Tyranny of Dragons

Plane sailing
Session 53: Averse to Avernus

by Blake Starsong
cerberus.jpg

Queing for the gate to Avernus reminded me of sharing a hut with Kashara, no matter what I said I received a barb to a painful place. Perhaps she was a collection of goblins and pitchforks all rolled into one. The Avernus door bitch was no match for me: I grew up dealing with her type in Waterdeep’s beurachracy. Of course Shadow’s timely production of Lord V’s invite helped too. Hitum would have been just as happy to beat up the giant three headed dog (what a wonder!).

Thinking of the Road of Good Intentions reminded me of all of my past relationships, although I must admit I had lost any good intentions towards Talis, and I am happy she is gone for good (just like Rezmir!)

Slogging through the oppressive ash, smoke and heat on a road of skulls is typical of the situations we find ourselves in recently. I guess saving the world is not supposed to be easy. As I think of the great hero tales and ballads, they always seems to leave out the part about getting hit in the head a lot, and breathing in stinky gasses.

Our second (major) wonder for the day was a few stray Lemures wandering towards us (escaping their herding devils). The baby devils seemed to not like Shadow. I tried chanelling Sune, and managed to turn one! Perhaps my days as a cleric are still to come.

Arriving at the Darkspire, we did what we do best: attempt to squash a giant tomato named Montalado. He hurled a few fireballs, which singed Ryndel’s scales. Finding our way to the Pig & Poke, who should materialise but the ever-handy Maccath the Crimson. In true Tower-of-Luskan style, she gives us a complicated series of tasks to obtain an improbable item that will apparently assist us in slaying Tiamat in Azaruhl.

It goes something like this…
(To be sung to the tune of “Hokey Pokey”)

You put your market clothes on,
You take your market clothes off,
You put your market clothes on,
And head to the Emporium

You do a number on Haag,
And you grab a Black Rose,
That’s what it’s all about.

You put your supplicant robes on,
You take your supplicant robes off,
You put your supplicant robes on,
And head to the Bronze Citadel.

You bluff your way in,
And commit a few sins,
That’s what it’s all about.

You put your visiting-duke clothes on,
You take your visiting-duke clothes off,
You put your visiting-duke clothes on,
And your sneaking all about.

You double cross Zariel,
And you steal the Spike,
That’s what it’s all about!

In addition to this recipe for getting the Vorpal Spear (aka Bronze Spike), Maccath also gave us the belated advice that the water of the river Styx can be carried in horse hooves. Great. Thanks for nuffin; your as good as McGuffin.

So it seems free will has been taken from us, and we are now playthings of the gods. Did we ever have a choice? Has Bahmut played us from the beginning, slowly building our skills by helping us to slay children, lizards, sleeping cultists, mad wizards, and flowers; all the while preparing us to kill his enemy. What then? Discarded on the hero heap? Running a tavern? Drunk in a gutter? A room in the Tower of Luskan (shudder)? Only Shadow’s nimble fingers can prepare a marvelous retirement; if we survive!

View
Tiamat rises...
Session 52: ... to our bait

by Kashara and Shadow Catcher

rise_of_tiamat.jpg
The HoBoH’s look despairingly at the rift that has formed above them. The mocking words of every villain coming back to haunt them, they are in fact TOO LATE!

The HoBoH’s realise they should have listened to Shadow when he look at the map of Faerun way back in Greenest all those months ago:

“Well of Dragons!”, Shadow said, “Let’s go there!”.

“No let’s catch an arduous caravan to Waterdeep”, said the rest.

But no time for recriminations, Tiamat’s first head has popped out and blasted the entire band, half of them falling to critical levels in the first blow. Meanwhile Serverin laughs and dances between the heroes shackling them with infernal chains and stopping any of their spells they attempt to cast.

Pop… out comes the second head. Hitem can’t get up that high (I mean he is a dwarf), so it is up to Ryndel to sort this one out. Rydnel casts blade barrier inventing Faerun’s 1st guillotine and Tiamat is left with only 2 options, retreat or stick 1 head through per round until round 5 when she will be able to squeeze through.

In the meantime, the shear weight of lackeys and Severin’s high level lead to a party wipe. Faerun is lost, the world is never the same again.

BUT WAIT

Is that Hit’em standing up? Is that Hit’em hitting the emergency pack on Kashara, is that Kashara hitting the emergency pack on Blake, is that Blake arousing Ryndel?

Suddenly the HoBoH’s are on their feet. Ryndel transforms into a magnificent Gold Dragon and Kashara summon the demon from the pits.

