Tyranny of Dragons

Session 32
Avernus Awaits

After their time apart, the Scarred returned from their respective tasks with tales of success. Gerard Hammerstriker reached out to Crow upon his return, informing the ninja that Caelynn had departed Waterdeep and left to go north. Gerard knew nothing further, grumbling about becoming a messenger instead of adhering to his post as captain of the Valenier guard. Drinks were offered in recompense, however, with no time to waste, the group set about furthering the conviction of Higrath Dorwarin and potentially revealing the identities of the cultists on the Masked Council. There was also the matter of the Copper Plague to solve, but with the meeting with Mara Blackwood still a few days off, they resolved to tackle this issue first. Everything from Skullport, to open defiance of the Blackwoods’ wishes was discussed, but tabled until after the matter of convicting the corrupt sheriff. What was most needed was the testimony of Etha Kormallis and Devan Kormallis. To do that, the Scarred would need nothing short of a miracle.

A bit of research revealed that resurrections were known to occur within the City of the Dead, but only with the concentrated efforts of several aspects of divinity, or the summoned help of otherworldly entities. The party made an inquiry of The Church of Tyr, coming to learn the whereabouts of the Kormallis’ remains, as well as what it might take to resurrect them. The Kormallis’ had paid tribute to the Church of Tyr, and with the head cleric’s blessing, the party was granted permission to attempt a resurrection via the influence of The Church of the Raven Queen.

The party ventured to the City of the Dead and into the Kormallis family crypt. Closing the door of the mausoleum behind them, they began a summons to the Shadowfell, Ushen Valenier knowing the name of an entity possessing far greater power than he. Calling to Mitailis, the first Raven Knight, (see The Book of Fates) the priest was able to summon the aspect of death and entreat him for help. Mitailis protested, telling them that the two souls have passed, but further pleas convinced the celestial to aid them. Mitailis began a transference of souls, calling back the Kormallis pair, each passing second requiring more of Ushen’s will in exchange. With the help of his fellows, the priest succeeded, but one final obstacle stood between them a true resurrection.

“They require flesh,” Mitailis informed them. “You know the price.”

Ushen offered himself in response, and right behind him was Amkissra Bladecrest doing the same. Their world went black, as did the crypt as the other Scarred were left to wonder. When light returned to them, the Kormallis’s had returned, but Ushen and Amkissra were gone. Both nobles were stunned and horrified to discover they’d been brought back from paradise, their protests vehement that they wished to return. With some convincing from Roderick Theowin and Sarissa Runesblood, the pair were calmed somewhat, and ushered back to their derelict home now devoid of possessions auctioned off after their murder. The Scarred watched over them for the night.

The next day, the Scarred visited the Kormallis’s again, the pair more agreeable but no less perturbed at their return to the material world. Upon explanation of why they were summoned back, the couple agreed to testify against their murderer, but requested secrecy in doing so. There were still several days until the Higrath’s trial, and in the meantime, there were other matters to attend to.

Traveling through the city, the group was met by Caelynn upon her return from the north, the woman insisting that they come with her to Avernus, the first layer of hell, that they may investigate Zariel’s activities and the army she’d recently assembled. The monk was insistent that their efforts were save hundreds of lives, urging the group to come with her and return the means of her travel to the first layer. After some convincing, the group was able to persuade her to come with them to the meeting with Mara Blackwood, seeing their affairs before departing.

Upon meeting with Mara Blackwood, the Scarred learned that the noblewoman had gleaned nothing new of her brother’s involvement with the Copper Plague. She claimed that someone was trying to frame her family for the deadly sickness, urging the Scarred to find what was causing the sickness as they always should have been doing. Caelynn urged them to come with her now that their business was concluded. After meeting with Edgewalker, they made their way outside the city and activated the hell-bomb. Before they knew it, the looming crags and roiling lava of Avernus was their new landscape, including the towering mountain riddled with dragons that was the fortress of Tiamat. (See The Church of Tiamat) Caelynn ushered them toward Zariel’s fortress, but in the distance, two figures made their way toward them. Ushen and Amkissra hurried to reunite with their friends.

Brief pleasantries were exchanged as the group brought both priest and monk up to speed as to how they’d been reunited, but a sense of foreboding fell over the group when the nature of Ushen and Amkissra’s being was revealed. While the others were warm and corporeal, Ushen and Amkissra were cold, missing an integral part of their essence. Apparently, escape from Avernus for them wouldn’t be so easy. However, there was also the question of why they had gone to Avernus instead of paradise like the Kormallis’s. The answer became clear when the scars that had earned the group their title were recalled. Tiamat had marked the heroes, and now had pulled two of them down to the realm in which she resided. The Dragon Queen had now made direct attempt to thwart the party, angering both gods and devils in order to do so.

However, the information would have to be utilized later. Safety within the hells was always fleeting, and it remained to be seen if the party could discover Zariel’s intent and return to their world safely. Or if that’s even a possibility for some.

Session 31a
Specters in the Fog

After parting with the rest of the Scarred, Ushen and Amkissra made their way southwest toward Waterdeep. However, with jurisdictional difficulties involving the potential for their prisoner,Higrath Dorwarin to walk free, the pair decided it best to utilize their contacts before returning. By casting Sending, they made contact with Mist, Arkan Valenier, and Pythios Westwind, ensuring that upon arriving in Waterdeep, the appropriate authorities would take possession of the prisoner. They then set off to meet Mist a day’s voyage south of Waterdeep. During this time, the pair encountered a starving Bullette that attempted to eat their horses. A brief fight ensued, but the creature was persuaded, forcefully, that its survival was more important than its next meal. Both the prisoner and Emma Stark were kept safe during this encounter.

Upon arriving at the meeting spot, Captain Mist was waiting for the pair. A brief period of catching up with the warforged was had, and they were off. The journey was quick, Arkan and Pythio’s members of the Waterdeep Watch waiting for them and taking the prisoner, assuring the pair that his trial was also to be expedited. It was also warned that proof and testimony would be needed quickly if they were to fully expose the cultist’s crimes, else, as an elected official, his word would outweigh their own, even with a murder weapon in hand. Contacting Laerel Silverhand next, the pair went to a meeting with the Lady. However a curious fog began to form over the harbors of Waterdeep…

Lady Silverhand also reinforced the importance of testimony against the sheriff as well as more proof to fully insure his conviction, however, she was also keenly interested in the ousting and condemnation of the alleged members of the Masked Council that were loyal to the Cult of the Dragon. Upon learning that the Devan Kormallis and Etha Kormallis were murdered on suspicion of possessing that knowledge, she urged the pair to pursue the matter, up to and including potential resurrection of the nobles.

Ushen and Amkissra parted to go to the City of the Dead where the deceased are interred in Waterdeep, however were drawn toward the sea and Auzha Coriaelen‘s grave. A powerful yearning called the friends to the site from the depths of the mist, and after a voyage across the frigid waters, came to stand before the elf’s grave. The emanations from the grave shifted from yearning, to relief, to fear, to warning, to worry. Behind the pair, coalescing from the mist, was Wyrmspeaker Rezmir.

“So foolish. So predictable. In this place, you broke your faith, cleric. You banished her from your world.”

“Let Tiamat come forth,” Ushen replied. “We’ll see who’s god is banished. And who’s is the stronger.”

With a piercing screech, Rezmir revealed she wasn’t alone. The dracolich that harried the Scarred at Castle Skyreach burst from the fog and the battle was on. Swift action by Amkissra had Rezmir reeling from the onset, but a spell of darkness and the icy breath of the dracolich were a fearsome counter. Ushen was next to act, dispelling the magical darkness, then beseeching the The Church of the Raven Queen for aid. An otherworldly transformation ensued as the Raven Queen answered his prayer, Ushen becoming as one of the Raven Knights of old.

