Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #30: Neronvain's Stronghold

Here’s what happened in last night’s game, in which our heroes have a lucky escape and then try again.

11th Hammer, 1491 DR (contd.)

The PCs discuss in whispered voices what might happen if Neronvain finds them in his stronghold and decide to act first. Gwastdyn casts a wall of fire across the tunnel that the elf went down, then Turin casts fog cloud as the elves on the ledge nock arrows to their bows. The elf mage casts ice storm in the area where the PCs are standing, then three ettins appear through the cloud to attack the party. One goes down quickly, but things get worse as Neronvain appears out of the pool riding the green dragon Chuth.

Ug battles the ettins while the dragon attacks Turin who loses concentration on his fog cloud. The elf uses dimension doorto flee to the ledge where the mage and archers had been standing. Chuth breathes poison on Rosie and Gwastdyn who have retreated towards the entrance. As the elves enter the fray, firing bows at Ug, the paladin misty stepsto the island in the middle of the pool. The ettins swim after her and she takes one of them down.

Meanwhile, Gwastdyn has wildshaped into an air elemental and is keeping Neronvain and the dragon busy while Rosie and Crake make ranged attacks and move towards the entrance. Rosie briefly considers giving up the black dragon mask to facilitate their escape, but dismisses the thought. The warlock levitates up the slope but is struck by an eldritch arrowfrom Neronvain and falls unconscious. Crake feeds her a potion of healing and the three of them escape through the tunnel as the druid’s wall of fire drops and cultists charge into the room. Turin uses another dimension door to rescue Ug from the island and take her to safety.

Retreating some distance from the dragon’s lair, the PCs rest and recuperate.

Ug and Turin on the island

Rosie, Crake and Gwastdyn try to escape from Chuth

12th Hammer

Casting protection from poison and water breathing, the PCs return to the caves. Gwastdyn wildshapes into a giant eagle and flies invisibly through the waterfall into the lair; the others follow using dimension door to arrive on the high ledge where the elves sleep.

Chuth has been waiting for the PCs, clinging to the ceiling, and flies down to attack. Turin casts fear to scare off half the elves while the others move into melee, led by their knight. The mage casts cone of cold and another elf shoves Gwastdyn off the ledge to the floor below. Fearing Chuth is about to breathe, Rosie opens the door to hide behind it. When she realises the corridor leads to the ettin chamber, she sneaks back and closes it.

Gwastdyn casts wall of stone to seal off the tunnel to the cultist quarters again. The ettin bashes down the door but Turin’s fear spell sends it packing. Chuth flies around and makes another attack, but the dragon has been damaged by sneak attacks from Crake, Ug’s slash, and Rosie’s agonizing blasts and has had enough. It dives into the pool and disappears. The mage also vanishes and the surviving five elves surrender, claiming to have been forced to serve the dragon. Rosie tells them to grab their weapons and go and kill the ettin. They flee for the entrance instead – the PCs let them go.

The PCs go after the ettin while Crake keeps watch from the ledge for when Gwastdyn’s wall of stone vanishes. They slay the ettin in its filthy lair. The invisible mage attacks again with a fireball, then she too seems to have fled.

The druid has a quick look down the corridor the cultists appeared from before the others tell him to come back. Rosie casts Leomund’s tiny hut and the PCs take a short rest.

Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #29: The Misty Forest

Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which the PCs came up against their first green dragon.

6th Hammer, 1491 DR

The PCs continue down the Trade Way towards the Way Inn. A black dragon is sighted in the distance, flying towards the Lizard Marsh. Ug is convinced this is the same dragon that killed her family and heads off after it. The other PCs try to persuade the paladin to focus on their current mission to no avail and end up tagging along. By the end of the day, they still haven’t reached the marsh and with no way of finding the dragon in the swamp, they manage to convince Ug to head for the Misty Forest again in the morning. 

8th Hammer

The PCs reach the elf village of Altand in the Misty Forest. After talking to some of the villagers, they meet with the warden, Galin, in his treehouse. Unlike the other elves, he does not believe that the green dragon that attacked the village had a rider. Turin plays a lament for the warden’s wife who was killed in the attack. 

9th Hammer

The PCs return to Galin’s home and Gwastdyn uses speak with animals to talk to Galin’s pet raven Quoth. The druid learns that the warden has been meeting the dragon and an elf in the woods at night. The party confront Galin who confesses to making a deal with the Wyrmspeaker to leave Altand alone in exchange for passing on information on other elven villages in the forest. He reluctantly agrees to cooperate with the PCs as they prepare to ambush the Wyrmspeaker and dragon that night.  

Illustration by Lars Grant-West

Close to midnight, the green dragon flies down to the forest clearing with an elven Wyrmspeaker in purple robes mounted on its back. As the cult leader talks to Galin, he realises something isn’t right. The PCs attack – Gwastdyn flies in as a giant eagle and attempts to knock the Wyrmspeaker off the dragon’s back while the others attack with arrows and spells. The dragon attacks Gwastdyn, then breathes on the druid and Ug. With the Wyrmspeaker badly wounded. it flies off to the southeast.  

