Lost City of Barakus- Sewage and other Sundry Topics (GMs only please)

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Sewers Update 6/7 @6:44pm- was considering putting a small knot of cultists down in the sewers or a gang hideout near locations s8, s9, s13, or s12

Has anybody ever named the gangs of the slums in their campaigns?

Looking at the Wilderness Location Map and reading the encounter levels (CR) I noticed some of the lower lvl encounters (especially the Haunted Hovel) are mashed between areas of harder CR encounters, this prompted me to move the encounter location elsewhere...

I typed up a chart of the encounter areas and their CRs here...

Lost Lands- Lost City of Barakus

 

WILDERNESS LOCATIONS (pgs. 54-91)

 

Area-                                                                        CR-

A: Home of Gilda Waynethrop (druid)                           3

B: The Green Tree Bandits                                         7 

C: Aranea Lair                                                           6

D: Gribbons (Tome of Horrors 4- pg. 124)                    5

E: Mysterious Crypt                                                  3-5

F: The Haunted Hovel                                               1

G: The Buried Treasure                                             8

H: The Caves (pgs. 92-107): above Barakus               1-7

I: Cave of the Dead                                                   9

J: Krink and Flink (half-orcs)                                      4

K: Grimlock Caves                                                   6

L: The Crumbling Cave                                             4

M: The Big, Stupid Giant                                          8

N: The Dragonspire (Bezzalt, Red Dragon)               10

O: Rosko's Inns (2): Adventures: Finding Fenton and Green Tree Bandits

Penelope Barmey wants PCs to find her husband Fenton Barmey (pgs. 27, 126)

Fell Tarmick is spotted trying to slip out of one of the inns (leader of the Green Tree Bandits)

Bragger Bondhome (dwarf, Captain of the Guard in Endhome) is offering a reward of 500 gp for the leader of the Green Tree Bandits (pgs. 28, 71, 56-58)

P: Logging Camp

Q: The Painted Cave                                               7

R: The House of Bricks                                            7

S: The Wizard's Library                                            6

T: The Black Unicorn                                               3

U: The Water Caves                                                5

V: Quarrion's Tower                                                 10

W: Fungus Amungus                                               10+

X: Don't Go in the Tall Grass (Part Duex)                   5

Y: The Abandoned Temple                                       12 or 14

Z: Jimmy Dean's Tower                                            6

*The higher encounter lvls are in bold type

Lost Lands- The Lost City of Barakus

 

Finding the Upper Caverns

On pg. 92 it says that the humans of Endhome drove out an orcish host from the caves above Barakus 20 years ago. This gives the PCs a possible avenue of assistance and discovery as they may meet old, grizzled veterans of that campaign many years ago. Below are a couple of suggestions as to how this could come about.

 

Bragger Bondhome

One obvious contact/source of information should be the dwarf Captain of the Guard Bragger Bondhome. Enterprising GMs may wish to have Bragger involved with the offensive, the success of the assault may have even resulted in Bragger's promotion to Captain of the Guard. GMs may put Bragger's age around 80 years or just reaching the cusp of middle age. Regardless, he would know the location of the caves.

 

Vintray Expeditions

In case the PCs run afoul of the City Watch and do not have Bragger's good graces, a guide could be another way to reach the caves. Kabos Vintray is a man who enrolled in the City Watch when he was 18 and was age 20 when the cave attacks commenced. He is now 40 years of age and retired from the Watch but his wanderlust inspired him to open up a guide service known as Vintray Expeditions. Kabos and three other guides assist with taking travellers from Endhome through the Penprie Forest up to Fool's Pass (or if paid well past the Duskmoon Hills to Trader's Way up to Telar Brindel) or the route of the Kings Road all the way to Grollek's Grove (Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms tie in). Kabos also offers hunting expeditions to certain parts of Penprie Forest (the swath of woodlands sweeping around Gilda's house and just before Wilderness Encounter C). He is leery of taking anyone through the Penprie Forest due to the activity of the Green Tree Bandits (or if GMs wish he could be one the contacts of the bandits, giving Fell Tarmick intel on lucrative caravans coming north from the city). Kabos has a sixth sense for trouble and knows to avoid the Abandoned Temple (Wilderness Encounter Y) and has a gut feeling about the Aranea's lair (Wilderness Encounter C) as one of the“bad places of the forest.” Kabos Vintray is a 1st lvl figher/3rd lvl ranger. He has contacts among the regular guards who hire themselves out to defend merchant's caravans as well as certain members of the City Watch. If the PCs befriend him or one of his guides, (Karl, Vern, and 'Chuckles'- all human 1st lvl rangers) the location of the Caves can be disclosed to the adventurers.

