Machinations of the Slave Lords!

Shadows of Thundertree, Episode 3

Drow and Scorpions??

Drow and Scorpions?

Winded and weakened after their encounter with the blackguard and drow, our heroes take refuge in the now-empty barracks formerly occupied by the dark elves. As they take a brief rest to catch their breath and get the lay of the land, Nav’ron heads to the roof along with Gurtak and Punty. They note to the west what appears to be a tower attached to an old cottage which, aside from the roof being partially collapsed, seems to be in good shape. However, dragged along the path at either side of the door, they see two bloated bodies of dead giant scorpions, which look to have been sliced and torn up.

To the south they notice a few mostly-destroyed homes. The greenish miasma that has settled upon the town hides everything else. After discussion, they opt to go south before facing whatever is in the tower (which they assume will be a major threat).

Heading south, they go first to the decayed homes, where they are attacked by horrific monstrosities which appear to be partially humanoid, partially scorpion. Sten notes from his readings that they are similar to creatures known as chitines and choldriths, but that those creatures are spider-monsters, not scorpions. Nav’ron and Gurtak note that spider creatures would be in line with what they know about drow, but scorpions are something new altogether, and the group wonders what it is they’re facing, though they assume it has something to do with the influence of this Elder Elemental Eye cult.

Defeating the monsters, the heroes briefly explore the immediate vicinity, where they find bodies scattered. Some appear to be townsfolk from Phandalin. others appear to be adventurers who met their doom here. Inside the ruined hovel, they find the treasure cache the monsters were guarding—thousands of copper and hundreds of gold and platinum, plus a number of gems, a scroll, a few healing potions and a short sword that turns out to be a luck blade, though without any remaining wish charges.

They gather what treasure they can carry, then continue south, staying off the road and in the overgrown parts of the town until they come to a larger cottage at the far southeastern corner. Sneaking up, Punty gets a look in the window and notes an horrific creature that looks like the skeleton of a gigantic cobra:

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…which appears to be having a conversation with an all-too-familiar face:

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Punty also notices flashes and shades of movement in the corners of the place, but can’t put his finger on exactly what is moving or where it is. The group decides to stage a battle between the dead drow and the scorpion-things, while withdrawing from the town entirely to take their rest and come back better prepared.

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