Friday Night D&D

Session 1: Arrival at Greenest
(aka adult Blue Dragons are nasty)

Location: Greenest

PCs:
Farrergould Murnig Boondogglestickleworth Fitszelsnitch (Flitch),
Grimogar Bloodfang (Grim),
Rukumakk Thergard Arsmid (Ruk),
Sandrilene Everwood (Sandry),
Xanhorn Darkeyes (Xanhorn).

“For the past several days, you have been traveling a road that winds lazily across the rolling grasslands of the Greenfields. You’ve met up with fellow travellers heading in the same direction and travelled together for safety and companionship.
Sundown is approaching when you top a rise and see the town of Greenest just a few short miles away. But instead of the pleasant, welcoming town you expected, you see columns of black smoke rising from burning buildings, running figures that are little more than dots at this distance, and a dark, winged shape wheeling low over the keep that rises above the center of the town. Greenest is being attacked by a dragon!”

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The heroes spy what they think are children being chased through the streets. They run into the town and encounter five humans dashing across a street. A limping, older man and three young children raced towards a gap between two buildings while a woman, carrying a round shield and a broken spear, turned and faced back in the direction from which they came. Numerous kobolds streamed out of the alley and surrounded her. She looked determined to delay the creatures as long as possible.

The battle ended quickly, in which Ruk earned the admiration of his colleagues, and an 8-year old girl, Marela Swift, for his ability to make Kobold heads look like exploding watermelons. The woman was felled in the fight but saved by Xan’s cantrip.

The heroes decided to head towards the keep at the centre of town. Voting that they were not the stealthy types to use the smoke, buildings and hedges to sneak along they took the main roads and walked confidently up the road – keeping an eye out but not making any real effort to escape notice. They were challenged at one point and got the drop on some human and half-orcs but one escaped and brought friends to harass them before the keep’s walls.

Continuing to stride down the main streets, several other combats also ensued, but the heroes won them all, though resources started to be depleted. Grim carried the unconscious woman, Linan Swift, which the group shepherded the old man and the 3 children.

Making it inside the keep, the heroes were thanked by Cuth Swift for saving himself, his daughter and his grandchildren. They were then taken to meet the 60-year old Governor Nighthill on the ramparts. The right side of Nighthill’s face and head were bandaged, his right arm hung in a sling, and his light blue tunic was stained with blood. Standing with Nighthill was Castellan Escobert the Red, a shield dwarf with knotted, tangled, bright red hair. The Castellan is in charge of the defense of the keep and carried numerous keys on a ring of iron.

Nighthill asked for the heroes aid. He began to explain the situation when suddenly a lookout screamed, “DRAGON!” and an adult blue dragon of enormous size swooped down opposite the rampart. Some guards fled in terror, but many held their ground.

Grim noted that the dragon seemed somewhat disinterested and disheartened by the mediocrity of scaring the keep occasionally and could probably be enticed to leave with a few well-placed arrows.

Flitch and Sandry followed Nighthill and Escobert into a tower while Grim, Ruk and Xan joined the defenders on the wall (but wisely staying away from the largest group of archers).

The dragon breathed a mighty bolt of lightning! (73 points of damage!) and killed eight archers. Chunks of masonry flew like missiles, wounding four more guards and Ruk. Xan and Grim jumped out of the way of a large piece of wall and took only minor grazing. That Ruk, who had loudly proclaimed his hate of all dragons, was the most damaged was ironic.

The party used magic, crossbows and thrown weapons to inflict 26 points of damage, which clearly only scratched the dragon but it was enough to encourage it to follow its desire and leave the battlefield. Flitch was embarrassed his most powerful spell, a Chromatic Orb, missed twice.

The point was made however – adult dragons are a danger unlike anything the party has met before. And they yearn to someday to be powerful enough to kill it.

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Session 2: Saving Greenest

Location: Greenest

PCs:
Farrergould Murnig Boondogglestickleworth Fitszelsnitch (Flitch),
Grimogar Bloodfang (Grim),
Rukumakk Thergard Arsmid (Ruk),
Sandrilene Everwood (Sandry),
Xanhorn Darkeyes (Xanhorn).

Having survived the dragon attack, Governor Nighthill asked the heroes to save the folk still left in the town and try and capture a leader type. He pointed out a woman hundreds of meters away, wearing purple robes, flanked by man guards wearing silver masks. While the leader might be to hard to capture, one of those cultists wearing a mask might be easier. He gave Xanhorn, who seemed to the group spokesperson, three Potions of Healing as a thank you to the heroes — these were the last three potions in the keep and that he and others could clearly use them was not lost on the heroes.

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Linan Swift meanwhile asked the heroes to look for her husband Hubert, a strapping muscular fellow who had gone to rescue his sister and two kids during the raid and not seen since. Linan also gave Ruk a small reed-woven doll with some red moss on the face – a present from her daughter Marela Swift. Ruk can kind of tell it is meant to be him, if he squints a lot when he looks at the handmade doll.

