure white hot glow shines from his blade as he hits the cat and its fur bursts into flame.

Garvis drops his bow, yanks out his two scimitars and rushes the creature.

He spins both blades coming down but only 1 connects.
Dosaken had picked up his axe before and now rages leaping to join the fray!

Raena leaps backward, attempting to get out of the way to get a good shot at the creature.

Cat gets an opp attack.

The claw tears into her flesh but she comes up despite the pain and loses her arrow.

The arrow pierces an eye and cat rears back in pain and anger the flames charring its flesh and fur.

Renchant chants and three rays of flame jet towards the creature.

(Scorching Ray)

The final ray burns and the cat screams in pain as the flame consume it entirely. It thrashes about twisting on the floor to put out the flames to no avail. Then it falls over in a smoldering heap. The smell of burned hair lingers in the air.
(Overall that encounter went really well for the party. I didn't have the giant cat use its extra bonus dash at the beginning (forgot) but it was kind of just moving cautiously towards them at first anyway. Dosaken and Renchant barring the door really helped them get some distance and gear up on buffs and opp attacks.)

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

Yay! An update!
(Thanks Mark! I'm glad you're enjoying it.)

They cautiously return to the library entrance an orange glow behind them as the giant cat continues to burn. The smell of charred skin and burnt hair fill the air. Renchant, having retrieved his staff, holds it aloft for more light and studies the large room. Hundreds of tomes stared back at him. The large amethyst crystal dominates the center of the room, and a blue glow that fills the library. The large circular columns have had shelves built into them. Rolling ladders lead to upper shelves.

"What a find!" Renchant says, his voice reverent, his black eyes glittering in the glow from his staff. "I could spend my entire life here and never plumb even a tenth part of its depths."

"Who built this?" Dosaken asks.

Renchant strokes his beard as he walks around one of the massive columns.

Was it build by the old nation of Kadolan?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

"The make is of Kadolan architecture," Renchant says with a frown. "But there's something else."

What is the something else? I'll use the MAG!

(two shield; an angel's wings, breastplate, and halo; giant insect bee; crossing slash marks; a dagger with a serrated edge; an alien gray baby; a five pointed star, a rose)

Kendrock reaches for a volume.

"Stop!" Renchant says.

Does Kendrock stop in time?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

Kendrock's hand was already moving though and before he could withdraw it, he touched the column and a flash of bright blue light courses into him (lightning bolt with a force slam attack).

The save is DC 15

He rolls a 6 + 2 = 8.

The magical attack hits the dragonborn knocking him off his feet. He flies ten feet backward, crashing into a study table, shattering it. Ribbons of blue light course through his armor and body as he jerks like a rag doll on the floor.

(he's unconscious and dying)

Does anything else happen?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes


Mistrust / Status quo

Ooo... Not good. Sounds like a Confusion spell.

Is it higher than 5th level?

(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

But it is a 5th level spell and so the range is 15' instead of 10'. It originates from the point where Kendrock touched the library. That means Dosaken gets affected.

He'll need to make a Wisdom save DC 15.

He rolls an 11+1 = 12. He's confused...

The spell lasts for a minute.

The creature uses its action to make a melee attack against a randomly determined creature within its reach. If there is no creature within its reach, the creature does nothing this turn.

Dosaken was leaning on his battle axe looking at the books, he suddenly whips it up and looks about agitated. (no one is within reach, but I'll say he readies an attack for anyone who moves in his reach)

Raena was moving towards Kendrock to help him as was Garvis. Do they notice Dosaken's reaction?

(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

And they pull up short seeing the confusion in Doskane's eyes.

They also draw their weapons and look about for a threat.

Seeing nothing they look at the barbarian?


Kendrock needs to roll for a death save.

He rolls a 3 and fails. I need to roll initiative to make sure things happen in order.

Renchant is suspicious of additional magic at work. He rolls insight to see if Dosaken is acting irrationally.

He can't tell, but also spins about looking for some other threat in the darkness.

"Kendrock needs help!" Raena says and darts towards him.

Dosaken had a readied action and attacks her as she rushes towards Kendrock.

He rolls a 3 + 6 = 9 and misses. She rolls under the attack and reaches Kendrock.

"Dosaken! Stop!" Garvis says readying his attack.

He'll try to disarm Dosaken.

He rolls an attack of 4 + 5 = 9 vs Dosaken's Athletic skill roll of 12 + 6 = 18. Dosaken remains armed.

Raena is now at Kendrocks side. The large dragonborn is still twitching. She puts her hand on his temples and murmurs a prayer and Kendrock's eyes flicker open as the last of the lightning dissipates into the ground.

(She cast cure light wounds. He now has 3 hits left)

Round 2 for Dosaken - He rolls a 9 on the Confused Behavior table.
The creature can act and move normally.

I'll say Dosaken doesn't realize what he's doing.

"What... Garvis... what are you doing flinging that thing around," Dosaken asks.
"You tried to hit Raena! Lower your weapon."
"What are you talking about." Dosaken knocks the smaller man's blade aside. "Keep that thing away from me!"

Renchant suspects what's going on. "You're seeing things, Dosaken! You've been bewitched. Lower your weapon."

Does he trust Renchant enough to do so?

(Somewhat Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but...

But he feels fine. He's wary that they might be the bewitched ones. He drops the blade but stands over it, ready to snatch it up if needed.

"Garvis will intervene if you become bespelled again as will I." Renchant casts blur on himself and approaches standing off to the side of Garvis.

Kendrock stands shakily to his feet assisted by Raena. "My thanks," he mutters leaning on her

He picks up his blade and holds it point down in front of him, his mailed hands covering the pommel, waiting and watching.

Round 3 for Dosaken

Dosaken stands... and looks about. "Well... now what?"

"I tell you I'm fine." He rolled a 10 and can act normally.

He folds his arms.

"Maybe," Renchant says. Best to be safe why don't you go stand over there by the door."

"Fine," he says. "But I'm taking my axe."

"As long as you're over there and we can watch you, I don't have a problem with that," Renchant says.

Dosaken nods, picks up his axe, and stands over by the door.

2 = +1 -1 +1 +1 0

They wait...

I'll roll the remaining effects and will narrate it.

He stands by the door for several seconds and then starts wandering near the group. They back away and watch until he's standing by the large central pillar and crystal staring at it.

The spell eventually wears off. During that time Renchant casts Detect Magic as a ritual, and by the time he casts it he detects no magic or enchantment from Dosaken.

"Dosaken is fine. There is no magic about him. But, no one touches the books, alright." He looks at Kendrock who nods in agreement.

He detects magic in the room. He goes to the central pillar and sees an indentation for some sort of metallic device, a key? It's in the shape of a five pointed star.

"It seems there is some key we're missing to allow access to the library."

"Renchant," Dosaken says with a mutter. "Perhaps we're getting a bit carried away here. It's just a library."

"'Just a library' the man says," Renchant mocks him. "This is no mere library simpleton. This is the 'Preservation of Sages'. What? Never heard of it? Well, suffice it to say it's one of the greatest treasures of lore and knowledge in the world. I will not simply ignore it."

"Then what do we do?"

"Look about for clues of where this key might be... there has to be something," Renchant says.

They grumble about it, but the are also interested in the massive room, so they look about. 

Do they see anything that might look like some kind of instructions?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

Kendrock will settle down for a short rest while the others look since he's pretty beat up.

He spends all his Hit Dice and regains all his hits.

"There's nothing Renchant," Garvis says.

"Impossible. You're not looking hard enough. There is something..."

Garvis frowns. "Then why don't you tell us what it is."

Renchant stomps away muttering to himself. Actually finding the mythical 'Preservation of Sages' but not being able to find a way to access any of that knowledge was maddening. It tore at Renchant.

Are there dead bodies in the room?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes


(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

A lot?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

How did they die?

Create / Inside

What was created inside?

