This session we’re down to almost half our players, and I’m in a kind of grumpy mood due to the last minute cancellations. We’re down our warlord and our ranger, and I have to do some on the fly adjusting to the encounters to compensate from this.
The initial part of the dungeon is really a quick montage that I narrate for the players. The first parts of the Dragon’s Breath caverns are for “tourists”, amateur spelunkers looking to explore and find some trinkets. The cave walls are marked with chalk for guidance, and there are markerstones along the way that people sign to show how deep they made it in. The PCs see the dragonborn Ketha’s name on here, so they know that he has been here at some point.
They get deeper into the cavern and come to a large stone double-door. Engraved on the doors is a two headed dragon (one head is Bahamut, the other Tiamat), and a marker for the kingdom of Ossa, an ancient kingdom of dragonborn that existed far before the Barony.
This section of the caverns is a dungeon that I built beforehand according to the method I detailed earlier. Spacewise, it’s pretty large –it covers my table when laid out all at once.
The first room the PCs enter is covered with ancient draconic glyphs. It’s difficult for the players to read fully -Tyrst and Arctana both know draconic but this archaic writing is hard for them to translate – but they piece together the names of some families and surmise that this area could be a mausoleum/crypt for dragonborn nobles. In the center of the room are three pairs of stone wedges. In front of each pair are engraved glyphs and scripts. Arctana, our warlock, is able to determine that each pair of stones has in front of it a prayer to Bahamut and a prayer to Tiamat. The warlock decides to then kneel on the stones and utter the prayers before her. The stone door leading into the rest of the mausoleum lifts.
Tyrst, Marc, Arctana and Bobric (we decide to control Chuck’s ranger for the extra manpower), explore the first T-corridor, and see that there are black branches that have punctured through the stone and are growing alongst the cavern walls like vines. They conduct a test, and the Warlock summons a spell to deal radiant damage to some of the branches. The branches recoil, and smoke and crackle as if they are going to burn, but then strange growth returns to its original position.
The next room of the dungeon it the classic swinging pendulum scythe trap. After doing her best to avoid it (eventually I have to let her know that it’s Dungeons and Dragons, not “Cowardice and Consequences” -ah, goading from the DM, gotta love it!), Tyrst dashes across to the other side of the room to access the control panel on the other side of the room. She almost makes it, but gets caught right at the end. She takes a heap of damage, but she is still alive, so she takes a breather (queue healing surges) and disarms the scythes. The players loot the room and continue.
The next room is a tomb with full of dragonborn skeletons. The group lets them have it without much trouble.
The real fight here is a group of dragonborn wights (no special stats, just “skinned” wight stats). There are two “standard” wights and one deathlock. I thought the encounter would be on the easy side, but…wow. These three wights were on the verge of wiping the whole party. On the first round, bobric was planted to the ground by the deathlock, and by the second he was knocked to zero and drained of all healing surges by the wights surrounding him.
At the end of the fight, only the warlock, sniping from the back, had any healing surges. Exhausted, the players looted and then took a much needed extended rest within the tombs of Ossa.
- Blacktree Chronicles #10, Words of Fire, Word of My Father finale.
- Blacktree Chronicles #9, Words of Fire, Words of My Father cont.
- The Blacktree Chronicles #7: The World as Seen Through Shadows.