Tyranny Of Dragons

Shaken Down
Prelude to Session 6

Assurances from Kalif laid his compatriots fears to rest as they bedded down on this their last night in the wilderness. Elturel was less than a day’s travel away and the bright orb of The Companion gleamed unmoving on the horizon. The night was fair and little broke the silence beyond summer insects and the munching of the horses on their fodder.

The adventurers’ sleep was disturbed only by their own inner struggles. Dreams fanciful, purposeful or grim and dark broke the monotony of the darkness beyond shut eyelids.

A land of stark contrast stood Kalif in his dream. Upon his right the land was lit and fruitful, fair clouds drifted lazily in a clear blue sky. Upon a marble dais, an ivory throne with markings of the boot and mace sat a grey bearded dwarf with pauldrons in the shape of wings. A grim frown was born on his face and sharp scrutiny in his eyes. To the left of Kalif the land was shadowed and there was great toil in the fields. A great mountain wreathed in fog rose in the distance, a single mote of intense orange light near its crown. It seemed to him he had one foot in either place and stood upon the border of shadow, though he cast no shadow himself. As he shaded his eyes to see better into the distance, a rough hand on his shoulder jerked him from slumber.

Barley clutched the carven case of fine wrought animal figurines in his slumber. Though he knew his birth family not, it seemed to him the figures were of old family pets. Many adventures he saw, flying or running with each in turn until he awoke with a start, their names which were on his lips a moment before, vanishing has he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

Visions of colored dragons swirled in Navarre’s mind. Small statues of them seemed to writhe and unite into a glowing mass. Real dragons flew overhead in a silvery sky it and seemed the sun grew white hot. A thin silken strand stretched into the void where the sky split and a great dark five headed shape clawed its way to freedom. The dragons overhead shrieked in accord and welcoming. The statues on the ground seemed to mirror every move of the great unstoppable shape. It loomed huge overhead and blotted out all light in the land about it save for the silken thread from it to the statuette and what appeared to be a single tear of molten metal falling from the sun. It grew large in Navarre’s sight and dodging away before being seared by its heat it smote the ground showering him with hot rocks and grit. Turning towards the crater he could see what was clearly an egg of shiny, white metal graven over its entirety with flowing runes. There seemed to be a sort of lid or hatch to it, but of a latch he could not see. Harsh human voices came to him and the scene faded to be replaced with a half dozen horses in white barding bearing riders in plate mail with red tabards bearing the symbol of a golden crescent.

One of the riders was on foot shaking Kalif vigorously awake, and two others were in the process of also dismounting. The remaining three sat impervious behind shields with lances at the ready.

Art on the Hoof
Session 5

Session begins where the prelude ends, at the first temporary campsite the characters find to attempt a short rest. Two characters are limping along at one hit point and the third isn’t doing too great. The moral quandry is real, and failure is a big sting.

