The Untold Adventures of Fap Longwood & Friends!


Great story hour, and I'm really liking the style, can I ask questions?

Like how many sessions is this?
Are you VTT or tabletop (pre-meltdown)?
Is the game ongoing?
Have you finished Lost Mines?

I have other questions, sorry- I'll back off if you're disinclined.

Great work regardless, kudos. Keep it up.

Cheers goonalan

Thanks for the likes, it really motivates me to keep writing! :)

At this point in the story, we're about 8/9 sessions in. We're playing tabletop at home, I'm fortunate enough to game with my immediate family.

The game is ongoing. We've just hit level 5 and wrapped up Lost Mines, the plan is to slide into Tyranny of Dragons and see how we get on versus Tiamat. I'm planning to let the group steam-roll chapter one as written (and see how having a party of level 5 characters effects certain encounters), skip chapters 2 & 3 entirely, then pick up the campaign with the road trip in chapter four.

Your questions and feedback are always welcome! Thanks for reading! :)

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The Adventures of Fap Longwood #19 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

“Er… Hello.” Fap says uncertainly, “What’s your name then?”

“Steve. Steve the Spectator. Nice to meet you!”

“Er… Nice to meet you too….”

“How can I help you today?”
Steve asks, “Are you lost? You look kind of lost.”

“We’re looking for the Forge of Spells.”
Fap says, glancing from the Spectator to the flickering green flame.

“You’ve found it!” Steve says, “It’s my solemn duty to guard the forge from intruders. I don’t know if you know this, but we had some trouble with orcs a while back! You’re not orcs, are you?”

“Er… No.”

“That’s great! I would have had to kill you if you were!”

“How long have you been here?”
Mara asks.

“Oh… ages!!” Steve says, “It’s been quite dull actually.”

“Would you like to take a wee break?”
Brian suggests, “We can watch the forge for a few minutes if you need to freshen up, or something.”

“Oh no! I’m not falling for that again!!”
Steve cries. The Spectator attacks!

Brian jumps up and tags the Spectator with Inflict Wounds. Mara casts Sleep and Steve sinks to the ground, snoring gently. Horatio gingerly picks up the slumbering horror and rolls it into an adjacent chamber. Mara casts Arcane Lock to seal it inside, possibly forever.

Poor Steve.

The party quietly examine the Spell Forge and find two remarkable items; Lightbringer (+1 mace that glows on command and inflicts +1d6 while glowing), and Dragonguard (+1 breastplate that bestows advantage to resist draconic breath weapons). Brian claims both the mace and the armour.

The heroes take a short rest inside the forge chamber. After a while, they can hear Steve bouncing around inside the adjacent room. It doesn’t look like he can get out.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #20 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Somewhat recovered, the party delve ever deeper into Wave Echo Cave. The heroes have secured the Forge of Spells, but have yet to encounter the Black Spider. The fate of Gundren’s youngest brother (Nundro) is still undetermined.

The incessant crashing of waves grows louder as the party move further north. The tunnel terminates at a narrow ledge overlooking a vast underground lake. Although there is no tide, some seismic phenomenon replicates the effects of waves crashing against the cliff face. The heroes carefully traverse the rocky ledge to reach a tunnel mouth in the western wall.

The cavern ahead is divided by a deep ravine. A shallow stream flows along the bottom of the rift. Two bugbears are splashing about in the water, supervised by a third bugbear and what appears to be a drow.

“The Black Spider!” Gundren growls through clenched teeth.

Fap cast Hunters Mark on the dark elf and takes careful aim at his prey. Apparently he was not careful enough, as his shot misses the target and alarms the enemy.

Horatio uses his new boots to spring across the ravine in a single bound and charges toward the drow. The dark elf steps back and commands her bugbear bodyguard to kill the dwarf.

Fap moves forward to get a better angle on the bugbears in the stream. The ledge beneath his feet crumbles and Fap tumbles into the ravine. One of the bugbears tries to cave his head in with a rock. Brian slides into the rift and smites the bugbear with Lightbringer. Blinded by the radiant glow, the bugbear falls prone in the stream. Brian splashes in after it to finish the job and the water runs red with bugbear blood.

Fap raises his bow and takes another shot at the dark elf. This one crits and does a ridiculous amount of damage (1d8 base weapon damage, plus 1d6 for Hunters Mark, plus 1d6 sneak attack damage, plus 1d8 for colossus slayer x2 for Critical Hit, plus 3 dexterity modifier = 35 damage). The drow is killed! The body transforms into a smooth, skinned, featureless grey humanoid; a Doppleganger!

Mara notices that Daran appears upset by the death of the shapechanger. The old adventurer brushes off her questions. Mara is suspicious.

“Come on!” Daran urges, “The real Black Spider must be close!”

Mara says, “How can we be sure that you are really you?”

“What?! Of course I’m really me!”
Daran protests.

“Who is the current leader of the Order of the Gauntlet?” Brian asks.

