D&D 5E The Journal of Myles Stormgroom (Hoard of the Dragon Queen Campaign)

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 1

Heading toward Greenest from Nashkel

I knew Strix (a human wizard...who we think is beginning to dabble into the secrets of life, death and undeath) from Nashkel….Strix, battered and bruised, told me he had to get out of Nashkel so I (a wanderer by nature) joined Strix. He’s a strange man, but he, like I, believe in change, like the seasons, and I know he has no love for orcs; therefore we stand together.

We met up with Mily (a Halfling rogue) and Grim (a Human fighter) who had seemed to be acquainted with each other. Mily very happy, curious Halfling – Grim, well….Grim….didn’t talk much.

Then we worked a caravan together for about a 10-day, along with Brevick (a Dwarven fighter). Brevik spoke little, and when he did it was only a few words in his language. None of us could understand him.

Nearing Greenest, we saw smoke rising and a creature that looked like a dragon circling over the town. We tried to stealthfully advance into the town, and were able to find a family (wife, husband, and 3 children) attacked by a 5 or 6 kobolds. The woman took a few blows and went down. I stabilized her with a prayer to Silvanus. We rescued them and calmed the fleeing husband. We gathered them together as Brevick hoisted the unconscious woman on his shoulder, and we moved as fast as we could toward the Governor’s Keep.

On our way, we encountered two groups of kobolds with cultists. It seemed as if they were worshiping Tiamat, but we did not want to waste time searching them nor did we think twice about sparing their lives. We just needed to get to the keep as fast as we could. We fought and ran, fought and ran until we made it to the gates of the keep. Brevick, carrying the woman, ran like a possessed Dwarf straight at a group of foes as we used our ranged weapons to pick some of them off from further distance. We all had our share of kills. Strix even shot a burst of fire that killed a flying kobold (Urd) in mid air.

Inside we were safe. We met with Governor Nighthill, Escobert the Red (Dwarf Castellan) and a Priest of Chauntea. We helped them tend to the injured and found out about the dragon attack and the kobold forces. Escobert and Brevick hit it off. I guess Brevick was actually speaking the Dwarven language, but none of us could understand him. In the meantime, the tale of our exploits were circulated around the keep. Brevick’s bravery, carrying the woman through battle, slowly began to reach legendary status. After a short rest, we gained back some of our strength. The priest we met even healed me so that I could keep my powers to use in defense of the keep.

As we shared some food and ale, Escobert had a plan. We would use the sewers to sneak out of the keep in an attempt to find more scared, injured and/or panicked citizens, and bring them in to safety. We agreed.

Sneaking down the sewers we were attacked by a couple of rat swarms. Mily did an amazing acrobatic flip on to some floating boxes to cross the sewerway to begin the fray – impressive. Soon, both Grim and I were covered with the hungry vermin. Grim nearly went down as the rats gnawed through his armor, but then with a second wind he killed the last rats that clung to my armor. I tried to kill the others on Grim, but Mily had to finish the job.

End of Session

Comments:

During the 1 1/2 hour session each PC did his or her thing. I tried to add at least one special thing each PC did into the narrative (although there may have been more that have gone unrecorded).

The background material is very important for establishing the feel and roleplaying backdrop for our session. Beginning with immediate bonds and relationships really helps.

Even though we survived 4 combat encounters in a single day (and we are currently continuing) we all felt the danger. Honestly, we wanted more than anything to avoid encounters, especially after we rescued the family.

We look forward to continuing our adventure!
 
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Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 2

Horde of the Dragon Queen (Spoilers)

We continued through the tunnel under the keep and got to a mess of boxes and crates that were blocking a doorway. We took some time to clear the area and then Mily got up close to the door and examined the lock. She tinkered with it for a bit before Brevick used the key to open it. Lucky for us, Mily’s work preserved the lock so we could use this door as protection later if we had to flee enemy forces.

Brevick was the first to go through the door into the night air. He came back and pushed Mily out for her to take a look. Mily returned and told us about 5 or 6 kobolds and 3 cultists who were up an embankment to the north watching the keep, cheering as a great blue dragon flew overhead, assaulting the keep’s walls with deadly lightning bolts. Mily was excited by this.

After a brief discussion, we decided to try to take the enemies by surprise. Brevick ran up the hill and attacked, killing one. Then I ran up beside him with my shield glowing brightly. Mily snuck out and used her sling to down another kobold, as Grim ran to engage. Strix, playing it safe, emerged from the tunnel, spotted a target, fired a fire bolt, then retreated into the tunnel again. Pretty soon, we were able to take down the rest of these foes. Having surprised them made it a lot easier.

As we surveyed the village, we saw a nearby building belching flames. Since we wanted to save some villagers, we ran to the building and gathered up 5 or 6 of the people trapped within. I led them back to the tunnel and tried to get one of the older citizens, and old man, to stay in the tunnel door so that if others came he could let them in to safety, but he and the children were too frightened so, with a torch in hand, they ran through the tunnel to the keep.

We found other buildings and other citizens, but as we were gathering them, a group of kobolds and a guard, attacked us. After Stix blasted a foe with his fire bolt, he became a target, going down after a kobold and the guard stuck him with their weapons. Grim, Mily and Brevick stood their ground as I moved up to our fallen comrade, using divine energy to heal his wounds and get him back on his feet. I told the others that I was exhausted, so from now on, we’d have to be very careful. Grim, already wounded from earlier, used his crossbow to attack at range, while Brevick enraged that Strix was knocked down by the guard’s spear, ripped the spear from Strix’s body and charged the guard. Unfortunately, his blind rage made it difficult, and his attack missed the mark. Grim, Mily, Brevick and I were eventually able to kill the last foes, and begin to usher the 9 citizens alone with us as we checked other buildings.

Before we could get much further, around the corner, we saw a large group of raiders. There must have been nearly 15 of them, including some small dragons or drakes. I shouted to the others, “run for the tunnel,” and we did. The raiders saw us, but they were far enough behind that we were able to make it to the tunnel. We locked the door and went back to the keep with the people we rescued. After resting and telling Escobert about our foray into the village, we found that the blue dragon was still attacking the walls of the keep. We went out to assess the situation. It was not good. A number of guards were blown off the walls by the dragon’s lightning breath, and parts of the wall were crumbling. The Dragon Fear kept us from acting rationally, but we were lucky to make it back into the keep without additional mishap.

Inside, Escobert told us that a cellar doorway had been breached. The enemy was now entering the keep. He asked us to try to hold the breached area while he and his guards fight any kobolds that were within the keep. We ran down to the room with the breach, accompanied by Esmina Mynist, one of the keep’s wizards, who said she could mend the gates if we could clear a way to them and give her some time to work her magic. We pushed into the room and fought a number of kobolds, an acolyte and a drake. Everyone did his or her part, so Brevick and I made it to the gates where we created a shield wall against intruders. Ermina worked her magic to begin repairs, but the enemy assaulted us as we stood defensively. After withstanding a number of attacks, I was hit hard and went down.

Later, after a keep healer had tended to my wounds, the others told me that they held the breached area, and Ermina was able to restore the gates. We were all exhausted, and even after a short rest, I could not regain my full health.

End Session

We gained enough xp to get to level 2, but since the keep was still under siege, and it was still night, we were unable to take a long rest to restore our strength.

It has been a long and tiring day for all of us.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 3 – ShadeRaven’s Horde of the Dragon Queen – Session 3 (a short session)

We were still trying to help the keep repel attacks from the Dragon Queen’s army. It had been a long night in Greenest. We found Escobert and other guards, and I traded my shortbow and a few gold to a guard for a longbow. Then Governor Nighthill came to us directly and asked us to hustle over to the mill. He feared that the enemy would target the mill to destroy their food production, which would be a crippling blow to Greenest. We set off right away, mostly because Brevick was running down to and out of the secret tunnel before we could even devise a plan. We followed and found an easy path toward the mill.

When we got to the mill, we had to cross over a collapsed dam. We all made it over without mishap. It was strangely quiet as we got closer, and when we got to the doors, a group of foes attacked from all sides. We met with 5 cultists and a guard. Grim who had been moving stealthfully was able to surprise one cultist that was hiding behind the dam. His axe hewed the our foe easily. Brevick also took one down and ran to another which, he wounded. I fired my bow and downed the wounded acolyte as Strix fired his fire bolt at still another. Things looked good, but one of the acolytes hit Brevick badly (crit). Then the guard that came from another direction tried to move in, but Mily vaulted atop a wall and slashed down on the guard, killing him with a single deadly blow (crit). With only Brevick hurt, we prevailed and pushed our way into the mill.

Inside, Brevick made a bee-line upstairs. Since it is so hard to communicate with the nearly illiterate Dwarf (who only speaks Dwarvish), we followed again. There were 5 guards upstairs and after we engaged them, a number of cultists came up the stairs behind us. Upstairs, Grim moved out and was surrounded on 3 sides by 3 Guards. Another guard threw a spear down the stairs to hit Mily. Then Mily jumped up the side of the stairs and pulled herself up to take down one of the other guards while I decided to call on sacred flame to slightly injure another guard. Brevick hacked at another, but that guard survived and then cut into Brevick badly, taking Brevick down. We dispatched another as Strix fired at it with a bolt of fire, and Grim stood his ground against 3 Guards, although he was hit hard (another crit but he kept on his feet). As things started looking bad, Brevick unconscious and still a number of foes remaining, Mily leapt down to the first floor. There she was surprised by 2 more cultists, and they took her down. Those 2 cultists spent some time trying to loot Mily and take off her armor too. Topside, I realized we were in trouble so I shouted out to Grim and told him to disengage and come back to us. When he did, I called upon Silvanus and blasted 3 guards with a mighty Thunderwave. It obliterated all 3 of them. Now only 3 acolytes and the 2 downstairs remained. Strix stepped up and produced magical fire from his hands to injure all 3 cultists. Then Grim, Strix and I were able to take them out, but the mill had started to burn. Grim, thinking quickly, pulled out a blanket from his pack and smothered some of the flames.

Just then, we heard Mily from below. She had regained consciousness (rolled a 20 on death save) and she had stabbed and killed 1 of the 2 cultists that were trying to loot her body. While both Strix and Grim tried to extinguish the fires upstairs, I ran downstairs to help Mily. By this time, Brevick had stabilized, but he was still unconscious. Upstairs, Strix used magic to quench some of the fire and then Grim was able to stamp out the rest. Running downstairs, I smashed into the final cultist and skewered him with my shortsword.

We were beaten up and in bad shape, but we had prevailed. Soon after, the militia entered the mill. Feeling some safety with this regiment defending the mill, we took a short rest. We were able to bandage our wounds, but we could not get Brevick on his feet yet. We’d like to stay here with the militia to wait for Brevick to regain consciousness. We’ll see what happens next.

End of session.

We started our session late and spent time leveling from 1st to 2nd level. Then we decided to play for an hour. The sprawling battle outside and inside the mill was epic. We really thought we would not make it out alive. Instead of healing Brevick to get him back on his feet, I decided to use my last spell for a maximized Thunderwave using my divine channeling. That was a life saver.

We all had a great time and felt the thrill of near TPK. Shaderaven's dice were on fire. Ours were streaky. I was pretty lucky tonight, but Grim, Mily, Brevick and Strix, not as lucky.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 4 – ShadeRaven’s Horde of the Dragon Queen (3 hour game)

Approximately 2 am. We had been fighting the Dragon Queen’s army all day since arriving at Greenest. When we told the militia that had come to the mill that we needed to rest with our unconscious comrade, Brevick, they decided to return to the city center. We tried to get some to stay with us, but they wouldn’t. Hoping that Brevick would revive in a few hours, we put the unconscious Dwarf on the bed in the upstairs bedroom and Mily set up some ball bearings and other junk on the stairs so that we’d hear if others entered.

Soon after Mily and Strix heard some voices outside talking about us. Cultists were entering and they feared that we might still be alive. We moved into the next room and positioned ourselves near the doorway to ready attacks, but when the cultists came upstairs and saw the trap that Mily set and the carnage of other dead guards and cultists that we had killed, they got scared. Grim overheard the cultists say that they were going to get reinforcements. With that, Grim opened the door, fired his crossbow, killing one of the cultists. Before we knew it, we realized that we had to try to stop the cultists. I took a crossbow in the shoulder and Grim caught one in the gut. Mily, Strix, Grim and I each killed one of the foes, but 4 turned and ran. I was able to make it outside and the light of Silvanus from my shield revealed one of the cultists near the front door. I struck it down with my shortsword, and saw another cultist about 20’ to the north. It was running. Mily made it out and downed that one, but two others had escaped.

We knew it was unsafe to stay in the mill so Strix used his last spell to cast Tenser’s Floating Disc. We put Brevick on it and tried to move out as fast as we could. I doused our light so we would not call attention to ourselves and we headed down the river trying to avoid any entanglement. We heard and saw a few groups of foes, but when they saw us, we ran and were able to make it back to the secret tunnel that led into the governor’s keep.

Governor Nighthill congratulated us, but he also wondered why his militia came back without us. I told the governor that we told them to wait, but they wanted to go back to help in other areas. When the misunderstanding was cleared up, the governor asked us to go to the cathedral across town. He had found out that many innocent people were trapped there and the enemy was trying to use a battering ram to open the front doors and burn down the cathedral. He warned us that the great number of foes at the site would call for some stealth, so we took to the riverbed once more and snuck our way to the rear of the wall that surrounded the edifice. Brevick led us since he could see best in the dark. We found a lower area of the wall to peer over. There was a large force to the west doing some strange ritual. There was also smaller force to the east, banging away at a rear entrance. Strix realized that the ritual was an attempt to call forth a dragon. He was agitated by that. In fact, he seemed to know much more about the cult language and activity than a random bystander. I knew my friend had unorthodox beliefs, dabbling with life and death, but it seemed there was more to his past than even I realized.

Once we realized that the ritual dance was proceeding, we figured we only had about 10 minutes to get the captives out. We decided to move further east near some trees so that we could secure ropes to the trees and throw them over the wall. This would help us climb in and also help the others climb out if we could get them out of the cathedral. Brevick, in his bold fashion, swung over to the trees inside the wall and seemed ready to bolt toward the back door where 5 kobolds and 2 cultists were trying to gain entrance. Strix, attempted a bit of wizard legerdemain, by whispering a magical message to one of the kobolds near the door. He tried to get the creature to believe that the cultist next to him was insulting him. The kobold told the cultist, which made the cultist think that the kobold was getting loopy. He ordered the kobold to the front of the building where they were using the battering ram to try to smash the front doors just to get it away from him. One less kobold for us.

That’s when Brevick charged out and took them by surprise. He smashed one of the kobolds, but it didn’t go down. I jumped over the wall, placed a magical light on the Dwarf’s helm and then stepped behind a tree. Mily, who was already on the other side, hidden behind the tree, fired her sling. The sling stone she propelled hit a kobold straight in the eye, lodging in the poor creature’s brain. Grim and Strix also attacked and Brevick and I also attacked, and Mily fired her sling once more with equally impressive results, another eye shot. Our stealth paid off. We took them down pretty quickly and quietly with minimal casualties on our side.

At the cathedral, we were still hidden from the other foes that were doing the ritual. So that Strix could use his message cantrip, we all searched for cracks in the boarded up windows so that he could get visual contact with someone inside. Strix found a small opening. Inside he could see the priestess herself standing amidst many scared folk. Strix contacted her and told her that we were at the back door and we could rescue them, but we had to hurry. She let us in and we tried to get the citizens to move out with us, but they were too scared to move. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

Eventually, Mily, who became a metaphor for escape, the small halfling who had survived on the streets, was able to convince the group to follow us to the wall where we set up the ropes. Strix led the citizens as we watched our rear. We got lucky. None of the cultists or other creatures saw us and we were able to scale the wall only seconds before the battering ram the foes were using smashed down the heavily fortified front door. We moved quickly along the river bed, making it back to the keep tunnel without incident. That felt good. We saved about 3 dozen innocent souls.

Just as we were resting in the keep after our triumphant mission, we saw the pre-dawn light and a small contingent of kobolds marched to the front gate behind a 7’ tall half-dragon, half humanoid figure. This turned out to be one of the commanders we had heard about earlier that night, Cyanwrath. He called to the keep and his lackeys dragged forth human prisoners, women and children. He issued a challenge calling any brave soul to fight him one-on-one. He promised to release the prisoners win or lose. After Escobert translated, Brevick rushed out to face the half-dragon. We all went out to watch. Meanwhile, Strix tried to get us to plot and attack the creature with anything we had. I noted how that would endanger the women and children, and when one of the guards pleaded for his wife and kids, we knew that Brevick had to do this alone.

Brevick came to me for a blessing and then he strode slowly towards Cyanwrath. Brevick was quicker than the half-dragon. He threw a net on the creature, entangling it successfully. Then he jumped back and threw a hand axe at the beast, drawing first blood. Cyanwrath was surprised, but he ripped the net from his body easily. Then he attacked with his greatsword, not once, but twice. Both mighty slashes cut into our Dwarven friend, and he fell to the ground a bloody mess. Quickly, I called out to Cyanwrath asking permission to aid Brevick. The half-dragon laughed and allowed it. Then he recognized Strix and spoke to him in a strange tongue. It kind of sounded like he was threatening Strix and Strix was pointing and threatening the beast in return. But nothing came of it, as Cyanwrath turned and withdrew, taking his squad of kobolds with him.

