Scarlet Citadel Session 38 – Clacking Caverns

Back in the Scarlet Citadel, the adventurers continued to explore Level 3, heading into the infamous Clacking Caverns.

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

A few days after the Winter Festival, the characters return to the Scarlet Citadel, using the owlbear tunnel to enter the dungeon. They head through the door in the south wall of the passage, just before it enters the Dwarven Barracks.

Tricksy leads the way into a cavern with glowing blue-green moss covering the walls and floor. Advancing further, the party discover two large caverns, each with a 12-foot diameter blob of water floating in midair. The pool in the southern chamber is lighter, and fish and even a turtle can be seen swimming in it, while the pool in the northern cavern is pitch black. Unsure what to make of this, the group conduct various experiments, dropping magically illuminated coins into the pools from above and carrying them from one side to the other with mage hand. Maya and Tunde look into the chamber to the east where there is a bubbling fountain with dead beetles floating in it.

Next, the party investigate one of the corridors which ends in an iron door etched with the sun symbol of Aten. Maya dispels the glyph of warding on the door and Tricksy picks the lock. Inside is a stone sarcophagus and several sealed clay jars. Clairmont isn’t keen on disturbing the tomb of a priest of a sun god, so they decide to leave everything alone for now, much to Tricksy’s disgust. 

Back in the pool caverns, Tunde and Maya are attacked by beetles which emit a deadly sonic boom with their clacking mandibles. After the beetles are dead, the adventurers throw their bodies into the dark pool and Clairmont finally gets to complete his detect magic ritual. 

Clacker Beetle Attack!

Tricksy goes ahead of the others again, and loots the grave goods inside a tomb that’s already been broken open. There’s a dead dwarf in this room – the corpse is too recent to be the original occupant. 

Continuing south, Tricksy spots another glyph of warding on the next tomb door which is inscribed with interlocked gears. The characters decide to leave this room alone for now too and return to the southern pool chamber. A shark swims lazily through the water. A low tunnel in the southwest corner offers an alternative entrance into the tomb; the characters stoop to get inside but decide not to disturb the coffins.

From here, they head east into a large cavern filled with the blackened husks of dead giant beetles. As the party attempt to pull out the oversized suit of plate armour  from the centre of the room using a rope and mage hand, they come under attack from swarms of clacker beetles. Clairmont’s wall of fire is effective in roasting the giant bugs, but the dead are rapidly replaced by reinforcements. After a few rounds of combat, the beetles stop coming and the adventurers can retrieve their prize – the armour is decorated with an ornate skeleton in luminescent paint.

Crossing the beetle husk chamber, the characters enter another tomb with three stone coffins, each inlaid in silver with depictions of fiendish faces….

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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 38 – Clacking Caverns

  1. Did you ever play The Streets of Zobeck?Your Scarlet Citadel game sessions have been a big help to me and I am starting a SoZ game soon.So if you ran that a link to your game sessions (especially session one) would be great!Thank you


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