SC10.03: Capture the High Priestess/I Wanna Roc!

The level 10 Silvers for this session

Garth Ironhewn, mountain dwarf fighter, wielding the Ungart Hammer;
Richlen Ilineiros, high elf paladin/Glory oath, wielding the longsword Alagondar;
Vernon von Longsington, human wizard/Conjurer, wielding Surtr’s Scathe;
Dain Frostbeard, hill dwarf Bard/Lore college, wielding (but not using) a Deck of Illusions

The Silvers begin 140xp below level 11 and end on 65

Part one: Capture the High Priestess

Just as we last left our heroes the battle is at its height! Two monster Blademasters have fallen, as well as a couple of warrior sahuagin. But High Prietess Gahza is barely harmed and she still has two more Blademasters, five priestess, and several more sahuagin at her command.

Garth checks with Rich that he’ll be alright on his own. Rich, pounded on like an anvil by the blademaster and stabbed by a warrior, grunts that he will. Garth stomps back to the corpse-choked throat of the passage to this cavern and takes the Dodge action.

As for Rich, he hauls his shield out and with a Bonus Action casts Aura of Vitality. It’s not enough: the Spiritual Weapons of priestesses rain down on him and the Blademaster hammers at him: he falls! Vern, behind Rich, pulls a potion off its thong and readies to administer it, while hurling Fireball amidst the priestesses! Gahza is merely hurt, but the others are terribly burned! The Blademaster chops at Vern, and even his Shield is not enough to prevent the massive cleaver taking toll. Dain drops enough healing on Rich to restore him to life and the paladin stands and leaps up to the ledge of the glowing giant clam. At a glance, it seems to contain something in its gape. With a Misty Step Vern joins him, and feeds him the Superior Healing potion.

Meanwhile back at the rear Garth has been taking the best the remaining Blademaster can offer, and dishing out more, but a priestess comes up in reinforcement! Dain steps behind Garth, warns him, and Dimension Doors up to where Vern and Rich are.

The battle swings in favor of the aggressors. The two Blademasters aren’t built for climbing and take serious damage as they attempt it. Dain calls up Spirit Guardians again. Garth, Hasted by Rich, fends off one Blademaster and leaps down amidst the priestesses to pound the sahuagin warriors! Vern chips in with a sizzling lightning Chromatic Orb! Spiritual Weapon tridents stab up at the ledge and thanks to his Warcaster feat Dain keeps the Spirit Guardians going. The priestesses use Thaumaturgy to create enough sound to mask what Gahza is doing: she and a lone warrior escape Garth to attempt to flank the ledge.

But Rich is ready: a sahuagin warrior comes charging through the Spirit Guardians and falls dead in the attempt: Rich sprints along the tunnel away from the ledge and collars Gahza, who surrenders!

Three others survive Garth and Dain.

One priestess is reserved to serve Gahza, one priestess is sacrificed by Rio over Nava’s grave, and a warrior sacrificed by Rio at the Lively Dancer’s bow.

Loot

Stone of Luck: In the form of a giant blue pearl. If you are attuned to this luckstone and complete a ceremony of sacrifice to Sekolah, all those in the lair gain its benefits. (It must also be sited on or in an altar to Sekolah to gain this benefit.)

Black pearl worth 500 gold, 1321 silver, and 426 gold coin.

DM Notes

Leilon Point is accurately scaled for level 9-10, though I think an optimized level 8-9 party would easily gain intel on the layout and deal with each pocket of sahuagin without as much effort as these level 10s.

The flaw is that the thing is standalone, as written. Leilon Point has no implications for Leilon. It is tied in to the Talos plot with the Fherelai hook I have transferred to the main sahuagin lair, but does not form part of her plans. Speaking in meta-plot terms, there are no consequences for leaving this out. It reads like a tacked-on adventure for the sake of harvesting xp. Working from the Leilon end, it ought to include an NPC or family the PCs have come to care about, and there ought to be a thread that allows PCs to nip the invasion in the bud rather than react to a massacre. I built Marciano in from the start of Saltmarsh, but even so it’s too remote for much to change one way or another.

Part two: Plans

The Lively Dancer, perhaps with Umberlee’s blessing, makes the return leg to Saltmarsh with no problem and in good time. When we rejoin our heroes, they are fully rested (and have Inspiration) and Taba and Ihrtos have returned from scouting the Sahuagin lair.

The council of war is much the same, except that Miraal’s place has been taken by Gena Storm. Gena is already known to a couple of the Silvers, from the expedition to Savras Shrine. She will be leading a battle of sea elves.

Rio the priestess is in favor of an attack now. Umberlee is well pleased by the sacrifices. She will create at least one more potion for the party. [She creates three Potions of Underwater Breathing]

Gena is ready to do so. At some earlier stage (she is short on specifics) her people put paid to a koalinth threat of some order and have dedicated what she terms a ‘platoon’ to storm the sahuagin lair.

Eda sighs that the town is pretty much out of potions but a few more healing will be ready soon. [She comes up with five regular healing potions]

Ihrtos is not ready. In fact he and Taba have disconcerting news. A giant roc, commanded by a hobgoblin, has made a temporary nest on top of the sahuagin lair.

The fact that the roc and hobgoblin are there and they were last with Fherelai means that the sahuagin are still prey to Fherelai’s ruse. Unfortunately according to Gahza, Baroness Seklaz merely doubles down on her error, when challenged. (Which is why Gahza broke away to create a true Sekolah-worshipping shrine.) Seklaz’ baron Kepmak is a cipher as far as brain goes, though mighty in combat. She is also supported by High Priestess Thadrah and Blademaster Makaht. While Gahza drew off several Blademasters there are still numerous champions and wavemasters loyal to Seklaz and her blind faith in the false Sekolah created by Fherelai.

A number of possible entrances suggest themselves. Gena can attack from the lower levels; Lizardfolk must attack from the relatively above-water upper level. The latter stipulation means the Silvers are bound to attack and get rid of the roc. And so once more the Lively Dancer sets sail! It is early autumn/fall now, and the sea is choppy under blustering winds.

Part three – I wanna roc!

The Silvers are as prepared as they can be. Garth has a Sending Stone: the other is with Ihrtos and his lizardfolk. Taba has a Sending Stone: the other is with Gena.

Swimming under water, they reach the spot where a causeway turns the sahuagin lair into an isthmus, jutting out of the maze of mud and sluggish creeks that is the Mere coast. Then they ascend, Taba casting Pass Without Trace. As Taba and Ihrtos have said before, the stronghold is a rock, and only a few low scrub stands offer any real cover.

Apart from gullies! They have decided to strike at day so as to use range attacks, and now shimmy like elvers along the creeks and rills running atop the rock. Slipping from one pool or channel to the next, they make a great circle around the upraised tor that is the makeshift nest.

Hardly breathing, Dain half-wades to within 90 feet of the monster. It’s hard to key in the scale, until one matches the tiny figure on the bird to a full-grown hobgoblin. The roc must be 40 feet across without extending its wings! Behind him Rich chooses a spot some 120′ out. That’s far enough for Vern too! As for Taba, he slides off right, behind one of the carelessly-dropped logs that surround the tor, unwraps his longbow, and strings it.

Finally Garth surges up the channel to flank Dain, and readies his shield. Nods. Dain raises his head out of water and casts Confusion!

And as both master and mount succeed against the spell the session ends.

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