Realising that they have now put the village in danger, the PCs advise Galin to lead the elves to safety in the morning while they go after the dragon. 

10th Hammer

As Altand is evacuated, Gwastdyn flies southeast as an eagle looking for signs of the dragon. He spots a destroyed elven village but no dragon. He returns to the others and they all head towards the village on foot. En route, they come across a venerable elf whose leg has become trapped under a fallen tree. Ug begins to lift the tree up when it rises on its own. The elf stands up and declares the PCs to be heroes. She hangs garlands of flowers around their necks before turning into an owl and flying off, followed by a trio of awakened trees. 

The PCs reach the elven village by dusk and spend the night there. 

11th Hammer

Heading southeast, the PCs follow a stream in the hopes that this will lead them to the dragon’s lair. Passing through an area filled with spider webs, they are attacked by ettercaps and giant spiders but have little trouble dealing with the creatures.  

Soon afterwards, they arrive at a waterfall which feeds a pool whose surface is obscured by an emerald haze. This is surely the dragon’s lair.  

Gwastdyn scouts around, first as an eagle, and then flies through the waterfall as a duck, confirming that there is a cave behind it. After a short rest to recharge his wildshape, the dwarf transforms into a giant eagle and transports the other PCs through one by one.  

The PCs head down the tunnel into a large chamber filled with stalactites and stalagmites, and with a large pool with a small rocky island in its centre. Four elves dressed in forest garb appear and ask the party to name the leaders of the Cult of the Dragon. When Turin names Severin the Red and Talis the White they seem satisfied. As more elves with bows appear on a high ledge looking down on the cave, one of them goes to fetch “Neronvain”... 

Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #28: The Cult Strikes Back!

Here’s what happened in last night’s game in which the PCs finally killed their first dragon.

1st Hammer, 1491 DR

The PCs spend the day buying potions and other gear in Waterdeep.

2nd Hammer

The PCs attend the Second Council of Waterdeep. This time round there are two new attendees - Laeral Silverhand, the new Open Lord of Waterdeep, and a human woman named Elia, who later reveals herself to be a polymorphed silver dragon.

The PCs give their reports to the council. Gwastdyn tells them how the party tracked Varram the White down to the Tomb of Diderius in the Serpent Hills and battled yuan-ti as they searched for the Wyrmspeaker but were unable to stop him from being killed by the snake people’s priestess and did not recover the White Dragon Mask. Remallia Haventree of the Harpers and Connerad Brawnanvil of the dwarves both seem unimpressed that they were unable to interrogate Varram or speak with his dead spirit.

Next, Turin reports on the PCs’ trip to the Sea of Moving Ice. The bard waxes lyrical on the party’s bravery in battling the dragon and his intellectual ice toad servants, as well as how they rescued Maccath the Crimson and returned her to the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan along with her evil books. This impresses almost all of the council members - even the dwarf - but Ontharr Frume of the Order of the Gauntlet is concerned about the motivations of the Brotherhood.

Once the PCs have finished their reports, Delaan Winterhound of the Emerald Enclave tells the party he would like them to investigate raids by the cult on elven villages in the Misty Forest. A green dragon has been sighted and Delaan thinks it could be working with another wyrmspeaker.

Then Elia addresses the council, revealing that she is the silver dragon Otaaryliakkarnos and that the metallic dragons of Faerûn have heard the Draakhorn sound. She asks the PCs to come to a meeting with the dragons in the Nether Mountains when they return from the Misty Forest.

As the PCs go to leave the council, Ontharr Frume takes Ug to one side and tells him that he’s been promoted within the Order of the Gauntlet to the rank of marcheon.

3rd Hammer

The PCs use the teleportation circle in Castle Waterdeep to travel to Daggerford, and then set off down the road to the forest.

5th Hammer

Late in the day, the PCs encounter a grim jester on the road. Crake and Gwastdyn both succumb to its killing joke, with Crake reduced to 0 hp and dying after failing his second saving throw. Turin tries to heal the rogue but the jester uses ridicule hope to make the cure spell damage him instead. Ug tries out his new sorcerer spells rather than closing in melee and Turin hangs back too, allowing the grim jester to cast delayed blast fireball. When Turin dispels the spell, the fireball detonates. Then, the jester uses joker’s shuffle to switch places with Turin and Ug is tricked into attacking the bard rather than the jester. Gwastdyn turns himself into an air elemental but realises “Turin” is really the jester and vice versa. With all three PCs attacking it, the jester is destroyed, with Turin inflicting the killing blow.

