Scarlet Citadel Session 21 – Death on the Road

Here’s the write up for our 21st 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 defeating Cagoth-Ze last session, the party had returned to Redtower with three mules – Bill, Fred, and Sally – carrying all the loot they’d plundered from Level 2 of the Scarlet Citadel. 

The PCs have reached 5th level, with Farthrum upgraded to the new version of the gearforged that appears in Tome of Heroes. This allows him to be healed normally by the party’s three clerics. Tunde has multiclassed as a warlock with Baba Yaga as her patron.

We had three players for this session, so their plan was to set off for Schio with the mules and wait there for the missing characters to join them before completing the second leg of the trip to Triolo to sell their loot.

For the journey to Schio, I used a combination of traditional encounters as well as a couple of exploration challenges from Trials and Treasures, one of the Level Up Advanced 5th Edition books from EN Publishing. This book has two chapters expanding the exploration pillar in the game and, like Monstrous Menagerie, is easily used with the core 5e rules.

It’s the first week of Rimetrail so the weather is grey and damp when the adventurers set off. The first day of the journey passes uneventfully but the second day marks the return of the Iron Spike, the dwarven bandit gang allied to Gellert the Gruesome that the party had encountered before.

Map depicting a country road. Dwarven bandits attack the PCs and their mules.
Battle with the Iron Spike. Map by Dice Grimorium

The bandits try to make off with the mules carrying the characters’ hard won treasure but were soon stopped dead in their tracks. One of the bandits appeared to be a priest and was wearing a holy symbol of Mavros – Maya’s god – perhaps indicating a dark cult among his clergy? Once the dwarves had been defeated, the characters hang their bodies from the nearest tree as a warning to other highway robbers.

The next day, the characters spot a large giant standing on top of a hill overlooking the road ahead. The giant is swinging its club back and forth. After studying him for a while, they realise there is something off about his movements. Tunde sends Mab, his new raven familiar, to take a look and then she consults the runes. Neither weal nor woe is predicted in the cast so the characters walk past and are unharmed.

On the fourth day, Tunde uses her Fey Presence to frighten a herd of stampeding cows enough that they pass by the group with trampling any characters or mules. Later on, they meet some travellers on the road who warn them about the danger posed by dwarven monarchists in Schio seeking to undermine the government. They also learn that the “giant” they saw yesterday is an illusion created years ago by a wizard to disguise the windmill he called home.

Tragedy strikes on the following day. A bulette leaps out of the ground. Sally, who has a very nervous disposition, faints and is crushed to death by the huge land shark when it lands on top of her! The creature’s fearsome bite also knocks Maya unconscious. After the characters have slain the bulette, they botch their attempts to salvage useful body parts for its body and just create a terrible mess.

Bulette attacks the PCs and their mules as they travel on a road through the forest
Alas, poor Sally! Map by Dice Grimorium

After six days of travel, the group arrives in Schio on the Melana-Magdar border and get rooms at the Rainbow Trout Inn. Here they will wait for their companions Cauldvyr and Clairmont to arrive. 

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 and subscribers receive a free Parsantium supplement.

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Published by richgreen01

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

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