Tyranny of Dragons

The Council of Waterdeep
Session 20

by Ryndel Stonecastle

After a eventful shopping trip in the markets of Waterdeep. With a marriage proposal, breakup and meeting the mother of Blake’s child (another man’s wife). We met with the Council of Waterdeep to discuss the response to the cult of the Dragon’s assaults on the sword coast.

The factions and representatives were
The Harpers
Remi Haventree – wife to the recently deceased Arthagast Ulbrinter a masked lord of Waterdeep believed murdered by the cult. (Beautiful and honest things)

Lords Alliance
Dagault Nevermember – Lord of Neverwinter to the north of Waterdeep. (Commomers need leadership)
Connerad Brawnanvil – Dwarf ambassador from Mithral Hall. (Wants to fight)
Sir Isteval – Dragon Knight of Cormyr currently residing in Daggerford. (?)
Taern Hornblade – Wizard of Silverymoon? (?)
Marshall Ulder Ravenguard – Leader of the Flaming fists (warriors of Waterdeep) (Trust, Defense)

Emerald Enclave
Delaan Winterhound – Elf Ranger from the north. (?)
King Melandrach – King of the Misty Elves. (Elvish Supremacist?)

Order of the Guantlet
Onthar Frume – Paladin from Elturel, (Strong must defend the weak)

Most of the members reacted positively to most of the actions we had taken fighting the Dragon Cult. However most reacted negatively to the slaying of the dragon eggs back in the caves near Greenest. Also Brawnanvil was very unhappy that we had allowed the giants to keep the flying castle.

Also discussed were the Wyrmspeakers (leaders of the Dragon Cult) and their possible alliance with exiles from Thay. The wyrmspeakers have powerful magic items, Masks of Dragon based on a particular color of the associated dragon.

Rezmir – Black Dragon mask – slain.
Varum – White Dragon mask – Serpent Hills
Severin – Red Dragon mask – unknown
Unknown – Green Dragon mask – unknown.
Unknown – Blue Dragon mask – unknown.

Two courses of action were presented at the end of the council meeting
The Drachhorn an artifact of Dragon kind was rumoured to have been found in the Sea of Moving Ice by the Tiefling wizard of the Arcane Brotherhood, Makath the crimson. The wizard and then gone missing. One proposal was to find the wizard and Drachhorn with the assistance of Captain Larushta Half face an expert captain of a ship known to ply the Sea of Moving Ice.

We decided to pursue the second option of going after Wyrmspeaker Varum at the Serpent Hills. Varum had been spotted at the Tradestation near the Boarskye bridge. It is believed he may have lost the Dragon mask and may be looking for it in the area.

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Skyreach Castle, someone call for Lizard extermination?
Session 19 - White Dragon Down.

by Ryndel Stonecastle
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Cunningly disguised as Rezmir, Blake Starsong attempts to parley with Glazhael the Cloudchaser

Blogo sent us to deal with his lizard problem, the white dragon in its lair below the Castle.
Shadow attempted some clever scouting, but unfortunately being invisible and stealthy was not enough to prevent the dragon sensing him and sending its shockingly chilly breath in Shadow’s direction.

Once stealth failed, negotiations were then attempted with Blake having a lovely chat with the dragon to determine just why it was sitting on a pile of frozen treasure. Finding the dragon was hungry Shadow and Blake raided the nearby Giant’s larder to feed it. However it didn’t seem much interested in anything beyond its stomach. Luckily as the fight started no one but Miresella succumbed to the dragon fear.-
So after failing in both negotiations and stealth it was decided to try our usual method of persuasion, brute force. Splitting up to avoid all of us being hit by the dragon’s breath Blake proceeded to open up the fight with a fireball, followed up with another fireball. Hitem had problems getting his sword, axe, hammer (all three?) into the dragon as it chose to fly around its lair. Shadow also had problems seeing the dragon (did he have his eye closed?) as it flew up to the higher level from the lower level where Shadow was proudly displaying his magical prowess with his mirror images (instead of hiding)

At this stage the dragon decided to impress us with its contortionist skills and invaded the tunnel where Blake and Ryndel were -cowering- taking cover. Once in the tunnel the dragon used its most potent weapon, its breath to kill poor Miresella and severely wound Blake, Ryndel and Hitem. The Dragon seemed to have a lot of problems hitting people with its claws, bite and tail due to the limited space it had squeezed into.