The PCs have a short rest and Crake is back on his feet. By this time it’s getting late, and the party decide to camp by the roadside. Unfortunately they aren’t paying close attention to what’s going on and don’t spot the dragon cultists sneaking up on their campsite, or the young blue dragon swooping down through the air.

The cultists and dragon attack with surprise, with both the blue dragon and the half-dragon warrior among them breathing lightning on the PCs. Gwastdyn wild shapes into an air elemental again and flies up to engage the dragon while the others battle cultists on the ground. Turin goes unconscious a couple of times, Crake goes down to 3 hp and Gwastdyn is forced out of wild shape. Even Ug’s health drops alarmingly as the cultists score multiple critical hits as they demand the PCs hand over the Black Dragon Mask.

When Crake takes down two dragonwings, the tide starts to turn in the PCs’ favour and the cultists start to flee. Ug kills the half-dragon and Crake shoots the dragon with his last arrow of slaying, then Gwastdyn casts ice storm, killing the wyrm. Two cultists manage to escape but the adventurers are victorious.
Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #27: Old White Death

Here’s what happened in last night’s session. Each PC gains enough experience to reach 10th level.

17th Nightal (contd.)

The PCs spend some time coming up with a plan for the assault on Arauthator’s lair, before deciding to scout out the chute leading down from the Scriptorium. Gwastdyn wild shapes into an arctic tern and flies down the tunnel but soon realises the cavern is dark and he cannot see. He returns to the upper level, changes into a snowy owl, and flies back down. When he emerges into the dragon’s lair, he dodges a net of magical force that has been launched at him through the icy mists. Deciding caution is the better part of valour, he rejoins the others.

Back in the Scriptorium, the druid rests to recover his wild shape ability, then summons four ice mephits. The PCs drink potions of cold resistance and walk down the chute, sure-footed with their crampons on. One nervous mephit is sent into the cave, while Ug and Turin approach the end of the chute and peer out. Suddenly a cloud of freezing fog engulfs them. Rosie secures a rope and the two warriors climb down as fast as they can, followed by Rosie and Crake. Ug misjudges where the icy ledge ends and falls off. As the adventurers move out of the fog, Arauthator casts fireball, catching them in its blast.

Gwastdyn and the mephits come down to join the others as the PCs scatter to avoid bunching up in a group. Arauthator appears, terrifying Turin (and the most cowardly mephit) with his frightful presence. The bard remains traumatised by this for the whole of the battle. Rosie hits the dragon with her eldritch blast, and Ug lands a couple of good blows before Old White Death knocks him down with his wings and flies off. On its next pass, Arauthator breathes on the PCs, and sends jagged pieces of ice down from the cavern ceiling to strike the adventurers.

As the PCs look to Gwastdyn for healing, Arauthator raises a wall of ice between Ug and the others, then flies down to attack the paladin. Crake, up on an icy ridge, seizes his chance and shoots the dragon with an arrow of slaying, striking true. Ug smites the wyrm with his axe, inflicting serious damage, and the dragon flies into the mists.

Old White Death hasn’t given up, though. It casts a second fireball at the PCs, taking Turin down to 3 hp, then attacks Ug again, reducing him to zero hit points. This doesn’t stop the half-orc who fights on for another round, supported by Rosie. Ug’s powerful blows are enough and Arauthator flees, diving into an icy pool to escape. Turin rushes over and heals the dying paladin.

The PCs look into the pool that the dragon dived into and think they can see a tunnel leading into the sea. Gwastdyn wildshapes into a polar bear and swims down to confirm this. The PCs rest and recover, eating plenty of goodberries, then start plundering the treasure in the lair, chipping it out of the ice.

Maccath the Crimson gathers up the diabolical tomes in the Scriptorium to take back to the Hosttower of the Arcane in Luskan. The PCs find a number of spell scrolls here which they divide between them, and also take Marfulb’s writings on the natural history of the Sea of Moving Ice.

The Ice Hunters thank the PCs for driving off Old White Death and give them some of their best fermented fish in gratitude. They don’t hang about for a celebratory feast, though - instead, they get into their kayaks and paddle off as fast as they can.

18th Nightal

The Frostskimmr sets sail for Luskan. Ug insists on throwing one of the evil-looking books overboard so Maccath gives him one of the less rare volumes to satisfy his eccentric religious principles.

20th Nightal

Three white abishai devils swoop down onto the deck of the Frostskimmr and attack the PCs. They prove hard to kill but are no match for the adventurers. They deduce they must be after the infernal tomes on board.

22nd Nightal

The Frostskimmr arrives in Luskan, delivering Maccath the Crimson and the stolen books to the Hosttower of the Arcane. Perhaps the Arcane Brotherhood may help in the coming battles with the Cult of the Dragon?

30th Nightal

The Frostskimmr arrives back in Waterdeep, in time for the Second Council.

Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #26: Ice Caves of Oyaviggaton

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 2,456 xp.

16th Nightal (contd.)

