Tyranny of Dragons

2/20/16-11/11/17

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 Drakhorn’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.

Parnast

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, and Haefwin, 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.

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Session 14 Scribe's Log
2/19/16-2/20/16

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

PRE-SESSION MEETING

HOUSEKEEPING

  • 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!

POST-SESSION

  • 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

SCRIBE’S LOG

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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So Far pt. 2

43. The party spends time in Greenest while Erlanthar recovers. Ushen meets with the patriarch of house Camen to deliver a message to his father for him.
44. Brogdah visits the local temple dedicated to the Faerunian pantheon. He delivers a sum of gold wishing to erect an orphanage for the children orphaned after the attack.
45. Erlanthar recovers in the keep’s infirmary. When he has the strength, he calls the party into his room, revealing the letter Ushen attempted to send. He explains to them about the cargo they were hauling, and about Leosin Erlanthar’s identity: He’s a monk spy of the Harpers, an organization driven by information and intelligence that seeks to balance power in the Realms. They operate with extreme discretion (thus intercepting the letter), revealing themselves only in desperation.
46. Erlanthar has been tracking a magical dragonmask that the Cult of the Dragon has had a strong interest in. It was owned by a merchant from Waterdeep named Mr. Xavier. Erlanthar tried to purchase the mask from him, but the merchant wanted an outrageous amount of gold. Erlanthar contacted his friend, Tarbaw Nighthill, and pleaded with him for assistance. The governor agreed, and Erlanthar purchased the mask on Nighthill’s behalf.
47. Expecting to do continued business with such a wealthy patron, Mr. Xavier insisted on traveling to Greenest to personally to deliver the mask. Erlanthar rode ahead to make preparations for securing the mask once it arrived in Greenest.
48. He concludes that he sadly was not able to keep the mask from the Cult, but he isn’t sure what they intend to do with it yet. There may still be time to disrupt their plan in other ways: go back to the cultists camp, and steal the dragon eggs incubating inside.
49. If the party is successful in capturing the eggs, Erlanthar offers to induct them into the Harper ranks as honorary agents.
50. The party agrees to capture the eggs, but refuses joining the Harpers. They set out for the camp.
51. The party finds the camp abandoned, but guards still stationed in front of the cave entrance.
52. They enter the cave, and make their way through to the throne room, where Captain Cyanwrath and Reverend Mondath await.
53. The two offer to induct the group into their own ranks, promising power, riches, and to be spared from the impending fall of man.
54. The party attacks, killing Cyanwrath, but Mondath manages to escape in the melee.
55. The party defeats the last remaining defense guarding the eggs, and make their way back to Greenest.

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So Far pt. 1

1. The party heads towards the town of Greenest via caravan, of which many in the party are employed .
2. Mr. Xavier is heading the caravan, and is the employer of the party members working for the caravan. He is transporting an unknown item of value.
3. As the party approaches Greenest, they witness the town coming under attack by kobolds, dragons, and cultists.
4. Mr. Xavier demands the party enter the city and contact Governor Nighthill, whom Xavier has had a prior arrangement with to purchase the item he is transporting.
5. The party agrees to enter the city after negotiating higher wages, and they set out towards the town.
6. An encounter with kobolds and cultists ensues.
7. The party heads towards the shallow river, hoping to navigate it towards the keep where they assume Governor Nighthill is located.
8. The party is ambushed in the river as they make their way towards the keep.
9. As the party tries to enter the keep through the front gate, they are beset by a horde of kobolds. In the distance, they hear screams from human children
10. As the party rounds the corner of the keep, they see a woman fighting several kobolds alongside an injured man. They are defending two children.
11. A mysterious figure appears and defends the humans as the party clears an entrance to the gate.
12. The party defeats the kobolds, and the figure beckons them into the keep with the villagers who have begun to arrive seeking refuge.
13. The dragon attacking the village appears, killing the children and forcing the party into the keep for safety.
14. The party rests inside, then makes contact with Governor Nighthill and Escobert the Red. Governor Nighthill informs the party that the item they were transporting must be secured, but the keep must survive the night first.
15. Governor Nighthill explains the best course of action is the rescue Eadyan Falconmoon from a surrounded church, save the mill from destruction by the cult, and capture an officer to inform the keep what they’re up against.
16. As the party deliberates on their desired recourse, the keep is attacked by infiltrators attempting to lift the portcullis and leave the keep defenseless.
17. Brogdah successfully closes the portcullis, but has made it inaccessible in the process. Escobert the Red suggest the party leaves the keep by accessing the tunnels underneath it.
18. Rats swarm the party in the tunnels, and Sarissa falls.
19. The party exits the tunnels. Upon their exit, they notice a group of cultist on patrol by the river. The party is badly wounded, but manages to scare them off and avoid a fight.
20. The party fights their way towards the church, overcoming the forces attempting to overtake it.
21. They makes contact with Eadyan Falconmoon, and escorts him and the survivors back to the keep.
22. Upon their return, Eadyan Falconmoon gives the party 2 Potions of Healing, and they set off towards the mill.
23. The party encounters cultist resistance, including a group of citizens escaping from ensuing cultists. After dispatching the cultists, the party refuses to escort the citizens back to the keep, and instead point them in the direction of the tunnel, now the only accessible entrance to the keep.
24. The party besets a group of kobolds outside the mill, which appear to be starting several fires. After defeating the kobolds, the group deduces that these fires are not set in a way that would actually catch, and the party believes something foul is afoot.
25. The party surrounds the mill, and a small group enters to investigate. An ambush is sprung and the party engages with the hidden cultists.
26. After a resounding and destructive success, the party heads back to the keep with several prisoners.
27. On the way, the party sees two cultists in purple in the town square, and Roderick goes to investigate.
28. Roderick overhears a conversation between Reverend Furlam Mondath and Commander Langdedrosa Cyanwrath about a mask. He also learns of an informant within the keep’s walls.
29. Returning to the keep, the party informs Governor Nighthill of what transpired, and set a plan in motion to buy the keep time against an impending attack.
30. The plan leads the party towards the outskirts of town, in the hope that the forces outside the keep’s walls will pursue them. After realizing there’s no pursuers, the party notices heavy scorch marks leading towards the caravan.
31. They discover the caravan has been raided, and everyone has been killed. They also discover that cargo has gone missing. The party races back to the keep.
32. The keep is under attack from the blue dragonLennithon. After driving him off, the keep is surrounded by the remaining forces, demanding the party’s lives.
33. Roderick immediately fires a ballista bolt at Lennithon, and is blasted by his lightning breath. The party surrenders, and are run through on the bank of the river on Cyanwrath’s orders.
34. The party later awakes in the infirmary. After a couple days to recover, they learn a party of remaining militia has followed the marauding forces to free a captured friend of Governor Nighthill, Leosin Erlanthar.
35. A surviving member of the militia staggers back to Greenest, collapsing in a heap. The party works to heal him and question him, and they discover that the militia was slaughtered by a rear-guard, waiting for any potential following forces.
36. The party takes measures into their own hands, and picks up where the militia left off.
37. They encounter a small band of arguing kobolds and cultists, and quickly overtake them.
38. The party encounters a much bigger rear-guard further along the road, but disguise themselves as cultist members in order to move through them. Brogdah pretends to be a captured prisoner, and the party moves through on their way to “dispose of him” at the main camp.
39. However, the party members flanking the far ends of the rear-guard are spotted, and are split from the rest of the party in their escape.
40. The party meets up again at nightfall outside the cultist’s main camp. The party takes position along the outskirts, and Kinelori and Jakk disguise themselves as cultists. The two make their way into the camp.
41. After discovering the location of a nearly-dead Erlanthar, the two make a diversion, and sneak the prisoner out of the camp.
42. After exiting the camp undetected, the party slowly makes its way back to Greenest.

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