ScalesOfWarSandbox

The Celebration Feast (an Epilogue)

With a final blow, the mud lord king falls at the heroes feet. Dark brown mud seeps out from a large gash running across his vocal sack. The group begins a frantic search to find the mysterious Keaen Swiller.

Caedus is the first to find him, curled in the corner of a mud hut. Dried blood and mud stains the stranger’s clothes and Caedus fears the worst. Hearing his call for help, Sonnet and Mahel rush to Caedus. After a closer inspection, they find faint traces of life, and with there healing skills are able to stabalize the injured man.

Meanwhile, Sardis, Aelar and Machu Pichu group up with their lizardfolk allies to chase off or strike down any remaining bullywugs from the camp. Once everything has calmed, the lizardfolk named Dactyl approaches.

“On behalf of my tribe, I thank you,” he says in a deep, raspy voice. “I am told that Tik’Coxyl, the one you call Keaen, is badly injured. We shall take him back to our camp and have our shamans see to him. You and your allies will join us at a feast this evening in honor of the great spirits of battle.”


The feast is an amazing experience. For all but Machu Pichu, the event is like none they have ever seen. The lizardfolk don elaborate headdresses and necklaces, they paint their bodies in extremely detailed designs. With surprise grace they dance around bonfires and chant. They are soon joined by semi-transparent creatures that look like a hodge-podge of different animals. These creatures are their spirit guides. Machu joins the festivities as the others watch in awe.


The following day, Keaen is well enough to travel. He bids farewell to his lizardfolk friends and leads you through the swamp back to Brindol. After hearing the story of his rescue, Keaen fills in some missing pieces.

“The lizardfolk – they are very territorial bunch. The Deep Heathen Swamps is their home and they have been known to kill those that trespass. Several years ago, a handful of young men decide to prove themselves as fancy, brave heroes by entering the swamps and bringing back the head of a lizardfolk. The bodies of all five were discovered outside the town’s main gate two days later. Well, everything except their heads.

Before the town council sent the town guard to ‘wipe out’ the lizardfolk, I managed to step in and resolve the situation peacefully. After about a year of building a relationship between myself and the lizardfolk, they invited me to partake in a sacred ritual that made me a member of their tribe. They named me Tik’Coxyl, which roughly translates to ‘Outsider With Respect’".

A couple months ago, the bullywugs arrived from somewhere in the south. There was a large battle and both sides lost many warriors. The swamp itself seemed to be suffering from their presence. Many of the animals and spirits that inhabited this land vanished. The plants became bitter and the trees began to wilt. I tried to talk to them in the same manner I first approached the lizardfolk, but they attacked me on sight.

I guess they saw me as a threat and tried to attack me in the woods north of Brindol. That’s why the lizardfolk shamans placed that glyph in my house. To warn me of another attack. And so when I felt the magic seal break as the bullywugs attacked, I grabbed my crossbow, bolts and began donning my armor. But unfortunately, the bullywugs had sent their mud men as scouts. As soon as they saw me awake, they attacked and held me until the bullywugs could take me down.

It seems the bullywugs were hoping to pinpoint my death on the lizardfolk to start another incident between them and Brindol. Lucky for me, though, you all showed up and were able to set things right."

Now, as you can imagine, the town was in an uproar. The council was formulating plans to hire mercenaries to storm across the swamps and slaughter the entire population. But that didn’t seem right to me, so I volunteered to handle the situation without payment. In return, the council would have to agree to give me two weeks before sending in mercenaries. They agreed as long as no other civilians were killed.

I had visited the outskirts of the swamps on occasion, but never had I journey more than a half mile in. In all truth, it was a scary thing to do. But I did it anyway. Walked right in. Now, I was careful to not disturb anything and to avoid as many of the creatures that live here as possible. And I was extra careful to look for any signs of the lizardfolk. Once i found something, I sat down and waited. For three days I waited until I heard a branch snap out in the high grasses. Everything became suddenly still and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. And as I peered through the foliage and the grass, I could just make out the outline of a lizardfolk. He was just crouching there, watching me. So, I continued to sit.

The next day I shot a panther, brought it to the same spot, skinned it, butchered it and then left it there. When I returned the next day, it was gone. I then began to bring other gifts. Small tokens that I carved from wood or beads I made from rocks and clay.