“V<a href=“/characters/lord-volmer” class=“wiki-content-link”>olmer, Volmer, Volmer… save us by swapping my place with Shadow, for he is truly needed here, not me". Some confusion ensures, where Volmer does not hold up his part of the bargain, yet takes Kashara away. Which is lucky as Kashara will no doubt win any appeal in the high Demon Lord court.

With help from above and below the party vanquish Severin.

At which time BAM, the 5th head of Tiamat appears and she is back in the material plane.

Her first thought is of food, why spend the effort to subdue these pesky heroes when there are willing morsels to eat. CHOMP. All cultists are gobbled up in one go.

Now that Shadow has caught up with the HoBo’s his +9d6 sneak attacks make short work of Tiamat. She is sent back to Avernus, beyond the iron gates.

The HoBoH’s high five each other and think about the largest horde of treasure ever in Faerun waiting in the next room. But before they can a small young Unicorn appears and trips over a stone dislodged by the earthquake and comically falls to the ground.

The HoBoH’s turn to each other and say at the same time:

“Uni!!!!”

uni.jpg

View
Distance makes the heart grow fonder...
..and the icestorms grow colder.

The cackling form of Severan ascended to the roof of the five pointed volcanic temple of Tiamat. TheHeroes of the Beacon of Hope hear that they are too late and all is doomed. If only they had 1gp for everytime they heard that they could have bought more scrolls of earthquake.

Once more initiative is lost and Severan, only just have ascended, like a yoyo pops back down to cast mayhem on the heroes. However at the last moment he decides against it and is back to completing the ritual.

The 5 dragon lords are here too, Tallis the White frosty as ever, Nerenbane, Galinbane, Sir Blue-not-appearing -in-this-adventure and our old recurring rezzing nemesis REZmyr. Each one flanked by two flunkies, aka flunky flankers, intent on completing the ritual.

Our goal is clear, defeat 5 arch enemies plus the big boss in under 10 minutes or have the ritual complete….

WELL it appears that THEIR ritual only takes 1 minute! Summoning Tiama is apparently alot easier than summoning some food and water. It looks like the Cult of the Dragon are the first to crack into parallel ritualing, each one doing an element of the ritual.

In the meantime the heroes manage to hop from nemesis to nemesis, slowly whittling down the flanking flunkies whilst being peppered by fireballs, icestorms and summoned dragons.

The tyranny of distance working in the HoH’s advantage, as they moved from Black to White to Green.

Rydnel throws caution to the wind and lets rip with an earthquake, wiping out the Blue (and blocking the way to rescuing the sacrifices).

Before the HoH’s get to lay a hand on Severan, a rupture in the planes tears above them and the hulking form of a 5 headed beast can be seen… attempting to squeeze through into the material plane!

Is this the end?

TIAMAT RISES… so say we all!

View
Words beget actions
Session 50: ..begets words

by Kashara
Temple_of_Tiamat.jpg

After the historic occasion of the Council making the first decisive decision in the history of Faerun, the Heroes of the Beacon of Hope and the armies of the Beacon of Hope set out to Mordor the Well of Dragons to repel the forces of evil.

Ryndel again learns that there are more spells than sacred flame and uses his mastery of the elements to provide cover for the advancing armies.

The “well” (lol) execute plan allows the Heroes of Hope (Hoh’s for short) deep into enemy territory. Several entrance are presented to the heroes, and they decide to go to the furthest one.

Kashara becomes disoriented when dragon wings are able to fly easily over their heads unobstructed, but short lizards are able to attack her when she is aloft. It turns out the physics of Faerun between the 3rd eon and the 5th eon have changed, and you can’t attack those who pass through your area of influence, just those that run.

Further exploration shows that guile and even 6th level disguises are not enough for the cunning of the dragon lords lackeys. Might overcame smarts again to defeat a group of dragon cultists leading the sacrifices to some unknown destination.

The Hoh’s go where they were going, and arrive at the precise moment Severin is completing his ritual, he holds aloft the masks and ascends to the heavens, cackling about how they are too late and all will die – he clearly doesn’t understand what he is up against.

Shield Bash – Sacred Flame – Cutting Words – and if he would just wait 10 minutes some pretty darn good rituals.

View
Counsill mooting
Session 49: I know a guy who needs a tower...
by Blake Starsong

CouncilOfWaterdeep.png

Rian Nightshade tried to buy Xonthal’s tower off us, which we discovered we owned by right of conquest, but we held out. 70,000 gold and a scroll of Earthquake forgone. Kashara attempted to establish a Beacon of Hope for all to rally around.

