Welcome to another end of week writeup where this week we have the party travel through the jungle at night, get ambushed (surprise!), find Jade Point and meet the Oni.
This is a bit of a bigger week so I better get a move on it without spending too much time discussing the week.
Defence of Jade Point
True to her word Varda’s charms saw the party standing on solid ground soon at the base of tangled grove of trees, the now talking Kiri and little feathered bird fetish proving invaluable in their bid to leave the Marsh. Now standing at the edge of the mass of trees which could only be described as a jungle due to the hot, dense mass of trees, roots, bushes and other vegetation it appeared as though they would have a hard time traversing the jungle floor whilst constant drops of warm water dripped down upon them from the heavy canopy above.
The creatures in the jungle were smaller than the marsh, skittish even which meant there was always a noise, a growl, a call or a watching shadow nearby the party as they moved through the dense vegetation and avoided being trapped in the vines, roots and leaves. As night fell the party set up camp whilst Kiri warned them of the many dangers, a list that went on for quite some time. The noises increased in tempo and volume the party began to believe some of the stories the toad-kin told over the flickering embers of the fire and as creatures of the jungle wandered into camp either curious of the light and noise or hungry for what they believed was an easy meal.
After a day walking after one of the worst nights sleep that anyone could remember for some time, including the storm at sea, they stumbled through the edge of the Jungle turned forest and looked down upon the port town which sat at a large cove in the river about a further mile away.
Thick black smoke billowed forth from buildings on the outskirts of the town and evidence of battle could be seen from this distance, fallen bodies and a small camp settled in from the north of where the party had come from the jungle, could be seen cloaked by an constant cloud of mist that defied the wind and cast a massive shadow over the ram shackle camp.
The Toad-kin seemed spooked, jittery even, and when the party finally spoke they jumped in fear. “That’s no brigand or ramshackle force there, that’s an Oni camp – blessed by the shadow. It seems they, the shadow, had a backup plan in case my people could not stop you in the marsh.” he began, fear causing his voice to tremble. “I will go and warn my people, and the ship, there must be another way to where you need to go. To face the Oni is death.”
Looking forward at the town and the ramparts the party discussed on their course of action, tired and low on reserves after the marsh and the jungle they were unsure of what their next move was but knew that they could not stay at the edge of a jungle and that the port was their next stop and best hope at returning back to the ship to re-unit with Kyoko, Siu and Lizbet to reach the Captains home city and lend aid where they could.
Some time later…
The party watched a dark mist flooded the lower recesses around the gap between the rampart and the dock town with morbid interest – memories of the mist and the creatures it bore from Daye still fresh in their minds. As they looked towards the town they noticed two people stride from the town, from this distance they were just two small figures like ants but it was very evident that something that wrong when the one in the back moved suddenly and the front figure collapsed onto the ground. The mist approached the two hungrily and soon it engulfed them, the vapour collapsing around the wall before alarm bells tolled and figures buzzed around the towns crudely constructed barricade like ants defending their nest.
The mist retreated and bodies clad in a grey clothing – or armour, the distance was really doing a disservice to those watching this unfold, were left in its wake – but the two figures that left the safety of the walls were gone.
Taking that as a sign the party made haste down the slight hill from where the jungle grew and head towards the town but they were stopped by the clack of crossbows and the whistling of bolts as projectiles rained down upon them. Tall, vicious grey armour clad humanoids rushed at them as another volley of bolts whizzed around them and landed at their feet. The humanoids had red skin, pointed ears and large flat features that reminded them of goblins and some orcs from their home continent and as the warriors got closer they snarled, revealing their sharpened short tusks and murderous intent in their eyes.
Areas of note
The Marsh– Using the Fetish of the Kookastem the party was able to move across the marsh with relative ease – avoiding the other dangers lurking above and below the water.
The Jungle – The dense trees, roots and vegetation makes travel and visibility of approaching dangers difficult to notice until its too late. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, the thick canopy of trees
Jade Point – A small town of a few hundred people at most who work the docks or provide for those that do. A few smaller farms lay on the outskirts of the town that produce vegetables and grain for the people of the town and their animals but most of the people work on the docks or on the river.
Build with a few 15ft tall walls that protect it from the forest and surrounding areas from wandering brigands – but not a well trained force like the Oni. The outer walls that faced the West have sustained sever damage without the use of siege weapons but large lumbering shadows have been seen over the walls in the ramparts built where the Oni have encamped.
The Oni encampment – Surprisingly well built for something that seemingly sprung up overnight – the 20ft walls are made from trees not native to this area and even watch towers seemed to have been created without the people of Jade Point noticing, well too much.
Kiri – a small toad-kin of young years who believes in the old ways. Spirited and savvy he volunteered to help guide the adventures through the marsh and jungle despite thinking thinking their plan foolish. Since receiving the Longsnout talisman he has been able to speak common and is eager to talk to the party and help there where ever he can.