Turin, Crake and Ug continue to explore the caverns, joined by Gwastdyn. The dwarf druid cures the coughing disease of Mend-nets, the ice hunter lying beneath a heap of rugs in the entrance chamber.

Next the PCs enter the ice toads’ workplace – here, the bizarre creatures are carving writings into the walls and inscribing information onto parchments and stone tablets. Turin chats to Marfulb, their leader and seneschal of Oyaviggaton, but when she sends a toad to fetch the kobolds, Ug attacks. The ice toads fight back, surrounding the PCs and grabbing hold of them so they cannot escape their icy auras. Crake kills Marfulb, then Turin casts compulsion to send most of the toads to the far end of the chamber. Gwastdyn traps four of them behind a wall of fire, and the party finish off the others.

When Gwastdyn dismisses the wall, there is no sign of any ice toads. Turin heads further into the cave but he still can’t see them through the mist and snow. He mimes “elf lost in snow” to his companions and returns to the others. Everyone is badly wounded but Gwastdyn says “it doesn’t feel like time for a mass cure”. “Get your hit points out!” insists Turin, and the druid relents.

Heading back into the main corridor, the PCs run into a group of kobolds. The little humanoids turn to flee but their escape route is cut off by a pack of wolves summoned by Gwastdyn. One of the kobolds gets lucky with a sling shot, disrupting the dwarf’s concentration, and the wolves disappear. This gives the kobolds false hope as the PCs close in and cut them all down.

The party continue to explore the side rooms leading off the corridor. Crake sneaks into one large chamber and spots a frost giant. He returns to the others to report and Gwastdyn casts comprehend languages so he’ll be able to understand what the giant says in response to Turin’s mimes. They all enter the room, realising that the giant is frozen stiff when they get closer. There are several kobolds in here but they manage to slip out through the fog.

After defeating an ice troll they explore Arauthator’s trophy room. Gwastdyn has wild-shaped into a rhinoceros which is perhaps not the most agile of animal forms. He crashes into the longship in the centre of the room, disturbing the treasure in the chest on its deck. Turin casts fly, flies up to the ship and starts removing gold and jewels from the chest. Two more ice trolls appear but the PCs deal with them without too much trouble and plunder the treasure.

They take another short rest. Gwastdyn still has his comprehend languages spell running for a while so he returns to the ice toads workplace and studies their mysterious writings. The scrolls in here provide a comprehensive record of the Sea of Moving Ice and a chronicle of Old White Death’s exploits. The dwarf takes a few scrolls.

Maccath the Crimson

Passing through an empty chamber, the PCs climb a slope to Maccath the Crimson’s quarters, and kill the ice troll lurking just inside the entrance to the cavern. Ug leads the way into the tiefling’s makeshift tent which stands in the middle of the cave. After Ug tells the wizard they are here to kill Arauthator, she provides some useful information on the dragon’s lair, as well as a ring of cold resistance and two arrows of slaying. She also explains the origin of the Draakhorn – it is a signalling device for chromatic dragons, fashioned from the horn of Tiamat’s ancient red dragon consort, Ephelemon.

The PCs have a long rest to recover their strength before facing Old White Death.

Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #25: The Sea of Moving Ice

Here’s what happened in last night’s session of Rise of Tiamat in which the PCs sailed through the Sea of Moving Ice and entered the ice caves inside Oyaviggaton. Each PC gets 3,537 xp.

12th Nightal, 1490 DR (contd.)

The crew of the Frostskimmr haul the longship onto the ice for the night. Crake scouts around the campsite, invisible and flying, after Rosie spots tracks in the ice. Three scrags attack the party’s snow shelter and have to be dealt with.

13th Nightal

The fin of a giant shark is spotted in the water. Ug tries to dominate the fish using his trident of fish command without success.

Later, as the party and crew are getting ready to spend the night on the ice again, they spot an ice hunter running towards them being pursued by a polar bear. Rosie, Turin and Crake bring down the bear with spells and arrows, saving the hunter. He is clearly very grateful but doesn’t speak Common but Turin manages to communicate with him using the power of mime, and Rosie’s comprehend languages spell allows the PCs to learn the rough location of Arauthator’s lair, Oyaviggaton.

14th Nightal

Stormy winds nearly blow Rosie overboard into the freezing water.

15th Nightal

A group of ice hunters in khyeks are spotted. They paddle away rapidly as the Frostskimmr approaches, losing the PCs’ ship among the ice floes. However, Turin’s sharp eyes spot the distinctive shape of Oyaviggaton in the distance.

Spending the night on the water for once, the Frostskimmr comes under attack from two giant octopuses. One of the sailors is snatched overboard and eaten, and Ug is also grabbed. The paladin uses his trident to command the octopus to put him back on the deck and then orders it to swim away. Rosie casts hold monster on the other one, and Crake slays it with an impressive critical hit.

