Castles & Crusades Saturday Diary: 50+ bats, Cultist of the Ooze God Juiblex, a dozen Goblins, over 30 Derro, a dozen Orcs!
My Saturday group that plays publicly at Fantasy Flight Games in Roseville, MN is nearly done exploring the Caverns of Quasqueton (B1: In Search of the Unknown). People clearly wanted to be out on this beautiful autumn day, so only two players showed up. But between them there were three PC’s (with a hawk and giant toad animal companion) as well as two NPC’s that I ran, so there was still a decent group number. Although managing a large number of players has become quite easy with a fast system like C&C, when you only have two players things obviously become even faster, so the remainder of the lower level was explored this evening.
Entering a giant cavern with an immense number of bats, the group made their way to a corner of the room, but since not everyone was silent they disturbed the bats and they came down in their dozens. When all was said and done more than 50 bats attacked the group, wearing them all down.
They then arrived at a small room where the ceiling was only 5 feet high. Entering, they ran straight into a gray ooze, and it tried to engulf the witch/assassin and try to eat her away with its acid. Hearing chuckling in the background they discovered there was a Cultist of Juiblex, the God of Oozes. This crouched human was already partially transformed into a slimy, ooze-like being. The group bravely took him on as two more gray oozes made their way toward the group members as they fought within this tight, enclosed environment.
After defeating him they discovered secret corridors within secret corridors which lead to a treasure room guarded by wax statues of Roghan the Fearless Warrior and Zelligar, the Wizard. After defeating them they collected their treasure (which included an ever smoking bottle and a whispering gem which allowed them to summon an air elemental 1/day.
They continued their journey after resting up and next discovered a band of goblins that had just entered the lower level of Quasqueton through a hidden entrance in the back. The goblins were eager to explore and ransack Quasqueton. But the witch cast Sound Burst and that alone nearly took the dozen goblins out of action. The one that ended up remaining surrendered and agreed to be the servant of the witch/assassin. Not long after as he carried a torch and led the way for the group, he activated a pit trap and fell to his unfortunate death.
The group now found their way to the place where the Derro were headquartered. The group had been challenged by these highly intelligent roguish and insane dwarf-like beings in a previous Saturday adventure. But they were prepared this time. One player used the Deck of Dirty Tricks card he randomly pulled which allowed a random encounter to appear and fight on their side. This resulted in a group of soldiers from the Keep on the Borderlands looking for a lost group to coincidentally turn a corner and appear just they were about to fight the Derro.
My Wizard NPC had a Fireball scroll, so the players directed he use it to launch a fireball into a small room where a dozen of these chaotic evil beings were congregated. He did so, and even though they somehow made their saving throws, the damage was still enough to take them all out. The explosion, however, alerted another dozen Derro in a room across the hall, and they began to swarm out. A wizard put a couple of these to sleep, but Derro are smart, so they just kicked their comrades and woke them up again!
My wizard cast ‘web’ which divided a large group of Derro still inside their room from the few that had made it out into the hallway. The Keep soldiers charged forward to attack, and between them and the group, the small number of Derro in the corridor were taken out. But again, Derro are smart and simply used torches to burn away the web and then prepared to close and lock their door between us and them to work out a plan inside. Luckily, this plan was partially ruined because my monk NPC has boots of springing and leaping, and he heroically leaped into the room just as they closed the door.
It took a few rounds for the group to batter down the door, in the meantime my monk managed to take out more Derro even as they strategically surrounded him for flanking attacks. The group did make it in, however, and these Derro were defeated.
But there was still another room with another dozen Derro, and they had simply holed themselves up inside and waited for the group to come into their trapped room. They had several trip wires and pressure plates which activated poison gas, but my wizard NPC used his air elemental gem, and it shot forward into this small room over everyone’s heads and devastated the Derro before returning to the gem. However, their traps were set up at ground level, so even though the Derro were finished, their traps were still in place, and the witch/assassin was not able to discover the traps of these clever roguish Derro and there were some injuries.
With the Derro threat dispensed with (over 30 of them were taken down!). The group made their way up to the main level. There they encountered more than a dozen orcs, but orcs are a wee bit dumb, and the group was able to use organized tactics and take out the charging group of brutes.
The evening came to an end and several of the players gained levels from this adventure. Much fun was had! Because I will be at GameholeCon in two weeks, we won’t have another Saturday game for a month, but when we do meet again in mid-November, the group might be able to complete exploring the Caverns of Quasqueton.