Luckily Hitem and Blake had no problems hitting the dragon and Ryndel was able to heal most of the damage to keep everyone going. As scary as Hitem is he had little success trying to make the Dragon afraid of him. Then as the dragon realised how close it was being defeated it flew off trying to escape while calling to the cultists that we were after the treasure. Luckily Shadow was able to manoeuvre himself into a position to take a final parting shot as the dragon nearly made it out of the cavern.

After a brief respite where we managed to recover some of the magic items from the Dragon’s hoard we were set upon by a group of cultists and their kobold allies. Shadow and Blake managed to thin the ranks of the kobold with sleep spells. Ryndel used the spirit guardians spell to try and thin the ranks of cultists attacking but the spell was cut short after it was interrupted.

Blake wearing Rezmir’s face (aka the Black Dragon Mask) managed to buy some time to retreat to the tunnels where less of the cultists were able to attack. We managed to successfully hold them off and beat them down. Meanwhile the kobolds having been ordered to retreat Blake (as Rezmir) ran away.

Exiting the caverns we ran into Blogo who offered to show us his new army.

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I love it when a plan comes together
Session 18: After a good night's sleep...

from the journal of Blake Starsong

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Wow, what a day of firsts. The first time I have had to treat with giants, and perform an impromptu ballad before a giant king. My ever reliable companions fed me lines between versus based on the tapestry in the Hunting Lodge, and the terrible (but strangely well produced) dream we all shared the night before, as we wove a terrible picture of Tiamat’s previous marauding. We managed to convince Blogothkus to abandon his plan for a war between giants and dragons, and unite his people by preventing the unspeakable terror that would ensure if the Cultists successfully get the Hoard to The Well of Dragons. Wiglof and Hulda’s information also helped us in this persuasive mini-adventure, by-passing ogres practising javelin’s, elite guards and ballistas. At last, all of my persuasion practice pays off! Of course, there was the price of having to kill the vampires and the … white dragon!

Not a first, Shadow couldn’t resist the chest in Blogothkus’ bedroom. But rather than steal all the gold bars, he thoughtfully put some of them back, but kept the Bag of Holding. Score! Surprisingly he didn’t try sneaking into Wiglof and Hulda’s room and investigating their iron chest. I guess there is time later. (PS they are envoys from the stone giants.)

The next first was us planning a sensible attack on the vampires in the cracked tower. Who would have thought that a little forward planning would work so well. Ryndal recalled his blessing from Brother Carman, Hitum “Hard” Battlehammer had the spear, I cast levitate and fly on Shadow and Hitum. What moves! Unfortunately the balcony to which the climbing rope was anchored crumbled away, so Miresella and I could only hear the action. Two vampire spawn attacked Hitum and Shadow. But, inspired by our dream, Hitum shield bashed them out into the sunlight so we could take a few shots. It seems like our weapons had no effect, however. In a combined effort, the spawn try to push Hitum off the crumbled balcony, but no one pushes over Hitum! I try out my Dissonant Whispers, once again not quite thinking through the after effect of the target running as far away as possible from me. Luckily that path took the spawn past Hitum, whose attack of opportunity finished him off.

Then, the coffin opens, and out steps a refreshed Sandeysl Morgia. Hitum is immediately smitten, and flying Ryndal also seems interested. Under the evil monster’s influence, Hitum casts the spear of daylight out the window, plunging all into blackness. Miresella lands a mighty blow with the maul, and Shadow Catcher pops out from nowhere to deliver a dagger surprise. But then, like an angel from Amaunator himself hovering just of the ground, Ryndal bursts into sunlight, and focuses a beam on the beast. This is the first time I have witnessed such mighty power from the gods, causing me to once again question my path of study. Sandeysl seeks shelter in a little patch of Shadow, but then lunges for Miresella. A second blunder by these clumsy monsters as Shadow’s attack of opportunity slides home for the killing blow.

