Here’s what happened in last night’s final session of our Tyranny of Dragons campaign which we started in May 2015.
10th Flamerule, 1491 DR (contd.)
As Rosie dimension doors to the entrance to Tiamat’s Temple in the Blue Chapel, Ug casts twinned haste on herself and Turin, Crake activates her wings of flying and Gwastdyn wildshapes into an air elemental.
Rosie casts maddening darkness to fill the apse, where Severin the Red is levitating 100 feet above the temple floor and chanting. The others, still in the Black Chapel, attack the Red Wizards with arrows, swords and axes.
Here’s what happened in Saturday’s penultimate session of The Rise of Tiamat in which the PCs made it to Tiamat’s Temple inside the Well of Dragons. The PCs have now reached 15th level in time for the final battle against Severin the Red and the Cult of the Dragon.
10th Flamerule (contd.)
As the armies of the Sword Coast and the Cult of the Dragon clash, the PCs sneak around the volcano to the southeast entrance. There, they see a familiar face – Leosin Erlanthar and his Harper skirmishers have cleared the way for our heroes by taking out the dragonwings and drakes guarding the entrance. The party creep up to the cave and enter the lava tubes.
After examining the tunnel floor for tracks to work out which path to take, the PCs find themselves inside the luxurious chambers of Rath Modar. As Rosie and Crake debate whether or not to open a large chest, there is a shout from behind. Talis the White, now the White Wyrmspeaker, has appeared along with Maelgot and Sorvic, her ex-pirate lackeys from the Merman’s Cock, and four dragonwings.
Crake charges in to attack his childhood friend, but in return she banishes him to Avernus, the first layer of Hell, where the fiendish armies of Tiamat are assembling. Turin casts two fireballsin quick succession, disrupting Talis’ concentration and allowing Crake to return to the Material Plane. Rosie attacks her treacherous former shipmates with finger of death and agonizing blast, while Turin engages them in melee. Meanwhile Ug goes after Talis and Gwastdyn supports with healing magic. Crake joins Ug in attacking Talis and kills her, then Turin finishes off the wounded Sorvic. When Maelgot makes a run for it, the other PCs stand aside to allow Rosie to have her revenge.
With the fighting over, Rosie uses ghostly gaze to look inside Modar’s chest, and then mage hand to retrieve the Red Wizard’s spell books. With half the party injured, Turin casts catnap so he and Rosie can have a quick rest. While they are dozing, Naergoth Bladelord, the undead former master of the Well of Dragons appears with two ghost knight lieutenants. Fortunately Crake and Gwastdyn manage to explain away their presence with a convincing pack of lies and the death knight leaves them to it.
Passing through the Red Wizards’ quarters, the PCs come up behind a group of dragonwings who are escorting around 30 hapless prisoners to the temple to be sacrificed. The adventurers defeat the cultists, but not without suffering some grievous wounds. Rosie traps the soul of a dying dragonwing in her soul cage.
The PCs unlock the prisoners’ manacles but convince them they will be safest sticking with the party as they continue onwards. Ahead, a set of rough stone steps leads up to the temple, where the Wyrmspeakers and Red Wizards have begun the terrible ritual to summon Tiamat from the Nine Hells. Determined no one else should join the party, Rosie dimension doors to the north entrance and uses her immovable rod to barricade the doors.
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.
Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which the PCs recovered the Blue Dragon Mask from Xonthal’s Tower and went on a diplomatic mission to Thay. The PCs have now reached 13th level and the final confrontation with the Cult of the Dragon and Tiamat is fast approaching.
The PCs search the library beneath Xonthal’s Tower and find a few interesting and valuable books including Wyrms of the Northlands- perhaps this might contain information on some of the dragons the PCs have faced?
Roping themselves together, they return to the Cosmic Hallway and proceed cautiously to the end. They talk to Taraz the Fair, an efreeti, who seems to have been imprisoned by Xonthal in a chamber warded by a line of salt. Accepting his polite offer of spiced tea, the party enter his room. Taraz challenges the PCs to a game of chess - if he wins, the PCs must free him. If they win, the efreeti will tell them how to find Iskander and the Blue Dragon Mask. Crake takes up the challenge, winning the game, which angers Taraz who draws his sword and attacks. The genie conjures a wall of fire but the PCs leap through it and Rosie is able to banish Taraz back to the Plane of Fire. Taraz shouts out in triumph as he returns home.
