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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
Last week the froghemoth; this week the King of Feathers! George finally gets his wish as the party makes it to the amphitheater to take on the magical dinosaur, and complete his training.
After obtaining their third puzzle cube from I’Jin’s Shrine, the party continued north along the main street in Omu. George was determined to face the King of Feathers and complete his training as a Ninja Tortle.
They searched some nearby buildings, stumbling into a nest of giant wasps for a relatively quick combat encounter. They also stumbled into an old tortle warrior hiding out in the basement of a building. George recognized him as one of the original Ninja Tortles, Giotto, a celebrity among his people and one of his personal idols.
Giotto welcomed them into his makeshift home. He explained that he was once a grand hero of Chult with his team, but age caught up to them, and they went their separate ways to seek out a glorious death. He had been hunting the King of Feathers, and already lost a leg in the process.
Giotto offered the party his base for a long rest, all the while hearing the stomps and roars of the mighty dinosaur. He explained that the amphitheater was filled with magical energy, and that the King was no mere dinosaur, possessing strange magical abilities.
With Giotto in tow, the party set out the next day. Mannix instantly felt the swelling magical force surrounding the amphitheater with his Detect Magic. They spotted a trio of dinosaurs near the stage, but no King.
Therin cast Speak with Animals and shape-shifted into a fellow deinonychus, while Mannix used Silent Image (along with his backpack) to help provide an offering that the dinosaurs demanded. The party learned that casting spells didn’t feel right in this area. Yhe magical energy was building – a tease for the custom spell casting consequences in this zone.
While Therin dino-talked, the others stealthily moved up onto the stage. Mannix and Giotto failed their stealth checks, and the dinos began fanning out to investigate. Everyone who didn’t fail their stealth check got a surprise round, including Therinsaurus.
Both George and Khaless made excellent use of their surprise round to surprise the dinosaurs leaping past them, while Therin humorously distracted and tripped another, sending it sprawling without actually attacking it.
An ethereal crowd began cheering, screaming, and yelling as the fight played out. Once combat began and the ghostly crowd was engaged, every time someone cast a spell they had to roll a d4, becoming either paralyzed, enraged, frightened, or blessed. The crowd is fickle!
On the following round the crowd grew silent, then cheered wildly as a gigantic tyrannosaurs rex magically materialized onto the stage. It bit George for 47 points of damage (!), nearly downing him in a single attack, and killed Giotto with a single swipe of his tail. Hell of an entrance!
This was an epic battle as the party had to deal with several deinonychus (four more ran out from under the stage) in addition to the newly arrived King. The King could teleport every turn, including appearing at the top of the steps to fling George from his mouth, and summoning a swarm of wasps after him.
I kept the King’s statblock from the book, which is a T-Rex with max hit points, Misty Step, and Legendary Resistance, but gave it Legendary Actions to summon its Swarm of Insects (instead of an action) and get an additional Tail attack each round. It felt much more balanced, but the best change was making sure he had dino minions around him. Never leave your bosses unattended!
George survived that initial onslaught, but kept far away from the King, firing at the beast with his bow.
The King teleported back to the stage and bit Therin with another 40+ damage attack, downing him, while Khaless scrambled up to climb on top of him and plunge her blade in his back. Climbing on top of bigger creatures has become a signature move of hers.
Gillian was healing every round at this point with Healing Word, while Mannix was throwing everything he had, from the Silverlight Dagger (I’ll counter your portent die with Legendary Resistance!) to the Wand of Magic Mints (30 damage, ouch!). Every time someone cast a spell they had to roll that d4 from the magical crowd, though most ended up frightened which doesn’t affect spellcasting. Mannix would become paralyzed at one point, which Dragonbait slapped him out of to free him.
Artus and Dragonbait were my emergency contingency. I kept Dragonbait out of the fight up until then to hold on to their captive NPCs (Orvex and Imbok), while Artus stuck to his trusty bow. If the fight started going badly for the PCs, I could have Dragonbait enter the fight, and Artus could use the Ring of Winter.
Artus doesn’t want to use the Ring if he can help it. When Therin went down I had Dragonbait rush in to absorb a few hits. The King teleported over to bite Mannix but thankfully for him I rolled very poor damage, and he survived.
The crowd was beginning to cheer on the PCs as they struck blow after blow on the 200 hit point King. Finally on Mannix’s turn he pointed Moradin’s Gauntlet down the beasts’s throat (while in its jaws) and sprayed Burning Hands into its stomach, killing the monstrosity.
The epic showdown was over. The crowd swelled and cheered as the wild magic energy began dissipating. They threw ethereal objects onto the stage, one of which solidified – a magical necklace (Necklace of Prayer Beads).
George attended to the dying Giotto, who congratulated him on felling the beast, satisfied with his own glorious death. He gave George the Bandana of Truesight before he passed. George has completed his personal quest and become an official Ninja Tortle, and Giotto’s dying words suggested he stick with this team of badasses as they continue their adventure.
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