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

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 11 – About 2 hours of play

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

We were able to use two healing potions to get Brevick and Grim back on their feet. Then we blocked the doorway exiting Frulam Mondath’s room so that we could take an hour to rest and recuperate. We were exhausted, but we felt we needed to explore deeper into the Hatchery since we hadn’t found any eggs.

Backtracking once again, we arrived at the shrine room, and we continued deeper to the east. Eventually we came to a large cavern. Brevick, Isaac and Grim snuck ahead to the edge of a cliff, while I kept the light of Silvanus on my shield about 25’ behind waiting with Valleja and Mily. The others were able to see that at the bottom of the small cliff there was another hot, moist cavern where some large eggs did rest. We located a stairway down from the cliff area and decided to take a closer look.

Upon investigation a tentacle lashed out from the south east corner of the cavern. It grabbed Grim and reeled him close. I could tell that this stalactite was not what it seemed. It was a horrible creature of the underdark, a roper, and it had already pulled Grim close to its toothy maw. As the rest of us responded, Brevick near one egg, Mily near another, a blue drake appeared from hiding to attack Brevick. Another tentacle flailed out over 30’ to brush past my shield, harmlessly as another grabbed Brevick and reeled him close to the roper. A few other tentacles shot out, one grabbing Isaac, who was still on top of the cliff, and another grabbed Valleja. Our situation looked grim. I shouted out to the others that we should think about retreat, and I ran for the stairway, but when I saw that Isaac had been taken down by the blue drake, and another blue drake ran up the stairs to harry me, I summoned my courage and carefully disengaged to enter the room again. Meanwhile, Mily had attacked and damaged the roper, with two vicious attacks, and Brevick was able to break free from the roper’s grasp. Val used scorching ray to deal damage to the drakes, and I took one on while guarding Isaac’s unconscious body. Grim hacked mightily into the roper and Val hit it once again. It did however manage to bite Brevick, nearly taking him down. Luckily Val, Mily, Brevick and Grim took down the roper and were able to turn their attention to the two drakes.

I disengaged again and then moved closer to Isaac to stabilize his wounds while the others battled the two drakes. Ultimately, we put them down, but we suffered some serious wounds. As we did a quick search of the roper’s lair, finding nothing interesting, we were interrupted by 4 kobolds who threw glue bombs and fire bombs from the cliff top. I yelled out that we should bargain with them by threatening to destroy the eggs; all along, the anger and urge to destroy the eggs building in my soul. One of the glue bombs hit Grim and stuck him in place. Another missed Val, but a third one, a fire bomb, went off in an area that damaged, Brevick, Val, Grim and me, enough to me to knock me unconscious. When I was eventually revived, I learned what had happened.

It turns out that Brevick ran up to engage the kobolds, Valleja did the same. Val sent out a sheet of fire that killed 2 of the little creatures and wounded the other 2. Grim threatened to attack one of the eggs, and intimidated the remaining kobolds, but this made them jump down to the cavern below to attempt to save the egg. One of the kobolds landed with a splat, never to get up again. The other made it to the egg and hacked at Grim. Mily responded and took the kobold down. All this time, I was slipping closer and closer to death. I could actually see the Sylvan fields and thought I heard the voice of Silvanus. That’s when Brevick poured our last healing draught into my mouth.

At this point, Mily sat atop one of the eggs and she argued with me when I suggested that we destroy these unborn spawn of evil. I had to explain how these blue dragon eggs would hatch horrible malignant monsters that could not be nurtured to repress their desire to conquer and destroy. I had lost my cool and the anger inside me raged. While I argued with Mily, I went over to another egg and kicked it as forcefully as I could. I broke the shell and saw the nearly born blue hatchling. To make sure that the thing was dead, I stuck it with my rapier. When I looked over at another egg, I saw Brevick hacking it to pieces as well. Although we can’t communicate much, I feel as if Brevick and I are sometimes on the same page. Then I turned slowly and walked toward the last egg that Mily was sitting atop. She frowned a bit, but silently hopped off the egg so I smashed it to pieces to make sure that none of these beasts would ever grow to command and destroy.

We carried Isaac out to the secret cave we had used a few times before, and we took another short rest. Isaac came to, and we were able to recover some of our lost strength, but not much. Then we set out for Greenest.

We made it back to town and were able to speak with the Governor, Escobert, and others. We also found that Leosin, had already left Greenest, but he had left a message for us. He had garnered us mounts and provisions to make a journey north. He, like us, had found out that the Dragon Queen’s Army had moved north, and he wanted us to ride to Elturel where we could meet with him. We rested the night to knit up some wounds and regain our strength, to pray and to study. The next morning we would start our 200 mile journey north.

I learned some interesting things about the two newest members of our party. Valleja the sorcerer seemed to change appearance while she wielded fire magic. Her hair and eyes and even her skin reflected the flames she wielded. Her blond hair and gray eyes and light skin all transform to orange-red tones when the fury of fire takes her. As for the Half-Elven warlock, he has the strange ability to get inside our minds and communicate with us without sound. He shared this with us after we revived him. We also think he carries a small egg, but we weren’t sure about that since he kept it well hidden in his cloak. It is obviously too small to be a dragon egg. Perhaps it isn’t an egg at all. We’ll see.
 

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Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 12 – About 1 1/2 hours of play

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

We woke in the morning and started our journey toward Elturel. It took about 6 days, but we made it there without incident.

As we rode toward the town, we could see a magical light above it. Rumor has it that that magical light keeps the town safe from undead. Well, it certainly was an impressive sight.

