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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
We’ve returned from a two-week hiatus, and officially begun diving into the shrines of Omu, starting with Shagambi.
The party learned from Orvex, the Red Wizard scholar whom they had rescued here in Omu, that the shrines hold the keys to accessing Acererak’s tomb beneath the city.
The nine shrines are scattered through the city, but the party happened to be just outside of one of them after the shenanigans with the zombies and vegepygmies. Artus and Dragonbait took on the kamadans loitering outside, while the rest of the party ducked inside.
Orvex identified the shrine as Shagambi’s, the honorable kamadan. Reliefs depicted the jaguar-with-snake-hair training Chultan warriors in a series of fighting drills.
The central chambered featured a 20′ deep, 15′ square pit, with bars. Archways led to tunnels to the east and west. Surrounding the pit were four statues of Chultan warriors, clearly missing something in their extended hands, and an empty pedestal. Stairs to the north descended down.
After exploring the small space the party made their way down the stairs, which curved in a tunnel to the west and south before leading east to the barred pit. Therin charged ahead, stepping into the square room and activating the giant pressure plate on the floor. They could hear iron gates raising and the sound of footsteps.
The party smartly decided to split-up, with Therin, Khaless, and George continuing into the tiny arena, while Mannix and Gillian moved back towards the top where they could look down into the pit from relative safety.
Four clay warriors, shaped like Chultan warriors, marched toward the arena, where they were met with the blades (and shillelagh) of the trio in the arena.
A long, brutal battle followed. The Clay Gladiators use a slightly modified Gladiator statblock (CR 5) giving them over 100 hit points and three attacks per round with a +7 to hit. Gillian was able to carefully position a few AOE spells like Tidal Wave and Shatter, but otherwise it was all martial attacks, trading vicious blows back and forth, with lots of parries and dodges.
To help keep everything organized, I created a separate, super-imposed map of the inside of the arena in a different part of the map, anticipating that multiple PCs would want to move around in there with multiple gladiators.
Despite taking heavy damage, all three of the frontline party members stayed in the arena, expertly maneuvering so they evenly distributed the incoming damage against the mindless constructs. None of the PCs went down – though it got close for all three!
As the gladiators fell, their bodies crumbled away – except their spears. The spears teleported into the hands of the statues above. Once the final gladiator was slain and the fourth spear in place, the pedestal opened up to reveal a small cube, imprinted with the image of a kamadan. The party has earned their first puzzle cube!
After reunited with Artus and confirming the kamadans outside had been slain, the party hunkered in the shrine for a Short Rest. I was pleased to see many of them have to spend nearly all of their hit dice to get back up to fighting strength.
Back outside onto the main street, I explained how the party could choose to search the area by rolling a d100 to determine what they find among the ruined buildings. I started with the table on ToA 85, slightly modified to make it more in the party’s favor. The party can choose to search in multiple regions of the map to try and find some supplies or treasure.
Or run into more danger, as was the case with our first search. Khaless rolled a 41, resulting in finding a building full of Mad Monkey Mist. Only one PC failed the DC 13 CON saving throw. Gillian then had to roll a d100 to determine which Long Term Madness was afflicted with. The result (43) caused some brief consternation: she was under the delusion that she had the powers of a potion. But which potion?
I scrambled to look in the DMG, and found out the ones I thought would be the most fun and interesting. She rolled a d4 from the following: Animal Friendship, Flight, Giant Strength, and Invisibility. She rolled a 2, then an 8 on the d10, so for the next 80 hours, Gillian fervently believes she has the power of flight!
This funny delusion immediately had satisfying repercussions when the party traveled to the next shrine, the nearby Kubazan, the combative Froghemoth. The shrine had a large, murky green pool in front, with a frog-face statue in the middle. Mannix could spot an ominous eye stalk sticking up from the pool.
The party wisely decided to skirt around the pool toward the shrine in the north. Gillian, of course, did a running jump expecting to fly right over it, resulting in her falling into the green pool, where a large tentacle encircled her and a giant form began to rise from the water. We’ll tackle this next shrine next week!
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