“We don’t have time for this!” Daran argues, “The Black Spider - ”

“Can wait.”
Brian says, “Answer the question.”

“I… I… er….”

Mara cries, throwing a Firebolt into Daran’s face.
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The Adventures of Fap Longwood #21 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Not-Daran flees along a long, straight corridor. Horatio’s new boots enable him to give chase. The passage ends at a pair of heavy stone doors.

“Master!!” Not-Daran shrieks, “The heroes of Phandalin are here!!”

Heroes of Phandalin,”
Fap muses, “I like the sound of that!”

Hoaratio cuts the doppleganger down and the body sprawls across the threshold of the Black Spider’s lair; a long room lined with stone columns, watched over by the statue of an enthroned dwarf, precious emeralds sparkling where his eyes should be. A makeshift workshop has been set up in the centre of the chamber, stacked high with scrolls and tomes of arcane lore. Two brawny bugbears loom protectively to either side of a robed and hooded dark elf. The drow carries a staff capped with the likeness of a large, black spider.

“It seems I must end deal with you myself,” the dark elf grumbles, “A pity it must end this way.”

The two bugbears crack their hairy knuckles and move forward to engage the party, while the Black Spider casts Invisibility on himself and simply disappears. Brian sends the first bodyguard to bugbear hell with a gout of Sacred Flame, while Fap shoots the second bugbear in the face. Mara casts Detect Magic to locate the invisible drow. She notes that the statue of the back of the room is also emitting a faint magical aura.

“Tell me where he is!” Horatio shouts.

“There!” Mara cries, pointing.

Horatio can’t see anything, but he trusts the wizard and swings Talon as directed. There is a flash of light as the blade bounces off a magical Shield. The Black Spider becomes visible to cast Magic Missile, spreading the damage out evenly across the party. Brian retaliates with Guiding Bolt, which penetrates the dark elf’s shield.

“Defend me, my children of the webbed cradle!” the Black Spider cries out.

Four giant spiders drop from the ceiling and attack! Horatio is bitten twice and suffers additional poison damage. Horatio chugs a health potion. The third spider shoots a glob of sticky webbing at Brian and the fourth weaves a barrier between two pillars, separating Fap and Mara from the two dwarves. Fap produces a torch from his explorer’s pack and burns away the webbing. Mara moves up and casts Burning Hands, hitting the Black Spider and two of his eight-legged offspring. A spider springs on top of the little wizard and starts wrapping her up in an adhesive cocoon. Fap draws back his bowstring and puts an arrow through the Black Spider’s eye. The dark elf topples backward, his spider staff clattering to the floor. The giant spiders spasm as their master expires, then scuttle away from whence they came.

Fap cuts Mara out of her cocoon and the little wizard claims the Staff of the Spider (10x charges, able to cast Spider Climb [1 charge] and Web [2 charges]). She ties colourful ribbons to each of the spider’s legs to make the staff a little less sinister. The party raid the Black Spider’s treasure cache. They also find Nundro Rockseeker locked in an adjacent chamber. Gundren is overjoyed to be reunited with his one surviving brother.

The party return to Phandalin, having slain the Black Spider and saved the town from his wicked machinations. The heroes advance to level 5 and enjoy some well deserved downtime!

(The players tallied up the party treasure and calculated they have a pot of 1457 gold to play with.)


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #22 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Several weeks have passed since the heroes defeated the Black Spider….

Brian and Horatio have started to clear the ruins of Cragmaw Castle, planning to restore and renovate the keep as a headquarters for the Heroes of Phandalin. In memory of their late friend, they have renamed the castle Hallwinter Hold.

Meanwhile, Mara works alongside the brothers Rockseeker to rekindle the Forge of Spells. Combining the dwarves skill with metal and Mara’s skill with spells, they are able to craft the first (of many) magical weapons, a +1 longbow which Mara gifts to Fap (the only party member without a magical weapon).

Fap spends a lot of time with Mirna Drendar and the two hit it off in a big way. There are a few raised eyebrows around town, as folk see the young window stepping out with the dashing adventurer. Fap makes plans to visit the abandoned village of Thundertree to recover Mirna’s mother’s necklace, but he has heard rumours of dragon sightings in the area….

The Heroes of Phandalin re-unite to travel to Thundertree, recover Ma Drendar’s lost necklace and maybe slay a dragon….


Loose Ends & Deleted Scenes

The Fate of Glasstaff: After the heroes chased him out of the Redbrand Hideout, Glasstaff hid in the ruins of Tresendar Manor, waiting for the party to leave so he could sneak back in and recover his research notes. The party noticed his tracks and chased him through the woods until he cast Invisibility and Misty Step to lose them.

A few days later (while the party were fighting the orcs at Wyvern Tor), Glasstaff snuck back into the hideout and was ambushed by the blind nothic while crossing the chasm. Glasstaff’s body now lies among the skeletons at the bottom of the ravine and the nothic has claimed his magical staff.

