Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rise of Tiamat - Episode XIII - Land of Confusion

Image result for hedge maze d&dLost and confused. It was in this state that our persistent heroes wandered about the hedge maze. Xonthal's Tower, their destination, was visible just ahead. Or was it behind? Or  . . . wait. It was just over there, but . . . so hopelessly lost.

A sun dial at the center of the maze gave them hope. Well, at least initially. For, as they expected, the paths leading away from the sun dial, did not lead where they expected. Shadows on the dial pointed this way and that, but no sense could be made of the cryptic device. 
After wandering for hours (or was it days) the fatigued little rabble did make some progress . . . sort of. Finding themselves in various distinct clearings within the maze, they collected several intriguing gems by accomplishing various tasks and odd puzzles. What puzzles and tasks? Well, Oloril won a boulder throwing contest against an ogre. The entire crew put on a comedy act. Mullyn fed the starving children. Okay, and now it gets weird - they even encountered a second Killian. Yes, that's right. Another one. As if one wasn't enough?
With their new comrade, Killian II, they compiled their thoughts and formulated their plans. Maybe if they placed the gems on the sun dial . . . in all the rights places. Yes, of course! That was the key! With great care, the gemstones were placed in their alloted sections of the sundial. And then . . . the shimmering stones dissappeared into the dial. Gone.
Frustrated, and after watching the same vanishing act happen to his sword when he placed in on the dial, Killian launched himself onto the device. Maybe something interesting would happen. Maybe the items had teleported, and not dissappeared. Hey, if he was wrong, there was another Killian to spare! However, the barbarian was quickly joined by his comrades on the dial. And why not? What did they have to lose? Killian II would remain behind to guard their exit . . . or be the lone survivor to recount the tale of their demise.
Thankfully, the party found themselves transported to another maze. Haha! They had eluded disaster yet again. On the ground in front of them lie all the gems they had placed on the dial. Among them (thank the dear lord) was Killian's sword. We can't have him lose that . . . again! But of even greater significance, Xonthal's tower lie only a short distance away down an unobstructed path. New challenges would await . . .

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rise of Tiamat - The Fighting Forces

With the decision by the Council of Waterdeep to confront the cult and marshal their combined forces, the stage is set for the final confrontation. Here are the known fighting forces for both sides as it stands now:

Alliance Forces
Cult Forces (Known)
The party
Wyrmspeakers, Cult wizards and clerics
Skyreach Castle
Draakhorn, Dragon Masks, Well of Dragons
Storm giants
Hill giants, Cyclops, Ettins, Trolls, Golems, Ogres
Arcane Brotherhood
Exiled Red Wizards of Thay and their undead
Lord Volmer’s devils
Cult Allied Devils
Water Elemental army
Fire elementals, Mephits
Metallic Dragons
Chromatic Dragons, Wyverns, Half-dragons
Remallia Haventree – Harper mages and scouts
Yugoloths (Arcanaloths, Mezzoloths, Nycaloths, Ultroloths)
Ontharr Frume – Paladins and healing clerics
Ettercaps, Giant Spiders
Delaan Winterhound – Druids, treants, lycanthropes
Lady Silverhand - Waterdeep’s Army & conscript troops
Mercenaries, Doppelgangers
Lord Neverember – Neverwitner conscript troops, mercenaries
Dragonclaws, dragonwings, dragonfangs, dragonsouls
Ambassador Brawnanvil – Dwarven soldiers and dwarf-forged armaments and siege weapons
Hobgoblin and Goblin army
Marshall Ulder Ravengard – Flaming Fist warriors and expert advisers to train conscript troops
Orc army
King Melandrach – Elven eldritch knights
Bugbear army
Taern Hornblade – Army of Silverymoon (Knights of Silver) and Silverymoon conscript troops
Gnoll army
Sir isteval – Purple Dragon Knights and War Wizards
Kobold army


Rise of Tiamat - Episode XII - Unity!