Axe met tooth, daggers met sword, the pair matching the champions of Tiamat blow for blow. As the battle raged, Ushen and Amkissra gained the upper hand, and thanks to the Raven Knights spectral wings, were able to pursue Rezmir when she made to flee. Once more Amkissra unleashed a flurry of strikes that dazed their enemy, and right behind her came the executioner’s axe, striking the final blow. Rezmir flashed into a dark mist, vanishing from the fight. Behind her fled the dracolich, called by some unseen force. Again the pair moved to pursue, but the magic of Ushen’s invocation had expired. The pair fell from the sky into the icy waters. They made their way back to the shore where they quickly set about making a fire to stay warm, lest the elements do what Rezmir and the dracolich couldn’t.

While recuperating, another emanation came from Auzha’s grave, this time one of relief, hope, and gratitude. The friends made their way over to the grave, Ushen placing a tender hand on the sarcophagus.

“You’re still there,” he said, sharing a contented smile with Amkissra.

Both Monk and Cleric rested into the night, at peace with their victory, but eager to reunite with the rest of the Scarred.

Session 31

With the gnoll horde descending on Goldenleaf, the Scarred were quick to respond with appropriate force. The first wave of gnolls was easily repelled, the field littered with their bodies in short order. However, with fresh blood staining the field, the gnolls were quick to begin feasting upon their comrades. The Scarred would later learn that in so doing, a gnoll could receive a blessing of Yeenoghu, patron demon lord of gnolls, and become a formidable pack leader known as a Flind. Crow was the first to feel the bite of a Flind’s triple headed flail, but was quick to exact revenge with a rapid series of blows that put the beast down. Later, Edgewalker used their planar traveling abilities to transport the bodies from the battlefield to the ethereal plane, preventing other gnolls from feasting and strengthening themselves.

Wave after wave of the enemies came to ravage the town, but the Scarred held fast. Between the might of Brogdah and Edge, the cunning of Sarissa Runesblood, Daylen Pentaghast, and Crow, and the divine wrath of Ushen Valenier, the gnolls were eventually driven back and scattered. Goldenleaf was secure.

With the village safe, the adventurers prepared to leave, moving to investigate a strange murder outside of Waterdeep near an alpine lake where the nobles of the city were known to gather and vacation. At the request of the Harpers, Daylen led the way to the village, but not before taking Emma Stark, the lone survivor the recent gnoll attacks, with them with the intention of helping her start a new life in Waterdeep.

Upon arriving at the scene of the crime in Northgulf, the Scarred were welcomed by the local sheriff, Higrath Dorwarin who was quick to answer their questions regarding the recent murders. The sheriff then led the group to the scene of the crime and the investigation resumed. Brogdah and Edge were able to communicate with the local wildlife and learned that a group of men dressed in black came to the village the night of the murder, breaking branches and leaving traces of their activities that the two later reported. Outside, Crow was able to find alterations to one of the windows that hinted at the truth of what had happened. And within, Sarissa and Daylen were able to deduce that the bloodstains of the murder didn’t add up to what was recounted, as if the bodies were moved. Furthermore, upon investigating the window that Crow had found suspicious, Daylen was able to learn that it had been replaced, but professionally and in a manner that was meant to appear inconspicuous. Lastly, Ushen, with the help of Legend Lore, was able to determine that members of the Cult were involved with the crime.

With their gathered information, the group returned to the Sheriff’s office and began asking some closing questions. The Sheriff appeared honest, however was caught in a lie by Ushen. He offered the man one final chance to tell the truth, then interrogated him by casting Regenerate on him before ordering his Spirit Guardians to tear the man to pieces. The Sheriff healed, then the process began anew. It wasn’t long before the Sheriff confessed his loyalty to Tiamat but still didn’t admit to the murders. His fellows’ preparation along with his own had been thorough, and proof would be needed to bring about his condemnation. However, with the appropriate documentation and witness accounts, the Sheriff was secure in his position. The party had to do more than coerce him with physical violence.

Crow, Brodgah, and Edge continued to divert attention away from the scene with various methods including a casting of Silence by the ninja to mask the happenings within the Sheriff’s office. This allowed Ushen to cast Plane Shift in order to take the Sheriff to the Shadowfell, a veritable nightmare for the cultist with sworn loyalty to Tiamat. Upon learning the trip would be a one way jaunt, Sarissa and Daylen came with to help Ushen return, but also glean knowledge from the fabled Letherna, stronghold of the Raven Queen. Upon threatening to leave the cultist there if he didn’t admit to the murders and turn in his fellows, the prisoner gave the three Scarred sufficient information, including the whereabouts of the murder weapon, and informed them that the cult had also infiltrated the Masked Lords of Waterdeep. Sarissa then brought the four of them back to the material plane where they convened with their fellows. The murder weapon was procured, as well as the motive for the murders. Etha Kormallis and Devan Kormallis were beginning to suspect the masked cultists of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep.

With the murders solved, the prisoner in hand, and the goal of resurrecting the murdered nobles with knowledge gained from time spent in the Shadowfell, the party then began their return to Waterdeep, parting ways at the Lord’s Crossing. Brogdah and Edge went north for business serving the Emerald Enclave, while Sarissa, and Crow went south on behalf of the Zhentarim. Daylen and Ushen returned to Waterdeep with Emma and their prisoner Higrath to pursue their aforementioned goals.

Session 31b: Emerald Enclave Side-Quest
Twilight 6th-9th

Edgewalker and Brogdah split from the group in the early hours of the 6th of Twilight, after saying their goodbyes to the Scarred.

The first night away from the group, a minor earthquake rattled the region where the two were travelling. Whilst not unheard of this near the coast, both noted that such occurrences were exceedingly rare. After calming their mounts, they pressed on.

The next day, as Brogdah attempted to attune to the spirit and rhythms of nature to pinpoint their quarry, they encountered a very enigmatic human.

After arranging for his safe transport back to Waterdeep , the two pressed on yet again, still attempting to find a supposedly peaceful, and undestructive gnoll..

The tracking efforts of Edge and Brogdah, uniting in skill as well as culinary appreciation, yielded success. After making a peaceful and fruitful contact with the gnoll, and escorting them to a nearby haven, the two Enclave members made their way back to Waterdeep

Session 30

With the arena behind them, the Scarred set their sights on the Copper district of Waterdeep. Recently, a plague had hit the poor district of the city and it was decimating it’s population. A quick incubation and even quicker death, the people do not have much time. It was suspected that the cult might have something to do with it, so who better to deal with it than the adventurers?

The Scarred made their way to the Copper district’s namesake gate, a copper door turned green, and spoke with the guards blocking the way. The district is under quarantine for fear of spreading it to the other districts. The guards told us the only people allowed in are those under the protection of the Blackwood family. Not wanting to cause a scene, the party left the gate and headed toward the Castle Ward to find the noble family. It didn’t take us long to get there as Crow, who grew up an urchin, knew his way around the city streets.

We arrived at the Blackwood manor and approached the men guarding the door. Unfortunately, the Blackwoods were having a party at the time and it was invite only. Due to his noble heritage and smooth talking, Ushen was able to convince the steward to let him and Sarissa into the party to speak with the Blackwoods. The rest of the party remained outside to fend for themselves.

Ushen and Sarissa joined the party, but not before disarming themselves by placing their weapons in a bag of holding. Swords and axes are faux pas at such occasions as these. They blended into the crowd and spotted Mara Blackwood. A young daughter in the noble family who is reaching the age of courtship. Many men attempted speaking to her, but none could convince her they were worth her time. Ushen approached and began to speak to Mara, but his mind was not on flattery or flirting. He asked Mara if they could discuss the disease spreading in the Copper District and she was intrigued. They set up another time to meet the next day and went their separate ways. Ushen headed back to Valenier manor, but Sarissa stayed behind. Always one to value play over work, she caroused with the nobles while she had the chance, making some contacts while she enjoyed the lavish spread.