Inside the town we found an Inn and bargained for some rooms. I paid for our rooms and made sure that Valleja got her own room. The first one the innkeeper gave her was not up to her standards, so she and I spoke with the innkeeper. When it seemed as if he was not going to listen to reason, Val made the tips of his ears burn a bit and Isaac, who was watching, let his pseudodragon out of the bag, literally. (It seems as if this Half-Elven, Warlock has a special familiar. I think he called him Lil John…but I’m not sure). After this, the innkeeper became more willing to find a better room for the lady. I settled our tab and we went to our rooms to clean and rest.

Later that night a burley knight of Torm came into the inn looking for us. He introduced himself as Untharr Frume, dressed in armor emblazoned with the hand of Torm. He was rather loud and jovial. When he said that Leosin spoke highly about us, we started to get an uneasy feeling, but he seemed to be sincere. He didn’t want to speak about business, and after buying us drinks, he had a drinking contest with Brevick. Quickly, Brevick showed Untharr how the Dwarven constitution could hold drink far better than a human. Brevick also bested Untharr at arm wrestling. That’s when Untharr told us he’d return in the morning, and he threw a coin purse to the bartender to pay for the night’s revels. Isaac went to the militia barracks to stay the night while the rest of us stayed at the inn.

We enjoyed a night’s sleep and in the morning, both Isaac and Untharr came back to the tap room of the inn. We spoke a little more; then Untharr asked if Grim would spar with him at the training field. Grim accepted the challenge so we all walked over with Untharr and Grim. Those two battled for a good minute…Grim slamming Untharr with his greataxe a number of times. Untharr landed some blows too, but Grim used his eldritch magic to block a few blows as well. Untimately, Grim slammed Untharr down to win the bout. He offered his hand to Untharr and Untharr grabbed it and stood, although quite bleary.

For the rest of the day, we all went separate ways to explore the town. Brevick found a Dwarven blacksmith and inquired about plate armor (which of course was way too expensive at the moment). I went to a nature temple in town and found a priest who would sell us healing draughts. I purchased a few and then later my companions bought a few more. Grim rested at the inn to recover from his bout with Untharr. Isaac, Mily and Val also toured the town and rested.

Later that night, a squire found us and told us that he worked for Unthar Frume. He wanted us to follow him to a tavern on the other side of town. We did. When we got inside, the squire showed us to a private room and inside we saw Untharr Frume, who we now realized was a paladin of Torm, and Leosin, the monk we had befriended in Greenest, the one we needed to meet her in Elturel. We sat, drank and listened to them speak, and they told us more about their involvement with the world and the knowledge they had gained about the Cult of the Dragon and other evil. Untharr told about his commitment to the Order of the Gauntlet, a group of warriors and clerics sworn to be ever vigilant against evil. Leosin told us how he was a member of the Harpers, a more clandestine organization that deals with information, dedicated to taking down despots and sticking up for the downtrodden in order to promote equality in the realms. Both invited us to join either of their causes if we were inclined. I offered my had to Untharr and told him I’d join The Order of the Gauntlet for I hate the evil races and how they destroy all that’s good and holy.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 13 – About 2 1/2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 3rd level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)
(Note: I joined the session late so I missed an hour or so of roleplaying in the beginning)

The party was charged with infiltrating a caravan that had some cultists and Rezmir, one of the leaders of the Dragon Queen’s forces that attacked Greenest. Valleja joined the Harpers through Leosin, and was able to speak with the caravan driver to gain positions on the caravan.

Through the journey, our group got to know some of the others travelling north. Even Brevick was able to find someone to talk with, a surly female Dwarf named Tygit, who seemed to frighten the others. In time, we realized that some of the goods in the caravan were headed to the Dragon Queen’s Army up north as well, and we bided our time as best we could while helping to defend the caravan and do some of the chores. After one encounter, I patched up some of the caravan members who were beaten down, but still I had to wait to be offered a paid position.

One day, while we were taking a break we noticed that Rezmir and the other cultists had stolen off, to ride ahead to the North. We weren’t sure why they left, but we suspected that they needed to get back sooner than later, or perhaps they were suspicious of us.

That same day, a new bunch of adventurer’s showed up and somehow they convinced the caravan driver to hire them on instead of us. This ticked us off, and I swear heard Brevick make an oath to take those adventurers down (although I still can’t be sure because I can’t speak his language).

Before the caravan set rolling again, we all spotted some smoke rising up a short distance from the roadway. We suggested that the new adventurers who were so brave and capable should go to check out the fire since it could become a threat to the caravan. As the adventurers stomped off to check it out, Mily, Grim and I followed stealthfully. We wanted to see if these “adventurers” were in league with someone else or see how they would react to better understand why they were here and how they were able to convince the caravan driver to higher them.

We let the other “adventurers” go ahead so they would not see us. Eventually we got closer to the fire and saw a destroyed farmstead, burning and ruined. We also saw the 5 “adventurers” trussed up, upside down, held captive by a huge humanoid monster. From this distance, I thought it was an Ogre, but as we got closer, we saw it was much bigger. I pealed off to the left and snuck my way closer to the farmstead. Then I used my divine gift to project my voice in a booming fashion coming from the collapsed farm house. I said I was the spirit of one who perished in this farmhouse, and I challenged the giant to face me in combat. The giant took the bait and turned to go toward the farmhouse. Unfortunately, as Grim crept closer to the scene, one of the “adventurers” saw him, pointed and yelled out for him. I shouted to the others, cut the “adventurers” down and run. Mily was able to cut the captives down and we all took off back towards the caravan. The giant picked up a small boulder and hurled it at Grim, smashing him with tremendous force. Grim nearly hit the ground. With second wind, Grim was able to turn and run, but he managed to keep the giant’s attention while the rest of us ran free.