Eventually, when I arrived at my spot, I found something waiting for me. It was a necklace and a small medallion carved from bone and decorated with panther teeth. Two days after that, three lizardfolk stepped out of the foliage and grass to talk. Over a few more days, I was able to clarify the situation with them and they agreed to try to be more lenient towards trespassing townsfolk.

Brindol seemed happy having some sort of rules and order regarding the situation in place. The council forbid granting any city resources toward attacking the lizardfolk in retaliation of any slain trespassers."

Notes

We didn’t have a lot of time after the last session for a wrap-up, so I sent the above through email.

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Rescue in the Swamps

After their short rest, the part heads towards the center of the camp. They presence is discovered quickly and the bullywugs respond with force. Female bullywugs and children run for safety as a skirmish breaks out. On the other side of camp, the lizardfolk begin their attack.

The bullywug chieftain has little regard for his warriors and attacks the heroes with multiple area of effect spells that also damage his allies. For a moment, this tactic seemed to work as both Hadrian and Aelar were knocked unconscious, but the tables turned with a majestic word from Sonnet.

After slaying the cheiftain, Machu Pichu found Keaen drugged and restrained in a mud hut nearby. In celebration of their victory, the lizardfolk invite the heroes back to their camp for a feast.

Notes

This was a relatively short session as it really only included one “boss” encounter and a division of treasure.

Current Quests

  • Return to Red Magic and Sundries in a weeks’ time to see magical items that Tamond Webb has procured. (Caedus)
  • Deliver the 15 pieces of marsh root to Tamond Webb. (Sonnet)
  • Lorak Balefrost, owner of the Thirsty Zombie, is concerned about his nephew. Search the road leading to Port Haven for any clues to the nephew’s whereabouts.
  • An exotic pet trainer named Fenton Graylock is looking to hire adventures in Brindol.
  • Search for information about the demon Belfagor. (Caedus)
  • Restore honor to the Aubrek family. (Hadrian)
  • Find someone worthy of protecting. (Sardis)
  • Return to Jalissa. (Hadrian)
  • Avoid being discovered by the Bronzeknuckle Brothers. (Aelar)
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Establishing an Alliance

Fresh from their victory against the bullywug scouting party, the heroes decide to seek out the local lizardfolk and ask for their assistance. Unfamiliar with the territory, the heroes relied on Hadrian to guide the way. Hadrian was able to successfully track a small group of lizardfolk, but the trek crossed paths with a swampy lagoon of unhappy crocodiles. The party was able to adjust the crocodiles’ mood to a more neutral emotion with only a few swords and spells to the face.

At last, the heroes encountered the lizardfolk party that they had been tracking. Approaching with caution, Sonnet, followed by Sardis and Aelar, introduced themselves and explained their situation. The lizardfolk in charge seemed to believe enough of their tale to send a scout to fetch the tribe’s leader.

Convincing the tribe leader of the authenticity of the party’s tale was much more difficult. If not for the charisma and skills of Sonnet, the party would have surely failed. However, an uneasy alliance was agreed upon. The tribe leader agreed to send a handful of warriors to lead the party to the bullywug camp and assist in the assault.

The assault on the camp would take place on two different areas. The heroes were given the task of crossing a very shallow, but wide river and attacking the bullywugs from the east. The lizardfolk attacked from the west.

The battle for the river’s shore was hard fought. The party made quick work of the initial guards, but the reinforcements from within the camp were much hardier opponents. Still, like before, the heroes were successful. Before continuing onward, the party decided to take a small rest to regroup and catch their breaths.

Notes

Mark, who plays Machu Pichu, was unable to attend the session at the last moment. His character was played by Lauren. Sonnet was able to locate and safely dig up the remaining pieces of marsh root that he needed to deliver to Tamond Webb.