Roughly / Full

Crystals jutted from their chests and eyes. It was like their insides grew into crystal. "What foul magic is at work here?" Renchant asks, kneeling down to study the dead humans.

Are they bodies dessicated?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

They're clearly dead, but they continue to bleed, even now, after all these years.

Renchant gets a 15 + 6 = 21 a success. The crystals form a sort of foci for the magic that pulls life blood into them.

It's a ritual that was cast to feed the huge crystal giving it its natural power. The fact that the bodies have not decayed suggest that even though they're dead, they and this room are in a sort of stasis where the passage of time does not weather the contents of the room.

(He had also rolled a 6+6 = 12 Arcana to understand the magic. His Detect Magic from earlier helped him understand the magics at work.)

He'll check the bodies for any clues. Does he find any?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but... +Event: Bestow / The public

What is bestowed?

Stop / Realities

Is it an item on one of the bodies?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

What is the item?

Inspect / Enemies

There's a pair of spectacles on of one of the men with a crystal jutting out of his abdomen, his face a grimace of pain. The spectacles are askew on his face. Magic emanates from it.

Does it look like these dead ppl are all librarians?

(Somewhat Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...

There's no common uniform or anything. Perhaps they were patrons of the library? Renchant isn't sure. He takes the glasses out and puts them. His gaze shifts back in time, and he sees himself in the library witnessing events that took place hundreds of years ago. A powerful magic user strode into the room. People rose from tables and chairs to get away to flee. Can Renchant understand the old common?

He rolled a 13 on history for a 19. Yes he can.

The scene was the same place. This huge library. The same huge columns. But there was no huge crystal in the middle with blue light. Old fashioned lanterns and braziers hung about the room providing light.

"Shaltho! a man said, the one with glasses. "You can't just barge in here and--"

Renchant studied the man named Shaltho. He was a tall, powerfully-built man with high cheek bones, possibly elvish descent and was clad in a long black robe with ornate symbols on the sleeves in gold and silver thread. He raised a blood-red staff made of a strange metal which Renchant had never seen. There was a pulse of red light from the staff, and the man with glasses started floating into the air gripping at his throat, not able to breathe save in short struggled gasps, as he spun lazily in the air. "No? And who will stop me? You Cartil? I think not."

Rechant frowned. Where had he heard Shaltho before? Ah yes, Among the Ancients: A Treatise on Ancient Kadolan

Shaltho... was an older linguistic form for one known as "The Reaper Souls", "The Dark Archmagus", "The Betrayer" -- a powerful man of legend named "Zhulto" in more modern texts. This Zhulto (Shaltho) raised his staff again and again another pulse, and the man named Cartil flew backwards into a desk, wood splinters flying, scattering books and papers. People edged around to the back of the room trying to seek safety. Some bolted for the door. But Zhulto merely lazily waved and with an uttered word of command, the large doors behind him slammed shut and locked with a deep thud. 

The people shrank back in dismay.

"None shall leave this place," Zhulto cried, his eyes alight with an evil gleam. "You have denied me for the last time people of Kadolan. And now you shall be denied... Denied of both life and knowledge!"

Fear washed over them. They screamed and rushed for the door anyway now banging on it as he began chanting, his staff awash in red light like a small red sun. Runes seemed to dance in the air about the man. The earth trembled and a crystal tore up from under the floor, scattering flagstones, erupting in a massive shower of earth. At another chant, the crystal began to change color. More chanting, other crystals erupted from peoples bodies as they fell over each other pain and death. 

With a dismissive flick of a finger and an uttered word, Zhulto sent the bodies flying to pile up against one wall, their blood flowing into the crystals and then flowing into the central crystal changing its color from white to red and then a deep purple. Soon all lay dead or dying, and the man wearing the glasses continued to record the scene as he struggled with a crystal jutting out of one lung. He saw Zhulto locate a cat hissing at him under a table. Zhulto chanted some more, the staff held outwards, and the cat grew. It overturned a table and still it grew. It eventually became the massive guardian they had just vanquished. 

"Guard this place until I return!" Zhulto commanded, and then pulled a five pointed star of metal from the heart of the crystal with a dull scraping sound. It was accompanied by a faint chime that seemed to hang in the air. The light grew stronger emanating from the massive crystal and the color changed to blue and a massive surge of electricity rippled around each column. 

"The knowledge of the sages is now mine. Forever mine and none others."

Cartil struggled to say something, to do something, but the crystal in him was as relentless as stone. His life gave out and the vision stored in the spectacles darkened.

"What did you see?" Garvis asks. "We could see it in your face that you saw something."

Renchant nods soberly and tells them the vision.

"It was a man named Zulto... He did this," he waves a hand at the crystals jutting out of the flesh.

I'll roll a History to see if Renchant has learned any obscure truths about this Zulto fellow.

I rolled a 20! Nice. 26 total.

"Why?" Raena asked touching one of the crystals, an elfish prayer for the dead gracing her lips, her face sad. "Why did he do it?"

Renchant digs in his cloak and pulls out his pipe. With a twitch of his nose, it ignites and he puffs out a smoke ring. He leans against the table, staff in one hand, pipe in the other. With a grunt he clenches his pipe in his lips and lets out a heavy sigh. "Too many think wealth is measured in coin, gems, rubies and other such treasures. But such a transitory items are fleeting. What can you buy with coin? Food, lodging, a nice home. Power? Better, but still doomed to die. For we all have a date with with the Dancer, and the only thing you can take with you when you cross the Dark Portal is what you put here," he taps his head. "Your knowledge. Your memories."

"And here," Kendrock says touching his breastplate with a quiet bong covering his heart. "Your experiences. Your feelings."

Renchant nods. "Indeed. And for one such as Zhulto--and myself I might add if I'm being honest--knowledge is the true treasure. It is coin for the mind. Sustenance that satiates the soul when age comes with its creeping frailties. It is light when that final dark night comes."

"That sounds almost religious of you," Kendrock says with a toothy grin. "Do you say you believe in an afterlife?"

Renchant snorts, "Perhaps not quite as you do. I believe my superior intellect will lives on in some form after my mortal frame dies. Perhaps my consciousness will never die. I believe in magic of course. And what is life after death, if it exists, but some special kind of magic? In fact, one might say this life, this existence is but a form of magic. To come into existence sprung from the breath of gods...Now that must be some serious spellwork indeed."

"So what happened to this Zulto," Garvis asks cleaning his blades and sheathing them. "Where did he go?"

"The history books do not agree on his fate. And all of them concede that he he disappeared. Lost from history. From memory," Renchant says. "But this..." he taps the spectacles on the table with the stem of his pipe. "This tells us otherwise."

"What? How?"

"The spectacles are magical. They record what the wearer sees. Well, in the vision, the manner of speech isn't modern common no, but nore is it ancient Kadolan. It is merely old Kadolan. Still old, but not ancient. The manner of dress of those here and those that I saw also bespeaks the same truth. Zulto lived long long before the time of old Kadolan."

"What happened to him? Did he ever come back?"

"If he did, there is no history book I've read that speaks of it. It is assumed he went far to south. South of the Monastary of Dreams. South of the Thodal, that perhaps he perished in the shifting sands seeking the long lost civilization of Fal'Kreen. The desert dwellers tell of a foul magician who wrought unspeakable magics among them. But whether that was this Zhulto remains inconclusive."

"But he didn't die?" Raena asks.

"He apparently did not perish in the ancient days, at least not at the time of this memory," he taps the spectacles again. "He must've found some way of extending his life..." Renchant mused

"So what do we do about it?" Dosaken says.

"Do? There's nothing to do about any of it. But we will rest here for the night," Renchant says. "It should be quite safe. There are few denizens of these caverns that would so soon dare to come in upon the lair of his feline guardian. And if Zulto comes back while we're camping out in his favorite abode, well, I shan't mind. I should very much like to have a word with him about what transpired here."