Orc Attack: On their way to Cragmaw Castle, the party were ambushed by a group of four orc scouts, who had missed the massacre at Wyvern Tor and tracked the party back to Phandalin. The party wiped the floor with the opposition and I didn’t include this encounter in the write-up as it didn’t really contribute to the overall narrative.

Sildar Hallwinter: Agents of the Lord’s Alliance collect Sildar’s body and return it to Neverwinter, where efforts are made to return the dead man to life.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #23 (Tyranny of Dragons)

The party arrive in Thundertree three days later. An overgrown road winds between dilapidated buildings, choked with thorny weeds. A partially collapsed stone tower squats atop a forested rise overlooking the abandoned village. It is eerily quiet, even the birds and the beasts of Neverwinter Wood avoid this place. A warning sign has been nailed to a post on the edge of the town, reading;


Fap and Mara exchange apprehensive glances, whilst Horatio chuckles in anticipation of encountering such a terrible adversary.

The party are on the lookout for Ma Drendar’s old herbalist shop, where a valuable emerald necklace lies hidden beneath the floorboards. Instead, they encounter a group of masked cultists hauling a heavy chest through the ruins of Thundertree. The cultists don’t notice the heroes noticing them and the party quietly join the curious procession as it moves toward the fallen tower.

“Oh great and formidable Venomfang!” cries the cult spokesperson, as the others deposit the heavy chest upon the ground, “We offer tribute to your majesty and deliver an offer of allegiance with the Masters of the Dragon Cult.”

A young green dragon emerges from the top of the ruined tower, extending its long, serpentine neck to investigate the contents of the chest. The cultists lift the lid and the party see the gleam of treasure reflected in the dragon’s avaricious gaze.

“Our master, Severin Silrajin is raising an army of dragons to conquer all of these Forgotten Realms. When he heard of the mighty Venomfang, he knew he needed you at his side and dispatched us to broker an alliance.
“Even now, our forces march on the Greenfields and the town of Greenest. Join us in the destruction of their pitiful town and claim your share of the glory!”

“This sounds bad.”
Fap mutters.

“Never slain me a dragon.” Horatio adds, sliding Talon from its scabbard.

“We have to stop this.” Mara agrees.

The heroes edge forward, hoping to catch the cultists and their draconic ally by surprise. Unfortunately, the big lizard senses them creeping around.


“No-one, great Venomfang!”
the cultists protest, “We came alone!”

Since their cover is blown, the party abandon all pretence of stealth and Mara initiates combat with her new third level offensive spell Lightning Bolt. She catches two cultists and the dragon in the beam, killing the humans and injuring Venomfang. The cultists rush to defend their draconic ally, leaving one man to guard the offering. Two cultists gang up on Mara and slash at her robes with barbed scimitars. Venomfang exhales a cloud of poison gas over the two dwarves, happily they both enjoy a racial resilience to poison. Fap drops his Hunters Mark on the dragon and opens fire. Horatio has no means of attacking the dragon from the ground, so he focuses on thinning out the number of masked fanatics running around.

Mara casts Lightning Bolt a second time. Venomfang lands beside her and snaps Mara up in his jaws! Her soft Halfling flesh is ripped and town by the dragon’s fangs and she suffers additional damage from his acidic saliva! Venomfang shakes the little wizard like a ragdoll then casts her limp body aside. Mara is unconscious and dying!

The party concentrate fire on the dragon, it retaliates with another cone of poisonous breath. Two of the dragon cultists are caught in the cloud and collapse, choking on the deadly gas. The dragon scrambles up the exterior wall of the tower, knocking over the chest and spilling gold across the ground. Horatio switches to his crossbow and fires up at the dragon, somehow managing to such a huge, obvious target.

“I really need to practise with this thing!” Horatio grumbles to himself.

Having been reduced to 41hp, Venomfang takes wing and flies away, to fight again another day. Seeing their draconic ally abandon its lair, the surviving dragon cultists beat a hasty retreat. Brian heals Mara, then the party loot the dragon’s hoard and gather up all the scattered coins from the cult offering (770 gold, Scrolls of Lightning Bolt & Misty Step and a +1 dwarven battleaxe called Hew that automatically deals max damage against plant monsters). Nobody really wants the axe, so it will eventually make its way into the parties’ armoury at Hallwinter Hold.

The party realise they have a responsibility to travel to Neverwinter and warn someone about the imminent dragon attacks in the Greenfields. Fap digs up his girlfriend’s necklace, hoping that he will get the chance to return it to her in person some day. Brian casts Sending to communicate with his mentor Daran Edermath in Phandalin.



The Adventures of Fap Longwood #24 (Tyranny of Dragons)

It will take weeks - if not months - to travel from Neverwinter to Greenest (south-east of Baldur’s Gate).The party seek aid from the Lord’s Alliance and are surprised to learn that their old friend Sildar Hallwinter has been raised from the dead to resume his duties. Sildar will vouch for the heroes, but his superiors aren’t willing to exhaust the resources required to teleport the entire group to the Greenfields without the party doing something for them first.

