Scarlet Citadel Session 5 – Death in the Crypt

Last Monday we continued my Scarlet Citadel campaign with the 5th full session. Hopefully these write ups will prove useful to others running the adventure. 

You can read earlier posts here. This post contains spoilers for Scarlet Citadel.

I only had three players this week so I knew this session had the potential to be deadly. After dealing with the mud mephit in the water torture chamber last session, they continued exploring the first level of the dungeon, discovering the stairs down to level 2 and uncovering the brooch hidden in Scar’s cell. 

They met Ushulx in Charun’s shrine and had a chat with her, learning a bit about Cagoth-Ze and Danaska Maksilov on the level below. Although suspicious of the priestess, the characters agreed to accompany her into the Holzanger ancestral shrine. Here, four shadows and a spectre appeared as they poked around the room – poor Ushulx was the only one surprised by the undead. She was killed and the characters were forced to beat a hasty treat after being drained of Strength and life energy. 

Fighting undead in the shrine. Map by Jon Pintar

After a rest to recover lost Strength, they decided they didn’t want to face either the undead or the Gaoler again, so down seemed the best option. Allia led the way cautiously down the stairs to level 2, looking out for traps. Unfortunately, the large bearfolk Cauldvyr moved in front of the tiny alliumite just before she reached the bottom step, triggering the pressure plate to send acid gushing down the stairs and reducing Dimitar to 0 hp! Once again, a goodberry came to the rescue and they were able to revive the ranger and make it back to the surface. 

Back in Redtower, the characters bought some supplies with their hard-earned gems and jewellery, and had dinner with Konrad who offered to sell them some minor magic items. I had the players roll randomly on the excellent Magic Items tables from Vault of Magic to see what he had for sale. They decided to keep hold of their cash for the time being.

The next day, the party returned to the citadel and were attacked en route by bandits. They captured one of them, and learned the gang had been sent by Cagoth-Ze to get rid of the annoying adventurers. One of them was carrying a common magic item, also from Vault of Magic, but they haven’t worked out what it does yet.

Four out of five characters are now 3rd level which should make things a bit easier for the group as they finish level 1 and/or explore level 2. I’ve been giving out XP for treasure safely brought back to Redtower and that seems to have worked so far.

If you’d like to keep up to date with my Scarlet Citadel campaign and other posts, please do join my mailing list – there’s a sign up form on the home page

Main image by David Auden Nash

Published by richgreen01

D&D gamer | Freelance game designer | Writer & publisher – Parsantium: City at the Crossroads

2 thoughts on “Scarlet Citadel Session 5 – Death in the Crypt

    1. Sure! In AD&D, player characters would be awarded 1 XP for every gold piece of treasure they recovered from the dungeon. Because there was loads of treasure in 1st edition adventures, this was often how PCs gained most of their experience points. I wanted to give my Scarlet Citadel game some of this old school feel and incentivise the players to thoroughly explore the dungeon looking for gold. I also wanted them to keep going back to Redtower so they could interact with its inhabitants and learn about side quests etc. I ruled that they have to go back to the town to level up and I would award XP for any treasure found then too. Hope that makes sense!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: