Mask adventure 10b: Between a Rock and a Hard place
The players have begun combing the Mountain
range known as The Wrestlers for several days. They have had to
find shelter, food, and water before beginning their search for
the underground tomb.
The dwarves are some help to the party; they
are able to give some tips for searching, climbing, and general
safety tips. One thing of note is that this mountain range is fairly
desolate, almost no intelligent beings reside on or in it. A few
wandering encounters could occur but they will tend to be non-intelligent
animals/monsters who are motivated mostly by hunger or territorial
instincts. After a few days of searching, and possibly looking for
a better shelter, a search party will be attacked.
The search party that is attacked should consist
of players or be player led, while they are scouring the mountainside
a large boulder impacts near the party, or if you like hits the
PC with the most HPs for appropriate damage.
Normal sight will not immediately reveal who
threw it at them but detecting for invisible or waiting for the
next one will. The boulders came from the Stone Giant Priest Crusht.
He is currently camouflaged against the rocks but will be revealed
when he throws the next boulder and yells out a warning, in Giantish,
for the party to "leave this place or
After throwing a 2nd boulder Crusht will threaten
to throw more if the party shows signs of attacking or advancing
on him. The only options here are:
1. Retreat: If they do this Crusht will watch to make sure
they do not return but will not attack them further.
2. Attack: Crusht will defend himself with all the spells
at his disposal. He does not wish to die however and if it appears
he is going to lose he will cast Meld into stone and retreat. He
will later heal his wounds and summon an earth elemental. The elemental
serves without being forced and stays till it completes it task.
He will Spell up the elemental to protect it and have it attack
the parties camp at night when they rest, if possible he will assist
it with hurled boulders that are inscribed with Glyph of warding
spells or other tricks.
3. Diplomacy: If the players can communicate with Crusht
(he speaks giantish and dwarven) he can be reasoned with. He will
inform the party that they stand on sacred ground and that they
must leave immediately or he will consider them enemies. If they
ask him about an underground tomb, he will not be aware of any but
he does know of some "Holes in the earth where smaller creatures
are known to scurry about."
He informs the group of 3 possible sites to check out but is unable
to say what may occupy the areas. With his directions the group
will be able to find all 3 caves in a short matter of time.
Note: without Crusht's directions the players must explore
the mountain range till they stumble over something.
|Crusht, male stone giant Clr7
|CR 15; Size L (12 ft., 7 in. tall); HD 14d8+56 + 7d8+28; hp
173; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 40 ft.; AC 21 (+1 Dex, -1 Size, +11
Natural); Attack +24/+19/+14 melee, or +14/+9/+4 ranged; SV
Fort +18, Ref +7, Will +12; AL N; Str 32, Dex 13, Con 19, Int
10, Wis 17, Cha 11.
Languages Spoken: Giant, Dwarvish
Skills and feats: Climb +13, Concentration +10, Diplomacy
+9, Hide +6, Jump +13, Listen +3, Move silently +1, Spot +6,
Use rope +4; Combat casting, [Combat reflexes], Craft wand,
Enlarge spell, [Point blank shot], [Power attack], [Precise
Special ability: Once a day travel through stone for
up to 7 rounds (similar to xorn and earth elemental ability)
and summon huge earth elemental (requires hour long ritual
to do so)
Cleric Domains: Strength, Earth.
Cleric Spells Per Day: 6/5+1/4+1/3+1/1+1.
1st: bless, divine favor, entropic shield, obscuring mist,
summon monster 1 (x2)
2nd: aid, bull's strength, delay poison, soften earth
and stone, shatter
3rd: dispel magic, prayer, speak with dead, stone
4th: spike stones, greater magic weapon
Crusht is on a holy retreat; the mountain
range known as the Wrestlers is known to be a holy place where
his god may have once lived with his people. He is currently
communing with the mountain and wishes no interference from
"the small peoples" as he puts it.
He will fight to drive them away but if
they attempt to parley he will stop long enough to find out
what they wish and to warn them off. Crusht does not wish
the party to leave the entire range but he wants them to leave
this area because he believes this to be the ancient campsites
of his people.
If Crusht is forced into battle he will
use boulders for missile weapons and his spells in an offensive
manner. If he truly believes he will lose then he will use
his travel through stone ability to flee into the mountainside.
Later he will heal himself and use spells to spy on the party,
then he will summon an elemental and attack them while they
are camping-hoping to take them by surprise.
When role-playing Crusht remember that
while he can be reasoned with, he tends to make judgments
quickly and must then be talked into seeing another side of
things. If the players convince him that they mean no harm
then he will talk more freely. If they respond to his poor
attempts at warning them away, throwing rocks at them, with
violence then he will be convinced that they are here to despoil
his holy mountain after all.
Crusht carries no treasure with him. He
has taken this journey under a vow of hardship and will accept
no help or gold from the party.