One of the Alliance’s agents, a woman called Dagny, has been captured by goblinoid marauders squatting in the old usurper’s tower on the edge of Neverwinter Wood. Dagny is in possession of confidential intelligence that must not fall into the wrong hands. If the heroes rescue Dagny from her captors, the Lord’s Alliance will provide magical transit to Greenest.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #25 (Tyranny of Dragons)

The usurper’s tower was once part of a larger fortress, now only a solitary finger of stone remains, occupied by an ogre warlord and his band of bugbear brigands. The tower is 30ft tall and has a single entrance on the ground floor. Two sharp-eyed bugbears armed with longbows keep watch from the roof.

Under the cover of darkness, Fap and Horatio attempt to scale the exterior wall of the tower. The sentries hear something and peer over the edge of the roof, just as the two heroes reach the top. Horatio grabs the bugbear looming above him and pulls him off the roof. The bugbear plummets 30ft but survives the fall, albeit with two broken legs. Brian trundles over to put the crippled goblinoid out of its misery.

Horatio pulls himself up onto the roof and is immediately attacked by a giant vulture! Mara casts Misty Step and appears on the roof of the tower. She follows up with Burning Hands and barbeques the giant vulture into hot wings. Horatio cuts down the second bugbear.

A trapdoor in the roof opens and a third bugbear pops his head up. Horatio lifts the cauldron of boiling oil (that the sentries/DM had forgotten to pour over the party) and upends it over the trapdoor.

Brian scales the tower and joins the others on the roof. Fap abseils down the wall and uses the arrow slits to peek into the next room. Inside, three bugbears and a wild-eyed goblin shaman are waiting to dogpile the first person through the trapdoor. Fap braces his legs against the mossy stonework and shoots into the room, killing the goblin. As the bugbears look around in confusion, the trapdoor opens and Horatio drops into the room.

“I love it when a plan comes together!” Fap congratulates himself.

Horatio and Brian make short work of the remaining brigands. The party continue to descend, eventually reaching the subterranean oubliette, dimly illuminated by a smoky brazier. Shelves of torture paraphernalia line the walls, along with four manacled humans – one of which must be Dagny. Ogre Warlord Gragmir oversees the interrogation of the prisoners.

The heroes drop into the dungeon. Gragmir swings for Horatio and accidentally topples the brazier, plunging the area into darkness. Brian invokes the name of Ilmater and Lightbringer bursts into light, driving the ogre back. Gragmir trips over one of his slain assistants and becomes tangled in a curtain of chains dangling from the ceiling. The more the ogre struggles, the more tightly bound he becomes.

“I surrender!” the warlord shouts.

“I don’t care!” Fap answers, firing a half-dozen arrows in quick succession, transforming the helpless ogre into a pincushion.

Ignoring the dead warlord dangling amongst the rusty chains, the heroes release Dagny and the four surviving members of her company. A poorly hidden sack contains Gragmir’s treasure; a small fortune in loose change, a pouch of precious moonstones, two potions of Greater Healing and a Helm of Comprehend Languages (claimed by Mara).


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #26 (Tyranny of Dragons)

The heroes escort Dagny and her companions back to Neverwinter, where the Lord’s Alliance hold up their end of the bargain and teleport the party to Greenest. Troubled by the possibility of an invasion of the Greenlands by agents of the Dragon Cult, the newly resurrected Sildar Hallwinter will accompany them.

The heroes are teleported to a warzone! Greenest is ablaze! Masked figures plunder burning homes and a huge, winged terror wheels through the smoke above the town! Seven kobolds terrorise a helpless human family. The kobolds are surprised as the heroes materialise out of thin air. Fap and Mara are too disorientated from their first experience of inter-dimensional travel to do much of anything other than feel sick, but the two dwarves leap into action.

The party quickly dispatch the kobolds and save the grateful family, who were heading for the stone keep in the centre of town. The heroes escort them the rest of the way. As the party approach the keep, they see the Dragon Cult attacking the gate. There are eight cultists and seven kobolds (one of which can fly) battling the defenders. The heroes carve a path through the cult forces, killing most of the opposition outright but also managing to grab a couple of prisoners. The gates slam shut behind them and the party grab a moment of respite, before being introduced to Escobert the Red, castellan of the keep. Escobert escorts them up to the battlements to meet Governor Nighthill. The defenders know the Dragon Cult forces sacking Greenest are led by a masked magi in purple robes. Perhaps the parties’ prisoners can reveal more, but before they can be interrogated, a seven foot tall dragonborn warrior approaches the keep.

“Defenders of Greenest!” the dragonborn yells up at the walls, “This has been a successful night and I – Langdedrosa Cyanwrath – am feeling generous!
“Do you see these pitiful prisoners? We have no use for them so I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me and you can have these wretches in exchange.”

“I should go down there.”
Escobert says, though his slumped shoulders betray a lack of enthusiasm for what will certainly be a fight to his death.

“Nah, I got this.” Horatio says, cracking his knuckles.

“But you don’t owe this town anything,” Governor Nighthill gasps, “Why would you risk your life for us?”

