We D&D- Tyranny of Dragons Part 2: The Rise of Tiamat #11b Yet More Bloody Meetings.


I like how you separated them from each other for this. I might try that if we have an uneven assortment of people captured. Starting this chapter tomorrow. :)
I like to work between sessions (via e-mail) on some of the players (actually all of them at different stages) I encourage them to interact (in PC where possible).

Sandy who plays Lux (mainly) e-mails me as a matter of course after probably every session, when we're doing a downtime bit, or else the PCs are between action then sometimes the e-mails fly by. The same these days with Jackie (playing Watt), they both tend to have more questions- and both their PCs (in this campaign) are more inquisitive, with contacts they can make use of.

There are times around the table when one of the two- Lux or Watt, already know what's coming next- or else they're less surprised, sometimes the information they have- gathered from the Black Network, or other dodgy contacts, leaks out at the table.

What I mean to say is it is always fun to seed the action, give different PCs bits of info which together would perhaps make much more sense. Then see if you can trust the Players to keep their allotted secrets.

Mess with them- that's what they're for.

Cheers Goonalan


We D&D.

Session #50 The Rise of Tiamat #09a Death to the Brothers of the First Light.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #50 of our game, but only session #09a of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

The Brothers of the First Light are back in Waterdeep, taking part in various downtime activities while awaiting tomorrow’s second meeting of the Council of Waterdeep. Cult of the Dragon activity has stepped up on the Sword Coast however, the PCs spotted several burnt-out settlements while travelling in the Flying Lighthouse from the Sea of Moving Ice back to the City of Splendours.

The PCs downtime activities however have been interrupted (in the last session), Lux (Human Warlock) has learned from Talis the White (Dragon Cult boss, last seen in the Hunting Lodge near Parnast) that the Cult plans to strike in Waterdeep. Furthermore, Watt (Human Bard) has infiltrated the aforementioned Cult group, and then in an effort to counter the Cult’s planned attack, has led his comrades in to their lair in the city’s sewers.

So far it has been a slaughter- twenty Cultists are dead already, and the PCs have not taken a single hit. There’s a method to my madness… I promise, not much method- but a little.

The Brothers of the First Light burst in on the Cult leaders (actually a Mage, a Priest, a Thug and a few more low level mooks- a little less subpar (oxymoron?) than some of the previous combat encounters).

And so, we begin…

28 Cult Sewers 2.jpg

Sgt Bobby (Human Fighter) smashes the door open and charges head first in to a high-ceilinged chamber, the place was obviously once a well-of family tomb, arrayed before the Fighter in various stages of ‘ready’ are a dozen or so Dragon Cultists.

And when I say ‘ready’ I mean several of them have readied actions.

A Cult Fanatic shapes and chants and Sgt B’s limbs begin to seize- Hold Person, and he fails his save, but Sgt B is Indomitable, and makes his second save- the lucky bugger.

A pair of Dragonclaws lurch forward and slash at the sturdy Fighter, Sgt B takes a hit (actually a low roll Crit) but not enough to hold the big man back, a Guiding Bolt- fired by the Cult Priest at the back of the chamber alas (for me) flies wide of the target.

Seconds later (after an Action Surge) both Dragonclaws lie screaming and dying from their wounds on the dirty floor of the former crypt.

Then Lummins (Half-Elf Cleric) steps in and launches his Fireball, or at least he would if it weren’t for the Cult Mage at the back, watching for a spellcaster’s arrival- the foul fellow Counterspells Lummins’ effort, and the magic fades.

The Priest of Lathander isn’t happy, an Inspiration Point later and he repeats the trick, only with a much-enhanced Fireball this time- Flame ON! Another two Dragonclaws, a Cult Fanatic, and a Cultist are all incinerated. More or less all of the other bad guys are left bloodied or worse, except for the Mage, who has a little extra (Fire) protection.

During the chaos Hotlips (Halfling Rogue) sneaks in to the chamber, keeping low and in the shadows, she situates herself and then attempts to assassinate the problem-Mage… and misses, and so she too spends her Inspiration Point for a re-roll, and shoots a crossbow bolt clean through the Cultist bad guy’s throat.

The Mage is dead, he didn’t last long.

Bugger, you’re thinking… but I’m not.

I’m biding my time.

The badly wounded Cultist Thug staggers forward and attempts to block Sgt B and Lummins’ progress in to the chamber- slamming his mace (even with Lummins’ Warding Flare) in to the face of the Priest of Lathander.

A Cult Fanatic fires up her Spiritual Weapon, a shimmering spectral curved dagger- which stabs Lummins in the back, for good measure the Cultist closes with the Priest, trying to Inflict Wounds with her touch. Lummins however keeps the evil woman at bay.

Watt rushes forward and fires a much enhanced Thunderwave in to the Cultist’s frontline- the Thug menacing Lummins is killed, as is another low level mook.

There’s only the Cult Priest, and two babbling Fanatics left standing.

Lux hits the Fanatic menacing Lummins with an Eldritch Blast, the other Fanatic spots a sneaking Hotlips and sends his Spiritual Weapon out to seek the Halfling, and then when that misses goes in search of the little menace with an Inflict Wounds spell at the ready. Hotlips avoids both attacks.

The Cultists Priest rushes the Brothers- screaming for Tiamat to kill them all, and moments later the evil Priest (and the PCs) are surrounded by a horde of wispy spectral Dragons, the Priest’s Spiritual Guardians. The evil fellow then casts a Sanctuary spell on himself- although he continues to shout foul and dire threats at Sgt B and Lummins.

Sgt B is the first (and the last) to feel the necrotic drain of the cackling Dragon Priest’s Spiritual Guardians- he’s not happy, and so as usual- he cuts the Priest’s head off (Bugger!) after easily passing the Sanctuary induced saving throw.

Seconds later the burly Fighter almost ends one of the two remaining Cult Fanatics- not good, Lummins spears the fellow also- the Cultist survives on 1 HP.

Not for long- Hotlips steps behind the fellow and skewers the Fanatic with her rapier- dead!

The last Fanatic flees, or at least attempts to- Watt puts an arrow in the fool’s back.

The fight is won- although only for a little while…

The Brothers set about searching the chamber, and the bodies of the fallen, unaware (of course) that their old enemy the Red Wizard, Rath Modar, is floating approx. twenty feet above them- Invisible (actually Greater Invisibility, and with a few other buffs), and in telepathic contact with his hand-picked Dragon Cult Assassination Squad.

Yes, that’s right- this is the first of the Cult Strikes Back attacks- try saying that when you’ve had a few.

So, I wind down the fight, and let the PCs drop out of ‘paying attention’ mode (it doesn’t take long- someone digs out the take-away menu- Pete), and then Teleport in the aforementioned Dragon Cult Assassination Squad- taking all of the Brothers (and Players) by surprise.


This is a Deadly Encounter, and with a Young Blue Dragon (Maxed HP), a Half-Blue Dragon Gladiator (Maxed HP) and a Dragonfang (guess what- Maxed HP). So, I’m going for it… strap in.

29 Cult Assassins 1.jpg

The Young Blue Dragon (code name “Electric Boogaloo”, young Dragons these days, no sense of tradition) suddenly appears in more or less the centre of the chamber, it immediately unleashes its electric death breath on Lummins and Watt. The Priest of Lathander takes the full force of the storm and is almost down and out (Save = ‘2’), the Bard is hurting also, but not too bad.

The Half-Blue Dragon Gladiator (code name “Blue Fury) appears beyond the Dragon- next to the Rogue, he Shield Bashes Hotlips down to her knees and then stabs the Halfling twice (and she’s bloodied).

This is going well- and believe me when I tell you that by now the Players around the table are screaming very rude things at me (some of them- and ‘no’ not the ladies, it’s Pete with 90% of the screeching and profanities).

The Dragonfang (code name “Light Sabre”) suddenly appears, sword already drawn and sheathed in Lightning, she slices at Sgt B and manages to miss the burly Fighter twice (with Advantage).

Pete’s a little less screechy now.

The Brothers are at last in action, although not before Electric Boogaloo attempts to kill Lux- the Dragon, swats at the Warlock, like a cat with a ball of wool- the first Claw attack is a Crit- although the Dragon pays the price, Lux’s Hellish Rebuke burns (for 30+ Fire damage). The Dragon’s second Claw attack is too slow- the Warlock ducks in time, but then comes the Bite, and Lightning sparks and burns- Lux is bloodied in an instant.

I think I may have been grinning at this point in the game- it’s the kind of thing I’d do.

That is until…

Watt unleashes a Mass Cure Wounds (and rolls really high, something like 26 HP) healing all of his comrades, the Bard then scurries for cover (grabbing his bow out en route) while screaming naughty words at Sgt B (his Bardic Inspiration, which is mostly brought to us today by the letter ‘F’).

Hotlips dives back to her feet and then scurries in to a more advantageous position (i.e. with Sneak Attack), then strikes- and cuts Light Sabre (the Dragonfang) deep.

Lux (now with only one Warlock power left) attempts to Banish the Dragon- Electric Boogaloo and Blue Fury- the Gladiator, neither it seems is for shifting, they both make their saves, and Lux is just about spent- down to her Cantrips.

Again- there is much in the way of screaming and swearing around the table.

Sgt B slices in to Light Sabre (and rolls about as low as you can get for Hazirawn’s damage) and then rolls a ‘1’ for his next attack.

We turn the swear-o-meter up to ‘11’.

At which point Blue Fury (Half-Blue Dragon Gladiator) unleashes her Lightning Breath, which Hotlips Evades neatly- exposing Sgt B who takes the full force of the attack in the face.

Pete has a sweargasm.

Light Sabre attacks Sgt B twice more with her lightning enhanced blade, and misses both times, again… Just for info Sgt B is now AC 18 (I think) now he has Hazirawn (his two-hander).

It’s all too much for Pete.

Lummins, without telling anyone at the table his plan, mutters a few words and an instant later Electric Boogaloo and Light Sabre are snatched away to an alternate plane for a very short while- they’re Banished.

This was rather a surprise to everyone because for all of the sessions up until a few weeks back Lummins has had a limited palette with regard to his Cleric (Priest of Light = Fire) spell choices, his mantra thus far has been to select spells using the following criteria-
a) It burns, or hurts.
b) It heals.
c) It’s Bless.

A couple of sessions back Rob (who plays Lummins) changed up his spell selections, actually he didn’t do that- he just decreased slightly the number of hurty or healy spells and picked some others he was interested in- like Banishment.

What I’m trying to tell you is that no-one knew that Lummins was going to pull this stunt.

Shock and awe were the Player’s reactions.

Except from me of course.

The bastard.

Suddenly Blue Fury (the Half-Blue Dragon Gladiator) is on his own with the Brothers of the First Light, and there’s a lot more grinning around the table.

It’s like a conference for Cheshire Cats.

Note Rath Modar has a watching brief, he’s not getting involved atm, that’d sky-rocket the level of this Encounter.

Watt keeps dishing out his Bardic Inspiration (swearing at his colleagues) and firing arrows at the remaining Half-Blue Dragon Gladiator- Blue Fury.

Lux, now free of the Dragon, follows Watt’s lead and finds somewhere safe to hide and hit Blue Fury with her Eldritch Blasts.

While Sgt B and Hotlips get to work double-teaming the lone remaining enemy- seconds later Blue Fury is bloodied, but not done for- taking another hit from Hazirawn just to manoeuvre in to the best spot possible to unleash his newly recharged Lightning breath- with the same result.

Hotlips, at the last moment, scurries out of the way of the electrical storm and leaves Sgt B (Save = ‘1’) to face the full Lightning fury.

I swear I was laughing so much it bloody hurt.

Pete, as usual, failed to see the funny side.

And so it goes for a little while longer, that is until the inevitable happens- Sgt B decapitates Blue Fury with Hazirawn, at which point the Brothers have about thirty seconds (Lummins advises) until the Dragon and Dragongfang are back in the room.

The Brothers heal and cast other spells, get in to position- ready to attack.

Who am I kidding- Hotlips goes in to hiding; Lux & Lummins exit the room, Watt turns Invisible while Sgt Bobby stands in the centre of the chamber swearing very loudly and making threats (some of which are biologically impossible).

The Banished duo reappear, and it all begins again- Lux fires Eldritch Blasts in to the Dragon, Lummins fires Scorching Rays (mostly in to the Dragonfang), while Watt sheds his Invisibility and starts up with his bow, also targeting Light Sabre.

Meantime Sgt B and Hotlips get in to their tag-team work-out on Electric Boogaloo.

The just returned bad guys are taking a beating, although Light Sabre manages to hurt Sgt B a bit (at last), Electric Boogaloo however is having no luck (long story short- I rolled ‘1’, ’2’ & ‘3’ for my first three attack rolls).

We’re going to the last here though, the Cult Assassins are in no retreat, no surrender mode.

They’re both however bloodied very quickly (and remember they were all Maxed HP at the start- that’s 224 for Electric Boogaloo).

Lummins eventually incinerates Light Sabre (with about his eighth Scorching Ray- we went on a while, although the Priest was max-enhancing every spell).

The Priest of Lathander however almost pays the price, Electric Boogaloo launches its Lightning breath and again Lummins takes the full effect (Save = ‘1’ therefore 58 Lightning damage), Watt is also back to bloodied in an instant.

But its not enough- the Brothers keep hammering away at the Dragon, and before the creature can inflict any more damage, Lux (eventually) kills it dead with yet another brace of Eldritch Blasts.

And then there’s a moment of happy silence- the aftermath, the Brothers are spent- but victorious.

It’s post-coital.

Well, almost.

Then the Fireball goes off in the midst of the Brothers of the First Light, and Rath Modar departs (teleporting away).

Lummins is down and dying (Save = ‘3’, every time he rolled a save the results were terrible), Watt is only just conscious- although the Bard is quickly to the Priest of Lathander with a Cure.

The fight is (really) over.

Although the Players and PCs are on edge for a good while after, there’s quite a lot of hectic running about- seeking their attacker.

After a frantic, and often noisy debate, it is finally surmised by the Brothers that the Fireball came from above them (correct) but that no-one saw anybody there (at any point during the fight), and furthermore no-one knows where the caster has gone. Most likely they have departed.

So, not much to work on.

Great- big tick for me.

The rest of the time spent in the Cult hideout in the sewers is underwhelming, there’s a little treasure to be had, however the PCs also locate a stack of paperwork, it seems the Dragon Cult is keen on an audit trail.

The paperwork is actually a ruse, but Shh… the Players didn’t know this- you’ll see.

The Brothers are certain that the paperwork (which is going to take a while to get through- it’s all encrypted) will reveal the nature of the imminent attack on Waterdeep that they have just thwarted.

So, they’re the heroes- again, that’s nice.

And yet…

The PCs are left with the uneasy feeling that they’ve been set up (prescient of them) and that the higher ups in the Dragon Cult are perhaps now on to them.

Who just dropped a Fireball on them?

Who just teleported (possibly) the big bad guys in, and themselves out?

The Players are fretting.

Did we just get targeted?

Lux is also concerned that Talis the White (the Cult leader from the Hunting Lodge that told her that an attack in Waterdeep was imminent) may have set her up.

The bitch!

What’s worse several of the PCs are at this point remembering that it was indeed Lux that sent them on this mission. The Players know (because Sandy = Lux told them) that it was one of the Warlock’s ‘informers’ that had provided the information.

Several of the other PCs (who am I kidding- it was just Sgt B = Pete) want answers- there’s a bit of argy-bargy for a while, Lux eventually comes clean about where she got her info from (Talis the White) and the recriminations (although only low-level carping) begin.

The rest of the session, well that’s just a lot of chatter, which of course is for next time…
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We D&D.

Session #50 The Rise of Tiamat #09b The Second Council of Waterdeep.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #50 of our game, but only session #09b of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

The Brothers of the First Light are just back from their trip in to the sewers, after defeating the Waterdeep branch of the Dragon Cult, and thereby thwarting their imminent attack on the City of Splendours. At least that’s what they think they have done, several (all) of the PCs have their suspicions that they’ve maybe been played.

The Brothers, all of them that is, have however taken a beating- much healing is needed, and a little R&R as the PCs have got the second Council of Waterdeep meeting early the very next day.

Funny how the timings worked out.

So, we take a break for food- and for Lux (Human Warlock, played by Sandy) to run through the powerpoint (I’m kidding) that she has prepared for the Council. In reality that translates to the five of us, mostly with mouths shoved full of take-away food going through what Lux is going to say (Sandy has a note pad, it’s unnerving at times- she asks me to spell things). In truth I didn’t contribute much to the cause, except to remind them of names where there were memory lapses.

There’s one other job to take care of- the coded Cult papers salvaged from the hideout are passed on to Marflub and the Ice Toad gang, and by doing this the Players reveal a little more of their plan (but see much later- next session- for the full scheme). They want Marflub and his fellow Ice Toads to go through the papers and find the evidence they need- the details of the Cult attack on Waterdeep, and any other secrets to be told. They figure (or else Lux and Watt (Human Bard) do) that the Ice Toad accountants are meticulous, like a mystery, and are keen to do some work- who am I to disabuse them. I find that when Players are keen to make the story up for themselves, then more often than not- just nod. Note the coded messages are not too difficult to decipher, remember that three of the PCs are ex-Dragon Cult members. Therefore Watt, Lummins (Half-Elf Cleric) and Lux spend a little time with the Toad Team going through all of the Cult ciphers that they know.

The DM is happy with all of this, and happier still to inform the Brothers that the Toads will need a day, at least, to go through the paperwork- so, basically the results come after the second Council meeting.

Funny the timing of things, I think that’s worth repeating- although the Players didn’t figure it at the time, I just told them there was a lot of paperwork to get through, and codes to break. Simples.

Oh, and just to make clear- the book says that the PCs should all level up now, screw that, they’ve only just got their level 10 sticker. Besides they don’t know when they’re supposed to level up, and its much too late for you to tell them. So, they’re level 10 still… and the next morning back before the Council of Waterdeep.

There have been some changes, well- at least two, the first change is really obvious- there’s an extra chair in the room and someone sitting in it, a reserved looking middle-aged lady in fine clothes who is simply introduced as Elia. No further details are provided, and when Watt and Lux ask Dagult Neverember explains that all will be made clear later, but first it’s time for the Brothers of the First Light to deliver their report.

The second change to the Council is slightly less obvious- in fact Leosin Erlanthar has to tell the PCs about it for them to even notice- it seems Neverember has been replaced as the head of the Lords’ Alliance delegation. The new big chief is Lady Laeral Silverhand, who is also the new Open Lord of Waterdeep, Leosin is very happy to report this.

Note the Brothers would not have picked up on this fact if they were not told of it beforehand, Lady L stays (mostly) quiet throughout the meeting, which is (as per the first council session) chaired by Neverember, who continues to pretend he’s in charge.

Anyway, enough of that- we have about an hour of game time left for this session, and so the next ninety minutes goes a lot like this. The Brothers have five topics/subjects to discuss-

1) The action and adventure in the Tomb of Diderius, fighting Devils, Yuan-ti and undead- culminating in the capture of Varram the White, alas the surly Dwarf Cultist had already ‘mislaid’ the White Dragon Mask, so this was not recovered.