Grim would have been hit with two other boulders if it weren’t for his arcane skill. His magical shield saved his life.

The giant chased us all the way back to the caravan at which point, Valleja and the others saw us and they joined the fight. Brevick charged straight at the giant like a madman, slamming into the beast with his morningstar, distracting the beast. The giant was surprisingly quick though and he swung his club at Brevick twice, hitting Brevick once. The blow nearly took Brevick down, but Brevick stood strongly. I was able to unleash a shattering spell empowered by Silvanus, but the creature seemed pretty resistant to my spell. Then Valleja hit it with a few scorching rays, while Mily scored a few hits with her shortbow. Isaac, the Half-Elven warlock, uttered a hex on the giant, but his eldritch blast missed the mark. Brevick hit once more, but the giant retaliated, hitting Brevick and lying him out, unconscious and dying. Then the giant stepped forward and was able to connect with Valleja, but the wizard did not go down; I don’t know how she could stand such a blow.

Before the giant could do more harm, Grim fired a crossbow bolt and missed. Mily connected with another shot, and Isaac fired off another eldritch blast. This time, it hit the mark and his hex did more damage, killing the giant.

We spoke with the “adventurers” and found out that they were just performers, actors, trying to make money. They were persuasive as adventurers, yet they were completely green and had no concept of how dangerous an adventuring life could be. They left the group and headed back to civilization, so we spoke with the caravan driver and told him what had happened. Needless to say, we were hired on again, and this time, after I healed our party with a few prayers of healing, I was also hired.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 14 – About 2 1/2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

Well, my friends got hired back as guards on the caravan, and this time, they even hired me. Killing that hill giant gave us some clout. Although it did seem that one or two of the guards looked down upon me for wasting healing magic on the injured. For a while, we spoke with some of the other members of the caravan and I led prayers to Silvanus to watch over our travels.

At camp, we were attacked by 2 Perytons. They swooped down from the sky so quickly that only Grim was able to react at first. Grim did some damage to one, but that only made him a target. He used his magical shield spell to save himself from a few antler and talon attacks, but eventually a Peryton scored a hit and injured the Eldritch Knight pretty badly. Isaac also injured one of the beasts and became a target. He wasn’t as lucky as Grim, as a Peryton slammed into him and knocked him unconscious and dying. I was able to call on divine aid to get Isaac back up on his feet, but he was still pretty badly hurt. I fired an arrow at one of the beasts and noticed that our weapons were not hurting the creatures as much as usual. Somehow they were resistant to our weapon attacks although Valleja’s magical witch bolt was able to score full damage upon one of the creatures and Isaac’s eldritch blast and hex could also do full damage to the creatures. Grim fired his bow and hit a beast a number of times and Brevick stood his ground, readying his morningstar for each time a creature made an attack against one of us. Soon after, Mily killed one of the Perytons, and a few moments after that, Brevick took down the other one as it swooped in to attack Grim. After the battle, I tended to Isaac and Grim’s wounds with my healing arts.

After restoring my companions, I noticed that one of the other hired guards was looking at me and writing in a journal of sorts. His look burned into me, and I felt that he was perturbed. Soon after, I quietly spoke with Mily. I described the guard and pointed to where he was camping, and I asked our little rogue to sneak over and take the book he was writing in away from him without him knowing and bring it back to me. Mily thought that this was a great game so she cheerfully snuck off to pilfer the book. She was able to get it on the sly and bring it back to me. Later that night, I read through it and found that this guard was making notes about me and my companions. It seemed as if he were reporting to someone and keeping notes about us. He thought that we were the people “The Necromancer” told them about. He noticed my powers and my allegiance to Silvanus and wrote that I was “going to have to be dealt with.” It also seemed as if he was very interested in Grim, and everyone else was mentioned too, except for Brevick.

I showed Mily the book and told her that we should not let the guard know that we know his plans. We would need to keep our wits and be vigilant, but wait to act until the right moment. After that, I told the others in the group, all except Brevick because he wouldn’t understand me anyway, and then I asked Mily to place the book back into the guard’s possession so that he wouldn’t notice it missing.

Eventually Mily returned and scared the hell out of me. I was caught musing upon our situation. Later that night, after drinking some tea, I began to feel sick. I started to sweat and shake, and I went unconscious.
The next morning I was able to open my eyes, but I was in bad shape. Isaac was trying to communicate with me telepathically, and eventually I could respond. I told the others that the guard must have poisoned me, and with all the strength I had, I investigated the tea that I drank the night before. Sure enough, there was some viscous residue in the cup. I was able to travel that day, but could do barely anything.

The next night, I told my friends to use me as bait. Since the guard didn’t kill me, I was pretty sure he’d try again. My friends tried to make it seem as if they thought I was just suffering from some natural ailment, while they tried to remain secretly vigilant. Unfortunately, nobody saw anything suspicious, but the next morning I was even sicker. I felt near death’s door so Isaac decided that he would approach the guard and confront him directly.