The party, having successfully negotiated an alliance with the five metallic dragon races, returns to Waterdeep, once again riding on the backs of dragons. The ancient silver dragon, in her human form, attends the council (which has a new addition - Mr. Silvergleaming) with the party to inform them of the terms of the alliance. The council is overjoyed at the news... until they learn about the concessions the party made. 33% of the treasure, public apologies for ancient wrongs by the dwarves and the elves, turning over the dragon masks, and (worst of all) the party granted control of a key piece of land between Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate to the bronze dragons. Ultimately, the council knows the good outweighs the bad and accept the terms of the bargain.

The adventurers then relate the rest of their many adventures since their last meeting with the council (see everything from Rise of Tiamat Episode III until to now). The council is extremely impressed and grateful for all the party has done. It seems that the party has offered some hope of the factions putting aside their own interests and petty squabbling to unite against the cult. The council retires to deliberate. They will summon the party when they have reached a decision.

Roscoe, Oloril, and Mullyn are reunited with their new air genasi wives and establish households for them. Oloril's new house is next to Mullyn's, much to Mullyn's chagrin. Dain is reunited with his wife and infant son and spends a great deal of time with them.

Udofire, Oloril's father, stops by for a visit and offers to throw an extravagant wedding celebration for his son. This raises Oloril's suspicions because this is uncharacteristically fatherly. They haul Udofire before Lucien and Bardu, who divine that Udofire is, in fact, a doppelganger charge with extremely powerful magic. The real Udofire stands revealed as the Great Deceiver and Lucien's sight is returned upon the successful completion of his holy quest.

The characters are then summoned back to the council who has reached their decision. All factions vote in full confidence of the party and stand united, pledging the resources at their disposal to fight the cult!

The party is then informed of the chance to prevent the final battle before it begins - a rogue cultist has made contact with the council claiming to be in possession of the blue dragon mask. If the heroes can recover it, they could potentially thrwart the cult's plans entirely! The party teleports back to the hunting lodge near the destroyed town of Parnast and travels to the mysterious and magical Xonthal's Tower!

Rise of Tiamat - Episode XI - Dragonriders!

The party returns to Waterdeep where Lady Silverhand meets them and promptly tells them they have a extremely important quest - to attend a meeting of the five metallic dragon races. The party's goal is to persuade the dragons to act in concert with the humanoid factions rather than on their own. The party is introduced to three humanoids who transform into an ancient silver dragon, an adult gold dragon, and a bronze dragon. The party has been granted the boon of riding the dragons to the meeting of the dragons and they set off at once.

During the second day of travel, the chromatic dragons and dragon riders emerge from the clouds and strike! The cult is trying to stop the heroes! With the stakes high, the heroes fearlessly engage the adult red, adult blue, and ancient white dragons and their cult riders, including Galvan the Blue Wyrmspeaker. The aerial battle is epic, with powerful breath weapons and spells being deployed by both sides. When the blue Wyrmspeaker falls, the blue dragon exits the fray, giving the advantage to the heroes. When the heroes slay the ancient white dragon, the red dragon quickly flees, allowing the heroes to proceed on toward the dragon council.

Once there, the heroes are brought before five ancient dragons, one for each metallic dragon race. The party listens as each dragon explains what it thinks is the wisest course of action. Initially, most of the dragons are in favor of independent action without the humanoids. There were some rough moments (like when Dain is accused of being a thief), but through the wise use of diplomacy, concessions, and, let's face it, bribery, the party slowly sways the mood of the dragons.

Ultimately, the dragons vote to ally themselves with the humanoids in fighting the evil dragon cult. Additionally, the party will be able to assign one flight of each color metallic dragon to protect human settlements or otherwise assist the factions prior to the final battle.

