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5E (IC) Vault of the Dracolich (Ensemble)

In response to a general summons, sent by broadsheet, town criers, bards, and rumourmongers, you have come to the village of Hap in Battledale, where a Turmishan wizard named Imani is said to be seeking adventurers. As you enter the wizard’s wide, stone tower, with a well-kept garden, you see that you are not the only one to have answered his call. You may recognize only some of these fellow adventurers, but they all appear as well-seasoned and well-traveled as you.

The receiving room is small, but lavishly decorated, with tapestries, a fine rug, and comfortable-looking chairs. Your eyes are drawn to a large table against the far wall, covered in fruit, meat, cheese, and bread. A servant stands nearby, with wine, and a keg of beer is easy to spot behind him. To the servant's left, an iron staircase spirals upwards and out of sight through a hole in the vaulted ceiling. A female halfling in comfortable clothes sits on the stairs, with a bemused expression on her face, and she watches as more adventurers arrive. A large man in white-and-grey furs pushes past you, stretches, and sits on an oak bench next to the fireplace, which is on your right.

At the moment, there is no sign of the Wizard.

GM: Feel free to mingle, as we wait for more players to join. Anyone I mention at the moment is an NPC. There is another servant who opened the door when you came in, but you barely noticed him.

Rogues’ Gallery Thread
Discussion Thread



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The four genasi entered, the flame haired Fire genasi first, followed by a woman with white flowing hair, and a beautiful, serene water genasi female timidly behind them. Last, the large Earth genasi enters, calmly shutting the door behind him.

"Hey look, food," the Air Genasi says, moving straight for the foot table.

"Auraia," the Fire genasi said, "We aren't here to eat.'

"You're not here to eat, Pyrus," she said without looking back. "I'm hungry."

"Leave her be," the Earth Genasi said quietly. "It's easier."

"Easier, but not always smart," the Water Genasi said to her brother. "Come, Terrus. Let's see if they have any strawberries."

Terrus smiled. He didn't need to eat, not while focusing on fueling his body with his psionic power, but he did like strawberries. "Lead the way, Aquaria."

Pyrus rolled his eyes, moving with them to get food himself. He preferred raw meat, as it had a tendency to cook more as he chewed, but the food here was good enough. He grabbed some meat and raw vegetables, holding his hand under the plate as he walked to get his ale. The food began to sizzle on the plate.

Auraia had a piece of everything, often taking a bite before it made its way to her plate. Aquaria only picked at a few, delicately choosing each piece of food carefully, winding up with very little food on her plate. Terrus, of course, grabbed a hand full of strawberries and, after a moment's deliberation, took a slice of meat as well. He did enjoy the flavor of a good slice of bacon.

The four found seats in the room and ate, the two girls chatting. Well, Auraia chatted and Aquaria nodded, adding in a remark every now and then. Terrus savored each taste of his food, while Pyrus ate quickly, so as to have something more than charcoal in his mouth.

"Why do you always eat so strangely," Auraia asked Terrus. "You always close your eyes and chew slower than molasses."

He swallowed slowly before answering, "Hunger makes one eat more than they can taste. I have no need of hunger, so I can enjoy the flavor that much more."

"Whatever," she said, hopping up for another helping.


Dusty Dragon
A peculiar looking man comes in through the door. He's carrying a large backpack, is dressed in strange, worn out clothes of a deep blue color, and he wears a floopy hat. A sword in a cheap scabbard reinforced with pot metal and string, hang at his side. On his feet are a pair of great quality boots, of well maintained thick leather, the type a knight might wear when out hunting. His pockmarked face is ill shaven, and his skin is lined and weathered by the sun. His brown eyes darts around as he takes the scene in, trying to determine who's in charge and how to get under cover, in case it came in handy.

Not able to discern whom to address, he clears his throats and announces:

"Huuuh, I heard you were hiring people? I have good boots!"

The servant, a young man (teenager) of Hap, wide-eyed at the strange, but amazing looking people moving about the Wizard's receiving room, lifts a decanter. "W-wine?" he offers to Auraia, shocked by her beauty, he turns a shade of red, and quickly glances at his feet.

The large man near the fire twists around to look at the new arrivals. He grunts and reaches down to remove a boot, and then proceeds to remove the entirety of his other leg from the knee. He rubs at the scarred stump, sore from the leather straps that hold on the wooden prosthetic, which he is careful to lie on the floor, where it will have no danger of falling into the fire.

The halfling laughs, deep and loud for such a small woman, and lifts her chin toward the peculiar looking man in the boots. "Those *are* some fine boots!" she exclaims, then looks at her own well-worn boots, comfortable, but old, and large for the size of her body, "I could use a new pair of boots..." she trails off in thought. Suddenly remembering the question, she gestures vaguely up the stairs, "Wizard's upstairs."