"Very well," Dosaken says settling down his pack with a clatter onto the ground with a thump. The remains of the construct from earlier, he also sets in a clattering pile on the floor tiles. "And if anyone is hungry, there's a massive pile of dead cat in the hallway. And it's already cooked."

"Burnt more like," Garvis says grimacing at the smell that still lingers in the air.

"You just have to cut a little deeper to get the juicier bits," Dosaken grins as he moves of toward the cat, a long knife drawn from its sheath. "Meat... ahhh!"

"I'll stick with my trail rations, I think," Raena says wrinkling her nose.

They settle in for a long rest and each consumes a ration while Dosaken eats flesh from a magical guardian cat. Such is the life of an adventurer.

Renchant continues to smoke and lost in thought long into the night, laying on his bed roll. He puts on the spectacles again and again, memorizing the scene studying the attack, the intricate details pondering on the problems of the ancients. He needed to find this Zhulto. He needed that key...

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

They settle in for a long rest and each consumes a ration.

Does anything happen to interrupt their rest?

(Very Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

The awaken the next morning and head upwards towards the lift, following the map. Do they reach the upper exit to the outside without trouble?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

It takes them all day, and by evening time, they can see the sun just beginning to set. They make it to the tree and the cage/lift system. Instead of going the way they came into the underground cavern they head east and are now after multiple days under ground they emerge onto the eastern side of the peak looking out over the cliff.

Is it snowing?

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Large downy flakes drift down on a cold night. They all mark off another day of food. Renchant borrows a ration from the others.

A wide hallway with shattered columns with patches of crumbled ceiling that are open to the outside air greets them.

Do they see signs of the creature they're hunting?

(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Is it his lair?

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

They see scratches on pillars and a pile of bones picked over.

Raena takes the lead and sneaks forward following tracks and signs of the large creature in the snow. The others hang back waiting and watching, weapons at the ready.

The wide hallway with shattered columns and a rent roof, is in reality a ruined portico. The roof is caved in in some places, piles of masonry and rock gathering dust and snow. In other places the roof is intact and other passageways and stairs spiral down into this side of the mountain.

Raena rolls a 19 + 5 = 24 on her perception.

She's also stealthing and gets a 16+6 = 22. Both very good rolls.

Is the creature in the lair?

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Unless it's invisible, I'm going to say her perception is enough to detect it.

Now that she can see what it is, what is it? A dragon?

(Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...

No, but it's related to a dragon... hmmm. A drake then.

Looking back on previous posts and the established fiction about the creature it's a flying creature, it can cause flames/scorching, it has claws, a tail spike and horns. It's a fire/flame drake with wings.

Even with it's quite good passive perception, it doesn't notice Raena stalking it. It's gnawing on something fleshy and hairy.
Raena gives a silent signal to the others to attack on her mark. Then she fits an arrow. The party will secure a surprise round if they attack now. They don't want to lose the opportunity and so spring into action.

Raena aims and sights on her quarry. She is in her element, hidden from view crouching at the lip of some steps, she sees the creature munching on its meal. The smooth wood of the slender bow bespoke a hidden power, the ability to send a shaft into the heart of her enemies. She releases, and with a whoosh, it embeds into the creatures side.

It screams in pain. Garvis races up behind Raena, his bow also out an arrow at the ready (readies an attack). Dosaken moves up a parallel set of stairs, his axe gripped in two hands, taking the steps two at a time in long powerful strides. Renchant casts blur on himself and his shape is obscured by a mass of blurring twisting shadows.

Kendrock follows behind Dosaken and casts bless on Dosaken, Raena, and Garvis.

The drake hisses and ruby red drops of its blood drip onto the cold slate stones of the ruined portico. A small mound of gems and coins and other odds and ends glimmers with a dull sheen in the fading evening light.
The ceiling above them some thirty feet high, has some jagged rips and holes in it, letting in snow and light. The drake launches into flight directly towards Raena and Garvis. As it does so, it spews a stream of fire and it's tail whips 
at a half ruined pillar, toppling it, causing a region of the cave to collapse. The ceiling around the pillar collpses down, around Raena and Dosaken. (They each need to make a Dex Save DC 13 or get buried under rock. Garvis and Kendrock are just one hex out of range of also being included in the collapse.)
Without the Bless Raena would have been buried. As it is she and Dosaken see the danger and leap out of the way of most of the falling rubble, taking only 6 damage each.

The stream of fire singes both Raena and Garvis but they avoid the worst of it. The flames lick at some of the icy stones. The creature then flies directly over Garvis and an arrow leaps out shoots at the winged beast zips overhead.
Garvis rolls a 1 on his attack. An automatic failure. Is it a critical failure?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Yes but it's not too bad. In his haste at seeing the creature suddenly appear over his head, he fumbles and drops five arrows that fall clattering down the stairs out of his quiver. He then fits another arrow and shoots up at the creature (his reaction was from last turn) now he's shooting on his turn.

He only has three arrows left in his quiver (I haven't been collecting the others ruling that they were lost in the darkness of the caverns or burned in the cats fur). But that one did fly true and the Drake takes 10 points of damage.

The creature is about thirty feet above him. Garvis will move his back against the wall and track it with his bow.

Dosaken, from a cloud of dust and surrounded by debris, cannot see the creature. He coughs and sees snow and light filtering down through the ceiling. He cannot see the winged lizard, but he hears the shouts from the parallel steps and rushes over his axe at the ready (ready and action) but even so, the creature is not to be seen because it's at ceiling level above him.

"Dosaken, coughing from a cloud of dust and surrounded by debris, cannot see the creature..."

Raena leaps down onto a boulder that recently fell from the ceiling onto the level below them, and fires a shaft into the beast's underside. She rolls a 19. A hit. (I'm impressed. She could have hit an AC of 30 with that strike! 19 + 8 attack + 3 from bless.)

It screams in pain. (takes 8 hits). It's taken 30 total so far.

Renchant chants and shimmering blue energy leaps out striking the creature (magic missile). Wow... He rolls max damage on his roll. 15 total points of damage. The missiles tear into the creature on of them blowing off part of his wing.
Kendrock casts shield of faith on himself.

The creature, hurt from all the attacks, hits another pillar as it flies causing another partial collapse that affects Renchant.

The drake shoots another jet of flame towards Raena and Kendrock. They duck behind cover but the searing heat does cause Kendrock to lose concentration on his Bless.

The creature flies off out of sight dropping to a lower level the way they came. They hear it trumpet in anger and they hear answering cries and hoots. Then a score of smaller figures rush at them, some climbing up walls, others dropping down from holes in the ceilings.
Are they kobolds?

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Their skin is blue and each carries a wicked looking dagger. They lick their blades yipping and yowling and advance on the party, leaping down to surround them as well as charging up the stairs the way they came.

They're fanatical Drake worshipers and will fight to the death protecting their "god".

One of them larger than the others, a leader of sorts, holds a staff with feathers and beads and shouts pointing at the intruders.

Renchant shouts the warning the first, his familiar (owl who was atop the roof) gave him advance warning.

Does the guy with the staff (he's a shaman) have any tough body guards?

(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Just him. Fine... we'll see what happens but I think the Kobolds are going to be pushovers. But there are a lot of them.

Garvis drops his bow and whips out his scimitars as the two Kobolds drop down next to him, he expertly one of them and disembowels second with a fluid arcs of his curved blades. (What did I say? Pushovers. Their hits are randomized so they range between 1 HP and probably 11).
He pulls back up the stairs next to Dosaken.

Dosaken rages and then goes into a Frenzy (bonus action).

His axes crunches into the torso of one of the little creatures instantly killing it, his follow up swing whistles through the air by Garvis's head (missed 2nd Kobold).

Raena drops her bow in the snow and whips out her own scimitar and shortsword spinning to engage the two Kobolds who leaped down from the ceiling behind her.