The moment Ushen and Sarissa made their way into the manor, Daylen put a plan into action. He stepped around a corner the next house down and disappeared. With his invisibility cast and the wind rune by his side, he quickly made it over the Blackwoods’ perimeter wall and into the courtyard. He swiftly made his way into the lavatory and began to cast a ritual spell to detect any magic in the manor. After the ritual was complete, he stepped out into the manor halls and began to search. He came upon the living quarters of the noble family. He saw under the door of Ander, the Blackwoods oldest son, a strange blue glow, thanks to his spell he cast earlier. Using his wits to get beyond the locked door, the sorcerer was able to explore the nobleman’s room unimpeded. He immediately noticed an alchemy set with a curious green solution in a vial. Next to the alchemy set were three books. One dealing with alchemy, another with epidemiology, and the last was written in Infernal, a language Daylen did not speak. He stole the devilish book and a sample of the solution. He looked to the side of the table and also noticed a bag of grain. The same type of grain the Blackwoods were donating to the poor that were now sick. To try and expose Ander, for this seemingly devious plot, the sorcerer began a small fire and wafted the smoke outside the door of the, now unlocked, room. Moments later, two guards came rushing in, after also “unlocking” the door. Daylen went invisible again and watched as the guards put out the fire, closed the grain sack, and said, “That was close”, before they exited the room and locked the door again. The guards knew. Daylen teleported outside the window of the room and left the compound, headed straight back to Valenier manor.

Once the cleric and warlock left his sight, Roderick decided to check in with his informants at the docks. He asked Crow and Amkissra if they would like to tag along. With nothing better to do, the two monks began to walk with the rogue. They decided to make it a race to see who could get there the fastest. Jumping along rooftops, diving through crowds, running as fast as they could, and sneaking through restricted areas, the three made their way to the famous King’s Coin tavern. Crow getting there first wanted to trick the other two into thinking he got there much earlier than he actually did, he ran in, grabbed a glass of water and proceeded to chugged most of it before posting up outside the tavern. Roderick bought it and thought the monk had been there for minutes. Amkissra was able to spot the rouse, but remained quiet, trying not to spoil the fun. Roderick found his contacts and asked around if they knew anything about the Copper district, but no new information could be gleaned from the informants. They soon headed back to the Valenier estate as well.

With Ushen and Amkissra doing their part, Brogdah and Edge decided to do a little scouting in case getting permission did not work. Before they headed to find a way in to the Copper district, the two stopped off at the King’s Coin tavern for a drink. They enjoyed some down time, but then moved on and searched the perimeter of the district to try and find a way in. Shortly after beginning their search, they were able to find a back alleyway that had access to the quarantine zone. They made note of it and headed back to Valenier manor.

After meeting back up with everyone, the group discussed their finds. Daylen showed the Infernal book to Sarissa who informed the group that this book explained the process of making the green concoction. Roderick, through his knowledge of alchemy and poisons, knew this poison was nearly undetectable, was able to maintain it’s potency even after alterations, and needed to be ingested. They all concluded that the Blackwood family, or at least part of it, was poisoning the Copper district with the tainted grains they had been donating. Roderick was also able to synthesize a cure, but only in a very small batch. He would need to create many more to even hope to begin to eradicate this disease. The group decided to turn in as it was nearing dawn the next morning. With the similarities to the death of his love, Auzha, too blatant to ignore, Ushen tried to rest that night, but it did not come easily.

The next day, the group went to a tavern to meet with Mara. Since the noblewoman had only ever seen Ushen and Sarissa, the rest of the group tried their best to blend into the crowd to observe and support. Ushen had plenty of questions for Mara and he needed the truth. He didn’t think Mara had anything to do with the Blackwood’s atrocities, but he had to make sure. He cast a spell creating a zone of truth, making sure that anything she said was honest. Unfortunately, the moment Mara joined him in the private booth, she could sense the magic and recoiled at the thought of it being used against her. After some convincing and the removal of the spell, Mara agreed to speak to Ushen about the issue. Ushen asked if Mara had anything to do with Ander’s plot, but Mara did not know of anything going on with Ander. Ushen broke the news of the investigation to her and she did not know how to reply. After she collected her thoughts, she asked Ushen if she could confront her brother about this as well as help with the manufacturing of the cure. They would meet up again in five days.

After Mara left the tavern, Crow gathered everyone and pleaded for their help. Caelynn, his friend from the monastery whom he had fought a couple of days ago in the arena, was in trouble. After chasing her down, unfortunately, he had to knock her out and place her in manacles. He brought her to a Zhentarim safehouse and left her there, with food and water, until she regained consciousness. After he ran with Roderick and Amkissra, he went to go check on her. She was awake but was still not talking. During his interaction with her, Crow noticed she was using her eyes to point at a pocket in her sash. He reached into the sash and found a blood red ruby. The moment he took it out, Caelynn’s eyes grew worried and he could tell she was frightened by it. He asked her what it was, but she still did not speak. He set the ruby aside and she looked down at her sash again. Another gem, but this time it was jet black. She motioned for him to drop the gem on the floor and Crow did after some contemplating. The moment the gem hit the floor, black, other-worldly smoke filled the room. In the darkness, Crow heard a whisper. It was Caelynn, telling Crow that “she” was watching them and that he needed to help her. A moment later, the light returned to the room. Crow grabbed the ruby and put it back in her sash. He mouthed the words, “Is she watching us now?” to Caelynn, and she became even more frightened. Clearly, she was still watching.

Now that it was even more pressing, Crow decided to bring in the rest of the party to help as this was beyond his expertise. He brought the group to the safehouse, past the traps, and had Ushen, Sarissa, and Haefwin come into the room with him, only after informing them of the issue. After trying to communicate with her and identify the issue, they began to cast spells, hoping to rid Caelynn of her affliction. Spells began to backfire and hurt the spellcasters, but nothing seemed to work. After many tries to communicate with Caelynn, they began to think whoever was watching them would grow wary and do something. As a last-ditch effort, Haefwin cast a spell, trying to rid Caelynn of any evil presence. After the aura hit Caelynn, a blood red energy shot up Haefwin’s arm, but he persisted and doubled down. He urged the purging energy again and it broke it’s hold on Caelynn. She slumped down, still being held up by the chains, and was quickly taken out of them by Crow. “She” was no longer watching us, but that didn’t mean we were out of danger. We picked her up and set her on her feet and headed toward Valenier manor.

Caelynn began to explain to us that we were being watched by Zariel, one of the Devil Lords of the Nine Hells. She was “recruited,” by Crow’s old master, Shanato, to work for Zariel as an agent of her’s on the material plane and beyond. She was bound to Zariel’s service to do many wicked things, as per Shanato’s contract for the sale of his eternal soul. She suspected she was sent out this time to tie up the loose ends of anyone dealing with Shanato’s death. Apparently, Shanato’s death may have been instigated by one of Zariel’s rivals, one looking for something that Shanato had knowledge of. She also informed us that the red gem is a teleportation gem that would open a temporary portal to the Nine Hells. If it is so much as cracked, it would open and take anyone near it down to the fiery domain. She also told us that Zariel was forming a strike force, not an unusual method for this particular devil, but this one didn’t appear to be headed to the front-lines of the Blood War, and was instead heading somewhere else, maybe even the Material Plane.

There was some time for the party to use around Waterdeep at this time and Ushen informed us the Lords’ Alliance had tasked him with protecting a nearby village from a warband of gnolls. We proceeded south of Waterdeep until we found ourselves in a small village. They had tracked down a survivor from a raid northwest of the village, and were preparing to raze the village and slaughter its inhabitants to get to her. We could hear the barking and yipping of the gnolls before we saw their forms appear all around us. They began to descend upon the village, but The Scarred were ready for them.

Session 29

Crow Level 12

On the eight-day journey from the tundra to Waterdeep, the party did many things to keep themselves busy. The celebration of both Bás Fuar and Brogdah’s birthday took place on the castle. The resident chef prepared a great feast with a little extra kick to it from our plane-hopping ranger, Edge. During our travels, we also sent messages to multiple parties to prepare for our coming in Waterdeep. We arranged for Arkan’s ship to meet us off the coast, where we had to land the castle, and bring us, along with the newly found treasures, to Watedeep. The navy, Dalo, and an Order of the Gauntlet official are keeping watch over the castle while we are in the city. The party split to take care of some shopping and any personal business we needed to attend to. We all met for dinner in the home of the Valeniers where he told us of a meeting of the Council in a couple of days. He also informed us of a tournament of champions taking place in the city. Not wanting to be outdone by the monasteries, the Lords’ Alliance and the city of Waterdeep were hosting this new contest of strength. The only difference being this was until one party in the fight yields or dies.

