D&D 5E Storm Kings Thunder: Chapters 1 & 2: Six Months

Yenrak

Explorer
After beginning our campaign in January, we finally completed Chapter 2 of Storm King's Thunder.

You can read some of the background and early stuff here.

Here are our main list of players.
Arche Braverest: Half-elf Rogue.
Walker: Elven Rogue.
Sabrina: Elven Fighter.
Landon: Elven Cleric.
Renbain: Human Fighter.
Danke: Drow Wizard.

Plus two ocassionals: Valindar, Human Wizard; Zach, Elven Ranger.


As you'll see, I've re-arranged the campaign a bit. The P.C.s were hired to guard a caravan traveling from Luskan to Bryn Shander (and I incorporated some of the very old adventure The Accursed Tower by R.A. Salvatore). I moved Nightstone to the Iceflow River. Goldenfields became Hundlestone. And I had them do both Goldenfields/Hundlestone and Bryn Shander.

We're taking a few weeks off for the summer so I sent everyone this summary of our adventure this far.

Our Story So Far: Luskan to Bryn Shander





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Bryn Shander at last.

Thirty days ago you set out with Paddywinkle’s caravan from the City of Sails for Bryn Shander.

Many of you started out as the troublesome seven, petty criminals and gamblers who had met originally in Mirabar. The rogues Jade, Walker and Arche. The warrior Sabrina. Silver, the halfling cleric. Goldina, the pickpocket. Zingales Rye, a secretive spell caster.

Forced to flee Mirabar when one caper too many attracted the attention of the dwarven authorities of that city, the six settled in Luskan, the City of Sales. Soon enough all but Zingales were rounded up by the authorities of that city and locked in the brig.

It was the intervention of a cleric named Landon that liberated you from prison. In exchange, the six promised to find honest work, pray daily to Correlon, and give up gambling, con artistry, and thieving. Honest work is hard to come by in Luskan, however, especially if you are an elf with little by way of experience with ships or the sea.

That all changed after Landon received a letter from his old Waterdeep friend Valindar. He was coming to Luskan on his way to Icewind Dale. That cold, wild territory had been haunting all of your dreams for months. Now you recognized it as a sign from the gods. Valindar said he needed guards for a caravan he was leading to the Ten Towns—just the sort of honest work that might suit the Troublesome Seven.

Valindar confided in Landon the purpose of his journey: he is searching for Iarno Albrek. Back when Landon and Valindar were friends in Waterdeep, Albrek had been an apprentice alongside Valnidar to Gader Ringsberg Hurth, an elderly but highly respected member of the magical community. Landon considered Albrek dangerously ambitious. He appeared to regard others as tools to use for his own ends. Worse yet, he was a bad influence on Valindar, who seemed blind to his fellow apprentice’s faults.

Valindar explained that Albrek went north at the behest of the Lord’s Alliance, a secretive coalition of rulers from cities and towns across the North. Months ago he stopped sending back intelligence reports and appears to have gone missing. Valindar was recruited by Sildar Halwinter, an aging fighter, to accompany him to Icewind dale to search for Albrek.

At the Royal Arms in Luskan you met three caravan masters. Goldina, Silver, Jade, and Zingales joined the caravan of Artemus Bellwether. Sildar Hallwinter signed on to guard Gundren’s caravan. Landon, Valindar, Sabrina, Arche, and Walker signed on to the caravan of Paddywinkle. A human warrior named Renbain also joined the Paddywinkle’s crew.

Paddywinkle’s was the last to leave, on the first day of Mirtul. On the third day, the caravan was attacked by goblins. Following their trail, you discovered the Tomb of the Knights of the Blue Wyrm and recovered a magical sword and a wand of lightning.

The following day, you picked up a seemingly insane hafling named Felgolos. When the caravan was attacked by Black Raven barbarians on the sixth day of the trek north, Felgolos revealed himself to be a copper dragon.

You arrived at Nightstone seven days after leaving Luskan. The small trading post had been attacked by cloud giants, forcing its population to flee to nearby caves—where they were captured by goblins. So your band ventured into the Dripping Caves to free the people of Nightstone. In those caves you encountered a wayward Drow spellcaster, Danka.

You made a deal with Xolkin Alassandar to support his takeover of the town on behalf of the Zhentarim, feasted with the liberated townsfolk, and moved northward, setting out on the tenth day of Mirtul.

