Saltmarsh

Spirits from the Vasty Deep

But will they come when you do call for them?

After talking to Tennagak, the Lizardfolk Chieftain, you retreated to your room to rest up after your battle against Stenchbrute and the dragon wyrmling.

After almost two hours of rest, your door is knocked on and you are summoned by an officer to see the chief. Arriving, you find the chieftain, an officer, a shaman, and a hunched old lizard man at the far end of the room, as well as a dozen kobolds in the center. The tiny reptilian creatures look angry.

The chieftain explains that, as members of the alliance, the kobolds have a grievance against you and you have been summoned to clear the air. The leader of the kobolds explains (roughly) that you have killed their lord, Mirsoth, and that reparations must be made via the sacrifice of one of your group. Taryn, then, engaged his diplomacy skills to drive the kobolds to the tipping point of rage. Combat was joined.

As quickly as it had started, it seemed, it was over again. With the leader and many of his companions killed, Taryn was able to shout an intimidating “Surrender!” command which shook their resolve. The handful of remaining kobolds surrendered immediately, and soon skulked off to collect their things and leave the lair. They were done with the alliance, it seemed.

When asked why they had allied with kobolds at all, the chieftain explained that the small creatures were only interested in acquiring the lair once the lizardfolk were done with it. And now that their “Lord Mirsoth” was dead, they had no ties to the alliance at all. Tennagak seemed bemused, or perhaps relieved, by the events. The shaman had initially seemed hostile to the party, but following your quick victory and display of honour, even she seemed convinced to accept you into the alliance. She grudgingly offered healing to the party, for any who were inured by the kobold attacks, and told each of you that you should go to the temple if you found yourselves needing further healing, but that you should not approach the altar.

With the kobolds gone, however, the chieftain had a small problem: noone was available to guard the north entrance. As new alliance members, he reasoned, it would be good for you all to protect that entrance for the night, until reinforcements could be arranged the next day.

When you arrived at the north entrance, you found that the kobolds had transformed the area completely. Tunnels had been dug, and the dirt and stone had been piled up throughout a room and corridor to create a space that was ideal for the small creatures, but difficult to maneuver for anything larger than a halfling.

You also discovered traps that had been laid to repel unwary intruders: an oil-filled pit trap which you presumed should be lit on fire after victims fall in, and two chute-traps in small, elevated side tunnels which dumped victims into the central oil pit. A cage in a nearby area contains a large number of rats which can be swept into sacks for easy launching at enemies. While not strong in a “fair fight”, kobolds are clever when it comes to trapping and inconveniencing their enemies.

You settled in for the night, with Rakik and Rose keeping watch on the door while others slept or meditated. You were all awake for at least an hour when you heard the first yell. A lizardfolk “shieldwall” ran past you from the east, shouting about a sahuagin attack! Almost immediately after, you heard the first “boom!” from the northern door. Something was trying to bash it open! You readied yourselves and got into positions while you waited for the lock-bar to finally splinter.

When the door did give way, in poured the sahuagin. Two of them immediately fell into the oil pit, splashing oil all over the floor around the pit. Rakik lit the area with a fire bolt. The others were then more cautious, stepping around the pit (though taking damage from the licking flames), while the two oil-covered creatures crawled out and ran out of the lair. The fight began in earnest, then, with the sahuagin squeezing onto the raised piles of dirt and stone, and taking the brunt of attacks from the readied players. Shortly after, two more sahuagin fell down the side chute-traps into the oil pit, and likewise crawled out of the lair, completely alight. They kept coming, but none made it beyond the cramped pile of debris. You were victorious! But you felt sure there were other battles raging around the lair, and so you ran to assist.

Heading east, past the portcullis, you encountered a desperate, strange scene. A large group of sahuagin had cornered a squad of lizardfolk, and were slowly finishing them off, one by one. Looming over them was a horrible abomination: a giant creature with chitinous exoskeleton, huge claws, and ropy tentacles draped from where you imagined its mouth to be. As you entered, the creature had a squirming lizardfolk in one of its claws, whose body went limp as the tentacles draped around it. Then, one of the sahuagin smashed the lantern in the room, dropping it to a mix of dim light and darkness.

Taryn started your attack by launching his javelin of lightning towards the sahuagin leader; missing, but catching a couple of others in the fierce electrical blast. The giant, tentacled creature turned and scuttled directly for Taryn, trying (but failing) to catch him in its mighty claws. Several sahuagin were diverted to deal with you as well.

Rose flew off to survey the area around, presumably to find support or locate other skirmishes.

While the great, horrible lobster was having trouble grabbing up its prey, the sahuagin had pierced Taryn’s armor with crossbow bolts and then seemed driven by bloodlust as they closed on him with teeth bared and tridents in hand. At several points, it seemed like they would feast on his corpse, though magic was always able to keep him conscious and fighting, if barely.

Finally, the huge beast managed to catch Varis and Rakik in its claws and did a terrible amount of damage to each before trying to run its tentacles over Rakik. A kind of poison seemed to be penetrating their skin, but they fought through the effect and retained control of their body. The beast then accidentally dropped Varis to the ground while attempting a tighter grip, but Rakik was not as lucky. They were knocked unconscious by the unyielding force of the claw.

Varis received a mental image from Rose of a battle raging underwater nearby, in one of the sea caves to the east. This image repeated, with the addition of a shark fin in the dim grayness.

Arrow after arrow found their mark through the chitinous beast’s thick armor, until finally it could take no more. Winq drove in the final arrow, and it collapsed to the ground.

The party finished off the remaining few sahuagin and then ran to assist the lizardfolk, but found that most of them were dead or dying on the ground and only one remained. On the bright side, the lizardfolk had managed to kill several of the sahuagin as well.

Varis received an image from Rose of calmed waters, with a couple of lizardfolk climbing out of the water. A shark corpse floated nearby.

The party finished off the normal sahuagin, leaving only a lieutenant with four arms fighting the sole remaining lizardfolk. Several arrows and spells wounded the invader greatly.

At that point, Rose flew in silently and perched for just a moment on the lieutenant’s shoulder before plunging his tail-spike into its neck. Down went the last sahuagin in a heap of unconsciousness.

The lieutenant was dragged into a dry cell and locked in. Oceanus informed Varis that the thing wouldn’t live longer than four hours in that condition, but neither elf seemed bothered by that eventuality.

And that’s where we left off. We can handle the post-battle events via email if you like, so that we’re ready for action by next week.

Rewards:

The kobold fight netted you 300 XP total. The first sahuagin force was worth 1,000 XP, and the second was worth 1,800 XP. This gives a grand total of 3,100 XP, or 516 XP for each of the six of you. This brings you to a total of 3,107 XP, which means…

YOU ARE NOW LEVEL 4!

Congratulations! At level four, in addition to extra hit points, spells, and possibly other class-based features, you each get the choice to either increase your ability scores (like Strength, Intelligence, etc.) or take a “Feat”. This is a difficult and personal choice, so I’ll provide whatever assistance is needed to help you make it.

Treasure:

There is very little treasure to be had from these encounters:

  • The kobolds had little of value beyond some rough-iron daggers.
  • The sahuagin were equipped with a trident, a heavy crossbow, and 20 bolts each, along with a grand total of 200sp spread between them.
  • The sahuagin lieutenant had a spear and 10gp in coin.
  • Varis managed to collect components from “Lord Mirsoth” to potentially go towards the production of potions of acid resistance and maybe even a small suit of magical leather armor. Other components were gathered from the body, which I will detail later as I research the possibilities.

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