She slashes at one in the throat and he gurgles falling to the stones. The other she slashed across the face and chest, and with a startled scream it falls down not moving.

Then she barrels towards three others gathering around Kendrock.

Renchant utters arcane words and another three globes of blue energy slam into three different kobolds (magic missile). Two are only damaged. A third has its rib cage blown apart.
Renchant, hearing the cries all about him and more ululating battle cries from farther off, he follows after Garvis.

He stumbles over the rocks that had collapsed around him and sees the shaman on the rock. His line of sight to the little spell caster had been blocked before.

Kendrock salutes one K with his greatsword then moves and puts his back to Raena's he slashes out crushing its head.

"Fall back!" Garvis shousts. "This way!"

The Kobolds swarm towards the party, rushing with fanatical glee.

Daggers whistle through the air. One of them leaps atop Kendrock his legs warpping around the Paladin and slams the dagger into the dragonborn's side between the armor joints. (critical -- 6 damage)

Kobolds charge towards Renchant and one of them gets a lucky strike with his sling, the rock clubbing the mage in his head. His eyes stinging and watering, he can't hold onto his blur (the kobold rolled a 20 and a 16... so it hit with the sixteen and then Renchant failed his concentration save). More rocks zip past him, one of them hitting his back. He stumbles but manages to gain the stairs and starts to clamber up them.

Looking over his head, Renchant sees the Shaman chant and his staff glows and healing light flows over the ledge behind him. (It's healing the drake a little 2d4+4 but the PCs don't know that)

The owl flies overhead and Renchant knows that magic is at play, that the dragon's wounds are slowly closing up.

Then the drake screams and launches from the level below back into the fray with the kobolds screaming and chanting in obvious glee.

Does it go for Renchant?

(Somewhat Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but... +Event: Haggle / Prison

The drake does a rapid aeriel attack flame, darting between the columns and the rubble. It's fast and nimble... and deadly. Its jet of flame scorches the ground, hitting Renchant, Raena, and Kendrock. The paladin moved too slowly in his heavy armor and caught the brunt of the attack (8 dmg total).
Garvis's takes off another's Kobold's head the red blood spraying the rock in front of him. Garvis readies his other attack and stays where he is. He can't see Renchant and Kendrock but he urges the mage to get behind him and Dosaken.

Dosaken with aroar leaps down the stars and cleaves a Kobold in two from neck to navel. The corpse falls back in stunned surprise.

Raena attempts to cut her way to safety up the stairs but misses both attacks. They could really have used that Bless spell that faded.

Renchant runs up the stairs gasping for breath, blood streaming down his face, but he turns around furious. He sees the Shaman on the rock chanting and knows its healing the drake. This has to stop or they're all doomed. Renchant chants a counter chant to the healling light, and three rays of pure white hot flame streak towards the Shaman (he cast's scorching ray).
All three hit the shaman, and he screams, batting at his clothing, his healing forgotten for the moment (So close. The Shaman took a total of 28/30 points of damage from that one blow).

Kendrock opens his mouth and roars and reveals his true heritage, the lineage of the great Silver as he spews forth a cone of super-freezing air that causes skin to frost over, crack and limbs to break, and rocks to shatter.

The blast hits the two in front of him and their faces and limbs turn brittle, then their entire bodies crack and shatter (he rolled 14 dmg - a wee bit more for mere kobolds). "Go!" He shouts to Raena and sharges the four Kobolds below them. Above the flame drake circles overhead.
The kobolds drop their slings and yank out daggers and surround the Paladin. (their pack trait gives them advantage when another of their kind is within five feet of their target). Not good.

They screech as they slash and darting in and out. The large dragonborn roars in pain and righteous fury. (He's taking a beating... He's barely up). Two of them hit and one criticalled for a total of 9 dmg.

The others near Dosaken fling their strings at him and then clamber on the rocks, hoping it'll give them a height advantage.

The kobold shaman chants and the healing light flows into himself.

He then leaps off the rock out of Renchant's line of sight and darts down to support his follows around Kendrock.

Does the Drake go for Dosaken?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

The lizard lands atop the rocks and swings its mighty tail.

It slams into Dosaken sending him flying backwards by 10 feet.

(Dosaken had to make a Str save DC 17 to avoid getting thrown backward). He failed even with advantage with rage and only rolled a 6 + 2 = 12.

The drake trumpets its rage and flames flare from its nostrils.

"Kill the shaman!" Renchant shouts. "It's keeping it alive!"

The winged lizard then leaps on Dosaken, striking with its bite and claws. (it gets 3 melee attacks per turn)

Garvis, seeing that the creature is on the ground now, rushes down to in to attack it with his blades.

Dosaken blood streaming from his numerous wounds, his muscles rippling as flakes of snow steams on sweaty skin strike with his battle axes matching the winged drake fury for fury.

He gives it a good solid hit, crumpling a wing.

Raena darts down atop the rock where she had dropped a bow and flicks it up into her hands with a kick from her feet, already pulling out and an arrow and stringing it when the bow comes into her hands.

Then she sights and sends a shaft towards the creature.

... unfortunately, the rock was slick with ice and snow and she stumbled and the arrow flies off target (she rolled a 1. Does she critically fail?).

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Okay. just a miss then.

Renchant smiles, walks thirty feet, behind a rock, touches the crimson gem embedded in the gold amulet of Korvis around his neck, and he closes his eyes. He sees through the eyes of his familiar circling above. he sends a mental command, and the owl darts down streaking towards the Shaman from behind. (passive perception of 8 doesn't detect the owl streaking down behind him). The owl brushes him with his wings and the magic connects flowing out of the amulet around Renchant's into the Shaman. (This is the amulet of Korvis an item Renchant picked up in his first adventure and he doesn't often get a chance to use it. But this is such a moment. He uses a touch attack, channeled through his familiar and shazaam!)

Shaman has to make a code save vs DC 10 + 3 + 2 = 15

It rolls a 9 - 1 = 8 vs DC 15. It start screaming an incredible itching sensation consuming him. He rolls to the ground scratching and scratching. His staff drops to the ground.
Kendrock uses his healing on himself, his wounds begin to close, but he must still be somewhat dazed since he missed his attack and rolled a 1.

The kobolds beat on him some more, bringing his hits back down to what they were.

The other four kobolds rush around Dosaken and Garvis pulling out daggers, dealing damage here and there, weakening the brave warriors by degrees.

It's now Round 7
The drake, its wing crumpled tries lays into Dosoaken some more, claws rake across the barbarian's chest. Both are wounded. Both bleed red onto the snow. It had hoped to know the Barbarian back but it missed. Tooth and claw, it's fierce, but Dosaken is well trained in that axe.

Garvis, is about to attack when a jet of flame streaks towards him and Raena. (a legendary action)

And it swipes a claw at Garvis (legendary actions it can do those out of his turn... I'm not clear on how often as I don't actually own the monster manual. I'm it can do the legendary encounters whenever it wants once during this encounter.) 

Then Dosaken's axe crashes into its back, fracturing some bones. It howls in pain.
Raena sees it rears back and her shaft takes it in the neck. The drake flails about writhing in the steaming snow and then falls.
Renchant peers around a collapsed piece of masonry that used to be the ceiling, chants and sends three more spears of fire (scorching ray).
Two kobolds are hit, one is killed, one wounded.

The melee continues unabated the kobolds fight on. They failed their master in life. Now they must follow him in death. (They're fanatical)

Kendrock is down on one knee... he can't seem to hit anything. He rolled a 3 last round.

Garvis is also badly wounded. He uses his second wind and his action surge.

His scimitars drop one and wound another in three attacks.

Dosaken follows up and kills the wounded one with his first greate axe attack.

His second swing takes off the head (well the torso) of the one behind him.

Raena seeing that Doskaen and Garvis have the left flank wrapped up nearly, she rushes to aid Kendrock, hopping atop the ledge and firing down at one of the kobolds, the shaft piercing an eye and sending it flopping down atop the Shaman who is proceeding to scratch furrows of red in his blue skin.