“We’re the Heroes of Phandalin,”
Fap answers, “This is what we do.”


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #27 (Tyranny of Dragons)

Before Horatio confronts Cyanwrath, Brian casts Warding Bond, creating a spiritual tether between the two dwarves. Horatio gains resistance to all damage, but any injuries he does sustain are mirrored on the cleric’s person.

“So, ye like picking on low level characters, do ye?” Horatio growls, circling the dragonborn warrior.

Cyanwrath lunges, swinging his massive greatsword in a savage downward slash. Horatio deflects the blow with his shield but is caught by surprise when the dragonborn uses Action Surge to take another swing. Up on the battlements, Brian grunts as a bloody gash appears along his arm.

Horatio lands a few good hits on his scaly opponent and Cyanwrath retaliates by spitting lightning in the dwarf’s face. Horatio hops back, his beard bristling with static electricity. Above, Brian grimaces as invisible shockwaves wrack his body.
The duel continues for a few more rounds, until Horatio defeats the dragonborn, thanks largely to his warding bond with Brian. Horatio beheads his opponent and waves the gristly trophy like a flag. The dragon cultists can barely contain their dismay as Cyanwrath goes down! The prisoners are released and the cult pulls back from the keep. Horatio returns to the walls and hurls insults at the retreating forces.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #28 (Tyranny of Dragons)

Governor Nighthill encourages the heroes to rest, but Horatio is too energised after his duel for sleep to come easily. Instead, he interrogates the two cult prisoners in the keep’s dungeon. Despite Horatio’s intimidating presence, the cultists cannot be broken; they fear the wrath of Tiamat far more than the threat of a vanilla beating.

After a short rest, the heroes return to the walls. Governor Nighthill is in a flap because the Dragon Cult are trying to burn the town’s mill and incinerate their stockpile of flour. Escobert is gathering men to defend the building, but someone needs to stop the cult from burning it down before he gets there.

The party exit the keep via an old run-off tunnel, emerging on the muddy bank of the stream running through the centre of town. Four masked cultists and a heavily armed human mercenary loiter outside the building, but something seems off. The bad guys are making a big show of brandishing their torches, but it’s more of a pantomime peril than an actual threat. Fap sneaks around the back of the mill and is unsurprised to find another eight enemies waiting in ambush. It seems like the Dragon Cult wanted to lure the heroes away from the keep….

Regardless, the cult forces need to be dealt with before Escobert walks into a trap. Horatio triggers the ambush and Mara hits the concealed cultists with Burning Hands as they pop out of hiding.

“That’s why you don’t play with fire!” she chastises the cultists, as they writhe on the floor to extinguish their flaming robes, “That’s right. Stop, drop and roll you lizard-loving freaks.”

The party defeat the cultists with little trouble and Escobert arrives soon after, with enough manpower to defend the mill until dawn. The heroes return to the keep and begin their report to Governor Nighthill. They are interrupted by a terrifying roar, as an adult blue dragon dives toward the battlements!


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #29 (Tyranny of Dragons)

This isn’t the parties’ first dragon fight, but while Venomfang was an adolescent, the specimen descending on Greenest is fully grown and scary as fudge. Fap fails his WIS save to resist the dragon’s fearsome presence and cowers behind the battlements beside Governor Nighthill. Fap masters his terror long enough to take a shot at the dragon, but his hands are shaking so violently that he misses by miles.

Since Horatio can’t reach the dragon while it’s airborne, he dedicates his turn to aiding Fap overcome his fear. Meanwhile, Mara prepares to cast Lightning Bolt from a scroll – then suddenly remembers they are fighting a blue dragon and puts it away, shaking her head ruefully. Silly wizard. She casts Firebolt instead, which does 2d10 damage now that she is level 5 – or it would have done, if she had hit, which she did not. Brian casts Guiding Bolt (at third level) and also misses. The dragon vomits lightning all over the walls, killing one man outright and wounding six more.

Emboldened by the support of his friends, Fap places a Hunters Mark on the dragon and inflicts modest damage. With Horatio’s aid, he recovers from the Frightened condition. The dragon lands atop the battlements, claws digging deep gouges in the stone walls of the keep. The party are divided, Fap and Horatio on one side of the dragon, Brian and Mara on the other. Mara experiences an unpleasant sensation of deja-vu as the dragon snaps her up in its jaws. That’s the second time something awful has tried to eat her! Horatio bull-rushes the dragon and is targeted with a tail swipe that bats him off the wall! He flies through the air and splashes down in the stream beneath the keep, unconscious and dying!
Mara picks herself up, leaning heavily on the battlements. Fresh blood stains her ravaged robe.

“You need to go!” Brian shouts over his shoulder.

“I can’t leave you!” Mara protests.

“Just go! We’ll be fine! Go help Horatio!”