After the feast, the party went to a tavern to continue the celebration of their victory and to enjoy the finer things while they still could. After many drinks were had, the party noticed a priest and another woman enter the tavern. They chose a table near the back and were speaking in hushed tones. Crow, with his ability to read lips, knew that the priest was “needing” something from the woman. Before too much more was learned, Haefwin and Fryen approached the two with drinks in hand. They offered them the spirits, but they declined, and the woman immediately got up and began to head toward the door. During this exodus, Crow got a brief glimpse of the woman’s eyes. They were red. After seeing the effects of the same condition on his companion, Ushen, he motioned towards Haefwin that she was a vampire. Crow cast a spell to try and mask his movements, attempting to follow the vampire into the streets to follow it. Fryen saw the message as well and quickly stepped through a mist that formed around him and into the street, right in front of the vampire. The priest saw all of this happen and lifted the table and ran for the door, mace in hand. Fryen began speaking to the vampire. He told her he knows that not all undead are evil from personal experience. We want to help. A moment later, the priest made his way into the street and put himself inbetween the vampire and the dragonborn. After more idle threats and banter, we learned that the vampire’s name was Thiala and the priest was named Hazim. They agreed to speak with the party in the alley next to the tavern.

Ushen, having caught himself up on the excitement, offered them his help as well. He beseeched the Raven Queen to cure the vampirism in this woman. A moment later, the Raven Queen herself began to materialize in the space behind the cleric. Thiala began to run, because she knew the Raven Queen despised the undead and expected damnation, not salvation. The Goddess threw her hand out towards the woman and, what seemed like her life-force, began to drain and siphon itself into the Queen’s pale outstretched hand. Her body disappeared. Hazim dropped to his knees, thinking his companion to be dead forever. Then the Raven Queen tilted her hand and poured the essence that was swirling around her hand toward the ground. A naked, cold, but wholly elven Thiala lay on the ground. Hazim rushed toward her and wrapped his arms around her, tears of joy falling down his face. Fryen took off his wolfskin cloak and wrapped her in it. The Raven Queen looked at Ushen and said, “You’re trying my patience.” and then disappeared.

Hazim picked Thiala up and began to carry her away, wanting nothing more than to go home with his love. Fryen stopped them once more and handed them twenty platinum pieces. “For a new beginning.”

The next day the tournament began and most of the party entered, hoping to show off their prowess in combat. Each round would prove perilous with additional dangerous in addition to our opponent. The first round of combat for all of us was against a monk, all sponsored from different monasteries, while guards with crossbows fired at the combatants during the fight as well. We all flew, some of us literally, through the first round with hardly a scratch on us. During these fights, unbeknownst to most, Sarissa was helping us out and casting spells on our opponents to ensure victory. The second round was against armored adversaries, most likely sponsored by some churches or guilds. These opponents proved to be more of a challenge than the last. They kept us on our toes more so than the first round. With quick thinking and, for some, brute force, we all advanced to the next round to take on a much larger challenger. All warriors of great renown that knew how to take a punch and, more worrisome, dish it out. Through expert strategies the entire party was able to advance to the next day’s competition.

The last fight of the day was for Crow. He stepped into the area expecting a warlord, like the rest of his party, but instead he saw a familiar face. Caelynn, his cohort and friend from his days growing up in the Way of the Shadow Monastery. Crow tried to speak to her. He asked where she has been and what had happened to her, but she gave him no response other than the cracking of her knuckles. The fight began, and Crow ran toward the center of the arena. Under the shadow of one of the pillars he shadow-stepped behind his fellow monk and took her by surprised. He lashed at her with his blade and landed a heavy blow, followed by another quick slash. He expended some of his Ki to try and stun her, but she was able to shake it off, having no effect on her. She maneuvered around Crow before he could attempt any more strikes against her and answered his attacks with some of her own. He was able to dodge one, but the rest in her flurry connected and had him reeling for a moment. He ducked under the last and got back into the safety of the shadow. The darkness around him swirled like a thick smoke and then he was gone. He appeared again in hanging on to the pillar in the middle of the arena. He pulled himself up and in one fluid motion took out his sling and threw a bullet at her, hitting her in the temple. He attempted it again, but she was already on the move. She dashed towards him and pulled out a shuriken. It flew with precision towards the balancing monk but, with the reflexes he had honed during his training, he was able to catch it. He tried to trade missiles with her once more, but she was able to approach the pillar he was standing on, and made her way towards the monk. Caelynn launched herself off the top of the pillar, swinging wildly at Crow in the air, landing two blows against him, catching him off guard. He dropped to the dark side of the pillar in a puff of smoke and reappeared directly behind her, landing two more blows, forcing her to the ground, before the round could end.

Crow was declared the winner, but he didn’t seem to care. Caelynn used her ability, the one Crow knew so well, to vanish out of the arena. Through a miracle of his own, Crow was able to spot where Caelynn appeared at the edge of the arena and he gave chase. She was running through the streets and eventually made her way to the rooftops, gliding along them as if it were flat ground. Crow, having some more diverse training, was able to stay a step behind. He started to outmaneuver her through the maze of a city and tried to intuit where she was headed next but could not get a read on her. She has changed so much since last time they had met. Crow was able to disappear for a moment and then began running through some thinner walls, crushing them as he made a bee-line toward his old companion. He busted out of a wall and tackled Caelynn to the ground. She made a motion towards movement to escape again, but Crow had too many questions to be left unanswered. He struck her in the chest, stunning her momentarily. He pulled out a pair of manacles and put her in them. “I didn’t want to do this, but I need to know what happened.”

The next day the tournament continued with the members of the group fighting each other. Fryen came out victorious in the end, with some help from someone in the audience who may or may not have placed on bet on him winning it all.

The following day we met with the Council of Waterdeep. We showed them the map of the island we had found, which Leosin believed it is an island just west of Candlekeep, but the council paid it little mind. They had many other leads and issues for us to deal with, but there would be consequences for which we chose to do first. As always, finding the Draakhorn is a possibility for the group. They were also informed of a cult leader known as the White Wyrmspeaker pursuing the White Dragon Mask at the High Ice, and also of a scholar who knows everything about the ritual of summoning Tiamat, that may help stop it, that has gone missing in the Sea of Ice. Last, but not least, there has been an outbreak of some sort of plague in the poor district of Waterdeep as well as some cult activity in the surrounding area. We discussed what to do first, but we all have other business needing attention in the region as well. We decided on investigating the plague and then doing our own business in region before meeting back up after a ten-day to fly to the High Ice on the giant castle.

Session 28

Crow Level 11

After a night of celebration in the boat, the group headed north towards Mkoz, the mining encampment/city of the dwarves. Another days travel brought them to a giant set of doors, sculpted into the side of the mountain. Brogdah noticed that there were plenty of tracks coming up to the doors, but none going in. Brogdah went up and knocked on the stone doors, hoping to hear an answer. It took a minute or two, but soon we heard the shifting of some mechanical gears of some sort. A moment later, a stone arm with an orb protruded out just next to the massive door. We approached it and began speaking. The dwarf on the other side, who we learned to be Delg, an appraiser and face of the tradesmen inside.

We said we would like to trade and then the orb went back into the side of the mountain. A moment later, on the other side of the large doors another small door opened up and four dwarves stepped outside and met us. Delg explained that no one goes inside Mkoz, just the dwarves that live there. Any and all trading must be done through him. We tried to convince him to let us in through a couple ways. One, for showing the signet ring from the Waterdeep Council, a connection through a powerful dwarf, and also to just get out of the cold. Each time Delg denied us entry, but instead went back inside. A couple minutes later, the King of Mkoz, Delg, a scribe, and a handful of armed guards came outside to meet us.