The chat goes on a while- and its mostly slaps on the backs from all of the delegates, the only dissenter being Delaan Winterhound (of the Emerald Enclave) who gets an attack of the giggles when he learns of Varram’s capture. Delaan is of the opinion that Varram holds little value- the recovery of the Dragon Mask was the primary purpose of the adventurers’ mission. Which they therefore failed.

This last bit doesn’t go down too well- Sgt Bobby (Human Fighter) has to be quieted (and then apologised for).

Next up…

2) The action and events in Oyaviggaton, including the rescue of Maccath the Crimson and the fleeing of the great wyrm- Old White Death.

Note Lux veers from the protocols at this point, although after first gaining permission from the Council, and invites in to the meeting witnesses to the events, to wit- Orcaheart (the Hero), Maccath (the Crimson) and Marflub (the Ice Toad).

The Council are mostly underwhelmed, but polite, particularly when Lux and Watt make an impassioned speech (partially written/encouraged as it turns out later by Lummins (Rob)) regarding the decimation of the Ice Hunter tribe, slaves of the great tyrant- the Dragon.

Lummins (Rob) has had an attack of the conscience- after all the Priest of Lathander killed over a dozen of the tribes-folk with his Radiance of the Dawn attack.

The Brothers of the First Light (except for Sgt B and Hotlips (Halfling Rogue)- they don’t give a damn) push for some sort of reward or recognition for the Ice Hunter tribe- the Council are happy to oblige, particularly if the PCs agree to get the newcomers out of the meeting hall sharpish and get on with their report.

And so it comes to pass- (a little) more on this later.

The Brothers, of course, receive their rightful plaudits for their Oyaviggaton venture, Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil squeals with glee when he first hears the tale of Old White Death’s fleeing. He offers to personally reward the hero of the hour (that’s Orcaheart) with a Dragonslaying weapon (he has a couple to choose from, slaying Dragons is what Connerad is all about).

You can imagine how happy Sgt Bobby (Pete) is to hear this.

Whereas Orcaheart is overjoyed when the information is finally translated in to words he just about grasps.

I seem to remember all of the other Players also being very happy at this news- some of them even happier to see the frowny face that Pete (Sgt Bobby) was pulling.

There was a lot of laughing and pointing, to be honest- I’m slightly ashamed I started it.

But we move on, after a little more verbal applause for the Brothers from the Council.

While Orcaheart and Marflub are shown out of the meeting hall- Maccath the Crimson, Dragon scholar, remains- the Tiefling wishes to report also...

3) Maccath has been in touch with the Hosttower in Luskan, home to his colleagues in the Arcane Brotherhood, in summary he wishes to offer his (and their) services- to help in any way they can to thwart the Dragon Cultists.

And the crowd mostly goes wild.

I say mostly because Ambassador Connerad mutters and whines loudly for anyone (and all) to hear that he “don’t trust them black-hearted spell-wranglers”, there’s a bit of an atmosphere for a while but it soon passes.

Although a little later on (next session) as it turns out someone else is also unhappy about this situation- but we’ll get to that.


4) Lux, and Watt, speak at length about the things they saw on the way back from the Sea of Moving Ice- settlements in flames, death and destruction caused by Dragon attacks, that kind of thing.

Several of the other Counsellors have their own stories to tell- it seems the Cult are (in places) rampant.

Soon after a discussion breaks out, in which I am able to briefly but succinctly reiterate the plot, or at least the bit we’re at.

If you’re playing a campaign that is but one great adventure, I find it useful to do this kind of thing quite often.

However, better still…

The Dragon Cultists, the Council concludes, are on the move- they’re doing things, the implication being the PCs don’t know what they’re doing- perhaps they should try to find out.

The PCs, of course, have a few theories about the bigger picture, and are therefore encouraged to articulate them by the members of the Council. Which is obviously good for me (your wordy DM) because I wanted to make sure that they have been (mostly) listening and paying attention.

This is a better way of doing things- if you can get the PCs to remind you of the plot every now and then (in-game if possible), that way you can find the bits that either need reinforcing, or deflecting (hiding), or else… gulp, rewriting.

Their theory is this- Tiamat’s coming, the Dragon Cult are gathering a hoard (and horde) and then they’re going to be summoning big bad Moma.

We explore the question “How?” for a while, and the PCs are pretty much spot on there too, their version is- the Cult bigwigs (Wyrmspeakers) are going to meet up somewhere and use Red Wizard magic to power some sort of summoning (using the Dragon Masks). The treasure hoard is the lure, or else the reward for big T(iamat).

Well, as it turns out they have been listening.

Or else Pete has read the module.

I know where my money is.

Actually, I would bet my mortgage that Pete has read the book but not told any of the other Players anything about it, they have simply (and fairly easily) figured it out.

It’s about an Evens bet- because that’s what happened with Pete in the last module.

What the PCs don’t know is where this is going to happen.

Or when.

Actually, they’re not that certain on the how, but they’re in the game.

But there’s more, sometime toward the end of this discussion- which goes on for quite a while, Delaan Winterhound (of the Emerald Enclave) makes mention of the fact that there have been concentrated Dragon Cult attacks in the Misty Forest, the domain of King Melandrach.

Worth investigating? Watt & Lummins (and others) want to know.

But no, King Melandrach confidently states that the attacks have in fact stopped now, several Elven settlements have indeed been decimated, but the situation is under control. The Elven Kings goes on to say that he believes the attacks have ceased because the Dragon Cult has got all the treasure it needs.

The hoard has been gathered.

King Melandrach believes the countdown has begun.

Which gets the PCs attention.

Good- because all of that last bit was a (sorta) bluff.


5) Just before the session/meeting breaks up Lux (in an awful rush) tells the Council all about the Brothers of the First Light’s latest heroics- thwarting an imminent attack on Waterdeep, and in the process dealing with the Cult of the Dragon management (and more than a few underlings) in the City of Splendours.

The meeting hall is filled with joy- the Council members are obviously worried (so close, what could they have been plotting?) but also so very happy that the threat has passed.

Lux goes on to STATE (I emphasise this word for a reason- what can that be, I wonder) that the Brothers have also gathered evidence from the Cult secret hideout which MAY make clear their future plans…

But she’s guessing, and grandstanding.

Both, as it later turns out, badly.

That however is the end of the session, and we were well over time in the end, except I’ll just add the new and updated version of Council of Waterdeep “Official” Score Table-

The Harpers +6 (5/7/10)
The Order of the Gauntlet +6 (7/9/12)
The Emerald Enclave +2 (5/7/10)
& the various Lords’ Alliance delegates-
Lady Silverhand +6 (7/9/12)
Lord Neverember +5 (5/7/10)
Ambassador Brawnanvil +7 (7/9/12)
King Melandrach +6 (6/8/11)
Marshall Ravengard +8 (7/9/12)
Taern Hornblade +6 (6/8/11)
Sir Isteval +8 (6/8/11)

Note the numbers in the parenthesis, let me explain- at the end of all four council sessions the PCs need to score +5 to garner one favour from the Harpers, +7 would earn them two favours, while +10 would result in three. The numbers in the parenthesis therefore indicate the scores needed for one to three favours from each of the delegates

More chatter (a lot more chatter) next time...
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We D&D.

Session #24a Hoard of the Dragon Queen #10a House Hunting for King Urp.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 3
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 3
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 3
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 3
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 3
What did you end up doing with Cyanwrath and Frulam Mondath?


We D&D.

Session #51 The Rise of Tiamat #10a M is for Toadalyser.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #51 of our game, but only session #10a of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

Apologies for all the ‘a’ and ‘b’-ness but it seems to me as the PCs get higher level, and more involved in the plot et al, then things seem to take a lot longer to explain here. Every session, it appears, needs to be split in to two narrative parts- just to get everything that happened said, and explored a bit.

This however is a short section, apologies, but that’s because the second part is a sizeable chunk of roleplay and chatter, and other (sometimes fraught) stuff.

And so…

The Brothers of the First Light are back in City of Splendours, the second Council of Waterdeep has just ended- and the PCs are as always, the heroes of the hour.

Also, at some point the Players are going to figure out that they have actually been set no new tasks by the Council- but that doesn’t happen yet, so read on…

It’s a bit of a give away what goes on in this session- just check out the title.

What do you mean your confused? Well, believe me, I was more than a little confused at the time.

So, lots of things happen- in the following order.

The Brothers are straight out of the council chambers and in to a meeting with Ontharr Frume (Order of the Gauntlet) and Leosin Erlanthar (Harper), also present are several of the PCs newly employed (sorta) specialists- to wit, Maccath the Crimson (Arcane Brotherhood) & Marflub the Ice Toad (Accountant). Actually, Orcaheart is also present but he serves no purpose, and doesn’t understand 90% of what’s being said- all of the time, but he smiles a lot- which is nice.

The Players, I think I said a few sessions back, have been plotting again.

So, the meeting is this- the Brothers want Marflub and his Toad Lab boys (don’t ask) to go through all the paperwork and evidence gathered so far, in short they want access to everything the Order of the Gauntlet and the Harpers know.

This is news to Marflub of course (and to me), however a little while later after more explanation (mainly from the three PCs that have on average something like +7 on every social skill on their character sheets) Marflub is up for the challenge.

Marflub is rechristened “M”, and the Ice Toads are to be known collectively as, wait for this… it took someone (Rob) an entire lunchbreak to come up with the name… the Toadalyser.

A marvellous piece of whimsy.

There are arguments, and rough words- particularly from Ontharr Frume, who- as it turns out, is also mad at the PCs for letting the Devil-worshipping Arcane Brotherhood in to the non-magic circle (as it were- the Council of Waterdeep).

