Content of the article: "The Harpy’s Meat Grinder – Encounter"
I pulled this encounter out of my butt on a map I hadn't made a plan for tonight. Thought it was worth a share. Fun encounter with an escalating threat level to scare a Low/Med level party.
My level 5 party of 3 (Human Battlemaster, Half-Elf Illusion Wizard and Halfling Bard) were travelling along a dirt road past an old one room cabin on the side of the road. It seemed long abandoned so they investigated. The door was unlocked but something on the other side was blocking it. A great heave from the fighter pushed the door open to reveal the cabin to be flooded with bones, apparently spilling out from the chimney. The bones nearest the fireplace had more gunk and viscera on them and a serious smell of rot came from the chimney itself.
Meanwhile, the wizard outside began to hear a siren song in 3 parts coming from some trees down a tight path off the road. One of the songs managed to charm him and he turned their donkey-drawn wagon off down the narrow path. He managed to break the charm just as the three harpies descended upon him from the trees.
Battle ensued. After the first harpy sister was killed one of her sisters began to sing again and charmed our halfling bard. She descended upon him, grabbing him up in her talons and carrying him towards the chimney, dropping him down it, hoping the fall would kill him, as the insides were lined with razor traps to ensnare and shred their prey as more weight fell from above.
Our halfling had featherfall luckily, and all survived. They rolled some low treasure hoard checks for the belongings of the harpies many victims and an investigation check lead to a basement trap door. In the basement they found a skeleton, a diary and a lockbox. They opened the lockbox with a key found upstairs to receive an immediate fireball for the whole party and the charred remains of a spellbook. Had they read the diary first they would have learned of the trapped lockbox, but such is PC life.
Hope someone enjoys pulling this on their own party! maybe the harpies have some pets or servants for ground support if you have more PCs or are higher level. Good fun was had by all
- A Wizard in the hand is confused
- Did I mess up? PC “capturing” a harpy…
- Should encounters be leveled up with the players?
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