Isaac strode boldy toward the guard and told Mily to try to get the book again so that they could expose the guard to the entire caravan. When he intimidated the guard, he it seemed as if he would break, but he didn’t. Mily could not get close to the guard because the guard drew his scimitar and accused Isaac and Mily of theft. In the commotion, Isaac teleported behind the guard and pulled at his bag to get the book. He was successful, and quickly got the book out and read some of the later pages out loud to many of the other guards who had since drawn weapons trying to quell the escalating situation. Isaac and the guard spoke to the crowd and Isaac was able to convince them that this guard had poisoned me. That’s when the sergeant of the caravan walked over toward Isaac and the assassin. The sergeant was resolute with purpose. He drew his shortsword and, without warning, drove it into the gut of the assassin. He said they would have never hired an assassin to be one of their guards if they knew about his dealings prior to the journey. Then Isaac tried to telepathically intimidate the sergeant, but the sergeant warned Issac sternly before Isaac walked away coolly.

Meanwhile, Grim had gathered some herbs and tried to administer some remedy to me, but that wasn’t working. My friends were ultimately able to find the porcelain merchant, who had some knowledge about the poison. The porcelain merchant made a crude antidote that I was able to stomach, barely, and although I am still feeling the effects of the poison, I don’t feel as if I’ll perish. As soon as I’m strong enough and rested enough I will pray to Silvanus to grant me the power to defeat this poison.

(Note: some of the events I recorded from information that my companions told me about after the fact. I was near death’s door after the poison took effect so it was hard to keep track of what was going on around me.)
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 15 – About 1 ½ hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We started up on the caravan once again, but I was still feeling the effects of the poison that the assassin had used against me. My friends, Issac, Grim, Mily, Valleja and Brevick were keeping eyes on me. I started to get paranoid, not trusting any of the guards or other workers on the caravan. Even the guy who killed the assassin might have just done it to make sure that the assassin didn’t talk about “the necromancer” or other things mentioned in his journal.

While I was resting, Issac found the porcelain merchant again and spoke with him about the poison. The merchant was very helpful. He told Issac that it was probably derived from Cattlepod spores, which was why it was lingering in my system. The merchant said if we could find some copperleaf, we could make a tea and I could inhale the fumes, which would kill the spores and get me back to normal again. Now the trick was to find the copperleaf.

Issac misty stepped atop one of the wagons and shouted out that he’d pay 10 gp for some copperleaf. One of the other people on the caravan, Legord Nartoff, came forward and told Issac that he knew how to get it although he didn’t have any. Issac promised him 5 gp for that information and I gladly paid it. According to Nartoff, we needed to follow a north river very close to our current location to find an old ruin, maybe only a 3 hour journey, but since we were working on the caravan by day, we’d have to wait til the next night to make the trek and get back before the caravan moved on. So that’s what we did.

We left Mily back at the wagon to watch over things there, but I was too paranoid to stay with the wagons while my friends went off looking for the copperleaf tea leaves, so I bundled myself up and trudged along with them, my head spinning, nearly delusional. Brevick and Issac moved about 30’ ahead of us so that they could remain hidden in darkness using their darkvision, while the others stayed with me and my light spell. We journeyed for a few hours and then I thought I saw two huge spiders in webs ahead of us. It could have been just a hallucination, but I screamed out, and that alerted both Brevick and Issac. It wasn’t a hallucination. Unfortunately, some webs cast by an unknown creature snared Issac, and then Brevick got tangled up in webs. Grim also got hit by webs, so it looked bad. Issac’s pseudodragon, Lil John, was able to poke out of Issac’s pack and chew at some webs, freeing Issac. Valleja avoided harm and was able to cast frost rays at the beasts. I panicked and fired a divinely inspired shattering blast that wounded both of the large spiders, but then we saw the other creature was an Ettercap. The whole experience made Valleja scream in terror, evidently she really doesn’t like spiders, which is one reason she had a tough time camping in the cave a few weeks ago.

The battle continued as Grim took a number of bites and claws from the Ettercap and one of the spiders, forcing him to call upon his reserve energy or second wind. Brevick was also bitten, yet he could withstand more, although he and Grim both succumbed to the poison that the creatures injected into their systems. Without breaking out of the webs, both Grim and Brevick tried to hit the spiders with their weapons, but of course they were less effective, and were easier targets as well. We were a sorry lot. Three poisoned adventurers, two nearly balled up in webs, fighting some spiders and an Ettercap. Our luck did turn for the better as Grim took one of the spiders down, and Issac’s eldritch blasts took down another. Lil John, even got into the action and stung the Ettercap, although we found that the Ettercap was immune to poison, so the Ettercap lasted one more round before another ray of frost and eldritch blast brought the creature down. After the battle, I healed Grim with some divine energy, at least as much as I could muster at the time, and we went on searching for the copperleaf, which we found pretty easily.

We made it back to the wagons, but we weren’t able to sleep the night. Luckily for me, I was able to make the copperleaf tea and inhale the fumes. It made me feel much better. Getting ready to leave near day break, we started to hear a high pitched whistling on the wind. It was a strange sound that seemed to announce the coming of evil. I gathered the group and gave Isaac, Valleja and me divine aid in case we were attacked. Soon after, we heard one of the others in the caravan scream out in pain and yell out, “Oh my god.” At that, we bolted to see what was happening and we saw that all around the caravan small mushroom like fungi were popping up everywhere. It seemed as if they were emitting some kind of poison that had affected one of the caravan members. There was panic among the caravan as we took stock of the situation. I suggested to all that we just get the wagons rolling and leave this area. We tried to rally the crowd, but the caravan guard who was leading started to undermine us. He challenged us to go out there and cut those mushrooms down. I took the challenge and walked in front of the caravan and blasted an area of fungi with a thunderwave. The mushrooms shrieked and popped, and a gas did issue from them. Issac was able to tell that these mushrooms were loud and the gas was not lethal. The gas could, however, cause depression if inhaled, so we took precautions. Once we knew what we were up against, I came back and told the guard that we should just push through them. Again, he tried to undermine us. I told him that he had to think with his head, and he said that maybe he was thinking with five heads. Well, that cinched it. If we didn’t know before, now we knew…he was one of the Tiamat worshipers. Issac’s telepathic voice began to play in my head, and I followed his advice to speak with the caravan. Good advice. It allowed me to rally the group and get them to support our efforts once more. We decided to clear the area for the next 30 minutes. Then we set upon our travels once again.