Ontharr rips Sgt Bobby a new one. Sgt B remember is a member of the Order of the Gauntlet- the Gauntlet’s motto is (paraphrased)- “No Wizards! How do we want them? Dead!” Or something like that…

Sgt Bobby (Pete) is less bothered than you’d think.

In summary his opinion is, “like I care.”

Sgt Bobby soaks up the verbal barrage- he’s an ex-Watch Sgt, this isn’t his first bollocking, it won’t be his last. Awfully magnanimous of Pete, I enjoyed the moment immensely.

Eventually (after a series of very persuasive rolls, again) the Harpers and the Order of the Gauntlet agree to share their info but only with Marflub (sorry “M”) and his team. Ontharr is particularly insistent that the Arcane Brotherhood not be allowed to see the documents he will be providing.

The Brothers agree (and in doing so lie to Ontharr, or at least one of them does).

Maccath the Crimson (Arcane Brotherhood), who is still in the room- remember, stays silent. Much later she gladly agrees (with Lux) to (secretly) help with the document search (this detail later played out via e-mail).

The Brothers, in summary, put together their special investigations team.

I don’t mind that. In fact, nice work.

I tell the guys (a while later, after I’ve had an extended think about how I’m going to play this) that they can post a new question for the Toadalyser team to work on every other (even) session of play. However, posting a question and receiving an answer are two different things- the DM (through the auspices of the Toadalyser) will post answers when they become available (basically, I’m going to be controlling the drip-drip of new info). The Players are happy(-ish) with that.

And so, the Harpers and the Order of the Gauntlet allow the Ice Toads access to their paperwork, and to quiz Leosin and Ontharr (and others) at length to get their take on events- all of which will, of course, be written up and added to the data cache.

I’m writing about D&D and using the term ‘data cache’, that’s an odd one.

Anyway, meeting done.

You know the old saying, “As one meeting ends, another begins”, and so it comes to pass…

The Brothers are heading for the exit when they’re stopped by a well-dressed fellow who tells them that he is the seneschal of the Lord’s Palace, he then indicates that the PCs are late for their next meeting… ‘follow me’, he mouths and then heads off, (somewhat) reluctantly the Brothers (eventually) decide to follow after.

The seneschal manages to always stay ahead of the Brothers, who have to rush to catch up at times- somewhere along the way the adventurers gain an escort, a group of four guards (actually Gray Hands)- two ahead, and two behind. The PCs are getting edgy- eventually Watt stops the show and refuses to go on- “Are we being arrested?” the Bard asks.

As it turns out- no, the seneschal explains that now they’re away from the audience (any audience) he can tell them that they have been invited to a secret meeting with Lady Laeral Silverhand, and some others- when he says ‘invited’ however he means their attendance is mandatory.

The Brothers are happy to serve.

I wanted to make sure the PCs understood that this was a very secret meeting.

En route to the meeting the seneschal warns the Brothers to be on their best behaviour (Sgt Bobby = Pete), of course.

And so, all the way in to the depths of the building, and eventually to a magnificent chamber that has been unused for generations, probably- regal, massive, but empty.

Save for Lady Laeral, Dagult Neverember, Sir Isteval (who is a big fan, apparently, of the Brothers) and the unexplained Elia, the middle-aged lady who also attended the second Council of Waterdeep.

Lady Laeral says little except to introduce herself, and her three companions- the rest of the meeting is mostly Dagult.

And the big secret is this… well, actually it’s a demonstration, before the Brother’s eyes Elia transforms into an Ancient Silver Dragon, eighty feet long from tail to snout, and with a wingspan that encompasses the massive chamber.

While the adventurers gaze on at the largest creature they have ever seen, Dagult explains- the Brothers are to accompany Elia (actually the Silver’s name is Otaaryliakkarnos) to a meeting of the Great Dragon Council and basically be the eyes, ears and voice of the Council of Waterdeep there.

The Brothers must negotiate an alliance with the Dragons, making concessions if they have to- although within reason, in order to secure Dragon protection for the cities and regions of the Sword Coast (particularly those that members of the Council of Waterdeep call home) and also to secure aid for the various factions (on the Council).

So, no biggie.

There’s a lot of hurried chat with Dagult- most of it along the lines of “how the hell do we do that?”

Dagult and Sir Isteval have all the answers, which are-
1) Behave (everyone in the room turns to look at Sgt Bobby).
2) Impress the Dragons with your/our story.
3) Convince them that we’re the good guys, but that we need their help.
4) Offer them money and other things.
5) Anything else you can think of that might work.

The Brothers are up for it, particularly when they learn they are going to make the 600-mile journey to the Nether Mountains on Oty’s (as Sir Isteval likes to call her- he’s very affectionate) back. The journey should take two days at most.

That’s the way to travel.

However, before we get to the going several of the other Brothers have further questions, the most asked being- “What do we want the Dragons to do?” Dagult explains again- protection (flying overhead) for cities and regions, and aid for the various factions. At which point we stop the chat while PCs go through the members of the Council of Waterdeep and figure out where, or who, or what each member represents.

We spend another ten minutes chatting about this and that, and then the deal is done.

The Brothers are going Dragon-riding, but first however they’re going to have to lay a false trail- remember, this is a very secret meeting- as is the meeting with the Great Dragon Council, no-one can find out that the PCs have even left Waterdeep (ideally).

Including all of the other members of the Council of Waterdeep, and all of the factions- in short, no-one should learn of this meeting… until the result is in the bag.

The Players are therefore told to come up with a smoke-screen.

They flounder for a while, eventually the brain’s trust comes up with the following ruse, which sorta fits the bill. The line is- the Brothers of the First Light will be unavailable for a short while, they’re heading out on the Flying Lighthouse (although not too far, probably Luskan to the Hosttower) and to continue their investigations.

I’m good with that, and soon after so are the Harpers and the Order of the Gauntlet- neither of whom have any clues that need investigating right now. Both factions however ask the Brothers to look out for other Dragon attacks, and if possible- intervene.

But that’s a given- if there’s a fight to be had, then the Brothers are having it.

Both factions also advise that they will get in contact (via Sending) if there are any new developments, the Brothers promise to do the same.

So, the PCs (and Elia/Oty, secretly) climb aboard the Flying Lighthouse and then get some distance away from the City of Splendours, and then climb aboard Oty/Elia the Ancient Silver Dragon and it’s up, up and away.

Dragon-riding, which involves several skill checks (not to hold on- the adventurers are tied to the great beast) but rather to overcome the inevitable air sickness, ever flown in a fast attack jet (even a trainer with a back seat), it’s the surest way to lose your lunch.

Oty, of course, goes easy on the Dragon-riding noobs- who am I kidding, she loop-de-loops, wingovers, barrel rolls and Immelmanns as often as she can.

Sgt Bobby is the last to yack.

Two days later, mostly flying at as higher altitude as the PCs can stand, and without stopping to rest once- Oty arrives in the Nether Mountains, and eventually circles and descends in to a massive ravine, the Dragon dives in to darkness. Then eventually lands in a huge open space supplied with fresh glacial water streaming down the tremendous stone-cliff walls, and home to a small but ancient forest. The vast hidden space is also equipped with a series of massive flattened and sculpted (over millennia) boulders, like great perches (or Henry Moore (abstract) sculptures).

After sleep the Brothers et al awake to discover that the Great Dragon Council is waiting for them to attend, but that’s for the second part of this session (because there’s a lot more chatter).

See you there…


We D&D.

Session #51 The Rise of Tiamat #10b The Great Dragon Council.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #51 of our game, but only session #10b of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

We’re in the Nether Mountains, at the Great Dragon Council- the Brothers are here to win the wyrm’s favour- let’s see how that goes.

We begin, naturally, with introductions- but let’s skip that for a second- the Brothers are first up, they’re given the floor- and the smooth-talking trio (very mostly) are asked to the tell their story, and to come right out and ask for what they want from the great Dragons.

All of which you know about (the Council of Waterdeep wants an alliance, and for the Dragons to protect them), and the Brothers have been through their own story more than once before- so we skip to the good bit- the arguing.

And remember, the PCs are being peered down at by five Ancient Metallic Dragons, and these guys are big- the Gold is easily a hundred feet nose to tail.

But first let’s get to the introductions, I’ve also included a short statement from each of the great wyrms in reply to the Brother’s initial requests, and a short description of the wyrm’s character-

Protanther ‘Prot’, Ancient Male Gold Dragon-

“Screw the Council of Waterdeep, what have they ever done for us? If its uppity chromatic Dragons that’s the issue, then we take care of our own problems. We don’t need these people.”

Prot is a condescending tool, throughout the negotiations.

Ileuthra ‘Ily’, Ancient Male Brass Dragon-

“Well, maybe- it might not hurt to at least co-ordinate our attacks. But join them… SNORTS, perhaps we could just lead them, or simply tell them what to do?”

Ily views the humanoid races as tools- to be used. Humankind is not Dragonkind, and therefore much less than. He is however keen to make the most of this opportunity.

Otaaryliakkarnos ‘Oty’, Ancient Female Silver Dragon-

“I’m with Protanther, the Council of Waterdeep squabble like children… We don’t need these people.”

Oty was not at all impressed by the Council of Waterdeep, particularly with the Dwarves (Connerad & Ontharr)- she fears that all humanoids (to some extent) cannot be trusted.

Nymmurh ‘Nym’, Ancient Male Bronze Dragon-

“Why not form an alliance with the Council of Waterdeep. The Order of the Gauntlet and the Harpers have both proved themselves in the past- they can be trusted.”

Nym simply adores the Harpers, and the Order of the Gauntlet folk- so small, and so squishy, and yet still they fight for what is right.

