The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 5: An Underground Organization

The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 5: An Underground Organization


I ended up writing this entry quite some time after the last, because I had to resort to some fairly…unconventional methods to discover the details of what happened inside the warehouse. I wasn't yet comfortable approaching the party directly, but I knew one other source for the information I wanted. Josh of the City Watch was also present for the entirety of the events, and it seemed likely they made him complicit in a number of crimes.

I try not to resort to blackmail, but I assure you it was the only option I had. A couple of days after watching the warehouse burn, I approached Josh while he was on patrol. The beginning of our conversation was pleasant enough, and despite the trouble he had fallen into he seemed to have a good soul. Instead of torturing him with pointless pleasantries, I decided to get right to the point.

When I told him I knew about the men he had helped kill in the warehouse district, a look of mixed fear and exasperation came over his face. Not looking to actually cause him any distress, I immediately outlined the terms of my deal. I claimed to be writing a fictional novel based on real events and that I was looking for inspiration. If he detailed the events in the warehouse, I'd have no other interest in his actions. I even offered to converse in a zone of truth so that both of us would be assured of total honesty.

Josh seemed perplexed by the whole situation, but decided he had nothing to lose by going along with it. We proceeded to his home in the Residential District, and after settling in at his kitchen table, I created the zone of truth and started writing.

Of Course It Was Behind The Bookshelf

Campaign Log Day 2 - Part 2
15th day of Kythorn - Sunset
Year of The Rebuked Storm - 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Commercial District - Blackheart Agriculture Warehouse

When the party entered the warehouse, Bellamy led them straight to the office. It was clear where the rest of the workers had run off to: a bookshelf behind Renlia’s desk was out of place, revealing a secret entrance to an underground cave.

Bellamy also informed the party that the bandits were trying to don their gear in the cave, and immediate action might allow them to be caught off guard. Heeding this advice, they charged in, weapons drawn. Upon rounding a corner in the passage, they were greeted by a salvo of crossbow bolts.

Surprise!

After shrugging off the initial salvo, the party formed battle lines and a fight ensued. To be fair to Bellamy, his advice was not all bad, and several of the bandits had to run further down the passage to gather their equipment, leaving them unprepared when the party mounted their assault.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor 2), Kiddo(Ftr 1/Wlk 1), Kroul(Clr 2), Rkard(Bbn 2), Ungoldor(Rog 2)

Enemies: 3x Bandit, 1x Scout, 1x Spy

Difficulty Rating: Hard

Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss

Actual Outcome: Moderate HP Loss

Loot: 3 PP, 8 GP, 14 SP, 37 CP


How It Went Down: Rkard, Kiddo, and Ungoldor immediately engaged the two bandits and scout up front, but there was a hallway to their left that had a bandit and a spy inside. The enemies in the side room fired at the front lines flank for the first round of combat netting some damage. Once Rkard was able to take his target out he peeled off and engaged the enemies in the side room. After the other two bowman went down the back line could advance. Eventually Rkard and company were able to knock the spy unconscious so they could save him for questioning later.


Behind The Screen: This fight was part 1 of what was essentially a 2-wave encounter. I had planned for this encounter to occur above ground before the party decided to try burning down the warehouse, but the way everything ended up going down allowed me to keep the original encounter mostly intact. The "workers" needing time to retrieve their equipment allowed the party a few rounds to work through the first set of enemies.

These precious few moments allowed the party to dispatch several bandits before the rest of the bandits were able to join the fray.

Roll Initiative

Party: Bellamy(Sor 2), Kiddo(Ftr 1/Wlk 1), Kroul(Clr 2), Rkard(Bbn 2), Ungoldor(Rog 2)

Enemies: 2x Bandit 2x Scout

Difficulty Rating: Medium

Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss

Actual Outcome: Moderate HP Loss

Loot: 13 GP, 49 SP


How It Went Down: Further on down the passage there were 2 bandits blocking the passage protecting the two scouts behind them. Bellamy was able to simplify the encounter by casting sleep on the back row, knocking out a scout and a bandit. Kiddo had sustained a fair bit of damage so he held back and fired eldritch blasts while Ungoldor maintained the front line. The party was able to use the winding corridor to manage how much damage the last scout could apply; however, by the time they finished off the last of the bandits many party members had low HP.