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[sblock="Status Box"]Devan the Dawnbringer
NG (L) Human Sorcerer 1/Warlock 3

Size: M | Speed: 30 ft. | Senses: Passive Perception 13

Initiative: +2 | Armor Class: 18 | Hit Dice: 1d6+3d8+8+1 | Hit Points: 30

Spell Slots: 1st-lvl: 2, [W] 2nd-lvl: 2 | Concentration: None

Affected by: None | Conditions: None[/sblock] From where he leaned against the wall, at a spot midway between the crackling hearth and the iron staircase, Devan quietly watched the other visitors as they congregated within the receiving room. He passed no judgement upon them, just merely observed from a distance with idle curiosity.

As a Sword Coast native, he had traveled from afar to reach the Dalelands and had unexpectedly caught himself enjoying the change of scenery. He found that the milder weather and gregarious country folk were quite agreeable and suited his tastes. Maybe one day he could even retire somewhere in the area, if he was lucky.

Pushing such thoughts aside for the nonce, the sandy-haired Inquisitor turned his attention to the food-laden table provided by his absent host. The tempting smell of still-warm bread was too good for him to pass up. And with a whispered word and a subtle gesture, he caused an unattended croissant to float through the air and land in his upturned palm. He took a slow bite, stealing a few moments to savor the initial crunch of the toasted outer layer.

Sometimes bliss could be found in the simplest of things. Devan sighed contentedly and continued eating, waiting semi-patiently, along with all of the others, for Master Imani to finally make his grand entrance.

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Drako smiles as he enters the room, the wine is easily available as so is the ale, but if that all that is offered, he will past.

Drako forced a hard smile. “I am looking for a Wizard, but I see many non-wizards here. Any one of our up for some dragon chest?”


Dusty Dragon
Udit nodded his thanks to the hafling, then frowned slightly... was the hafling looking to steal his boots... no of course not, they would be much too large.

He looked at the food on the table. There would be time to eat it on the way out. Better go see the Wizard first, make a good impression, less sauce on the shirt. He started heading towards the stairs, but then heard the question from the newcomer.

OOC: I'm sort of guessing here what Udit's first impression would be, since the character hasn't been posted...

Looked like a kind of hard fellow - tough but only looked out for himself. Well then, he could figured it out by himself too. Udit was tired of those who took and didn't give. He kept heading for the stairs. Maybe he would be mistaken for a servant? Good.

River Song

Kurzon entered and paused, he often found it best to give people a moment. At first they notice the heavy jaw and large teeth of his orcish heritage, then they look at his arms and armour before they settle on the symbol of Tyr on his armour. He could almost hear the sighs of relief.

He walks over to the food and helps himself to some fruit, "So who is running this show?" he asks.


The young servant is so startled by your floating pastry trick that he nearly spills the wine. The halfling claps her hands and smiles, a twinkle of honest joy in her eyes.


The one-legged man scratches at his greying beard and says "What's that? Some sort of game?" His accent is thick, and obviously northern.


The servant, distracted by the floating pastry and the large half-orc heading towards him, fails to notice you head for the stairs. The halfling gives you a look that suggests she doubts you are authorized, but she shuffles out of your way so you don't step on her as you take your first steps up the iron stairs.

@River Song

As you approach the food table, the young servant, who was red-faced only moments before, turns white and squeaks, "Master Imani will be here soon!"
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"Yes, a game of sorts,” Drako began before he looked around the room, trying to shake off the fatigue of the long journey. “A game I’ve never actually been particularly good at.”

Trying to gather himself he grabbed a few bites of food and then filled his tankard with ale. Nodding his head at the servant Drako reintroduces himself, “Hello sir, I am Professor Sateen and I am in search of a wizard named Imani, if you can point me in his direction I would be grateful.”

The front door, which has been open most of this time, shuts, revealing the obvious senior of the two servants, a balding man with a well-kept beard. Seeing that the gathered adventurers are growing increasingly impatient, he clears his throat and announces in a clear voice which fills the room, "Thank you all for coming. I am Lowell. My Master is Imani, the Wizard who has requested your presence. He is here, and will present himself shortly, when everyone has gathered*. While you wait, please enjoy the food and drink that my Master has had prepared for you.**"

[sblock=passive insight 12+]He hides it well, but he seems concerned that Imani has not come down.[/sblock]

[sblock=passive perception 13+]As the crowd returns to activity, he mutters to himself, "Should have hired a bard."[/sblock]

OOC: Still learning how to format this stuff. Speaking of, I could direct some comments directly to characters if you put passive insight and perception at the bottom of your posts during social interaction scenes. Or is there a better way of doing it? In case you missed it, I've never DM'd PBP.

OOC: @ancalagon I am going to assume you continue up the stairs here, to save back-and-forth on it. If you prefer NOT to go up. Sorry about that.

Udit slips up the stairs with no-one noticing. (No-one who cares at any rate).

The room above is clearly a Wizard's study, with tables and shelves covered with books and oddities. After a short landing, another staircase of the same style continues upward to another level. The central floor of the room has been cleared for some sort of ritual: A circle is inscribed on the floor in wax, with runes of various colours, and candles (currently unlit) at decorative positions in the pattern. Across the room, an old man, with a dark complexion, and curly grey hair, faces a full-length mirror - his back to Udit - and mutters softly to himself.

"You can do this, Old Man. This time we shall have her, and they will not. We will succeed. We must succeed."