Tazmikella ‘Taz’, Ancient Female Copper Dragon-

“We should kill the chromatic Dragons, and their allies- maybe we could use this alliance to lessen our casualties, otherwise- we don’t need these people.”

Taz is flighty, and a little mischievous- she wants something from the Brothers and is willing to play the game until she gets what she wants… you’ll see, now read on.

Note, obviously I changed up a few of the Dragon’s personalities from those described in the module, I had my reasons. Also note while all of the Dragons are paragons of Good, they’re mostly concerned with Dragons, and the things that get in their way, or can be a help to… well, them. In short their world view is Dragoncentric, not quite xenophobes, but the concerns of humanoids are certainly less important.

The PCs are somewhat dismayed that only one of the five Dragons is convinced- Nym is on the Brother’s side from the get-go. They’re even more dismayed however that Oty seems not to like them much either, this after we roleplayed out a short conversation (while we ate Pizza) between the PCs and Oty on the journey here. The PCs (and Players) thought Oty quite liked them.

To make matters worse at about this time Lummins, and then when the Priest of Lathander doesn’t answer, an hour later- Watt, both receive Sending messages from Leosin Erlanthar (Harper contact). The message is basically- “get in touch, as soon as.”

Remember this is now the third day the Brothers have been away from Waterdeep.

Obviously, the message comes during the bit in which the PCs are trying (again) with all of their fine words to come up with arguments to persuade the Dragons to join them. It takes a good twenty minutes of back and forth, with some good rolls in there, but the Dragon Council- most of them, are still not convinced.

Note, there were some very good skill checks from the PCs, and the Dragons (some of them) as the meeting went on were more polite, less dismissive (and/or insulting) of/to the adventurers.

But this problem can’t just be solved with high rolls- which came as quite a shock to several of the Players.

At which point the Great Dragon Council goes on a break.

The Brothers chat through, and then soon after implement, their new strategy- concessions, they’re going to offer the wyrms a load of cash- at least that’s the majority plan (in truth- not much of a plan, and again they were floundering a little here). That is until Watt takes it upon himself to approach Oty, and asks the Ancient Dragon directly- is there anything that the Brothers, or the Council of Waterdeep, can do to get her on their side (basically)? Anything? Just name it…

Oty thinks about this for a while and then tells her sad story, her mother Kaliatykars was slain during a Dragonmoot, a terrible tradition of the Dwarves of the north- they hunt and kill Dragons. Anyway, her mother’s hide is at present being used as a carpet in the Coal King’s Hall in Citadel Adbar- she’d like it back. Also, she’d like a personal apology from the Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil, for the slaughter of her parent.

At which point Sgt Bobby snorts, and asks “Anything else?”

But the three chatty folks (Lux, Lummins & Watt) are in to it now- and after a short back and forth, the three agree- they’ll get it done. They’ll go back to the Council of Waterdeep, talk to the Ambassador and get the rug (sorry, Oty’s mother’s precious hide) and the apology.

Now the PCs/Players have a plan.

They’ve also got two Dragons onside, and they only need three (they think) to sway the Great Dragon Council in to an alliance.

They can do this.

At which point Lummins gets around to messaging Leosin back- “We’re a bit busy atm, what’s the strife?”, or something very similar.

The Priest of Lathander receives an answer less than ten minutes later- “Dragon attacks continue, located (possibly) Wyrmspeaker & Green Dragon Mask- need you back, soon. How long ETA?”

Lummins holds off replying for a while, the Brothers have other things that need doing first.

Next up they visit with Ily, the Brothers figure they have no reason to deal with Nym- the Ancient Bronze is already on their side- they’re correct.

So, to Ily, the Ancient Brass Dragon- and pretty much the same chat, although framed this time with flattery and passivity/civility (and some more good rolls), then the question- whatchyawant?

Ily has a think for a while, and then expounds at great length about the five Dragon Masks that the Cult of the Dragon (with Red Wizard help) have crafted. Ily finds the idea of these creations abhorrent, and then simply states that the price of his vote is all five Dragon Masks. The Brass Dragon promises, after further chatter, that he wants the Masks in order to take them to a safe place ‘beyond Toril’, so that they can never be used here again.

The Brothers actively support Ily’s idea, this after a series of checks to try to figure out if the Brass Dragon is dissembling, or else has other (hidden) intentions- not as far as they can tell.

So, agreed.

There is whooping, all they had to do was to roleplay a bit- promise some things which they’re not that concerned about, and that they figure they can (possibly) achieve. Maybe.

They’ve done it.

Or so they think.

And so right on time the Great Dragon Council reconvenes, for the second and final session of the day.

The Brothers et al delight in asking Oty, Ily and Nym- once again- whether they would like to form an alliance with the Council of Waterdeep, and what do you know- the three aforenamed Dragons are all okay with the idea. Although, subject of course to the PCs successfully gaining the concessions that they made to them earlier.


You’d have thought.


Only it doesn’t go like that- Prot and Taz, go bonkers (well, like bonkers- only the thing that Ancient and wise Dragons do instead of bonkers) which as it turns out is to get very angry, and yet very quiet (or at least Prot does). Taz is apoplectic for a while- Humans! If the Brothers are a typical example of the species, then they’re certainly not to be trusted- according to the Ancient Copper.

She also delivers some pretty spicy insults to the chatty trio (basically everything I’ve been wanting to say for a good long while, but y’know- in character, let it all out… now, breathe). That’s better.

The tetchiness goes on for a little while, until an ultra-surly Lux delivers the final fingers-up by boldly telling Prot and Taz to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine (or else a slightly (very slightly) less rude version of this) because the Brothers have the vote.


At which point Taz semi-delights in informing Lux and the Brothers that Prot is the head of the Great Dragon Council, if he doesn’t call a vote, then there is no vote.

Therefore, no alliance.

Oty asks Prot if he’s going to call for a vote?

Prot shakes his head, and then with a smile brings to a conclusion the Great Dragon Council.

Class dismissed.

Oh, but I have been called some things.

Lolz. Worth. It.

The Brothers/Players (after a short verbal fracas encompassing the DM, of course) scramble into recovery mode.

There’s a brief debate- do they talk to Taz, or Prot, or Taz and Prot- they vote on it (don’t ask me why, it just happened). Just to make clear- during the above roleplay the PCs got on the wrong side of Prot very early on, the Ancient Gold was condescending, aloof and very dismissive of everything the PCs/Players had to say (I had a ball with it). Taz was easier to like, she was snippy and snappy but was like this (a bit) with some of her fellow Dragons (and even had a couple of semi-funny asides).

So, oddly, the result of the Players vote is 3-1, they’re going to have a chat with Taz first (and then Prot). I appreciate that this seems the wrong way around to you (and to me…) but that’s what happened.

Therefore, four of the five PCs- Pete = Sgt Bobby mostly does not much during these sorts of sessions, he listens- most of the time, but has also been known to fetch drinks, go for a smoke, or else get a magazine out (to look at the pictures). He likes the company but doesn’t often get too involved in the heavy roleplay stuff, the Players (after months and months of fighting) did a deal some time ago (remember).

Anyway, all three of the chatty folk get their humble pie-eating outfits on and head over to see Taz, there are apologies (aplenty), flattery (by the bucket-loads) and finally, a song- that’s right. Taz is a funny old mare (Ancient Copper Dragon) but eventually she is persuaded to listen some more, if… If Lummins, high Priest of Lathander will sing for her, she likes singing- and more than singing she likes humiliating high-ranking official types. Also, Rob (who plays Lummins) is the man most unlikely to sing a song (any song) even in the company of friends, even if he was drunk. Rob couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

So, I make him sing “I Should Be So Lucky” by Kylie Minogue, all of it- along to the Youtube video. Although when I say ‘I’, I of course meant Taz- the Dragon, I’m Rob’s friend, I wouldn’t humiliate him in front of his friends like that.

Lummins completes his penance.

He had red cheeks afterwards.

Sgt Bobby/Pete, the bastard, joined in towards the end- he enjoyed it immensely.

At which point Taz allows the Brothers to attempt to cut a deal with her- after all, the other members of the Great Dragon Council are getting something out of this, why shouldn’t she (and she knows what she wants).

Prot has a stick up his backside anyway, she jovially confides- the Brothers very quickly get to like Taz, right up until the point that the Ancient Copper Dragon tells them what she wants.

To begin with it’s a sad tale.

She, and her fellow Copper (hinted at lover) Gazlikkus ‘Gaz’, were given the task (ages past) of keeping safe an item of great evil.

The pair took turns to guard the item, as they moved between active and inactive phases of their lives they would exchange the great evil- swapping it between their respective hoards.

Then, a century or so past, Taz called on Gaz for fun and frolics- and then to take charge of the great evil- it was her turn to guard the item.

Only Gaz was dead, her sometime-partner slain, and mutilated- the Copper’s body dissected in part, with sections of the skeleton removed (and missing). Gaz’s horde was gone, and the great evil also, of course, taken.

She suspected the Cult of the Dragon, who at this point were on the crusade to build bigger and better Dracoliches.

She hates the Cult of the Dragon- that’s handy, and yet…

Taz has been searching for the ‘great evil’ ever since, that is until now…

Right then, I had a plan for the next bit- I tried to confuse the PCs a little, alas they saw through my ruse pretty quickly.

I wanted the Players to think that Taz was asking them to get the ‘great evil’ item back for her- a quest.

When in fact the ‘great evil’ was something they already possessed.

As I say, it didn’t work very well, but I still got a sizeable laugh when I named Taz’s price.

That’s right.

Have you got it?

Worked it out?

Are you certain?


No doubts?

The great evil is…


Sgt Bobby’s favourite thing in all of the world.

And up until this point the three chatty folk thought they were getting a little side-quest.