Behind The Screen: Other than one unfortunate incident where a scout hit a bandit in the back with an arrow this encounter worked as expected. One thing that caught me by surprise was how low scout HP could be. Bellamy being able to effectively use sleep on the back line made the fight much less deadly than it could have been.

The party was able to secure the passageway after a difficult scrap. Perhaps most importantly, our heroes noticed a hooded man during the brawl, and managed to knock him unconscious. It would be at least an hour before their prisoner would wake, so they bound his hands and feet with rope, and pushed forward.

While the group was gathered themselves and appraised their injuries, a familiar face walked down the stairs. The mysterious elf who went by Elle made her presence known, and told the group she had been following them from the shadows after moving the bookshelf back in place. She claimed to be acting as a guardian angel of sorts while the party figured out how to handle “The Flock”, but the look on Josh’s face at this point in the story suggested he was skeptical of her motives. Regardless, the party figured they were all in the same predicament together and that she would be a useful ally, so they allowed her to re-join the group.

DM Note: Transition From Session 3 to 4

We ended up changing sessions right after the back to back fights described above. Rkard could not make the later session, but Lilyth(Elle) was available, so I was tasked with weaving her into the narrative. In this case it was fairly easy, because her character is very cloak-and-dagger in nature. This cooperation between player and DM resulted in an easy transition and a nice little role-playing opportunity as well.

Rkard was also fairly easy to handle. Rather than have one person play multiple characters, we decided it would be easier to let him "watch the back door". If the party were in a situation where this would have mattered, I likely would have simulated the encounter with a result somewhere between Rkard handling it on his own or stalling them before returning to the party with minor to moderate damage, then allowing a player to resume control.

Jackpot!

The party methodically entered each room in the cave, but were surprised to find no lurking enemies. Each room in the passageway had bunk beds lined up along the wall and lockers containing mundane gear. Kroul, however, was convinced there was more to this place, so he used his remaining spell to cast Detect Magic.

The drunken dwarf’s insight proved correct this time, and as they advanced down the tunnel he noticed magical energy radiating from one of the walls. A discreet latch triggered a mechanism, causing the stone wall to slide to the right. Inside this secret tunnel was a treasure cache containing various art objects, potions, and scrolls. After distributing the haul between the party members and the bag of holding, they proceeded down the main tunnel.

Treasure Horde

Item: Potion of Frost Giant's Strength

Item Type: Potion

Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide

Description: Drinking this potion sets the users strength ability to 23 for 1 hour.

Recipient: Bag of Holding


Item: Potion of Healing

Item Type: Potion

Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide

Description: A potion that resores 2d4+2 hit points to the user.

Recipient: Bag of Holding


Item: Scroll of Longstrider

Item Type: Scroll

Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide

Description: A scroll that grants the user the ability to cast the longstrider spell.

Recipient: Bag of Holding


Item: Art Objects(25 GP) x7

Item Type: Art Objects

Item Origin: Dungeon Masters Guide

Description: Various art objects that can fetch a fair price from the right merchant.

Recipient: Bag of Holding

Eventually they reached a narrow stone staircase leading further down. This time the party opted for a more cautious approach and quietly shuffled down the stairwell. At the bottom, they exited into an eerily familiar room, nearly identical to Renlia’s room above ground in the first warehouse. Kroul noticed magic emanating from the desk in the middle of the room, and further investigation yielded yet another minor healing potion.

They also noticed the sounds of an argument on the other side of the closed office door. Further listening revealed a man and a woman locked in heated debate. Taking their preferred direct approach, and with the body of the hooded man slung over Kiddo’s shoulder, the party burst through the door and threw the unconscious form on the ground for the entire room to see.




The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 6: A Reason To Do Wrong

The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 6: A Reason To Do Wrong

The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 4: The Nest

The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 4: The Nest