Renchant, moves down the stairs, energy flying from his hands (magic missile), two missiles drop two separate Kobolds and the third lands into the incapacitated Shaman.

The area around Kendrock is now clear. of enemies.

Kendrock strides up to the Shaman and slams the point of the sword down into his neck finishing him (incapacitated, he's killed automatically).

The final Kobald screams at Dosaken, misses and slides onto the point of Garvis's blade.

The battle is over. (9 rounds including the surprise round). The bodies of Kobolds and the flaming drake litter the ground

Hits taken/out of total:
Garvis 20/39
Doskaen 26/42
Raenea 30/38
Renchant 18/24
Kendrock 35/36

Kendrock was hanging on by 1 HP. The Raena and Renchant were also pretty close to dropping.

Oh oops. I forgot one very important thing. The exploding drake... hee hee... We'll say it happens right now on Round 9.

Dosaken leans wearily on his battle axe, and Garvis claps him on the shoulder giving him a weary smile when the creature suddenly explodes in a horrendous sphere of flame, sending both of them flying. They're both unconscious and dying.
(The explosion gives 4d4 fire, plus 4d4 force to any within 25 of his death. There's no save or anything. Both Garvis and Dosaken took 22 points of damage.)

Renchants familiar is also consumed to ash.

Raena shouts and runs over to the downed bodies of the fallen warriors, murmuring a prayer to the gods she places her hand on each and they slowly come to, the burns and broken bones mending (she casts cure light wounds on both) using up the rest of her 1st level spells).

They survey the scene. Snow drifts down through the holes in the ceiling, blowing in over the bodies of the fallen kobolds. Dusk is falling. They're battered and wounded, but alive. They will setup a watch and take a long rest, building a fire in the lair from some old broken furniture lying about.
And that's it! They're battered and bruised, but alive! It could have been much worse. If the drake had gone for Raena and Kendrock instead of tangling with the Barbarian, it likely would have ended quite differently. The map I used was from I enjoy the work the artist does and I purchased his map pack. This snowy peak was modified with pillars and rubble and treasure add-ons to give the above result.

(Here's the drake's abilities if interested)

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

(While my Ironsworn game has my attention at the moment, I'll try to post to this 5e thread somewhat occasionally to keep the story alive.)

When last we met... At the behest of the Strathmore mayor, the party has defeated a fire drake atop the frozen and broken mountain keep in the Eastern Reaches (mountain range that makes up the eastern border of the Craewen kingdom). There they also fought a kobold shaman, and a several warriors who served the drake. As they rest amidst the treasure horde, they goes to work tallying their haul.

The story resumes immediately after that fight...


"We did it," Kendrock says, leaning heavily on his sword, swaying back and forth. His armor is scraped in a dozen places, and blood seeps through several dagger wounds--wounds that pained him, but with proper care, should not be life threatening. The snow continues to obscure the bodies of the dead kobolds covering them in little mounds of white. The large patch of steam and water on the stones where the drake had given his last attack begins to turn to ice.

Renchant trudges through the snow and over fallen debris, he picks up a few scales and bits of teeth and claw, studying them. "A flame drake..." he nods then puts the pieces in a pouch. They could be useful as a reagent in some spell or other. He looks about the battle damage and the fallen. "It's a good thing you got the drop on the drake, Raena, instead of the other way around. Had it been hunting instead of being hunted this might have ended quite differently."

Raena nods and gives a tight smile. "It was a fearsome creature, indeed, and we are fortunate that we did not meet its larger and more dangerous cousin. I don't know much about it, but I have heard that dragons are also known to make lairs of such ruins."

"Rightly said," Renchant says. "In fact, in Canticles of Flame, Volume 3, the traveling scholar, Bertrard Benvamit is said to have met one of the ancient lizards, that he lived to tell the tale is fortunate for his lore is invaluable in situations such as this."

He moves off to study the fallen shaman. He's keenly interested in the healing magic the little creature was able to cast so powerfully.

Does anything interrupt them during the night? Seeing as how this is the main lair and the Kobolds are all dead too, I'll say unlikely. But you never know.

(Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

But they get the sense that they're being watched.

Does Renchant detect anything magic? (casts Detect Magic + Identify)

(Very Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

More than one item?

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Is the staff from the shaman magic?

(Somewhat Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but...

(But its magic is used up and needs to be recharged at a nexus of power--whatever that is. I just made that up.)

"Interesting," the mage mutters studying the staff. "He probably used this staff to heal the drake. The magic is used up though. But...I should be able to recharge it..." her purses his lips and moves on.

Is the bone neckace magic?

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Is the jade ring magic?

(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

What does it do?

(requires attunement)
Halves all acidic damage received.

Were there any weapons in the gold/jewel pile?

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

All they can find are the jagged bone daggers the Kobolds had carried. But they split the gems and gold.

I'll say there's 5d100+50 gold pieces, 1d100 platinum, 10d100+100 silver

GP 347 = 70[d100]+24[d100]+33[d100]+81[d100]+89[d100]+50

PP 8 = 8[d100]

SP 679 = 95[d100]+67[d100]+28[d100]+73[d100]+96[d100]+10[d100]+39[d100]+56[d100]+57[d100]+58[d100]+100

All that gets divided up to about 345 GP, 1 PP, and 135 SP per PC.

Any historical or art pieces?

(50/50 | 2[d10]) No +Event: Create / Advice

They make camp among the ruins near the pile of jewels and jems.

Does anything interrupt their rest.

(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No +Event: Truce / A project

Does the snow stop?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

I'll let Raena roll survival with advantage (since there are structures around) to get out of the weather.

She gets a 16 total. Good enough to weather the night.

There was an event. Truce / A project. Do the Kobold tribes seek a truce?

(Somewhat Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but...

They want the heroes to go away. 

The next morning while Raena was trying to back track the Kobold warriors to their lair, some older Kobold representatives, waving white, approach her seeking parlay. She brings them back to the camp.

Is it their cheiftain?

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

But this one is ill and despondent. He hobbles towards them leaning on his stafff, through the howling wind. Large Kobold warriors flank him. They all blink and wince at being out in the daylight, even such an one where the golden orb lies hidden behind gray clouds and cold snow blows about them.

"You have slain our god, O Great Ones," he shouts in Draconic, leaning heavily on his staff--Kendrock and Renchant translate. 

"...And many of our fine warrior priests lie dead, fallen in battle. Leave these parts we beg you. We will seek no more conflict with you for our tribe is laid low nigh even unto the dust of the earth."

Do they come bearing trinkets or treasures as a gift to perhaps urge the party to leave?

(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Is it a weapon?

(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

They lay down their weapons at the feet of the heroes in a clinking pile. One is a scimitar about the old chieftan's waste. "Here is Bloodthrist," he says, laying the belt and blade atop the pile. "Let it not thirst after our blood mighty heroes. These gifts are yours. Leave us, we beg you. We have nothing else to offer."

Renchant divines it's magical properties and hands it to Garvis. "This should suit you," he says.

Renchant also passes Kendrock the jade ring.

"If we're done here, we should move off the mountain before that next storm moves in and return to Strathmore," Raena says. Stormclouds on the horizon threaten more snow.

Renchant has Dosaken behead the drake. They warp it in cloth, and let it freeze tied to their packs as they begin the long trek back to Strathmore.

Do they encounter any events of import on their return journey?

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

After nearly two more weeks of hiking and foraging, they finally return to Strathmore. The town is filled to bursting with refugees. But a glance at the frozen drake's head, plus being on the errand of Strathmore's mayor has its benefits. The mayor gets them a room reserved for traveling dignitaries.

"And here is the payment you're due," he says with a slight frown as he hands over the promised pouch of gold of 200 GP. Garvis splits evenly among the group. 

