SC10.04: The Blighted Roc/Below the Nest

The level 10 Silvers for this mission

In order of initiative

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;
Garth Ironhewn, mountain dwarf fighter, wielding the Ungart Hammer

Randomly assisted by Taba Norley, half-aquatic elf ranger, wielding a longbow

The Silvers begin 65xp below level 11 and end on 39

The story so far

Saltmarsh and the Leilon region in peril! Despite her defeat by our heroes, the sahuagin colony on the Mere of Dead Men is still acting according Talos High Priestess Fherelai’s script! The Silvers bring about aid from unlikely allies: Lizardfolk who admire the raw power of the adventurers, and sea-elves who owe the Silvers a favor.

With the allies poised to invade the sahuagin fortress, the Silvers attack. Their job is to sweep away the great roc guarding the top entrance, and if possible strike at the sahuagin leader, a baroness.

Once again following their trusty guide Taba Norley, the Silvers creep to within 90 feet of the monstrous bird and its powerful hobgoblin companion. Dain casts Confusion at them, to no avail, and the battle is on!

The Hobgoblin

Rich essays a Guiding Bolt and Taba directs a pair of longbow shafts at the same target: the powerful hobgoblin on the roosting roc. All strike home and entangling vines erupt from one of Taba’s shafts. Next Vern pokes his head up from the water and sends a bead of red that blossoms into a Fireball! It takes full effect and the roc’s pained screech is as awful as it is deafening.

22 Hobgobbos ideas | fantasy monster, fantasy races, fantasy characters

The hobgoblin blackguard elects to take the fight to the land, throwing off the entangling effects witha show of raw strength: vaulting down carrying a massive glaive! He rushes to cover at a rock outcrop. But this is playing into Dain’s cunning plan! “Are ye ready fer a wee jaunt Garth?” And so saying he touches Garth’s shoulder and the two appear on the immediate reverse of the blackguard’s cover. Dain finishes by encouraging Garth with Bardic Inspiration [now worth d10!]. Garth whips around the rock and – although he hasn’t completely surprised his opponent – uses Feinting Attack to gain advantage and pounds the Ungart Hammer in two massive blows, which drop the blackguard before he can even get a strike in!

The Roc

Now it rises, and leaps to the air, flapping immense wings and clawing for height! In seconds it is 80′ up and still ascending! Rich leaps up to a massive log and runs along, trying to get to range. Taba sends shafts up: one deflects off a sturdy feather, the other sinks home. Vern surges through the water channel then Misty Steps closer: Fireball time again! The roc is good at DEX SV and only catches part of the blast.

Monster Analysis: Roc (Arbor Exemplar) — CritRoleStats

Once again Dain grins at Garth: “All abooarrd laddie!” Garth gulps, but does not resist the Dimension Door atop the roc! They both make grabs: Dain finds it easy since he has hands free, but Garth [nat 20s and] jams his shield hand into the riding harness and clutches on: then smashes the Ungart Hammer down twice!

In response the roc performs an Immelmann – the two dwarfs stay on with their hands locked on the harness – then swoops down on Rich, a plain target atop a great log. Rich hurls the Javelin of Lightning he got from Saltmarsh! It takes full effect! Then the vast beak punches through Rich’s defense: but he manages to shield off the clutching talons that would otherwise bear him aloft! [Another nat20!] Grabbing Alagondar Rich leaps and delivers one clumsy and one crit slash!

“Put yer back into it ya round eared elf!” – Garth

Taba takes the chance of the roc’s distraction to slam two more arrows home. Further back toward the nest, something is beginning to bother Vern, but [with an 11 on Perception] he is front-focused, sending a sizzling blue lightning Chromatic Orb scorching up into the roc. Now Dain pulls out a trump card: they are so close to the ground that crashing is not dangerous: he slaps his hand down: delivers Contagion: Slimy Doom! The roc is stunned and crashes, skidding, towards Taba’s cover. Dain crits his effort to stay grasping the harness. Garth uses the Bardic Inspiration to do the same, and smashes the roc twice more!

Despite a +9 to CON SV the roc is at disadvantage and rolls a nat 1 and a 3 to resist Dain’s effect

DM

“Are we killing this thing or restraining it?” – Garth

“Why would we want to keep it?”

“I thought you guys wanted a griffin, isn’t this basically the same thing?” – Garth

“Comparing a roc to a griffon is like comparing a copper to a gold coin” – Vern

Despite the yelling Rich leaps out off the log and delivers two more deadly slashes with Alagondar. Taba punches home two more arrows, including a crit. Vern delivers three Scorching Rays. “Cover yer ears laddie,” Dain instructs and, just in case none of the enemy heard the roc’s noise, sends a Shatter onto the monster’s head. The roc easily resists this effect but before it can begin to shake off its affliction from the Contagion, Garth slams the Ungart Hammer down yet again, and it crumples lifeless.

Silence… briefly.

“I know what’s been bothering me, there is noise coming from that nest” – Vern

The Fortress’ Upper Landing

“Best get our allies moving – Garth?” Garth scrabbles his Sending Stone out as he and Dain untangle their cramped grasp and slide down. Rich shoves his way back onto the log, jogs towards the nest. His stride is long and he reaches it well before the others.

It is not solid. A large hole in the nest’s bottom lets down onto a flight of solid stone steps. Noises of humanoid speech, though unintelligible to the paladin, suggest hasty maneuvers of some kind. He alerts the others.

Behind the action Garth and Dain pause at the hobgoblin. Its chest rises and falls. Garth brings a rope coil from off his burly shoulders and begins tying it up. Dain shakes his head dubiously and removes the glaive from the area.

We’ll take a Sleight of Hand check from Garth if it becomes relevant, later.

DM

“Have you alerted the elves Taba?”

“Ah, not quite yet, I’ll do that now.”

The Silvers make their way down. Rich leads the way. A landing opens out: the stone steps continue down: but Rich can tell there are folk of some type off east. He peeks round the stair wall. A glance tells him a number of folk are crouching in shackles, with three sahuagin guarding them. After some gesturing, Dain casts Tongues on Rich:

“Surrender! Throw down your weapons!” – Rich

The three guards seem impressed by Rich’s presence and three tridents hit the floor. But as others support Rich, the ruse is evident:

“It’s a trap!”

Four concealed or disguised sahuagin, all powerful, leap from among the prisoners – or would do had not Dain cast Confusion! Only one makes it to their feet, and charges Rich! The others stop and do nothing. Garth charges around the stair wall and intercepts: one swing connects. And the battle is on!

It’s a battle that swings rapidly in the Silvers’ favor, as the Confusion proves hard to break out of, and the two lizardfolk prisoners, despite being chained, tackle two Coral Smasher heavies from among the enemy. Taba sneaks round in the shadows and looses deadly longbow shafts in support as Garth and Rich cleave their way through. Rich takes a number of hefty slashes: it is not just the Silvers who score crits.

At length a priestess, hidden behind the exit arch, is detected and Garth charges her! She can no longer heal her allies and flees, stabbing at Garth with her spirit trident as she does!

And as the last Coral Smasher falls at Vern’s feet, and the van of lizardfolk allies approaches, and Garth hares off down an unknown tunnel in pursuit, the session ends!

Far left: stairwell wall. Far right: large tunnels

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