Pete/Sgt Bobby has to be called in from having a smoke in the garden for this.

His initial reaction is- “Who wants what?”

Which is followed by a brief explanation of events by Watt (played by Jackie, Pete’s wife).

Followed inevitably by a cacophony of profanities clustered around the word ‘no’.

The other Players attempt to persuade Pete/Sgt Bobby, some with tears in their eyes (Sandy was laughing so hard) but the answer is always and forever ‘no’, with added swears.

Entertaining, but there’s nothing else that Taz wants- the Brothers try for a while, but the Ancient Copper is severely miffed with the PCs, and in particular Sgt Bobby’s reaction. She’s therefore firmly back in the no to the alliance camp- so, that went well.

Just Prot left to chat with, perhaps they should have started with him.

You don’t say.

Here we go.

Prot is unswaying, he acts as badly as he did in the Great Dragon Council- he’s a massive condescending tool, who struggles to equate humanity (and humanoids in general) as being anything more than just scenery (that moves- slowly). Just to make clear, Prot is Lawful Good- but Dragon Lawful Good, human existence is all well and good, but not his job. Prot is all Dragon, and for him- Dragons are all.

So, the chatty Brothers play stupid a little, and say sorry a lot- which cuts little ice, Prot doesn’t care for insults or for apologies, the Brothers have nothing he wants…

At least that is until they ask him- “What do you want? Ask? Anything?”

Prot cogitates a while and then asks for the most preposterous thing he can think of- for King Melandrach of the Misty Forest to get down on his knees and apologise to the Great Dragon Council for the Dracorage Mythal*, and then to make recompense.

*I explain to the PCs/Players about the Dracorage Mythal, after looking it up the week before. Soon I will be reading about it, I’m sure, see this thread-

I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #47 Starless Night (Legacy Drow 2)

Lux and Watt agree to the deal in an instant…

Which puts Prot on the spot.

After a mite more chatter the great Gold agrees, if the Brothers can extract an apology, then he’ll agree to the alliance.

The whooping begins again.

And so, Prot calls the Great Dragon Council back to order… which Taz isn’t at all happy about- there’s a vote, and… 4-1.

The Brothers have done it.

And you’d think that would be the end of the session… but, it’s not.

Taz takes a short moment to insult a few of her fellow Ancient Dragons, then mocks the Brothers a little- and in the process makes clear that Hazirawn is an evil weapon forged in ancient times in Thay (of all places). Hazirawn, Taz goes on, has a mind of its own and a desire to slaughter and kill, draining the essence of its victims.

Sgt Bobby is briefly drawn in to the spat, the surly/burly Fighter (oddly) defends his blade, before switching tack to claim that he can handle the weapon’s ‘evil’ streak.

Note, when Sgt Bobby/Pete took up Hazirawn, me & Pete had a short discussion about the weapon- I told Pete that Sgt Bobby had to (every now and then) rush to the slaughter, and (sometimes) to solve his problems by violence (with Hazirawn). Surprisingly, he was good with that (I think he even had a tear in his eye), and I think for the most part he has fulfilled his side of the deal.

In truth, they were made for each other, Hazirawn and Sgt B- funny that.

What follows is the fall out.

There are two subjects up for discussion between the Players-
1) Why is Sgt Bobby (Pete) wielding an EVIL weapon? Also, due consideration is given to the supplementary enquiry- Should we allow Sgt Bobby to do this?
2) Will Sgt Bobby (Pete) give up Hazirawn?

The discussion of question 1) spirals for a good long while and descends into close examination of the text in the module with regard to the nature of the evil blade- Hazirawn. We drift OOC and do some more soul searching. Remarkably the OOC feeling of the group is they quite like it that Sgt Bobby has an evil sword.

The subplot to the above opinion (this DM thinks) is they quite like the fact that Hazirawn, in Sgt Bobby’s capable hands, represents a license to kill bad guys. It’s a terrifying weapon, thank Lathander we’ve got it- Lummins finally paraphrases. And for ‘terrifying weapon’ read Hazirawn and/or Sgt Bobby, they’re both equally frightening- but together.

So, the Players/PCs choose Pete.

Therefore, the answer to question 2), after maybe twenty (plus plus) minutes of exasperation moving towards angry finger-pointing, is finally concluded- the answer to question 2) doesn’t matter.

The Player’s/PCs vote Sgt Bobby/Pete.

They’ll take the hit- the final vote 4-1.

Just for info, Pete informs the room, the answer to question 2) is still ‘no’.

So, Taz the Dragon is about to fly off in a huff, however Sgt Bobby can’t let it go- the non-roleplay specialist decides to give over a piece of his mind, and so in front of the assembled Great Dragon Council, he lays in to Taz.

The crux of the non-chatty Sgt Bobby’s speech is- “Hazirawn may be evil, but I’m not- I will turn the blade’s viciousness to our advantage”, that kind of thing- with a few unnecessary insults thrown in for good luck. It’s not so much the hubris, what sticks in Taz’s craw is the fact that Sgt Bobby seems to be calling the Ancient Dragon a coward.

At least I think that’s what he was trying to do- it was a rambling speech, with addendums and asides, and in places less than coherent (not because of alcohol I feel I need to add, but because Pete tends to skim a variety of subjects when he chats).

And with that Taz departs, the rest of the Great Dragon Council are a little dismayed by the Fighter’s crowing, but… Humans! Typical.

The Brothers however have got the Great Dragon Council to agree to an alliance.

That however is the end, at last, of this session- and be warned there’s a little action, but also a lot more chatter in the next one as well.


We D&D.

Session #52 The Rise of Tiamat #11a Saving Irate Dragon

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #52 of our game, but only session #11a of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

We’re in the Nether Mountains and at the Great Dragon Council- the Brothers of the First Light have won the wyrm’s alliance, and in doing so have gained four favours from the regal drakes. This because the Council voted 4-1 to ratify the alliance, after lots of great roleplay and a few choice concessions.

Note the PCs have still got to get the various Lords, Kings et al on the Council of Waterdeep to agree to the concessions that they have made to the Dragons, so the alliance is a potential goer, but not yet a certainty.

The one vote against the Brothers came courtesy of Tazmikella or ‘Taz’, an Ancient Female Copper Dragon- her vote would have cost the PCs (or rather Sgt Bobby/Pete) the services of Hazirawn, the burly/surly Fighter’s (NE) magical sword.

Taz has gone away for good, enraged she fled the Great Dragon Council, after Sgt Bobby’s semi-humiliating speech (and associated insults) at the end of the last session.

Now time for the doubting and the fretting- Players, what are they like.

This is what happens next, and again the Players (as it turns out) have been chatting between sessions.

So, first up- high Priest Lummins of Lathander messages Leosin Erlathur and tells the Harper that they will be back in Waterdeep in two or three days, Oty (Ancient Silver Dragon) has of course agreed to return the PCs to whence they came.

That’s that problem solved- for now.

Then Prot (the Ancient Gold Dragon) asks the Brothers what favours they intend to ask of the Great Dragon Council, basically which four Kings/Lords/Ladies etc., or else factions (or others) are they going to assign the Dragons to help.

Just to note I decided to get the PCs to make their choices now, rather than get back to the Council of Waterdeep where they could have their heads turned. Decisions now and face the consequences later.

As explained in the last session, the PCs have four favours to spend.

Who do they choose to protect, or aid?

The first two favours go on Dragon-power to protect the Dwarves (Ambassador Connerad) and the Elves (King Malendrach), very simply in order to buy the concessions that have already been promised to the Dragons.

Smart move.

The next Dragon favour goes to Waterdeep, or rather to Lady Laeral Silverhand the head of the Council of Waterdeep, who sent them on this mission.

Again, smart move.

And that, alas, just leaves one…


And so, we spiral for a while- here comes the fretting and doubting. The Players discuss last session (and other things) and make the same point time and time again- if only they could have got Taz on board, got her vote- that would mean six favours, and a much easier decision.

Note- six favours, because they get a bonus favour if they achieve a consensus (5-0) from the Great Dragon Council.

The PCs now have a plan for this- its simple, although they didn’t figure it out last week.

Sgt Bobby is very happy to pledge to hand over Hazirawn when all the fighting is done, he just needs to make full use of it until then…

It’s a shame that Taz is gone, and that they didn’t think of this last week…

I’ll be honest they whined at me a lot last session, because I had put them/Sgt Bobby in an ‘impossible’ position. I hadn’t, for all their smarts they’d just not figured out that they could do both things- keep Hazirawn for now, and then hand it over to Taz at the end. The Dragon would have gone for the deal…

Obviously, they’re going to attempt to get in touch with Taz, via the Great Dragon Council, and put their new offer to her. They didn’t think to use a Sending spell… although I would have found a way to make the magic not quite work if they had tried… see below, I had a plan.

Later Sgt Bobby (Pete) even apologised to me, I feel honoured- although at one point he did bite my head off in the last session, so- I’m due.

So, more chatter… who to give the last Dragon favour too.

And the answer is- they’re going to keep the last Dragon favour for themselves, that’s right- they’d like to move a Dragon (or two) in to the Flying Lighthouse.

I told you they were constructing Tracey bloody Island, they may as well paint Thunderbird One on the side of their new Dragon.

Prot, and the other Ancient Dragons, are happy with the outcome of the talks- after some more great rolls and roleplay, mostly from the chatty trio. So much so that Nym- the Ancient Bronze that was on the Brother’s side from the outset, gifts them with a trio of Dragonslaying Arrows, which are passed over to Watt, the Bard is the bow expert.


Next up, promises of contact (via Sending spells) with Prot to confirm/arrange the various concessions that the PCs have made- as and when they have been negotiated with the members of the Council of Waterdeep.