With sunrise, we found some rooms in the keep and passed out from exhaustion. The keep cleric helped to comfort Brevick so that he would recover from his long rest. The Horde had withdrawn. Greenest was safe, for now. And, we survived the night.

Praise to Silvanus.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 5 – ShadeRaven’s Horde of the Dragon Queen (1 1/2 hour game)

Governor Nighthill set us up in the keep and it was great to get 8 hours of shuteye. At about 2 pm we were back up again. I prayed to Silvanus for helping us prevail and prepared for the next day. The governor met us and as we ate, he requested that we set out to find out why the Dragon Queen’s army had attacked Greenest. He promised us each 250 gold, which was pretty sweet. After restocking arrows and other supplies, we headed out to track the kobold and cultist forces.

Before we left Greenest, a rather plain looking man approached us. He said his name was Nessum Wiladra. Apparently, his master, a monk from Burdusk named Leosin Urantha had been infiltrating the kobolds and cultists, learning about their plans, but just before the attack, Nessum found Leosin’s broken staff and a choker necklace that his master used to wear. Nessum was worried for his master. Perhaps his cover was blown and he is either dead or a prisoner. Since we were already going to follow the horde, we took the choker and promised that we’d look out for Leosin. Nessum thanked us and headed toward the inn.

It wasn’t hard to see the trail that the horde made. Brevick, Grim, Mily, Strix and I walked at a normal speed so that we would not lose the trail or get outdistanced by the horde. Soon enough, we found one path that branched off the main path. We investigated stealthfully, and as we meandered through the trees and bushes quietly, we were able to see a campsite. 4 cultists were huddled around a campfire while nearly 40’ away from them 8 kobolds kept their distance. As soon as we got there, Brevick started to charge the cultists, but Grim held him back. In Grim’s grasp, our Dwarven friend, pulled out a throwing axe and heaved it at a cultist. The axe sailed through the air at long distance, yet it still hit the cultist squarely in the chest, a killing blow. That blew our cover, so we all focused fire on the remaining cultists.

In a few rounds, Grim and Brevick moved forth to engage while Strix, Mily and I used the cover of the trees to fire ranged weapons from afar. Most of the cultists were down by the time the kobolds joined the fray. Grim was the only one of us to take some wounds, yet they were minor. Brevick would have been hit by one of the foes, but as it slashed at the Dwarf, Mily stepped up and stabbed the foe with a viscous sneak attack, and killed it before it could damage Brevick (a nice use of ready action that interrupted the foe).

To tell the truth, when we first saw that their were 12 foes, I was worried that we would not be able to take them on, but since we did gain surprise and the foes were not quite ready to fight when we first set upon them, our task was a bit easier. As we fought, we made sure to keep one of the kobolds alive so that Strix could speak with it and perhaps gain some information about the raiders. One of the little buggers got away, but we killed the others. Then Brevick hoisted the unconscious kobold onto his back (after we tied its hands), and we continued to follow the main raider trail. In a few hours, the kobold started to gain consciousness. Strix spoke with him in the Dragon Queen’s own language. After a while, Strix knocked the kobold unconscious again, and told us that the he was able to convince the kobold that he also worked for the Dragon Queen and that he was deceiving the others. Strix found out the approximate location of an ambush ahead, and the direction of the larger raider camp. It seemed as if these raiders were just hauling loot back to the main camp. They had no other orders or other information that proved helpful.

We continued further more carefully, looking for the ambush site. Brevick it seemed, quietly, dumped the unconscious kobold somewhere on our travels, and eventually he was the one who spotted the ambush site. I suggested we climb a southern cliff area which seemed where the ambushers might be waiting and then our group worked our way up the 20’ embankment. Up top, we could see 5 foes on this side of the trail (and 3 or 4 on the other side). Since all of the foes were close to the edge of the cliff, we all decided to charge at different foes and attempt to knock them off. We did gain surprise, and put our plan into action. Unfortunately, few of us could overpower the foes, only 1 of which we were able to send down the cliff to its death (Strix helped by kicking the cultist I had attempted to knock over and that was enough). Although we didn’t push many over the edge, Mily stabbed an acolyte and ran it through, while the rest of us engaged others.

We made short work of these ambushers, and even took out the ones on the other side of the trail. My Elven training with longbow came in handy as I downed two of the foes on the opposite side nearly 140’ away. Strix and his fire bolts also worked nicely even though he ended up missing a few times. Without injury, we prevailed. We kept one of the cultists alive while we rested, but when he started to talk, we could tell that he was too fanatical to even provide us with valuable information. He was too concerned with Tiamat, so we released his soul so that he could join her in hell.

We are now approaching the larger camp. Perhaps we’ll find more information as we get closer.

End.

(Interestingly, 2nd level with full resources feels much more hearty than 1st. I think we were also much more lucky this session as ShadeRaven’s dice didn’t seem as deadly, and gaining surprise on foes is key).
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 6 – ShadeRaven’s Horde of the Dragon Queen Campaign (2 ½ hour game)

Journal Entry by Myles Stormgroom Cleric of Silvanus

We came upon the bandit camp and climbed up the cliffs to the north. A raider inside the came saw us so he yelled out to us and told us to come down and join the rest of them. They must have mistaken us for one of them. We decided to walk amongst them. I spoke with the one raider, telling him we were mercenary just in it for the money. He told us about the fanatics in the purple robes and a little more about the camp. I told him my name was Morgan and he went off.