Xanhorn was asking after his childhood friend, a half-elf Talis but no one had heard of her.
Flitch meanwhile asked about a monk, Leosin, and several had said that he was in the keep when the attack started but not seen since.

Castellan Escobert the Red led the heroes to an old, secret tunnel that led from the keep’s bakery store closet to the stream beside the town. Providing they could keep it secret, this will provide easy access into and out of the keep. While showing the heroes the trap door, a runner arrived from Nighthill. Many townfolk were trapped in the temple of Chauntea and the heroes were asked to rescue them before it was to late.

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Heading down the tunnel, all bar Sandry had Darkvision. Debating being led through the tunnel, the piles of muck she had to step through convinced her to light a torch.

As they neared the end of the tunnel, Sandry joked that this place should be full of rats, just before dozens of glowing, beady eyes shot along the tunnel floor and walls towards them!

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The heroes made short work of the fifty or so rats, especially with Flitch’s spells, though Sandry found herself covered in rat guts. Sandry’s torch, used as a weapon, also proved fairly effective, lighting a number of rodents on fire! The cleric, Xanhorn, continued to call fire down from Waukeen during the fight, though often it turned out to be a flicker of power rather than full wrath (rolled 1 damage almost every turn!).

Despite having the key, the sewer grate was somewhat rusted by Sandry managed to use her skills to force the lock quietly and then promptly jumped into the stream to wash the rats guts off. Before the others could follow her out the tunnel she saw lights and heard voices coming towards her and dowsed her torch and tried to hide in the stream. Ruk, just behind her, caught on and warned the others to be quiet.

A patrol of kobolds and humans wearing various types of armour (but none with a cultist mask) worked their way along the opposite stream bed. Sandry’s impressive hiding skills saved her from the lax patrol’s eyes and the heroes remained quiet until the danger had passed.

Using cover this time, the heroes made it to a small wall 50m from the sanctuary. Here they noticed three groups of raiders:

  • a large group of kobolds with torches and swinging wind chimes made from cat skulls making a wide loop around the church to demoralise those hiding inside.
  • a large group of humans, half-orcs and half-elves using a makeshift battering ram on the main doors of the temple
  • a smaller group (3 humans and 9 kobolds) lighting small fires in some hay near the back door of the temple to send smoke inside.

The heroes debated using magic to distract different groups but realised the short range of the spells (30 feet) wasn’t going to allow for much opportunity so they waited until the large patrolling group was on the other side of the temple and rushed the small group at the rear door, hoping the smoke would provide some cover. The planned worked very well and the heroes had a surprise round!!

Unfortunately Grim earnt the nickname ‘Windmill’ for his impressive but ineffective dual-wielding flailing at the air and the heroes failed to eliminate any enemies in the surprise round!

Kobolds quickly showed how dangerous they can be in large numbers and started ganging up on various heroes.

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The fight went badly for a few turns before finally the heroes started hitting back more effectively along with continuous fire from Waukeen (invariably more 1’s than anything else again!) and ice bolts. One kobold runner took off at the end to bring the large group to the rear doors. Fortunately Flitch, despite being hampered by the smoke, made a long range snipe with his icebolt and shattered the kobold into fragments.

Convincing the worshippers inside that they were friendly, the heroes got inside the back door. Xan then made a rousing speech while Flitch sent cantrip minor illusion whispers throughout the crowd encouraging their acceptance of the plan to flee out the back door. An effective persuasion, a good plan and some clever magic got the townfolk out before the kobold mass arrived at the back door. When asked about Hubert, several townfolk mention a 5’ 9" coward of a man who for some reason Linan adores. No-one has seen him since the attack.

The priest of Chauntea, the half-elf Eadyan Falconmoon, was the only level-headed person inside the temple and as impressed by the heroes actions. He offered to use his healing kit on them (he has the healing feat). Most of the heroes, out of potions and out of healing, gratefully took him up on he offer back at the keep.

Meanwhile the Mill, critical to the fortunes of the town, was being set alight by kobolds! Nighthill asked the heroes to once more intervene. Following within 15 minutes would be all the militia he could spare to help hold the mill once the heroes had secured it.

The heroes decided to cross the stream and approach the Mill from the fields. While there was less cultists out there, the heroes did encounter some but mostly used stealth this time to bypass conflict enroute to their goal. That is until the encountered a farmer and his wife (and the farmer’s pig) being chased by cultists. The heroes launched into attack and saved the farmer and his wife (and yes the pig) but took some heavy damage in the process.

Approaching the Mill, the heroes watched the kobolds and realised that they weren’t really trying to light the Mill alight. Instead they were waving torches and lighting some wet straw piles to create smoke and an appearance from the keep of the Mill being under threat!

