I ran a Sinister Stone of Sakkara one-shot. Having only three players, I was very fast and loose with the henchmen rules. I started them at the dungeon proper due to time scarcity.
In recent months, beastmen attacks have ravaged the fertile farms of the Borderlands. Lacking the manpower to stop them himself, the stern and proud Legate of the mighty fortress Türos Tem has put out a call for brave (or foolhardy) adventurers. They will risk their lives and stop the attacks for gold and glory (and XP, obviously). Four such would-be heroes answer the call and make their way to Türos Tem to halt the beastman tide.
Pherio, level 2 paladin
“The bard”, level 2 bard
<ul> <li> <p>“The dwarf”, level 1 vaultguard</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p>Elizabeth, level 2 mage</p> </li>
The adventurers made their way through the Viaspen Forest and stumbled upon a great black stone dome sticking out of the ground. Pherio’s paladin senses suggested this was surely a source of evil, and so they approached and saw four kobolds guarding a gap within the dome leading inward. “The bard” voiced a suggestion that perhaps these kobolds could be questioned for information. However, Pherio decreed that Ammonar would brook no nonviolent interactions with creatures born of Chaos, and so he charged forward.
Despite these being only weak kobolds, Calefa chose to repeatedly mock the adventurers for their daring, and rewarded the kobolds with lucky strike after lucky strike. By the time the fourth had been slain, “The bard” had been lightly scarred, and, much more seriously, one of the arms of “The dwarf” was so badly damaged that it needed to be amputated. Tragically, Elizabeth’s healing prowess failed her after the operation, and the adventurers could do nothing but watch “The dwarf” bleed out in the dirt.
The party’s collective reaction to this was straightforward: “We need more party members”. They retreated to Türos Tem to prepare for:
Pherio, level 2 paladin
<ul> <li> <p>Katerina, level 1 bladedancer</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p>“The bard”, level 2 bard</p> <ul> <li> <p>Hume, level 1 fighter</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p>Elizabeth, level 2 mage</p> </li>
Flush with two new recruits, the party returned to the dome’s entrance and saw two more kobolds standing over the bodies of their fellows. A quick bow shot by Hume slew one, but the second screamed and ran into the dome’s depths.
Inside, the adventurers found themselves in a long hallway adorned with distressing frescoes. Drawing on his background as a temple guard, Pherio realized that these frescoes depicted some of the ancient sorcerer-kings of Old Zahar. Their fell magic must still have lingered in this place, because the adventurers came upon a horrible mass of rats that had been magically fused together. Elizabeth let loose a gout of flames from her hands and scorched a dozen of the rats to death, but those that remained were still able to horribly drag their brethren’s corpses along the ground and savager her before Hume stepped in and hewed apart the abomination.
Next, the adventurers selected a door leading out of the hallway. Unfortunately, this door led straight into the heart of the kobold territory, and, having been warned by the escaped kobold from the entrance, a vicious ambush had been prepared. Six kobolds waited ready with spear and crossbow. When Hume, Katerina, and Pherio charged into this room, four more snipers revealed themselves in an adjoining room. Despite the Pherio’s sturdy armor and divine blessing, the endless waves of shots took their toll, and the paladin fell.
Meanwhile, back in the corridor, disaster almost struck when six more kobolds took an alternate route and flanked the party. They surely would have torn Elizabeth to pieces, had she not gotten a quick sleep spell off and incapacitated all of them. After Pherio’s fall, “The bard” had to step up and hold the line with Hume and Katerina, but she was horribly unprepared for this role, and a kobold crossbow bolt instantly ended her life.
With both of their masters down for the count, Hume and Katerina’s morale wavered but ultimately held, and their superior arms and armor eventually finished off the remaining beastman. The last kobold, who happened to be the one who had escaped the adventurers previously, threw down his weapons and begged for mercy in exchange for information about treasure. Katerina, however, had only vengeance on her mind, and she brutally ended the tiny creature without a second thought.
It was discovered that Pherio, like “The dwarf” before him, would need to have an arm amputated due to how drastic his wounds were. Luckily, this time, Elizabeth successfully treated the wound, and so the proud paladin vowed to henceforth go by “Pherio One-Arm”. After beating another hasty retreat to Türos Tem, the adventurers realized they had not yet collected sufficient wealth to raise “The bard”, and so they again found themselves seeking out a new companion.
Pherio, level 2 paladin
<ul> <li> <p>Katarina, level 1 bladedancer</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p>“Ranger”, level 1 elven ranger</p> <ul> <li> <p>Hume, level 1 fighter</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p>Elizabeth, level 2 mage</p> </li>
The adventurers knew they must be close to ending the kobold threat in this unholy temple, and so they retraced their steps to the scene of their last great battle. Here, their new recruit, “Ranger” the ranger showed her worth by quickly killing a kobold scout that spotted them and tried to run away. With this scout dead, the party was able to kick open the door to the kobold king’s throne room and completely surprise them. Two quick sleep spells from Elizabeth sent every beastman into a deep slumber, then Pherio engaged in a mass bout of holy one-armed slaughter. The adventurers looted the king’s body, and found a pouch of gold hidden under his throne, but they chose to retreat to Türos Tem rather than explore further.
We called it there for the night, since it was getting late. The players were very mournful when I told them that, had they gone just one room further, they would have found the kobold king’s treasure horde. If we get a chance to continue this game, I’ve decided that the canny Drusus will probably have quietly appropriated all of the loot the party missed out on. Overall, everyone enjoyed themselves though.
Mortal Wounds Count:
“The bard”, light scarring after first kobold encounter
Pherio, loses an arm after wound festers
“The dwarf”, lost arm to kobolds, bleeds out after healing attempts failed
“The bard”, killed instantly by a kobold crossbow