  • The short rest was successful but at the end a giant mantis finds the wounded party.
  • It begins the encounter with a show of waving antennae and clacking mandibles, the characters are unclear whether this is an attempt to communicate.
  • Navarre, the elven monk is attacked outright to the exclusion of everyone else. It is discovered it has a poisonous bite that normal mantises do not have.
  • The giant mantis is slain and the party continues to Greenest with no further incidents.
  • After a few drinks at the inn, rooms are purchased and the party takes a long rest in comfort and recovers.
  • Barley awakens refreshed and is the first downstairs to tuck into a tall glass of fresh apple juice with a large breakfast.
  • Kalif is next down for a proper repast. He passes up the juice for a full bodied ale and the full english.
  • Navarre is last seated but is outdone by the dwarvish gusto.
  • Barley waits impatiently for Kalif to finish mopping up the gravy, then they all head off to the Governor’s manor.
  • One of the (new) guards ushers them into the Governor’s study where they are greeted by the still groggy Tarbaw Nighthill who still bears a large welt where the cultist’s garrote had ended his life until saved by Kalif.
  • Barley chats up the Governor about his statuette of a red dragon and its significance to the cultists.
  • They are interrupted several times by servants bringing the Governor breakfast and tea.
  • The group gets a dissertation by Kalif about Tiamat:
    • Tiamat was created by the great dragon god Io, with two brothers. She slew one of them and ever after warred with Bahamut her elder. After untellable time of conflict and strife during which she bred and sowed evils throughout the realm, she was banished to Avernus by the efforts of Bahamut and Pelor and locked there under contract of Asmodeus. Only under certain circumstances can she break free or be summoned to appear elsewhere. She has a large cult following and indeed all dragons that do not have metallic colorations worship her as an ancestor and god.
  • The Governor admitted to having nightmares lately where the statuette played a major part and had been thinking of selling it and other art objects to fund the rebuilding of the town.
  • Navarre blanched he heard his asking price, but the Governor offered the party the statuette as a fee for them to find art dealers to help sell his art. He also gave to the party a small case of finely detailed animal figurines to show off to prospective buyers, mentioning that he had been told it was a full set. Judging by the plush, fitted pockets in the case, he had no reason to doubt it.
  • Kalif’s eyes bugged out at the contents of the case and nearly choked on on his exclamation but managed to control himself.
  • When Barley accepted the case he realized the marking on the lid exactly matched a small medallion he wore around his neck. It had been left in the bassinet with him when he was abandoned as a baby.
  • When asked about the auction he purchased the statuettes at, he said that he had purchased them in Waterdeep some twenty-fiveish years ago which would have been about the time Barley was born. It was an auction at the quaint, out of the way home of one Mongolia Roundhill.
  • The party then left to purchase traveling supplies and were stopped by a stablehand who informed them that some half elven chap in robes had bought horses for them and equipped them with saddle, bridle and food for six days.
  • They then left posthaste and after several uneventful days they had to travel in heavy rain. Navarre nearly lost his horse, but Kalif recovered it. They then spent a rough night in the downpour.
  • After another day of clear weather, a large green skinned humanoid found their camp and proved difficult to handle. While standing over their wood pile, it was set alight and it expired therewith.
  • The new day brought a terrible hailstorm and no travel was possible so the party sheltered as well as they could until a giant scorpion began to attack their horses. It’s tail stinger left smoking holes wherever it struck.
  • As the storm subsided a pack of wolves attacked the party, surrounding Kalif and knocking him unconscious.
  • Eventually the party prevailed and Kalif was saved.
  • The weather broke, and Kalif made a close inspection of the ground they had been camping over and discovered a large summoning circle linked to the Abyss. His efforts to cleanse it were to no avail so the party left, making careful note of its location to return later to deal with it.
  • The remainder of the journey was uneventful and while setting up camp on the last night they could see the ever present light that hangs above Elturel.
The Struggle Within
Prelude to Session 5

Limping and bandaged three figures stumble their way through a grassy landscape, the only sounds distant birdsong and the whispering breeze undulating the flora. For a moment the plain takes on the appearance of a green sea with three castaways adrift in the landless expanse. Forlorn in their failure, driven by a desire to make right on the foul deal that was struck to preserve their lives. Even the usually chipper Barley had become rather sarcastic before lapsing into a sullen silence. Navarre trod ever forward with a determination only found when honor was at stake and evil deeds its only preservation. The crisp uniform of Kalif was stained, his armor seemed to clunk rather than ching, and he seemed to be in a shadow as though it was cloudy. The three adventurers seemed to all be realizing the depth of the bond they were under the spell of. They all seemed to be thinking “I made a deal with an evil person, my life is forfeit if I do not deliver to them an object I know is evil and would only serve to make that person more powerful.”

These thoughts weighed heavy on the adventurers as they scouted for a place to make a short rest to gather themselves for the remainder of the trek back into Greenest.

Deals with the Devils?
Session 4

Session opened with characters in location as described in prelude.

