Tuesday 2 May 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #121: Bridge of the Red Trial

Six hexes northwest of Alakran.


Here we find the second bridge that secures the way to the Dervish stronghold atop the Ship Rock.

It is reached by advancing atop the westward-rising mesa, through looming and claustrophobic stone formation channels. The bridge crosses the next chasm, a hundred feet deep. It is built similar to the first, but flanked by carnelian obelisks, which warn of the danger to those not protected in "humility and atonement." Bright sparkling red flames shoot up hundreds of feet into the air from the bottom of the chasm when a traveller crosses, whether by the bridge or not. The flames scour not the body, but the soul; they do 6d8 radiant damage with no saving throw, but this is reduced percentage-wise by the proportion of ash on the body from the Gray Blessing

A party of 2d4 red-robed dervishes (half level 1 paladins, half level 3 clerics, replacing one of these with a cleric with level equal to the total number of dervishes) watch the bridge constantly. Bearing bowls and ewers of water, they will emerge at the top of the sloping cliff that looms over the bridge, descend the steep steps carved in that cliff, and if all the party show atleast some good will by having some ash stuck on them, offer to wash off the ash. If any are apparently evil, as shown by a lack of ash, they will cal back for reinforcements and defend the top of the stairs.

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