The heroes decide that they didn’t want to trigger the trap and to head back to the keep. But then debated which way to go to ensure the militia are found first – no one wanted to send them into the trap either! As they start to slink away, a cultist (wearing the mask and clothes of one of the under officers that the heroes wanted to capture), appeared from inside the Mill, spoke to the kobolds and then went back inside.

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So, charging in, the heroes fight the kobolds and mostly take care of them easily. Unfortunately Grim and Ruk were both heavily wounded at this point and Xanhorn’s healing was depleted. With only one potion left, they decide to let Grim drink it.

With the doors of the Mill closed, Grim shoulder charges them, just as Sandry suggests she check if they are locked… which they weren’t. Grim went sprawling inside, his momentum carrying him far into the Mill.

Sandry and Ruk join him inside while Flitch stayed outside and off the left and Xan stayed back inside the cover of smoke with a view of the doorway.

Throwing spears (ineffectively) and jumping down to attack were 6 cultists, including the officer! Ruk raged and started making paste of several foes before he was taken down (starting the fight on only 1 hp!). Grim was surrounded and holding his own while Sandry moved to help, after working with Ruk.

Flitch and Xan added ranged firepower and finally the heroes managed to take down the enemy, including a sword hilt to the side of the head of the officer by Grim.

The militia, also beaten up some, turned up and the Mill was handed over.

Following the militia’s path from the keep, the heroes successfully carry Ruk, drag the officer and escort the farmer, his wife (and yes the pig) back to the keep. It was evident by then that the pig was more important to the farmer than his wife!

Nighthill interrogated the cultist initiate Gundar with the aid of heroes, including a ferocious Grim and some psychological warfare via minor illusion by Flitch.

It was revealed that:

  • he was a member of the Cult of the Dragon
  • that they are collecting loot for the “great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragon”
  • that the cult has a clutch of dragon eggs under heavy guard in a cave at the camp to the south
  • leader of the raid is Frulam Mondath, a ‘wearer of purple’ (the heroes realised they had seen her earlier from the ramparts)

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The heroes took a rest at this point (near midnight) and levelled to level Two!

Just before dawn,

“from the darkness, a creature strides into the dim light of the dying fires around the keep. Although it is shaped roughly like a human, it is at least seven feet tall, its skin Is covered in blue scales, its fingers bear wicked claws, and its face has the muzzle and reptilian eyes of a dragon.”

“The creature stops about 80 yards from the main gat of the keep and scans the walls. A line of kobolds fans out behind it. With their spears, they prod four human prisoners into the dim light. You can make out a woman, a scrawny man in a blood-soaked tunic and two toddlers. From the ramparts, Linan screams, “Hubert!”."

“Then the half-dragon creature hails the keep. ’Defenders of Greenest! This has been a successful night, and I am feeling generous. Do you see these four pitiful, useless prisoners? We have no need for them, so I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me, and you can have these four in exchange.”

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Escobert volunteers but it is clear he’s outmatched. Grim and Ruk both volunteer instead. They arm wrestle for the ‘honour’ of the fight and Ruk wins, just. Escobert gives Ruk his family heirloom, the maul JUSTICE to use for the fight.

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Ruk meets Cyanwrath outside the keep walls. He rages and the fight starts. Cyan breathes lightning as his opening move before exchanging blows with Ruk. Ruk managed to land several solid damaging blows, throwing caution to the wind. Cyan in turn made two sweeping strikes, the last one critically cutting Ruk across the throat. Ruk collapses. Cyanwrath saluted Ruk’s unexpected tenaciousness, then slid his sword into Ruk’s chest, leaving a scar that won’t heal and causing an automatic death saving throw fail.

Cyan gave the prisoners back and the raiders left the town.

Xanhorn raced to the stairs to get to Ruk to heal him but tripped over and fell off the wall.

Eventually Ruk was stabilised and healing administered. Ruk used both of his hit dice heals during the short rest and then inquired about revenge. The heroes looked in the direction that the raiders left and Nighthill summoned them once more to discuss the next steps…

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Session 3: Rescue Leosin

Location: Greenest —> Raider Camp —> Greenest

PCs: Ruk, Grim, Flitch, Xanhorn, Sandry, Felkin.

As the group of adventurers are gathering their gear and organizing themselves after a nights rest, Governor Nighthill enters their quarters and introduces Felkin the Traveller, a half-elf bard from Scornubel who had arrived that morning. Felkin had been to Greenest a couple of times previously and was known by Nighthill.

After introductions, Nighthill asks the group of adventurers for another favor. He requests the adventurers, who had only just washed the soot and blood from their clothes and armour, to undertake a reconnaissance mission of the attackers camp. He also asks they try and recovery as much of the towns stolen treasure but this is secondary to the main objective. In return, he pledges a reward of 250 gold coins for each of the group members. The group agrees to find the camp and recover the stolen loot and try to free the captured townsfolk.