Entering the Time Chamber with its two giant hourglasses, Rosie uses a mage hand to retrieve the Blue Dragon Mask from Iskander’s body. It seems that the PCs were too slow - the wizard is dead, having bled out from his wounds.
Dashing past the elementals, the PCs return to the teleport platform and press the flame symbol. This brings them to a room full of cultists with a fire pit burning in the centre; the skeleton of a dragon has been assembled on the floor. Turin casts fireballand Rosie casts synaptic static to take out the cultists. The warlock draws one of their dark souls into her soul cage.
Using the teleporter again, they select the triangle symbol which brings them back to the sundial in the maze. Lennithon, the blue dragon they first encountered nine months ago in Greenest, is flying over the village, blasting villagers and buildings with its lightning breath. The dragon demands the adventurers surrender the mask. The PCs gulp down potions of lightning resistance and charge forward.
Lennithon stays airborne for much of the battle, landing briefly to attack with its bite, claws and tail. The PCs scatter for cover and attack at range with agonising blasts, arrows and guiding bolts. Ug takes to the air but Turin is attacked and loses concentration, forcing the paladin to land on a rooftop. Rosie and Turin are down to a handful of hit points, but Lennithon has had enough and flees. The PCs hit it twice more before it flies out of range, badly wounded. Another dragon has been defeated by the heroes.
The PCs arrive back in Waterdeep and hand the Blue Dragon Mask over to the Council. Unfortunately, experts soon determine the mask is a fake. The PCs speculate the whole incident was designed to lure them into a deadly trap.
Leosin Erlanthar of the Harpers briefs the PCs on the mission the Council would like them to undertake to Thay, far to the east. They are given sealed warrants to hand to the Tharchion they are due to meet with.
The PCs teleport with the Red Wizard Nyh Ilmichh to Nethwatch Keep near Thay’s western border. At the fortress, the PCs are given luxurious individual rooms (with no locks) and served delicious food by zombie servants.
Later, they meet with Eseldra Yeth, vampire Tharchion of Lapendrar. The PCs do their best to show her the proper respect and answer her questions as best they can. Turin and Rosie have impressed the Tharchion; she is less convinced by Crake and Ug.
That night Crake and Ug both have a hideous nightmare in which they are tortured by Red Wizards and asked a series of questions about their intentions, what they know about their companions, and what the Cult of the Dragon is plotting. Their interrogators do not seem very happy with the answers they give and the pair wake up screaming and drenched with sweat, their sheets stained with blood.
After a delicious breakfast, the PCs are greeted by Nyh Ilmichh who tells them the Tharchion thanks them for the information they have supplied but regrets that Thay’s attention is commanded by matters within its own borders and the Red Wizards cannot help. A moment later, the PCs find themselves standing in a ruined farmhouse, north of Waterdeep.
I've always thought the house hunter was a fun monster to include in an adventure so I couldn't resist the chance to feature a real life Dread Gazebo as the PCs wandered the hedge maze around Xonthal's Tower in Rise of Tiamat.
I couldn't find any stats I liked online so came up with the following which I am sharing here as they worked pretty well. And, if you get the chance, check out The Vanishing Village by Marcus Rowland in Dungeon Magazine issue 19 ;)
Gargantuan monstrosity (shapechanger) neutral
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 202 (15d20 +45)
Speed 15 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 12 (+1) CON 16 (+3) INT 5 (-3) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 8 (-1)
Skills Stealth +5
Damage Immunities acid
Damage Resistance cold, fire
Condition Immunities prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Pidgin common
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Camouflage. The house hunter can use its action to change its appearance to resemble that of a building, and can produce dim flickering light (bioluminescence) to resemble candle or lantern light, at any body opening, and can imitate domestic noises (muffled voices, clucking hens, the tolling of a temple bell etc.)
Adhesive (Building Form Only). The house hunter adheres to anything that touches it. A Huge or smaller creature adhered to the house hunter is also grappled by it (escape DC 16). Ability checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage.
False Appearance (Object Form Only). While the house hunter remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary building.
Grappler. The house hunter has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.
Multiattack. The house hunter makes three attacks: one with its tongue and two with its tentacles.
Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is subjected to its adhesive trait.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is subjected to its adhesive trait.
