Support my channel via Patreon!
Mannix, level 7 Human Inquisitive Rogue/Wizard
Khaless, level 7 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 7 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 7 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 7 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
Finally out of our extended underground excursion, it’s time to make our way toward Omu and catch up on major story developments.
After a string of big fights in Wyrmheart Mine and Hrakhamar, it was time to dial things back a bit as the party traveled across the Valley of Lost Honor towards Omu. And officially level up to seven!
This bit of travel represents the final overland jungle travel in Chult in this campaign, and a chance to unleash any lingering encounters. I had very little desire to throw down any random combat encounters, however, instead opting to describe their travel in a montage format while still sprinkling in events, like seeing the Firenewt army constantly watching them from afar, a message from Xandala that she had made it to Omu, and a creepy tease from the Sewn Sisters night hags that the Steel Predator was still hunting the party, and closing in fast.
Xandala was able to communicate via the Sending Stone she had given Mannix, and relayed her polymorphed flyby of the lost city, sunken deep in the jungle, and surrounded by 100 ft-cliffs. An entrance with stairs lie in the southwest, and it’s there our heroes headed.
When the cracked and blistering wasteland of the volcanic valley began giving way to jungle the party meant an unusual search party. A trio of frost giants and a pair of winter wolves were combing through the jungle looking for Artus Cimber. Or specifically, his Ring of Winter.
Mannix did a great job explaining their own goal of finding Artus, and even suggesting that they join forces. Although it makes perfect sense in hindsight, I was wholly unprepared for this. For the rest of this session, I did more improving than I think I’ve had to do yet in this campaign.
Mannix continued to lead everyone toward Omu, while the frost giants explained that they wanted the Ring of Winter to transform and rule an ice-covered world. While the party tried to figure out a way to ditch or even kill them, they were ambushed by the Steel Predator (MToF) right outside of Omu.
The mechanical hunter crated by the Sewn Sisters had caught up to them once again and unleashed its Stunning Roar, stunning almost everyone in the party, including the giants and wolves.
Yet after the initial salvo, all of the stunned PCs made the DC 19 CON saving throw on the next turn. They were able to spread out and hammer on the predator, along with their frost giant allies who were none too happy to be attacked. The predator lasted several rounds, tearing into George and Khaless, but I missed the 33% chance to recharge its roar for several turns. Then when I finally did get to unleash it again at half the party, I rolled abysmally for the damage – 10 damage on a 5d10!
With a bit of help from the Frost Giants (though not as much as you’d think), the party was able to defeat this nightmarish hunter. George destroyed it with a whirlwind of blade strikes, revealing the hag eye implanted in its head, which dissolved while the night hags cried out across the ethereal plane.
In the aftermath Mannix noticed a man with a bow and arrow trained squarely on a frost giant. The man was hidden in the nearby brush, along with a strange dinosaur humanoid carrying a large sword. Mannix used the Message cantrip to communicate with the man, quickly realizing they had indeed stumbled upon the legendary adventurer Artus Cimber.
Mannix defused the tense situation, telling Artus he was hired by his daughter, that the frost giants will probably kill him for the ring, and that he should back off and they can meet up later. Things got a bit complicated when one of the winter wolves picked up the scent, but the party did a humorous job of trying to distract it, allowing Artus and his companion to sneak away.
Omu lie before them, but the party were know wanting to ditch the giants to meet up with Artus. They have a lot of different options at level 7, and it’s always fun as a DM to hear players deliberate on how best to solve a challenge. Ultimatey they decided to wait until only one wolf was awake (short rest only then folks!), and use Mannix’s Phantasmal Force to project an illusion of Gillian’s hut, and Therin’s Pass Without Trace to sneak away.
The wolf made the INT save, however. Gillian (played by Heather this week) attempted to use Sleep, but even at a higher level it wasn’t quite enough to put the CR 3 winter wolf to sleep. Khaless used Darkness, but the wolf doesn’t rely on sight as much as smell and sound.
The ace in the hole was a combination of Therin’s Pass Without Trace and some truly insane stealth rolls from the entire party, with half rolling 20+ even without the spell’s +10. I ruled that they definitely slipped away, but the wolf also sounded the alarm. As the party run toward Artus, the giants are rousing to action. We’ll see how this confrontation plays out next time!
Support my channel via Patreon!