Before the adventurers leave Greenest, they were approached by Nesim Waladra, a monk, who spoke in a thick accent:

Hello. I hear you intend to follow ze raiders. My master is Leosin Erlanthar of Berdusk and he is missing. He has mentioned you may be coming here, Flitchz. I ask you and your companions to find Leosin. We had a savage battle against ze raiders – some of us made it back to ze keep but Leosin did not. He has investigated ze raiders for months. I fear he may have tried to infiltrate ze cult as zay retreated, or been captured. He knows more about zis cult activity zen any ozers. We need him. My brozer has gone to Berdusk for help but will be days from returning. Please, anyzing you do to help would be godsend.

All that was found from Leosin’s last whereabouts was his torn choker embroidered with a silver dragon and a broken staff. Nesim mentioned they had been at Candlekeep where Leosin was consulting some ancient texts when he declared that Greenest is the next likely target for raids and brought his brothers here. The day they arrived the attacks occurred – the monks rescued a number of civilians but then were engaged in the telling battle.

Rested, the group leaves Greenest and follows the trail left by the attackers. (Ruk, recovering from the duel, was out of Hit Dice however). They travel for about half a day before spying camp fire smoke. Approaching quietly they came across a small camp at the bottom of a hill. There are six humans and a dozen kobolds in the camp and the humans appear to be chastising the kobolds, lording it over them. The group notices that the human’s weapons are off to one side of the camp. Upon seeing this, the group decides to flank the raiders, with Sandry, Flitch and Felkin making their way toward the weapons and the rest of the group making their way around the other side of the camp.

After a short fight which involved Flitch conjuring a somewhat comical but somehow intimidating illusion of a demon, and Grim surprising the rest of the group by actually hitting foes and killing them, the bandits were dispersed. Cutting the humans off from their weapons had been fairly successful – though Grim did get dragged through the campfire by one of the raiders. Once the humans had been dealt with the remaining kobolds had scattered.

The group recovered 28 silver pieces, a sack with treasure stolen from Greenest including a religious artifact of Chauntea, as well as spears and daggers. The daggers were quickly secreted across Sandry’s person.

During the battle Ruk had absorbed most of the kobold attention and, while ensuring the rest of the party finished the fight fairly healthy, was again covered in his own blood.

After tending to Ruk’s wounds the group continued to diligently follow the raider’s trail, walking into a steep rocky gully where they found themselves in the middle of what appeared to be a landslide. Not surprisingly, Grim, with his elephant like dexterity, took the brunt of the mini-avalanche while the rest of the group managed to avoid the larger boulders. However, as the dust settled the group realised they had walked into an ambush by a rearguard. A dozen or so raiders flanked the group atop of the rocky gully.

A large and well-armed human barked orders at the other cultists, which suggested to everyone in the group that he was their leader. There also appeared to be three acolytes of Tiamat scattered amongst the group. Upon learning that the group were likely to be draconic worshippers Ruk flew into a rage. This outburst drew the attention of the ambush leader – accompanied by a heavy crossbow bolt to Ruk’s side.

Several of the cultists called upon divine magic to command various group members to flee or cower. Only Grimm was overcome by the magic coercion, dropping his weapons. The early skirmish did not look promising for the adventurers, with the attrition and luck firmly against them. However, after breaching a hole on each side of the ambush (Ruk and Grim on one side and Sandry and Felkin on the other), the tide started to turn.

Felkin inspired Ruk and Sandry with rousing words, while Flitch flung chromatic bolts of ice at the ambush leader. Divine wrath of Waukeen on behalf of her eloquent servant Xanhorn also left their mark. Finally a few quick stabs from Sandry finally finished off the wounded ambush leader. But by then Grimm and Flitch had spear and crossbow wounds that required considerable attention and Ruk, with no hit dice, was again wounded.

With the death of the ambush leader, mopping up began, and a couple of the bandits scampered. Even Xanhorn produced his near-new mace for a few swings at bandit scalps. One acolyte was captured and the heroes attempted to interrogate him. However, it was apparent that he was not going to betray his allegiances without serious torture – something the heroes couldn’t endorse, so he was executed.

Felkin took particular note of the signs the cultists used and acquired some of their red forehead paint.

Grimm, Ruk and Flitch were heavily injured in the battle and required healing before travelling further. The surroundings and the bodies of the fallen cultists were searched and yielded four potions of healing (reduced to three due to immediate need), 20 silver pieces and the clothing from the dead cultists which was taken in case it was needed for disguises later.

The group then continued to follow the trial, but more cautiously. With a few hours of daylight left they discovered the cultist camp. It was a massive camp in a hollow of a plateau that rose gently from the surrounding land before quickly steepening to a height of 150 feet above the landscape. Two large observation towers looked over the entry and the rear of the camp.

While quietly observing the camp the adventurers noticed that the security was rather lax, as humans and kobolds appeared to be entering and leaving the camp relatively unchallenged. Many of the kobold and human bandits seemed to be getting drunk or nursing wounds from the raid. The camp looked to have around 300 bandits.