Typos/Errata

pg. 61 The Haunted Hovel

Major error as the text states that according to Girda Klar can be found in Endhome. Shouldn't it instead read that he is in Barakus, or maybe the Hall of the Sword? (Klar's real location- pg.136)

Gangs for the Memories

An adventure for 4-6 PCs of 1st level

 

Adventure Summary

The only local priest of Quell in Endhome has stirred up the ire of one of the most notorious gangs in Endhome, the Wharf Rumblers. In retaliation the gang has beseiged the chapel where the faithful has gathered for services. The gang has paid off the local patrols of the City Watch not to get involved while they attempt to burn the chapel to the ground. One of the locals, upset by the situation, contacts the PCs and asks them to help the beleaguered priest and worshippers within the chapel.

 

Aldev Hycorth- A Jewel in the Rough

Aldev Hycorth is a half elf and Endhome's only priest of Quell. He has endeared himself to the local community by bringing in fish for the poor, bringing blessings and comfort to the influx of the rough and tumble sailors who frequent the city as their ships dock to unload cargo, helps the local fisherfolk with their nets, assists them with teaching fishing techniques and uses his healing skills and magicks to relieve any sicknesses and ailments he can.

 

Aldev does not ask for donations or tithes, but uses his skills as a fisherman and a sailor to maintain a small chapel of Quell in the southeastern slums of Endhome.

 

Due to his actions, the half elf has gained the respect of many in the community. Unfortunately with this respect also comes an escalating enmity with the slum's criminal elements.

 

Aldev is a 5th lvl cleric of Quell/1st lvl fighter and is one tough hombre. He hasn't reached middle age yet so he is still in his fighting prime.

 

Aldev Hycorth CR 5

XP 1,600

Male half-elf cleric of Quell 5/fighter 1

CG Medium humanoid (elf, human)

Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7

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Defense

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AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)

hp 52 (6 HD; 5d8+1d10+12)

Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments

Immune sleep

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Offense

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Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)

Melee mwk heavy mace +6 (1d8+1) or

mwk trident +2 (1d8+1)

Ranged mwk underwater light crossbow -2 (1d8/19-20)

Special Attacks ocean/sea/water variant channeling 4/day (DC 13, 3d6 plus 2 channel bonus)

Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +9)

7/day—calming touch (1d6+5), icicle (1d6+2 cold)

Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +9)

3rd—create food and water, cure serious wounds, water breathing[D]

2nd—abeyance, aid, cure moderate wounds, fog cloud[D]

1st—air bubble[UC], bless[D], comprehend languages, cure light wounds, cure light wounds

0 (at will)—create water, enhanced diplomacy, purify food and drink (DC 14), read magic

D Domain spell; Domains Community, Water

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Statistics

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Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 12

Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 19

Feats Agile Maneuvers, Attuned To The Wild[ARG], Dodge, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Profession [fisherman])

Skills Acrobatics +0 (-4 to jump), Appraise +5, Climb +2, Diplomacy +5, Heal +8, Perception +7, Profession (fisherman) +13, Profession (sailor) +10, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +1, Survival +8, Swim +3; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception

Languages Common, Elven, Orc

SQ elf blood

Combat Gear mwk crossbow bolts (50); Other Gear mwk studded leather, mwk heavy mace, mwk trident, mwk underwater light crossbow[ARG], belt pouch, box of fishing tackle (2 lb), fishing pole, simple (1 lb), holy symbol with flask of Holy Water[UE], iron holy symbol of Quell[UE], 40 gp

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Special Abilities

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Agile Maneuvers Use DEX instead of STR for CMB

Attuned to the Wild (Favored Terrain [Water]) Double natural healing in specified wilderness environment.