Then farewell, back aboard Oty for the two-day jaunt to Waterdeep, actually to meet up with the Flying Lighthouse- again Lummins uses a Sending spell to inform Blagothkus (Cloud Giant) to rendezvous with the Brothers.

Remember this is still a secret meeting, no-one can know about it… yet.

So, the journey back is not as easy as the journey to the Nether Mountains, only a few hours into it and Oty suddenly lurches hard left, at the same time descending rapidly- almost in a headlong dive. The Ancient Silver has heard the sound of a Dragon in distress.

The Brothers are hanging on for dear life (and have to make an Acrobatics/Athletics check or else suffer penalties for their next (surprise) attack). Oty breaks through the cloud cover and directly below them is a familiar sight- Taz, the Ancient Copper Dragon. That’s handy.

However, Taz is badly wounded (and possibly Poisoned) and beset on all sides by a clutch of Dragon Cultists riding Wyverns.

Note throughout this encounter Taz is losing height rapidly, heading towards icy peaks- the Dragon starts the fight bloodied, being attacked on all sides- and spiralling in and out of control, desperate to slow her descent.

Here’s my thing- Dragon Cultists riding Wyverns- I’m having some of that. Also, a chance for the PCs to rescue Taz, and in the process claim the top prize- six favours from the Council of Great Dragons. Lastly there’s an additional encounter early on in the module called something like “Power of the Cult”, a band of Elite Cultists, so I thought- let’s put these boys on Wyverns, and so it comes to pass…

By the way The PCs/Players quickly (and excitedly) figured out that this was their opportunity to ‘rescue’ Taz, and (perhaps) secure her vote, and thus I am back in their good books- providing they can achieve the task.

Note Oty (their Ancient Silver Dragon ride), throughout the coming fight does little or nothing except to manoeuvre according to the PCs (mostly Lux’s) commands. The Brothers are proving themselves here- they must rescue Taz for themselves. I’m only going to get Oty involved in the fight if it looks like the PCs are going to really mess things up.

Oh, and its max Hit Points for Cultist bad guys- but not the Wyverns, that’s four Dragonwings, two Dragonfangs and a Dragonsoul- I wanted this to be tough. Note I also played fast and loose with the action- theatre of the mind as much as any map.

30 Taz Attack.jpg

And so Oty continues his almost vertical dive- straight into the action.

Hotlips fires a crossbow bolt (Assassination attempt) into the back of the closest Wyvern-riding Dragonfang (for 50 HP damage) alas the fellow is not even bloodied. That gets the Player’s attentions.

Watt has a moment of inspiration- he Polymorphs the next closest Wyvern into a frog (Jackie, who plays Watt, has a thing about frogs). The frog/Wyvern suddenly contemplates its demise- and quickly falls out of sight, the Dragonwing riding the beast does the same- although a little later is spotted slowing his descent using his Limited Flight (note the clues is in the title of the ability). The pair are however out of the fight.

Lux (after prolonged begging by Pete = Sgt Bobby) eventually agrees to cast Fly on herself, Sgt Bobby and Hotlips. Note Lummins has his Winged Boots on- the Priest of Lathander can also fly.

That done the surly/burly Fighter Sgt Bobby flings himself from Oty and semi-glides on to the back of the Wyvern carrying the Dragonfang with Hotlips’ crossbow sticking out of her back. Sgt Bobby stabs and slashes with Hazirawn (and with added Action Surge) and the Cultist leader-type is almost dead.

Lummins flings an enhanced Fireball into the largest concentration of Wyverns and riders- three pairs are caught in the blast, and already the DM is feeling slightly queasy- they’re murderising my bad guys (all but one of them fail their saving throws).

I’m not having that… one of the scorched Dragonwings directs his mount towards the Flying Sgt Bobby, who is grabbed on to the Dragonfang he’s in the process of slaying. The Wyvern screeches by and plungers its Stinger into Sgt B’s back- that hurt.

Down below Taz is biting and clawing at a pair of Wyverns and their Cultist riders which are both focussed solely on killing the Ancient Copper Dragon (note Taz started the encounter already bloodied).

Hotlips meantime finishes off another already scorched Dragonwing with another crossbow bolt to the back- her favourite attack of late, the body of the Cultist falls flailing from its mount.

Bloody hell this fight is going against me very quickly- and thus, the riderless Wyvern turns hard and launches itself back towards Oty, and the Brothers perched on the Ancient Silver’s back.

Watt, the bastard, meantime repeats his Polymorph trick- a second Wyvern suddenly finds itself in frog-form, and descending rapidly, the beast and its Dragonwing former-rider (using its Limited Flight ability) are however both soon out of the fight.

The rider-less Wyvern launches itself into the midst of the Brothers atop Oty’s back- Hotlips is hit by the beast’s Stinger, but the Stout Halfling barely feels the Poison’s burn. Seconds later the Wyvern is gone- Banished by Lux, as is (unfortunately for me- this is turning into a nightmare) the Wyvern that the Cultist Dragonsoul leader is (was) riding.

The Dragonsoul, as previous, slowly falls out of sight- again, using its Limited Flight ability to avoid plummeting into the snowy rocks far below.

Sgt Bobby, while the above is going on, slays the Dragonwing he’s fighting with- and then attempts to take control of the Wyvern, remember he’s been practising (and failing) to learn Wyvern riding as a skill during his Downtime activities.

So, this is it- one roll… but keep in mind he has the ability to Fly, so he’s in no danger.

At last, the burly surly Fighter gets the hang of things, he’s not perfect, but he’s flying the beast.

There is whooping- Pete is delighted.

There are only two Dragon Cultists and their Wyvern mounts left in the fight, but this pair are way-way below- clawing and slashing at Taz, as the Ancient Copper continues to spiral down towards the mountains.

The Brothers grip tight to Oty (or their Wyvern mount- Sgt B) and dive again, descending rapidly to save the Ancient Copper.

Just to note, I halved Taz’s hit points again- the Ancient Copper is down to 70 or so, from 315 HP at full.

Lummins hits one of the attacking Wyvern-riding Cultist combos with a Flame Strike, radiant fire engulfs the pair, and then the Priest rolls spectacularly low damage (there were 5 x ‘1’ involved). Taz, the Brothers are now close enough to clearly see the great wyrm, is looking very beaten up. The Priest of Lathander therefore also fires a much-enhanced Healing Word into the Dragon.

Too late?

The singed Dragonwing directs his Wyvern mount to attack Taz again- more hits (including a Crit), Taz (for your info) is down to approx. 40 HP.

However, the Ancient Copper Dragon fights back (I allowed the out of control (almost) Taz to make one attack/turn) with a roar she bites the Dragonwing rider clean in two.

Watt, moments later- after half of the Brothers miss their various attacks, goes for the three-card-trick. The bastard! The Bard Polymorphs his third Wyvern into a frog, and in the same instant (obviously) the Dragonwing Cultist rider falls away from the fight, screaming insults as he goes.

There’s only one rider-less Wyvern left in the fight; it doesn’t stick around for long (mere seconds) it flees the scene.

The Banished and Polymorphed enemies are swiftly forgotten about, Lummins applies more Healing Words to Taz, while the Ancient Copper finally regains control of her tumbling descent. Then with several of the Brothers (aboard Oty) guiding Taz down, they make for a convenient snow-capped glacial valley, to land- and heal some more, and inevitably (eventually) to chat.

However, Sgt Bobby and Hotlips have other ideas- the pair (both Fly-enhanced) descend on Wyvern-back to hunt down any survivors, the pair manage to account for another two semi-falling Cultists, before their Fly spell runs out. At which point they cling on to their Wyvern mount and gingerly make their way back to their companions.

Note, I scared the pair a little by getting them to make Perception checks to find the pair of Ancient Dragons (Taz & Oty), and the other Brothers, who are trying to stay hidden from sight (made a little more difficult by the presence of the two gargantuan Dragons). The pair failed a few rolls (and started to get tetchy) before finally spotting their companions.

There was a moment when they thought they were lost- nice!

So, after much much healing- Taz is much much more amenable, it requires almost no roleplay, just for Sgt Bobby to offer over Hazirawn into the Ancient Copper’s keeping after their quest is done. The clever-ish Fighter even goes so far as to suggest that Taz accompany the Brothers in their future adventures, in order to keep an eye on the evil blade.

He’s a sly bastard, that Sgt Bobby. Taz, is cheeky and chirpy- even going so far as to have a bit of banter with the burly Fighter- soon after the pair are getting on very well, maybe even a little flirty (which is an odd direction to go). But it gave me an idea- more on this later (your sneaky DM).

Taz will, of course, vote for the alliance- and will make her decision known to Prot as soon as possible, the Brothers have achieved consensus (5-0) of the Great Dragon Council. That’s six favours- four already distributed (Dwarves, Elves, Waterdeep & the Flying Lighthouse) and two more to be decided.

Taz also promises to send the Brother two (Adult & Young) Copper Dragons- she will (after her Dragons arrive) take responsibility for guarding the Flying Lighthouse, in effect honouring one of the favours agreed by the Great Dragon Council in advance of the promised alliance.

By the way, the Players are absolutely loving this.

That’s the end of the first half of the session- there’s more, lots more, chatter (sorry) in the second half.

See you there.



We D&D.

Session #52 The Rise of Tiamat #11b Yet More Bloody Meetings.

