Holiday Iron DM!!!! {Final Judgment Posted!}


incognito said:
Have you given thought to what should happen if VAX chooses not to compete for the Champion Round of IronDM?

I haven't really given it any thought. Just taking each round as they come (and spending the rest of the time getting ready for tomorrow). Though it would be nice to win one against him. Maybe he will enter a future Iron DM competition. But anyways, I don't have this one won yet. Quickbeam may turn in a flawless entry and put mine to shame.

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Dwarven Logging Team
Beached Whale
Storm Giant
Magic Tea Cup
Ju-Ju Zombies

Optional/Secondary Ingredients Utilized:
Mind Flayer
Awakened Dire Cricket
Tone Deaf Bard
A Guy Named Ralph

A Home By The Sea
An adventure for 4-6 characters 8th-12th level

Background: The Bukkar peninsula juts into the Falagasson Sea approximately 18 miles southwest of the dwarven city of Nomak-Tar, and 12 miles southeast of the human village of Kendall. The Erskine River runs parallel to the eastern coast of the peninsula, about 2 miles in from the sea. An impressive castle of white stone and marble sits along the southern coast of the peninsula overlooking the waters below. The castle is the home of a young adult STORM GIANT, known to residents of the area as MacLeod. For years the dwarves, the humans, and the giant have managed to peacefully co-exist, primarily by keeping to themselves.

MacLeod has built his castle close to the sea so that he is able to more easily visit his clan, who happen to reside beneath the dark waters of the Falagasson. The dwarves find this area suitable for its small chain of mountains, and for the Bukkar Trees, which burn hotter and longer than any other in the region – and are therefore very useful in keeping their forges producing at maximum effeiciency. And the humans…well…humans tend to settle anywhere.

Recently, there has been unrest in the area bordering the sea. . .

Ylarrg T’Nadoth, a mind flayer mage with a necromantic bent, has been banished from the Illithid’s subterranean city of C’Naughloh. Ylarrg offended his kindred by experimenting on any number of the humanoid slaves, and turning them into undead; thereby, destroying a source of labor and food for the city. Ylarrg was forced to the surface with only his spellbook beneath one arm and MAGIC JEWELED TEA CUP hanging from the belt around his robes. The tea cup is a clever device the flayer wizard created to hold all his spell components (similar to a much smaller bag of holding), and for use in various spells as an activation/completion mechanism. Ylarrg has set out to prove his worthiness by claiming a keep for his own, and raising a powerful army.

In his excursions, Ylarrg discovered MacLeod’s castle, and knows that it would serve his purposes quite well. The castle is surrounded on three sides by water, and the access by land is arduous and easily defended. Ylarrg believes that he will be able to claim and defend the castle, because his minions are well equipped for the task. Over time, the mind-flayer has realized that he excels at creating JU-JU ZOMBIES, by draining the life energy out of living humanoids using enervation. These undead can travel easily under and through water, and therefore, could attack or defend the castle’s perimeter. Moreover, the ju-ju zombies are immune to electrical attacks, which renders the storm giant’s most devastating form of attack essentially useless.

Ongoing Details: The dwarves on Nomak-Tar established a logging camp several years ago, about five miles upstream from their city, to facilitate transport of the Bukkar Trees used to fuel their forges. In recent weeks, several members of the DWARVEN LOGGING TEAM have turned up missing…and even worse, on a few occasions only partial remains have been found. The loggers have heard noises and fled, and one of the dwarves, Franim Oakenfist, heard a voice telling him to take a nap. He did not sleep, but the voice confirmed the dwarves suspicions. . . The legendary Khaba-Pruul, an awakened dire cricket of dwarven myth had found their camp. Legend says that Khaba-Pruul lures dwarves who stray from beneath the mountains to their doom, just as sirens so with sailors.

In actuality, the dwarven logging activity has drawn the attention of a BULETTE. The bulette does not favor dwarven meat, but has exhausted most of its food options within its territory. Still, it often leaves dwarf-flesh behind. The voice that Franim heard was actually a telepathic suggestion eminating from Ylarrg, who has been luring dwarves away, and adding them to his frowing army of ju-ju zombies.

MacLeod, the storm giant, has experienced several nuisances of late, apparently staged by a combination of dwarves and humans. These medium-sized humanoids have been trespassing on his grounds, and killed one of his four large brown bear guardians. MacLeod found some bodies by the remains of his late bear…human and dwarf bodies, although strangely there was very little blood at the scene. Infuriated at this offense, the giant has unleashed several small lightning storms on the logging camp and the human village, as a warning against further meddling.

