Lair Assault – Attack of the Tyrantclaw

Warning – contains spoilers
“A dryad druid named Hyacinth has recently learned of a ruined village called Tanaroa on the shores of the mysterious Isle of Dread. Now she hopes to land there and delve into the ruins of this long-ago society. She has chartered a ship to the island and hired adventurers to protect her. The job won’t be easy, for a savage clan of orcs called the Tyrantclaw dwells on the island, along with great reptilian beasts.”

Well, yesterday saw my debut as a DM at the Lair Assault event held at Mondo Comico in Nottingham. As usual the journey there had proved pleasent but uneventful. As we awaited the arrival of all the players I played a round of “Revolver” with the other DM for the day, Glenn. It was an interesting card game based upon a western scenario of sherrifs chasing a bunch of bandits. Quick to learn, fun to play and the bonus was, I won!. As we finished all of the players for my table had arrived, so with a thank you to Glenn he headed downstairs to set his game up ready as I did the same upstairs.

Some were familair faces, some not, so we introduced ourselves to each other and then they introduced their characters. Tilly was playing a human rogue  (sniper style), David was a human ranger (think, big game hunter of Victorian England, complete with manservant, Pitpat), Paul had his human mage, Shane was a elf barbarian, Darron a human cavalier (with a very clever combination of equipment to boost his attack power), and James was a tiefling warlord.

The adventure called for the party to “buy” supplies to outfit their position from a selection provided, and despite David’s desire to build his castle of crates, they also purchased one each of the light ballistae and magic crossbow turrets to be strategically positioned as they prepared to protect their employer.

As per the DM’s guidelines I had preselected the order I wanted the 4 waves to arrive in and had decided that they would enter in clockwise order of table edges starting with randomly decided one, so as turn 1 began and initiatives were rolled the reaver ridden pteradactyls swooped in, the sniper and hunter targeting the nearest of them before the second one dove down and grabbed our unfortunate mage.

Unfortunately for the mage that seemed to signal the end for him, despite putting the reaver to sleep and taking his seat, the pteradactyl was then shot down by the rest of the party and the mage found himself rushing groundward.

Meanwhile a horde of orc warriors had appeared and engaged the barbarian, cavalier and warlock, preventing them from moving to assist their fallen comrade before the next wave of foes arrive, unfortunately close to the stricken mage, a pair of triceratops ridden by maul-wielding orcs. Seeing the robed human laying seemingly helpless they urged their thunderous mounts to charge him before dismounting and finishing him off with his maul.

As the earthquake-like rumblings increased in time with the druids ritual-chanting, the fourth wave of foes arrived. A pair of ankylosaurs accompanied with a pair of orc storm-callers who announced their presence with blasts of lightning at the nearest hero, the mighty hunter defending the entranced druid as a heavily injured orc pummeller mounted the crates to get a clear swipe at the defenceless figure.

Suddenly the druidess screams that she cant control the magics causing through her and the as her body begins to burst and swell so does the ground around them. As the dust settles the small tar pits have split open into huge lakes of bubbling hot tar and the diminuative druid has been transformed into a terrifying tyrannosaurus rex!

The mighty hunter had finally come face to face with the ultimate trophy beast, though he hadn’t expected to be quite this close to begin with.

With the t-rex’s arrival the remaining dinosaurs were noticably nervous but continued to attack as directed by their orc masters.

The heroes manage to force the tyrannosaur back into the debris left by the obelisk and daze it momentarily, but its baser instincts take over and charges forward once more, lashing out at any and all targets it detects – the orc pummeller becomes an appetizer, followed by a big chunk of ankylosaur and a dessert of huntsman!

The anklyosaur decides that enough’s enough and flees the field of battle. The fight intensifies as the heroes focus their attention upon the huge carnivore rather than their other remaining foes. Despite the hunter slipping into unconciousness a couple of times the heroes determined efforts are eventually rewarded as the titanic beast falls to the ground lifeless. Seeing the mighty behemoth slain, the remaining orcs and their dinosaur allies flee back into the concealing jungle as our remaining heroes breath a sigh of relief and mourn their losses.

The party had not only survived but successfully completed the Lair Assault challenge, as we packed away the fantastic collection of miniatures that Darron had very kindly allowed us to borrow, the glory points were calculated and awarded.

If time had permitted it would have been fun to run through it again in “nightmare mode”, which give the DM even more dinosaur goodies to throw at the heroes, but as the clock ticked past 3:15pm I had to head back to Leicester and family commitments. I thanked the players for another fantastic days gaming and hoped they had enjoyed it as much as I had. Although it is customary for the DM to take the adventure with him as “reward” for running the event, I left it with Paul (as organiser) so that if they had time or opportunity they could run it again if they so wished.

I would also like to thank Tilly for taking the snapshots above for me during the game as I was somewhat preoccupied 🙂

Since returning home I have now requested to run the Lair Assault at our Encounters venue, Tabletop Tyrants (provisionally in April), it has been sanctioned and now I eagerly await the arrival of the adventure pack.


One Response to “Lair Assault – Attack of the Tyrantclaw”

  1. Lord Night Says:

    The vision fades from view and then gauldoth awakes. “A vision of the future?” He muses…

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