Confronting the Shadow

Welcome to another end of week writeup where we follow our party as they travel through the Shadows Throne and end up confronting the Shadow. This week our party moves towards a hidden path into the shadows Throne, or the front door, and prepare to confront the being that has haunted them for almost a year now. So sit back, have a cup of coffee and let’s catch up on what was created this week.

Shadows Maze


The party scurried forth towards the heart of the citadel. Or at least that’s what they had thought at least. The citadel was a tangled mess of halls and tunnels. The halls were obviously well crafted at some point but tunnels were dug between halls.

The halls were largely barren and empty as were the tunnels. Occasionally they would witness a screaming wounded oni being dragged down a hall before disappearing into a tunnel.. But otherwise the minions of the Shadow were frantic. Their movements, organisation and coordination were disorganised and hasty as if anxious or fearful. They did have an army at their front doorstep and their master was weak or so the vision had indicated so.

The party were running out of time but they were getting nowhere fast. They would have to find a way to the dark master soon before it was too late.

The very human cries and screams brought them to their present moment and without a moment to lose they took off down a well used hall. Eventually they began to notice a pattern for the tunnels as some lead to new rooms, hallways, dead ends of refuse pits. As they were approaching what smelt like a refuse pit they heard the muffled screams again in the tunnel. Venturing forth they found a well concealed secondary tunnel, unlike the others to date, perhaps, which lead to a large chamber with cages and cells built into the wall. A large ogre stood in the middle of the room brandishing a whip as it lashed out at humans pleading for mercy.

The ogre stopped flaying a middle aged man and looked up towards the party. The look of shock was quickly replaced by a stupid grin and malicious twinkle in its eye. The Shadow would have to wait.

Servants doubt


The diminutive creature watches as the party squared off against the ogre and a silent smile crossed its face. This could be it, the moment its freedom was bought.

Since it had watched its friends, comrades and children fight for the Shadow and fall for it. Since it has watched the same once revered master feast on their broken bodies and imbue itself with their dying life force. Enough was enough.

As the ogre strode forwards towards the party the shrieks from those still in cages got louder. Some wailed for saving, some cheered for the party but others cheered for blood. The ogre roared in approval at the terror and lust for blood as it brought its whip and cracked it over the head of the party as it waited for the first move.

Power Starved


As the bodies piled up around the alter the power started to seep into the dark waters and flow into the cold slab of stone. Sitting atop the stone the Shadows Avatar sat in silence, power starved. A fragment of what its former self used to be and far from it needed to be and time was running out. In fact from the increase in wounded and dying Oni, Trolls, Butatō and captured slaves suggested that the light bringer, those chosen by the dragon were here.

The creature watched as the power gradually ebbed and flowed like waves as the ritual channelled the power within the dead and dying into its form. As the casualties piled up a gnawing concern rose in the creature. If these mortals were able to do this to its servants and chosen minions then is it enough? Was this meagre power that was being drawn from these husks enough?

There was a single option, a fail safe, that was available to the creature now. Modifying the ritual slightly small channels opened up in the ritual pool. Slowly the tainted waters began to spread and weave their way through the citadel, causing water to drip down upon all. If all went well then the creature wouldn’t have to resort to it, but the thought of doing it anyway did cross its mind.

A sudden pang shot through the creature, one of its shadow-touched had just been killed. As the shadow-stuff that empowered the creature disappeared the power that was lent also did. No, no, no. There was not enough bodies here, not enough energy to rebuild its form and its strength.

The ritual, there was only one option left to it and it had best be started now. As the shadow magic pushed outwards and touched everything who had been touched by the tainted water pockets of light were also felt. These cursed weapons and trinkets! They protected the mortals from its ritual. Regardless once the ritual was complete it would have enough power to squash these humans. It was just a matter of time now, a race. Them to race to its chamber in time or it to complete the ritual first. The winner would surely claim victory.

NPCs this week


Environment and running the adventure

Bottom of the map

There are some cave ins that don’t look like they can be fixed with a pick and shovel but most of the map is connected. Most rooms are left bare to be filled in as we see fit. There is a mess hall to the left of the ritual hall and on the top of the page there is a set of stairs leading to a balcony where archers could be stationed, perhaps a large table for looking at a map for defence coordination.

