I didn't thing this was a bad chapter until we played it. I think it would be better if the stone golem chamber did not open up to the quest item and then Wei's research basement which can only be access from the theatre.
Magic Items: Dagger of Venom, Potion of Invulnerability, Dimensional Shackles, Potion of Flying, Sovereign Glue, Bag of Devouring, One Item from table E of DMG
Story Award Hag Rider. Two hags are mad at you for killing their sister. -5 to Max HP per day and no long rests until you get a greater restoration. Odd and Eranor.
Story Award Birds of A feather. Odd made friends with a parrot. You bonded over the Cleric being a BEEP donkey. It is a fey and uses Hawk stats Int 10.
Story Award The Cleric is a Beep Donkey. Flare has ticked off the sugar merchant. Kids every where know he is a cotton candy thief. 10% on meeting a kid, they will have heard this rumor.
I had a strong group of six but limit time. So, most combats I just bumped the HP and not the number. Trash Path of the Beast Barbarian Kobold 15. Eranor Path of Wild Magic Barbarian Half orc 11. Road Flare Cleric light 14 dwarf. Odd Kenku Rogue 11. Doc Fighter Champion 12. Gilthur Armor Hammer Armorer Artificer.
Inspiration carries over for Odd, Doc, Gilthur. Next time these PC play with me you start with inspiration.
The big brass dragon boss has politely asked the group to go to Atagua and discover why the sugar shipment has not arrived. Next week is Halloween and the kids must have their yearly cotton candy fix. When Flare decides to get uppity, he is shown a wanted poster drawn in crayon with his name and likeness with the words, “Cotton Candy Thief”. The threat of a kingdom of kids with sticky fingers and no cotton candy look for him makes Flare eager to go. The journey takes three days by crystal ship.
Arriving at the sugar mill they discover it is on fire and are attack by whistlers which are aberrations. The Artificer locks one down while the group takes care of the other. After the talking with foreman Eranor is adopted by her parrot which seems more intelligent than the barbarian. The arrogant sugar merchant ticks off Flare who refuses to help until the wanted poster is presented. No questions were asked why the parrot had the wanted poster. Alfonz does mention the history of the Ghost Orchid of Tepui. And macaw appears to be wanting to lead the way. Two ways to travel to the location of Ghost Orchid. Walking or Plane Travel. Flare decides to walk it; Doc, Gilthur, and Thrash call him an ass. He decides to head down to local material component store and buy some tuning forks.
The plane shift gets near a waterfall. A midsized waterfall is in the distance. It falls into a calm pool protect by the statue of Chimagua a local gawd. The statue starts talking but it is really two cloakers. They were being mostly handled when Flare fireball the monsters and the group. Exploring the waterfall, a cave is revealed and odd braves the poisonous mist to explore and gathers loot. The group water walks up the waterfall and see a cave and crashed airship. The airship is explored by Odd who steals from the kitty some more loot.
Odd, “Black Panther. Pink Panther. Displacer Beast. My Donkey DM.” Exploring the cave they get their first real sign of Feywild. A huge dead snake nearly causes sight rot on the cleric.
DM, “BS. Every one made their saving throw against sight rot all night. DC 15 my donkey.”
Finding a secret exit out of the main room they group finds the Ghost Tree of the White Orchid. It is only guard by three hags and two aboleths. The group kills Lola in the first round which causes the others to get smart and leave.
Taking a short rest Odd has some visions. A huge centipede tried to eat the gawd Chimagua. If the group can reconnect the sleeping shard to the sleeping stone using the Hammock of the Worlds. Look for the Storm Giant Dawn Mother who is using as a fishing net. After the kenku relates this Flare mentions he is out of Plane Shift for the day. Looting the hags’ treasury, Eranor finds a bag of devouring. Odd holds the bag while Eranor feeds the corpse of Lola into it. They also decide to take first watch. But end up not sleeping at all for some strange reason.
Flare takes a long breakfast before casting plane shift back to the sugar mill. They arrive to see a Thri-keen being hunted by a Storm Giant who is tossing bundles of sugar cane at the insect. Doc and Gilthur calm her down, and trade a net made by Flare for the Hammock. The Dawn Mother mentions the monks will know how to do the ritual.
The ritual takes place at sunset but while waiting the monks examine the two tired pcs. They are hag ridden. A great restoration spell is needed but since Flare and the party are still mad at each other he promises to cast tomorrow. The ritual activates a portal into another of the realm where Spelljammer ships dwell. The party enter the portal and find themselves in an egg chamber.
What do they do?