Kendrock is practically swimming in fawning attention. (There are not many Dragonborn in Craewen, and the fact that he's dressed up in full plate armor adds to his mystique. It's not uncommon to see crowds of whispering children following at an excited distance.)

Btw, I created a rough overland map in Fantasy Grounds. As things are discovered, I'll continue to add it. FG doesn't have a text layer yet. So, I copied out a couple of screen captures and added a few text labels of some of the main areas:

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

It's been a while and was hankerin' for a little D&D. Not sure how long I'll keep it up.

Next Adventure Setup
(Text wouldn't paste with formatting/colors from Google Docs for some reason, so just pasting it as plain text with minimal formatting)
What else is going on in Strathmore? 

Struggle / Illness

That makes sense given the influx of refugees.

What rumors are there of interest... geo-politically?

Disrupt / Prison

Vir, the dangerous assassin has escaped prison. He had both internal and external help.

Is there evidence of another country involved?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Yes. Craewen claims they’ve found evidence that Kadolan is behind the rescue and the military is on alert. Regiments are being formed up and are starting to march for the eastern border.

Is the party asked to help?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

What does it involve?
Cruelty / Danger

A dangerous task. How so? What does it involve?

Travel / The intellectual

An arduous and dangerous journey.

Who’s this intellectual? Are we supposed to travel to perhaps Zelfaria, the elf, who hired them for their very first adventure with the puzzle box? Or maybe she is the one asking us to travel somewhere?

(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Someone else wants them to go on a journey.

To where? I’ll say to the Oracle of Winds -- aka The Oracle of Whispers far to the south. She’s at the Monastery of Dreams.

Who’s asking? I’ll say it’s a captain (Cpt. Ethed) of the Royal Ranger Corps who issues this mission.

Picture a snowy night around a fire in the inn. The party has grown fat and bored as snow continues to fall in lazy flakes outside. The inn is stuffed to the brim with patrons. Prices in the town are doubled as items and food grow scarce in the town.

Cpt Ethed finds Raena and her companions at the inn and in a private room offers them a secret mission.

They’re sworn to secrecy before he even tells the details. But finally for personal reasons, each agrees:
  • Raena because she follows orders from the Royal Ranger Corp--she’s a patriot and swore an oath while in the corp to serve the king and the royal family unquestioningly.
  • Renchant because he needs more coin for spells-- and prices here have doubled with all the refugees, and the town is beginning to stink.
  • Garvis because he’s trying to find his family and...well...they aren’t here in Strathmore.
  • Dosaken because his younger sister’s illness needs the money for medicine.
  • Kendrock because... these are his only companions and he’s taken a liking to them.

(and because adventurers go on adventures)

Captain Ethed wants them to consult the Oracle? This must be an issue of national security.
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Does it involve the nation of Kadolan?
(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Why this oracle?
The King wants to know if anyone in the royal family was connected with the plots that rescued Vir and the approaching war with Kadolan.

Does the oracle work for Craewen?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

All this seems incredibly far away. Is that the only reason?

No, another major reason is the King is concerned about the security of the royal family. King Kirat’s younger sister lives there, in a life of quiet contemplation and religious service.

But why would she be a target? She's not in line to the throne.
Block / Competition

Is this really about security?

Ah, from the pained expression on Ethed’s face, Renchant finds out that this whole thing about her safety is just a cover story for the public.

It sounds like they’re more concerned about the sister’s motives, like they might have reason to suspect she’s behind some of the things happening but can’t prove it.

The Captain explains that even if she isn’t behind it, she could potentially be swayed to join enemies of the throne; for while she is the queen’s younger sister, she has plotted against the king in the past.

There’s a reason she’s living a life of “quiet contemplation” so far out of the way.

What happened in the past? What did she try to do?
Expose / The innocent

Over a decade ago, she exposed sensitive state secrets to a lover, who--she didn’t know it at the time or claimed not to anyway--ended up being a spy for Kadolan.

In short, King Kirat couldn’t prove her motives nor his suspicions, and so house arrest at the monastery was the kindness the king chose for her to keep her out of the way when on a whim he could have executed her. But because she is still dear to him, he spared her life.

Ah, court intrigue...

So the mission entails this:
  • Travel far to the south.
  • Seek out the Oracle of Winds/Whispers at the same monastery and find out who internally is behind the prison breakout and other machinations.
  • Provide security for the sister until relieved; while it’s unlikely, it’s not impossible that all the king’s family are in danger during these uncertain times.
  • And while doing so, look into the sister’s social network quietly and see if there’s anything of concern.

Why is the party chosen? Why not just send someone else?
  • Captain Ethed has heard of the party’s exploits near Strathmore. Since it’s known that they all worked well as a team to save the region from the flying Wyrm, the royal coffers are being opened up to ensure success in this mission:
  • Many Ranger Corp members are already providing security and support for the Royal family. Other members of the Corp are scattered throughout the realm to be the eyes and ears of the nation.

This still seems like more of a job for a rogue or a bard--not sure if this party has the right skill set. But we’ll see. they’ll just have to adapt and overcome.

How will they communicate?
Capt. Ethed gives Raena a bronze ring called a Ring of Fartalk. It's imbued with magic. For each spell slot level cast on it, the ring turns on for that many minutes. While enabled, it provides an audible link to the wearer of the matching ring, in this case Capt. Ethed. (ie 2 second level spells would give 4 minutes of conversation). If feels warm when someone is trying to get in contact.

What’s the payment etc?
  • The party is given 500 GP combined as an acceptance bonus and for starting supplies.
  • Upon reaching Southmarch, they’ll receive an additional 1000 GP combined.
  • When they reach the monastery and submit information from the oracle, 2000 GP combined will be placed in an account in Southamarch for them to collect later when they finish their mission and return north.
  • For each month they watch the sister, an additional 100 GP combined will be added to the account for living expenses. They’ll be able to have free room and board while at the monastery.

After a few months, other handlers will arrive to relieve them and they’ll be free to do what they like.

Cpt Ethed mentions that if the party performs well and is interested in more work, more lucrative jobs can be arranged.

Preparations and Planning
They spend a couple of days planning and preparing.

It’s 15 days travel by foot to Inolulan (about 7 on horse).
It’s 30 days on foot to Southmarch (about 15 by horse).

All party members decide they’ll need to purchase a riding horse and a draft horse (for supplies). Most of them already have them, but a couple were missing one or the other. Kendrock had neither.

All goods and services are double the price due to demand in Strathmore.

Kendrock runs out of funds and Garvis covers the money for his remaining purchases (‘cause he’s that kind of guy).

They’ll all purchase enough rations for a week's journey and then will resupply in Inolulan.

Once they have supplies they’ll brave the mountain pass and travel to Southmarch (another 8+ day journey by horse--depending on how conditions are at the pass). But speed is of the essence as they want to arrive at the monastery as soon as possible.

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

And so it Begins!

The weather is cold and clear as they set out early on the third day. Puffs of white around mouths in the winter air. Bundled against the cold with heavy fur-lined cloaks they stamp their feet and with some grumbling as the sky dawns pink in the east.

A few days out...
Anything dangerous, exciting, or interesting en route to Inolulan?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 7[d10]) Yes, but...

What is it?

Agree / Riches

Some swarthy work men on a bridge on a river ask for a toll to cross. They say the funds go to maintain the bridge and surrounding road.

Are they honest?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Dosaken got an 18 total and can tell they’re not criminals. They’re honest workman and do maintain the bridge and road---mostly. There wasn’t a toll when they came this way before, but now there is.

“We’re on the kings errand. You had best let us pass or risk his wrath!” Renchant says, and his crystal on his staff catches the sunlight. “This lady is one of the Royal Rangers. See for yourself.”

Raena shows her credentials as a royal ranger. (Persuasion with advantage).

19 total.

The workmen are grumpy about it but let the party pass without issue.