Inside the camp, we tried to get close to the nearest group of tents. The raiders there told us to help out. Grim, Brevick and I were asked to gather firewood. Mily and Strix were asked to wash the cookware. As we went off doing our repective jobs, one of the cultists recognized Grim. He said something about Grim’s parents getting lynched. It hurt Grim, but he kept his sadness and rage inside. Another raider realized that Strix was a caster, so he told Strix to come with him so Strix could help at another job deeper into the bandit camp. We saw this so we doubled over to try to pick up wood nearer to Strix. Eventually when we got near some other tents, a group of guards recognized Brevick as the one that fought Cyanwrath. At first we thought we were cooked, but Brevick spoke in a language we could not recognize and one of the bandits actually understood him. From the way that bandit spoke with the others I could tell that Brevick spoke undercommon and he had convinced the bandit that he had fought Cyanwrath to show his bravery so that he could come to study fighting skills under the great half-dragon. The raider told the others that the Dwarf was crazy, but brave. We also learned that Cyanwrath was second to Mondath (a female who we later saw torturing Leosin), and it seemed as if Rezmer was the leader of the entire group.

All the while, we kept an eye on Strix who had been taken to the other side of the camp. He was met by some other raider who took Strix’s staff from him and walked him deeper to the eastern part of the camp.

While we were yucking it up with about 25 raiders they took us over to where they had some prisoners in chains. We recognized a few. Some from Brovest and others from Greenest. We found that the Horde attacked a number of neighboring towns, so Greenest was really nothing special. It seemed as if they were just amassing wealth to build a larger army, all the while talking about how the dragons and half-dragons were the real power of Tiamat’s army, and that Tiamat would rise again. The raiders asked us to take some of the prisoners out to the trees nearby and have them cut down more for tonight’s fire. We took them over and I spoke with them asking about Leosin. They were happy to learn that we weren’t mercenaries or raiders, and they pointed out where Leosin was being tortured and kept prior to execution. We realized that we didn’t have much time. In fact, we saw that Strix was now their captive and he too was getting tied to a stake next to Leosin.

When we took the prisoners back, the other raiders let us be the guards for the night. As it got darker, Mily picked the locks on the chains and we had the prisoners fake that the shackles still held. Then Mily said she could try to sneak over to Strix and Leosin and release them, but we didn’t know how we could sneak the prisoners and Leosin out of camp. As we searched the cliff walls to the south, Grim spotted a small cave. We decided to take the prisoners there while Mily went to free Strix and Leosin, then meet at the cave. On our way to the cave, we ran into one guard. Before he could say much, Brevick charged him and smashed him with his morningstar, but the guard stood. Then Grim charged at him, but he could not connect even when he swiped at the guard twice with his greataxe. I moved around the guard to block his escape, and I jabbed at him with my shortsword. The cut took him down.

Mily was successful and we all made it to the cave. Brevick, feeling at ease in the underground cave, looked it over and found that it had no other exit, but it was pretty well hidden. We also dragged the dead guard to the cave so that he wouldn’t be found, and as we were trying to determine if we could scale the cliff, we heard a horn from nearby. The camp was up and moving, “The prisoners are gone,” people shouted. We had little time, so everyone jammed into the cave as I padded down any footprints we would have made and placed some of the rocks and branches nearby over the open areas of the pretty well hidden cave. Inside, we kept quiet and waited. Eventually, we heard people come near, but nobody found the cave opening. We heard some even say that they thought the prisoners had escaped the camp entirely. Since we had already heard that the bandits would be mobile tomorrow, we shared the rest of my rations and waited all night through a good portion of the next day.

Grim and Mily slipped out of the cave to see if the raiders had left. When they returned, they told us that most of them had gone so we decided to use the cover of dusk to sneak out of the raider camp. We made it out. After a short journey, we made it back to Greenest and met with Governor Nighthill. He paid us the reward he promised and we told him about Leosin, who had a lot of information about the raiders.

Among other things, we learned that the cultists extended their hands up exposing 5 fingers to salute and praise Tiamat, and some of them kept their middle fingers down to represent what they felt was Tiamat’s unjust imprisonment in hell. We joked about the salute and did it as a “high five.”

After Mily rescued Strix, we learned more since Strix was able to speak with more of the cultists and raiders and even Leosin himself while they were both tied to the stakes.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 7 – ShadeRaven’s Horde of the Dragon Queen Campaign (2 ½ hour game)

Journal Entry by Myles Stormgroom Cleric of Silvanus

Back in the governor’s keep, we were able to rest. I purchased some rations and the rest of the party did the same. I was also able to pick up a rapier which the governor’s guards gave to me since I was part of the group who helped them defend Greenest. I much prefer the slender blade. It reminds me of the weapons my Eleven trainers used when I was younger.

It was Leosin, the monk and information gatherer for Candlekeep, who asked us to go back to the Horde’s camp and explore “the hatchery.” He said he’d pay for more information, but he himself had to go back to Candlekeep to inform his superiors about what he had learned so far. With the governor’s encouragement, we decided to go back to explore the hatchery.

Our travel there was uneventful. At the site, there was a scattering of mercenaries picking through the abandoned camp. We even met up with the one who we spoke with in our last adventure. He told us that the main force headed west. He spoke Undercommon with Brevick and afterwards Brevick started heading west. We had to catch him and turn him back to the east so that we could make our way to the hatchery. My attempts to teach Brevick common are laborious and slow. He still understands next to nothing.

At the open cave of the hatchery, we noticed that there were no guards or other creatures. Brevick screamed something in Dwarvish into the cave and heard his own echo scream back. With that he took the lead and we followed. The daylight streamed into the cave so for about 100 feet we didn’t need any light, but as it got darker, I illuminated my shield as I marched along at the rear of our party. Near two stalactites, we were surprised by two humanoid “Dragon Claws”. We could tell they were fanatically devoted to the dragon queen from the ornate leather armor they wore; its surface painted and carved to resemble dragon scales. Although there were only 2 foes, they had the drop on us and quickly moved in on Brevick hurting him badly with a few attacks. One of the Dragon Claws slashed Mily, dropping her to the ground. I was able to call upon Silvanus’ healing word to get Mily back up. Soon after, my comrades dispatched the foes and we were able to continue.