Mara misty-steps to safety. She finds Horatio floating in the stream and forces a potion of greater healing down the dwarf’s throat. Brian tries to cast Blindness on the dragon, but it resists. The dragon retaliates with two claw attacks, driving Brian back and demolishing more of the wall. Fap shoots the beast in the flank and Brian slaps it with Inflict Wounds. Having been reduced from 225 to 128 hp, the dragon takes wing and breaths lightning over the battlements to cover its retreat. Fap dodges the worst of it (but still takes half damage), whereas Brian is hit for a massive 66 damage and is only 3 hp away from perma-death! Fap digs frantically through the fallen rubble to find and stabilise the dying cleric.
Seeing their draconic ally routed, the rest of the Dragon Cult cut their losses and quit Greenest also, retreating to the north with their stolen plunder.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #30 (Tyranny of Dragons)

After an interminable night of fire and bloodshed, dawn breaks hard over the smoking ruins of Greenest. Over two dozen buildings have burnt to the ground and one side of the stone keep has been reduced to rubble. Bodies (a mash-up of civilians, cultists and kobolds) litter the streets. As the light of the new days dispels the terrors of the long night, those residents who did not seek sanctuary within the keep emerge from hiding and tearfully absorb the devastation around them. The Dragon Cult was repulsed, but the cost was great.

Greenest was not the only town hit. Sildar receives word from his allies in the Lord’s Alliance that other towns across the Greenfields were also targeted by the cult. While these attacks have been ruinous, destruction was not the cult’s primary objective. In each instance, eye witnesses report the cultists piling stolen treasure into wagons. These wagons have been tracked north along the Trade Way, before turning off the road and into the Mere of Dead Men. Sildar and his spies are unsure what the cult is doing in that blasted swampland, but they need to find out. Since the Heroes of Phandalin have already survived (although not actually won) two dragon fights, they are the ideal candidates to scope out the cult’s activities.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #31 (Tyranny of Dragons)

The Mere of Dead Men is a vast, tangled marshland of sucking muck and cold grey water. Sparse clumps of scrubby weeds sprout from the few islands of solid ground. The Heroes of Phandalin slosh through the knee-deep sludge, making painfully slow progress to avoid marching into another patch of quicksand or the territory of some carnivorous ooze.

“Remind me, why did we accept this quest?” Horatio grumbles, waving the biting insects away from his face.

“Someone has to stop the Dragon Cult.” Fap answers.

“I mean, sure.” Horatio agrees, “But why does it have to be us?”

Earlier that day, the party had found several abandoned wagons half-submerged in the muck near the edge of the mire. The stolen plunder had already been offloaded and hauled deeper into the swamp.

As darkness falls across the marsh, the heroes stumble upon an empty camp erected atop a small island of semi-solid ground. A half-dozen crude canoes have been pulled up alongside a circle of shanty lean-to’s. Fap examines the muddy ground and finds a mess of recent lizardfolk tracks. With no real alternative, the party reluctantly prepare to spend the night in the lizardfolk campsite. The party are wary of the camp’s previous occupants returning in the small hours and set a watch. They don’t have long to wait.

Soon after dusk, nine lizardmen paddle out of the mist hanging low over the mere. Brian and Horatio hide in the lean-to’s, while Fap and Mara duck beneath the unattended canoes. The party hope to go unnoticed.

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” one of the lizardmen cries (in Draconic), “And they’re still here!”

After a brutal skirmish, the heroes defeat the lizardmen, leaving just one survivor. Donning her Helm of Comprehension, Mara questions the injured warrior. His name is Snapjaw and the Dragon Cult have compelled his tribe to act as scouts and porters, hauling treasure across the Mere of Dead Men to the cult headquarters in the ruin of Castle Naerytar. Before the arrival of the cult, the lizardfolk warred with a tribe of disgusting bullywugs – now both groups are subservient to the cult leaders. Snapjaw can lead the party to the castle and agrees to do so if the party free his kin from the tyranny of the Dragon Cult.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #32 (Tyranny of Dragons)

Castle Naerytar is a crumbling ruin long abandoned to the swamp, slowly sinking into the mire under the weight of its own stone. The entire edifice is slightly lopsided as a result.

Snapjaw tells the party that a black dragonborn called Rezmir calls the shots and that she has two lieutenants; an elven duellist called Dralmorrer Borngray and a bullywug shaman called Pharblex Splattergoo. Rezmir and Borngray both have quarters in the castle proper, while Splattergoo can usually be found in the flooded caverns beneath the keep.

Lizardfolk pickets challenge the party as they approach, but Snapjaw claims they are new cultists he is escorting to see Borngray. The party are permitted to pass. The heroes regret not stealing any cult attire from the many dead dragon cultists they’ve left in their wake since Thundertree.

The barbican is defended by ten bullywugs and a pair of giant toads.

“Who – CROAK – you?” the bullywugs demand.

“New cultists,” Snapjaw explains, “I am - ”

The lizardman is silenced by a wet slap from the lead bullywugs webbed hand.

“Be – CROAK – silent! They – CROAK – talk!”

None of the heroes are proficient in Deception, but the two dwarves have the best CHA and Horatio doesn’t need to worry about annoying his god with a few white lies.