Current Quests

  • Return to Red Magic and Sundries in a weeks’ time to see magical items that Tamond Webb has procured. (Caedus)
  • Deliver the 15 pieces of marsh root to Tamond Webb. (Sonnet)
  • Discover Keaen Swiller’s fate. (Machu)
  • Lorak Balefrost, owner of the Thirsty Zombie, is concerned about his nephew. Search the road leading to Port Haven for any clues to the nephew’s whereabouts.
  • An exotic pet trainer named Fenton Graylock is looking to hire adventures in Brindol.
  • Search for information about the demon Belfagor. (Caedus)
  • Restore honor to the Aubrek family. (Hadrian)
  • Find someone worthy of protecting. (Sardis)
  • Return to Jalissa. (Hadrian)
  • Avoid being discovered by the Bronzeknuckle Brothers. (Aelar)
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The Deep Heathen Swamps

The next morning, the party gathers outside of the Thirsty Zombie as discussed. While waiting for everyone to show up, Hadrian uses the scroll of Cure Disease to cure Caedus of his affliction. The process took a toll on the tiefling, but he survived the ordeal.

Once everyone arrived, the party debated on what path to take next. A couple of people wanted to pursue the rumors of people disappearing on the road to the north. Others wanted to continue investigating Keaen’s disappearance and head for the Deep Heathen Swamps to the south. In the end, the swamp vote won and the party began their journey.

Arriving at the swamp, the party was welcomed by a storm brewing in the distance. Their first encounter consisted of a fight with a shambling mound, a blood vine and a few drowned zombies. Sonnet and Mahel collected some marsh root for Tamond Webb and the party continued on.

They came to a shallow riverbed. It’s slick mud forced the party to move cautiously. The storm continued to drench the heroes and a small flash flood began to sweep through the river bed. As the water level began to rise, a group of bullywugs and a bog toad leapt out of hiding and attacked the party.

Swords clanged and spells whizzed through the air as the water continued to rise. Logs and debris from further up stream floated quickly past the combatants, threatening to knock prone anybody who got in its way.

During the combat, Sonnet yelled to the bullwug Mud Lord that they were only interested in finding Keaen and this fight was unnecessary. Upon hearing Keaen’s name, the Mud Lord becomes even more angered. One of the bullywug grapplers croaked out, “He is ours! You cannot have him!”

In the end, the party slew the bullywugs and the giant toad.

Notes

In the second encounter, i tried to do something a little different than usual with the floating debris and the harsh terrain. If i were to run it again, i would definitely change a few things, but on the whole, i think it worked fairly well.

Current Quests

  • Return to Red Magic and Sundries in a weeks’ time to see magical items that Tamond Webb has procured. (Caedus)
  • Collect 15 pieces of marsh root for Tamond Webb. (Sonnet)
  • Discover Keaen Swiller’s fate. (Machu)
  • Lorak Balefrost, owner of the Thirsty Zombie, is concerned about his nephew. Search the road leading to Port Haven for any clues to the nephew’s whereabouts.
  • An exotic pet trainer named Fenton Graylock is looking to hire adventures in Brindol.
  • Search for information about the demon Belfagor. (Caedus)
  • Restore honor to the Aubrek family. (Hadrian)
  • Find someone worthy of protecting. (Sardis)
  • Return to Jalissa. (Hadrian)
  • Avoid being discovered by the Bronzeknuckle Brothers. (Aelar)
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New Beginings

The day after their return from Rivenroar Keep, the heroes spend the morning looking for work in Brindol. On Councilmen Troyas’ suggestion, Sardis visits the Thirsty Zombie run by a half-elf named Lorak Balefrost. The Thirsty Zombie is known to be a promising locale for mercenaries and adventurers looking for work.

Lorak, himself, has a job for the heroes. His cousin left Port Haven with a cart full of dwarven ale over a week ago and has not yet arrived in Brindol. Another half-elf, Aelar, overhears the bartenders plight and asks Sardis if he may join in on the search. The bartender also mentions that a Brindol resident, Fenton Graylock, may also have a job for the heroes.

Hadrian arrives at the Thirsty Zombie with news from the Shrine of the Sun. Cale Graylock knows of a graveyard in the northern woods that’s infested with undead. He would like the heroes to clear them out so that he can perform final rites over the dead.

Lorak is then approached by a goliath named Machu Pichu. The goliath is searching for a man named Keaen Swiller. The bartender has met the man and knows that he lives in the woods to the north. He suggests that the goliath speak with Tura Fletcher, a jewelery merchant. Tura is a friend of Keaen’s and knows the approximate location of his cabin. She draws a map for Machu and the goliath returns to the Thirsty Zombie to find aid.