We headed east, down some stairs, but I decided to go back to drag the bodies of the Dragon Claws off to the side so that they would not be found so easily. I started dragging one back when I heard Grim yelling out. It turns out that he had stepped on a spring trap that launched him into the eastern fungus garden. I ran to see what happened and saw that he was quickly surrounded by 4 moving fungus creatures. Not knowing if they were hostile, I decided to watch and ready Silvanus’ sacred flame. Well, it turned out that they did try to attack Grim, so a number of us fired upon them. Unfortunately, my holy flame didn’t do anything so I switched to my bow. The others attacked as well, Strix firing flaming bolts, Grim slashing with his great axe. Remarkably, Brevick stepped down on the spring trap and used it to fly through the air and land right next to some of the fungus creatures. It was an acrobatic masterpiece that looked even more spectacular since it was performed by a bulky, armored Dwarf. Mily also tried the stunt, and while she was in mid air, she fired a dagger at one of the creatures and struck it. Unfortunately, she had a more difficult time with her landing, bouncing off of Grim and falling prone in the garden. The fungus creatures flailed multiple tentacles at Grim, Brevick and Mily, but only a few hit Grim and Brevick. Grim took down a few of the creatures, so within a few more seconds we were able to overwhelm the other two.

With second wind, both Grim and Brevick seemed much more hearty, so we continued east into a larger cavern. As we entered, we saw a few dead bats as hundreds of bats began flying all around us. It was tough to see through the cloud of dark bats, but once in a while we caught glimpse of a stirge or two, the real threat. Strix moved up and used his magic to blast forth a sheet of flame, which cleared one area of bats and took down a stirge as well. As he tried to step back, he was attacked by one of the blood sucking monsters. Brevick was able to kill the little bugger before it drained Strix of more blood. Through this battle, Mily fell pray to one of the monsters and she went unconscious for the 2nd time since we had begun exploring the hatchery. Strix was able to stabilize Mily, while Grim, Brevick and I fought some of the stirges. Grim used his axe to pop a few of the little monsters and Brevick used his hammer. In the fight, one of the stirge attached itself to me. When I tried to pull it off, it held fast so I was beginning to worry. Grim helped me out though and crushed the attached stirge with his axe. In turn, I helped him out when he had one of the creatures attached to him, piercing the creature with my rapier. Eventually we killed all of the stirge (maybe 8 or so), and we were able to take 10 minutes so that I could enact a prayer of healing. The holy balm awakened Mily from her unconsciousness, and soothed us all so that we could continue.

Further east, we came to a split, north and south. We crept up to the north to see a number of kobolds in one area. They did not see or hear us so we withdrew to check the southern passage. This passage let to a cave that looked like a garbage pit. We walked up to the ledge that dropped 10’ into the cave and I held onto a rope that Brevick climbed down. The others followed as I stayed up top with the rope in case of emergency. Brevick saw some shiny things scattered amongst the refuse, but the stench was really bad. I told the others that this might be a good place to hide, and with that, 4 troglodytes emerged from the filth. Mily slashed at one and disengaged. Brevick and Grim took a few down. Strix fired a fire bolt at another and I put an arrow into ones neck. None of my comrades succumbed to the vile stench that these beasts exuded, so we were able to defeat them pretty quickly. In the garbage, we found a bunch of gems. Brevick evaluated their worth and stowed them away for later.

Climbing out of the garbage cave, we took stock and prepared to engage the kobolds in the northern cavern.

End.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 8

About 2 ½ hours

We walked to the north west into another part of the caves and Mily got poisoned with some hallucinogen. None of us were affected, and eventually Grim saw that it was caused by some strange runes on the ground. Meanwhile, we had our hands full fighting three blue drakes. Brevick got pretty much surrounded, but he fended off as many attacks as possible while Grim, Strix and I fought beside him.

Mily followed some imaginary butterflies. Later she started swatting at imaginary butterflies with her swords. For one or two brief moments she became lucid and was able to cut into one of the drakes, but after that she backed off, curled into a ball and went to sleep.

We all got banged up pretty badly, and I got hit by one of the drake’s tail thrashes and went unconscious. Then Brevick went down. Grim was able to finish off the last drake. Then he rummaged through Mily’s bag gently to find a healing potion which he administered to me. When I came to, I cured Brevick, but we were all still pretty hurt so we decided to go back to where we encountered Troglodytes earlier in a room filled with refuse. We had to all take running jumps to clear the area were the runes were, but we were successful.

We were able to rest for about an hour. Grim came up with a great idea so that we could get back over the strange runes. We rummaged through the garbage to find some wooden planks that we set up over the runes. Then we walked over them.

We found an upper area and a lower area, with a locked door at the end of a stair to the lower area. The key was hung on the wall. The upper area had an overlook that looked into the lower area, which had an animal smell to it. Brevick looked up ahead in the dark and saw some poles with rope nooses at the end of them, and he found a stairway going up. Grim inspected the stairway and found many little dragonoid footprints, Kobolds.

We went up the stairs and most of us made it through a passage when Mily triggered another trap. This time rocks came tumbling down on Mily and Strix. Mily tumbled forward under Grim and avoided some of the rocks, but Strix was hit hard. After the rock fall, we moved into a chamber with a passage to the left and an open area straight ahead. We were all concerned with traps, so we kept looking at the ground as we walked. Mily scouted ahead and was the first to see the kobolds and their winged breatheren. She hid behind me and fired her crossbow at one of the little monsters, killing it in one vicious shot before the rest of us could act.

The winged kobolds flew towards us and attacked as many other kobolds threw daggers from afar. We were outnumbered, but we battled on. I was able to unleash the power of Silvanus to damage and throw back a number of the winged kobolds giving us a little breathing room. Strix created a flaming sphere to help us while Mily used her sneak attack to cull the ranks. Brevick smashed some of them with distracting blows as Grim hacked at them with his greataxe.