Rest of journey anything?
(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

The weather remains cold and bright each day with cold and clear nights. After about seven days of travel they arrive at Inolulan.

At Inolulan
They’ve been here before. I assume Inolulan is also experiencing an influx of refugees?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Inolulan is choked with people. The fountains are now frozen over and the many temples have taken in many of the refugees but even so they spill out onto the steps and streets. Prices are x2.5 here. (the yes and)

The fishing industry continues with ice fishing out the lake. The smells of cooking fish and sweet bread fill the air. Refugees turned beggars line the streets and many guards are seen in the city

Are the merchants still well stocked?
(Unlikely | 3[d10]) No

The combination of the influx of refugees and slower trade in winter has dried up much of their stock. Many items for purchase are in high demand available on a roll of 1-4. (5-6 means out of stock.)

“The layout of this town is appalling,” Renchant grumbles. “Look at the poor class huddling in the streets. It’s unacceptable.”

Beggars throng around the party with outstretched arms as many guards keep them away from the more wealthy homes and areas.

“Crime must be on the rise here,” Dosaken nods.

Do they get pick pocketed
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

11 = 7[d20]+4

Raena rolled a 25 total to detect it.

A child?
(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

As if on cue, Raena feels a slight tugging on her pouch and sees the desperate eyes of an elderly man trying to pull at her pouch. The attempt is unsuccessful and she swats the hand away.

“We need to get off the streets. Follow me.” And she pushes her way through the crowd.

Are there any inns with vacant rooms?
(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

But there was nowhere to go. Inn after inn had filled rooms.

Any available stables they can stay in with their horses?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

They find an inn with once spacious stables. For a modest fee of 5 sp per night per beast or person, they can spend the night and food is carried out to them.

Each pays 15 SP per night. Garvis with some grumbling now, still pays for Kendrock.

1 draft, 1 riding, 1 person = 15 SP

Other patrons in the stables too?
(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Are they bothered at night?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

“I am not sleeping with animals!” Renchant says incensed and pulling his cloak about him stomps off to the inn. “You may choose to do so. But I shall speak with the proprietor of this establishment! He WILL find room for me.”

With a 22 total on his Persuasion and his flashing about copious amounts of coin, he pays the exorbitant 10 gp and is set up in wealthy accomodations in a corner room on the inn’s second story with windows overlooking the market corner. He smiles and twists the end of his beard in satisfaction when he considers how the rest of his party faring.

Did anyone of ill repute see him flashing his gold about?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and... +Twist: Emotional event / Changes the goal

I see... time for a mini scene with Renchant perhaps?

What’s the emotional event?

Mistrust / A plot

Dangerously / Cute

“A life of privilege,” he sighs an hour later as he sinks up to his nose in a hot bath tub. The servants had left the room and steam wreaths around him. After seven days on the road, the perfumed rose-water is taking the kinks out of his muscles in luxurious fashion.

After his bath, a back massage follows. Then clean clothes..

Then with his feet up on a cushioned stool and drinking mulled wine while studying one of his favorite tomes, he saw the snow drift down out the window outside, purged by the warmth and light from inside.

The nicker of horses from the stables nearby made him smile again.

“One could get used to this...” he decides for the umpteenth time, taking a sip from his silver cup.

Engrossed in his book hours passed and after some time, he gets up to pour himself a refill--the only downside to wanting your privacy is you have to do everything yourself. He heats the silver picture with a murmur of magic and soon steam curls up out of it.

Silver picture in hand, that’s when he sees the commotion outside. A young woman--strikingly beautiful--slips in the snow and cries out. No wait! She didn’t slip, she was shoved!

And was that--? It was!

“Tatyana,” he says, in a way that sounded much like other men say prayers. She had given him that particularly delicious back massage! Who would dare to hurt her?

The analytical side of his brain knew he was a little drunk and curiously watched what he would do.

Is there a balcony?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

The drunk side of him slammed open the window and he’s partially out the window before a sudden stiff breeze sends flurries of snow into the room. He blinks against the cold flakes and sees Tatyana being pulled into a darkened alleyway. She turns and strikes at one of her assailants. Than curses and grabs her about the waist. She kicks and cries out before a hand smothers her cry. She reaches out with one hand towards Renchant as she’s pulled into the darkness.

“I’m coming!” he huffs and yanks on a corner of his robe that is caught on the window sill. It tears but he's out now. Below him some ten feet, a half slanted roof, burdened by snow and ice covers the entrance to back door and the snowy courtyard his room overlooks.

Leaping down...

Athletics DC 15...
(Rolls a 16 + 0 ) = 16

...he lands on the roof below his stockinged feet, and remains upright as he slides off the roof and lands in a flutter of robes onto the ground below. Lantern light spills out onto the snow.

“Tatyana!” he shouts, the stiff breeze kicking up more snow as he strides towards the alley way. He’s becoming slowly aware that his feet are quite cold now.

Can he see her now that he’s growing close to the alleyway?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

She cries out as she’s pulled around the corner at the far end of the alley way.

Renchant’s trembling now with a mixture of anger and from the cold, he begins chanting... (casts Mage Armor). The arcane energy thrums inside of him, almost physically warming him with its ecstasy. He hurries after her.

He rounds the corner and sees her.

Is she wounded?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

But not bad. She’s holding an arm against her chest and is on her knees in the snow, hair hangs about her face, her shawl is stamped down into the muddy snow, her dress hangs off one shoulder.

Do those who attacked her run?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

He runs up to her, his mind is yammering to him through the haze of wine.

“Tatyana, are you hurt? You--”

And that’s when they attacked... 

He had little warning but somehow through the haze of alcohol, he heard a door swing open and heard threatening movement.

The stealth roll for the enemy is a measly 9 total, and he has a passive perception of 13 so he’s not surprised but he’s unfortunately dead last in the initiative.

Are they aware he’s a mage?
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

The crystal atop his staff is a dead giveaway, and I’d guess they’d not attempt this little adventure against a trained mage had they not something sneaky up their sleeves. I’ll say their weapons all have a coating of a basic poison on them.

He hears the twang and clack of crossbows. Instinct compels him to duck. He slides on his knees in the snow and brings up his staff as the barbs dart past him. One of them is deflected from his magical shield.

He grabs her arm. “Move girl! This way!”

What does she do/what happens to her?
Dispute / Environment

She cries out, tries to follow, but slips on some ice, tugging on his robes causing him to stumble. (basically all flavor text for saying she remains motionless and in too much shock, I guess).

One of the barbs from behind cuts his side (only 3 dmg). He got a 13 total against the poison so no extra damage or effect this turn.

Btw, I’m trying out these rules for intoxication:

Renchant has a toxicity threshold of 13 and has had maybe three drinks of mulled wine. I don’t know much about alcohol myself having never had it, so I rolled on a D10 scale and got a nine. So I’m going to say the wine was “strong”. So he has an intoxication level of 9 at the moment. Not enough to cross the threshold so everything is basically just flavor.

The sting of pain and the warm ooze of blood from his side brings him to startling clarity. It was a setup, but was she in on it? He wasn’t sure yet, either she was a very convincing actress or she really did look up at him with that pleading fear in her eyes.

Renchant curses and utters a spell and the air blurs around him, shifting and melding with him, making him harder to spot here one moment then not, the illusion shifts an image of him moving a step to the left and to the right backwards, randomly.

Three attackers rush to surround him wielding scimitars and maces while a fourth grabs Tatyana and struggles with her. She screams and bites his arm, but he holds fast.

With so many weapons trying to hit Rehchant, it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets lucky. Sure enough, a dagger scores the surface of his forearm. Renchant hisses from the pain but he resists the poison again.

They get DISADV but still one rolled high on both rolls.

And the leader (a Thug) gets ADV if his allies are within 5 feet of his target, so his ADV and the DISADV will cancel each other out here. He hits Renchant twice, both solid blows 15 hits total. Ouch... Rechant is under half hits and he failed his concentration save so Blur goes away. Not good. The only lucky thing is his mace isn’t coated with poison.