He turns his face to one side, and Udit can clearly see the scars that cover that full side of his face. He adjusts his robes, dons a pair of expensive eyeglasses, and turns toward the stairs...

GM: Udit can try to slip back down the stairs before he's spotted (stealth 12), or pretend to have just arrived (deception 15), or another action if you prefer.

River Song

Kurzon walks casually over to the speaker and in a low voice, "Tell me Lowell, where is your master?"

[sblock=Mini Stats]
Init: +0
AC: 20
HP: 36/36

Spell Slots 1st 3/3
Divine Senses 3/3
Channel Divinity 1/1
Lay on Hands 20

Passive Perception: 11
Passive Insight: 13


Dusty Dragon
Udit froze upon seeing the scene. Clearly the wizard was busy wizarding, a task best not interrupted. Udit took a slow step back... but upon hearing the announcement downstairs, Udit winced - that halfling had played him false! Trying to embarrass him. Jealous of his boots, no doubt. Time to make an exit...

stealth down the stairs (intro scene) : 1D20+7 = [13]+7 = 20

Udit made his way down the stairs and discretely slips besides the table, grabbing bread discretely. As he munched on the bread he wondered what that wizard was on about. Who was "her"? and what about "they?" This language was a mess, with all those pro-nounz that told you nothing...

Kurzon walks casually over to the speaker and in a low voice, "Tell me Lowell, where is your master?"

Lowell appears flustered, and then a look of relief crosses his face as he looks towards the spiral stairs. Kurzon follows his gaze and sees colourful robes defending. They are followed by the tired-looking, scarred face of the Wizard Imani.

Imani the Sage (small).png

OOC: Might as well move along. There are enough here for a full party. If at least two others join, we can split into two parties of four, with a Genasi in each. I've still got a bit of a preamble before we really get going, so there's time yet.

"Hail, Heroes!" calls the Wizard Imani, Sage of Hap, using the stairs as a stage, so he can be seen by all the gathering.

Seeing that he may have overdone his greeting, he clears his throat and quickly gets to the point, "I have gathered you here today at great expense. Some years ago, I traveled with an adventuring group known as the Company of the Sunlit Sea. Like many of you, we hunted for treasure and lore. One item in particular caught my - caught our - attention: The Fabled Diamond Staff of Chomylla*. Said to unlock the ancient secrets of Elf Loremasters of Uvaraen**. This item we tracked to a forgotten temple of the once-dead god, Bhaal. We had no idea what trouble we would find inside."

* [Sblock=Arcana (Trained Only) DC15]The Diamond Staff is one of at least 3 long-lost Lorestaffs of the elves of Uvaraen. It is made of magically elongated diamond, and each facet is inscribed in a long-forgotten ancient elven script. The staff is said to house a remnant of the personality of it's creator, Chomylla, and her vast knowledge of ancient elven magics.[/sblock]

** [sblock=History DC15]The elves of Uvaraen were ancient lore-keepers who were wiped out by the cataclysmic arrival of a shooting star. Chomylla was an Uvaraenni who is said to have escaped the catastrophe. [/sblock]

After a dramatic pause, he continues, "The Cult of the Dragon and one of their terrible creations - the Dracolich, Dretchroyaster*** - had discovered the temple before us, and made it into a lair. My friends and I braved the dangers of the Dracolich's chambers and caverns in search of a way to claim the staff. Unfortunately, we were forced to turn back when a trap was triggered that left me burned beyond healing."

*** [sblock=History DC15]Dretchroyaster was a venerable Green Dragon who was famed for his love of hunting Centaurs. It is said that a few centuries ago, he devastated the Dalelands. Like most ancient dragons, stories suggest that he often sleeps for centuries at a time. It would be better if he were sleeping. You really hope he's sleeping. Do dracoliches sleep? [/sblock]

"My friends and I were able to leave this lie and follow other pursuits - the Cult of the Dragon knew not what they held. But of late, my divinations have revealed that the Cult have discovered the staff, and are pouring eldritch energy into it in an attempt to unlock the secrets and power of all Uvaeren. We cannot allow the ancient knowledge of the Lorelands to fall into the hands of the Cult. Such magic in the service of evil will have grave consequences to our world."

At this, many of the gathered adventurers nod their heads in understanding while others begin to shuffle their feet and look concerned about what is obviously next: "I have brought you together to do what I and my adventuring companions could not: You must enter the Vault of the Dracolich and recover the Diamond Staff. The fate of the Dalelands - and the rest of the world - may rest in your hands."

River Song

"No pressure then," Kurzon chuckles drily. "But I am certainly up for it,
just two quick questions Master Mage."

"Firstly, what does this staff look like? And then, do we get to keep what we find?"


Drako Sateen

Drako nods his head trying his best to follow what the old wizard was saying. He had heard of the Diamond Staff of Chomylla, at least he thought he had heard of it. Imani was right, they needed to keep it out of evil hands, much better in his hands, or the groups, or Imani’s if necessary.

“We will not fail you sir!” Drako said with gusto.

Passive Insight 10
Passive Perception 12