Calming Touch (1d6+5 nonlethal damage, 7/day) (Sp) Heal 1d6+5 nonlethal damage and cure conditions by touch.

Cleric Domain (Community) Granted Powers: Your touch can heal wounds, and your presence instills unity and strengthens emotional bonds.

Cleric Domain (Water) Granted Powers: You can manipulate water and mist and ice, conjure creatures of water, and resist cold.

Elf Blood Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.

Icicle 1d6+2 cold (7/day) (Sp) As a standard action, ranged touch attack deals cold dam to foe in 30 ft.

Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.

Ocean/Sea/Water Variant Channeling (±2 Sacred) Climb & Swim bonus/enhanced harm for aquatic creatures

Ocean/Sea/Water Variant Channeling 3d6 plus 2 channel bonus (4/day, DC 13) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.

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Aldev's father had a romantic entanglement with a human female from the town of Deadfellows. Aldev was intrigued by a visiting priest of Quell, Malton Birge and the half elf decided that when he came of age he would become a temple acolyte to the Lord of the Blue. The temple was ransacked by bandits during Aldev's tutelage and Birge was slain. Aldev decided to ply his trade as a fisherman up and down the coast around Endhome. Eventually, he gathered up a small group of worhsippers in the city itself. Aldev has a small chapel dedicated to Quell near the southern docks of Endhome.

 

 

 

The Wharf Rumblers Gang

The Wharf Rumblers is one of the most prolific gangs in the slums. The gang numbers about 40 members. They used to be almost 50 but Aldev has personally thinned their numbers, getting the City Watch to incarcerate some and using his formidable skills to slay or incapicitate others. His chapel just happens to be on Wharf Rumblers turf and naturally, Aldev had to pay 'protection money'. The half elf complied for a while but after seeing the way the gang treats the locals and running into economic difficulties himself, he has refused paying 'protection' monies for almost a month now.

 

The Wharf Rumblers sent two enforcemer patrols to shake some money out of Aldev but one never came back at all, and the second came back with half of their numbers missing and no money.

 

The leader of the gang, Geoff, has had enough. He patiently had the chapel of Quell observed for a week to determine the day when Aldev and the greatest number of worshippers were at the Chapel. Geoff scraped up enough funds to pay off the Watch Patrol for that particular day. Near the late part of the day, 33 Wharf Rumblers quietly set out to rid themselves of one priest of Quell and all of his worshippers. Geoff figured that Aldev won't come out to fight as the protection of his parishoners would be the half elf's chief concern. Not that it mattered, as the Wharf Rumblers have the advantage in numbers. The Chapel would burn by nightfall.

 

Each Wharf Rumbler has a gang tattoo on their left forearm of a dock being shaken apart by a sea troll.

 

The Seige of the Chapel

The gang split into two groups when it neared the Chapel.

The Wharf Rumblers have the first group divided into 3 five man teams (the stat blocks for each team is 4 thugs and 1 gang member as outlined on pg. 14 of the Lost City of Barakus). The teams have a rather large area to cover so they're spread thin. Their job is to contain the perimeter around the Chapel.

The containment group is covering four streets (Seagull Road, Bullfinch Boulevard, Rint Street, and Wheeldeck Road) that surround the Chapel. Their weakest point in the perimeter is the northern side, along Seagull Road. Here there are only 3 thugs covering over 200 feet of street along with second and third story buildings, mostly residential.

 

The second group, the assault group, is extremely deadly. They are 14 in number (use the gang member stat block as outlined on pg. 14 of the Lost City of Barakus). Aldev with the help of his parishoners, has dispatched or wounded eight of the assault group. Treat four out of the 14 as having 10 or less hit points. These four are currently not involved in the assault but are holing up in a shack across the street near the east side of the chapel, nursing their wounds.

