Encounter between book 1&2

Curse of the Crimson Throne

We just finished book 1 in my group and we're going to be running a brief dream sequence encounter in between because one player had to miss consecutive sessions.

My plan is

to have them wake up in a deserted Korvosa and see nothing but a soul bound doll that they have to follow through the city. The river will have been turned to sand and they'll end up in the castle courtyard where they'll fight a CR5 blue dragon (wyrmling) and the doll. At the end of the fight, they'll wake up.

The players involved are all level 4. Wizard, paladin, rogue, and house drake Majenko.

I'm concerned the fight will be too easy even though it looks like a CR 7 or 8 encounter. Has anyone else done a foreshadowing encounter like this or have any suggestions to make mine better? Thanks!

Just to add, I'm a pretty new GM and this is my first attempt at designing my own encounter so if there's a glaring flaw, please let me know! I want this to be a very tough fight for them and not something that's over in a round or two.

With no real healing, I'd advise it not be too tough or long a fight. a CR 7 encounter is likely to kill a couple party members when you're level 4. Especially since a flying enemy is party hard to stop at level 4.

Since this is a dream sequence, it could be relatively inconsequential if things go too south in that fight. If they all die, they could just wake up anyway, probably even more spooked then if they would've won.


I ended up running a graven guardian of Zon Kuthon, the Soulbound Doll, and 2 gray maidens. The party wiped the floor with them. I got a little bit of damage in but nothing significant. I finished the fight with a glimpse of the final big bad blue dragon slithering over the top of castle Korvosa and launching lightning bolts the size of telephone poles at them. Then flash of white and they find themselves in a field with Sheyln who thanked them for their service to Korvosa so far and rewarded them each with a magical item.

When they woke up, they each had their magical item and needed a day to recover from exhaustion.

Even though it wasn't as tough a fight as I had hoped, I learned a lot about encounter design and, most importantly, they all seemed like they loved it.

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