The blue mask was a fake! Did Iskander lead us astray?

Eagle’s Spleandor + “wind machine” did little to attract Hornblade and Brawnanvil to our cause.

The Council have decided to act, and armies are amassing (see forums).
The Giants are with us (and against us).
The LIzardmen are with us, but orcs against us.

The Temple to Tiamat has arisen in the W of D, and we must infiltrate and smash Severin’s fancy golden mask to pieces!

Prepare for BattleBeacon-of-Hope-logo.jpg

View
Report on Diplomatic Mission to Thay
Session 48: Information was a needle in a Thaystack

by Blake Starsong
MissionToThay.jpg

Executive Summary

Led by Rath Modar, rogue Red Wizards of Thay (aka Dissidents or The Enemy) are assisting the Dragon Cult with raising Tiamat. If we come across them, we can inform Ambassador Nyh Ilmichh, and she will remove them for us. The Red Wizards are too busy with internal matters to help directly with the Dragon Cult problem.

Details

My companions, General Battlehammer and Inquisitor Kashara, and I were magically transported 3000 miles south of Waterdeep to Nethwatch Keep, home of Tharchion Eseldra Yeth by Ambassador Nyh Ilmichh. The environment was oppressive: hot, parched desert as far as the eye can see, and clouds made of black ash.

After a good meal and sleep, we were ushered into a meeting of 10 Red Wizards, the Tharchion, and 5 undead servants. The questioning was intense, and focussed one-on-one. Even Eagle’s Splendour couldn’t save Hitum from diplomatic blunders. Without our Ryndalpedia present, we all struggled to give accurate information on The Enemy to the Tharchion.

After another marvellous meal and a sleep, we were all rudely awoken at midnight, and tossed into individual cauldrons of tentacles; chained for good measure. Not really the type of diplomacy I as expecting, but it suited the vibe. I was sure that it was an illusion, but it was so compelling, I could not disbelieve. Kashara treated them with contempt, and woke up bloodied. hitum treated them with ignorance, and woke up bloody. I just told them what they wanted, and went back to sleep.

Overall, we gave them as much information as we could on Rogan Jos and his band, but got nothing in return except an assurance that they would combat the rouge red wizards. Better than nothing, I guess.

We were transported without further harm back to a farm shed about 1 mile north of Waterdeep. I suggest a watch is placed on that shed for further comings and goings.

Recommendations for future missions

  • Don’t interrupt
  • Do not take people without diplomatic training
  • Enjoy the food and wine, it was delicious
  • Seek an agreed, itemised agenda beforehand, allowing for time to ask questions
  • Do not take people who are not comfortable with necromancy and undead

Ambassador Blake Starsong

View
Life is unfair
Session 47: Face a blue dragon without spells and how did they ambush us?

by Hitum “Hard” Battlehammer
XanthalsTower.jpg

We escape Xanthal’s tower but as we leave the maze we hear screams from the nearby village,

The blue dragon from our very first adventure is destroying the village demanding we give him the blue mask.
We try getting him to go into the maze area but he just kills more villages, if we don’t come out.

We eventually come out for battle but without spells our chances of defeating the dragon is low. Luckily Blake still has one dragon slaying arrow left and hits the dragon well, unfortunately making him a favourite target.
Ryndil tries to heal, Kashara tries various spells to no effect, and Hitum hits the dragon well but can’t seem to hold him down – the wing buffet seems to negate his ability for some reason.
We eventually do enough damage to dragon as it flees away.

We celebrate in style with the villages, gain a level and rest.

We teleport back to Waterdeep and somehow get totally ambyshed by the cultist led by our nemesis Resmer.
They are holding leersom and Remy hostages, and demand we give them the blue mask.
We refuse of course and lots of sniper assassins attack with poison arrows. Hitum tries to use the legendary Hammer of Thunderbolts and it fizzles as it hits a wall of force.
They kill Leersom and Ryndel goes down.
We dimension door through the force wall and start attacking. Hitum manages to take out Resmer in single combat and she turns to dust. However the situation is looking bad and we need to escape.
With lots of dimension doors and teleport we devise a cunning plan and are able to rescue Remy, Ryndel and the body of Leersom as a fire consumes the building.

This is looking bad, how could they just attack Waterdeep?
What happened to the silver dragon protecting the city?

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

by Kashara

demilich.png

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.

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

by Kashara

We got in.

hourglass.png

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.

View
Xonthal's Tower
Session 44: Maze Part 3

by Blake Starsong

We got out.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.