Over the Edge
Two: Rocky Road Ahead
By Will McDermott
is a short adventure for four 9th-level characters. In Episode 1, the
characters were hired to investigate manticore attacks on a trade route
through the Lortmil Mountains. Soon after entering the mountain pass,
they encountered a caravan that had been waylaid by a local group of bandits
called Killian's Krew. After the battle, the merchants told the heroes
about two hill giants guarding a bridge farther up the pass. The party
now nears that bridge.
2: The Bridge
The route through
mountains winds as it rises into the pass. If the characters do not
attempt to sneak through the mountains, Geet and Gern hear their approach
and the first encounter happens right after they round a bend. If the
characters are being quiet, give Geet and Gern one listen check to hear
the characters before they round the bend. Once in view of the giants,
any character making a successful Spot check (DC 25) sees the giants
in time to act during the surprise round. All other characters are flat-footed
for the first volley of rocks.
Once the heroes
spot the giants, read or paraphrase the following text:
|You round the
bend to see a sturdy bridge, just wide enough for a merchant's cart,
suspended over a chasm about 150 feet away. Two hill giants stand
on the path in front of the bridge, each with a pile of rocks at his
feet -- and two in hand, about to be hurled at you.
Geet and Gern:
CR 7, hp 118 (Geet) and 98 (Gern); See Hill Giants in the Monster
Manual page 98. Between them,
Geet and Gern have just 20 silver pieces in their pouches and nothing
else of value.
Geet and Gern are immediately hostile toward the characters and throw
rocks until the characters close into melee. At that point, Geet fights
with his greatclub. Gern, however, attempts to grapple his melee opponent.
If successful, Gern then tries to pin on his next action. Should Gern
successfully pin the grappled PC, he uses his partial action to move
to the edge of the cliff and drop his opponent as a free action. The
chasm is 1,000 feet deep, so a dropped character suffers 20d6 points
of damage from the impact. Any character not in melee with either giant
may make a spot check (DC 25) to notice Gern glance at the cliff edge
during the initial grapple attempt.
After dealing with
Geet and Gern, the characters hear a scraping noise. A Listen check
(DC 10) enables the heroes to determine that the sound comes from the
chasm. Any character who surpasses a DC 20 on the Listen check realizes
that someone or something is climbing up the cliff face.
moving to the Online Media department at Wizards of the Coast, Will
McDermott was editor in chief of TopDeck magazine and, before
that, The Duelist. Will has written strategy guides for both
Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon TCGs, and is currently
writing a Magic: The Gathering novel.