Scarlet Citadel Session 15 – The United Church of Sub-Optimals

Here’s the write up for our fifteenth 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.


After the unexpected TPK last session, it was time to introduce three new characters, all of them clerics. As I mentioned previously, this is because the players decided that the first person to lose a character should make a cleric for their next PC and they all died together.

Our three new characters, collectively known as the United Church of the Sub-Optimals, are:

  • Alhimaya (Maya), female human war cleric of Mavros
  • Clairmont, male human light cleric of Khors; has a weasel familiar called Pop
  • Tunde Galati, female elfmarked life cleric of Yarila & Porevit and mystic of Baba Yaga; brother of Dimitar

The other two players were missing again this week so I decided they would still be out of town when the new characters arrived in Redtower. 

To get the session off to a strong start (cf. Sly Flourish), I consulted Lou Anders’ jolly handy spreadsheet of Midgard Adventures by Level and Location and found a mini-scenario by James Haeck called Eyes of the Iron Spike set in the White Forest that fitted the bill. 

As the three clerics headed west towards Redtower from Schio, they ran into a mutated serpopard (Tome of Beasts) being pursued by elf archer named Xi Derina. After a tough fight against the monster, the characters learned that a group of dwarven mercenaries called the Iron Spike were in the area and working for Gellert the Gruesome. The dwarves’ twisted magic had mutated the serpopard which had killed Xi’s companions.

Bidding Xi farewell, the party carried on to Redtower. I hid all the labels I’d added to the village map as the characters were new to the village and let them explore. Clairmont visited the neglected temple of Khors, and was sad to see what a sorry state it was in. The others went onto The Cage and talked to some of the villagers, finding out that Dimitar, Allia and Torander had gone to the Scarlet Citadel 10 days ago and not returned. They also visited Zula the witch, and Tunde went to Yarila and Porevit’s temple to pay his respects. I kept the roleplaying scenes brief to get the new characters up to speed quickly without going over everything again as the players themselves are already very familiar with Redtower.

Fighting the Iron Spike dwarves. Map by Jon Pintar.

The next morning, the three clerics headed off to the Scarlet Citadel. Having three clerics, all capable of casting spiritual weapon, is great for their action economy but they are all rubbish at Dexterity saving throws and two of them were trapped when a tree fell in the forest. They’re not that strong either, so it took a while for them to free themselves. Meanwhile, an owlbear – it felt very appropriate to have one appear this session – turned up and attacked the group. Once they’d finished it off, they cut open its gullet to find a bezoar of the cockatrice which Maya swallowed.

At the ruins, they ran into a group of Iron Spike dwarves and fought them. One of the  mercenaries was a cult fanatic so there were four spiritual weapons on the go at one point! The characters were victorious and took the surviving dwarf captive.

We ended the session with the party having a short rest before descending into the dungeons beneath the ruins. My plan is to have the other two PCs turn up just before they do so….


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

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