Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which the Cult of the Dragon unleashed a deadly assault on the party and Ug finally avenged her family. The PCs have now reached 14th level.
8th Tarsakh, 1491 DR
The PCs are walking through the Castle Ward to attend the Fourth Council of Waterdeep when a group of panicked Waterdhavians come running towards them, shouting “Dragons!” Two Red Wizards on large red dragons swoop down to attack the party as half-dragons and dragonfang cultists appear from alleyways to the left and right.
One of the Red Wizards points a bone wand at Rosie – a thin black beam shoots out of it, striking the warlock and killing her instantly! Turin, who feels a special connection to the half-elf, cries out in anguish. Determined to ensure the enemy does not kill them all, he casts fear and sends three of the cultists running.
As the dragons breathe on the party, setting nearby buildings on fire, Gwastdyn wild shapes into an air elemental and attacks one of the great reptiles, while Ug and Crake engage the red half-dragon in melee on the ground. Things take a turn for the worse as Turin falls unconscious and loses his fear spell, prompting the return of the fleeing cultists.
Crake and Ug take down the red half-dragon, then the paladin brings Turin round with cure wounds. Meanwhile, Gwastdyn kills one of the mages, knocking him off his dragon, but is forced out of elemental form by the wyrm and tumbles to the street. The green half-dragon assassin shoots Ug with his crossbow and scores a critical hit, inflicting so much damage that she drops to 1 hp. Gwastdyn casts mass cure wounds to heal everybody and the PCs take down the assassin and one of the dragonfangs. Then Turin casts mass suggestion and the surviving enemies scatter. Crake chases after the dragonfang, catches up to him and knocks him unconscious while the others rescue people from the burning buildings. Ug casts revivify, bringing Rosie back from death’s door.
After the battle, Turin thanks Ug for saving Rosie: “I am in your debt once more.” Ug asks if Rosie and Turin are brother and sister, and reminds Turin about the time he accidentally killed Ug by throwing her down the stairs “to safety”. Rosie is freaked out by her near death experience and returns to the inn to rest, leaving the others to go to the council meeting without her.
Ug interrogates the captured dragonfang but they learn little of use. She drags the dead Red Wizard’s body along to the Council of Waterdeep as “evidence" that Thay cannot be trusted.
At the council meeting, the PCs learn that hundreds of dragons have gathered at the Well of Dragons, and there is much consternation that Waterdeep's Dragonward has been bypassed. The time is at hand for the forces of good to strike!
The adventurers talk through their experiences in Xonthal’s Tower and in Thay. During the break, Rian Nightshade of the Zhentarim offers them 50,000 gp for Xonthal’s Tower, but the PCs decide to give it to Laeral Silverhand and Waterdeep. After the members of the Council discuss the help they have received from the metallic dragons, each faction and city votes on whether they will join the armies heading southeast to confront the Cult of the Dragon. Their support is unanimous, with even the Zhentarim promising to send spies and assassins to join the war effort.
The PCs spend two tendays in Waterdeep, recuperating and buying potions and other magic items for the expedition, before catching up with the army as it heads towards the Well of Dragons as spring turns to summer. As they march southeast, the constant sound of the Draakhorn fills them with a sense of foreboding.
As the PCs scout ahead of the large column, they spy a familiar black winged shape in the sky, diving down towards them. This is Vilholin, the black dragon that slew Ug’s family. The dragon breathes acid on the party. As she taunts Ug, the hasted paladin, now equipped with a pair of winged boots, flies after Vilholin and lets her "feel my slash”, burning spell slots to deal massive damage to the dragon.
Gwastdyn attacks with sunbeam, then transforms into an air elemental while Turin casts Otto’s Irresistible Dance to stop the dragon from flying away. Crake lines up a deadly shot with his bow but holds off to let Ug deliver the killing blow. Vilholin is dead, Ug’s family are avenged and the PCs have finally slain their first adult dragon!
The armies of the factions reach the Well of Dragons where a five-towered Temple of Tiamat now stands atop heaps of dragon bones inside the caldera. A war council is convened and the PCs are asked for their advice. Turin offers his suggestions to the gathered lords and ladies, recommending the following:
- Lords Alliance armies vs Cultists
- Metallic dragons, Arcane Brotherhood & Harper archers vs Chromatic dragons
- Order of the Gauntlet paladins & war clerics vs Red Wizards & Devils
- Zhentarim assassins & Harper agents vs Wearers of the Purple
- Emerald Enclave & dwarves vs Evil mercenaries
The PCs are assigned their own vital mission – they must sneak inside the Temple of Tiamat and stop the ritual to summon her here from the Nine Hells! The Council gives the group five magic items to help them on their quest.