16th Nightal

The Frostskimmr approaches the iceberg of Oyaviggaton, sailing past the ledge used by the ice hunters to moor their boats. Rosie casts water walk on the party and the PCs double back, arriving on the ledge. They climb the icy stairs to the top of the plateau – Turin casts fog cloud to mask their arrival.

Peering out from the cloud, Crake spots ten corpses frozen into the icy wall of a ridge. He sneaks along the ridge and looks round – he can dimly make out a village through the drifting snow. As Turin also approaches, the village’s husky dogs start to bark and a crowd of ice hunters appears.

An awkward conversation follows between the PCs and Barking Seal, the leader of the ice hunters. The tribe do not appear to be dragon cultists as the PCs suspected, but they are very wary of the party and the atmosphere is tense. Some of the ice hunters move around behind them to cut off the adventurers' retreat while others slip away to the large meeting hall.

To break the deadlock Ug agrees to fight the tribal champion Orcaheart. The ice hunter stabs the half-orc several times with his spear but Ug fights back strongly and takes him down. Despite the ban on magic, Orcaheart is healed surreptitiously by the shaman Bonecarver, and Turin uses a healing word on Ug. During the battle an invisible Crake sneaks off to the meeting hall and spots a hole in the floor leading down inside the iceberg.

Ug is declared the winner and the PCs are grudgingly shown to a storage hut where they can spend the night. Bonecarver brings them fermented fish to eat but no one is keen. When she returns later, Rosie tries a different tack and gets her to open up – the ice hunters are in fear of Arauthator and cannot leave the island. She tells the PCs that the white dragon is served by kobold, ice toads and ice trolls.

That night, the PCs climb down the chute from Bonecarver’s hut. Ug goes first, slips, and plummets down the last 60 feet, getting pretty bashed up in the process. Exploring the ice caves with their bold paladin in the lead, the party enter a den full of kobolds and massacre them. Three escape, fleeing through the junk room and larder and back out into the circular corridor.

The PCs pursue, again with Ug at the lead. In the entrance chamber they find a shivering ice hunter under a pile of furs. No one is able to cure his pneumonia-like illness so they pull the furs back over him and set off after the kobolds again.

Seeing the little humanoids run down a side corridor, Ug slides down after them, arriving feet first in a large misty chamber between two ice trolls! Reduced to 1hp, Ug battles bravely on, as the other PCs arrive to help him out. Turin casts compulsion to send the trolls to the far end of the room, allowing the party time to divide and conquer. Rosie’s hold monster spell, Turin’s fiery blade, Crake’s sneak attacks and criticals, and Ug’s trusty slash win through. The PCs return to the larder for a short rest.
Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #24: The Merman's Cock

Here’s what happened in last night’s eventful game in which Rosie finally got her revenge on the mutinous crew of the Merman’s Cock. Each PC gets 2,425 xp.

30th Marpenoth (contd.)

The PCs interrrogate the captured yuan-ti malison, Mek-Ssss who promises them group’s hidden treasure and safe passage out of the tomb if they are prepared to let him and the young hatchlings live. The party decide they wish to consult the Pool of Divination to find out what has happened to the White Dragon Mask and quiz Mek-Ssss about the necessary sacrifices needed. After a couple of near misses involving Ug, the party gets back across the chasm bridge to the pool chamber. Ug and Turin fill the pool from the well and Rosie throws her Book of Shadows into the water as a sacrifice while Crake averts his eyes.

The pool shows Rosie the caldera of a volcano many hundreds of miles away – an army is massing on the steep sides of the volcano while chromatic dragons fly over ahead. The view heads inside a lava tube and Rosie sees a purple-clad Wyrmspeaker with a small red dragon on his shoulder holding the White Dragon Mask. As the vision fades, Rosie is left shaken by what she has experienced.

Ready to leave, the PCs head back across the bridge to the yuan-ti temple where Mek-Ssss reveals a secret passage leading down into a treasure chamber and out beyond the tomb’s entrance. Ug goes first, taking the treasure. When they realise it is not a trap, the others follow. Mek-Ssss closes the trapdoor behind them.

That night, as Rosie goes to reconstruct her Book of Shadows away from the camp, the madness of the Pool descends on her and she wanders aimlessly in the hills for a while. When she snaps out of it, she can’t remember where she is. Confused, she wanders back to complete the ritual to restore her tome.

30th Uktar

The PCs arrive back in Waterdeep. Ug visits the House of Wonder, giving the circlet of seven serpents to Jelkar Feldspear. He agrees to pledge his allegiance to Mystra and the Knights of Mystic Fire. Later the party meet with Dala Silmerhelve and agree to head north to the Sea of Moving Ice to try and find out what happened to Maccath the Crimson and the Draakhorn. Dala tells the PCs she does not belong to any of the five factions but that a “benefactor” of her house is keen for the party to complete the mission.

Feast of the Moon

The PCs attend Ug’s inauguration ceremony into the Knights of Mystic Fire. She wears a new dress for the occasion. As the ceremony is completed, her battle axe glows with pink mystic fire.

1st Nightal

Having purchased winter clothing, snowshoes, climbing kits and crampons, the PCs set sail for the Sea of Moving Ice in the Frostskimmr, a longship captained by Lerustah Half-face.

7th Nightal

As the Frostskimmr nears Luskan, it comes under attack from the pirates of the Merman’s Cock – Rosie’s old ship. From up in the crow’s nest the warlock can see her mutinous former crew mates on deck – the captain Ching Shih, Queen Leutia, Sadie the Goat, Back From the Dead Red, The Lioness and Sayyida al Hurra. They are joined by a dragonfang from the Cult of the Dragon and a bare-chested tattooed male kraken priest who begins summoning a storm cloud as the pirate ship closes fast, firing its ballista and killing one of the Frostskimmr’s crew.

Rosie casts hunger of Hadar on the ballista crew as the Frostskimmr gets ready to repel boarders. Then, the kraken priest calls lightning down on the warlock, striking her and disrupting her concentration. Ug misty steps over to the Cock; Turin, Rosie and Crake swing across on ropes.

Turin casts compulsion to send half of the pirate leaders over to the other side of the deck. Meanwhile, a fanatical pirate dives in front of Rosie’s eldritch blast to save Chinh Shih from being hit. The captain closes with Rosie in melee and cuts her down. Fortunately Turin is on hand with a healing word and again when Back from the Dead Red takes her down a second time! Ug engages the kraken priest in close combat, killing him – the paladin is hasted and his AC 23 proves hard (but not impossible!) for the pirates to hit. Crake battles the dragonfang who hurls orbs of fire at him but the rogue is able to take him down with his fancy footwork and sneak attacks. Turin comes under attack from Sadie the Goat and The Lioness but is able to cast shatter to destroy the ballista and its crew.

With the kraken priest dead, Ug turns his slash, now glowing pink, onto Chinh Shih and Sayyida al Hurra. Crake cuts down Queen Leutia as the battle starts to turn in the PCs’ favour. When Ug kills the captain and Sayyida al Hurra, the surviving pirates surrender.

Rosie kills Back From the Dead Red in cold blood and threatens to kill the other two if they don’t explain why the crew mutinied against Anya Ogre-Teeth. Sadie the Goat’s explanation that the Cult of the Dragon offered them money to betray Anya enrages the warlock, and it looks like the “par-lay” is about to come to an abrupt and violent end. Turin moves to attack Sadie, his sword drawn, babbling something about daughters, mothers and half-orcs. Ug casts hold person to stop him and order is restored. Turin seems to have gone the wrong end of the stick about something but no one is sure exactly what set him off.

Sadie the Goat and The Lioness are tied up; the other surviving pirates are allowed to join the depleted crew of the Frostskimmr. The PCs search the Merman’s Cock’s hold, finding a chest of treasure and a trident of fish command which Ug attunes to.

As darkness falls, Rosie throws Sadie the Goat overboard, tied to the corpse of Chinh Shih. She doesn’t survive long. As she starts setting the Merman’s Cock on fire, Ug rescues the Lioness who is still locked in the brig. She is dragged over to the Frostskimmr and chained to an oar.

12th Nightal

The Frostskimmr reaches the Sea of Moving Ice. A group of ice hunters are spotted on an ice floe, hunting seals. When Captain Lerustah calls out to them in greeting, they get into their khyeks and paddle off to the northeast – odd behaviour, according to the captain. The PCs sail after them but lose them among the ice floes.

As the day wears on, The Lioness reveals that the Cult of the Dragon knew the PCs were heading for the Sea of Moving Ice and ordered the Merman’s Cock to intercept them. Is there a mole at the Council of Waterdeep?

Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #23: The Fate of Varram the White

Here’s what happened in Saturday's game. For tracking down Varram the White, the PCs earn enough xp to reach 9th level.

29th Marpenoth (contd.)

As the PCs rest inside Leomund’s tiny hut, dozens of snakes pour from the holes in the walls and surround the magical shelter. Rosie lights a campfire inside the hut, and Turin gets ready to cast compulsion when the warlock dispels the spell.

But the adventurers hadn’t noticed their enemies sneaking up on them. As the hut vanishes, the door swings open and a yuan-ti nightmare speaker casts hunger of Dendar plunging the room into unnatural darkness. Fortunately, Turin is able to dispel it, then Rosie casts counterspell to foil the yuan-ti’s next spell.

Battle is joined – the PCs are surrounded by lizardfolk, yuan-ti and swarms of poisonous snakes. Crake skips out of the circle to duel the nightmare speaker and one of the malisons. Gwastdyn turns into a bear and Turin casts compulsion in an attempt to force their foes out of the room and over the slippery chasm bridge. He manages to move the nightmare speaker into the corridor before losing concentration, but this allows Ug to use his misty step and take her on in single combat. The paladin kills the yuan-ti just after she takes down Rosie with her eldritch blasts. Meanwhile, Gwastdyn has been forced out of bear form. He casts call woodland beings, summoning 8 azza gremlins, and swings his shillelagh into one of the malisons, crushing his skull. Turin’s healing word brings round the unconscious Crake who has succumbed to the poisonous snakes.

Finally, the PCs are victorious, and they’ve managed to take one of the lizardfolk alive. Draconic-speaker Turin interrogates their captive who tells them he is the only survivor of the yuan-ti’s lizardfolk slaves. They let him go.

After briefly checking out the yuan-ti sleeping quarters behind the door, they all get some much needed healing from Ug. Rosie casts Leomund’s tiny hut again and the PCs hole up for a long rest.

30th Marpenoth

An invisible Crake scouts ahead and finds the yuan-ti temple. Rosie communicates with the rogue via message and the others attempt to sneak up to join him. Ug and Gwastdyn are as noisy as usual and the yuan-ti inside the temple are alerted. The abomination priestess is holding a dragontooth dagger to Varram's neck. She calls out to the PCs, telling them she is prepared to negotiate. True to form, Ug charges in and the priestess cuts Varram’s throat.

Turin follows Ug into the temple, casting shatter and then fear, with Crake hot on his heels. Gwastdyn summons a pack of wolves, then retreats to the corridor to join Rosie. A second abomination enters the corridor to attack the dwarf who wild shapes into a rhinoceros.

After a fast and furious battle, there is just one yuan-ti malison left standing. He surrenders to the PCs. Ug grabs the priestess' circlet of seven serpents - this is the magic item he needs to bring back to the House of Wonder in Waterdeep.
Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons Session #22: Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. No Ug this time, but Rosie returned. Each PC gets 1,650 xp.

29th Marpenoth (contd.)

Just before the party heads through the secret door, Rosie steps onto the dais to examine Diderius’ sarcophagus. The wizard’s booming voice warns her: “Leave me to my rest or face your doom!”. She decides to join the others at the entrance to the humid, slimy corridor heading towards the yuan-ti enclave.

Crake scouts ahead and spots a group of brown-skinned lizardfolk with strange green markings ahead. Battle is joined and the PCs are able to take them out easily with swords, clubs and hunger of Hadar. Beyond the entry chamber a set of stairs lead down to a slime-covered stone bridge over a dark pit. As Gwastdyn descends the steps, a sibilant voice calls from up ahead, telling him Rosie is really a yuan-ti agent and should be dealt with. The dwarf resists, and summons a pair of giant spiders on the bridge to attack the lizard folk and yuan-ti malisons on the other side. Rosie casts hunger of Hadar again to surround their enemies in alien darkness.

Then, Turin and Gwastdyn hatch a cunning plan to get safely across – Gwastdyn ties a rope around one of the giant spiders and Turin casts levitation. The spider walks across the bridge, pulling Turin along. Unfortunately, the bard succumbs to a suggestion from one of the yuan-ti to stop concentrating on his levitation spell and let go of the rope. He falls but luckily manages to catch hold of the edge of the bridge and stop himself plummeting to his doom.


Next, Gwastdyn wild shapes into a giant owl and flies Crake and Rosie across while the yuan-ti and lizardfolk finish off the giant spiders. Turin hauls himself on to the bridge and crosses over to the far side where he finds himself surrounded as enemy reinforcements arrive. One of the yuan-ti suggests the elf runs back across the bridge – he fails a second Wisdom saving throw and ends up clinging on for dear life again. The same thing happens to Rosie who then spends several rounds trying (and failing) to climb up. Turin’s enhance ability and minor image* don’t seem to help her much. Crake fires arrows into the lizardfolk, thinning their ranks, and Gwastdyn summons two packs of wolves but it’s his reluctantly cast thornwhip cantrip that eventually finishes off their last opponent.


Low on hit points and spells, the PCs try to find somewhere to have a short rest. No one wants to go back over the perilous bridge so the only alternative is to press on. Gwastdyn sends the wolves into a side corridor, followed by an invisible Rosie. Up ahead, arrows fly up from a sunken chamber, killing two wolves.

Returning to the others, Rosie and the wolves climb the stairs to the diamond-shaped meditation chamber. Here, snakes pour out of holes in the walls, and fill two suits of armour, animating them as “snake horrors”. Rosie retreats and Gwastdyn casts wall of fire across the room, damaging the horrors. They move forward to attack Turin and take him down. Rosie saves him with spare the dying but he goes down again soon afterwards and she has to do it again. Turin is saved but is babbling incoherently. Gwastdyn changes to bear form and shoves one of the horrors back into the fiery wall, but they are hard to damage – Turin’s shatter and Rosie’s eldritch blast do nothing. Rosie even resorts to setting fire to Frulam Mondath's robes so she can cast control flame on them. Finally, Crake finishes off the last snake horror standing with his rapier.

Rosie casts Leomund’s tiny hut and the PCs climb inside for a much-needed short rest.

*of a sign pointing back towards the yuan-ti. Made by Faerun's equivalent of Acme, presumably.
Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons, Session #21: The Pool of Divination

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 1,940 xp.

28th Marpenoth (contd.)

Crake enters the hallway from the mosaic chamber, spotting a secret panel halfway down the corridor. The rogue signals to the others to approach, and they open the panel, revealing a narrow shaft heading down. Deciding to press on, Crake triggers a pressure plate in the floor which sends a boulder made of skeletal bodies rolling down the corridor towards the party. It runs over Gwastdyn and Turin first, then Ug gets caught up in it and is sent crashing into the wall at the end of the hallway!

With everyone feeling beaten up, the PCs take a short rest in the chamber. Turin tries to pinpoint the strong smell of incense but there is no obvious source.

Opening the door to the east, the PCs enter the former library, now stripped bare of books. The ghostly librarian, a woman named Ilda, manifests – her terrifying appearance shocks Ug who ages 20 years! Ilda was supposed to have guarded Diderius’ books and her failings as a librarian mean she is tied to this chamber. Gwastdyn speaks to the ghost who reveals that Diderius’ powerful divination pool allowed those using it to peer past the magical protections that block lesser divination magic. She warns the PCs that the pool’s revelations can drive you insane unless you asked a specific question, and that gazing into the pool without first making a sacrifice is very dangerous. She also tells the PCs that yuan-ti have taken up residence in the complex.

Next, the party enter the throne room. Here a well-muscled twelve-foot-tall male humanoid with a flowing white beard is sitting on a throne; a large pile of treasure lies at his feet. When the PCs approach, he says “Ye who seek Diderius’ insight must first furnish tribute, that Diderius might work his mighty magic. Lay such tribute at my feet and depart”. When the PCs ask other questions, they get the same response. They leave a few coins each and leave by the western exit.

Five bearded devils are sitting at stone tables in the dining room beyond. Although they don’t seem hostile, Ug is incensed at their presence and attacks. Turin casts shatter and Gwastdyn summons a pack of wolves to defeat the fiends. Stairs in this room lead up to what was once a bedchamber. Here, a pair of wraiths and four spectres attack the party, draining their life energy – poor old Ug suffers the most, losing 30 hp from his maximum.

Once the undead have been vanquished, the PCs search the room, finding books and treatises on divination, silk robes, a magical ring of poison resistance and two scrolls of remove curse. Crake “pours” from the empty silver ewer into one of the goblets on the side table. This fills it with a fuming gas. Ug and Turin deduce that the gas protects from poison when “drunk”. Low on spells and wounded, the PCs hole up in this chamber and take a long rest.

29th Marpenoth

Returning to the library, the PCs give the books they found to Ilda. The ghost smiles gratefully before fading away into nothingness.

Next, the PCs reach the pool chamber – a dead cultist lies on the floor amidst broken arrows and other debris. Ug and Gwastdyn return to the well, fill a bucket and pour water into the basin. Sure enough, the pool fills, flaring with black light. Unfortunately, Crake and Turin do not heed Ilda’s warning and their eyes are drawn to the water. Both go insane – Turin passes out, while Crake starts crawling around on the floor, eating moss. By the time Ug and Gwastdyn return, the water has evaporated, but they are able to bring their companions back to their senses. Examining the cultist’s body, they realise he has been sacrificed. The arrows in here appear to have been fired from the southern doors and perhaps belong to the yuan-ti.

The double doors lead into Diderius’ crypt: the walls are covered in frescoes and his great sarcophagus rests on a dais. Ug can sense the presence of undead in the sarcophagus and behind the walls, so the PCs debate what to do next. Is there a sacrifice they can make to the pool? Would Rosie be willing to take one for the team?

After deciding against this drastic course of action, they search the dungeon for secret doors they might have missed before returning to the well. Gwastdyn wildshapes into an otter and is lowered down the well in the bucket. Unfortunately, the surviving troll is lurking at the bottom and takes a swing at the shapechanged druid, which turns him back into a dwarf. Gwastdyn scrambles up the rope as Ug pulls it from above, while Turin and Crake attack the troll. The foul creature drops back into the water and swims off when the druid drops a flaming sphere down the shaft.

Still stumped, the PCs return to the throne room. Crake realises the giant figure in here is a clay golem disguised with an illusion – Ug urges the others to leave it well alone.

With no other option, the party go back to the crypt and approach the sarcophagus to speak with Diderius. A deep clear voice from inside the coffin tells them that yuan-ti have taken Varram the White to their lair. A moment later, a secret door opens in the north wall...