 

The other 10 have surrounded the Chapel. There are two men posted near the windows to the east and west walls of the Chapel. Stationed on the north and south walls of the Chapel is a group of 3 men. Currently, the seige has stalled as Aldev has used a Create Water spell to help put out many of the fires started by the assault group.

 

The assault group leader (and one of the members of the 3 man group on the south side of the Chapel), 'Dreg' is torn between sending someone to get more reinforcements or to see if Geoff has enough money to enlist the help of the corrupt City Watch. Dreg is mulling over the aggressive option of gathering the group for another large attack through the front doors (the first frontal assault cost the Wharf Rumblers four of their number, and wounded four who are resting in the shack). He feels if he sends for help, he will be losing face with Geoff and the rest of the gang.

 

To make matters worse, the four wounded gang members murdered the family living in the shack across the street. Dreg is demoralized, feeling events are spiralling out of his control.

 

And his day could go from bad to worse...

 

The Watch is Gone!

The PCs are approached by a young gnome female in tears. Her name is Seltina, and she tries to calm herself between the sobs. “S-something is happening. Some.. some... something terrible. They're trying to burn the Chapel to Q-Q-Quell!” The PCs can assist in calming Seltina with a DC 12 Diplomacy Check or a DC 13 Intimidate Check. Seltina knows of the Wharf Rumblers and will give PCs an overall layout of the two groups: “There's some gang boys trying to keep people out and I saw some gang boys throwing torches into the windows on the west side of the chapel.” (she snuck out through an alley on Seagull Road) If asked about the Watch Seltina just says, “They're gone. They're gone.”

 

Infiltration

The PCs hopefully will choose to enter the perimeter through Seagull Street. The thugs there are getting a little bored and a little overwhelmed as they are still making threats to an occasional passerby that is getting 'too close.' The gang here thought that the Chapel would be burning already and some have already left their posts to inquire as to what the hold up is or to get a drink at The Ramshackle (location 22 of Endhome, pg. 17) Regardless subtract one from all Perception rolls for the gang members as the PCs attempt to go through the perimeter. If they're noticed, the PCs will be pursued by two gang members who will fight the PCs. This group is sloppy and undisciplined, if one falls, the other will surrender outright. The captured gang member will talk only if he is intimidated on a DC 11 or a DC 13 Intimidate Check (it all depends on the stat block- see Lost City of Barakus, pg. 14).

 

If the PCs wish to do something a little more on the 'derring do' side of the things there is a winch and pulley system between two old barns on either side of Bullfinch Boulevard (the western side of the perimeter). They must make a DC 6 Climb Check to successfully cross using the rope if they hang on the rope upside down, sliding across, with their legs wrapped around the rope and using their hands. Those PCs that want to try it the hard ward way hanging and just using their hands via a 'monkey bar' method must make a DC 10 Climb Check or if they're encumbered a DC 12 Climb Check. Though taxing this approach will ensure that the PCs make it past the first group entirely without being detected and are now close to the Chapel.

 

The direct approach will result in alerting at least two gang members with the other 3 of the group coming to help in 1D4 rounds. If one of the group falls in the first two rounds of combat, one in the group will flee to get more help. This will result in 1D4 more gang members arriving in another 1D4 rounds. This keeps happening until the entire perimeter group has abandoned their posts and the PCs could very well end up facing all 15 members of the first group. Not good odds.

 

Still if the battle goes in the PCs favor, and seven gang members are subdued or slain, the rest or whoever is left will attempt to flee and warn the assault group of the PCs presence. If the assault group is alerted, Dreg will snap out of his funk and he will attempt to ambush the PCs as they arrive near the Chapel. He will pull 6 gang members, including himself, and coerce the four wounded in the shack to come out and act as lookouts. That will leave four remaining gang members to watch the Chapel. The PCs may end up facing 10 second level rogues. Again, not good odds.

 

 

The Stare of Death or Smoothe Talking Sally (or Sammy respectively) or...

What About Roleplaying?