You arrived at the dwarven stronghold of Hundlestone on the 14h of Mirtul, hoping finally to be able to rest safely inside the city walls. The city was attacked at midnight by humanoids and giants seeking food. The following day, on the 15th of Mirtul, you cleared a tunnel through the city that would allow for supplies to be smuggled into the city if the siege lasted for long. At the end of the tunnel, you discovered miniaturized hill giants and goblins and a scroll case addressed to Paddywinkle.

The scroll case contained a message telling Paddywinkle that a cloud giant’s castle was directly above the city and that the cloud giant prince, Olthanas might be able to assist Hundlestone. With the aid of a skyship belonging to members of the Cult of the Dragon, you infilitrated his castle. But he was betrayed by his close advisor and the head of his household—who had been the very one to invite you to the castle in the first place. Valindar, after much thought, has concluded that she was looking to frame you for the murder of the Olthanas.

With the aid of Olthanas and his white dragon secured, you support the plan of Zi Thanebearer to attack the giants outside the city rather than wait for reinforcements. Your band—joined by the dragon Felgolos—captured their signaling hill, throwing the enemy into disarray as the dwarven forces poured out of the city. It was a bloody day but in the end the giants were routed and the siege of Hundlestone was broken.

That night Marlo Shalestone, a shepherd of no great note, revealed to Arche and Walker that he was a Zhentarim agent. He recruited them into the black network and asked them to carry a message to two undercover Zhentarim agents in Bryn Shander, Sarelissa Zhanda and Naeremos. He warned that their were rumors of goblins setting up tolls on the caravan route through the mountains.

The next day was a feast day. Zi Thanebearer was promoted to Captain of the Guard. In her first act, she named each of you as the first members of a new order of knighthood, the Hammers of Hundlestone. You each received a shield badge of a Hammer marked with Spire and a banner emblazoned with the same symbol.

Under the sway of dwarven ale, Olthanas revealed that many cloud giants have recently visited his father, Count Stratovan, proposing alliances and taking advantage on the vast body of giant lore within the cloud castle's library.

Olthanas shared with you that the Countess Sansuri has been seeking hidden caches of ancient dragon magic, dating back to the last great war between giantkind and dragons.

Recently seizing an ancient rune-covered black monolith (one believed to hold great power over the dragon-blooded and which very much sounds like the monument taken from Nightstone), you fear that the Countess may now have obtained the means to decrypt its secrets and locate the lost wyrm magic caches from the last great war. Dating back to the Ostorian wars between giants and dragons, these caches are rumored to contain world-shattering lost magics. Perhaps most troubling of all are the whispers that, among those recovered secrets, may lay the fell knowledge necessary to wield and pervert the power of the legendary lost dragon artifact known as the "Draakhorn".

To make matters worse, Olthanas also shared his suspicion that the Countess Sansuri has already put into action a plan to take advantage of disunity among the smallfolk factions. Luring overzealous agents of the Lords' Alliance strike teams to her cloud castle with false information,

Olthanas suggested that not all in Countess Sansuri's immediate circle may share her fervent disdain for the "puny folk", but he remains uncertain. The Countess that Olthanas remembers is a haughty, greedy, and vainglorious creature, suspicious of all those around her, believing them secretly jealous of her power and conspiring to either topple her or frustrate her designs. Only the Countess's infant twin children, her daughter Alastrah and her son Kaaltar, seem exempt from her cold calculations. Olthanas urges you to tread very, very carefully in any your dealings with her.

But, Countess Sansuri is not the only cloud giant with plans.

The Sky Baron Rajiram is believed to have uncovered the location of an ancient copper tablet of forbidden ritual magics - magics rumored to have been stolen from the fabled extra-planar Efreeti City of Brass by the infamous dwarven misanthrope adventurer, Durlag Trollkiller. If Olthanas is correct, there may be scant time before the Sky Baron's flying galleon “Thunderbound” descends upon Beregost to claim his prize!

In addition, Olthanas fears that his uncle, Blagothkus, may have the most ambitious scheme of all.

Blagothus' devoted wife, Escarlotta, was sister to Olthanas' late mother. Moreover, Olthanas has always been close with his cousin, the couples' son, Eigeron.

Yet, of late, Olthanas relates that his uncle's behavior has been increasingly secretive and erratic. Always a wild card in cloud giant society, respecting neither tradition nor precedent, Olthanas fears what his uncle Blagothkus may be furtively planning and what lines Blagothkus might dare to cross, especially now freed of the ordning's constraints.

