Date: Early Spring of 1334 Avard
The Aquaholic II approached the nation of Al Fahim. They were met well outside the city by a longship filled with warriors. They searched the Aquaholic II from stem to stern, but thankfully missed the hiding spot that held Calista's spellbook.
Inside Aboris'shifa, they drank a tavern that had both Rakoran and Inquisition sailors barely getting along and itching for a fight. From there, they were recruited by a local merchant to perform a… task. In exchange for many jadats, he wanted them to sweep a recently found set of tunnels beneath his jade business, and remove all traces of the arcane. If the Inquisition found anything arcane beneath his workshops, then he would be shut down, perhaps even evicted, and all of his business would be affected as customers wondered if the arcane had gotten into the jade itself.
In the tunnels, the team found a group of ferocious rats and a rough-and-tumble tom cat. They also found an ancient potion manufacturing facility. There were six huge cauldrons where potions had once been made in great quantities.
A water elemental had once been a guardian or helper of some sort, but it had been trapped there for ages, and it attacked. Each attack did random potion effects, throwing the battle into chaos.
Once the elemental was defeated – barely – by destroying its cauldron, the team swept the rest of the ruins for any and all signs of the arcane. They found a four-foot tall glass statue of a dragon that one could pour potions into and store them, and which could then be used to activate the potions. A potion of fire breathing had been left in the glass dragon, much to Mugdal's consternation.
The party hoped to get the Rakorans to help them smuggle out all of the arcane items.
DM's Notes: I used on of the myriad 'wild mage effects' d100 tables for each strike by and against the potion elemental. This caused half the room to be a thick fog effect, half to be in magical darkness, teleported the party's tank out of the battle, and many more interesting effects. The team managed to bloody the elemental, and had it down to a quarter of its hit points, despite a lack of magic weapons. Ironically, one of the effects turned Mugdal's axe into a magical weapon – and then the next attack teleported him out of the dungeon. The spell effect turned Calista's temporary light spell, permanent – and then Caileb asked, “What color?” I rolled at random, and got 'black'. He has a black light axe, invisible to normal vision, but causes some objects to glow and enhances darkvision. How cool is that?
As a Dungeon Master through 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions – and now 5E – I've found that I miss some aspects of the earlier versions. For example, I've kept the 'bloodied' status from 4th Edition as a means of garnering scars and showing both sides when they're making progress. I'm also using 'aura' effects and minions from 4th Edition, as well. My players seem to be enjoying this as much as I do. Well, except for the aura business. (evil DM grin)
None to date.