So last night was the first big battle in our “Curse of the Ancient Guardians” Forgotten Realms game. As I said last time, the heroes had discovered the name of the first Guardian, and were alerted that he was rampaging in the nearby village of Bywood.
The heroes set off from Candlekeep, arriving in the village as they were cleaning up from the recent attack. A massive swath of trees was missing, creating a haphazard road into the Cloak Wood. The heroes were promised that the local Artificer would provide them with new magical weapons if they were to take down this giant beast.
The heroes ventured into the forest, and after a couple of hours, came upon a long-forgotten temple with statues of Yuan-Ti. There also rested an alter caked in blood, so they moved much more cautiously. I was able to use one of my official D&D Maps, the Jungle Temple. As they moved through the ruins, they saw a large pile of rubble to the west. As Blaze, Daz’s pseudodragon drew near, the pile of rocks reared up, swinging out with his great hammer.
I used the rules for the Stone Colossus from Mediocre Tales, with a few tweaks as the game progressed
Turon stood over 60 feet high, only the oldest of oaks around him were taller. He immediately moved in, swinging his hammer wildly at Jett, the Genasi Warlock, missing, but knocking him off his feet. Daz ran around back and climbed a nearby obelisk, leaping (and just passing his Athletics check) onto the back of the beast while Thorsil and Jett continued to distract him with Eldritch Blasts and crossbow bolts.
Alric had noticed a few nearby barrels of black powder that had been used in the past for nearby mining operations. Picking one up, he ran towards Turon, but the Guardian noticed him and took a thundering step at him. The barrel exploded, knocking Alric back and damaging Turon. Alric was down, and the Guardian reeled as Daz moved forward across his head, placing his hand on the glowing rune on his forehead.
“Turon,” he said, trying to get its attention. It paused momentarily, before flailing its head trying to rid itself of the roguish pirate. “Turon,” Daz repeated. “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.” As Jett moved in to grab Alric and get him to safety, Turon swung down his hammer, smashing both Jett and Alric. Jett was hurt, but Alric didn’t survive.
“I guess we’re doing this the hard way,” Daz said, plunging both his sword and dagger into Turon’s head rune, sending it reeling. It let out a low moan, before collapsing forward, bringing down whole sections of the temple.
The dust settled, Alric was placed on a bonfire, and the heroes began inspecting the now dormant creature. They found a crack which was glowing blue, and chipped away at it. Inside, they found a naked man, a spellscar across his face, and ancient runes carved into his flesh. The Gnomish historian was able to identify the runes as Runes of Binding, and they recognized the man as one they had rescued earlier from Gnolls. The inside cavity of the Guardian was laced with Residiuum, which they scraped off and took with them. They arrived back in the town, and were each offered 6th level magic items in gratitude.
It was a bittersweet game. Alric died, though he will live on, as Daz has taken Alric’s ashes and intends to have his new Terror Scimitar laced with them.