Another first: witnessing Hitum’s marvellous climbing skills. Pretty impressive for a sailing chef.

After a little breather, we report our success to Blagothkus (whose ex-wife’s name may be Esclarotta) and he says his minions are too busy to help us with the dragon.

Invisible Shadow sneaks into the lair, and what a sight: a hoard, a dragon, and lots of frozen beasts, treasure, people. I don’t think we need to see the DM screen to imagine our fate here.

I have a plan…

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Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, the Vampire smells Bernie's blood
Session 17: The mask is unmasked

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by Hitum “Hard” Battlehammer

We arrived at Cloud City (Skyreach Castle) on the Wyverns.
But what are we suppose to do, it is like one floating massive iceberg…
I don’t like icebergs they sink ships, why do I have a feeling this iceberg will sink soon…

Ryndel wants to keep one of the wyverns around, in case we need a quick escape.
Just as he manages to keep one from escaping, a demonic ugly hag appears and wants to escort us to her mistress.
Why we don’t just attack her, as it’s obvious she is a vampire, I don’t know…this diplomacy talk never works. But she does tell us that the castle belongs to some giant named Blagothkus

She leads us through the castle to one of the levels in the middle where she introduces us to her mistress…Rezmir
Should have fought the vampire before she lead us to her mistress.
Now we have to fight a Vampire with some annoying Legendary attacks, Rezmir the black half dragon and a stupid rug mimic.
The Vampire is annoying as she seems to be super quick with god knows how many legendary attacks after each of our initiatives. Luckily we have the spear of daylight, which she obviously hates.
She charms Shadow in the first round, despite my warning, and we are in for a really tough battle.
We some how persevere despite the Vampire grabbing me every moment it can and then having a bite. Ryndel does well casting protection from evil on Shadow to get him out of the charm, then also with his special aura of angels spell, as it seems to damage all the foes whilst leaving us unharmed. Shadow does major damage on all foes as he usually does. Blake keeps the daylight spear in check and uses his music to great affect. The new ranger Miresella is no McGuffin and gets caught in the rug.
We concentrate our attacks on the Vampire, and annoyingly she escapes, just as we are about to finish her off.
We make short work of Rezi (I disarm her head) and find her loot. A black dragon mask (similar to the red dragon mask Ryndel lost), a black great sword and lots of gold etc. The mask seems pretty powerful, and has Blake fascinated as he tries to attune to it. The black Great Sword is the scary one which did damage which I couldn’t heal in combat, it also seemed to whisper something like ‘Hazirawn…’. I’ve got the sword but I refuse to attune to it, Ive heard of swords that take control of your mind. If only it was a hammer, then I wouldn’t have a problem.

We decide to rest in the next room, which turned up to be some supply room, which Shadow manages to unlock and relock for us.

The next room is a doosie…we meet the red robed wizard Azbara (now known as Bernie) and his pal ‘Rath Mulder (or something like that). When will Shadow ever learn, that his diplomacy never works. We battle it out!!
We do a strategic withdrawal, but Rath teleports to the corridor. Blake shows he is just as good as a wizard with a mighty Fireball which singes Rath. He disappears (why do they keep doing that?) and gets away.
Azbara sends out a gargoyle which we eventually destroy.
Blake ventures to see if Azzara is still inside, and just as he enters we are all hit with a fireball. Somehow he manages to hit us with another fireball before we can react. Ryndel is not happy…muttering something about the rules…but as us fighters know…there are no rules in war…
Blake gets his revenge and hits Azbara with his own fireball, with the rest of us bursting in to finally kill this annoying foe. The room is a mess with burnt marks everywhere and we manage to find some half burnt notes. We don’t trust the gargoyle statues and throw them out of the window, then thinking of tricking Rath – we set up Azbara up like the story of ‘ Weekend at Bernie’s’.