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After some consternation the group decided to try to enter the camp by following stragglers and wandering in. They bluffed their way through the entrance fairly easily and spent the rest of the daylight hours wandering through the camp in individual groups, trying to glean information.

The human forces seemed to be mostly made up of fresh recruits and mercenaries, with only a few dedicated cultists among them. They also noted that the camp appeared to have a hierarchical layout, with the kobolds occupying the area closest to the entrance and the humans occupying the areas set more deeply within the camp.

It was in this rear area that the group noticed the apparent leaders of the camp, occupying the largest tent, set aside from all others:

  • Langdedrosa Cyanwrath the half blue- dragon who fought Ruk a day earlier;
  • Frulam Mondath, the leader of the raid on Greenest that the party had seen from the keeps walls;
  • Rezmir, a half black-dragon who cultists said was the overall leader of the camp.
  • Also in the tent was a Red Wizard. A surprising and concerning development.

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All bar the red wizard wore purple robes of various individualistic styles.

The tent was surrounded by ten highly attentive guards, the “Veterans” as named by bandits sitting around their fires. These were dressed similarly to the powerful leader of the ambush and the heroes rightly exercised caution in staying at a distance from the command tent.

They continued to wander through the camp and gleaned valuable information by listening in on conversations and observing the comings and goings in different sections of the camp. They heard that the cultists apparently held a clutch of dragon eggs which the planned to hatch, with one cultist proclaiming “The day the mother of dragons returns, the whole world will tremble”, something apparently to do with Tiamat who everyone knows is imprisoned in the Nine Hells.

The adventurers got the impression that the kobold’s were not well liked or trusted by the humans. The kobolds however have a near fanatical worship of anything draconic, including the two half-dragons. Prisoners are collected for manual labour, worked until they drop, and then fed to the drakes or hatchlings in the caves. The largest cave, at the very rear of the camp, is off limits to any but those personally authorised by Rezmir or Frulam. Along with the hatchlings, all the treasure from a couple months’ worth of raids, is stored there.

Most importantly, the group discovered where Leosin the monk and twenty townsfolk were being held. Leosin was being held separately deep inside the camp and was being checked regularly – every 30 minutes or so a guard would inspect Leosin’s bonds and badly rough him up – it is clear they intend to break his will and he looked in very poor shape. The townsfolk were being held in the kobold area and the security seemed reasonably lax, for now.

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After a short debate the group decided that they should try to free Leosin and as many of the townsfolk as possible. Xan at this point become very concerned with his injured knee and his limp became even more pronounced. The plan was to free Leosin soon after the guard checked on him. They would then conjure a simple illusion of Leosin to make it look as if he was still restrained. They planned to dress him in the cultist clothes they had kept and simply walk out of the camp.

The plan went off well, up to the point of… well it didn’t go to plan at all.

Sneaking under the cover of darkness, both Felkin and Sandry (who elected not to use a light source) bumbled into several discarded cooking pots, alerting a guard to investigate. Thinking quick, Felkin grabbled the burly guard, surprising everyone with his deft and strong grip. Sandry, fumbling in the dark almost cut Felkin as she tried to silence the struggling guard. Muscles bulging, he again failed to remove Felkin’s iron-like grip from his mouth and Sandry made no mistake with her next thrust.

Leaving the gurgling death rattle of the guard to seep into the soil, they cut Leosin’s bonds. He was in very bad shape. Using up one of their precious healing potions, Leosin recovered enough to move under his own steam.

Discarding their original plan, they wrapped Leosin in the guard’s clothing and tied the dead guard to the prisoner post before collecting the rest of the anxiously waiting heroes and walking towards the exit.

It was decided not to risk trying to rescue the other prisoners, tied up in the kobold area, until Felkin spied several youths in the mix and his good nature would not allow them to remain and suffer. At this point Sandry was recognised from earlier in the day by several kobolds who had escaped the first battle.

A desperate, mad scramble to free the townsfolk ensued, as the hue and cry brought more and more kobolds and human raiders and cultists to their feet. Through skill, luck, quick thinking and sacrifice, the heroes managed to free all the townsfolk but not without a cost. Several of the adventurers were badly hurt and they only just managed to escape before being captured or killed. Xanhorn’s knee got remarkably better when the time to run was announced.

The trip back to Greenest was uneventful with the tired townfolk in awe and thanks. Governor Nighthill congratulated and thanked the adventurers and rewarded each of them with 250 gold pieces. The party returned the village items they found, to much praise.
Leosin revealed that once he had a couple of days to rest, he was heading to Elturel to see Onthar Frume, Felkin’s friend and mentor. Given the nature and extent of the heroes injuries he welcomed their accompaniment in the keep during mutual convalescence. (This would the adventurers to get back all their hit dice).