Eventually, I was able to pray to Silvanus, and gain the use of Lesser Restoration. With all this poison around, I realized that my divine spell powers would come in handy in days and weeks to come. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my companions for questing for the copperleaf so that I could get back on my feet again. I will watch over my friends with even greater acumen as we travel closer and closer to the Dragon Queen’s army.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 16 – About 2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

Our caravan continued travel north and we made it to Dragonspear where we were able to spend a night at an inn in relative comfort. I paid for Val’s room to allow for the lady to have her own room. Brevick and Isaac stayed the night with the other guards at the caravan, so Grim, Mily and I shared a room at the inn as well.

The next morning after breakfast, we gathered and as we were preparing the wagons to continue our journey, we caught sight of a new person joining the caravan. He was a bald human with a strange rune on his forehead. He wore burnt orange robes and seemed to be a spellcaster of sorts. He was able to join the cultist’s wagon something no other has done since we started our journey. As he spoke with the captain (the guy who confronted us earlier, a known worshiper of Tiamat), we caught that the new guy’s name was Azbara. He sat next to the driver on the wagon which gave Isaac a chance to move near and attempt to read thoughts. First he touched on surface thoughts of the captain. Then he tried to read the surface thoughts of Azbara. His spell just ended abruptly. In private, Isaac asked Valleja why he could not read Azbara’s mind, and Val alerted Isaac that Azbara’s robes seemed to have some warding runes woven into the collar.

We all got back to our positions and moved the caravan along through the midday rain. Eventually we stopped for late lunch, and while we were camped, a very tall, quiet man from the caravan sat with us. People in the caravan took to calling him “The Pole.” He struck up a conversation with Val, and started asking about the ring that she wore on her finger. He said he was from the same area where the ring was made and he wanted to buy it for a few silver pieces. Val didn’t want to part with it, but “The Pole” pushed her more and more, becoming more and more offensive, nearly cursing her for her nobility. Isaac and I didn’t like the way he was speaking with her so we intervened as Val walked away. After a short talk, I walked away, but Isaac did not. He used magical darkness to cloak himself and “The Pole” and then he dragged “The Pole” about 60’ away to a grassy area. I think he punched and kicked the rude peasant to teach him a lesson. Soon after, Isaac returned to us, and the darkness spell ended. “The Pole” was shaken. He slinked away, cursing us all.

The next morning, Val found that her ring was missing. Of course we suspected “The Pole” so Isaac and I confronted him directly. As we spoke with him, Isaac read his thoughts and found that he was really scared of us, but he did not steal the ring. After Isaac stopped and told me what he had found out, I flipped the peasant a gold piece and told him that we were not his enemy, and if he did find any information about the ring, he should tell us.

Just as we turned to go back to our group, Val called out to me. I returned and she pointed in the distance to a man sneaking away. She said that that skulk had the ring. Grim had gone after him stealthily only a few seconds before. It turned out that Grim had been able to trail the man, but after a little while in the tall grass, Grim lost him. As Grim was preparing to return, he felt a blade held to his back and the man threatened him. Grim said that he was able to flip backwards over the villain and draw his greataxe. He landed one blow on the thief, but then the thief got lost again in the tall grass. Eventually we all got to Grim’s location and decided to search for the thief even though the caravan would be leaving. Val really wanted to go after the ring, so we did not want to let her go off by herself.

We did find some blood drops and followed the thief further away into the wilderness for about 10 minutes. It was then that we saw a campsite and a mutilated body curled up on the ground. Val could feel some magic in the area, perhaps the signs of Necromancy. Not seeing anything else around, we walked up to the corpse, and saw that it was wearing Val’s ring. It must have been the thief, but he had huge wounds, chunks of flesh bitten from his legs and arms. I took the ring off his finger and called to Silvanus to create fresh water to cleanse the gory ring. Then I handed it to Val. We didn’t want to stick around, so we jogged quickly back to the caravan and were able to catch up with it.

The captain was not pleased. He taunted us (and Isaac taunted him). The captain nearly lost his cool, but he seemed to look to Azbara for permission to fight Isaac. The robed figure said, “not the time,” and the captain backed down. Isaac also taunted Azbara, but nothing came of it. I don’t like this guy. I wonder if he is the necromancer that the other assassin’s journal spoke about. The one that was wary of us.
As we got closer to Daggerford, we found a merchant’s wagon under attack by Urshani Hobgoblins. The captain wanted to go around and leave the merchant to his death, but we told the captain that we’d handle it so that the caravan could continue on the road without detour. Brevick, as he is wont to do, ran up to the foes. He was attacked by a few of the Hobgoblins. The rest of us used missile weapons to attack from a distance. Isaac was able to influence the leader of the Hobgoblins with a Crown of Madness, and I unleashed a powerful shatter spell, killing 4 of the foes. Brevick, Grim and Val all did their part as Isaac commanded the Hobgoblin captain to attack his own allies. In a few rounds, we were able to defeat the Hobgoblins. I ran over to the merchant and his guards, and motioned for Grim to come near too. As the others in the caravan worked to clear the merchant’s wagon from the road so we could continue, I prayed to Silvanus and healed all of the wounded. The merchant was very happy for our help so he wrote a special writ. If we ever needed help in Daggerford, he said we could present the note to House Drand.