In actuality, Ylarrg has just begun to breach the castle’s defenses. Primarily in an attempt to lure MacLeod out, so that that the mind flayer could attempt to psionically attack him. The remains the giant found were ju-ju zombie remains.

For their part, the townsfolk of Kendall are very frightened and confused by MacLeod’s brief display of power and fury, and have absolutely no idea why they’re being threatened. They fear that he’s gone insane, and are arming themselves for a possible confrontation with the giant. Likewise the dwarven loggers have sent word to Nomak-Tar that a war with MacLeod may be imminent subsequent to the recent attacks, and preparations are being made.

Ylarrg: The mind-flayer has been busy on many fronts. Occasionally luring dwarves and townsfolk alike through his psionic powers, and using enervation to drain their life force and create ju-ju zombies for his army. He has fed upon a local trapper, a guy named Ralph, and now uses his cabin, which lies somewhere in between the dwarven city and the village of Kendall, due north of MacLeod’s castle. Ylarrg has polymorphed himself into Trapper Ralph to avoid detection and suspicion.

After the failed attempts to lure the giant out of his castle with his zombies, Ylarrg sought his second chance when MacLeod left his castle to visit his clan under the sea (to seek reinforcements from his people, in case the dwarves and humans decided to attack in larger numbers). The mind flayer attempted to possess MacLeod as follows:
- He had a ju-ju zombie carry his magical tea cup into the sea near the castle’s southern-most point. Ylarrg intended upon using the jeweled chalice as a storage vessel for a magic jar spell. When Ylarrg sensed a very large life force, he took possession of the body. To his dismay, he had entered a blue whale instead of the storm giant. Ylarrg decided to beach the whale for three reasons: 1) out of intense frustration 2) to get the whale out of his way in the event that he tried to possess MacLeod again and 3) he saw it as an opportunity to lure the bulette out of the forested area (through the vibrations of the whale’s thrashing), so that the bulette would stop feasting on his potential undead army.

PC Hooks:
* One of the characters might originally be from this area (either a human or dwarf), and news of the unrest and potential war with MacLeod might bring them home to help avoid further conflagration.
* The dwarven loggers have sent someone from their camp to hire a party of adventurers capable of dealing with the unseen threat posed by Khaba-Pruul. The clan leaders at Nomak-Tar know that something foul is afoot, but they’re not buying tales of mythical beasts and instead blame the giant and his bears for the attacks. The dwarven messenger is actually a tone deaf bard named Grem Ironear. Grem’s not much good at inspiring courage among the clan warriors during battle with his renditions of their glorious war songs, but he’s great with oratory and legendary tales around the fire at the logging camp…and that’s where he serves his people. He tells the party about the recent attacks; random bits of equipment and body parts; and Franim’s story about hearing a voice. He implores the party to help locate and dispose of Khaba-Pruul.
* While passing through the area (on their way to other adventures) the party may witness the storm giant’s minor siege on either Kendall or the logging camp from afar. The DM might describe a highly intense and unusual electrical storm, focused over a very small area some miles in the distance. Curiousity alone might draw the party in from this point.
* As the party passes through Kendall in their travels, they overhear excited discussions about a huge BEACHED WHALE. Any nature lover in the party will want to help rescue the beast, which offers two possibilities: 1) Someone in the group can communicate with the whale via a speak with animals spell, and thereby learn that someone or something drove it onto the beach. 2) Grem or one of the townsfolk can approach the party and explain some of the other strange events drawing the PC’s into the region’s mounting tensions.

Running the Adventure:
This side trek provides a wide array of opportunities for both the DM and players to integrate the party into the activity around the Bakkur Peninsula. This adventure can provide more than a few combat encounters, or it can be focused primarily around exploration and detective work.

* If the party is drawn into the mix by Grem, or visits the dwarven logging camp at any point, they will learn of Franim’s encounter and hear about the missing/dismembered team members. It is doubtful that anyone in the group (even a dwarf) will believe the stories about an Awakened Dire Cricket of Doom, and a thorough search of the surrounding forest will reveal the bulette’s cave less than a mile from the camp. A Knowledge Monsters or Wilderness Lore Check (DC 20) reveals that bulette’s do not care for dwarf flesh, which is why they aren’t being entirely consumed. While this explains the dismembered dwarves, it does nothing to shed any light on Franim’s tale of hearing a voice. If questioned rigorously, the logger will reluctantly admit that the voice came from within his head, providing a valuable clue that someone or something else is at work.