Eventually we killed all but two. I advanced on one and started to question it. It told me little I didn’t already know, this cave complex was a dragon hatchery. Mily killed it quickly. Then I shouted out to save the last one. We needed to get more information for Leosin. Grim ran to the remaining kobold and interposed himself between it and Brevick to keep anyone from killing the little green monster. Then I walked up to it and began to interrogate it…..

(End of Session)

At this point we are pretty exhausted, I have 1 first and 1 second level spell slot left, and I think the wizard has about the same.

Most of us have used at least 2 of 3 HD.

We'll be planning an exit strategy so that we can find a place to take an extended rest. A few days earlier, we had found and used a small cave outside in the valley where the Dragon Queen's army had been camping. That might serve.

Depending on how much we learn from the kobold, we may even take that information back to Leosin since he wanted us to get more information and was willing to pay for it. We'll see what we can learn.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 9 – About 2 ½ hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 3rd level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We had the kobold cornered in the northwest corner of the cave and we were just about to interrogate it. Strix was just about to ask it some questions in Draconic when Mily alerted us that other kobolds were incoming. It was a small force, about 5 kobolds, a guard drake, and they had a human female prisoner bound, gagged and in tow. The kobold we had cornered started screaming out to his comrades so I stuck him with my rapier. The filty creature, we couldn’t have this guy getting in our hair while we fought with the others. Mily and Brevick were the first to enter the fray. When they saw that one of the kobolds was commanding a guard drake. Grim also joined the battle, as did I. Strix remained at range slinging spells to injure the enemy.

Mily took a nasty blow and was toppled to the ground, unconscious. I moved into her spot and unleashed a mighty thunderwave infused with divine power. This killed a few kobolds and injured 2 others along with the guard drake. Brevick and Grim both fought bravely at the front. As we fought, the kobolds, their prisoner slowly wriggled out of her bonds. Once she was out, we could tell that she was a spellcaster. She ended up firing bolts of flame and gave chase to a fleeing kobold, which she burned to the ground. When it seemed as if we would prevail, I tended to Mily’s wounds and stabilized her. Brevick tried to wrestle with the drake, but unfortunately, the beast was too quick for him sending him to the earthen floor. Grim hacked at the beast with his mighty greataxe and severed it’s spine, ending the combat. We had no prisoners to question, but we did meet a new friend.

It turned out that the spellcaster’s name was Valleja, and she explained that she was taken prisoner, blindfolded and brought into this horrible cave. She had heard the Kobolds (and other creatures which she could not see) speaking about a ritual they would conduct to bring Tiamat to this world. She was certainly against such mayhem, as were we. I explained that we were from Greenest and we were gathering information about this Hatchery for an informant. We needed to find out more information, but we were also quite exhausted and were entertaining the idea to leave the caves to find a place to rest for a night. Valleja really wanted to get out of this area, so we invited her to join our band.

As we rested for a few minutes, I prepared a healing ritual that would get Mily up and healed some of the party’s wounds. But our rest was interrupted by two cultists and an acolyte. I tried to maintain my concentration on the ritual while Grim, Brevick, Strix and Valleja all encountered the foes. Grim succumbed to one of the acolyte’s spells and he turned to attack Brevick, firing a nearly fatal bolt into Brevick’s shoulder. After he snapped out of it, he was able to fight with the others and ultimately my friends put down the foes and I was able to finish my ritual restoring Mily to consciousness while also knitting up wounds we all incurred.

Quickly, we made for the cave exit and found a hidden cave outside that we had already used to hide from the Dragon Queen’s forces a few nights before. Valleja was uneasy about spending a night in a small cave with us, but I assured her that we would protect her and once we did make it back to civilization, I’d be sure to pay for a room for her to stay in. Before we took our night’s rest, Strix set up an alarm using his arcane magic, and we were able to sleep…well, all except for Valleja. She was not comfortable enough to get her rest.

Refreshed, we snuck back into the Hatchery and down to the area we had last explored. We let Brevick go down some stairs about 20’ ahead of us since he could see in the dark. I lit up my shield with divine light and followed as the rest followed me deeper into this cave complex. Before we realized it, we heard Brevick shout his Dwarven war cry. Undoubtedly he was propelling himself into another battle. When we rounded the corner, we saw the Half Dragon, Cyanwrath, engaged with Brevick while three barbarians watched with glee. Our hearts were thumping with fear and adrenaline.

Brevick fared much better than the first time he met Cyanwrath, a week before. Mily took on one of the barbarians and found that they were also pretty tough. I moved into combat to give Mily advantage, and then after she attacked, I moved toward a shrine area that looked like a shrine to Tiamat. I kicked at some of the columns in the shrine and faced the rest of the foes waiting for my next turn when I could cast a powerful sonic blast (Shatter) to injure as many as I could. Brevick traded blows with Cyanwrath and held up to the beasts attacks. Grim moved in and hacked at a barbarian toppling it to the ground. Strix and Mily added to the combat, as did Valleja. Both Strix and Valleja targeted Cyanwrath, as if they had a personal score to settle with the Half Dragon while Mily and I worked on the reckless barbarians. My sonic blast caught two of the barbarians, but they took the blow in stride. Then Mily downed one and eventually I downed another with my rapier. Brevick was cleaved and he hit the ground, so I used divine power to get him back on his feet again. He fell once more, and again thanks to Silvanus, I got him to his feet. Strix was able to hit Cyanwrath with some streams of flame, and finally, Valleja seared Cyanwrath with a witches bolt….and she kept it on him even after his form seemed lifeless.