Not long ago, Blagothkus descended upon his father's library, scouring forbidden texts related to the lost secrets of creating the original legendary cloud castles. Before leaving, Blagothkus also absconded with rare scrolls recounting legends of someone (or something) only obliquely referenced as the "Eye of Annam". (Annam the Allfather is the distant, prime deity of giantkind and the divine father of all trueborn giants).

Blagothkus and his family disappeared soon thereafter.

Olthanas believes that Blagothkus may have taken his son, Eigeron (Olthanas' cousin) with him, in pursuit of an obsessive quest. Olthanas has also been unsuccessful in attempting to reach out to his aunt Escarlotta to learn more of Blagothkus' intentions, and has begun to fear the worst.

A few of you accompanied Paddywinkle to a meeting with a strange group of men who were members of something called the Kraken Society. Paddywinkle purchased from them a 5 foot tall crystal statue known as the Maiden of Ice. He told you that a man named Ragnar Redtooth, in the Icewind Dale town of Targos, was seeking the statue.

Also at the festival, Lifferlas told his story to Landon—and asked him to seek out his creator, a moon elf druid named Aerglas. And Zi asked you to bring a black pearl pendant to a man named Cauldar Marskyl in Waterdeep.

Once again the caravans headed north. First Gundren’s on the 17th day of Mirtul, then Artemus on the 18th, and finally Paddywinkle’s on the 19th. Goldina and Zingales, who had been wounded in the battle, stayed behind in Hundlestone.

On the 20th, you discovered that Artemus’ caravan had been attacked. Silver and Jade were dead, as were all the other members of the caravan. You quickly dispatched the hill giants and goblins responsible.

Two days later you met the Zhents who warned you of a hobgoblin toll up ahead. The following day, a cloud giant castle rushed through the pass, bringing a blizzard in its wake. Two of the caravan’s carts, two drivers, and four of its horses were lost but the remaining six were saved.

Pushing on you came finally to the Hobgoblin Toll. As it turned out, however, most of the hobgoblins had been killed by the blizzard. Only four remained alive. The corpses had been set atop the ramparts to appear to be guards. Further on, you fought a trio of bugbears that might also have once been part of a larger group scattered or killed by the blizzard. Curiously, both the bugbears and the hobgoblins claimed to work for someone called Bad Fruul.

The following day, the 24th of Mirtul, you arrived in Icewind Dale. While it was a relief to be out of the mountains, you now found yourself constantly battered by wind.

Six more days it took to cross Icewind Dale before you reached Bryn Shander. Along the way, you came across a battlefield littered with the corpses of barbarians and giants. You also met trappers who told you that they had seen frost giants crossing the tundra.

At the gates you were greeted by the friendly sheriff’s deputy, Augrek Brighthelm. After been paid and thanked by Paddywinkle, you scattered through the city, most of you going to the market square and Landon to the House of the Triad. In the market, Danke met a very inquisitive woman named Beldora. Renbain conversed with Rendaril, the proprieter of Rendaril’s Emporium, the largest trade house in Bryn Shander. In the Houe of the Triad, Landon met a novice priest named Sirac of Suzail.

Before long, however, Bryn Shander was under attack. This time it was a band of frost giants led by a giantess princess named Drufi. She demanded the city surrender a person called Artus Cimber—an impossible demand to meet since no one in Bryn Shander believed he was present. Sirac confessed that he was the son of Artus but had no idea where his father might be—although he was fairly certain it was somewhere far from Bryn Shander to the south.

So it was that Landon, Renbain, Danke, Walker, Sabrina, and Arche found themselves in combat with the frost giants at the gates of Bryn Shander. Joining you were the Augrek Brighthelm, Sirac, and the leader of the town, Duvessa Shane. It was a close thing but at last the three frost giants at the gates fell and those that had surrounded the city fled. Strangely enough, however, afterwards Drufi’s body could not be found.

There are many mysteries. A missing agent of the Lord’s Alliance. Goblins in a tomb of a lost order of knights. Giants run amok. Nightstone shattered by cloud giants and the stone missing. Hundlestone attacked by hill giants. A message to be delivered to Zhents in Bryn Shander. The mysterious pearl pendant of Zi. The location of Lifferlas’ creator. Humanoids in the service of something called Bad Fruul. Frost giants chasing Artus Cimber. The mysterious crystal statue bound for a man in nearby Targos.

For the first time in a month, however, you are free to choose your own direction. You guided the caravan to Bryn Shander. What happens next is up to you.
 

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