Princes of the Apocalypse, session 9

The Stoneheart Monastery. The Sumber Hills. 10th Kythorn. 591 DR.

With the lady abbot now dead, the adventurers expected a simpler entrance to the monastery. Not a bit of it! This time, three minotaurs awaited them in the entrance chamber, and the resulting combat was fierce and dangerous. Minotaurs can hit very hard indeed, and the group – Krovis in particular – was reminded of that. Repeatedly.

With the death of the minotaurs, the adventurers spotted a few monks who fled from them, but had vanished once the adventurers gave chase. A number of doors led off from the hallways, and so the group began to explore them, seeking the monks.

The first room they tried held not the monks, but instead a lich – a gaunt figure who was busily engaged in researching something beyond the adventurers’ understanding. The adventurers engaged it in conversation, not realising at first what they were addressing, and discovered that it was not really aligned with the monks of the monastery, it was named Renwick, and it really didn’t want to be disturbed. Jandar tried to press the issue, and was informed that if he continued, he would discover how long he could survive in a room full of poison gas. Renwick pointed out that he didn’t need to breathe, but Jandar did. Jandar left quietly.

Exploring the rest of this side of the monastery yielded a lot of empty rooms, mainly work rooms. The group were particularly interested by a distillery with many large bottles of brandy in it, with Jandar sampling the brandy to excess and becoming quite intoxicated as a result.

This gave them a few problems as they explored an interior garden, where two statues animated and attacked the group. The statues’ stony exterior proved resistant to the party’s weaponry, and the lead characters in the group were torn up pretty badly before the warlocks in the group could subdue the statues with their eldritch blasts.

The adventurers then discovered stairs leading down, where they discovered the monks they’d spotted earlier trying to convince an ogre and his minions to come help above, despite previous orders to the contrary. At this point, the group decided to use one of the bottles of brandy they’d taken from upstairs – rough and very alcoholic – and threw it to the ogre, who caught the bottle. And then Diablo let loose with his breath weapon… the spirit exploded, severely hurting the ogre and his minions.

The ogre was not happy at this, and engaged the adventurers. He hit hard! The adventurers won the battle, but it was a close-fought thing; the monks had disappeared by its end. With the group now very badly hurt, they returned to the surface and left the monastery, looking once more for a place to rest and heal.

The Players and their Characters

  • Michael is playing Krovis Thorn, LN human Paladin 3/Fighter 1. (Soldier, Lord’s Alliance)
  • Mikey is playing Diablo, N dragonborn Warlock 3 (Sage, Lord’s Alliance)
  • Jesse is playing Jandar, CN human Fighter 4 (Criminal, Zhentarim)
  • Noah is playing Gimble, CN gnome Rogue 3 (Criminal, Zhentarim)
  • Josh is playing Ivan, CN water genasi Bard 4 (Pirate, Lord’s Alliance)
  • Danielle is playing Thumbalina, CN dwarf Barbarian 3 (Outlander, Emerald Enclave)
  • Dean is playing Zed Lepplin, CN human Warlock 1/Fighter 1 (Entertainer, Zhentarim)

DM Notes

We’re spending a fair amount of time on the monastery, with the various trips allowing the monks a small ability to recover between expeditions… although not too much. Only a bare handful of monks now survive, with the group’s major opponents now being foes who have come up from below to bolster the monastery’s defences. There is still leadership, but it isn’t that effective at this point. The inhabitants need a breathing space!

We were back to a full table of seven players tonight. I adjusted a few of the encounters to scale to the number of players, although not to their levels… I want to keep some of the feel of the difficulty of these encounters for the players. The group is at relatively low levels compared to the threat of their opponents, which just requires them to keep on their toes more; it shouldn’t be that long before the group reach the fourth level ; the main trouble is with the players who can’t make every session and thus miss out on valuable XP.

Apart from that, it’s business as usual. The monks are getting worried, though, so they’ll try something different next session!


  1. Carl

    Useful stuff Merric, thanks for recording your experiences. My group are at the monastery entrance, and will be entering in tomorrow night’s session, so reading these posts has been great prep for me. Are you planning to make the entrance to the Black Earth temple available to them? At level 3 they could really run into trouble if they head straight down there!


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