Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hoard of the Dragon Queen - Episode #2

"This is it - ground zero. Would you like to say a few words to mark the occasion?"

"...i... ann... iinn... ff... nnyin..." With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.

Oh, wait. Wrong story. The situation, of course, may have seemed far less dire had our heroes only been in the above situation. Unfortunatley, such was not the case. They stood, battered and beaten, only yards away from an enemy force that would surely lead to certain death. With weapons drawn, Cyanwrath, Frulam Mondath, and three beserker cultists stood ready in the shrine room to Tiamat. Surely, there was no way of escape.

This is when something quite unexpected occurred. Endelthil, bleeding and nigh unto unconsciousness, righted himself and walked confidently - no, arrogantly - towards the enemy horde and locked eyes with the their Dragonborn leader. With a smirk that seemed quite out of place in such a hopeless predicament, the elven ranger uttered a challenge in the draconic language. Though no one in the party understood precisely what was said by their companion, they knew it was no ordinary challenge - for they saw a glimpse of fear, surprise and possibly excitement in to Cyanwrath's eyes.

The elf turned to his friends and explained that he and Cyanwrath were to duel to the death. According to the conditions of the duel, the winner's allies would go unharmed. Surely this was the end for Endelthil, but at least he could buy his friends time. After preparations were made, the deadly battle commenced.

The battle was indeed ferocious. Neither Cyanwrath nor the ranger had ever fought so passionately or skillfully. As the conflict raged on, both duelists, though battered and weary, summoned the last bit of strength they could muster. It was at this moment that Endelthil offered up a prayer to Bahamut - and the outcome of the battle decided. The rapier in the ranger's hand began to glow brightly as he viciously and repeatedly pierced and gashed his foe. Finally, staring with blood spattered features, the elf beheld his opponent on his knees struggling to keep his organs within the frame of his body. Endelthil looked off to the side as if searching for something and then, with fierce determination, sent the dragonborn's head flying into the air with a mighty slash from his weapon. After what seemed like an eternity the spiraling head descended downward and struck the floor with a sickening thud. The battle was over. The mighty Smaug was dead . . . er, wrong story again.

The victory was only short-lived, however, as the remaining enraged enemies accused Endelthil of using magic or some other trickery to win the duel. Consequently, they charged our heroes in a violent effort to destroy them once and for all. 

Dain, Oloril and Endelthil were engaged by the now-berserk guards, and Nulara assaulted Frulam Mondath in an all out woman vs. woman test of will. Though, difficult and harrowing, the heroes finally defeated their foes. A long silence ensued. All were overcome with both awe and relief. They should all be dead. But they were not. Dain, understanding the significance of what had just occurred, glanced over at Endelthil with a new sense of respect and appreciation. Perhaps there was something more to the elf than met the eye. That conversation would have to wait, for now the party must finish investigating the network of tunnels and caverns.

And investigate they did. And fight flying kobolds (who knew?), more stirges (why not?), and a roper. What is a roper you ask? Well perhaps you should ask Dain. He had, shall we say, a front seat at this particular battle. But if you must know what it is, imagine a stalagmite with a great many tendrils (which regenerate - evidently), a single large eye, and a huge gaping maw. Though all fighting against the creature - dwarves, elf, and human alike - were flung about and gnawed upon, they escaped the encounter victorious - barely.

Now, what was the roper guarding? Nothing other than dragon eggs! At the discretion of the party, all three eggs were smashed and destroyed. This discovery, along with the maps and notes they had recovered from other rooms in the cave (yes, I did fail to mention that earlier) was significant and in much need of reporting . . .

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hoard of the Dragon Queen - Episode #1

The party set off for the town of Greenest, drawn by their own individual interests. Instead of a warm welcome, they were greeted by the sight of total anarchy. The town was in the middle of being assaulted by the dragon cult!

The party bravely charged in to the town's defense, saving many lives and partially thwarting the cult's attack in the process (even driving off an adult blue dragon!). Endelthil faces the half-dragon Cyanwrath in one of one honorable combat. Governor Nighthill and the master of the keep, Escobert, became grateful allies.

The Governor gave the party the mission of tracking and spying on the cult while an injured monk asked the party to rescue his master, Leosin. The party sets off to do so, becoming temporarily lost in some caves and overcoming a cultist rearguard.

Upon arriving at the camp, Endelthil and Nulara were instantly recognized and captured. Their execution was set for morning by the camp's leader, Rezmir. Fortunately, the rest of the party rescue them, Leosin, and the other prisoners and head back to Greenest.

Leosin tells them that it's imperative they return to the camp to keep tabs on the cult. But when the party reaches the cult's camp, they discover it apparently abandoned. The kobold huts were even burned to the ground. The party decided to investigate the cave rumored to hold dragon eggs.

Entering the cave, they met with misfortune after misfortune. Trapped steps lead to an unfortunate introduction to violet fungi. Stirges tore the party apart. A poisoned spike trap turned Dain temporarily insane, attacking his own party. Basically, everything that went wrong, did.

Until Mullyn, on behalf of the party, fireballed a massive kobold sneak attack, killing them all in a single round. While picking through the ruins, however, the cult launched a surprise counter offensive. Fending off the assault, the weary and battered party chased after the retreating cultists down a long, winding flight of stairs. Nulara, being the fastest, was the first to the bottom. The sight that beheld Nulara's eyes made her flee back up the stairs in terror.

Cyanwrath, Frulam Mondath, and three beserker cultists stood ready in a shrine to Tiamat. "Get them!" Cyanwrath commanded with a joyful smile.


Following the events of the "Lost Mines of Phandelver" the party broke up to pursue their own individual interests.

Mullyn - Studied and read, trying to figure out the riddle of his orb. He also sold the Spider-Staff to a rich, eccentric collector of antiquities.

Endelthil - Trained under Hollia in the ways of a rogue. Was party to a great battle of which the details are still undisclosed. Discovered a great deal of his own true past.

Nulara - Pursued leads regarding the destruction of her monastery, learning that it was a red wizard of Thay, Rath Modor, who was responsible after her shadowy monastery undertook some jobs working for one faction in the dragon cult.

Dain - To atone for his role in defiling Dumathoin's shrine and the deaths of the Rockseeker brothers, he offered himself to Dumathoin's clerics for a quest. Unexpectedly, it was told to turn a slacker dwarf, Oloril, into a mighty warrior. He did so, and together they thwarted the theft of a mighty dwarven artifact.

Fate drew all four (now five, with addition of young Oloril) adventurers south to the town of Burdusk where the party was reunited. Excitedly, they told one another of their own separate adventures (or, at least, what they wanted the rest of the party to know...) before setting off on their next great adventure together - Hoard of the Dragon Queen!