Swallow. The house hunter makes a tongue or tentacle attack against a Huge or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, that creature takes the attack’s damage and is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the house hunter, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the house hunter’s turns.
If the house hunter takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the house hunter must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the house hunter. If the house hunter dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.
Another character can force open the bony plates covering an opening (“door” or “window”) in a house hunter’s body from outside with a DC 16 strength check.
Here’s what happened in last night’s game, in which the PCs escaped the hedge maze and entered the dungeon beneath Xonthal’s Tower.
28th Alturiak, 1491 DR (contd.)
The PCs defeat the bellowing gorgon without anyone being petrified and use the diamond that crystalilzed from its breath to return to the third sundial.
This time, they decide to take the path the blue fox took (at 3 o’clock). Unfortunately this proves to be another wrong path, leading to a summer house in the middle of a large lawn.
Hearing voices, Crake approaches stealthily, only for the structure to reveal itself as a house hunter – a giant mimic capable of disguising itself as a building – and the rogue is grabbed by its tentacles and sticky tongue. Gwastdyn wild shapes into an earth elemental and moves up to attack but is also grabbed and then swallowed by the beast. Turin casts Otto’s irresistible dance but the house hunter doesn’t dance for long, and Ug’s slash, Rosie’s agonising blasts and Turin and Crake’s blades and arrows are needed to kill it. Gwastdyn is disgorged, covered in acidic slime, but climbs back inside to retrieve the emerald needed to return to the sundial.
This time they take the correct path, going back the way they came, and find themselves at the fourth sundial where there are four shadows in an X shape which spin faster and faster before disappearing into the sundial. Wounded and low on spells, they take a short rest, and again take the path they entered the area by.
This is another wrong path, leading to a clearing where a huge blue caterpillar sits on top of a giant mushroom, blowing smoke rings from a hookah. Turin catches a smoke ring which turns itself into a gold necklace. When the caterpillar blows five more rings, Turin catches his and gets another necklace, Ug is surrounded by a stinking cloud, and Crake is trapped by a rope of entanglement. Annoyed, the PCs attack the caterpillar – Gwastdyn uses wild shape to turn himself into a giant elk and Rosie casts contagion to blind the creature but it can breath lightning and isn’t easy to kill. Finding a sapphire inside its hookah, they return to the sundial.
The blue fox reappears and offers more cryptic advice, telling the PCs there are nine possible paths, before wandering off again. Rosie encourages the others to investigate the sundial. They try and turn it, push and pull it, and dig up the flagstones surrounding it. Then, the warlock stands on top of it and she vanishes! The others follow, finding themselves at the fifth and final sundial.
This time, Rosie solves the puzzle quickly by running through the hedge between the paths. The rest of the party follow and they at last escape the maze, appearing at the bottom of the tower. After checking out the body of the fallen cultist, they use the teleportation circle to enter the castle, arriving in the lounge, where is a metal panel on the wall marked with various strange symbols. Rosie levitates up to one of the two balconies in the room and uses the teleportation circle to come back down again.
After experimenting a bit more, the PCs touch the star symbol to teleport to the observatory. Here, they battle a mage and his three cultist aides. Rosie kills the three cult fanatics with synaptic static,then traps one of their souls in her soul cage. After the mage fireballs the party and retreats to the balcony, Gwastdyn summons a polar bear to attack alongside Ug. The wizard doesn’t survive for long and the party are able to grab the hourglass hanging from his belt. Touching it to the hourglass symbol above the panel, they teleport to the dungeon.
More dead cultists lie on the floor in the room where they arrive. Rosie questions the soul she has trapped about the dungeon but learns little of use.
The next room holds two earth elementals and a fire elemental. Low on resources, Rosie uses mage hand to retrieve the small chest sitting on the table and Crake opens it, bypassing the glyph of warding. Inside are three scrolls of protection vs elementals. Crake reads one of the scrolls and the others crowd round him to move safely through the room, thereby dooming the poor polar bear.
A side passage leads to a laboratory where gemstones swirl around inside a whirlwind, while ahead the walls of the corridor disappear and the passage extends through the void of space.
Narrowly avoiding a swarm of tiny meteors, the PCs make it into the library where they take a much-needed long rest.
Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which the party were all back together again and wandered the hedge maze surrounding Xonthal’s Tower.
Midwinter, 1491 DR
Rosie returns to Waterdeep. She tells the others she’s been advising some of her “associates” who are mounting an expedition to Skyreach Castle which has crashed into a glacier in the Spine of the World Mountains.