If the PCs wish to Intimidate any of the gang members in an encounter, they need to make a DC

11 or 13 Intimidate Check. A smoothe talking PC may attempt to talk their way through the first group with a DC 20 Diplomacy Check as the gang members are intially Unfriendly (unless they saw the PCs beat the crap out of their fellow gang members, in which case they start out as Hostile, DC 25 Diplomacy Check). I strongly encourage the GMs to insist that the players role play this out rather than just using the dice as the final arbiter in the encounter. If the PCs offer 50 gp (to each member they encounter) they can bribe their way through the first group. Some gang members may follow the PCs from a distance even after they've been bribed.

 

The Chapel

The Chapel to Quell is on an old lot surrounded by buildings. On the north, south and west sides there are 3 story buildings overlooking the Chapel and its grounds. On the east side there is nothing but a row of one story shacks. The Chapel's lot is accessible by alleys on every side. The widest alley is to the south, spanning 15 ft. across.

 

The Chapel itself was once a small store. It is a one story structure. It has a vestibule, a main hall, and Aldev's bedroom in the back. The Chapel's only visible doors are its double doors on its southern walls. There is a secret door which Aldev usually keeps locked from the inside in his bedroom to the north.

 

Unless alerted, the assault group is deployed as explained in The Seige of the Chapel section above.

 

Taking the High Ground

If the PCs decide to inflitrate the buildings on the north, south or west sides around the Chapel and use ranged attacks, they will guarantee themselves an ambush and a surprise round in their favor. These taller buildings are only 50% inhabited and most dwellers are too frightened to do anything but stay where they are. The PCs will have no problem finding an unoccupied room with a window to take a shot at a gang member of the assault group. After the surprise round, the gang members will foolishly attempt to rush into the buildings and go up to the roof or whatever story the PCs are on to engage them directly. The gang members here will fight to the death unless they either see or know Dreg is slain, in which case they will flee when being brought below 80% of their hit points (ie- below 16 hp). Depending on which side they attack from, the appropriate group engages the PCs without calling for help.

 

Taking the Low Ground- A Bad Idea

If the PCs engage the assault group from the ground, appropriate Stealth and Perception checks are made to determine surprise. After the first round of combat, surprised or not, the appropriate group under attack shouts for their comrades who will arrive a round later. If any of the gang members are brought below 10 hp, they will attempt to flee. Dreg will curse them for fleeing if he is still able to fight but will also take to flight if he loses half of his hit points. If any of the gang sees Dreg flee, all will attempt to flee to the gang hideout. If the four wounded gang members in the shack to the east see their fellows being attacked, they will try a stealthy exit from the shack and attempt sneak attacks during combat.These four will fight to the death, even if they see Dreg flee.

 

 

 

 

 

Concluding the Adventure

Hopefully the PCs will slay or drive off the assault group sieging the Chapel of Quell. If this happens, the Chapel, its parishoners, and Aldev are saved. Give the PCs an additonal CR 3 story reward if they accomplish this.

The neighbors around the Chapel will come out and some will check on the Chapel to see if anyone needs help.

The PCs may find out about the murdered family in the shack. The family of Tristam and Alisia Toombs, husband and wife, and their two daughters, Fiona and Aurie. Eight out of 20 parishoners died in the attacks, along with four of the Wharf Rumblers (their bodies are in the vestibule of the Chapel). This isn't counting any of the casualties to the Wharf Rumblers caused by the PCs.

Alvern will most definitely wish to speak to the PCs and thank them personally for their help.

 

Retaliation

Any survivors of the Wharf Rumblers will no doubt tell Geoff of the PCs involvement in the break up of the Chapel attack. There will be a reckoning.

 

Will the PCs in turn retaliate against the remaining Wharf Rumblers, taking the battle to the gang's hideout?

 

Corruption in the Watch

After hearing of the attack on the Chapel Captain Bondhome will lead an investigation into the City Watch to try and weed out the corruption. Will he succeed? Will those who abandoned their posts be held accountable? Or will they too seek a day of reckoning against the PCs?