Here’s the write up for our tenth Scarlet Citadel 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.
We ended last session with the characters lurking in the chamber to the southeast of Cagoth-Ze’s study on Level 2 where the gnome wizard stood observing the crackling bolts of pink magical energy that split the room in two.
After some deliberation, the party launched their attack. Torander’s shadow puppets stopped Cagoth-Ze from casting spells, so the gnome fled through the time stream. Cauldvyr bravely ran after him, and was forced to use his inspiration* to save himself from becoming 9 years younger and transforming into an 11 year old bearfolk! Instead, he dropped to 0 hp and had to be dragged out of the time stream.
* Like many other DMs, I’ve started giving out inspiration at the start of each session and allowing it to be spent to gain advantage if the player doesn’t like their initial roll. I’ve found it gets used this way, rather than forgotten about by the players – and me!
Next, Dimitar tried to run through the time stream and also fell unconscious. Then Torander cast misty step to get to the other side safely. Unfortunately he couldn’t open the door Cagoth-Ze had run through, and with no misty step spells left, found himself trapped!
After some healing to bring Cauldvyr and Dimitar back round, the others searched for another route, both to reach Torander and to confront Cagoth-Ze. Allia entered a large chamber with a conjuration circle in the centre, occupied by a barbed devil who introduced himself as Baska. The devil offered to share information about Cagoth-Ze in exchange for its freedom but the characters – perhaps wisely – declined.
Leaving Baska seemingly trapped, the party headed through an opening to the north and found Torander on the other side of a door. Reunited, the characters talked to a pair of clockwork servants busily copying books in the scribes’ room and examined the bottom of the pit of bones on Level 1 through a hole in the wall.
In the Arcane Scriptorium, the characters witnessed the arrival of the time construct, Three of the group – Allia, Dimitar and Torander – went off on an unexpected and stomach-churning jaunt through time along with the strange machine and its clockwork escorts. Cauldvyr who was hanging back in bear form found himself left behind.
The time-travelling trio got to experience the library in its heyday 500 years ago when the elves still studied there, 5,000 years into the future when it had been turned into the throne room of a clockwork king, and 20,000 years from now when it had become an overgrown subterranean garden. Here, Allia became engulfed by a huge plant monster and had to be rescued by Dimitar just before the machine jumped through time yet again.
Meanwhile, Cagoth-Ze emerged from his chamber, blasted Cauldvyr with a lightning bolt, and ran past him. Unable to see in the dark, the bear couldn’t stop his escape.
Finally, the time construct transported the other characters to the far, far, far future where the elvish library has been magically preserved. As the clockwork servants loaded themselves up with books, Torander searched around for tomes that might reveal the true history of the shadow fey – his original motivation for coming to the Scarlet Citadel – but was unable to find anything in the small corner of the library he had time to check before the time construct returned.
Back in the present, the characters looted Cagoth-Ze’s chamber where they smashed open his chest, destroying the potions inside. Low on spells and hit points, and out of healing potions, the party withdrew to Level 1 for a short rest in the Water Torture Chamber, intending to return to Redtower next session.
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