Shadow goes exploring outside and sees that in the next room there are some giants in doing some kind of ritual and talking about the cult. They don’t seem to trust the cult, and Blake tries to get them on our side by messaging them (we hope they can understand common).
After all that we manage to find an empty room so we can try to get a long rest…

That was long story, luckily I’ve got that plentiful tankard to quench my thirst….

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Parnast, Sunny with a chance of mayhem and death
Session 16 - Operation Flying Wyvern, Hidden Cultist

Parnast.jpg
After making our deal with Talis to stop the love boat I mean the flying castle and making our way to Parnast with only a brief encounter with a four armed Troll ironically named Trespin the four armed troll and his 6 pet chihuahuas I mean Ambush Drakes, now known as “Campfire” and “Dude, what’s that smell in the new tents”.

After this brief respite from our resting and travelling we continued on to the cultist controlled Parnast, a shopping Mecca. After refilling our dwindling stocks of Troll lighter fluid we continued on to our next important stop in the town the Inn, Finding the Ragnar Red Tooth a more than pleasant publican Shadow proceeded to purloin his prized possession, the Tankard of Plenty to give to our thirsty dwarf Hitem.

Realising that Castle Skyreach appeared to be receding we hastened towards the Castle only to find that Castle did indeed fly and was currently flying away without us. Informing us that we had missed the boat (more flying castle) was Captain Othelstan and his group of simple minded cultists. One quick “Hey, do Bards cast fireball now?” from Blake and the cultists were reduced to charcoal and only Captain Othelstan and his champion/lieutenant were left for us to take care off. Captain Othelstan was hit pretty hard by Hitem and Shadow and seemed to collapse only to get back up and take one more swipe before dying for good.

Realising that Blake’s fly spell was not able to take all of us and not able to catch the castle other means had to be found to get us to the castle in the sky. Captain Othelstan’s last command was to get to the wyverns which sounded like a good idea. Maybe the wyverns would be able to catch the castle. Discovering the Wyverns located in the barn with the appropriate saddlery and tack. The Wyverns were saddled and we took to the skies, Wyvern riders. Unfortunately we found merely sitting on the back of a Wyvern does make you a Wyvern rider. After some truly atrocious attempts to point the Wyverns in the direction of Cloud City Castle Skyreach we eventually managed to catch up to the flying Castle and landed on the upper courtyard. Now we await, our weapons, spells, and troll tinder ready to face the challenge of the unknown forces that will confront us as we contend with Castle Skyreach…

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The Hunting Lodge
Session 15:

HuntingLodge.jpg

From the Journal of Blake Starsong

My love of adventuring continues to soar; the wonders increase. It turns out the building that we landed in front of was a hunting lodge for the Dragon Cult of old. They would use it as a base to hunt dragons, and then with evil rituals turn them into Dracolichs. Ryndel tells me of a marvellous tapestry hung in the Lodge that depicts mighty scenes of dragon lore. I must get word to the College and have it preserved, before I burn the building to the ground (with Talis the White inside, of course).

Interestingly, the Cult is split into (at least) two sects: the Lich-lovers, of which Talis is one, and the Tiamat-resurectors led locally by Severin. In return for not unleashing her evil, frosty wizardly fury upon us, Talis spilt the beans on the whereabouts of the other sect, and encouraged us to disrupt the flow of treasure to them. While siding with evil is against our natures (the night in the castle where we slew so many still haunts me), it seems like an easy route to fame to stop the Tiamat-freaks, and come back later and finish off isolated Talis. And that is not an euphemism.

So it is off to Parnast to find the floating city controlled by a cloud giant. Amazing! What a wondrous sight it will be. It makes up for me losing my childhood friend to evil, my hot lover to the childhood friend, and disgracing myself in front of my new love, Miresella. I feel I am maturing: no more love-sick puppy for me. I am part of a mighty adventurering party, inspiring them to marvellous feats, throwing spells. Perhaps I love the party more than any woman. Have I mentioned Hitum’s new shield bashing skill – what a move!