The King told us of an army growing inside the orc encampment to the west. It wasn’t just orcs. It was filled with thousands of cult members, including red wizards and a dracolich.
We asked the King for his help in the valley, to see if he and his craftsmen would be able to help and fix the flying castle so we could remove it from his territory, and hopefully the cult along with it. We also enticed him with a prospect of increased trade between Mkoz and Waterdeep. The King said he needed to speak with his council before promising anything and went back into Mkoz, but Delg, the scribe, and the guards all remained.

We conducted our business of trading in our treasures for services, goods, and platinum. While we were each speaking with Delg about the things we desired, Fryen approached Roderick and took the crossbow from off of his back and continued walking. Roderick stood dumbfounded, not knowing what to do and was soon walking around frantically without his weapon. Fryen took Roderick’s crossbow, his flail, and Ushen’s shield, along with other magic items the party had acquired, but found no use for, and had the dwarves imbue them with the magic from the other items. He had to pay a large amount of gold to have this done, along with another large sum to expedite the process so we could have them the next day. When Ushen was speaking with Delg, he asked if the dwarves had any diamonds available for trade. They did have a handful of very large diamonds that Ushen was able to trade for, but when he did, he also asked if the dwarves had any recent deaths in their ranks, as he could revive them. Delg informed us that there was a collapse in one of their mining tunnels that took two of their own 16 days earlier. Thankfully, their clerics attempted to preserve the bodies and they were still intact enough for Ushen to bring them back to life, only after disarming himself and being brought in by armed guards to do so. He was escorted back out and the dwarves were very grateful.

The next dawn the King, by himself, approached the group. He promised them a group of fifty artificers to accompany us to the castle, but there was one thing we needed to do first. Assure him that the frost giants, long time enemies of the dwarves, would not interfere. We told him we would go and speak with the frost giants, something that most people would never do, to try and ease his mind and ours. Before we left, our supplies we had purchased and items we had them work on were brought out to us. Fryen took the newly enchanted crossbow and handed it to Roderick, along with the bolt that he had kept from when Roderick shot him in the neck. He had carved the word “Redemption” into the bolt. The rest of the group was watching this take place and asked what that meant. Roderick told the rest of the group about the night that he had killed Mondath. About how Ushen tried to revive her, but as he took out the diamond, Roderick shot at him, hoping to knock it out of his hand. Instead the bolt flew and hit Fryen, who had jumped in front of Ushen, in the neck. The group is silent, but not for long. Brogdah asked Roderick why he would do that, why he would attack one of his own, about why he should even be in the group anymore. Roderick tried to explain, but Brogdah stormed off.

The group arrived at the longhouse where the frost giants resided and walked right into the hall. Giants respect strength above all, so there was no need to beat around the bush. We notice the Jarl of the longhouse, Brunvild, sitting in his throne at the other end of the hall along with a hanging cage that has our werebear friend, Dalo, inside. He has multiple wounds and looked like he was in terrible pain. Compared to the other day when we saw him with a dozen arrows in his torso and showed no pain, it was a very different picture. We spoke with the Jarl about the cult in “his valley”. We tried to ally with him against the cult, but he needed us to prove ourselves before he would do so. One of the things he wished for us to do to prove our strength, was to get the castle up and running again so he could use it. Ushen said we had taken the castle down, but Brunvild did not believe us. Ushen said all he would need to do to prove that we did was have him come along with us to the castle. A spell would show the past battle that was fought and he could see us in action. Brunvild agreed, but did not agree to go himself. Instead, he said he would send someone else with us. He told the rest of the giants to leave the longhouse and it was Brunvild, Dalo, and us remaining. We said that we wanted Dalo to be released as well. Brunvild agreed on one condition. We must kill the frost giant that he sends with us to the castle. We were all caught off guard by that request, but he soon explained that a lot of the frost giants have left him and joined the cult. The giant he was sending with us was, to his knowledge, one of the leaders of the mutiny. We agreed and headed out towards the castle with our new mark walking along side of us.

During the days travel, Ushen and Roderick have a conversation using the spell, Message, to avoid any suspicion or chance of being overheard from the giant. Roderick expressed concern about killing this giant without telling the giant first. He didn’t think it noble. Ushen said it was going to happen and, if it came down to it, he would be the executioner. Ushen said Roderick didn’t have to participate, but the giant would die. When the sun began to set, we started to set up camp. Crow took out the boat and the group was about to head in for the night. The frost giant kept on walking towards the castle. Unlike the group, the frost giant didn’t have any trouble walking through the night. We told the frost giant that we needed to stop, we could not survive the cold temperatures like he could. He said he didn’t care. We told him that his Jarl commanded him to accompany us to the castle, but since he was not exactly the most loyal to the Jarl, he didn’t seem to care. He said that we needed him and if we were going to fulfill the Jarl’s request we had to continue too. We could not continue so we argued with him until he got so upset that he brought his axe up into the air and was about to chop the boat in half, but Crow was quick enough to say the command words to convert the giant boat back into a small box, making the giant miss completely. The giant then attacked us, but we were able to overcome him with ease. Crow immediately took the boat back out and ran inside for shelter from the bitter cold. During the fight, Roderick did not participate, he did not even raise his crossbow. Brogdah noticed this and approached Roderick. He grabbed his crossbow and snapped it in half and walked into the boat. Roderick was kneeling in the snow looking over his broken weapon and began to weep. Ushen went to go comfort him and even picked up the pieces and put them in his backpack. On their way to the boat, Roderick was stopped by Sarissa who shoved her heavy crossbow into his chest saying, “Make yourself useful.”

The next morning, Ushen used Sending to relay the message to the Jarl that the deed was done. He heard back saying that is good enough for the Jarl. He then sent a message to the King of the Mkoz stating that the frost giants would no longer be an issue. We started to make our way back towards the longhouse. That night, as we set up camp, we heard a knock on the cabin’s door. Outside was Dalo, who did not look happy. He asked us to explain what was happening and why the frost giants have magical weapons now. We explained to him about our encounter with the giants and the young dragon and apologized. We didn’t think about the consequences of that interaction. Normal weapons were all the giants and orcs had, so Dalo being a werebear couldn’t be killed by them, but now they had access to something that could. We also explained about our current mission, to go back and escort the dwarves to the castle to get it running again. He reluctantly agreed to join us for the time being.

We made our way back up to Mkoz and then back down to the castle with no issue, but the cult and orc army had amassed and we knew it was coming quickly. Our mission was to get the castle working again and take to the skies before we were overrun. Through use of our spies, courtesy of our Zhentarim agents, we had some intel on the army and knew that they had also sabotaged their siege equipment. We made some preparations for the upcoming battle before they arrived. We used a scroll to put a wind wall on the castle walls to protect the dwarves, Ushen summoned a Planar ally to fight along side us, and even planted a magic bean in the middle of the battlefield just before they arrived. Just before the battle started, a giant geyser of beer erupted where the magic bean was planted and seconds later, in the subzero temperatures, froze on the ground. They were soon at our gates with siege towers and a battering ram. Their ranks included the cultists, orcs, ogres, frost giants, red wizards, winter wolves, young remorhaz, and a dracolich. We were able to slow them down with walls of fire, insect plagues, spirit guardians, a barrage of arrows, and frozen beer. Shortly after the battle started, we felt the ground quake and two young remorhaz appeared behind our walls. One of them was close enough with it’s heated body to kill 5 dwarves outright. We started to fight the new threat behind our walls, but a moment later a hole was made by the frost giants and the wall came crumbling down. Thankfully, it hit on of the remorhaz and killed it. Were were able to hold back the tide of enemies head towards the new door thanks to our resident terrifying “Murdergoat”. We rallied and were able to repair the castle’s towers while keeping the swarms of enemies at bay. We all headed back to the castle and it took off to the skies. A couple more boulders thrown by the giants down below made contact and destroyed a couple more walls as we took off, but we were relatively safe for now.

