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Mannix, level 5 Human Inquisitive Rogue/Wizard
Khaless, level 5 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 5 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 5 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 5 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
Note: The Typhoon Palace is not originally from Tomb of Annihilation. It appears in the Torte Package by Wizards of the Coast. I’ve adapted it to our campaign.
It can be nerve-wracking as a DM to present a dungeon with multiple twining paths, never knowing exactly how and when certain encounters will be triggered, and others may be skipped altogether. I was most pleased to find my lovely party stumble across every major trap and obstacle as they delved deeper into the Typhoon Palace, searching for Gillian’s brother.
The party short rested after the specter fight from last week, then inspected the nearby throne. My initial plan with the throne was a simple psychic damage trap with a bit of flavoring, knowing my party couldn’t leave a throne un-sat (thanks George). They ended up focusing on it and treating it as more of a puzzle, so I quickly rolled with it. I added a bit of dialogue for when Gillian sat on it, hearing the voice of Umberlee – or was it the priestess? – taunting her.
The way east teased a sea-crushing watery cave and a rickety bridge connecting caves beyond. The party smartly took one look and nope’d down the southern hallway. The west doors opened up into a terraced garden, with the only thing of note a gazeebo.
No self-respecting player can resist a fine gazeebo, especially one littered with animal bones and glinting coins. The original Tortle Package had a unique Decapus creature sitting in there, but as I’m scaling things up a bit I went ahead and threw in a Roper.
Ropers are fun as hell, with big AC and HP pools, insane 50-ft tendrils that reel up to four people in at a time and a crazy powerful bite attack. The PCs were suitably perturbed at this monstrosity, trying at first to free themselves, then focusing on the beast itself. Every one of my bite attacks hit for 15-25 damage, and it lasted for at least three attacks, prompting another short rest after they finally took it down. Impressive for a single solitary creature!
For their efforts they were rewarded with a Ring of Water Walking.
They went east back inside the palace, and south into a lounge area. The spirits were restless here but instead of manifesting as actual spirits possessing armor, it was a bunch of poltergeist-style objects. I used the Animated Objects spell to make one large couch, two medium chairs, and two small vases. This fight wasn’t nearly as painful as the previous, but it was pretty funny as PCs dodged couch slams and clawed at vases. They found another holy symbol of Umberlee, which they gave to George.
Back in the main crossroads hallway they could see down the eastern length toward a glowing orb, crackling with energy. Three more doors lie down the hallway, the one to the south with a warning sign for Priests Only written in Aquan.
Mannix, wearing the first holy symbol they found, slowly approached the crackling orb, feeling a tingling in his symbol. But Therin-bear bounded up behind him, triggering the lighting trap to crackle down the length of the hallway.
It wasn’t the most damaging trap but it was a recurring one. I put the PCs in initiative and let them figure out how to deal with it. Naturally they thought violence was the answer at first, trying to attack the case that held the orb, though some of them ducked inside the nearest room.
The room led to a bedchamber. Once again Gillian’s vision blurred and she saw a scene of the past, this one with her brother and the high priestess as lovers. The brother was still concerned about his sister, and how she “wouldn’t understand” their relationship.
The vision faded. After a few ranged attacks from Gillian and George directed at the orb, Mannix reached it and cracked the case enough to remove the orb. It gave off one final lightning blast, with Mannix glad he took the Dungeon Delver feat. The orb lie inert, though appears to be a decently valuable gem.
Heeding the warning on the southern door, Mannix and George gingerly stepped into the bloodstained hallway (okay, George pushed Mannix!). Nothing happened, but they felt tingling sensations in their holy symbols, and told the others they should stay put. The room was filled with crates, barrels, and chests, presumably stolen cargo from the ship days.
Meanwhile Khaless and Gillian explored a nearby kitchen (or rather peeked inside, Khaless saw knives and other utensils and send NOPE), and then delved deeper into the bedroom, where a back door led to a small storage room.
Unfortunately Mannix wasn’t with them, and she waltzed right through a glyph of warding, triggering a blast of cold energy. Her superior DEX shrugs off many damaging traps, but poor Gillian was caught in the blast, going down as a result. Therin rushed up to heal and revive her. Khaless found some moldy captain’s logs books that could be worth some coin, as well as another holy symbol of Umberlee.
These symbols appear to be the key to getting around, as Mannix has discovered. But more of the palace’s secrets await.
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