“Er… Hail Tiamat!” he says, unconvincingly.

The bullywugs look unconvinced.

“Er… Death to the non-believers!” Horatio adds.

The bullywugs nod along and wave the party through.

“Not – CROAK – you!” one says, shoving Snapjaw away, “We – CROAK – take.”

The lizardman slinks away with his tail between his legs.

Four bullywugs march the party across the causeway and into a muddy courtyard occupied by yet more bullywugs bossing around a handful of resentful lizardfolk. A three-storey tower with a domed roof stands in the centre of the courtyard. Two bullywugs take up positions to either side of the entrance, while the other two lead the party inside and up a flight of stone steps to the first floor. There is one door off this landing and one bullywug knocks, while the other keeps a pair of beady eyes fixed on the heroes. There is no response from inside the room, other than the muted squawking of a bird. The bullywug knocks more loudly, then turns to shrug helplessly at his friend.

“Where – CROAK – elf? Not – CROAK – here!”

“How I – CROAK – know? What we – CROAK – do – CROAK – now?”

While the two bullywugs argue, Mara casts Sleep and they both nod off, leaning heavily on their spears. Fap tries to open the door that the bullywugs were banging on, but the lock proves too complex for his one level in Rogue to overcome. Horatio kicks the door open, the bullywugs downstairs don’t respond to the noise. The room beyond is a simple, sparsely furnished sleeping chamber; wooden cot, stool, stone wash basin. A large raven thrashes at the bars of an iron bird cage suspended from the ceiling, shedding black feathers across the floor. The party search the room but find little of interest, besides a few bespoke dressing gowns with the initials D.B sewn into them.

“Borngray!” an irate voice bellows from beneath the floor, “Shut that damned bird up or I will turn it to stone! Some of us are trying to work!”

Fap lifts the rug off the floor and throws it over the birdcage to muffle the raven’s racket. Doing so reveals a loose floorboard concealing a sealed lockbox. Fap picks the lock and the party pocket the contents. Horatio wants to stuff the raven into the box and put it back beneath the floor, but the rest of the party vote him down.

The party continue to climb the tower. The top floor has been converted into some kind of observatory, dominated by a large and complicated looking telescope-like contraption. It looks both fragile and expensive.

“I reckon someone will be right inconvenienced if we smash that!” Horatio says.

Mara glowers at the dwarf and steps forward to examine the device. She peers through the lens, but the image is distorted and confusing. She begins to feel dizzy and steps away from the strange apparatus – just as four stone gargoyles drop in through trapdoors in the domed ceiling!


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #33 (Tyranny of Dragons)

“Mind of the telescope!” Mara shrieks, as Horatio swings Talon with reckless abandon, hacking large chunks of stone off the nearest gargoyle.

The gargoyle knocks the sword from his hand and Horatio uses his second attack to head-butt the creature, cracking his own skull in the process. Mara casts Firebolt, blasting off another gargoyle’s arm. It retaliates by biting her head. Brian hits a gargoyle with Inflict Wounds (lv3), exploding it into a fine powder. Horatio reclaims his weapon and uses it to smash another two gargoyles in quick succession (at this point, Horatio’s player decided that Talon emits a piercing bird cry whenever he rolls a critical hit). The final creature retreats through the trapdoor in the ceiling and flies off to raise the alarm.

“Time to go,” Fap says.

The sound of webbed feet slapping against stone rises from below. The bullywugs are climbing the tower!

“The telescope!” Fap cries, “We can climb it to reach the roof!”

The heroes scale the strange apparatus to reach the trapdoor in the ceiling. They slam it shut just as the first wave of bullywugs hurl their spears. There is no way off the domed roof of the observatory, other than the 30ft drop to the courtyard below.

“We can jump to the roof of the main hall!” Fap says, eyeballing the distance.

“You might make that jump, but Mara can’t!” Brian protests.

“I’ll make it!” Mara cries, taking the leap.

She nearly does.

The treacherous tiles shift under her weight as she lands atop the roof of the main hall and Mara finds herself slipping backwards into the void, arms flailing helplessly. The two dwarves hop across, grabbing the little wizard and pulling her to safety.

“Where now?” Horatio roars, “There’s no way off this roof either!

“Sod this lark! I’m making my own!”

Horatio rips out a handful of roof tiles with his bare hands, revealing a long (20ft) drop down into the main hall of Castle Naerytar. A dozen cultists look up from sorting through a vast pile of plunder. A large iron chandelier dangles above the gleaming hoard and the party drop down onto it.

“Going down!” Horatio cries, swinging Talon at the rusty chain suspending the chandelier from the ceiling.

The rest of the party cling to each other for dear life as the chandelier plummets, crushing four cultists and scattering stolen treasure across the floor. The party crawl from the wreckage and mop up the remaining hostiles. The cultists are outmatched, but they are fanatically loyal to Tiamat and fight to the death to defend their hoard. Horatio barricades the door to the courtyard before the bullywugs make it back down the tower. The only other exit from the main hall is a dank staircase descending into the flooded caverns beneath the keep.