After two days rest, the heroes are at full health. Leosin confirmed that the Cult of the Dragon sect that had led the raids had differed to that of the usual Cult activity – it seemed intent on worshipping and furthering the power of living dragons, rather than dracoliches.

Leosin then asked his new friends:

After all you’ve done already for me personally and for the people of Greenest, I hate to ask anything more from you. But the need is great, and I dare to hope that you aid me one more time. I need you to return to the cultist’s camp. You know your way around it now. If the cultists are preparing to conduct another raid, or a large body of them marches away, or indeed anything substantial is carried in or out of that cave, I NEED to know. Spy on the camp for me, please. Oh, I don’t recommend being captured – they are awful hosts!
…and I can pay you 150 gold each for your trouble. Come see me at Elturel for your report and pay. If you have trouble finding me, just ask for Onthar Frume.

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Session 4
Into the cave

Leosin Erlanthar requested the PCs investigate the raider’s camp again, to find out any important information; such as what they are doing now, and where they will strike next and what is in the cave. Following that, the heroes were to meet him in Elturel to report and get their reward. He gave them two 50gp gems as a deposit. Felkin the Traveller home of Scornubel is East of Elturel and he has been there several times to visit his mentor Ontharr Frume.

After resting up (2 HitDice for most – decided not to spend the extra day to completely recharge), the heroes returned to the camp, cautiously approaching from a concealed reconnaissance position.

They found that most of the forces had packed up and travelled away. After waiting a while to determine if it was a trap, they donned quick disguises to avoid being recognised (again!) and entered the camp.

They saw two hunters skinning fresh game near the entrance to the plateau. The hunters grunted in their direction and continued cutting the meat. The heroes kept walking as if they belonged.

After a small copse of trees they then came across a snarling, heavily tattooed wood elf, tied up on a game skinning rack. She had an arrow protruding from her torso while two hunters, who smelt of rotten cheese (bad BO) argued over her. One twisted the arrow, causing the elf to cry in pain and they started arguing over here again.

Deciding to intervene the PCs asked what was going on. With grunts and spit and mumbled words the hunters conveyed that they thought the elf was a lycanthrope and was posing as a deer when she was shot. They were debating what to do with her, with slitting her throat the prevalent argument. Still in disguise the heroes managed to convince the hunters to go back to their duties and turn the elf over to them.

The wood elf only spoke in Elven and Xan, with the aid of Felkin, talked to her. They asked her name and she said “Silverain”… but Felkin thought he heard her mumble “Silvermane” first…

The heroes released her and gave her some healing. Grunting at Xan, the wary (and naked) elf disappeared into the undergrowth, displaying an unnerving ability to hide. While the party debated trying to follow her to ensure she was ok, she returned… covered head to toe in blood. In her right hand was a twisted, strange spear one of her torturers had carried. Still naked, she had a baldric made of twisted vines, off which hung the four hunter heads. Begrudingly she handed Xan (who had been the first to notice her stealthy return) what appeared to be an enchanted elven cloak – before she again disappeared into the copse of trees.

Moving further through the abandoned camp the heroes noted the kobold hovels were burnt or torn down but many of the human structures further in the camp seemed to be intact but empty. Except for a couch, where one hipster ex-cultists was erecting a “Free Couch” sign. Apparently he had enough of the cultist game and was returning to his farm. He couldn’t take his most excellent couch and offered it to the heroes, who accepted. It truly was magnificent, something none but Sandy had ever beheld before. And it only had one stain on the corner…

The PCs also passed some men who were arguing about where the camp had gone. West, in the direction of Baldurs Gate seemed to be the correct answer, but it was not 100% clear as these three wanna-bees were likely deliberately abandoned by the cult leaders.

A kobold, madly digging in the ground was confronted. He screamed blessings to Tiamat and tried to hump the heroes. He was executed promptly.

The heroes then entered a cave that still seemed to be in use. Unable to bluff past the sentries (who were dressed in more official attire than the ad-hoc raiders), and battle ensued. Another man, dressed in simple clothes, appeared, screaming before he soon collapsed. It was noticed that something was trying to come out of his chest! He was killed before that could happen and three half-formed dragon-like heads exploded from his chest. They were promptly stomped on.

In the next area, an underground mushroom forest, filled with violet fungus which attacked the group, while they attempted to rescue a snooty halfling named Tom Haverford. Tom filled us in on the chestbursting man – apparently several others underwent the same ritual – the others were not afflicted as he was and were celebrated, and departed with the camp. All very strange. The stairs leading down to the fungus were trapped but spotted and avoided.