With the addition of Aelar and Machu Pichu, the party prepares to head north into the woods. Before leaving, Caedus visits Red Robes and Sundries, a magic shop run by Tamond Webb. Caedus mentions that he is looking for possible black-market magical items. Tamond requests 50 gold and agrees to have items within a week’s time.

The party then leaves Brindol and heads north. After a brief encounter with some ettercaps, the heroes arrive at Swiller’s cabin.

NOTES

This is the first session of the open world/sandbox game. Two new characters, Aelar (Corey) and Machu Pichu (Mark), joined the party.

Current Quests

  • Eliminate the undead lingering at the ancient Nerath graveyard for Cale Graylock at Shrine of the Sun in Brindol.
  • Return to Red Magic and Sundries in a weeks’ time to see magical items that Tamond Webb has procured. (Caedus)
  • Locate Keaen Swiller. (Machu)
  • Lorak Balefrost, owner of the Thirsty Zombie, is concerned about his nephew. Search the road leading to Port Haven for any clues to the nephew’s whereabouts.
  • An exotic pet trainer named Fenton Graylock is looking to hire adventures in Brindol.
  • Search for information about the demon Belfagor. (Caedus)
  • Restore honor to the Aubrek family. (Hadrian)
  • Find someone worthy of protecting. (Sardis)
  • Return to Jalissa. (Hadrian)
  • Avoid being discovered by the Bronzeknuckle Brothers. (Aelar)
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Previously....

Here is a brief history of what occurred during the first adventure of the Scales of War campaign.

  • The town of Brindol was ransacked by hobgoblins wearing the symbol of the Order of the Red Hand. During the attack, the hobgoblins stole some of the town’s artifacts and kidnapped seven people.
  • Councilmember Edward Troyas asked the heroes to find the hobgoblins, save the people and recover the artifacts.
  • After causing a riot, the heroes convinced a hobgoblin captive to tell them the location of the hobgoblin’s hideout. It’s Castle Rivenroar!
  • While traveling to Castle Rivenroar, the heroes got lost and disrupted a bunch of Kuthiks.
  • While camped outside of Rivenroar, the party had a bizzare shared dream. In the dream, the party was confronting a powerful demon named Belfagor! The demon insinuated that he was able to enter this world through the actions of Caedus. The demon also mentioned he first met Caedus at the Tower of the Sealed Portal.
  • As expected, Castle Rivenroar is full of various goblinoids.
  • Unexpectedly, the castle also seems to be inhabited by a health population of undead.
  • While searching the castle, the heroes defeated a trio of ettercaps and found the dead body of Kartenix, the guard captain of Brindol and father to one of the other captives.
  • Undeterred by the loss of the captain, the party moved onward and discovered Jalissa, an acolyte of Ioun. She seems quite shaken and clings to Hadrian.
  • Down in the depths of Castle Rivenroar, the heroes found the Hobgoblin leader, Sinruth! He attacked with a chain weapon with much skill, but the heroes defeat him easily!
  • Also in the Castle, you found an alter to Bane. Under closer examination, the heroes discovered that it originally was dedicated to Vecna!
  • Tired and beaten from the day’s battles, the heroes set up a make-shift camp inside the keep.
  • Before long, their rest was interrupted by a hobgoblin patrol. The hobgoblins discovered Sinruth’s body and were searching for intruders. A fight erupts. As the hobgoblins begin to lose the battle, they fled into the next room, alerting others of the heroes’ presence.
  • The fight continued to grow as the heroes’ enemies continue to flee into adjoining hallways and rooms. The heroes battle hobgoblins, were-rats, a carnage demon and a magic-wielding gnome. Eventually, the heroes are victorious and seek shelter in the keep’s temple.
  • Once rested, the heroes continue to explore the keep. They come upon the undead that haunt the ancient structure and quickly put an end to their “lives”.
  • Further exploration of Rivenroar Keep only reveals the bodies of the kidnapped villagers. Apparently, once Sinruth’s body was discovered and any patrols sent to the lower levels did not return, the remaining hobgoblins killed the hostages and fled.
  • With the town’s artifacts in hand and only one surviving villager, the heroes head back to Brindol.
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