We managed to free 3 prisoners from the Lodge: Miresella, Cragnor (???) and Brother Caemon, who was on a religious quest of some sort.

Notes for Parnast: “Tiamat our mother & strength” (pass phrase). Banner on castle is Black/White/Red/Yellow/Green (hmmm, need to confirm this with Ryndal the Wise – i was a bit distraught when clues were being dropped.)

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Not far from the Hunting Lodge....
Session 15:

From the Journal of Nutz:

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[A solitary squirrel is quietly collecting food near a set of white pillars]

These nuts look nice. I better collect them for the winter months.

[Blue sparks flash and 5 adventurers appear]

Holy crap! What the hell was that. OMG they have heard me, I better be quiet. Good they are distracted by judging the distance to the house. The last group though it was a stone throw away, I wonder what this group thinks.

Hitem: “That hunting lodge looks like it is an arrow shot away”.

What IS this group doing? Two of them are in the bushes, it looks like they are playing hide the squirrel, the others are making a lot of noise. I hope the trolls don’t hear them.

[The trolls hear them]

I wondered when they would work out the trolls needed to be put on fire. I heard from the last group of adventurers that a flask of oil is the most powerful item a hero can carry. Dispels darkness, kills rats, kills centipedes and destroys trolls. Oh and that poor owl! I tried to warn him about the Peryton. I am not sure why they would bother with a simple owl when there was larger pray about.

Hey one of those adventures just disappeared. The one with the lute is now muttering to himself. This group is weird! What is with that guy with the scars on his face. Looks like he has been mauled by a savage squirrel.

What are they doing now! Climbing onto the roof. WTF didn’t they see what the Peryton did to that owl!

[Pertyon fall off the roof and hit the ground]

Perhaps this group is better than I think. Let me climb up and get a closer look.

Oh! They are talking to that cold lady. She seems to be making a deal with them. DON’T DO IT! SHE IS EVIL! Oh dear, maybe they aren’t the smartest group after all.

Back to gathering nuts then. There is much work to do.

[Nutz feels an irresistible urge to enter the house]

Shadow: Hello my squirrel friend. You are now my familiar. What you see I see. What you hear I hear. I can even cast spells through you (although I cannot make critical strikes through you). I take good care of my familiars, you are very valuable to me. [Shadow look at the 10gp worth of charcoal he had to use].

Nutz: Ummmm… did your last familiar didn’t happen to be a white owl did it?

Shadow: Well yes it did.

Nutz: NUTZ!

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Not far from the Hunting Lodge....
Session15:

From the Journal of Feather Duster

peryton.png

Oh, Crap!

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From the Journal of Blake Starsong

Another legend have I encountered
Peryton by the pair.
Another familiar Shadow loses
Fickle and without care.
Little Squirrel aid us well
Be brave and true and strong.
We all know your master’s leanings:
You will not be with us long.

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The castle is theirs, huzzah
Session 14: Operation homeless bullywug

From the journal of Blake Starsong

A bitter-sweet day as I mourned the tragedy of Talis’ death, only to discover that Hitum can’t tell one elf from another. Come to think of it, he has never met Talis, and so how could he even know what she looks like. The weight on my soul of slaughtering all of those cultist in their sleep, combined with the fatigue of battle has dulled my wits.

Shadow seemed to get the Farseer working, and could see Waterdeep and Rezmir running across the castle courtyard. Meanwhile, Snapjaw and friends were winning the battle of the green-things. He and his personal guard accompanied us down in the caves under the castle in search of Rezmir. Ambush! Splattergoo and cronies were waiting, but my lovely Leda soon made short work of them. Her armour works much better on the floor.

The Lute of Doss allowed me to fly! Amazing. Shadow seems to be able to see in the dark now, and Hitum seems to like him more than usual: I guess it is the Belt of Dwarvish Friendship he is wearing. He’s also armed with a magical dagger that can produce poison – scary. Perhaps we should seek out a wizard to assist him with detecting and disarming acid traps: an obvious weakness! Ryndel’s staff head turns into a serpent – more wondrous adventuring treasure. Surprisingly, Hitum couldn’t wield the magical maul to effect – looks like we need to boost his strength somehow. Semi-naked Leda swung it like a raging pro.

