Part 3 of the Crystal Dust Road – The Finale

The finale to the Crystal Dust Road!  Links to: Part 1 and Part 2.

The Surrounding Countryside

Below are a few suggested encounters to use if your PCs decide to explore the countryside. If playing a short game, you may want to skip directly to the graveyard.

The Caves

The cliffs near the trade road hold numerous caves. Before they were captured by Ergithia, the goblins used one of the caves as their home. If the PCs find this cave, read the following out loud:

The air is heady with the smell of pine and damp earth, but a cool breeze wafts up from a man-sized hole in the mountain’s rock. A rope tied around a nearby tree disappears into the opening.

If the PCs go inside, read the following out loud:

The rope leads to a large, natural cavern big enough to comfortably house 20 people. Against one wall stand racks of bunk beds, held together with twine. In another corner, glass instruments and colorful bottles lie strewn about on a table. Pots, blankets, firewood and food rot on the ground.

Monsters:

Deep River Snake

Coiled in the shadows sleeps an unnatural large snake usually found only in or near deep rivers. What could it possibly be doing here? Its last meal was months ago, and its hungry.

Instinct: To consume

Solitary, Terrifying, Large

Hp 16, 2 Armor

Attack: Fangs (1d10 +1, +1 piercing)

Close, Reach

Special Moves:

  • Strike
  • Swallow Whole
  • Constrict
  • Make it victims tremble in fear

Treasure: Within the snake’s stomach, the group finds either some amount of coin or personal effects (crown, weapon) of a previous victim/meal.

Bat swarm: (Stats from  Dungeon World Codex)

Gross, what is that awful stench? And what is this white stuff I just stepped in? And what is that chittering noise? And did the ceiling just move?

Bats usually sleep during the day and ignore activity on the cave floor, but a loud noise or other distraction could cause the entire colony to swarm in panic.

Instinct: To protect its nest

Huge, stealthy, amorphous

Hp 27, Armor 3 (except area effects)

Attack: Bite (d10+3)

Reach, Far

Special Quality: Squeeze through a tiny space

Special Moves:

  • Fly furiously around you
  • Crawl under armor
  •  A hundred bites

Treasure: Usually none, but if the PCs look hard, they may find a bit of magical thread entwined in some of the bats’ fur.

Traps

The wooden bunk beds the goblins built shake unsteadily. It won’t take much for them to fall.

Amateur alchemy lab, left in a disheveled mess. The slightest flame or a good jostle could cause an explosion.

Room Treasure: 5 coin and 1 package of bandages, a clue or clues as to where the former occupants went.

The Trade Route

Not only do the goblins lurk on the trade roads, but also highway robbers, wild animals, and other, stranger creatures. Below are a few suggested encounters for on the route:

Encounter 1: Highway Robbery

All monsters stats in this encounter can be found on the Dungeon World SRD.

Bandits

It’s unfair these travelers have all this coin and goods they won’t share with us. We deserve something, too. Fortunately, they can be easily persuaded with a bit of a scare, bit of a nick of the knife.

Instinct: To Rob

Horde, Intelligent, organized

3 Hp, 1 Armor

Attack: Dirk (d6)

Close

Special Moves:

  • Steal something
  • Demand tribute

Treasure: Booty from previous robberies and a pack of trick cards.

Bandit King/Queen

It’s good to be king, and so what if your kingdom makes you a so-called outlaw. It’s not like kings of land are any better – they just get to legitimize their theft by calling it a tax. At least I’m honest about what I do.

Instinct: To lead

Solitary, Intelligent, Organized

12 hp, 1 armor

Attack: Trusty knife (best of [2d10])

Close

Special Moves:

  • Make a demand
  • Extort,
  • Topple power

Treasure: 30 Coin and an odd stone that causes hallucinations when held with bare hands.

