First Blood

Having explored the Kapaerian Island for almost a week without finding traces of ancient Giant culture – or anything else worth telling home about – the characters happen across a large black dragonfly Jovi identifies as a Tirbana Eyewing (MM5 172). He recognizes that:
- There must be sentient life near because the Tirbana are dependent on it.
- Eyewings are extremely rare and sought after familiars among spellcasters.
- The Eyewing is probably scouting for its hive – and if it manages to report their arrival, there will be trouble.

There are 3 Eyewings fluttering 15ft. in the air and they attempt to escape and summon the Dowsers. They attempt to scatter and fly away as fast as possible but might be surprised if the characters react fast enough to Jovi’s warning.

Further into the jungle, a scouting party of 3 Tirbana Dowsers (MM5 173), a Tirbana Eyewing (MM5 172) and a Tirbana Slayer (MM5 173) is looking for a Goliath that escaped their earlier raid. The Goliath has been subjected to the Eyewing’s touch and poisonous bite and he is hurt. If the Tirbana have been alerted to the party’s arrival, they will have readied themselves and suspended the hunt for their escaped prey. The Goliath will not partake in the fight unless the characters are clearly being overwhelmed. If the Tirbana remain ignorant of the party’s existence, they will have cornered the Goliath who will have fallen asleep just before the party’s arrival.

If encountered, the Tirbana will attempt to slay the intruders. The Dowsers will use their first action attempting to use their sleep effect, unless the characters have already closed in on them at that point. The Slayer will prioritize any opponents who are clearly endangering the Dowsers.

Manethak’s Cave

If the characters managed to destroy the Tirbana, they are left in the custody of a young, injured Goliath (Knowledge (Nature) DC 15 to identify). He barely knows Common, only a few phrases that he pronounces strangely and that seem to have been assimilated in his own langue (Gol-Kaa). The Goliath seems eager to help his rescuers. He “introduces” himself as “Manethak” and attempts to lead the party to his cave. This requires climbing a rocky ledge (Climb DC 15). By the cave, there will be two more Tirbana Dowsers (MM5 173). If restored to good health, the Goliath will simply charge at them.

If the Goliath was taken away or killed, Jovi will eventually lead the characters to his cave by accident. The Dowsers will still be there.

The cavern is filled with carvings and paintings. They depict a battle between Giants and strange, insectoid creatures of different kinds. Slender black humanoids with white hair are also depicted among the insects, both riding them to battle and being ridden by them to battle. In the far corner on the insect’s side, there is merely a tarry smudge that has been covered with a rune the color of dried blood. If Manethak’s attention is brought to it or if the characters understand Giant, they will learn that it says “Nehushta”, although the rune itself reads as “locust” in Giant. Manethak is visibly distraught if more is questioned about the rune. He will make gestures meant to drive away evil (Knowledge (Xen’drik local) DC 22).

Manethak’s story is that he is part of a small tribe of “ancient guardians” whose mission is to guard the entrance into the realm of a horrifying being known as Nehushta. The insect king of yore is not to be allowed to spread his wings once again. However, it was always tabu to wander inside the entrance. As such, the insects managed to surprise them. Everyone else has been taken away almost a week ago (note: Tirbana eggs take a week to hatch (Knowledge (Nature) DC 20), after which the larvae cause 1d6 con dmg each day – the average Goliath has Con 14), and he is the only survivor who has been chased by the Tirbana all this time.

He can tell the party that there is also a tribe of “Drow” in the vicinity and while the dark elves have not attempted to release their insect master, there has never been true peace between the Goliaths and them. He warns not to trust the insect-worshipers.

If Manethak is alive, he will ask of the party to help him avenge his tribe. He knows where the entrance to Nehushta’s lair is. However, it must not be entered before he has finished mourning for his comrades. This will take a week. No matter what, Jovi is also demanding that a base of operations is set before raiding the enemy lair.


Eberron: Expeditionforged VariSami