But the most amazing treasure of all was the library in the castle tower. Such knowledge, which must be preserved at all costs. I’ve instructed SnapJaw to look after it, and will send word to the College about it’s existence.

Rezmir was nowhere to be found, but a note written in her hand talks of Skyreach as the ultimate destination of the horde, and that using the magic portal in the caves will cut off 700 miles of the journey. It seems clearer than ever that they are working towards rising Tiamat from wherever she is, and are enlisting dragons to help.

With the trail in the castle cold, we left it in SnapJaw’s hands and into the portal we jumped, to appear in front of a large house…

Reflections on Taste

Had beautiful siren attacked me,
Would woman’s form I not see?
Instincts would surely overcome,
Especially with the help of rum.
But rats, mushrooms, another critter,
Forever Shadow’s soup is bitter.

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Unlucky for bullywugs, guard drakes, sleeping cultists and Dralmorrer Borngray
Session 13: Eureka we have treasure

Bullywugs.jpg
by Hitum “Hard” Battlehammer

That was an epic adventure and we were finally rewarded, but what really happened you ask.

From where we left off last, we licked our wounds and healed up in the caves.

Some one turned on the steam and a large mist flowed throughout the cave.
Undeterred we pressed on and found a room with a magic circle – we believe it is some kind of summoning or teleporting circle. I don’t know, it’s all voodoo magic to me…give me something to kill or break…

We meet more of the Bullywugs and have a battle in their temple with their king – Pharblex Splattergoo, who surrenders just as we are about to kill him. We make a deal with him, where he will send one of his men (Zirbet) with us to act as a guide so the Bullywugs will not attack us. Shadow sneaks into his special chamber, finds a chest and managers to avoid the traps. Inside are some kind of huge spell books. It is too big for him to carry so he uncharacteristically leaves it there and resets the trap.

We had back to our room, and come up with a sinister plan.
We sneak into each of the guard levels, making good use of the Silence spell, and use special tactics to kill the guards whilst they sleep. It had to be done, this is war.

Next was a battle with the sneaky guard drakes, we are getting good at fighting these lizardy creatures. We finally have in our midst the treasure.
What is that we see hidden in some corner from a detect magic spell, no it can’t be…yes it is…there are 5 magic items. One is some kind of Lute that Shadow keeps telling me is some kind of cursed item that needs to be destroyed. I ignore him as I see two dwarves items – a belt and a huge hammer – I put on the belt and carry the hammer on my back. There are words on the hammer in ancient dwarf – it doesn’t seem to make sense, it says ‘The Bigg They Come…’ . The bard falls in love with his lute. Shadow finds a lovely pair of boots. Ryndel finds some kind of staff, and there is an unknown potion left over. We need time (a short rest) to atune or workout what these items are.

For some reason we press on to go the observatory, and Shadow runs into the Red Wizard of Thay – Justbarra or something like that. They talk for awhile, like some kind of interview and before we can battle he disappears into some kind of mist.

Onto the next level we go, and find the Elf (Borngray) waiting for us. We throw everything at him straight away, and just when we thought we had him, just as Shadow says – he thunderstomped us badly and then also cast gaseous form (hmm 2 actions in 1 round). Anyhow all he had done was escape to the top level where there was the observatory dome, and out popped 4 gargoyles!
Borngray cast thunderstomp again and we were all on pretty low hps. Fortunately a sneaky rogue, snuck through the legs of the gargoyles and after a mighty crit. or 2 took out the evil elf. As he dies, he mentioned something about Eldreth will take revenge. The gargoyles had damage resistance so they took a while to take out and it was touch and go for a while. One of the gargoyles was different, after killing it, it transformed into some person name Talis or something like that. But she was still dead.

We ended the session looking through the “telescope”, saw twin black dragons in the swamp and then a black half dragon come walking through the castle towards the barracks. We need a long rest.
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