Encounter 2: Lil’ Pranksters

Fairie dragons

Fairie dragons are real dragons, even if they have butterfly wings and spend their time playing rather than sitting on a pile of gold. A constant pest to Crystal Dust travelers, the tiny dragons love engaging in (mostly) harmless pranks such as filing unguarded boots with mud or stealing bathers’ underwear. Although they will sometimes play more vicious pranks, especially if they think you’re a stick-in-the-mud or if violent action is taken against them. Their psychedelic breath causes a gentle high that has led some people to try to befriend them and others to try and capture them for profit.

Instinct: To prank and have fun.

Tiny, magical, intelligent, organized, stealthy, group

6 hp, 2 armor

Attack: Claws or bite (1d4)

Hand and reach (when using breath)

Special Moves:

  • Psychedelic breath
  • Play a prank
  • Cast a spell of illusion or enchantment.

Treasure: A few small gems, and a large collection of candies and prank toys.

The Graveyard

This is the final scene for this adventure: the “boss” fight. You can split it into two fights, with the PCs meeting the goblins in the open area and Ergithia in her mausoleum, or you can have one big fight.

When the PCs make it to the graveyard, read the following out loud:

As you walk through the forest, you begin to see oddly shaped stones peeking out from the grass.  As you continue, you begin to see statues – religious symbols, weeping women, and guardians. The stones become thicker, sitting in neat rows between the trees. As you approach what must be the center of the abandoned graveyard, the grave sites become more elaborate. Stone coffins with stone people laying on top rest under a bed of vines. Mausoleums fill the inner-most area of the graveyard, their windows broken and walls crumbling. An algae-infested lake releases a noxious stink into the air.

Monsters

Goblins (adapted from the Dungeon World SRD)

The goblins may be enslaved and downtrodden, but they are still as vicious and crazy as ever, perhaps more so. Some of them carry bombs poorly manufactured by the goblin orkaster.

Instinct: To appease Ergithia

Horde, small, intelligent, organized

3 Hp, 1 armor

Attack: Spear (1d6)

Close, reach

Special Moves:

  • Charge!
  • Call more goblins
  • Throw unpredictable magical bombs

Treasure: Not much, maybe a few coins they managed to hide from Ergithia

Goblin Orkaster (adapted from the Dungeon World SRD)

This goblin had been spending its time meddling with magic and alchemy before Ergithia captured it. Since then, it’s only learned more and gotten more confident from watching Ergithia perform magic.

Instinct: To tap power beyond its stature

Solitary, small, magical, intelligent, organized

12 hp, 1 armor (magical, ignores all piercing tags from mundane weapons)

Attack: Acid orb (d10 +1 damage, ignores armor);

Near, far

Special Moves:

  • Unleash a poorly understood spell
  • Pour forth magical chaos
  • Use other goblins as shields

Treasure: Alchemy materials

Ergithia – the Gargoyle

Once she realizes an entire party is coming to her graveyard, she is both angry and excited. Angry that someone is invading her home (She presumes steal her horde.), and excited that she will get to taste blood again tonight. If she knows the PCs are coming in advance, she will pretend to be just another statue.

Magical, solitary, intelligent, hoarder, stealthy, construct, terrifying

Instinct: To add to her collection, to hunt.

23 hp, 4 armor

Attack: Stone fists and mouth (1d12 +2)

Close, near (stone throw only)

Special Moves:

  • Blend into stone
  • Crush
  • Throw stones
  • Invoke primeval fear.

Treasure: Her vast horde underneath the mausoleum. Packed with coin, gems, and odd personal items taken from victims: painted fingernails, jeweled wizard staffs, mirrors, anything as long as it has some shine to it.

Traps

Falling Gravestones. The various monuments are all very decayed and very heavy, throwing bombs and stones around them probably isn’t a good idea.

Sunken Ground. The ground in graveyards is notoriously weak with all those heavy statues and rotting coffins. A wrong step and one could find oneself with one foot in the grave.

Conclusion

After the PCs defeat Ergithia and the goblins, the main adventure for this prompt is done. The PCs can return back to Stone Fort and collect their prize.

Note: If you are wish to continue the adventure, the PCs can also find something important in the horde that fits into the fronts, found in this post. Advance the fronts, and by the time the PCs return to Stone Fort, a new problem may await them!

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