The PCs travel to Daggerford via teleportation circlewhere they charter a barge to take them downriver to Highstar Lake (450 gp).
Shortly after leaving Secomber, a figure in black robes signals to the party's barge from the shore. The PCs are invited to meet with "Lord Volmer of Nessus"to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Lord Volmer is a bone devil and his entourage are diabolists. He tells the party that his master and his associates are not enamoured of Tiamat being summoned from the Nine Hells and would look favourably on the PCs if they were able to stop this happening. The devil also says that Szass Tam, Zulkir lich of Thay, would be well disposed to anyone providing information leading to the capture of the rebel Red Wizard Rath Modar. Rosie and Gwastdyn press Lord Volmer for more detail on the potential rewards but these aren’t forthcoming, although magical items would certainly be an option. Turin is the only one to share the hospitality of Lord Volmer’s tent, enjoying a glass of fiery red wine, before the PCs depart.
After bidding farewell to the barge, the PCs set off across the High Moor on foot towards Mount Hlim. A pathetic cry of “help me” from beyond a ridge sends the PCs into an ambush by a pack of leucrottas. Fortunately, the beasts are dealt with without much trouble.
The PCs arrive at Xonthal’s Tower. Gwastdyn flies overhead to scout. From above, the hedge maze appears to be a tangle of briars and thorns, and some kind of force field stops him from landing on the tower balcony.
The druid returns to the others and they enter the village outside the hedge maze, arranging rooms at the inn. Talking to the innkeeper, they learn that Xonthal disappeared a century ago but lights have been seen in the tower at night during the past year. Moreover, Hilde, a shepherdess, claims to have seen a huge blue dragon flying overhead. The villagers warn the adventurers to keep away from the maze – many enter, few return.
As the PCs discuss what to do next, they spot a figure on the balcony of the tower – Iskander! He calls out to the heroes and brandishes what appears to be the Blue Dragon Maskin one hand and a large hourglass in the other.
“Look for me beneath the tower,” he shouts. “This [the hourglass] is the key that will let you teleport into the dungeon. I will leave it behind after I use it, but others may find it before you do.” Suddenly, another figure appears on the balcony, there is a brief battle, and the second person falls over the railing.
The PCs fly over to the clearing between the hedge maze and the tower but soon realise dimension door, stone shape and other spells cannot get them inside. Reluctantly, the party enters Xonthal's hedge maze….
Gwastdyn casts find the path in the hopes that this will allow the party find the quickest route to the tower – sadly, the spell fails to work. They will have to do things the hard way.
After a minute or so walking along a neatly maintained garden path, the PCs come to an intersection where eight paths meet. A sundial stands in the centre – its gnomon casts a shadow straight ahead, although this doesn’t reflect the position of the sun. Rosie marks the sundial with her dagger and they take the path where the shadow is pointing. This leads them to an identical intersection – or is it the same one again? This time, there are two shadows: one pointing straight ahead, one pointing directly right.
The PCs take the path directly opposite again. It leads to a large pasture with a pond and a giant-sized cottage; two cyclopes and their sheep stand motionless, coming to life when the adventurers approach. Turin, wearing his belt of hill giant strength, wins a boulder throwing contest with the cyclopes. The cyclops’ rock splits open to reveal a topaz. The PCs pick it up and leave by the far exit, only to find themselves back at the sundial.
Next, they try the right hand path which takes them to a garden of dangerous-looking carnivorous plants – warlock’s trumpetblooms. Crake, Ug and Turin are all paralyzed by their poisonous stingers, but they are able to kill the deadly plants and escape by grabbing one of the pearls growing from their stems.
Back at the sundial again, the PCs take a short rest – Turin casts catnap to speed things up. This time they take the path between the two they tried before which leads to a third (?) sundial. Its shadows point to three of the paths: straight ahead (12 o’clock), 4 o’clock, and 8 o’clock.
The PCs choose straight ahead again, which brings them to a pagoda in the middle of a small lake. They are invited inside by a man in silk robes who fills a strange-looking kettle with herbs. When the kettle begins to give off poison smoke, the man traps the PCs inside the pagoda with a wall of stone and vanishes. With everyone taking damage from the poison, Turin tips the kettle over. Rosie finds a piece of jade inside, then Ug smashes the kettle, causing an angry dao to appear and dispel the wall of stone. Clutching the piece of jade, the PCs make a run for the exit and return to the sundial.