I’m glad we were able to help the merchant and rid the land of more evil as well.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 17 – About 2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We traveled a few days north toward Daggerford, but the caravan decided to stop near a road side inn for the night. Brevick, Isaac, Mily, Val, Grim and I all entered the inn to see if we could get rooms for the night. To our chagrin, the inn keeper told us that he was all booked up. Then we saw a table of arrogant Baldarians, four of them. They were looking at us, laughing, and speaking disrespectfully. One remarked about Lil John, Isaac’s pseudodragon, and then Isaac spoke with him and probed his mind. Isaac telepathically told us that these men were planning on killing us for gain. They were assassins and thieves just waiting for marks.

After Isaac revealed that he could read their minds, they drew their shortswords and prepared to take us out right there in the tap room. I was speaking with the inn keeper at the time, but I was quick enough to act first. I told the inn keeper not to worry. I jumped up on the bar blessed Mily, Brevick and Isaac, and then I ducked behind the bar to stay out of the fray. Val was angry. This scum was the reason why she would not be able to get a good night’s rest in a comfortable bed so she wasted no time moving up to them to spray them with a fan of flames, which caught their table on fire. The inn keeper was in a panic, but I assured him that we’d take care of it.

Brevick, Isaac and Mily all entered the fray and did some damage to a few of the men, but not enough to bring any of them down. During the fight, Brevick used his combat maneuvers to get Mily and Val out of harms way a few times, but since Mily’s attack was so damaging, she was attacked by a few of the assassins, and their shortsword skill brought Mily down. I needed to heal Mily so I jumped up onto the bar and called to Silvanus to knit up some of Mily’s wounds, getting her back on her feet. Then I fired an arrow at the most injured foe, and took him down. That’s when the Baldarian leader told the others to take me out. I ducked behind the bar again and fended off one attacker, parrying a blow with my rapier. Later, when a second one attacked, I could not stop his onslaught. I was able to injure the foe with a lightning discharge as his blade hit me the first time, but on his second attack, he cut into me, knocking me to the ground, bleeding out.

The others fought well, and luckily nobody else was taken down. Isaac yelled out that they should take one alive, and my comrades succeeded, before I perished. Isaac tied up the unconscious assassin, and Brevick ran to me, pulled out a healing potion and administered it before I left this world for good. When I got up, I could see the smoke and smell the fire in the inn so I called to Silvanus to douse the flames with conjured water. Then, we made a deal with the inn keeper, who agreed to keep the assassin’s horses to pay for damage done to the inn and to pay for our rooms for the night.

After that, cleaned up a bit, disposing of the dead bodies, and we took the assassin up to a private room. I brought him back to consciousness, and Isaac interrogated him. Isaac found out that he was hired to kill Zenen Longwhistle a scribe working in Candlekeep. It had something to do with fur trading, not the Dragon Queen. When we got the information, Isaac and Lil John had a little argument. Isaac wanted the psuedodragon to sting the assassin, but Lil John would not. While they were bickering, I slammed the pommel of my rapier down on the assassin’s head, knocking him out so we could sleep safely that night.

We brought the assassin, Gant, back to the caravan in the morning, and then Isaac found that his own waterskin had some poison on it. He immediately suspected the captain of the caravan, who he had been jawing with earlier. We discussed some plans, made a deal with Gant, and eventually we let Isaac take Gant for a walk after I healed the assassin a little bit. Isaac wanted Gant to see if he could tell if anyone in the caravan seemed shady enough to use such poison. When we got to the captain, Gant accused him (upon Isaac’s telepathic urging), and then Isaac made rousing public accusations against the captain. I was sure we would be put off the caravan at this point, but Isaac was able to get many of the caravan members to support him although the ones that worked for the Dragon Queen were not swayed in the least. The captain also nearly attacked, but then Isaac was held, paralyzed by some foul magic. It had to be Azbara, the strange robed figure that joined the caravan just a few days ago.

Before it could get ugly, I ran up to Isaac, who was in the middle of a bunch of Dragon Cult guards, and I proclaimed that Isaac must be ill from the poison. Azbara spoke, and we came to an agreement about the tension that has built up. We both realized that it would not be good for the caravan if we acted so rashly, reaching a détente. Azbara released Isaac and we all went back to our positions. Today was not the day for bloodshed against the Dragon Cult, but that day would most likely come soon.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 18 – About 2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We made it to Daggerford and quickly found an inn that was acceptable for Valleja. I paid for our rooms and we had a meal. In the meantime, Isaac went out to find an alchemist to try to find out more about the poison that got the better of me, and he luckily noticed on his waterskin. He met with an old man who told him that Waterdeep would be a good place to get a antidote, but not much more. As we had our meal, we overheard some discussions about the new lord of Waterdeep rebuilding after the volcano had erupted, but no mention of kobolds or dragon warriors. The comfort of a inn and a good night’s sleep fortified our spirits.
In the morning we continued with the caravan to the north. At one stop, we were stopped an many of the caravan members grabbed bows and looked as if they were going hunting. In the distance, we saw a golden stag with a number of other deer, and it seemed as if the guards and some of the others were going to hunt. Val realized that the golden stag was a creature revered by the Elves and rumor had it that harming it would bring bad luck. When we heard that, we went after the hunters to stop them from their sport. Isaac was able to talk them down. At that, we saw that the golden stag was looking at us, dragging his hoof against the ground. It actually seemed like he was gesturing for us to approach.