In fact, the party has so successfully swayed the dragons that they are each granted one magical item from an ancient dragon's personal magical hoard. Mullyn is given an incredibly powerful staff of power. Dain is giving a Dwarven Thrower; Roscoe is given Glamoured Studded Leather +2; and Oloril is giving a Manual of Quickness of Action (to replace the one unfairly used by Kaelthiros), a arrow of blue dragon slaying, and the head of the ancient white dragon, Aveiturace, who fell in the aerial combat.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rise of Tiamat - Episode X - Snipper Strikes

Roscoe rejoins the party and attempts to open the tower door, and succeeds. Inside, devils assail them from all around. The party defeats them, although Dain falls. The party ascends the tower.  Finally, they encounter Lord Diamond and Sorrowswallow. Oloril attempts to place Sorrowswallow in the bag of holding, but it releases psychic damage knocking all but Mullyn to the ground.

In a last great effort, the party captures Lord Diamond and takes the talkative Sorrowswallow. Once the party escapes with both, they meet Nulara and Lord Valmlor.   The cauldron is given to Lord Valmor and Nulara, as an envoy for the demon lord, makes contact with the council on their behalf.

Mullyn receives a message to go to Baldur's Gate. They are to test the town's resoluteness against the cult, and then proceed to the Misty Forrest and the report back. They also discover that Dain's soul is bound to the Underdark.

They arrive in Baldur's Gate and resurrect Dain. Lord Diamond is turned in to the authorities, and the party sets up a meeting with the Council. At the meeting, Rivatra, a known adventurer, reaffirms the town's dedication to destroying the cult. During the speech, many council members are assassinated by the infamous Snipper - who also severely injures Mullyn. Oddly, he seems to recognize Mullyn. After doing his damage, he disappears from sight . . .

Friday, July 1, 2016

Rise of Tiamat - Episode IX - Into the Keep

Off the party intends  to confront Lord Diamond in Eriabor. They teleport to Greenest with plans to walk the rest of the way. They land 100 miles away . . . The next day, they teleport successfully to Greenest. On horseback, they head to Eriabor. After arrival, Mullyn and Killian investigate the town to determine the location of Lord Diamond and the Cauldron. They determine his location, and discover that Diamond has not been seen for days.

At night, the party sneaks behind the keep. Upon crossing the fence, an alarm sounds and the party begins to fall  . . . upwards. Mullyn flies stopping his fall. The rest of the party continues their rapid ascent. Eventually, they begin to fall to the ground. At the last minute, Mullyn teleports them to (relative) safety.

Nights later, they fly across and land on the castle balcony. Inside the castle, they are attacked by guards. Quick work is made of the defenders, and the party proceeds to the basement. The enemies there are obliterated.

The next target our heroes choose is a nearby tower.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Rise of Tiamat - Episode VIII - Vision of Death

Another enemy has evaded defeat. Skywalker assists the party collect Jolnur's treasure, and the party escorts Skywalker and the villagers through the portal - following closely behind. On the other side, at the Hunting Lodge, the party is greeted by the sight of the Farseer.

Immediately, they prepare themselves to take the Farseer through the underwater path to the tower. Oloril and Myllyn transport the Farkeeper to a sanctuary where they are able to determine the location of the impending cataclysm - Alvator's Hidden Sanctuary, under the Sea of Swords near Candlekeep.

Killian and Dain return to Waterdeep to report and to the Council and witness the birth of Fal'lel Battlehammer, Dain's son.

The party regroups at the lodge and enters the icy teleportation circle to discover several dragons circling the Palace of Burning Ice. Wisely, they quickly teleport out and return to base. They send a message to Bardu alerting them to this information, and then teleport to Candlekeep. Hiring a ship and crew, they set out on the Sea of Swords.

They find their mark, Killian detecting a half-elf and man made structures deep below the surface. Down they go. On the bottom they make passage through a large opaque wall into the presence of a large undersea castle. They enter. And meet Alvator, the half elf. Welcomed warmly, they rest the night in the submarine abode.

In the morning he suggests that the party needs to work to unify the counsel. Mistrusts must be overcome. Alvator allows the party to scry through an orb - which allows them to see the well of dragons. They see a caldera in a temple. The Greypeak mountains are blighted.  Dragon flights, patrols of hill giants, legions of devils, encampments of mercenaries, cultist troops, red wizards guard the temple. It is a bleak vision. Alvator explains that the party will die, but they can use this to their advantage.

With this in mind, the party returns to base.