Brothers of the First Light.
Lummins (played by Rob) Male Half-Elf Cleric of Lathander Lvl 10
Lux (played by Sandy) Female Human Warlock Lvl 10
Watt (played by Jackie) Male Human Bard Lvl 10
Sgt Bobby Markguth (played by Pete) Male Human Fighter Lvl 10
Hotlips Houlihan (played by Sandy) Female Halfling Rogue Lvl 10

Secondary PCs.
Left at 8th Level- we’ll get them back if (and when) they’re needed later on.
Derek Pilch (played by Jackie) Male Human Druid Lvl 8
Hard Bonk (played by Rob) Male Half-Orc Monk Lvl 8
Sgt Harald Hardaxe (played by Pete) Male Shield Dwarf Fighter Lvl 8

This is session #52 of our game, but only session #11b of The Rise of Tiamat scenario.

Consensus (5-0) has been achieved at the Great Dragon Council, the Brothers are on their way back to the Flying Lighthouse (and then on to Waterdeep) riding on the back of Oty, the Ancient Silver Dragon. This after rescuing Taz, the Ancient Copper Dragon, from the clutches of a Cult of the Dragon Wyvern-mounted attack squad.

The Brothers have secured six favours- four already distributed (Dwarves, Elves, Waterdeep & the Flying Lighthouse) and two more yet to be decided, from the Dragons- providing they can arrange the concessions they have promised to the wyrm council.

Forgive us… but it’s lots more chatter from hereon in- and we didn’t get too much more in because this was a short session and the Pizza course went on a while with the Players still crowing about their victory earlier in the session. In particular, the fact that Watt managed to Polymorph three Wyvern’s into frogs (not even Giant Frogs) and thus also took three Dragon Cultist riders out of the fight.

Crowing, and giggling- they really enjoyed the last encounter, it had something for everyone, and Sgt Bobby (at last) has got the hang of Wyvern-riding. That said things do not go smoothly for the surly Fighter, later the same day (en route to the Flying Lighthouse) Sgt Bobby’s Wyvern’s mount (still not entirely tamed) decides to give the Fighter the fright of his life- swooping down low, flying upside down and generally trying to unseat its rider (this after an Animal Handling ‘1’).

Sgt Bobby somehow manages to hang on until the Wyvern has spent its energy, later the Fighter decides to curtail his effort, abandoning the temperamental creature and joining his colleagues on Oty’s back.

Clearly Sgt Bobby still needs practice.

Two days later they’re back to the Flying Lighthouse, which they rendezvous with maybe fifty miles east of Waterdeep. At which point they say goodbye to Oty, and it’s a fond farewell- and then fire up their Flying Ice Castle for the last leg of the journey to Waterdeep.

The rest of the session is chatter- as I’ve said already, and the chatter continued between sessions- so a third of what follows was achieved not around the table but via e-mail, lots and lots, and LOTS of bloody e-mails.

So, here goes-

First bit of news, delivered by M (that’s Marflub the head Ice Toad Accountant/Detective), is that there is absolutely nothing in the papers recovered from the Dragon Cultist’s lair in the sewers beneath Waterdeep to indicate there was an impending attack planned. M is absolutely certain that no such attack had been planned, the Ice Toad explains that two thirds of the paperwork the PCs recovered are scrawled taunts, threats and ranting screeds. Furthermore, one of the pages lists the five names of the Brothers of the First Light, each crossed through, and then in code the phrase “We are coming for you!” The paper is signed by Severin, who the PCs know is the present head of the Cult of the Dragon.

So, it’s personal- and the PCs were quite definitely set up, and in particular Lux was set up (she’s 99% certain) by one of her Cult contacts- Talis the White (Dragon Cult boss, last seen in the Hunting Lodge near Parnast).

There follows much chatter- possibly too much, I should have reigned them in and got on with the next bit, you live and learn.

Oh, and just to say- much chatter, but no actual decisions about anything by the Players/PCs- mostly a mixture of idle threats, vague possibilities, and a bit of half-hearted ranting (nothing new then).

Then to Waterdeep, and we decided ahead of time to get through all of the extra roleplaying before the adventurers go, well… adventuring again, in the remainder of this session (hence us continuing via e-mail, we wanted to get it all done).

So, Waterdeep- first meeting is another secret rendezvous in a (magically) warded room in the The Elfstone Tavern, there the Brothers meet with Lady Laeral Silverhand and Sir Isteval and tell the pair their tale. Joy is unbound, Laeral delivers kisses, and promises of further aid, and that the Dragon Masks will be handed over to Ily the Ancient Brass Dragon, for disposal. This when Laeral hears the happy news- and in particular that Waterdeep is going to have Dragon protection.

That said the Dragon alliance is contingent on the Brothers convincing Ambassador Connerad and King Melandrach to agree to the concessions. To this end the PCs (very clever) instantly cash in one of their newly gifted favours from Lady L, basically if things start to go bad with the Dwarves and/or Elves then they want Lady L to help them to make their case. She agrees- good work (the PCs can use Lady L only once in the following meetings).


So, after a bit more mutual congratulations the Brothers arrange, prepare, and then head off to their second meeting, this one in the Lord’s Palace, and with Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil, member of the Council of Waterdeep Council and representative of the northern Dwarven kingdoms, and the Lord’s Alliance.

Things go badly for a while- by which I mean that I get the chance to RP an apoplectic (but not apologetic) sweary and surly Dwarf. I think I called Watt a mountebank (actually an effing mountebank) at one point, Pete looked it up on his phone.

Remember the Brothers need to get Oty’s mother’s (Kaliatykar’s) hide back, and an apology (with reparations = gold) for the Dragonmoots, and for slaying her.

Brawnanvil’s opening position on the subject is anatomically impossible to translate into action, although it may be possible for a Dragon to achieve the head to rectum interaction.

The arguing begins, with the PCs initially keeping the fact that the Dragon’s have promised to protect the northern Dwarves, to themselves- the (good to great) roleplay, and subsequent high to staggeringly high checks follow. Blah… blah… blah, and Connerad is having to give ground all the while- the PCs explain themselves succinctly (the greater good is the line), and are remarkably polite (mostly the chatty trio, although even Hotlips gets involved). Then Lux, after a great Insight check, figures its time to offer the Dwarven Ambassador a flight of Dragons to patrol and protect his people… the result is inevitable.

That is until Sgt Bobby (Pete) wanders in from an ante-room (the garden) which he nipped off to earlier to have a quiet smoke, because everyone was just bloody yapping… anyway Sgt Bobby/Pete arrives back on the scene and tells Connerad to ‘shut the something up and listen to sense, you something something hairy munchkin*’.

*Actually, there exists some dispute over the word munchkin, and this session (at this point) wasn’t being recorded. Other Players are certain that Pete/Sgt B said midget- nobody however disputes the two very rude words that preceded munchkin/midget.

Sgt Bobby rolls a ‘1’, when he gets seated, for his Intimidation check- Connerad shares a few expletives of his own and then leaves the room, with his entourage stomping out in his wake- meeting over.

The Players (three of them) go bonkers on Sgt Bobby/Pete, it’s like old times- although only very briefly, at which point Watt (Jackie) remembers they have a favour due from Lady Laeral, and what do you know- less than a minute later a red-faced Connerad is back in the room, accompanied by the aforementioned Lady L, who just happened to be in the vicinity.

Apologies, and then the roleplaying starts again, although only briefly- it is soon after agreed that Ambassador Connerad will visit with the Dragons at their next Great Dragon Council (at which the alliance will also, fingers-crossed, be ratified). There the Dwarf will apologise, hand over the rug (sorry, precious Dragon hide) and then (using money supplied by Lady L) make reparations. He won’t like it though, the (Silver Dragon hide) rug really tied the room together.


Soon after, perhaps early the next day- we’re getting through this, and the Brothers are in another meeting- back in the Lord’s Palace, same room in fact, but this time they’re meeting with King Melandrach and his entourage.

This time the Brothers are looking to get the Elf King to apologise to the Great Dragon Council for the Dracorage Mythal, and then to make recompense. Well, it’s a similar opening to the PC’s last meeting, Melandrach is much more polite, and a little more genteel, and yet his answer is still a big fat ‘no’.

And so, we go around again, similar arguments- the greater good, and then the revelation that the Brothers have secured protection for the Elven kingdoms from the Council, and… it’s a maybe.

Not a ‘yes’, but also definitely not a ‘no’. Atm.

Just to say 75% of this meeting was played out via e-mail, lots of good chatter but, and here’s the big but, Melandrach was never going to say ‘yes’, the DM had other ideas.

The Players, of course, are disappointed- which in turn leads to many more e-mails, and more speeches and fine words… and still the answer is maybe.

Eventually we get around to the last meeting of this session (actually conducted entirely via e-mail between this session and the next).

The last meeting occurs only an hour or so after the meeting with Melandrach, and (what do you know?) in the same place- present are Leosin Erlanthar (Harper contact), Delaan Winterhound (Emerald Enclave, member of the Council of Waterdeep) and Prince Alagarthas (son of King Melandrach). The PCs/Players are intrigued when they’re introduced to the Elven Prince.

The substance of the meeting is this, as delivered partly by Delaan, but mostly by Prince Alagarthas- King Melandrach was correct in saying that Dragon Cult activity in the Misty Forest has subsided (a little) however the Prince and the Emerald Enclave believe that more attacks are imminent. There have been sightings of a great marauding Green Dragon, being ridden by a humanoid wearing what is very likely to be… the Green Dragon Mask.

Sightings of this pair have been regular and often, the creatures (the Prince swears) are still laired somewhere within the vast forest kingdom.

Leosin, Delaan and the Prince want the Brothers to track down and rout/kill the Dragon and capture/kill/rout its Wyrmspeaker rider, and also grab the Green Dragon Mask.

Another chance to capture a Wyrmspeaker and/or a Dragon Mask- that would really put a spanner in the Cult of the Dragon’s works.

The Brothers have a few questions- mainly where and when do we start, garner some advice, and then… depart.

And that’s all she wrote.

Next session, action at last.