We bought a barrel of apples from one of the merchants, and we approached the golden stag without our weapons drawn. Valleja found that the stag actual spoke a form of Sylvan tongue, so she could converse with it. We were able to give it apples and I created water in the barrel for it and the other deer to drink. The stag told Valleja that we were on the right path. We would need to follow the golden river until it reaches the castle in the sky. Then it offered us a gift. It produced a finely crafted curved longbow, a Staghorn Longbow. We thanked the creature for the gift, and since I was the only one who normally used longbows, the group allowed me to keep it. Before the golden stag disappeared, he warned us that we would have struggles in the future, and one of us would not make it. After that encounter, we pondered the cryptic information and returned to the caravan.

That night was uneventful, but the next day, we noticed a Gnome in the caravan who seemed to be keeping tabs on us. We were unsure about this one. Val got a chance to speak with the Gnome, finding out that her name was Jemna Gleamsilver. Val thought that she might even be a Harper, but later when we got a chance to speak with her again, Jemna said she was not a Harper, yet she shared a common interest, stopping the Dragon cultists. At first we were suspicious of Jemna, but after a while we found her to be a true ally. At breakfast one morning, she even showed Valleja that there was a bone sliver in her oatmeal. If she ingested the sliver, it would unravel in her stomach and cause a slow, painful death. Jemna saved us from another attempt on our lives.

The next night, we met with Jemna, and we discussed more about the Dragon cult and the goods that they were transporting on this caravan. At first she wanted to break into some of the goods to investigate, but we told her how Mily had tried before and got hurt by magic. We also told her that we had seen some of the goods when a few crates had tumbled out and broken on the ground. We told her it was plunder from towns that the Dragon Queen’s army had plundered. This seemed to satisfy Jemna’s curiosity. We parted company as Jemna told us that she would keep her interactions with us completely secret. We agreed to do the same.

At false dawn, we heard some alarm cries from the cultist’s part of the caravan. The captain was yelling out that Bend had been murdered. Eventually, the captain accused us of the crime, specifically Mily. I went over to examine the dead man and the rest of my friends went with us. Isaac and the captain got into another argument. After the captain called for a trial, I tried to get them to listen to reason, and reminded them that Azbara, the red wizard had forged a near treaty between us and the cultist guards. Just then Azbara came out and calmed the captain down. He called the captain by name, Athard, and got the captain to stand down. This wizard is really calling the shots, and I remembered well the words he had said the last time he spoke openly to the captain, “now is not the time.” The whole situation was making me tense.

In a couple more days, we made it to Waterdeep. During the journey we could tell that the cult guards hated us, but there were no more murder attempts. At Waterdeep, the cultists strolled off to the north. Grim followed them and was able to overhear some of their discussions. It seemed as if the cultists, and Azbara, would be continuing to travel north to another location with their goods. They would be taking the long road.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 19 – “The North Road” – About 2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 4th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We spent a night in Waterdeep as Gemna helped us make contact with Ardred Briferhugh, of the High Road Charter Co. Val left the inn to find more news and to warn the Harpers about the assassination attempt we uncovered about a week ago, and I found an agent of The Order of the Gauntlet to see if there was other information about the Dragon Queen’s army and the cultists who had now amassed a large warehouse full of plunder. Of all this, Gemna’s intelligence and scouting ability gave us the most information. She found that the cultists would be traveling up the High Road with Aldred Briferhugh’s company. The Lord of Waterdeep sent an escort with Aldred’s caravan, 6 supply wagons for road work, with 2 dozen laborers and other guards, joined by 6 wagons of cultists, dozens of cultist guards, and others hidden in the shadows. We heard that a mage was also with them, which we assumed was Azbara, whom we had parlayed with earlier in our travels.

Aldred assigned us to the east side of the caravan and kept us together as others noted that we worked as a capable team. The cultists recognized us immediately, but we kept to ourselves as they kept to themselves, not wanting any trouble yet. As we traveled Isaac and I tried to schmooze with the road workers and others who were not cultists. Isaac even spoke with Aldred himself and warned him about the murder attempts the cultists had attempted on the last caravan we traveled.

At night, the cultists kept to themselves in their own camp. We even noticed a wizard, maybe Azbara, maybe another, casting magical wards around their camp so we decided it best not to sneak too close.
Four days into the journey on a windy night, the caravan was ambushed by bandits. It was a large force of nearly 60 bandits so the entire caravan, cultists and non-cultists alike had to defend life and property.
Our party was surrounded by one group of bandits, but with spells and weapons, we were able to kill a number of the bandits. I was able to get off a mighty thunderwave and a shatter spell to down one foe and weaken nearly a half-dozen. During the fight, Isaac produced 3 other images of himself, perfect mirrored copies that confused the foes and saved him from damage. I was besieged by a number of foes, two arrows grazed my arm and thigh, but I was able to parry a few other attacks, turning the bandit weapons aside with my rapier.