After the battle a myconoid revealed itself. Non-hostile it indicated the dry floor (which seemed to once had water on it) and then to a dark spot in the opposite wall. Approaching, it was determined that the wall was a creature of stone! It seemed to be blocking the entry of moisture into this cavern. Ruk remembered this creature from legend – a Galeb Duhr – that when aroused had destroyed an entire squad of well equipped miners and guards. It was recalled that Galeb Duhr’s eat gems though and so Felkin fed the two party gems to it, hoping it would be satisfied and leave. It did not. The rest of the party tried to get Flekin to lead it away with the 2nd gem, but the large stone hand reaching for it seemed a little persuasive and he gave it up immediately. The myconoid was visibly upset when the party gave up and moved on.

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Session 5
Cave continued. Aka dickbeer.

The adventurers continue their exploration of the caves. As they made their way deeper into the tunnels they entered an errie room where echoes seemed to happen before they made the noise.

They them came to a junction of three tunnels, and faced a choice. To the right was a narrow set of rough steps leading down – a slight feeling of cold emanated from the stairwell. Ahead the ground dropped away several times into darkness. Sounds of animalistic grunting (ritual? torture? sex?) was heard from that direction. The last passage, ten foot wide to the left, contained darkness. After much discussion the group elected to play it safe, which in their minds meant following the darker tunnel.

In this third tunnel, the adventures encountered more draconic creatures (kobolds). They noticed the half-formed creatures from the chest cavity of the screaming man looked somewhat like a kobold… Hovering at the back of the kobolds was two more. Slightly stronger and with wings! They each held a large stone.

Flitch and Grim noticed a kobold moving towards a key that was hung on the wall beside another tunnel that appears to head down. At the same time the rest of the kobolds swarmed forward. Grim, being the only member of the group to understand draconic, relayed to his companions that the kobolds were intending to let something out.

Ruk took the brunt of the initial attack and in turn, transformed one of the advancing kobolds into a stain on the cave wall. Felkin and Sandry made short work of two more kobolds while Xan advanced to the stairs in an attempt to prevent the kobolds releasing whatever they intended to release. True to form, the cleric summoned forth the power of Waukeen with a most vehement verbal tirade. Unfortunately the responding divine wrath was minimal. What was strange and extremely unsettling was that instead of his voice coming from his mouth, it Only emanated from down the stairs and behind the locked cage door at the bottom of the stairs… Even more unsettling for Xan, was the wafting smell of ozone, which seemed to originate from the same direction as his voice. Meanwhile, the rest of the group was surprised that Grimm actually managed to hit an advancing kobold, but are also stunned by the devastating violence of his attack. All that remained of the kobold after Grimm had finished with it was a pile of what is best described as “fleshy curly fries”. Upon seeing four of their comrades so easily dispatched, the bat-like kobolds advanced on the group, flying 10 feet up. At the same time the kobold making its way toward the gate managed to unlock the gate, having survived Xan’s call for Waukeen’s wrath.

Unfortunately for the kobold, while celebrating his unlock achievement, Ruk used him as a source of colour to redecorate the cave walls.

However, it was too late, as four blue draconic creatures approached snarling and on all fours. Everytime one of the heroes spoke, their voice instead came from the mouth of on of these creatures, accompanied by a strong smell of ozone! The heroes were suitable freaked out!

In a devastating first foray they knocked the heavily wounded, but raging, Ruk unconscious!! Stunned at the ferocity of the attack, Felkin unsuccessfully attempted to push all the beasts back into the dungeon from which they had emerged but his 2nd level Thunderwave still damaged them sufficiently to give the heroes hope they could still win the day (and save Ruk). With three of the creatures pushed back ten feet, Xan enough space (and courage) go to the aid of Ruk… before his knee played up and he retreated to a safe distance.

The battle swayed back and forth for several minutes but eventually the adventurers dispatched the blue draconic creatures but not before Sandry noticed a human hand slide out of the chest of one she dispatched. Errie. Several times the heroes forcibly switched places with the creatures and for a moment shared the trapped, horrified screams of someone inside each creature’s mind!

One of the flying kobolds correctly read the outcome of the fight and took off towards another tunnel, from which the sounds of beating drums could be heard. Felkin missed with his arrow but Flitch hit with a devastating bolt of ice, severing the head and a wing of the kobold just before it disappeared up the tunnel.

The adventurers investigated the area the blue creatures came from and were able to learn that they very young Guard Drakes. Reading several parchments located with a bloodied bench and restraints, they deciphered the Guard Drakes are created by feeding the strongest dragon egg worm to a prisoner via the eye. They also learnt the dragon-dog looking kobolds they had just encountered are created by feeding dragons egg worms (harvested from eggs that are immature) to hosts. Survivors are inducted into the cult. Those who don’t survive give ‘birth’ to a clutch of fully mature kobolds. The exploding chest usually kills the host… The adventurers took a short rest in an inter-dimensional plane provided by Flitch and then continue up the set of stairs at the rear of the cave. As they made their way up the stairs they could hear the drumming getting louder and what sounded like a party ahead of them.