A fox with bright blue fur strolls past, chuckling to itself. It tells the party there are five sundials in all and they are at the third one. The shadows provide clues on which is the correct path to the next sundial. There are four shadows at the fourth sundial, and eight at the fifth where “no path is the right one”. The fox wanders off, smiling enigmatically.
Still unsure how to choose the correct route, they pick the one at 8 o’clock which turns out to be another wrong path leading a twisty maze of hedges. A gorgon charges out of the greenery ahead, bellowing loudly.
Here’s what happened in Sunday’s game, in which the PCs thwarted an attack by the Cult of the Dragon, attended the Third Council of Waterdeep and reached 12th level.
The PCs arrive back in Waterdeep after their meeting with the metallic dragons. They go to the Yawning Portal to check for news of Rosie but the warlock isn’t there – she’s left a message with Durnan saying she is attending to “pressing faction business”.
As the party discuss the upcoming meeting of the Council of Waterdeep and how they plan to win over King Melandrach and Ambassador Brawnanvil, there is a cry from the street. Several bystanders run into the inn, shouting that there is a dragon outside! Crake goes out the back door to see what’s going on and tries to climb up on the roof. The thief is followed by Gwastdyn who wild shapes into an air elemental and flies into the sky to attack the black dragon Vilholin who is attacking Waterdhavians in the street.
Unfortunately the dragon isn’t the only thing the adventurers have to worry about – a group of cultists appear at the back door to the pub. Three of them surround Crake while the others go inside the tavern where they are joined by a nycaloth and three mezzoloths who teleport into the taproom. One of the mezzoloths is banished by Turin but another one casts cloudkill and wipes out a number of innocent civilians. While Gwastdyn keeps Vilholin busy, the other three PCs each find themselves surrounded. Turin is down to 2 hp and even Ug is badly wounded.
Gwastdyn spots the Griffon Cavalry are en route from Castle Waterdeep and disengages from attacking the dragon. Landing at the entrance to the Yawning Portal he casts healon Turin who has used dimension door to escape. Ug kills the gloating dragonsoul cult leader and Crake kills the second mezzoloth. With several of the cultists dead, the other two yugoloths flee and the PCs share a collective sigh of relief.
After a good night’s sleep, the PCs attend the Third Council of Waterdeep. This time they notice a new attendee sitting next to Dagult Neverember of Neverwinter, a female tiefling named Rian Nightshade who is introduced as the lord’s “special adviser”. The PCs give their reports on the meeting with the metallic dragons and their battle with the Green Wyrmspeaker Neronvain and Chuth in the Misty Forest. Turin explains to King Melandrach that he has promised the gold dragon Protanther an apology for the dragorage mythal, and Gwastdyn tells Brawnanvil that the dwarves are expected to apologise for the dragonmoots and return the armour made from the skin of Otaaryliakkarnos' niece. Both are irked at being put into a difficult position but reluctantly agree to honour the PCs’ promises.
The news that the metallic dragons expect a share of the loot also doesn’t go down that well but overall the council is pleased to have the dragons’ support. The PCs choose to allocate the metallic dragons as follows:
Silver – Harpers
Copper – Order of the Gauntlet
Brass – Dwarves
Bronze – Baldur’s Gate
Gold – Silverymoon
Then, Crake explains about the letter from Iskander that came into the PCs’ possession. The council is unanimous – whether it’s a trap or not, the PCs should travel to Xonthal’s Tower and attempt to recover the Blue Dragon Mask.
Following the council meeting, the PCs catch up with Dagult Neverember. He reveals that Rian Nightshade is a member of the Zhentarim, and tells the party that earlier that day one of his aides, a man named Peregrin Bernat, had inexplicably killed an adviser to Brawnanvil, then hanged himself. The adventurers offer to castspeak with dead later on in an attempt to get to the bottom of the matter.
Afterwards they meet with Leosin Erlanthar who tells them that the council would like them to travel to Thay when they return from Xonthal’s Tower. A Red Wizard named Nyh Illmych has proposed that the Sword Coast and Thay discuss ways in which they might aid each other during the current crisis.
The PCs go to Neverember’s quarters in the castle and Gwastdyn casts speak with deadon Peregrin’s corpse. The dead man’s spirit answers the druid’s questions – he killed the dwarf because Meredith, “the love of my life”, told him to do it after Brawnanvil’s adviser saw the two of them meeting. He says that Meredith lives on Feather Street, in a house with a green door.
The PCs head to Feather Street and find the house. Turin and Ug knock on the front door and are admitted by the maidservant. Ug tactlessly breaks the news of Peregrin’s death to Meredith, a well-spoken lady. Meanwhile, Crake has sneaked in via the back door and rifles through Meredith’s desk, finding a series of incriminating papers that suggest Peregrin was spying on the council. Meredith throws Turin and Ug out as their cover story becomes more and more far-fetched.
Crake shows the others the papers. He goes off to check with Neverember that the handwriting is Peregrin’s while Gwastdyn and Turin go back to the house to confront Meredith. A fight breaks out in the hallway after the maidservant charms Turin and sends him away. Gwastdyn summons a pack of wolves and both women vanish, apparently turning ethereal. The PCs return to Castle Waterdeep and report their findings to Lord Neverember, Ambassador Brawnanvil and Laeral Silverhand.
Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Rosie has gone on ahead to Waterdeep on pressing faction business. Next: the Council of Waterdeep reconvenes.
18th Hammer, 1491 DR
Travelling back to Waterdeep from the Misty Forest, the PCs reach the village of Liam’s Hold. A group of dwarven miners have captured Cheela Flegsteel, a Wearer of Purple in the Cult of the Dragon, and are after a reward from the party. Cheela starts to explain that she is carrying a message for the Council of Waterdeep when Yggran, a half-red dragon veteran, and his ogre minions burst into the village and attack.
One of the ogres has an abnormally large head and is a spellcaster – he attempts to dominate Gwastdyn, then uses misty step to close to melee. Yggran breathes fire on Cheela and the dwarves, killing four of them. Turin uses banishing smite to send the half-dragon to another plane. Ug and Crake move in to protect Cheela from Big ‘Ead while Gwastdyn summons a pack of wolves to keep the other ogres busy. The paladin kills Big’Ead and the others finish off the ogres and take down Yggran when he reaappears.
The PCs interrogate Cheela who claims to work for a mage named Iskander who is in the service of someone called Galvan. The cultist hands the PCs a sealed letter from her master. Crake opens it – against Turin and Gwastdyn's recommendation – as he thinks it is too urgent to wait until reaching Waterdeep to see what it says. The missive promises them the Blue Dragon Mask in return for rescuing him from Xonthal’s Tower. Once home to a legendary wizard who wandered Toril, the tower lies to the northeast of the Serpent Hills and is protected by a hedge maze. The PCs let Cheela go and spend the rest of the day in the village recuperating.
The PCs arrive back in Waterdeep and report to Laeral Silverhand on events in the Misty Forest and Liam’s Hold. The Open Lord tells them the Council of Waterdeep will meet again as soon as they return from their meeting with the metallic dragons.
Elia assumes her true form, that of the ancient silver dragon Otaaryliakkarnos and the PCs climb onto her back. She flies up into the air and heads northeast towards the Nether Mountains. As they travel, the PCs can see villages and towns destroyed by the Cult of the Dragon far beneath them. They ask Otaaryliakkarnos about the other dragons they will be meeting, and learn that she dislikes dwarves because they hunt dragons in “dragonmoots”.
Later that day, Otaaryliakkarnos and the PCs come under attack from two familiar dragons - Arauthator and Chuth. A frantic aerial battle ensues, with the PCs trying to attack while clinging on to the silver dragon’s back – they suffer damage from Chuth’s breath and a fireball from Arauthator.
Gwastdyn wildshapes into an air elemental, Crake fire arrows, Turin casts fireballs and a frustrated Ug misses with his guiding bolt. Crake leaps to his feet, balancing on Otaaryliakkarnos’ back and fires an arrow at Chuth which strikes true – badly wounded, the dragon flees from the party for a fifth time! The silver dragon chases after Arauthator whom Gwastdyn has been keeping busy, and hits him with her bite and both claws. This is enough to drive off the white dragon.
As night falls, Otaaryliakkarnos lands on a freezing cold peak in the Star Mounts so the PCs can rest in a cave.
Otaaryliakkarnos and the PCs arrive at the Council of Dragons and argue their case to the five leaders of the metallic dragons in an attempt to win their support in the war against the Cult of the Dragon.
By speaking honestly, persuasively and respectfully – and by offering important concessions – the PCs are able to win over the dragons:
Protanther, King of the Ice, a male gold dragon is the leader of the group. Turin promises to secure a formal apology for the dracorage mythal from King Melandrach of the elves.
They give the Black Dragon Mask to Ileuthra, the male brass dragon, and promise the metallic dragons will be given the other dragon masks after the final battle for safekeeping.
Gwastdyn promises Otaaryliakkarnos that he will ask Ambassador Brawnanvil to return the armour made from her niece’s hide, and secure an apology from the dwarves for the dragonmoots.
Nymmurh, the Wyrm Who Watches, a male bronze, is already favourably disposed to the humanoid races, but the party’s promise to give the metallic dragons a full share in the cult’s treasure is appreciated.
Tazmikella, a female copper wants the return of Borngray’s swashbuckler’s rapier, now in Crake’s possession, which was stolen from her hoard. Crake promises to give it back once the cult is defeated.
After the council is over, Otaaryliakkarnos flies the PCs back to Waterdeep.
Here’s what happened in last night’s game - the PCs have now reached 11th level.
12th Hammer, 1491 DR (contd.)
Crake scouts ahead, sneaking up the passage to the cultists’ quarters. He spots two groups of dragonclaw cultists, each led by a dragonfang, in rooms to the left and right. The thief rejoins the others and Gwastdyn casts wall of fire to cut off one of the groups while the rest of the party attack the other group. Rosie casts hunger of Hadar while Turin and Crake attack in melee. Ug, meanwhile, prefers to cast her new sorcerer spells rather than attacking with her slash. The dragonfang leader of the second group comes through the wall of fire but this doesn’t stop the PCs making short work of the first group of cultists. When Gwastdyn dismisses the wall, they take out the other group in a similar efficient fashion.
After searching the bodies and both rooms, Crake scouts ahead again - one passage leads to a storeroom, the other leads to a cave furnished with rugs and tapestries. Ug leads the way into Neronvain’s chamber, triggering a glyph of warding that explodes, covering the party in acid. Deciding it’s time to be cautious, Gwastdyn warns everyone not to look at the mirror in the room until he’s had a chance to cast detect magic. Meanwhile, Crake disables the poison needle trap on the trunk and opens it - it’s full of loot stolen from the elves - and Rosie finds a secret door behind one of the tapestries.
Beyond is a secret chamber containing a shrine to Fenmarel Mestarine, the elven god of outcasts, scapegoats and solitude. The PCs find Neronvain’s journal which reveals he is the son of King Melandrach, and that the Green Dragon Mask is already at the Well of Dragons, ready to be assembled into the Mask of the Dragon Queen.
A second secret door leads into Chuth’s lair. Ug boots the door in and the PCs join battle with the green dragon and the Green Wyrmspeaker, Chuth and Neronvain.
The dragon’s frightful presence terrifies Turin, Gwastdyn and Crake but the bard is able to cast calm emotions to nullify the effects. Gwastdyn wildshapes into an air elemental and attacks Chuth, joined by Ug, Turin and Crake, while Rosie attacks Neronvain from the doorway with her agonising blasts. With most of the party protected from poison, they are able to damage the dragon without taking too many serious wounds. After Chuth’s attempts to tangle the party with grasping roots and vines, and trap them behind a wall of thorns prove ineffectual, Ug swings her slash, powers it with her divine smite, and inflicts a mighty critical hit on the dragon, doing 51 points of damage. Unfortunately, her follow up strike is feeble, allowing Chuth the opportunity to dive into the pool and escape.
Gwastdyn wildshapes again, this time into a water elemental, and sets off in pursuit, followed by Crake and then Ug who sinks like a stone to the bottom of the pool. Meanwhile, Rosie blocks Neronvian’s escape with mold earth and is joined by Turin who levitates over the wall of thorns. Chuth has made good his escape but the returning Gwastdyn grabs Neronvain, holding him fast while Turin, Crake and Rosie pound him until he falls unconscious. With the battle over, they throw a weighted rope down to Ug and haul her out of the pool.
After searching the lair for treasure, the PCs attempt to interrogate Neronvain but neither charm spells, persuasion or intimidation have any affect.
The PCs meet Prince Alagarthas in the village of Altand and hand Neronvain over to him.