We decided to head south, away from the valley, right away to try and avoid the dracolich that wasn’t too far behind. There are still 45 dwarves with us as well as Dalo. We told him of the alliance of the different factions for the time being and he has agreed to stay with us for a short while.

Session 27

Crow, Level 11

After the dust and snow settled, the Scarred were down a member of the group. Haefwin did not make it out of the castle as it came crashing to the ground. The group headed towards the, surprisingly, still intact castle to look for their friend’s body, hoping to bring him back somehow. When they entered the castle, they went to the throne room to search for the body, but instead found an empty room. Haefwin’s body was nowhere to be found. The dragon’s body was also missing from the scene. A couple eagle eyed members of the group, Amkissra and Daylen, noticed that where the body should have landed were subtle signs of a cover up. We found a colossal horde of treasure and split it up among the group. Shortly afterward, we were interrupted by a stranger.

A hairy man, built like a bear, walked into the room and told us that we needed to leave immediately. We told him we were not going to be leaving until we found our dwarven friend. He insisted we leave and we followed him out of the castle and to a cave, tucked into the folds of a nearby mountain. We entered in to an already lit fire, the smell of stew, and a familiar smiling face.

Haefwin did not die when the castle fell. Instead, he was thrown into a snowdrift and was knocked unconscious before being found by our new friend, who introduced himself only as Dalo.

He told us we could rest there for the night, but we must leave the next morning. He informed us we were located in the Spine of the World, and that the trade routes of the dwarves, whom had a mining operation farther north, were our only way out of the valley. Brogdah, during the course of our conversation, and after some needed spices in the soup, noticed that Dalo was a member of the Emerald Enclave. He flashed his leaf towards the man and then proceeded outside to have a conversation with him. After some time and explaining by Haefwin of what really happened, Brogdah returned, but Dalo was nowhere to be found. Brogdah had communed with nature and knew much about our surroundings. Orcs to the West, a thin connection between the planes to the East, the dwarves to the North, and a group of frost giants led by a jarl named Brunvild smack dab in the middle of it all.

Brogdah told us that Dalo was headed out and was going to convince the Frost giants to not join the cult and the forces of Tiamat. The giants were prime candidates to join and the Dragon Goddess’s army didn’t need to be any bigger. We were going to help Dalo in this, but the sun dropped earlier in the day, making it near impossible for travel for the party.

The next day, around 7 in the morning, hours before the sun rose, Dalo came back. He was riddled with arrowheads, presents from the orcs during the course of the night. We put two and two together and figured out that Dalo was a werebear. He told us it is not safe for us here and we need to leave. We told him of our intention to help him with the Frost giants, but he told us it was his problem to deal with.

When the sun came up we headed in a Northerly direction by way of the space between the Frost giants and the orc encampment. Travel was slow and strenuous due to the harsh conditions, but we would spend the night within the confines of Crow’s folding boat, which had a cabin for us to be in.

During our travel north, we encountered a lone tent and a rope suspended in mid-air. After seeing this, we figured out it was a Rope Trick spell. An unseen room was above the rope, but we did not know who was inside. We could see the tent had a sign on it from Waterdeep, so whoever was in there, had been to Waterdeep at some point. We surrounded the rope, out of sight from the dimensional hole, and waited. Finally, Ushen stuck his head in and was immediately hit…by a shoe. The frightened man inside, we found out, was named Allac. He was a researcher that was looking into a colony of Yeti’s that lived in the mountains not too far from here to the East. We told him to be careful, and then we were on our way.

Another day later and we ran into a group of three frost giants surrounding a young white dragon. We started to walk around the scene that was unfolding, as it was none of our business and more hassle than what it was worth, but then Roderick brought up his crossbow, thinking about the moral implications in his mind. Ushen, with his vampiric speed appeared in front of Roderick’s crossbow stopping him from shooting.

“Does anyone else see a problem with this?” Ushen asked the group. Brogdah slowly raised his hand.

The frost giants had, at this point, grabbed the dragon by the neck and were walking off with it.

“We’ll buy it off of you!” Ushen shouted.

This intrigued the frost giants, who stopped and asked what we could do for them. Ushen noticed their weapons were crude and worn. We offered them a magic hammer and a magic spear in exchange for the dragon, who they would have most likely have been beaten into submission as a plaything for their amusement. They left the dragon with us and walked away.

Daylen attempted to speak to the dragon, but it was too scared. It spit a cone of frost on part of the party before we let it go. It was about to take off when Daylen cast a spell on it, slowing it’s movement. Then Crow used his abilities to teleport to the dragon’s back, causing it to fall to the ground. We discussed it and decided there was no reason to have it with us, so we let it go.

Another day went by without any event, but at the end of the night, Ushen was getting hungry. With no game in sight and using our blood was not an option, Brogdah used his connection with nature and the Enclave to summon three elk outside of the boat. Brogdah motioned towards Ushen and pointed outside. Ushen fed and Brogdah was there to comfort him.

The next day, we made it to a part of the tundra with something we did not expect to see. An altar was before us, in the middle of nowhere. Most of the group offered something on the altar. Precious gems, items, and even blood. Some offered up a prayer and others stood back and did not offer anything.

At that moment, all of us entered into another space altogether. We were still in the tundra, but there was no altar and no one else with us. The snow kicked up and in front of the lone party members was Tiamat. We all reacted differently, but in the end, we all were attacked by Tiamat and knocked out or left standing there, bewildered by her presence. We all woke up again, next to the altar and our party.

Ushen was still standing, unlike most of the group, and went to help up Sarissa. When he reached his hand out to the warlock, he noticed that his arm was not decaying anymore, but the rest of his body remained the same. The curse that he had been struck with not a week before had begun to remove itself. Shocked by what happened, he began to explain what happened when he say Tiamat. He prayed to his goddess, The Raven Queen, and she answered his call. Then as he was explaining this, the snow kicked up again and we all expected the worst. Tiamat did not appear again, but instead, a slender, pale woman, clad in black appeared before us. Ushen and some others immediately knelt. It is usually customary to do so in front of a god.

Ushen made a plea to his Goddess and implored her to remove this curse from him. If not for his sake, it would be for her glory. She reached her hand out towards him and held the cleric’s hand. She touched his forehead with a finger and a thin line of silver began to come out of his skin. She pulled it farther and farther away until Ushen’s spirit was hovering above his body. She surged her power through his body and the cure for the vampirism moved from his arm to the rest of his body. She shoved his spirit back into his body and then vanished.

Ushen fell back and thanked his goddess before breaking down and crying. The curse finally lifted, he no longer feared for himself or his companions. Members of the group rushed to embrace Ushen as he cried tears of joy. The ever thoughtful, Brogdah, took out a vial of holy water, warmed it up enough to melt it and poured it on Ushen’s arm. it burned, but only because it was so damn cold out. The curse was gone!


Mere of Dead Men

After several more days and nights of travel within the Mere of Dead Men, the group overcomes threats from further ogres, orcs, bandits, lizard folk, and bullywugs. A discord begins to form when differing perspectives on how to handle the bullywugs and lizardfolk arises, but the group later pledges to place the welfare of their group before the desires of the individual. At long last, they arrive at the Road House.

The Roadhouse

After an initial reconnaissance revealed two dragons and heavy defenses, a plan is formed to get Roderick and Jamna into the Roadhouse to steal the map of the Draakhorn’s location while the rest of the party provides a distraction for the two. Neither party is successful in their respective tasks: the outside force taking heavy damage and several party members dropping from the dragon attacks, while inside the roadhouse, Roderick is discovered and the cultist leader, Azbara Jos, escapes with the map. The group is separated and must locate one another.

During the separation, Ushen uses divination to call on the Raven Queen for advice. Instead, a vision of Tiamat consuming Helm, Majere, Bahamut, and the Raven Queen is relayed, Tiamat stating, “I’ve found you! You will burn!” All members of the party try to reason what the vision means beyond doom.

The party is able to successfully reunite, Roderick and Jamna having escaped through a secret entrance to the roadhouse. The party utilizes this secret entrance when an expected shipment of supplies is supposed to be taken into the structure. From there, a bold fight ensues to claim the treasures of the roadhouse if not the map of the Drakhorn. The battle is fierce, Jamna falling in the thick of it, however she is brought back when Ushen uses revivify on her, and Brogdah proceeds to exact revenge on the black dragon who struck her down in the first place.

When the battle is concluded, the green and black dragon are slain, and one cultist captain remains alive. Ushen and Sarissa are considering what to do with him before Brogdah banishes him to the plains of nature, unable to be one with Tiamat ever again. All agree this was a good decision with many satisfied smiles.

The Dragon’s Lair

The party rests, then receives word the map was taken deeper into the Mere of Dead Men to an ancient castle now taken by the cult. The Scarred venture deeper into the Mere, confronting increasing numbers of Lizardfolk along the way. At one point, Fryen is able to convince them that he is in command. The lizardfolk respect him as one of their own, and upon being asked, direct the party to their leader Voragamanther. The party then decides that since the dragon hasn’t attacked them already, he knows they are within his domain and wants to meet. They seek him out, guided by one of the lizardfolk.

Voragamanther reveals himself to the party outside his lair, inviting them in on a proposal that they may be of use to him. The party follows, discussing the ancient black dragon’s ambitions. Voragamanther gives them an ultimatum: succeed in acquiring that which will help him achieve lichdom, or he will destroy them, their homes, and all they’ve ever known and loved. The party is torn, but they agree. Voragamanther then reveals the cult possess the power to convert him into a dracolich, and directs them to the ancient castle of the Stargazers.

Castle Naerytar

The party proceeds to the castle, taking time to survey the layout and enemies within. Before they attack the following morning, Amkissra reveals that she has long been privy to a sacred vision, detailing how the party cannot win in their struggle against Tiamat. After a long discussion, they resolve to press on, for what other choice do they have if their world will be consumed with the Dragon Queen’s return?

Before they rest for the night, a small group including Fryen sneak into the castle when they realize there are more lizardfolk within. After revealing themselves to the lizardfolk and their allegiance with Voragamanther, Fryen and Kinellori are able to convince the lizardfolk to fight for them. The folk agree, their hatred for the bullywugs driving their decision as well as Voragamanther’s will.

In the morning, the Scarred storm the castle, successfully dealing with all threats and cultists. Roderick is almost consumed by an Otyugh and Brogdah is almost possessed by a ghost, but with assistance from the party, are able to free themselves from such perils. Sarissa is able to defeat Azbara Jos but the map of the Drakhorn is not on his person. The party then ventures into caverns below the castle.

They are greeted by a projection of Rezmir, which is promptly dismissed. They venture into the main chamber, discovering the bullywug commander Spattergoo, a cultist captain, and Rezmir. Spattergoo is slain during the onset of combat, but Rezmir and the captain are able to retreat after summoning an ice devil. The fiend is powerful, but the party is able to overcome it and gain access to the portal. After some critical thinking on a puzzle involving keys of different composition, the portal is opened and the party steps through. They are deposited on the sides of the Greypeak mountains in front of a hunting lodge. Upon entering the lodge, they are greeted by cultists that claim they have been expecting the Scarred, and Reverend Mondath appears beside two bearded devils. However, so too does Talis the White, Brodgah’s long thought to be dead sister.

Family Reunited

A truce is called between the Scarred and the Cult on request of Talis, who details her story of survival to Brogdah and the Scarred. The party then regale her with their adventures and dealings with the cult. What ensues is a diplomatic and psychological battle for Talis’ allegiance. After a tenday, the Scarred are able to convince her to release her faith in Tiamat and join their cause. Mondath flees for Parnast after her failure to keep Talis within the fold of the cult.

A pursuit is had ending in Mondath being shot from the sky. She crashes and Roderick finishes her by cutting her throat. When Ushen and Fryen arrive next, Roderick attempts to shoot the diamond from Ushen’s hand when he see’s Ushen moving to revive Mondath but instead hits Fryen when the dragonborn jumps in front of Ushen. Ushen convinces Roderick to walk away, claiming that Mondath’s life is not theirs to take. He then wrests control of Mondath’s soul from Tiamat and brings her back with Revivify. Talis is glad and takes Mondath aboard her wyvern, warning the party before leaving to be weary of the vampire that inhabits the floating fortress outside Parnast. Mondath later is seen committing suicide by leaping from Talis’ wyvern.


The party proceeds to Parnast, deciding to storm the town when its villagers are being gathered up for what they believe to be an execution. Upon doing so, an alarm is raised and a powerful captain of Tiamat imbued with supernatural resistance takes to the field. The party is unable to vanquish the threat, and several of its members go down. However, a strange intervention occurs after Kinellori receives a premonition. Suddenly, the Scarred are right back where they started before storming Parnast. It is decided that a divine intervention has occurred, though none are certain as to who has done such a miraculous deed for them. Kinellori is granted a strange trinket of unknown power from her vision which depicted her vanquishing the captain after reaching into his very soul. The party moves forward, this time with greater caution and preparation.

Another pitched battle ensues and the town is alerted to the Scarred’s presence. When the captain is blinded and a cleric of Tiamat is slain, a Red Wizard of Thay casts cloudkill on the the villagers of Parnast, killing all but one. Fryen storms after the red wizard, executing him in holy vengeance. The party then proceeds to the castle before it takes off from Parnast.

The Floating Citadel

On alert, the castle’s defenses are formidable. Bolstered by the high captain of Tiamat, a fierce battle ensues. Ogres, golems, the captain, and a vampire spawn engage the Scarred, but the party is able to prevail, defeating them to the last. Wounded and their resources depleted, the Scarred hope to rest only to be confronted by the Vampire Lord of the Castle. Before battle is resumed, Ushen offers to the Vampire Lord a glimpse of what her life could be like in the worlds beyond which she has not been allowed to pass into. Striking a bargain with her, he is able to grant a long rest for the party, guarded by her vampire spawn, however, he must go with her, alone, to the high tower to perform a consultation with the Raven Queen. During this time, Ushen is bitten and turned into a Vampire Lord himself. However, upon calling forth the vision of the Raven Queen, he calls the actual Goddess of Fate, who smites the vampire into oblivion for so infecting her vessel with blasphemous undeath. Her wrath remains unsatisfied, for she is also furious with Ushen for deigning to offer life beyond death in her stead, and for placing himself in such a position of hubris as to be turned into a vampire in the first place.

“You are my aspect, Ushen Valenier. You serve me well, but always by choice. Now, and for all eternity, your service is bound to me.”

Before leaving, the Raven Queen informs Ushen he must find his own cure for his Vampirism as punishment for his hubris. Ushen returns to the rested party, revealing his fate. The Scarred move to offer comfort to the priest, but are pressed for time with the rising sun, now a liability to the vampire in their party. They press forward deeper into the castle, confronting another set of defenses. They overcome the exterior lines, beating the rising sun into the caves that lead to the higher reaches of the castle. Within the caves, it is discovered to house Fire and Stone giants who believe their allegiance to Tiamat to be “Mast,” a giant term for unfounded or dishonorable. Even though the party tries to negotiate with them to fight together against the Dragon Queen, the giants decide to attack. The party gets into another pitched battle, overcoming the giants, five vampire spawn, and another Red Wizard within the caves. Roderick is also able to procure a map, supposedly to the castle’s destination far in the north. However, the Red Wizard is able to escape. The party rests, and presses on after they’ve healed their wounds.

One final defensive line remains outside the castle’s main chambers, and by summoning a wall of clouds with a control weather scroll, they set the stage for their battle. Overcoming the remaining defenses, the party reaches the sealed doors to the throne room and solves the riddle that grants them entry. Waiting for them within is Wurmspeaker Rezmir and the dying form of a cloud giant. A brief dialogue is had, Rezmir speaking to Ushen and delivering the following.

“Our gods are not so different, priest. But mine is far more forgiving than yours.”

Fateful Confrontation

A dracolich bursts through the windows and the fight is on in full. An extended and arduous fight is had, the party battered, and nearly outmaneuvered by defensive countermeasures from both Rezmir and the Dracolich, however they are able to prevail. Rezmir attempts to flee out of the castle when the cloud giant presently attuned to the fortress kills himself, sending the castle into free fall. She is pursued by Ushen, Brogdah, andHaefwin, who strikes a blow that reduces her to a black mist, her final words echoing throughout the sky.

“We will meet again.”

The castle continues to plummet out of the sky, the Scarred scrambling to save one another. In the end, all but Haefwin manage to escape the doomed structure, the castle collapsing down upon the dwarf as the rest of Scarred can only watch in horror. Amidst the frozen wastes of the far north, they remain uncertain as to the fate of their friend.

Session 14 Scribe's Log

Horde of the Dragon Queen
Session 14
February 19-20, 2016
Starship Cydonia
Scribe: Whitney

Time Covered: Frostfall 1-14

Players Present (8):

Players In Absentia (2):

Important Places:

  • Waterdeep
  • Valenier Mansion
  • The Compass Rose
  • The Tavern
  • The High Road
  • The Mere of Dead Men

NPCs Encountered:

Enemy Types Fought:

  • Bandit
  • Ogre
  • Orc

New Goals:

  • Gain allies to expose the Magistrate, the Head Mage, and the Captain of the Guards on The Compass Rose on the Day of Tides and secure Waterdeep from The Cult of the Dragon. Accomplished.
  • Assist Jamna Gleamsilver in traveling through the Mere of Dead Men to replace the scroll that leads to The Drakken Horn with a decoy in order to thwart The Cult of the Dragon. In Progress



  • Players received 3-page cheat sheets.
  • Temporary hit points do not stack.
  • When spending HD while resting: roll HD, then add CON to each roll
  • Learn your proficiency bonus so it’s easy to calculate modifiers on the fly.
  • Passive scores: 10 + modifiers (ability/proficiency if applicable)
  • Area of Effect: Cones are dumb. Most AoEs will be eyeballed. Use effect markers to denote AoEs.

Special Events:

  • The orphanage in Greenest has been paid for in full!


  • Kinelori is now level 6.
  • Sarissa is now level 6.
  • Homework: Update your character on Obsidian Portal.
  • Tentative Session 15 Scheduling: March 26, 2016 at Starship Cydonia, Noon


Frostfall 1, Valenier Mansion, Waterdeep

  • The Scarred depart from the caravan upon arrival into Waterdeep and meet with Lord Valenier, father of Ushen, at the Valenier Mansion.
  • He tells them that The Cult of the Dragon has infiltrated the ruling parties of Waterdeep: The Magistrate, the Head Mage (associated with the Red Wizards of Thay), and the Captain of the Guard.
  • Not much is known about how The Cult accomplished this.
    It has affected legislation, enforcement, and magic use in the city.
  • There also may be cultists within the Lords of Waterdeep.
  • Roderick offers the names of possible allies.
  • Merri’Ellum offers the names of possible cult members.
  • It is known that The Cult has been using sea trade routes in Waterdeep to ship in additions to the horde.
  • Lord Valenier says they have a plan to expose the leaders as cultists.
  • On the Day of Tides, the leaders will be invited to a party on The Compass Rose, the flagship of Roderick‘s father, Kevan Theowin’s, trade fleet.
  • The leaders will then be exposed and arrested and new leadership will be appointed.
  • Brogdah offers to cater the party.
  • The Day of Tides is in eight days.
  • New Goal: Gain allies to expose the Magistrate, the Head Mage, and the Captain of the Guards on The Compass Rose on the Day of Tides and secure Waterdeep from The Cult of the Dragon.

Frostfall 2-3, Waterdeep

  • Brogdah confronts Sarissa about her shady dealings. She deceives him into believing she has thrown in with The Raven Queen.
  • Ushen takes Roderick to the grave of the lover that caused him to pledge loyalty to The Raven Queen.
  • Roderick hires three assassins from The Shadow Thieves to assist them in securing Waterdeep.
  • Merri’Ellum offers to help Daylen enter the Mage’s Guild of Waterdeep.
  • Daylen begins the application process to enter into The Mage’s Guild of Waterdeep out of personal interest and to gain intel on the Head Mage.
  • Merri’Ellum is successful in seeking out cult members within the city to try and gain intel on their dealings.
  • Daylen “makes a friend” in The Mage’s Guild.

Frostfall 4, Tavern, Waterdeep

Day of Tides, Frostfall 8, The Compass Rose, Waterdeep

  • The Scarred are able to assist Lord Valenier in exposing the leadership of Waterdeep.
  • The Magistrate, Head Mage, and Captain of the Guards are all arrested.
  • Grek and Jamna ask The Scarred for their assistance in locating a scroll in The Cult’s possession.
  • They ask that The Scarred replace the real scroll with a decoy without The Cult taking notice.
  • The scroll leads to The Drakken Horn, an item The Cult needs in the ritual to awaken Tiamat.
  • They know that the scroll is going north.
  • The Drakken Horn must not be touched.
  • The scroll is with Azbbara Jos and is somewhere in the Mere of Dead Men.
  • The most likely place the scroll is located is in the Carnaath Roadhouse where The Cult has been storing the horde.
  • New Quest: Assist Jamna Gleamsilver in traveling through the Mere of Dead Men to replace the scroll that leads to The Drakken Horn with a decoy in order to thwart The Cult of the Dragon.

Frostfall 10, Day 1 of Travel, The Mere of Dead Men

  • The Scarred disembark from Waterdeep with Jamna Gleamsilver and begin their journey to the Mere of Dead Men.
  • The Scarred run into an ambush of twelve Bandits that are subdued.
  • One bandit is held for questioning by Merri’Ellum.
  • Ushen, Merri’Ellum, and Brogdah interrogate him.
  • The Bandit says people that come through pay them gold to leave them alone and they those people were headed North.
  • Merri’Ellum offers to have her owl escort him back to Waterdeep under the threat of death if he kills the owl or does not return.
  • Roderick shoots the Bandit in the face before he is able to leave.
  • A confrontation ensues between Roderick and Merri’Ellum. Sarissa and Brogdah are on Roderick’s side. Kinelori walks away and bids them all to do the same.

Frostfall 11, Day 2 of Travel, The Mere of Dead Men

  • The Scarred fights Ogres in the afternoon. ((I was gone for this part.))
  • The Scarred try to set up camp and are exhausted.
  • Twelve Bandits attack in the evening.
  • Daylen takes out all twelve with a singular Fireball.
  • Later in the night, four Orcs and an Ogre pass by the camp.
  • Daylen lights trees on fire to distract the monsters.
  • Merri’Ellum uses Minor Illusion to try and scare them away.
  • The monsters are picked off and the majority of the group agrees to sleep in the large tree near the camp.
  • Merri’Ellum refuses to sleep in the tree and opts to set up her tent on the ground.
  • Brogdah argues with her about safety, then concedes and helps her hide the tent. Merri’Ellum casts Alarm around her tent.
  • It begins to rain heavily during the night and Merri’Ellum offers to let Brogdah dry off in her tent.

Frostfall 12, Day 3 of Travel, The Mere of Dead Men

  • Daylen clears the rain from around the group and they dry off. He continues this as they travel.
  • In the afternoon, two Ogres approach the group.
  • Daylen calls out to one of them, telling the Ogre that the other is trying to take his food.
  • Merri’Ellum uses Minor Illusion to create a sexy female Ogre.
  • One Ogre kills the other and the group kills the remaining Ogre.
  • The group sets up camp for the night and sees a group of four Orcs and an Ogre.
  • Daylen uses Phantasmal Force to make the Orcs think the Ogre is attacking them.
  • The Orcs kill the Ogre, but wise up to the trick. They go looking for the source. They are taken care of.
  • Later on in the night, two Ogres attack the camp.
  • Sarissa summons Dr. Wiggles and the group subdues the threat.

Session End


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