Acute Adventures: Into Toko Hill


Good day, folks. Today brings the second of my adventures. Into Toko Hill can be played as a continuation of last week's The Horror of Kwaka; both can be effortlessly weaved into the Tomb of Annihilation module by Wizards of the Coast.


Enjoy, everyone!

Into Toko Hill

In the jungle of Iwanagig, human natives and vegepygmy invaders vie for dominance over a mystical spring. Terrified of venturing into the moldfolk’s domain, Toko Hill, the village seeks braver souls to take out the vegepygmies for them.

Note: Into Toko Hill can be played as part two of the prior adventure, The Horror of Kwaka, or as a standalone adventure. Feel free to use NPCs or encounters from the Horror of Kwaka in this adventure to further flesh it out.

NPCs

  • Eztli Ka: A beautiful but grizzly human female of Kwaka. She leads and trains most of the village’s warriors, and has fought the most with the vegepygmies of Toko Hill.
  • Agari the Azure: A navy colored myconid covered in bubbly fungi. He is a prisoner of the vegepygmy, able to provide false visions and create a cure to russet mold with his spores.
  • Ciss the Overgrown: A hideous vegepygmy chief covered in thorns and russet mold. He fiercely controls the vegepygmy tribe of Toko Hill.

Prelude

The villagers of Kwaka constantly fight over a mystical spring with a tribe of vegepygmies who live in a great, jungled mound they call Toko Hill. The villagers fiercely believe a natural spirit resides within the spring and blesses their water - they worship this spring. As of late, the vegepygmy tribe has viciously contested their trips to the spring, which has lead the villagers to grow more and more tired of the vegepygmies presence. In addition, they believe the moldfolk to hold the cure to a terrible sickness plaguing villagers. They seek adventurers to eliminate the tribe from their source: Toko Hill and recover this supposed cure. The vegepygmy tribe, however, is lead by a powerful chief with a lemur thorny companion.

Part I: Finding Toko Hill

The adventure can begin in the village of Kwaka, where the party can converse with the locals about the vegepygmy threat and the location of Toko Hill, or the group can begin outside the moldfolk’s lair, prepared to enter it. If you decide that the PCs must find Toko Hill, they must succeed three skill checks. If they fail a skill check, they face an encounter.

You or your players can debate about which skills can be used to find Toko Hill; here are a few example checks and encounters:

Skill Checks

  1. Perception DC 12: Someone finds a trail of mold that leads through the jungle.
  2. Nature DC 13: Someone notices peculiar scrapings on various jungle trees that seem to lead somewhere.
  3. Survival DC 14: Someone spots a patch of quicksand before the party enters it, and sees a trail through the foliage around it.

Encounters

  1. 2d4 vegepygmies burst from the bushes, sharpened branches drawn!
  2. 2d6 velociraptors rush through the jungle and attack the party’s weakest members!
  3. The party stumbles upon a toppled over, stone shrine covered in russet mold. If they successfully clean the mold from the shrine, a soft wind blows and sun shines through the thicket onto them. Each party member is affected by the effects of a bless spell for 1 hour.
  4. The party discovers a small child from Kwaka, starving and infected with russet mold disease.

Part II: The Upper Passages

The entrance into Toko Hill is a small cave mouth draped in vines and guarded by 4 vegepygmies. If assaulted and allowed to escape, one will retreat into Toko Hill. The rest of the upper passages are detailed below.

Antechamber (1)

“You stoop under the foul vegetation hanging over the cavern’s entrance and find yourself in a natural chamber of dirt and moss. The scent of decay pervades this dark place.”

Interactable features include hanging vines, loose dirt, and russet mold patches. 4 vegepygmies guard the room.

Thorny Creation Room (2)

“Animal remains litter the cold floor of this cramped room.” 

Interactable features include capybara bones, rotting meat, and flammable moss. 2 thornies, 1 vegepygmy, and 1 sun bear (use brown bear stats) in the process of being converted to a thorny are in this room.