As they are deciding, a whistler enters and starts eating the eggs. It ignores the party, so they walk around it. Just as they are about to leave the chamber, Flare fireballs the eggs, and whistler. This destroys the eggs, parts of the chamber walls, and ticks off the party and monster. A few seconds later, the monster is down. The group advance down the throat of the dead monster. Well Flare decides to flaming sphere the chamber. While he is doing that, Eranor finds out not to knock on strange doors, because doors eat people.
Flare is being a fire bug, and the group is finding the mouthing door. A huge pop is heard as the flaming sphere burns through the corpse and into the vacuum of space. Air is rushing out.
Flare, “IF this was real space, we would be immediately sucked out into it.” At this point the DM decides Flare must die. And the dirty looks he was getting; the party would be happy. Cutting through the door the rest of party retreats from the hole. Turning a corner, they discover the corpse of the monster is opened to space.
Holding their breath, they charge. Why? Because a not friendly Beholding is protecting the area. The Barbarians and Kenku charge through while the rest stay back and fight the Beholder. And the whistler who was investigation the hole in the corpse. Some good rolls.
DM, “Frack. Only one failed saved. Grumble. Grumble.”
While the fighting group is occupying the monsters, the charging group continues forward. They enter the other head. Through an opening Odd sees the sleeping stone in the claws. She ties herself to Eranor.
Odd, “Yeets Barbarian.” Eranor grabs the kobold and has a brain function. He grabs the kenku. The Kobold summons his beastly fury as a Demilich rises from the floor. The beholder death rays Doc.
The kenku is yeeted through the window and slams the shard into the stone. The Awaken Gawd teleports them back to Atagua.
I should have my review of the book up soon. And yes, I did make changes due to the store getting close to closing time.
Note this is six-hour session or less. Do provide chances for people who need spell components to buy them a planar tuning fork is 250 Gp and is not consumed. And no mercy in the final encounters.
This is after play review. I ran it with Adventure League (AL) rules.
TLDR Fours stars. Most maps are great. Most adventures have multiple solutions. But the editor choice of five investigation adventures in a row and a few near railroad adventures; will be having a normal group not using all the content.
The Radiant Citadel chapter is interesting utopia but not much crunch on how the city works. The population is mostly vegan and meat are subject to heavy import duties. This chapter was not used in AL but has some nice adventure seeds.
All the Gazetteers at the end of each chapter are interesting and have some good adventure seeds but are sometimes lacking in information to flesh out the location
Salted Legacy is one adventure which could take place on the Citadel. It is a combination games and investigation module. Three stars.
Written In Blood needs to take place off Citadel. Nice horror take on childhood tragedy. It has some info dump NPCs who are there for flavor but not to help. It is also an investigation module. Three stars.
The Fiend of Hollow Mine. This screams bad Tex-Mex bad western with a Day of Dead party. Again another investigation module with a heavy rail road. Some of my players enjoyed the Day of the Dead parts but standard bad western parts were lazy writing. I did enjoy the friendly undead barkeeper. Two stars.
Wages of Vice. Trust me use the Old Secrets hook and have an opening scene where the PCs are hired. Otherwise adventurers just fall into the plot. The Vice angle is not really used and this a part investigation, part rail road, and combat for fun module. Standard Adult sins visited on kids plot line. Two Stars.
Sins of Our Elders. Yet another investigation module with a fog which makes NPCs forget. One Star.
Gold for Fools and Princes. This is NPC heavy and will require the DM to work at making the Princes different. A little bit railroad but you make friends with NPCs and get some straight combat. Four Stars.
Trail of Destruction. One good NPC which can be recruited. Lots of action and some interesting locations. The tower needs to be only a hundred feet and the encounter is kind of clunky. Four Stars.
In the Mists of Manivarsha. A good mix of combat and social encounters. Has plenty chances of long rest so you may need to beef some monsters. Five Stars.
Between Tangle Roots. An okay mix of combat and social encounters. Multiple ways of defeating the boss monster. Five stars.
Shadow of the Sun. Lots factions and the author assumes you will eliminate one of them. My group came up with a third option. Four Stars.
The Nightsea’s Succor. A mixture of ghosts and faction fighting. Very light combat with the final combat boss not being used to its full power. Three stars.
Buried Dynasty. Imperial China flavor with a straight up railroad. It read better than played. The title gives plot points away. You go underground to find some diaries. But your exit route leads straight into the reveal and the King’s Entertainment Room. Combat is easy. Role play is fun. But still two stars.
Orchids of the Invisible Mountain. Plane Travel with an okay hook. First a warm up combat then save the Fey thing. The variety of locations are nice. But it seems a little padded. Four stars.