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Bogs of Bane: Mud Battle

After the PCs finally emerge from the Amber Roads and back into Aventyr (after chasing the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. through the Shlyappa zwerc enclave in Stealing Stones), a cursory inspection of plant life near the mouth of the cave and a DC 15 Knowledge (geography) or Knowledge (nature) check confirms that they are in the Vast Swamp, a huge swath of bogs and marshes that dominate the southern region of the continent. The passage leads out into a small valley of almost lifeless plains that opens up into a larger dale dominated by spindly brush and wide mud flats with upraised dirt paths.

mud battle picture
When the party has finished resting or are ready to emerge from the tunnel, read the following:

A plaintive wail softly echoes off of the wall of the passage, the softened screams of several humanoids. Peering out from the entrance to the tunnel you see that strange devices of rotting wood and sharp brambles hold eight old humans within, slowly cutting into their flesh and covering the brown murk around them with bright crimson blood. By the look of anguish on their faces, it is clear that they won’t survive very long at all if they aren’t immediately freed from their lethal bonds.

Outside in the larger valley are 8 primitive elders of the Bloodclaw Tribe held in torturous contraptions on some winding dirt paths in the middle of the mud pit. The devices are slowly tightening thorned vines around them, and a DC 12 Perception check spots a quartet of younger tribal warriors slowly approaching on the pathway leading south. A result of 20 or higher notices that these tortured old men and women aren’t alone, however, and that two mud monsters lurk in the mire nearby! A PC that beats a result of 30 realizes that there are actually three mud monsters, one of which waits just near the mouth of the tunnel (obviously waiting to flank the party once the have traveled onto the dirt path).

When the PCs look out and notice the beleaguered elders, each prisoner has 12 hp left and take 1d2 piercing damage each turn from the brambled torture devices they are trapped within. As soon as either the adventurers or the Bloodclaw warriors (see “Raider” in the NPC Gallery of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide) reach the winding pathways around the elders, the mud monsters attack! [Our creature feature for tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! —MM]

 

Dirt Pathways
The pathways which the mud battle takes place on (the mud is 3 ft. deep in most places and counts as difficult terrain for creatures without earth glide) are 2 ft. wide and each round that a creature standing on a dirt path makes a full-attack action, they must succeed at a DC 14 Acrobatics check at the end of their turn or fall prone (on a failure by 5 or more, they fall into the mud).

mud battle map

5E Rules

Noticing the Bloodclaw warriors requires a DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check. The two mud monsters ambushing the primitives are noticed on a result of 15 or higher, and a result of 20 or higher spots the creature nearest the party.

Staying balanced atop the dirt paths while taking more than one attack on a creature’s turn requires a DC 13 Dexterity (Athletics or Acrobatics) check.

For the Bloodclaw warriors, use the “Berserker” entry in the Monster Manual and increase how many of them there are to from 4 to 7.

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