Human Captives (3)

“Trapped in primitive cages are three humans, similar to those of Kwaka. They appear to be starved, dehydrated, and scarred by vegepygmy teeth.”

Interactable features include cages of bone, mounds of dirt, and patches of russet mold. A single vegepygmy sorcerer with the thunderwave spell guards the prisoners.

Resting Caves (4)

“Vaguely rectangular mats of moss are sprawled across the brown floor of this expansive cavern. Beside each of them is a small bowl carved from wood, filled with peculiar ornaments.”

Interactable features include moss mats, wooden bowls, and unused bone spears. At any time, 1d8 vegepygmies are in this chamber, resting.

Thorny Cages (5)

“Sharp hissing noises emanate from this cavern corridor. As you make your way down the passage, the source becomes apparent: Four thornies trapped in crude cages of wood.”

Interactable features include wooden cages, vine whips, and thorny collars. The 4 thornies trapped in cages block off a smaller cage that holds a myconid named Agari. In addition to the vial found later in the adventure, his spores are the only way to cure russet mold disease. He’ll work with the party if they treat him kindly. He is able to cure russet mold disease 2 times per long rest.

The Depths of Ciss (6)

“The corridor gradually slopes downward and twists around a bend. Instantly, nearly all surfaces around you become covered in blood-red moss. This must be the vegepygmies’ inner sanctum.”

Following the final, winding passageway brings the party to the lower level of Toko Hill. Every surface of this large, natural cavern is covered in russet mold. Ciss, the chief of this vegepygmy tribe, waits for the party here. Accompanying him is his lemur thorny (use monkey stats) and 2 vegepygmies, prepared for battle. As the party moves through Toko Hill, Ciss refuses to leave his mold-filled chamber, certain that any creature that fights him in his domain is doomed. Is he correct? Use the following tactics and effects as inspiration for the final battle of Toko Hill:
  • Ciss’ lemur thorny will always use the Help action to give Ciss advantage on his attacks. Flavor this as the lemur leaping around the combat and distracting party members.
  • 80% of this chamber is covered in russet mold; Ciss, though he has no ranged attacks, is not afraid to retreat into mold patches to recover.
  • Someone might spot a vial of blue liquid held by a vine during the battle; it’s the cure to russet mold disease. In it, there’s enough for 6 doses.
Scattered around the russet mold patches is a variety of treasure found by Ciss’ tribe, including: 21 gold pieces, 2 emerald idols (30 gp each), a soiled wizard’s spellbook (thunderwave, charm person, magic missile, and scorching ray), and a silver greataxe.

Aftermath

Luckily, the adventure ends with the death of Ciss; with his death the vegepygmy tribe falls apart. Any moldfolk who weren’t in Toko Hill never return, leaving Kwaka safe to use the mystical spring. If the PCs return to Kwaka, they are hailed as heroes. The village will be forever grateful to them, they are gifted a sacred gold idol of an ape (200 gp), and are always welcome to stay in Kwaka - for no cost.

Kwaka is safe and sure to be thriving with free access to their mystical spring. This area of the Iwanagig jungle is serene and moldfolk free -- for now. There’s a few ways to build on this adventure. Perhaps the PCs did not rid Toko Hill of russet mold and it begins to spread. Maybe one of the escaped vegepygmies stumbles upon an ancient artifact and gains new power. Or maybe the leader of Kwaka has another task for the PCs, a journey that will take them to a mystical, yuan-ti ziggurat deep within Iwanagig.

Whatever you or the PCs decide to do, know that you saved Kwaka from a slow, mold-caused demise, and that the stories that shall stem from this victory will be sung by the folk of Kwaka forevermore.
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I hope you enjoyed Into Toko Hill! Again, here's the .pdf link if you'd like to download it.

Next week's adventure will be about next week's Musing Over Monsters article. What could it be? Power and water, control and domination...

Until then, fare thee well!
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