* Should the party choose to assist in saving the dying beached whale, the DM can add to the encounters and information listed above by having the bulette attack. It is not unreasonable to assume that Ylarrg’s plan to attract the creature may work, given all the people and activity certain to surround the poor beast. At this point, clever players (or even dwarven NPC’s on the scene) can piece together the attacks on the dwarven logging team. Also, by communicating with the whale, characters can gain a huge leg up on learning that someone quite powerful and evil is at work along the Bakkur Peninsula. This should lead to further exploration of the area and conversations with just about everyone else involved.

* Your group may wish to head straight for MacLeod’s castle. Unless they intend to reach his castle by means of flight, both water and land approaches present problems. By water, PC’s will have to navigate the rocks and crashing waves to find a safe landing area for their boats. This will require a lot of luck and a skilled sailor to accomplish. By land, PC’s face a narrow path over rough terrain, requiring Balance Checks (DC 10) to keep their footing. As they draw near the castle itself (from either approach), MacLeod will appear from within and warn the party to stay away. It is clear by his words and actions that the giant is simply protecting his home, and he will only attack if provoked. Any battle with MacLeod will also include his three remaining Large Brown Bears, making for quite a tussle. If the characters engage the giant in a little Q&A, he will reveal the suspicious activity around his castle; the peculiar bodies he found after the last petty assault; and that he felt someone was “trying to pry around in his head on occasion.” Fortunately, MacLeod has been able to make his saving throws thus far, thereby staving off two separate attempts by Ylarrg to overtake the giant’s mind when he found himself within psionic attack range. Hopefully this info will allow the PC’s to quell fears in all those living near the Bakkur Peninsula, and divert the threat of three army warfare in the region.

* Any of this may result in characters making an extensive search of the forests between Kendall, MacLeod’s castle, the logging camp and Nomak-Tar, thus revealing the trapper’s cabin. A Gather Information Check (DC 15) when talking to the dwarves or townsfolk of Kendall will also reveal that the only permanent resident of the forested area is Trapper Ralph, and the rough location of his cabin. A quick search of the area will uncover many sets of footprints (both human and dwarven), and what remains of Ralph’s body poorly hidden near the cabin’s woodpile. A Spot Check (DC 10) should allow PC’s to spot the telltale signs of brain extraction through the nose/mouth. DM’s note: By the time the PC’s discover this information, Ylarrg has moved his little army to a cave along the beach from which he plans to launch a final land and sea assault on MacLeod’s castle.

Encounters: The party may find itself fighting any/all of the following during this adventure depending on their choices and actions.
MacLeod – Storm Giant CR 13; 188 hit points; see MM page 98-102
Ylarrg – Mind Flayer Wizard 9, CR 16; 75 hit points; see MM page 136
Ju-Ju Zombies (24-36 at DM discretion) – Variable CR; MM2 for details
Large Brown Bears (3) – CR 10; hit points 53, 49, 56; see MM page 193-194
Bulette -- CR 7; hit points 99; see MM page 28

At some point, Ylarrg and his small contingent of Ju-Ju Zombies lay siege to MacLeod’s castle. Regardless of what’s transpired up to that point in the adventure, the party should feel motivated to defeat such an unholy group of monsters…then the rest is up to you!!


nemmerle said:
Less than 5 hours left and still no sign from Quickbeam. . .

Could it be that these ingredients defeated him?

Nope :).

It was tough, but I think I was up to the challenge. At least I hope that proves to be the case. I guess the judgment will tell me ;).

I won't be able to read Wicht's entry or any comments from the judge until later tonight. Good luck to my opponent, and thanks Nemmerle for including me in this contest!!
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I managed to steal away for a few minutes...

Wicht, your entry was great! It looks like the tourney favorite did not disappoint his legions of ardent fans :).


One other thought...

I believed myself to be clever using an optional ingredient as the primary "villain" only to find Wicht had done the same. It's also amusing that we both chose blue whales -- I guess something that size sticks in your mind more prominently than an orca or humpback :D.


First Post
legendary Khaba-Pruul, an awakened dire cricket (OF DOOM)

Yeah - this is SO getting ripped off. No one wil belive there is really a dire cricket threat.

untill there hear his eeeerily powerful hind legs playing thier sedcutive bardic song...


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