Captain Jake Hart
Young but ambitious Jake happened to near the town of Jade point as they were being besieged by the Oni and him and his small returning regiment of soldiers have defended it for four days – however their numbers decrease every day and Jake has gone missing.
Environment and running the adventure
The Jungle – The party would have some creature visit their camp every few hours during the night whether it is just one leopard (panther) looking for an opportunistic meal, a pack of hyenas (3-5 of them), a hunting pack of lizardfolk (5-8 of them by themselves or 1 shaman and 4 lizardfolk). The Party would not be able to benefit from a good nights rest unless they are able to deal with the visitors by them selves or keep the entire party hidden somehow.
The Field – To the south of the town is where the party appear from the Jungle – about a mile away and slightly up hill. The mist spreads from the Oni Encampment (which is a bit higher from where the party look out from the trees) into the fields below towards the walls of Jade Point and even up to the trees where they are now – raising up to the trees edge when the mist is particularly thick. When the mist is thick any Oni has advantage on stealth checks made while they are within the mist and all other races consider the mist being a heavily obscured area which blocks vision entirely. (A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.)
The encampment and Jade point– See Map
In this encounters let’s assume that our party of 4 have all reached level 5, I think that would be fitting for being this far in the adventure-year.
Ambush in the jungle: for each 2 hours interval roll on the below table (or choose!)
|1||1 Leopard (panther) approaches the party – if all are asleep it will attack the one furthest from the group – if one is awake then opposed stealth vs perception check is required or the leopard gets a surprise round on the party.|
|2||4-5 Hyena’s attack the campsite suddenly, any exposed food or rations is lost as the hyenas eat that first before attempting to grab a PC.|
|3||5-8 Lizardfolk attack, shooting the party first before engaging in melee.|
|4||4 Lizardfolk attack with a shaman, if there is a member of the party awake and the shaman is detected (stealth vs perception) and if the party is successful the shaman will hold off on attacking immediately and will talk to the party member that is awake. They can sense Lizbet on the party but want to seize her power to protect themselves from the Oni (but will deceive to get it)|
|5||A friendly spirit wanders into the camp and begins to ask questions of them, waking up people if need be, curious about everything and everyone it upturns bags, rummages through sacks but stays away from iron and magical items.|
|6||A sudden close growl or shriek happens – Anyone with passive perception 13+ is woken immediately.|
The Oni attack the party just outside the Jungle with a rain of arrows first off while being hidden in the fog. 1 Oni captain and 7 Oni attack them, 3 at range and 4 in melee. The captain stands back and issues commands to the melee until 1 drops then she will engage. Whilst not engaged in combat the Captain takes the dodge action. The Oni look to knock out the party not kill them so they only use non-lethal attacks.
Third part– Path a.
If the party parley or get captured by the Oni they end up in the main tent atop a hill where they find Captain Jake tied up – just a they soon are. Then the Oni Shadow Blessed appears and starts to try and get information out of them about Lizbet and Kyoko – and any plans they have. In the tent there are no other Oni’s. The Party can try and subtly escape their bindings (DC14+ depending on what they want to do) but the Oni Shadow Blessed will leave and come back again if she doesn’t get what she wants out of them the first time around. She isn’t above casting charm person on a PC if it gets her information.
Third part– Path b.
If the party don’t get captured by the Oni they could sneak into the ramparts to fight through many Oni, (a few encounters of similar numbers mentioned above) until they reach the tent where they find Captain Jake being tortured by a large female Oni (Oni Shadow Blessed) who will try and capture them by calling out for guards (if any survived) or will try and charm and bewitch many of them to get information from them (see path a)
Third part– Path C.
If the party don’t get captured by the Oni they could make there way to the city where they are captured quickly by friendly but scared troops who take them to a leader, for now, who releases them from their binds and tells them about the Oni and Captain Jake going missing. The leader then advises them of the plan to leave the harbour and save the villagers if they can get a ship into port as they only have a single boat ready to sail but its not enough to save them all but the Dancing Drake would be big enough for those who remain) – but they would also need a diversion to make sure that the people can board a big enough ship and continue up river. Up to the party now if they want to create a diversion, attack the encampment to search for Jake or do something else.
This one is tricky – ideally the Dancing drake makes it into port and people board it and head to the capital. If Captain Jake is rescued or the Oni Shadow blessed is hurt (enough that she turns gaseous form and leaves the tent) then the following morning the fog and most of the encampment is gone. If they don’t go then the city is attacked by double the number of the scouting Oni and survivors (party included) are captured and taken to the Oni Shadow Blessed (play out Path A)
Well that’s it for tonight – the ending was a bit hard this week with a few options – the Oni Shadow blessed is quite cunning and wont risk their life for no amount of information and should flee where possible (unless killed so quickly that they simply can’t flee). The following week (and in the end of month writeup) I will decide on an option but as the DM we should encourage flexibility in how we structure our sessions and there are clear defined paths here which lead in different directions.
Don’t forget to come back next week as we look to finish this months adventure and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe