D&D 5E (IC) Rise of the Dracolich


Imani's Heroes Book Two: Rise of the Dracolich
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Previously in Vault of the Dracolich

The Wizard Imani, Sage of Hap recruited a large group of adventurers to undertake a dangerous task: Entering the Vault of the Dracolich Dretchroyaster to retrieve an ancient elvish relic - The Diamond Staff of Chomylla. Deep within the forest of Cormanthor under a mountain known as Blackpeak, the Vault was behind an abandoned Temple dedicated to Bhaal, the God of Murder. The Temple was occupied by the villainous Silakul and his Cult of the Dragon followers as well as a company of mercenaries known as the Beast Boys due to the foul reputation of their captain, Bardaby "The Beast".

Using various points of entry, Imani's agents worked their way toward the Inner Vault, collecting Bhaalite Idols which would disarm the powerful wards that sealed and protected the inner chamber. They encountered a tribe of Troglodytes who worshipped the Dracolich, and discovered many secrets of the vault. The most important secret was that the Mountain of Blackpeak was grown by the power of an Earth Node that had fallen from the sky in ages past. The very rock that contained the elemental power was in the heart of the Dracolich's Lair.

Fighting through the Cultists, Mercenaries, Necromancers, and Undead, as well as facing Dracolich Simulacrae and a Hydra, the groups made their way, with surprisingly minimal losses, to the Inner Vault and used the Bhaalite Idols to gain entry. There they fought their way past the Stonefaces, Dragon Cultists that were imbued with elemental power seized from the Earth Node, and descended into the Dracolich's Lair.

Dretchroyaster, venerable Green Dragon, had been a tyrant in life, preying upon the Centaurs, Elves, and other creatures of Cormathor for hundreds of years. The Cult of the Dragon had turned him into a Dracolich. The creature laid on its hoard, wrapped around the Earth Node and holding the Diamond Staff. The staff held the essence of Chomylla, an Elvish Archmage from the days of Ancient Uvaeren, a golden age of elvish Lore and Magic. The Dracolich was in a torpor, in fact engaged in a psychic battle of wills with the Staff, who held the secret of unlocking the full power of the Earth Node.

Imani's agents took the staff and escaped through a teleportation circle, leaving the powerful Dracolich enraged, and fully awake. The creature had lost the Staff and his Cultist followers, but he still had most of his horde, and the elemental Node.

* * *

Rise of the Dracolich: Chapter One: The Gathering

Six months had passed since Imani had sent his adventuring allies into the Vault of the Dracolich. Imani had spent most of that time conferring with the Diamond Staff of Chomylla, learning the Lore of Uvaren. He was still a patron to adventurers, in particular scouts he employed to keep an eye on the activities of the Dracolich and the Cult of the Dragon, where it could be found.

Dretchroyaster had ravaged a village or two and had chased a tribe of Centaurs into hiding, but the creature had returned to its lair. Still, agents of the Cult came and went from the Bhaalite Temple. A vast blow had been made to the Cult of the Dragon, but they were still active, and now, perhaps, under the direct influence of a powerful and crazed Dracolich.

The problem of the Dracolich and the Cult was never far from Imani's mind, and most of his research was dedicated to ending the threat. One day, after making an important discovery, Imani sent for some of his most trusted allies. Some of them came and some of them sent proxies, but once again, the small village of Hap in Battledale became the destination for several impressive adventurers.

GM: Welcome. Feel free to introduce your character as he or she arrives in Hap.
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Dusty Dragon
On a small hill overlooking a wagon track, three children were busy building a snow-fort*, pretending to defend their homeland from would be invaders.

The three kids interrupted their construction as they heard the rumble of a cart in the distance. Who could it be? The cart was a utilitarian affair - the study, no-nonsense kind that a small merchant or farmer would have used, pulled by a single mule. But the cart driver caught their attention - that was no merchant. A wide-brimmed hat, a tattered black cloak that seemed insufficient for the weather, the hilt of a long blade visible, mail hauberk underneath.

Looked scary. Still, you couldn't invade with a single person... The hat tilted up. Blood-shot eyes peeked from under the brim, a pale, gaunt, ill-shaved face.

"BOO!" the man shouted. Two of the kids fled screaming. But one, a girl, held her ground. She crossed her arms and jutted her chin.

The man smiled, stopped the mule. "Kid! Where's Imani's Tower? The sage of Hap?" The girl pointed at a country lane.

"Catch!" the man replied, as he flicked in her direction a fat copper piece. The girl caught it, looked at the man again, and turned around to find her friends. The man's thin smile faded, and he urged the mule onward, trudging through the snow.

A short while later, the cart arrived at the tower. "Well at least that half-wit messenger got that part right" the man muttered as he heavily got off the cart, armor jingling. He surveyed the area as he belted the sword to his waist, and hitched the mule to a post.

"No trouble from you", he glared at the mule. The mule glared back. "You better hope we don't run out of rations".

He adjusted his cloak and as he did so, a small shadowy shape fluttered out. "Sooty, take a look around". He walked the small rise to the tower, one booted foot dragging, a hand on his sword hilt, the armor reaching past his knees.

He reached the door knocker, banged it three times. There was no immediate answer.

"Bloody wizards..."

*may need tweaking depending on the season


Ahh... Hap. Memories, memories...
Such a quiet place. Too quiet maybe. But if Imani called for us, it will not stay that way for long.

The Mage tower was not difficult to find. Lorenn landed, jumping off his flying board. With a fancy move, he kicked it up into his hand while walking away casually.
He was almost at the door when he pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket. He unfolded it and scrolled trough the letter one last time.

"This is the last time you will hear of me." Those were the last words of his father.

"Yeah Father... But you will hear of me!" said Lorenn out loud while putting the letter back at the bottom of his pocket. And he knocked at the door.
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The air down an alley in the village of Hap begins to warp. A moment later, a man stands where there was none before.

Primus squinted against the sunlight. He’d just come from the Shadowfell, and it was ungodly bright here on the Prime.

He reached into his pouch, a Bag of Holding, and pulled out his last roll of tobacco. Taking a deep pull, he steps out into the street.

People. He hated people. Titus owed him, big time. Primus was already sketching the deck he’d make his little brother build for him. Maybe he could finally talk Auraia into teaching his wife, Eliara, how to make her salsa. He needed more of that salsa in his life.

He made his way through the town, his boots crunching the gravel underneath. He’d known Imani for a while. He’d been the one to recommend his siblings to help with Imani’s last problem. And now he was here, to clean up their mess. Woopie. Eliara was already complaining that he wasn’t home often enough. The kids were starting to develop their own abilities. He’d have to start teaching them soon.

He took another draw on his tobacco, before making his way to Imani’s tower. May as well get this over with.


The last snowfall had been a week ago and it seemed that spring would soon arrive. The determined children played in the piles on the sides of the small-town gravel roads, where the townsfolk had cleared it. Imani's Tower rose high above the town on the cliff at the base of Haptooth Hill that protected the little town from the worst of the northern winter winds. A small lane switched back-and-forth a few times on its way up to the tower from the town's main square and its Millery Inn.

The children watched in amazement as one-by-one strange outsiders arrived and travelled up the lane to the tower. It was not an unusual occurrence, but it never ceased to cause a stir amongst the locals.


An armed and armored warrior made his way up the zig-zagging path from town, his face forlorn and his pace slow.

Zander wasn't sure that this was a good ideal and of what use he could be to a mighty wizard like Imani, but he put his life on hold once more to answer this summons. It would be good to see all his old comrades once more, and by the looks of the townfolk he passed some of them should be here.

Coming into view of the tower he stopped and adjusted his weapon and shield, that he wore on his back. "Whoa now," he though to himself. "If I start jumping at the slightest thing I'll be no good to anyone."

Restarting his slow walk he thought of Layla and a grin formed at the corners of his lips. The woman he hoped to marry after whatever this final quest for Imani might be always brought a smile to his face.

Charwoman Gene

So this is Hap... rather quaint. Alhana rode into town in the back of a cart filled with turnips. DIscarding the badly carved turnip she'd been toyinmg with, she mad her way to the tower, wondering what would await her.


Spymasters office: City-State of Haven

"And what of our 'prodigal child'?"

"He's been damned impossible to track down since the Battle of BlackRock sire. But we think we've got a lead."

"Yes, our scrying attempts started to fail just after that incident. No doubt that damnable Imami is to blame."

"Er, yes sir, we believe he has acquired an amulet. In any case, he has been seen in the company of 3 men who we can't identify..."

"Can't identify? Why ever not?"

"They wear masks, sire. And never take them off in public. Not even to eat. Or so it is said. But they do everything he tells them to."

"So, he's gaining new followers for his damned little cult then? We may just have do deal with this sooner, rather than later. We can't have a Havenite noble running around drumming up cults..."

"One more thing sire... he seems to be headed towards Hap."

"What? Damnit, not Imami again!


A plain looking carriage pulls up before the tower of Imami, it is obviously a fired coach, although the driver looks a bit on the nervous side. Though he Also seems to be quite relieved at having arrived at his destination. He quickly scrambles down from his seat and hinges the step down before opening the door.

"Here we are sirs! I hope you enjoyed the ride!"

Three men stepped out first. They seemed to match to a T at first, of only slightly different builds and all wearing the same style of armor and of clothing. None of their faces could be seen as all were masks. Though each of the masks had a slightly different design, probably so that they could tell each other apart. These men didn't speak, they only looked about the area for dangers and then stood aside as their master stepped out of the conveyance. "It was sufficient for my needs. Thank you. Here is your pay, and there is no need for you to stay. I have a feeling that I will be departing through other means."

The driver seemed extremely relieved to be released from service although he tried to hide it. He packed up and drove away, probably too quickly for appearances.

Mord had arrived, and he strode into the tower flanked by his bodyguard.


Dusty Dragon
Kalorn was sitting in the antechamber of the tower, nursing a cup of mulled wine. Turned out that he was early – no one else had shown up yet, and the Sage wasn't ready to meet him yet. That was ok, it was nice to sit for a bit, and the wine was surprisingly good.

His sword laid besides him. He could have dismissed it – should have, the long blade was awkward in confined quarters – but the sword was important for first impressions. Who is this man? Ah, a swordsman. It avoided... questions. He wondered if any of them would recognized it as a Zentarim blade. He didn't care. He won it fair and square from the rulers of Archendale – still had a scar from that troll-bite too.

He closed his eyes. Sooty was hidden in an evergreen, about 50 feet from the tower's door, keeping an eye out. Kalorn wanted to see the others *before* the door was open. More telling that way.

Thus, Kalorn saw Mord arrive in a carriage. A carriage of all things! But the person who stepped outside wasn't the fop Kalorn had momentarily feared. He walked as one with power. A mage? And those three... something was... off. They wore mask for a reason. Kalorn had used Sooty's senses many a time over the years, and those guards didn't … feel... right. The echoes were wrong. Kalorn straightened in his chair. His leg twitched. He then smiled ruefully. If the sage of Hap was willing to hire him, who else would he hire?

He would find out soon enough. He always did.


Imani always felt apprehensive before he faced a large crowd of adventurers. As usual, he was upstairs in his study as his servant welcomed the arrivals, fretting over all the last details. "You will do well," the Diamond Staff told him reassuringly in his mind. The essence of the Archmage Chomylla contained in the staff was kind and knowledgeable, though not as knowledgeable nor as ambitious as she had been in life, thousands of years ago. "They are here to help."

Imani agreed that she was right. He expected at least some of the arrivals to be known to him; competent agents who had done excellent work before - far better than he had expected. Others were new, but came highly recommended by people he trusted. Still, he always hated sending people on dangerous missions, potentially sending them to their deaths. Though he expected the first part of the task would be relatively simple, he knew that things did not always go as planned.

Furthermore he knew that every time he sent a group out to work against the Cult of the Dragon there was a chance that the cult would discover that he was backing their enemies. He was not concerned for himself - as the Sage of Hap, he felt responsible for the lives of the villagers who lived below his tower. Hap had only three active guardsmen and a potential militia that numbered only in the dozens. Even a small mercenary company could take the town, and the Cult of the Dragon had hoards they could use to hire mercenaries.

He put it from his mind. It was the humble nature of the village that kept it safe. No one would suspect that such a small place could gather forces that could strike such a blow to the cult's plans as his agents had under Blackpeak. Imani completed his preparations, straightened his robes and his glasses, and went downstairs, carrying the Diamond Staff. He could hear the crowd as they made small-talk, awaiting his arrival.

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