After the battle, we found a chest near the shrine. Mily checked it out and thought it was safe, but when she opened it, acid rained down from the ceiling of this cave burning us severely. Mily, Valleja and Brevick went down. Then, the acid reacted with the ground and a poisonous mist filled the room, but Grim, Strix and I were able to hold our breaths escaping further injury. I was able to scoop up Valleja and run out of the room back to the stairway we came from as Grim dragged Brevick and Strix pulled Mily from the poison filled cave. Safe in the stairway tunnel, I enacted my healing ritual and restored our group so that we could continue our exploration, although quite battered. It felt good to get back at Cyanwrath, and find more evidence that showed us these creatures, the kobolds, half dragons, cultists and acolytes had grand plans to try to bring Tiamat back from Hell. When the poison clears, we’ll check the chest and see if Cyanwrath has anything interesting on his body.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 10 – About 2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 3rd level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

When the gas dissipated we went back into the room with the Tiamat shrine and the chest. Brevick checked the chest and found a bunch of gems and a ring with a small green stone on it. When we turned to see if Strix could check the loot for magic or identify anything, we realized he was gone. He must have crept off without us knowing. The party was uneasy about this, and I had to admit that I was uneasy also. Although I knew Strix from before arriving at Greenest, it did seem that he was acting stranger and stranger, plus, he was basically run out of the last town we were at.

Valleja, the sorcerer whom we had rescued about an hour ago, was unable to glean anything more about the treasure, so we had Brevick pocket it so we could deal with it later. As we were deciding whether to go further into the caves, Valleja mentioned that she had heard another captive when the kobolds were moving her around in the cave. She thought that she could smell fresh air and even noticed a little outside light through her blindfold when she was held captive. After hearing this, we decided to double back to the cave entrance because there was one direction near there that we didn’t explore.

We got back without any delay. Brevick plowed ahead down a narrow corridor. We followed and when we came to a split, we could hear Draconic voices to the south. We decided to go south, but Brevick, just ran into the next cave opening before we could sneak. Mily, our halfling rogue, was curious. She held back and snuck to the west. Simultaneously, we found the prisoner and trouble.

To the south, Brevick ran into a room of kobolds (8 of them) with three dragon cultist guards. They seemed to be waiting for us. I backed Brevick, but the entrance to this area was so narrow only Brevick could be up front. To the west, Mily found a sleeping guard and a half-elven prisoner bound, gagged and blindfolded. Mily undid the prisoner’s restraints. While the rest of us fought in the other area.

Without rest, we were not at our best. Brevick suffered a number of blows and pretended to fall unconscious. I stepped in with shield and dodged to try to draw the foes’ attacks. It worked for a while, but 2 of the foes ran to the east. Eventually we heard a voice from the other room say she would deal with the one in the middle (that was me).

As we fought, I tried to get into a position to use a thunderwave. Unfortunately, Brevick was unable to tumble thorugh an area pretending to be unconscious to gain advantage, and he was hit, going unconscious. To save his life, I needed to call on divine power to heal him. By this time, Val had tried to hit foes with her witchbolt to no avail. She also peppered one or two foes with bolts of fire. Grim waded into the fray and cut down a foe. Then, he unleashed a thunderwave that barely damaged the others, but it did push a few back giving us some room to maneuver. Mily also had crept back with a new member of our party, some Half-Elven warlock, who we later found out was named Isaac. Mily used duel blades and sneak attack to cut a path of destruction. Issac uttered a hex and fired his eldritch bolts to help as well. Finally, I was able to unleash a thunderwave and Grim called for another thunderwave. The woman who had come from the other room, a cleric in service of the Dragon Queen, had created a spirit guardian to protect herself. Then she used some mass cure to bolster some of her allies before they died.

We had managed to kill nearly all of the kobolds and the guards, but Frulam Mondath was more formidable. She took what we dished out and her concentration was disrupted so her spirit guardians disappeared. Before we could take her down, she casted a sanctuary spell which aided her as she ran back to the east. Brevick (with little health – 1 hp) chased after her. I followed. The rest following us. In the chamber beyond, we saw an area in the corner with a rug and some strange runes. I ducked into another room to the north (Frulam’s bed chamber), while Brevick, Grim, Val and Isaac saw Frulam go to the rune circle, make some gestures and sink into the ground. Val gave chase and tried to copy the gestures as she jumped into the rune circle. She sunk and disappeared. That’s when Brevick tried to jump in, but Grim grabbed him and pulled him back. Neither of them made the gestures, so they were both jolted with necrotic energy, and they slumped to the ground, unconscious. Thankfully they did not get transported to the other side. I heard the commotion so I returned to the room. I saw Isaac run into the circle, replicate the gestures and vanish as well. I was concerned. Those two were not at full strength, and who knew what was beyond.

Mily was puzzled and torn. She didn’t know where to go, but she tried to enter the rune circle to follow. She was unable to replicate the gestures so she took a good dose of necrotic damage. I stood guard over our fallen Eldritch Knight, Grim and our fallen Battle Master Fighter, Brevick and waited with Mily. We hoped that the others would come back.

Meanwhile, Isaac and Valleja had teleported to a grove where Frulam was trying to escape on horseback. Isaac tried to telepathically communicate with the animal to get it to buck or throw the evil cleric, but it didn’t work. The two companions, Isaac and Valleja had to battle the sanctuary spell to get some attacks off, and both of them took some damage from Frulam Mondath’s glaive. Eventually, after a few attacks by each of the companions, Valleja scored a critical hit with a firebolt that burned directly into Frulam Mondath’s heart. As the cleric fell, Isaac in a fit of rage hit her with eldritch bolts and used his hex to further destroy her body. All this I learned after the two companions re-appeared in the rune circle about 30 seconds after they had disappeared.

I asked the two for a true account and I think I received it. They produced two healing potions which we could use to get both Grim and Brevick back on their feet. They also told us about their fight. We were all relieved. I shared with them what I had found in Frulam Mondath’s chamber, many papers and maps that told of towns they had raided, and where they were taking all of their plunder. It seems as if the Dragon Queen’s Army is heading North to Naerytar. This is information that Leosin would like to have.
 

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