Top of the map

The top half of the map is new, roughly carved, uneven ground with sharp edges. Even the walls and square(ish) rooms are uneven and basic however there is evidence of technology and infrastructure taking place in most rooms. A barracks to the left of the large room of the main entrance serves to feed troops to the wall or the the defence of the Ritual hall or southern rooms. The warren where the prisoner cells are could be filled with critters or beasts that get fed the scraps (dead prisoners) or as a sleeping quarters for the lowest of slaves and servants in the citadel.

The prisoner cells located at the top right of the map is where the Ogre encounter happens. The tunnels to the Ritual hall (centre of the map) should be hidden and either investigated and stumbled into naturally or with a guide. The bottom half of the map should be a mixture of old dwarven stone work and newly hewn, rough stone (likely the Oni).

Inspiration – Map less adventure (246ThLoOTThOSh)

Made with


The War room

Several creatures are milling about preparing to either go out to the battlefield or command it. Several Oni Captains stand by with Oni sentinels acting as guard and a handful of Oni to get ready to fight.

The Oni are on the lower level. They are surprised by the party if they come through the front door (if applicable). The sentinels are not and the captains quickly engage to curry favour from the Shadow.

The Training Hall

The Training hall is within shouting distance of the main hall if the party let any creature escape towards the hall.

The hall itself is rather empty with some training dummies against the wall. The stench of sweat and blood is strong in here as the Oni, and their trainer have been drilling for what seems to be hours. As the party appear they are eager and keen for a fight. They will have advantage on saves vs Fear AND have advantage on attack rolls for the first battle round.

The Mess Hall

The Mess Hall is filled with drunken Oni. Some injured, some not. These Oni appear to be celebrating and none of them are fit for a fight. They are considered to have the Poisoned condition.

Collapsed Room

The collapsed room looks like its undergoing restoration. A team of 7 Butatō are busy moving rocks from the wall and startle quickly. They have no weapons but tools to move and break apart soil and rock. They are quick to flee and will dont want to cause a fuss. They seem to be very disloyal to the Oni and The Shadow and harbour resentment. Mayu be willing to help the party outl if asked.

The Warren

The warren is a series of tunnels and 10ftx10ft (or bigger) dens where the Bakegamoto are bred. Its attended by a head breeder, some servents (Butatō slaves) and the parents with their pups.

The Cells

The Cells are where the Shadow Born Ogre watches over and bosses the slaves and captives around. Shockingly intelligent he uses the prejudice of being a dumb brute to his advantage and will attempt to feint being dumb – but he is a bad actor and his ruse is easily seen through. There are two sets of cells in this room separating the Humans from the captured spiritfolk (Cant have the prisoners and slaves eating each other now..) and several creatures tied to benches or racks receiving torture from the Ogre. A few Butatō slaves are in the room but they cheer on the party as they start to see the Ogre get hurt and be bested by mere humans.

The Butatō slaves are very very willing to help the party and will approach them and speak in broken common to plead for them to save them and kill their Dark Master.

Creatures in the halls (all created in tetra-cube)

Shadow Bound Ogre

The Shadow is very selective in who it trusts and loans its power to. This Ogre through sheer strength, malice and willingness to spread the shadows corruption was one of the favoured ones. Engaging the party quickly and with great sweeping blows I would set his initiative to 15 and keep it there. The shadow didn’t just bless this brute with more strength and shadow infused blows but with a cunning intellect. It knows when its in trouble and will act accordingly. Willing to grab, grapple and hold hostages this should be a tough warmup fight.

Created in tetra-cube

The Shadows Avatar

Bit of a spoiler – the ritual goes off but not half as much as it would have wanted. By drawing the life from all its minions (through its back up plan) it manages to scrape by at this power level – not the full force of a deity but close enough for the average mortal.

Fast, intelligent, charismatic and having the ability to induce fear upon the entire party this is a mean creature. Immune to damage unless magical or dealing radiant damage this will take some chunking before it goes away.

Having a unarmed attack that can turn into a free grapple is good, as a legendary action it can help make this creature feel stronger and more imposing that it should. The scimitar is also quite strong with its strength drain ability. Party members will start to fear this attack if the fight goes on too low as instant death is a rare thing in D&D5e.

The fall

In Confronting the Shadow, and his Avatar the party inadvertently defeat the host army. The creature they fight slaughters all his servants and slaves, using their souls to increase its own power for a final confrontation. The rest of what happens will have to wait until the end of the month…

This is it. The final weekly wrap-up for the eleven months of this campaign. Thanks for sticking with me for this long and for joining me tonight to go through the end of week write-up. Don’t forget that this week I will touch some things up. Probably create some loot for the citadel or something. Also, as with every signoff, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe