Tyranny of Dragons

And then things got a little strange...
Session 46: Tripping the light fantastic

by Kashara

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After pressing the bottom floor button on the televator™, we arrive in Xonthal’s dungeon. This is where Iskander told us to meet him. Straight away we find some more dead cultists, killed by magic and a wicked dragon tooth dagger.

Suspicious of traps we make out way to the next room, where two earth elementals and one fire elemental lurk. Naturally they attack us. Fortunately Kashara is resistant to fire and bathes in the elementals flames, spouting many poor puns about being Hot. Blake cowers at the back with his glowing spear, neutered by his lack of spells, Ryndel quivers on a handful of hitpoints throwing out cantrips, whilst Hit’em slowly and methodically pulverizes the elementals.

We loot the room and ironically find scrolls to protect us against the very elements we defeated.

Applying the tried and trusted “follow the left hand wall”, we find ourselves in a strange room with an air whirlwind swirling in the middle. The whirlwind has several gems entrapped in its vortex. A clumsy attempt to retrieve one summons yet another elemental and we are in combat again. We are stumped by the strange apparatus so decide to press on.

Then things get kinda trippy.

Suddenly we are in space, with stars and psychedelic colours and meteors coming out of nowhere. Ryndel and Kashara get blasted off into space, but thanks to the giant strength Blake and the rock Hit’em they are saved.

The next room is a library, there are many unsorted books. There is also a map of the City of Brass… isn’t this where the black dragon mask is? We are pressed for time so cannot stay here too long.

We go to the next room… some old crumbling spell components.

Even though we are pressed for time, we decide to have a short rest and heal before carrying on.

We go through the next door and things get even weirder.

There is our contact, dead on the floor with the dragon mask. There is a skull on an altar and two hourglasses with the sand running upwards. Naturally Blake starts to mess with the hourglasses and the skull rises from the table. Surely he is a friendly skull. Alas no the skull starts to spew out death rays and kills 3 of us, luckily Blake flips the other hourglass and time runs backwards, reviving us and returning the skull to the altar. Time keeps speeding up backwards and we find ourselves youthful again with Blake having all sort of urgers reawaken. And what of the skull… well that turns into a red wizard.. Xonthal! He is even worse than the skull and does power word kill, killing Rydnel with a single word. When Blake tries diplomacy we realise that he is indeed mad (yes both Blake and Xonthal). Flipping the hourglass reverts the body back into skull and Rydnel comes back to life. One again the skull turns into a lich and this time kills us all… well actually not quite! Hit’em uses a legendary action and his Dwarvish constitution to save the day. The hourglasses are aligned precisely and then we smash them to smithereens.

Inside are sparkly gems which we scoop up, and with the dead body of (contact) we depart the crazy lair for we deserved long rest.

.. but before we do we return to the library where we find a secret panel. This triggers a spell trap that summons scrap paper elementals. Whilst we fight off the papercuts we find a scope giving vision into the city of brass.

Were the cultist trying to locate the Black Dragon mask? Are they using the power of the blue Dragon Mask to assist them? Perhaps the council can help provide some answers.

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Xanthal's Tower
Session 45: Love in an elevator - cantrips win the day

by Kashara

We got in.

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The body on the ground was a cultist, not the dude we were here to rescue.
The teleportation circle outside the tower got us in.
We found three elevator panels and a purple robed cultist killed by a dragon blade, perhaps there are shadows at work here.
Whilst Ryndel spent time examining the corpse, Blake got restless and started pushing buttons at random.
Room 1: 8 cultists doing a ritual with 2 dragon-lich legs
Room 2: A bedroom.
Hang on were there 8 cultists! We better go back and check if Ryndel is OK.
Oh 8 dead cultists, his cantrip Sacred Flame sure is powerful at level 14.
Ok more buttons to push, this time Rydnel will be with us.
Room 3: More cultists
Room 4: An altar room
What more cultists! Better prepare an ambush.
Damn Ryndel is out of spells, better rely on Hit’em killing them at a rate of 1 per round.
Since Kashara wings stop her being effective at doing anything, she turns her mind to the puzzle: we want to go to the top of the tower to get the hourglass, which is the symbol at the bottom that does not activate. OK sounds like a job for four people, maybe a quartet… Ah ha, so the plan must be.

Destroy the boss! Only a key can open the door! Open the door!

Now what symbol would be like the top of a tower… hmmm a fat cyclinder, a thin cylinder, two chairs, a star, a crutch… hang on a star! press.
Top tower room: Books to read, a telescope to spy through and a door to open. Kashara looks through the telescope but her wings stop her from seeing what is through it, Blake takes to the books and Ryndel and Hit’em try to open the door only to be blasted by spells.
Three cultist and the boss stand on a narrow balcony. Kashara pouring over her 3 spells and 20 rituals can’t find anything particularly useful. Guess she should just use her cantrip Eldritch Blast (aka Blast’em).

Cultist 1: Goes flying off the balcony
Cultist 2: Goes flying off the balcony (with some inspiration from Blake)
Cultist 3: Goes flying off the balcony
Boss: Apparates into the tower and casts ice blast. He then dies, probably to one of Blake’s cantrips.

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Xonthal's Tower
Session 44: Maze Part 3

by Blake Starsong

We got out.

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Xonthal's Tower
Session 43: Bloody Maze Part 2

by Blake Starsong

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The dragon cult ravages the land, and Tiamat’s rise is imminent. Meanwhile we are playing around like foolish adventurers; besting one trial after another and collecting trinkets. The trials are tough. I see why the villagers avoid this dastardly maze. We have a garnet, topaz, pearl, jade and bloodstone; a sundial with 3 shadows, and no idea how to get to the tower where Iskander is ready to help is in the global struggle.

Let me describe our 3 most recent tests.

The pearl was very hard won, with near-death experiences for Ryndal and Kashara. A bit of luck, a dimension door, a T-rex, an invisible dog, and beserk Hitum all combined to get us out of a floral catastrophe. I would describe what happened in vivid detail, if only I had seen it. One step retreat too much, and I was back at that sundial (for three hours!). I was physically close to the rest of the party, however, as Hitum reported my guard dog was still barking. I wonder what the blue fountain was for. Normally my interest in lore would see me wondering at the construction of this maze, its purpose, and what the stoopid wizard who built it was thinking. Perhaps he constructed it knowing the trick of each trail in case he forgot the teleportation circle insignia on the inside. Yes – surely that is it! Each trial can be passed without harm (perhaps if your name is Xonthal.)

A mystical pagoda and a Dao (genie of the earth) guarded the jade gem. Kashara’s banishment made short work of that. She is an enigma – so powerful, but so limited. And is Shadow with us after all?

The final trial involved animated suits of armor that kept reanimating after being knocked down. Fortunately they did a lot less damage per attack than the beautiful flowers, and could not climb over a 20 foot wall of force. They were immune to a surprising number of spells, however. My lovely fireball song had no effect.

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Xonthals Tower
Session 42: Bloody Maze Part 1

by Hitum “Hard” Battlehammer
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We teleport to Parnast on our way to Xonthals tower and find ourselves in the Privy. Luckily we get out of their without getting into any shits.

We walk to the village near the tower and Blake questions the Farmers. Without much information we go the inn and listen to rumours whilst sinking a few pints.
Hmm…bacon and eggs, a recipe made in heaven say Hitum.

The Maze blocks our path to the tower, and from the air it looks old and ruined.

As we approach the maze, Iskander or whatever his name is, appears at the top of a Balcony. He claims to have the mask and wants us to rescue him (he wears a dress, so he must think himself as a damsel in distress on top of the tower). He says to meet him beneath the tower, and I think he has some sort of hourglass item which maybe will enable us to teleport our of there. He is then attacked by some figure and someone gets thrown out of the tower and falls.

In the maze we find some kind of sun dial which we seem to always come across.

First we head South and see some black pool with a red garnet in the middle. We ignore it, and move along, but find ourselves back by the pool.
Blake touches the water and is attacked by 2 crablike creatures (Chuul creatures or whatever), but no there is actually 4 of them.
Luckily Shadow cast Water Breathing on us all before hand. A huge battle takes place, with Blake trying to remember something about these creatures.
He tried to get away from them with Dimension Door to the Balcony but that fails.
We fight and eventually kill them all, when suddenly Blake remembers that they can be distracted by magic items dropped in the water.
There are mostly potions in the water and a wand of Fear, which Kashara seemed to think she could cast during the battle. She is very confused with her abilities [Not as confused as Hitem seems to be about Shadow/Kashara…DM].
We collect the garnet and take the pincers from the monsters.

We continue on our path and find ourselves by the bloody sundial again.The garnet doesn’t appear to do anything with the sundial. We mark our way leaving a pincer.

We now appear in a frozen in time scene with 2 Cyclops and sheep, they are not moving. We try to move away and again we seem to loop back to the same scene.
As we go further in, the cyclops and sheep start to move.
They want to compete with us in some rock throwing competition.
Blake shows them how its done with his belt of giant strength and magic. He wins the competition and the rock cracks revealing a topaz.

How do we get out of this bloody maze.
And I wonder what those Chuul’s will taste like with a bit of mornay sauce and parsley.

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The Third Council of Waterdeep
Session 41: The Third Council Meeting of the Lords of Waterdeep

By Kashara
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Lady Silverhand sent us word that the council was to reconvene to hear of our glorious exploits and to find out why there are still so many dragons in the sky.

A quick check of our blog Journals shows that our equipment should be ready at the Arcane brotherhood. Those pompous fools are insufferable, but at least they can churn out those magic items. We also have a new stack of magic items, that for some reason when we try to use in addition to our existing ones, fail to work properly. Hit’em seems particularly perplexed as he now has a mythical hammer that requires a belt and some bracers to wield.

We manage to pick up our items and off load some of our items, before a quick trip down to the Hope and Anchor. A few thousand gold later and a quick blessing from Ryndell opens up our first shrine franchise to the big B. (Franchises call 1-800-gotDragon for further information).

After some banter with McCrack and Bozo the Red, Blake whisks us back to Waterdeep just in time for the council meeting. Well not before heading down to the Broken Mug to set up corporate headquarters for the big B. Our logo, the golden archers, shine brightly and the Draakhorn is somewhat muted. Birds sing and the sun comes out and the people are at ease.

The Heroes of Greenest have no time for relaxation as it is off to the council once more to face the music. All those promises we made, all those plans we laid, lets hope the council’s memory will fade.. I wonder if we will ever get paid.

There is Lady Silverhand calling us to order and to report on our progress. Nevermember has a new “assistant” (to pour his ale no doubt). Rian Nightshade a sensuous Tiefling (aren’t we all)..

The council meeting goes better than expected with the members rejoicing at our vanquishing of the green dragon, our dispatching of the succubus and forging an alliance with ALL the metallic dragons.

A couple of minor incidents occurred during the meeting. The Heroes of Greenest, (and I speak now only of the ones who were actual in Greenest), do not always have the most diplomatic aires about them.

Starting with the dumping of Melandrach’s son’s dead dress wearing body onto the council table for all to see. all the way to Hit’em insulting everything about Brawnanvil (stopping short of insulting his beard).

Most of the difficulties were soon smoothed over when we assigned the dragons to protect key regions of the sword coast.

The silver dragon to protect Waterdeep, the bronze dragon to assist the Paladins of Elturel, the gold dragon to babysit the Dwarves of Mithril Hall, the brass dragon to help rebuild the elvish army and the copper dragon we sent to aid the Harpers.

The only thing left to do was to tell the council what we planned to do next…. attack the Well of Dragon’s or wander around aimlessly looking for the Draakhorn.

No! Neither of these things, as fortunately our good friend Shadow had sent message via Rian that the Blue Mask was not yet fused at the Well of Dragon’s but in the Tower of Xonthal. A wizard abhorred by the works of the dragon cult and red wizards has leaked its location.

More likely though it is a trap …
…and we all know how good we are with traps!

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Neorvain and Chuth, Rest in Pieces
Session 40: Find the Dragon, kill the Dragon

By Ryndel Stonecastle
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Continuing our exploration of the cavern complex we came across more rooms one of which was Nerovain’s bedroom where we found his ramblings and found out that his is King Melandrac’s fruity son.

Pushing on we discovered Chuth waiting for us in a large cavern.
Splitting up to avoid Chuth’s breath weapon we managed to get Chuth low so he tried to escape again. Hitem managed to latch on to Chuth with a grappling hook as Chuth was trying to keep away from Hitem’s axe. Hitem managed to land the final blows to kill Chuth as he was trying to swim away from us in an underwater tunnel, luckily our foresight in having water breathing already working on us saved the day.

So one Green Dragon cannibalised for spares, one Fruity elf prince deaded, not a bad days work for the Heros of Greenest.

Next I am guessing we are going to have another meeting of the council back at Waterdeep. How do we use this information on Melandrac’s wayward son? Reveal all? Try a bit of arm twisting on the Haughty Elf king? Maybe this is the leverage needed to help with our Dragon bargain for the Elves to stop using the Dragon killing spell thingy. Or it could all blow up in our faces. What to do. Maybe a quick prayer and questioning of Bahamut might help.

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Excepts from Neronvain's Journal

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I tried for so many years to live up to the expectations of my poor father, but he is just so fixed in his ways. Yesterday I confronted him and told him the truth about who I am. In a fit of blind rage he told me that I was throwing away everything and that I was dead to him. So I left my home as an exile. A few days later I heard the official announcement. Apparently I had died in an accident and Alagarthas would replace me as his heir, well I wish the obsequious toady all the best.

I have enjoyed wandering the Sword Coast incognito. Now I can dress and act as I choose and people tell me what they think. I have made new friends who have taken me in as a kind of family. It is a brotherhood where we all share a wonderful powerful mother who is terrible and majestic, wise and beautiful all at the same time. It is lead by a Calishite named Severin and he sees a New World Order where our New Queen will rise and the old Kings and Queens will to bow down to her awesome and terrible majesty! He does not care about me being different, indeed he tells me that I have potential to achieve greatness. . . .

. . . have continued to advance within my new found family. Over months I have ascended through the ranks of Dragonclaw, Dragonwing and Dragonfang to Dragonsoul and can now wield the raw power of our most Majestic and Terrible Queen! Today Severin acknowledged my service of putting down a traitor of the highest rank, a Wearer of Purple! I crushed the apostate like the maggot he was into the ground! Severin was so pleased with me, he promoted me to take the dissenter’s place. . . .

. . .our plans are progressing with great speed. We have assembled a hoard of treasure, the like of which the Sword Coast has never seen. The poultry contents of my poor father’s royal treasury would only make a tiny fraction of what we have collected. Our alliance with the Red Wizards with their formidable rituals brings our ultimate goal all the more closer. . .

. . . again my service has been rewarded. I have grown stronger in my power still. Severin has bestowed upon me the ultimate reward for service. I now bear the Green Dragon Mask. A Wyrmspeaker I am! I have sought out Chuth, the Emerald Assassin. How ironic it is that I command the Great Dragon that has such a taste for elf flesh (and elves of noble blood in particular). How my poor father would tremble before me if he saw now!

. . . We are now unstoppable. The hoard is amassed, the Drakhorn has sounded, the rituals have been formulated and the sacrifices assembled in readiness. Soon the Great Temple will be erected. I have surrendered the Green Mask to Severin for it to be joined to the others. I can almost taste the glorious day when the Iron Gates swing open and our mighty and terrible Queen will ascend to be among us and bear down fury and revenge to all those who have stood in our way to be consumed in the unquenchable dragonfires!

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It is too late, all is assembled, the rituals have begun.
Session 39: Chuth the Coward

By Blake Starsong

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As prepared as we have ever been, and based on the flimsiest of leads, we plunged into the Misty Forest seeking a green dragon, following 400 year old directions to a water-side resort in which Hitum wanted to bathe.

Our first noble detour turned out to be a test by the Keeper of the Woods, who bestowed upon us beautiful garlands. Not the sort of lei I am used to from women in the bush, but, given my track record, probably a wiser choice. She turned into an owl, and flew of before I had a chance to thank her as only I can. The prying eyes of the dragon’s critters were not on us while we were wearing the leis, and we approached the waterfall untroubled.

Well, if you consider a tunnel of spiders and ettercaps of little consequence. I managed to Thunderwave Ryndal, and push him towards a berserk Hitum. As prepared as ever. A creepy night in the Hut, and then a charging elephant to clear our path brought us to the waterfall.

Ryndal dived in for a look, Kash took to the air, I hid, and Hitum admired his beard reflected in his shield. Behind the waterfall was a cave guarded by four elves. A casual conversation reveals that they are cowards (a common theme in this cave) and the split the scene. Disguising ourselves as cultists, we venture further in. Kash’s aggressive bluff quickly dissolved when Hitum beheaded one of the local Drogonclaws. In an act of “shoot first and ask questions later”, I lit up the adjoining room with a fireball. It seemed to work: Hitum took some damage. Suddenly the very cave fought back, and I was rooted to the spot, by roots. The Lair was the most effective enemy in this battle.

Chuth appears and in an act of heoric optimism, Kash points at him and screams “die”. Now I haven’t known her long, and Shadow did speak of her ability to perform magic miracles, but this would have been amazing! Funnily enough, the dragon didn’t die, although he did seem a little worse for wear. My experience in being beaten to death in these combats has taught me not to hang around. Dimension door as a cloud of noxious gas rolls in. (Fortunately it is a fairly technical spell which only gasses people at certain ticks of the clock.)

I cast a Wall of Force around Ms/Mr Neronvain, and hide for my life. I tried to shape the wall to also trap Chuth inside the cave, but my magic skills failed me. I must study harder. Meanwhile, the big green chicken is thumping Ryndal and Hitum with his tail, and…where the fuck has Kash gone? And what is that T-rex doing in here??? Well, biting Chuth on the tail, it seems. Boy, that made him hop! In fact, he has scarpered. I fear for the elves outside: hopefully Chuth will want to guard his lair, not seek revenge on the poor non-heroes.

Meanwhile, some more elves and a few ettins have joined the party, bashing the T-rex, fireballing HItum (who seems unphased) and the lair is charming us all. Indomitable Hitum resists, and looks for something to bash. Fireball ettin – dead. Kash (she’s back? and where’s the T-rex?) convinces an elvish knight to piss off like a little girl. Ryndall is looking like I normally do in these fights: bleeding and lying on the ground.

All the while Neronvain has been encased in a force dome. Hitum is bashing on it, and so pop – a larger force dome over the top. It is the Berserk-Dwarf-Tranny-Dragonspeaker snow dome. After Hitum’s inevitable victory, he is rewarded with a belt of Hill Giant Strength. Maybe he can finally wield that maul he has been carrying around.

Fighting lots of monsters and dragons is no longer daunting – we are the Heroes of Greenest and more. However, the final words of Neronvain have chilled me to the core.

“It is too late. All is assembled. The rituals have begun.” and worst of all
“You have been lied to.”

Did the metallic dragons lose the black mask? Is Lord Volmer not really a friend? Does Tallis still love me? Is Remi seeing someone else? What could he mean?

How to fight dragons

Don’t be fearful at arrival time.
Don’t stand together in a straight line.
Lure them from the lair.
Keep them from the air.
Cut off all escapes.
Don’t wear flammable capes.

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If you go down to the woods today...
Session 38:... don't believe what everyone tells you.

by Kashara
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For a Knight of the Purple Dragon, Sir Isteval sure didn’t have anything useful to say about slaying Green Dragons. Although he did point us in the direction of the elves forest town of Altand. He also informed us about the local attractions in the village, in particular the ancient oak temple if Rillifane Rallathil. I guess tour guide is what ex-dragon slayers become.

We made haste for the village, after ensuring Blake had exhausted his high level spells before a long rest.

We came across the first eleven village, destroyed by the acidic breath of a green dragon. All signs of life and death had been removed.

It was with relief that the elves of the village of Altand were friendly, allowing us to pay homage at their temple before talking with their leader Galin.

He told us the story of the dragon and cultist attack, his priest swallowed whole, his wife killed before the dragon was “driven off” by his command. Ha! What fools does he take us for… Well Hitem bought the story, and Ryndel just seems to disagree with any of the plans the party makes. But Blake was also suspicious (perhaps all his failed relationships are giving him a better grip on the ways of the world). He snuck back up and spoke with the leader’s raven. The raven told him that he had been meeting the dragon each night! Acting quickly we subdued Galin and with some rudimentary truth extraction techniques we got to the bottom of it. Unfortunately his raven and Blakes squirrel needed to die, shocking grasp made quick work of them.

We traveled that night to the dragons clearing, but he did not show. The description of a wet rider flying to the southeast made us think of the dragon’s lair being behind a waterfall. Turns out there is a waterfall three days to the southeast. After deciding not to teleport (as it seems sometimes the journey is as important as the destination) we set out with our elven bread and hiking shoes.

At the end of the first day we heard a tree crashing and a cry for help… Avengers assemble!

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