No spoilers, but in tonight's session the party suffered such a calamitous setback that we're having to roll up new level 7 characters to finish the first half of the book.... :eek:


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #34 (Tyranny of Dragons)

The barricaded door to the castle courtyard shudders as the bullywugs on the other side throw their weight against the rotting wood. It isn’t going to hold for long. With nowhere else to turn, the heroes descend into the water-logged dungeon beneath the keep. A string of guttering torches lead around the edge of a murky pond and off along a passageway to the north-west. The dark water looks greasy and unpotable, the party give it a wide berth. The tunnel ends at a ledge, dropping 15ft to another well-lit cavern below. The cultists have erected a lift-like mechanism to raise/lower cargo between the two levels. A dozen crates have been stacked on the wooden platform, ready to be moved. Horatio pops the lid off one box and finds it to contain a small fortune in stolen silver! The next box is filled with gold!

A ladder has been driven into the wall below the crane and the heroes climb down. The distant crash of splintering wood suggests the cult have broken into the main hall. The heroes pick up the pace, although it seems increasingly unlikely that they will find another way out of these dank caverns.

The party reach an intersection. The first route leads to a large chamber, where the cultists have arranged yet more crates of plundered loot in the centre of a large magical circle inscribed into the floor. Mara realises that this is a teleportation circle and the Dragon Cult must be transporting their ill-gotten goods even further afield. Mara has no idea how to activate the circle, or where it would send them if she did. Better the frying pan than the fire. The party backtrack to the intersection and try the next tunnel.

Door #2 leads into a shrine celebrating all things amphibian. Hundreds of crude frog statues squat within candle-lit hollows in the dripping walls. Ten bullywugs leap to the defence of their slimy sanctum. The sound of combat rouses Pharblex Splattergoo from his contemplation of the universe in the adjacent chamber and the bullywug shaman joins the fight. He is an especially obese and slimy specimen of his species, with a severed crocodile head wedged atop his fat head like a hat. Splattergoo offloads Poison Spray into Horatio’s face. The dwarf splutters in outrage, but isn’t particularly poisoned. Mara casts Lightning Bolt, obliterating Splattergoo in a splatter of… goo. Horatio is plastered in frog guts as his opponent explodes.

After finishing off the rest of the shaman’s entourage, the party loot the shrine. Mara finds a pair of advanced spell books that she can barely even begin to comprehend. She packs them away for later study, once she has a few more Wizard levels under her belt. There is nothing else of interest in the room, unless you have a thing for frogs.

“Considering all the loot the Dragon Cult are moving, this adventure has been a little light on decent treasure!” Fap grumbles.


The Adventures of Fap Longwood #35 (Tyranny of Dragons)

As the heroes get ready to leave the frog sanctum, they hear voices from the direction of the intersection. Fap creeps closer and spies a group of cultists descending via the wooden crane. The most imposing figure among them is a black dragonborn wearing purple robes, with an oversized greatsword strapped across her back. She is attended by a one-eyed elven man and a balding human in the distinctive crimson robes of the Red Wizards. Fap curses under his breath; it is Hamun Kost, who the party last encountered near the ruins of Old Owl Well, east of Phandalin. It seems the necromancer took a detour on his way back to Thay. How is he involved in all this?

“Have you found them yet?” the dragonborn snarls.

“Not yet, Wyrmspeaker,” fawns the elven cyclops, “But we will. We know they came down here and the stairs back up into the castle are guarded. It’s only a matter of time until we flush them out of whatever dark corner they’re hiding in.”

“Get it done. If they’re still alive, find out how much they know before you dispose of them.”

“At once, Wyrmspeaker.”

“Come, Master Kost,”
The dragonborn says, turning to the Red Wizard, “The circle will teleport us to a place of safety, where we might continue our conversation without further interruptions.”

‘So that’s Rezmir,’ Fap thinks, as the dragonborn leads Kost away, leaving the one eyed elven man to harangue his subordinates, ‘And you must be Borngray.’

Sound echoes strangely through the tunnels and if Fap listens carefully, he can hear Rezmir bark the command word to activate the teleportation circle (“Draezir”), followed by a flash of light as she and Kost are transported god-knows-where.

“You heard the Wyrmspeaker!” Borngray screams, “Find them! I’ll be in my quarters!”

The cultists disperse, leaving the intersection clear. The party are injured and low on resources. They are deep in enemy territory with little chance of escape. Should they try to clear the rest of Castle Naerytar and see what clues they may have missed, or leap headlong through the teleportation circle in pursuit of Wyrmspeaker Rezmir?

“Borngray might know something, but he’s middle management,” Fap says, “We need to know why the Dragon Cult are getting cosy with the Red Wizards. Let’s follow them!”

The party drain the rest of their healing potions and step into the teleportation circle.


There is a flash of light as the circle activates – and the Heroes of Phandalin are gone!

They also advance to level 6!

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