KNOCK! Vol 2: The Rot King's Sanctum Session 2


And we are back in the sewers of Cliff's End for the second session of The Rot King's Sanctum (first session here). When we last left off, the PCs had just staved off an assault from the cult of Nithis. Grim the dwarf met his end.


#7 CELLS: PCs find a secret door on the north wall. Open and proceed due north in a rough-hewed hallway. Turning right they hit a dead end but surmise there is a corresponding secret door. All of this is against the wishes of Melvin the gnome merchant who would rather get the hell out of there.

#14 ROT KING'S QUARTERS: As PC push open the door they come face-to-skull with THE ROT KING! Ambrose the Kcyran cleric charges forward to fell this foul thing. Melee ensues, but the is short as the Rot King's wicked beaked mace find purchase against Ambrose's soft skull.

With his death, Melvin bolts, and Desdemona and Snorri follow soon after. The Rot King's laughter echos down the hall and the PCs run smack into Melvin. He beseeches them to leave with him and so the party makes their way to the Central Hall.

DM NOTE: So if you remember, the party is motivated to find the tomb of a great tempest mage. But I am surprised the player attempted to press their luck a little further. But that is sometimes the fun of 1st level characters-- go big and/or home in a body bag. Kidding-- your body is most likely digested by an ooze.

#8 CENTRAL HALL: The PCs scout again the area and proceed quietly past the first bridge, but break into an all-out run toward the east door at Melvin's urging. An alarm is raised by the cult and cultists move to intercept at the PCs rush past the west bridge. Fortune favors them and successful initiative rolls allow the PCs to maintain distance as they slam into the door!

#9 EMPTY ROOM: Desdemona wedges a knife in the door frame and Snorri drives it in with a discarded shovel. WHAM! The cultists fail at their attempt to break down the door, giving the PCs time to escape into the sewers.

INTERLUDE: The City of Cliff's End

DM NOTE: All of the above happened with 1 hour of IRL time elapsed. I told my player (remember this is a 1:1 game) that we'd take some time to play out hiring of new people, outfitting them, and figuring out what else they might want. After all, saving Melvin earned the remaining PCs 500 gp.

DAY 1 MELVIN'S PLACE: PCs are allowed to use his warehouse as a base of operations. Still puzzling over a scrap of the treasure map, the first 100 gp is spent on a scribe to answer questions about a copper hand, the tomb, and the cult of Nithis.

DAY 2 CITY TURNS A DEAF EAR to the CULT ISSUE: The PCs next try to encourage the City Watch to get involved with their plight. After all, wouldn't the city want to know about this cult problem? Nope. City Watch as enough to do without running around in sewers. So the player starts spending money to attract like-minded fortune seekers. After 30 gp, the PC get two new recruits with the promise of a full share each and proper outfitting.

DAY 3-17 SCROLL MAKING: Desdemona creates a scroll with Magic Missle and Shield on it.

DAY 18 KCYRA TEMPLE: Attempted to beseech the temple to get assistance against the cult. But like the city watch, PCs were denied and suspicion leveled against them. Instead, the temple wants the PCs to bring back the body of Ambrose. PCs do part with four emeralds as a gift to the temple and received a bit of thanks from them.

DM NOTE: Alright, so I rolled a "4" on the encounter reaction table which is "Unfriendly, may attack". I figured a wizard and chaotic halfing attempting to seek aid from a lawful church after their cleric got killed, but they didn't bring back the body was a "not gonna happen" on aid. And in lieu of an aggressive action, I figure the temple would more make a demand to prove some sorta of loyalty or at least honesty.

DAY 19 CAROUSING GONE WILD: Desdemona is locked in the stockades while Snorri makes a fool of himself publically. 150 GP owed to Melvin to get Desdemona out of the stocks and fully rested.

DAY 20 CONSULT THE STARS and BACK TO THE SEWERS: The stars offered nothing to this newly formed band of heroes and so it was back to the sewers almost a full month since their initial delve. Surely the cult has forgotten about them.

Yellow is Session 1,
Orange Session 2 ACT I, Pink Session 2 ACT II


#9 EMPTY ROOM: The PCs attempt re-entry back through the secret door where they first must dispatch swarms of rot flies. Their dagger still in place indicated the cult has not been here recently.

#8 CENTRAL HALL: With a much more violent plan in mind, Snorri scouts ahead to perform a ranged sneak attack! One cultist falls, but the new fighters Vayloc and Seranes are able to follow up with bow attacks killing the other one.

#12. TEMPLE SANCTUM: The party bolts across the west bridge and into the sanctum. There they behold the horrible sight of Ambrose's body hung upside down beneath the weeping icon of Nithis-- black tears trailing across the body and into a pool below.

Enranged, the party attacks the priests and cultists performing rites there! One priest is beheaded and the other cut to ribbons by the fighters. But all the fighting draws the attention of the Rot King appearing at the southern door.

The king's fearsome presence and vile chants cast Hold Person on the group freezing Vayloc in his place. Seranes, Snorri, and Desdemona counter with a volley of arrows and magic hitting the Rot King from all directions. Withdrawing south, but far from finished, the Rot King unleashes a swarm of flies to engulf Desdemona in a cloud of suffering-- killing her.

DM NOTE: The player had pretty good tactics here and brought the Rot King from 22 down to 3 hp. I almost thought about making a stand with the King, but figured they would be a little smarter than that. Especially since they still had 2 wererat underlings to send after the very hurt party.

THE RACE TO GET OUT: The next minutes are spent by the party just running back toward the jail cells (#7) and trying to avoid the guards. As they turn south toward #1 ENTRANCE HALL (avoiding the central pressure plate), they are attacked from behind by cultists. Well-placed daggers find their mark in Vaylok and Seranes.

Leaving the halfing Snorri, the PC with the worse stats, alive to escape!


SUMMARY: Great adventure (get it here on itch). I think one I will certainly keep on file as an intro to D&D. And what I cannot stress enough is that The Rot King's Sanctum provides so many little single-sentence seeds to build out a world from. This is vital because a DM can slowly build out which prevents DM burn-out and building things the player(s) have no interest in. And does the adventure itself build hooks for further games? Well, the player now has:

  • A real reason to hate the Cult
  • Still needs to find the lost tomb & who are the Tempest Mages
  • An enemy who will hunt them in Cliff's End
  • Want to better understand the relationship between the gods of rot & healing
  • NPC friend and somewhat a home base
All of which seems like enough to me!

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