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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.
The latter half of the Typhoon Palace was more linear, but featured a great balance of combat, environmental hazards, and big story moments.
While the devil on my shoulder loves seeing a separated party, they knew better than to touch anything without joining back up. Mannix used mage hand to shuffle the holy symbols around, making sure no one crossed the foreboding, bloodstained hallway without wearing one, avoiding a potentially deadly trap in the process.
Once safely ferried across into the treasury the party could help themselves to piles of chests, crates, barrels and coins. Or so they thought. It’s Mimic time! A pair of mimics sprang to life to attack the PCs, starting with George.
Their bite can do nasty damage but they need to hit with their sticky tongues first, and the dice just weren’t with me here. Given their low AC, the mimics didn’t put up much of a fight. The PCs helped themselves to a huge loot haul, including 200 gp, several trinkets worth some money, some potions, and a magical set of bagpipes for Gillian, The Bagpipes of the Stormy Sea (1/day each: Protection from Energy (Lightning only), Animal Friendship (Swim speed only), Call Lightning, Water Breathing, Tidal Wave, and Wind Wall).
This was a great reward as the player had literally just been bemoaning her lack of options when her spell slots were running on empty during the Mimic fight. The PCs hadn’t had to deal with such a lengthy dungeon before and all these fights were draining their resources. They had their 3rd short rest after the mimic fight and most were out of hit dice.
The giant Umberlee statue head was magical but wasn’t responding to the symbols. Gillian heard her brother’s voice coming from the south, so they headed down the hallway and into a room, where they found an old diver’s cage that held the ghost of her brother, Sibburath.
He explained the situation, how he and the high priestess fell in love, how the attack was all a mistake, and how they tried to escape the life and ended up in Chult. But Umberlee wouldn’t let them go, cursing them all, mutating some, and ultimately convincing the high priestess to kill him. He explained that they need to destroy her to finally end her hold on this place, freeing his spirit.
Except for one little problem – spirits are getting sucked into the Soul Monger. Sibburath opted to posses an important item that belonged to Gillian to protect his spirit while the Soul Monger is in effect. My original idea was to use the trinket that Gillian rolled at the beginning of the campaign – the jar of lard (!), but I enjoyed the PCs’ suggestion of her Flying Monkey even more. The soul her brother entered her servant monkey, and also bestows a once per day spell slot boost ability.
He explained that entering the hidden caves in the back requires a password. The party returned to the treasury room and recited the Umberlee prayer to the giant head statue, which opened up to reveal sea-soaked caverns.
Inside they found a pair of mutated lizard lobsters (Chuul). Chuul can be quite nasty with decent HP and AC, multi-attack that can grab, and paralyzing tentacles. Unlike the mimic fight the dice were definitely on my side here, even nailing hits while Blinded from Mannix’s Silverlight dagger. I was so successful with grappling that at one point I had to start throwing PCs to free up their pincers for attacks, but eventually they were worn down.
At the back of the caverns the PCs could choose to cross a rickety bridge, or a flooding, water slide-inducing tunnel. The PCs opted for the latter. Despite STR being the Achilles heel of the party, only Khaless was dragged outside into the sea cave, where she promptly was able to ride the waves back in, though taking damage throughout.
The final room held a giant tentacled sea monster statue and the cloaked, mutated high priestess, who was eager to end Gillian and put an end to the curse. I used a modified Kraken stat block, and gave her the ability to animate the statue as a reaction, grabbing approaching PCs and restraining them, which all but knocked Therin-bear out of the fight. But by the time her first round came around and she could unleash her big AOE frightened ability, Khaless and George were already in her face, and it was curtains.
All that was left was to clean up a Chuul and the party had finally cleansed the area of Umberlee’s presence, freeing the spirits within. They will finally reach level 6 at the start of our next session.
Gillian had found her brother, or his spirit at least. The quest for the Soul Monger continues.
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