The blows hammered into Renchant. He blocked one with his staff, but the blow still shook him and slammed him down on one knee. Another near parry knocked him onto his back and he collapsed onto the ground, groaning, the spell gone from his mind. Bleary eyes looking at the snow falling down from the gray uncaring skies.

The man grinned and raised his mace.

Renchant uttered a word of command and a wave of force combined with a thunderclap pushed the men and snow away from him, forcing them backward. One flew into the trunk of a tree, snow and dead branches falling down on him. Others slammed into walls. They were shaken and groaning but not seriously hurt. He had little time. He picked himself up.

He rolled some meh damage... 5 total and those two made their Con save only took 2.

Renchant didn’t want to leave the weeping girl, but he couldn’t handle all these assailants at once. He had to somehow even the odds. “Be brave!” he told her. Then he ran back the way he came. His spell had created an opening and so he wasn’t engaged in his flight back down the alley.

Did his friends hear the Thunderclap?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Will they come investigate? I’ll say SL. They don’t know it’s Renchant who’s in trouble.
(Somewhat Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...

No, but they wake up, grab weapons and are alert.

“After him!” the leader roars, and Renchant’s assailants are in pursuit.

The one that had hold of Tatyana runs up and grabs the girl again just as she is attempting to flee after Renchant. She bites the bandit’s hand but he continues to hold her.

One of the others chases after Renchant and slashes at his back.

 Renchant turns and the blade collides with his magical defenses. A spiderweb of cracks appears momentarily in an energy shield around him. (mage armor).

He’s in the narrow alleyway and the others can’t reach him. One picks up his cross bow and moves out and aims a shot passed his ally.

What does the leader do?
Create / Intrigues

Great... a thinking foe. I’ll say that he knows of a way to get behind Renchant, by moving up and over the roof, difficult terrain.

Does he pick up his crossbow first?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

He picks it up and then takes his time climbing up where a cart with goods is stacked near the roof. He gets advantage next turn on his Climb.

Rechant’s turn... He raises his staff and points at the Bandit in front of him. He casts scorching ray. Three rays of fire erupt from his hand illuminating the alleyway momentarily in hissing orange light that melts the snow.

He’ll send all three rays into one man in front of him. Maybe that’ll force them to flee seeing at least one of their own perish.

Critical hit on the first
No need to roll the others... the first kills him.
He chars the man’s head and chest as spear of flame lance into him. The man is slammed backwards and lays steaming in the alleyway.

“Now... you’ve made me angry,” Renchant hisses as the smoke rises from the burning man. “Leave the girl and craw back into whatever hole you came from before you all end up six feet under.”

He’ll try an Intimidation roll on the guard that’s looking at him in the alley. I’ll say it’s medium hard DC of 17... since they do have him outnumbered. Then again one of their own just had his face charred off. I’ll say he gets advantage on his roll.

Total of 15 with adv. They’re not intimidated.

Bandit 2 spends his time immobilizing the girl, tying leather bands around her hands and feet and shoving her face first into the snow.

Bandit 6 who had seen his buddy get his face melted off, raises his crossbow and shoots at Renchant and then ducks around the corner not wanting to get a face full of fire spears himself.
Rolls a 9 and misses.

Tatyana is face first on the ground spitting snow and thrashing against her bonds, but is for all intents and purposes immobile, though she could roll around I guess since he didn’t tie her to anything. She’s not gagged though and lets out a ear-splitting scream.

Do Renchant’s companions come?
(Somewhat Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...

Still no... No reinforcements today. His friends figure there were lots of guards about earlier and that the guards must be taking care of things.

Are there guards about right now?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Not at the moment. The attackers knew their routes and attacked when their patrols would be furthest from the inn.

The Thug, climbs the roof. DC 15 with the snow I’ll say but he has adv. A 19 puts him firmly on top of the roof for one action. For his other, he loads his crossbow.

Renchant can see bandit 2 pressing the girl down into the snow. Just as the man stands and pulls up his crossbow, Renchant sends three shafts of fire into the man as well (another Scorching Ray).

He hits on all three and the spears stab into the man sending him tripping over the girl and falling back, steaming and blackened into the tree.

For his other action, he calls his familiar out of the Ether to be the drone in the sky and give him situational awareness. He can see the Thug climbing atop the roof, his crossbow out.

Bandit 6 slides out, shoots again and then ducks again around the corner.

Tatyana rolls over to the fallen bandit and begins rubbing her bonds against the scimitar’s edge.

Renchant commands his familiar to fly about the Thugs’ head just as he reaches the v of the roof. The Thug, distracted with the batting of wings about his face, has to make a balance check to remain atop the roof. DC is 17 I’ll say. He rolled a 16 but doesn’t have an ability bonus and so slides.

Fall backwards?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

He falls backwards and slides off the roof, spinning around as he falls, so at least he isn’t falling.

Does he fall onto the cart?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 9[d10]) Yes

So instead of taking 3d6, he’ll only take 2d6 falling dmg. He falls hard onto the cart and is bruised and battered and angered more than anything else. He picks himself up and decides the roof is not worth the effort and dashes around the alley intent on finishing Renchant.

Did he lose his crossbow in his fall:

(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

But he draws his mace.

Renchant opens his hands and three vibrating orbs of force slam into the Thug (magic missile) as he rounds the corner, rocking the man backwards, nearly dropping him. Cursing and groaning, blood dripping from the man’s mouth, the large presses onward rushing towards Renchant, his bloodlust up (R. gave him 12 additional damage) the Thug is now quite hurt.

Does Bandit 6 notice that Tatyana is free?
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

He moves up behind the Thug and shoots at Renchant over his shoulder.

And he criticals against Renchant and thankfully only gives 6 additional damage to Renchant. But mages aren’t really damage soakers. Renchant only has 3 HPs before he goes down. It's going to come down to who lands the next blow.

Tatyana, now free of her restraints, snatches up the scimitar and she dashes up behind Bandit 6, slashing at his back. It wasn’t an elegant attack. The man spun and raised his forearm to ward off the blow, but she brought the blade down club-like on arm and then onto his head, screaming as she does so. He lies bleeding into the snow.

Renchant’s owl familiar flies down around the Thugs head, distracting it (it’ll be DISADV to attack). The Thug ignores the owl, ignores the girl, and with a roar, attacks Renchant.

Good thing he was at disadvantage. He missed.

Renchant, shouts, tilts his staff towards the man and three more shards of dark force slam into the thug giving him 12 more damage, just as the mace is about to smite Renchant down. Instead, the shards of night send the large man flying backwards, sliding in the snow at the alley, dead.

Renchant, bloodied and bruised, with torn and sodden robes, leans heavily on his staff and looks at an equally battered Tatyana across from him in the alleyway. A certain something passes between them. A moment of shared survival.

“I think you owe me another massage, girl,” he says with a bit of a huff.

Smiling with relief, she nods her hands shaking with her death grip on the scimitar. “You’ve earned it master mage!”

They quickly pick through the bodies. Tatyana takes a scimitar and a light crossbow. They head back to the inn.

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

(10-06-2021, 02:33 AM)Jingo Wrote: (Text wouldn't paste with formatting/colors from Google Docs for some reason, so just pasting it as plain text with minimal formatting)

I had a lot of issues when posting my last Eastern Wastes chapter as well. Colors and formatting was fine, but text was microscopic. Looked like nothing but lines. Took a while but I finally figured out I could fix it selecting all and bumping up the text size globally. I wonder if there was an update to either Google docs or MyCode that makes them not play nice together.

Quote:(and because adventurers go on adventures)

And really, that is the only reason we need.

Quote:This still seems like more of a job for a rogue or a bard--not sure if this party has the right skill set. But we’ll see.

Adventurers always have the right skill set.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)