reached the river mouth, dropped anchor, and the party rested to heal and replenish spells. The next morning, they trekked into the jungle looking for the stone circle.
When they reached the site, they stayed hidden in the trees while they looked around. In a clearing a few hundred feet across were two concentric circles of standing stones, surrounding a small rise. The inner circle was made of trilithons, the outer one of single upright stones. Inside the circles, at the peak of the low hill, was a large slab obviously meant to be some sort of altar. On the far side, rows of stones flanked a path that continued southwards into the jungle. The clearing seemed empty at first, but then the sharper-eyed PCs noticed three unmoving humanoids standing inside the circles.
When the party moved closer to the edge of the trees, they identified the humanoids as kech, and the Larkspur (the undine druid) spotted a girallon resting under a tree a couple hundred feet away. They moved to ambush the four-armed beast, and Larkspur cast entangle
on the kech. The girallon managed to rend Harissa (the azhari freebooter) before falling to the party's weapons. However, another kech fired on the party from the trees. That made it a target for the druid's sleet storm
More kech appeared from the other direction, shooting Damarak (the undine cleric) a few times before succumbing to call lightning
spell, Larkpsur's ball lightning
, and other PCs' arrows. One tried to flee, but could not escape the party's range in time. The party then turned its attention to the entangled kech, which turned out to be zombies. These monsters proved too slow to break free of the animated vines and leave the area before being grasped again, so were easy targets for spells that Issalia (the sylph witch) delivered via spectral hand
However, as the party was mopping up there, a second girallon entered the far side of the clearing. Larkspur attacked it with an ice storm
spell, before wild shaping into a stegosaurus. A glitterdust
spell from Virali (Harissa's nagaji bard cohort) blinded the girallon for an instant, then Harissa's quick blade wounded it severely [two critical hits!] and one of Damarak's lightning strikes finished it off.
Another kech caught most of the party in an entangle
spell, but only the druid's crocodile companion was held fast. The kech then fled into the jungle, but Inacio (the hadozee ranger) drank a potion of haste
and took to the trees to pursue it. Virali tagged it with glitterdust
, which prevented it from simply vanishing into the jungle. Inacio quickly caught up with it, and they traded blows until Harissa arrived a couple rounds later to help her crewmate finish it off.
Harissa examined the kech's gear: a longbow, arrows, and a sack. The bag held a potion, a small stone cube, and three vanara pelts. This incensed Inacio enough that he skinned the dead kech in revenge.
Meanwhile, the others had not been idle. Damarak studied the henge to look for clues to its purpose. The altar stone was stained brown from repeated sacrifices, and the other stones bore some crude symbols weathered to illegibility. Larkspur returned to her own form and beheaded the two girallons in order to carry trophies back to the vanara village. Issalia examined the dead kech, which carried no gear apart from longbows and arrows.
When Inacio and Harissa returned, Issalia studied the loot, identifying the items as a healing potion, a stone of alarm
, and a bag of holding
. When the others learned about the vanara pelts, they agreed to carry them back to the village after finishing their current mission to take out the girallon's leader, which they were fairly certain was not among the dead here. Inacio laid the kech spellcaster's hide on the altar stone as a grim message for others of its kind.
The ranger had seen that the rows of stones to the south continued some distance into the jungle, marking a path heading in the general direction of the volcano, They party decided to follow that route next. But first, they made camp a short distance away from the clearing to spend some time recovering from the battle.
While working out the map for this battle, I decided to render it in LEGO, to better help both me and my players visualize the location. Each stud represents a 5-foot space, making the map model above 400 ft x 400 ft. We ran the combat on this map, using microfigures for the PCs and kech, and small microscale models for the girallons and the druid's animal companion and wild shape form. We also used small plates or dice to mark spell effects on the map. This worked out quite well, and gave us a chance to try a larger battle scene that wouldn't fit on a standard 1" grid battle map. More pictures of the model (both pre-game and during play) can be found at my Brickshelf gallery
. [That folder is not yet public, but should be within a couple days.]