On the way up Sandry noticed a trap and disabled it without incident. As the group reached the top of the stairs everyone soon realized that noise was in fact a party. But instead of chicken wings and beer being served it was raw villager parts and what appeared to be a kobold version of moonshine from a distillery in the back. Almost twenty kobolds were gathered, some winged, others normal, drinking, beating drums, fornicating and generally acting like some sort of monster-fray party.

Realising they didn’t want to risk confronting so many kobolds while their resources were low, and trusting their disguises, Xan confidently strode into the room followed by Felkin, (who to the rest of the group actually appeared to be excited by the prospect of a party, regardless of hosts).

Felkin spun a melody with his panpipes to accompany the drumming, as he started to break out in song as he made his way thru the room. The drunken kobolds joined in with his tune and followed him through the room like he was the pied piper of kobolds. As Felkin finished his diddy the kobolds roared in appreciation and several kobolds thrust mugs toward Felkin and a chant of “DRINK, DRINK, DRINK…” started to echo throughout the chamber.

Initially, Felkin seemed to accept his fate with a thirsty smile, but then, looking at the mugs held up, he realized that instead of the vodka, rum, whisky, egg whites and stout beer that he was accustomed to, the kobold version had actual dead penises floating in it. It seems this moonshine literally put the cock in cocktail!

But it was too late, the kobolds chants had reached a frenzy and Felkin looked to grab a mug without any phallus. The mug he accepted from a particularly hideous looking kobold did not appear at first glance to contain anything too repulsive, so he raised the mug to his lips. It was then he saw the venereal disease ridden phallus floating in his mug!!!

Felkin tried to stall, proposing a toast as he sloshed his drink around in the hope that the repulsive contents of his mug would end up on the floor unnoticed. The kobolds didn’t buy it, and the chants of “DRINK, DRINK, DRINK…” became slower and more forceful. Realizing that he had little choice but to down the drink, Felkin raised the mug to his lips and started gulping down the disgusting concoction. All he could think about as he downed the drink was the disgusting things the former owner of the floating ding-dong might have done with it. To make things worse the pickled penis kept bumping against his lips as he drunk the vile brew, making sculling the brew next to impossible and thus prolonging Felkin’s distress.

Upon finishing the brew, Felkin dropped the mug and the kobolds erupted in chants of approval. The rest of the group managed to either avoid drinking the disgusting mixture all together, or were able to deceive the kobolds into believing they had downed the brew. The group then continued on, entering a tunnelled staircase leading upwards.

At the top of the stair case the tunnel widened into a large cavernous room. At various positions throughout the room there was a half-orc, two humans and a half-elf. Cyanwrath the half dragon was also in the room and upon seeing the adventurers enter the room let out a patronizing laugh and said in a mocking tone “Ah, you survived dwarf. Should we do battle again?”. He then proceeded to make fun of Ruk’s feeble attempts back at Greenest.

With that Ruk rushed forward, maul held ready and eager. At the same time the rest of the group advanced on the followers. After the initial engagement the group realized that the followers were under some kind of spell and would not attack unless attacked. They also noticed an orb, which seems to inflict extra damage if someone was injured during an attack. Upon learning this, the adventurers limited their attacks to the two followers that were already provoked, and then used ‘suggestion’ to reduce combat to just Cyanwrath (1-on-1 with Ruk) and the half-elf beserker who by now was frothing at the mouth.

Unlike their first encounter, Ruk struck true and appeared to have a lucky edge over Cyanwrath. The half-dragon and Ruk exchanged blows and Ruk was near death, but Ruk also extracted a severe toll on Cyanwrath. Unwilling to break his honour by calling the charmed berserkers to attack Ruk, but also unwilling to die needlessly himself, the half-dragon called on the black floating orb and healed himself! Before quaffing a potion of healing and flying into an as-yet unexplored tunnel. While Cyanwrath was making his retreat Sandry knocked the half-elf she was battling unconscious, but not before he did the same to Felkin.

With Cyanwrath gone the followers no longer seemed dangerous, just stupefied from the charm effect. The group then spread out with Grimm and Sandry finding a chest. Grimm initially tried to open the chest with force of arms but with no success, then Sandry attempted to unlock it, but as she did she triggered a trap and the room started to fill with noxious gas. The group hurried out of the room taking the chest with them. They also guided all but one of the possessed followers from the room. One was left behind and died, lungs burning from the acidic rain and vapour.

The group then opened the chest and found a string of pearls, a brooch, and a wooden staff that at first glance appeared to be made of stone, plus a number of large gems. Looking around at their battered, tired bodies the decided to head out out of the caves and to the mycanoid they had encountered earlier. This time Felkin successfully lured the earthen creature away from blocking the flow of water into the cavern, using one of the newly found gems. In appreciation the mycanoid gave Ruk a Frog of Holding which was opened with a magical fly.

They then exited the caves and rested in a tent over night, with their new couch. It was then they realized that the annoying Halfling, Tom Haverford, had disappeared before the Kobold Frat Party incident. No one seemed to upset by that though.

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