Cliffhangers Adventures

The Horror of Lannock Hill
Episode 3: Leapin' Lizards
by Tom Kristensen

The Horror of Lannock Hill is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters. The party may consist of any mix of classes, although at least one member of the party should be capable of handling a difficult melee combat. The adventure is pretty straightforward, and it should provide a good challenge for characters from 8th to 10th level. It can be set in any campaign world.

Adventure Background

In the previous installments, the party members encountered a wounded monk and went to the monastery to see if they could determine what might have happened there. Arriving at the compound, they are treated to a scene of massive carnage, and attacked by some scavenging carrion crawlers.

Note: The dynamics of the encounters in episodes three and four depend on whether or not the slaadi heard the characters fighting the carrion crawlers in episode two. The text below assumes that the slaadi heard the characters. If they did not, all three slaadi are busy destroying parts of the room. The characters can surprise the slaadi if they succeed at a Move Silently check opposed by each slaad's Listen check or if magically silenced.

Look Out Below!

Two blue slaadi, Xisstvan and Yurgl, wait for the party near the top of the stairs. When the characters have climbed about halfway up, the slaadi explode into action, launching themselves down the stairs, trying to grapple with the lead characters and hopefully knock everyone down. They then wade into the party, attacking the closest characters first. In the unlikely event that the blue slaadi succeed at a Hide check opposed by the Spot check of the first character to head up the stairs, they gain the benefits of a surprise round.

The blue slaadi look like thick-bodied, blue-skinned frogs who stand upright. They tower over most humanoids at 10 feet tall and have broad shoulders and virtually no neck. They easily weigh 800+ pounds. Their massively muscled bodies are covered in bumps, warts, knobs, and horns, and their hands and feet are tipped with black, razor-sharp claws. Two bony protrusions, shaped roughly like scimitar blades, extend from the back of each hand.

Xisstvan and Yurgl are totally fearless, and relish the chance to slay some puny beings who actually try to fight back. They chirp and croak back and forth to each other in Slaad, and if anyone can actually understand them, they boast of things like who will get the first kill, what parts they will keep for trophies, and don’t these pathetic creatures realize the true might of the slaadi?

These blue slaadi do not attempt to summon reinforcements, as Z’xor has specifically instructed them not to. They fear him enough to actually follow his orders.

Blue Slaad (2); CR 8; Large outsider; HD 8d8+24; hp 60; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18 (touch 11, flat-footed 16); Atk +11 melee (2d6+4, 4 rakes); or +11 melee (2d8+6, bite); SA Disease, spell-like abilities, Summon Slaad; SQ acid resistance 5, cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, fast healing 5, fire resistance 5, outsider traits, sonic resistance 5; AL CN; SV Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +4; Str 19, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 6, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Climb +14, Hide –2, Jump +15, Listen +8, Move Silently +9, Spot +8; Denied, Dodge, Mobility .

Disease (Ex): Creatures bitten by a blue slaad must make a Fortitude save (DC 17) or be infected with a disease that transforms the victim over the next week into a red slaad.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): At will -- hold person, passwall, telekinesis. 1/day -- three blue slaadi working together can produce a chaos hammer (DC 16) as if cast by a 15th-level sorcerer. 1/day -- summon another blue slaad with a 40% chance of success.

Acid Resistance (Ex): The creature ignores up to 5 points of acid damage each round.

Cold Resistance (Ex): The creature ignores up to 5 points of cold damage each round.

Electricity Resistance (Ex): The creature ignores up to 5 points of electricity damage each round.

Fast Healing (Ex): The creature regains 5 hit points per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow a creature to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Fire Resistance (Ex): The creature ignores up to (enter value from left) points of fire damage each round.

Outsider Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.; cannot be raised or resurrected (though a wish or miracle spell can restore life).

Sonic Resistance (Ex): The creature ignores up to 5 points of sonic damage each round.

The Cliffhanger

Having slain the fearsome blue slaadi who ambushed them on the stairs, the party cautiously ascends the staircase, and this time reaches the top without being bowled over.

Peering about in the darkened room, you can make out beds, chests, bodies…and a strange little light that wasn't there a second ago! It bursts into a wave of magical energy that washes over you…

About the Author

Tom Kristensen is an editor on the D&D Worlds team at Wizards of the Coast. He lives on the east side of Lake Washington with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He has played D&D for more than 20 years with the same group of guys, and he has an embarrassingly large collection of unpainted miniatures that he keeps promising his fellow gamers he'll paint -- one of these days.


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