Brevick, Mily, Val and Isaac took on the others, but before we could finish them off, another danger crashed through the trees. Two hill trolls who had heard the sound of battle had come to take some meat. One broke off to go toward the cultist’s camp, the other bit and slashed at Brevick. Brevick took some damage as Mily killed two remaining bandits with an acrobatic duel attack. Isaac fired an Eldritch blast at the troll, and I fired an arrow at the beast with Staghorn the magic longbow I used for the first time. My shot missed the mark as I quickly learned that I needed to draw back more forcefully. After an attack by Brevick and Val, the troll regenerated so we knew that we’d have to use fire to keep this creature down.

Val hit the troll with two rays of scorching flame, which made it vulnerable for a short time. I was blessed Mily, Brevick and Val, and Mily’s sneak attack angered the monster greatly so it lashed out at our halfling friend, knocking Mily to the ground, dying. The creature also slashed at Brevick, opening wounds on the stalwart Dwarf. I moved over to Mily and called to Silvanus to knit up her wounds as I whispered for her to fake death and crawl away when she had the chance. She made it out of harm’s way, stood and fired another deadly crossbow bolt into the troll’s hide. Val crept around the other side of the monster and fired forth a sheet of flames while Isaac hit it with another Eldritch blast. Brevick howled, gaining second wind, then he bit down on the troll’s arm with his own teeth. It looked as if he was trying to drink the troll’s blood. (I think he believed that drinking the blood of a troll could impart regenerative properties… Dwarven superstition). Brevick’s assault nearly killed the creature, but it remained standing. Before the troll got another chance to do harm to my comrades, I aimed Staghorn. This time I drew the bow string back far enough and my aim was true. The arrow lodged in the troll’s neck and the still burning troll toppled to the ground dead.
Through the battle, we did notice that the other troll had been obliterated by fire, perhaps even a spell from the cultists’ mage.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 20 – “Arriving at Carnath Road House” – About 1 1/2 hours of play

From the journal of Myles Stormgroom (Human 5th level Tempest Cleric raised by Elves)

We traveled for 10 days. Thank Silvanus that it was uneventful. On the trip we spoke with some of the workers and Aldred. Isaac mentioned that he was looking for an expensive focus or a glass eye or a jeweled horn for a Clairvoyance spell. I let my comrades know that I would like to find or purchase a 300 gp diamond so that I could call upon Silvanus to revivify a recently dead corpse.

We eventually made it to the Carnath Road House, an establishment with walls around it that was serving as a warehouse/workhouse for the laborers working on the High Road. The laborers unloaded the wagons and Bog Luck, a gnarled and seemingly battle-tested Half-Orc, got his men to help. Before our laborers could finish unloading, the Red Robed cultist from the other wagons spoke with Bog Luck on the side. Then the Half-Orc directed all his workers to help the cultists unload. We watched carefully and saw them take the goods to a particular room. Grim even saw that they may have put the goods in a room within that room, perhaps for a safer storage. All this time, we all tried to learn more about this place and anything else about the cultists, but information was scarce.

Eventually, we were shown rooms and we took two rooms upstairs. The cultists took rooms downstairs on the main floor. As we were going down to get some dinner, we were challenged by a woman named Syvia, who came from the Red Robed cultists room. She blamed us for the death of her sister and challenged us to a blood trial. I knew of these duels, and wanted to avoid it. I stepped forward to speak with her, to assure her that we had no part in her sister’s death. She would not listen. During this conference, Isaac used his mental powers to dip into Syvia’s thoughts. He found that she truly believed we were responsible. By this time, about a dozen cultists arrived and so did the Red Robed cultist. I tried to continue the conversation to give Isaac more time to pry into other minds, but it turns out that he attempted to go into the mind of the Red Robed cultist, who thought, “Do you really think that’s wise.” Then, Brevick ran forward, accepting her challenge. I stepped back and basically said, “so be it.” Just then, a globe of darkness enveloped Syvia. It seemed as if Isaac created the darkness on her swords. Isaac moved into the darkness with some rope, planning to tie Syvia up, but she heard his footsteps and took two wild swings at him, hitting him both times. Of course, we could not see any of this because they were enveloped in darkness. The wounds broke Isaac’s concentration and then Syvia saw that he was standing before her with rope in hand. She turned to him and said that he was the one that would fight the blood trial.

We tried to get her to understand that Isaac was not responsible, and that he did not accept her challenge, but she would not stand down. Knowing that we were not supposed to interfere, but also realizing that Isaac did not accept the challenge in the traditional way, we were at a loss. We found out that Syvia was quite adroit with longsword and shortsword, and before long, Isaac was dying. I could not abide that, so I told Syvia that Isaac and the others were not her sister’s killers and I would not let my comrade die. I called to Silvanus and healed Isaac, but that’s when she turned to the Red Robed cultist and said, “a spell for a spell.” I shrugged and said, “do what you must. I don’t agree with any of this.” That’s when the Red Robed cultist hit me with a powerful bolt of necrotic energy. I went down and nearly died.

I later found out that while I was down, Brevick spoke in the language of the Underdark, and was able to communicate with Syvia. Whatever he said, eventually got her to stand down. It must have been quite stirring. Before I expired, Grim was able to bandage my wounds, and as the group disbanded, Brevick picked me up and carried me up to our rooms.

Grim forced a healing potion into my mouth, and I was revived. As I sit here now writing this entry, I am confounded by the lack of resolution to this night’s altercation. The cultists are starting to rankle me, and I feel the entire situation simmering to a boil. Thankfully, we can rest here and tend to our wounds, but I do not know how long we will have until we have a larger confrontation with the cultists. We must plan our next actions very carefully.
 

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