  • Players elected to sneak up on the campfire and saw several hunters or scouts that were seriously not paying attention.
  • Characters paused at the watchtower to consider their options with Barley casting Disguise Self to appear as a short human.
  • Through role play Barley finds out that nearly the entire raider camp has headed east, paking only the essentials and a great number of crates taken from the cave. Several raiders and cultists remain, what thier business in the cave they cannot say, but they are still accepting large quatities of meat from them.
  • Barley departs while attempting not to put his foot in his mouth and nearly falls down the hill beyond the guard tower.
  • The party reconnoiters and decides to investigate the tent they were prevented from approaching the last time they were there.
  • Kalif falls through the canvas making a racket, and Navarre drops a bottle of soured wine splashing himself with the pungent liquid.
  • The adventurers sneak their way towards the cave opening and are quickly assaulted by cultists backed up by several guards.
  • This preliminary encounter is wrapped up quickly, and the party stumbles down some stairs landing nearly in a patch of violet fungi. A Thunderwave smashes the fungi and echoes through the cavern.
  • Around the next bend, the party stumbles into a spike trap and Barley becomes poisoned with confusion as kobolds begin throwing sling stones and a flying kobold drops large rocks.
  • Out of sight in the shadows, other kobolds open the gate to the drakes they had been training, but the stairs are only wide enough for one at a time.
  • One kobold runs for help. The party has just enough time to quaff healing potions before more Drakes claw their way up from below and more kobolds climb stairs and pelt the adventurers in the back with various thrown weapons.
  • Three very battered adventurers prevail, but are hit by another trap on the way to the kobold barracks and search it for loot finding a reasonable pile of coin.
  • Fiding their way through the rear of the barracks the tunnel dips down and dim torchlight can be seen.
  • At the end of the tunnel they find themselves in a shrine of the Cult of the Dragon which currently has in residence Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, the self same half-dragon that challenged the men of Greenest to single combat in exchange for the lives of some prisoners. The same that nearly killed Navarre after Navarre had dishonored him by attacking while he was prone.
  • After a protracted fight Barley and Kalif were both unconcious and Navarre was down to his last handful of HP when he begged submission from a rather bemused Cyanwrath.
  • The evil, but honorable Cyanwrath offered a bargin: that they, and especially Navarre would track down and procure for him the other four statuettes that comprise the icon of Tiamat. In the end the players accepted the task and were permitted to depart.
  • Battered and bloody, the adventurers limped towards Greenest.
  • During a short rest, Kalif has a vision of a crimson hall and a meeting with a high official which seems to know him intimately. He is offered a contract for great power and signs his name. He is then rudely told to depart. The contract is for the patronage of the arch fiend Mephistopheles for Warlock powers. Time will tell if Kalif’s life domain will conflict.
From Boom to Bust?
Prelude to Session 4

“Adventurers, we must not allow ourselves to be distracted by these small events,” began Leosin. "There are much greater things afoot and I fear lest we attend to them more directly, we shall be mired in lesser goings on. A smokescreen if you will, which blinds us, unable to act proactively. There is certainly more to be learned at the raiders’ camp and I’d dearly like to know what is in that cave they’re using. I would guess there is a cache of treasure and dragon eggs in there. For what purpose I am not sure. Hunters brought fresh meat into the camp daily and a large portion of it went into that cave, surely not to store it. It would rot before it would be of use.

“I must, for my part, leave for Elturel and report my findings thus far,” continued Leosin. “I dare not tarry overlong. I may perhaps wait a short while yet in case you find something of great importance right from the start and rush back. Otherwise catch up to me there as I shall not tarry on the trail.”

Hoping for one last uninterrupted breakfast at the Green Rest Inn, you order extra bacon with your eggs and set out with full bellies once more upon the trail of the raiders.

You find no signs of stragglers, nor of the attentive rearguard. Stalking carefully closer to the encampment you see no signs of the smoky cook fires nor hear any clamor. Finally you nudge around the mouth of the opening to the camp and find no guards, and the squalid tents of the kobolds are empty and silent. Choosing instead to get a higher look, you back away from the exposed entrance and pick a scaleable slope. Atop the plateau, looking down from concealment, the camp is deserted. There is one small, thin thread of smoke coming from a secluded area at the back of the camp and you can make out several small tents unlike the larger ones the raiders used. You also just catch the glint of metal near the entrance to the cave.

Greenest Ganders Grabbed, Governor Grilled while Goats Gobbled
Session 3
  • Session begins with characters eating breakfast at the Green Rest Inn when a distraught Trom Stonesworn, the duck farmer comes running up to the heroes. He breathlessly announces kobolds have broken into his duck pens and stolen several ducks, including the blue ribbon winning Maggie.
  • The kobolds are quickly found as are most of the missing ducks including Max the attack duck, an unusually large and aggressive duck which is buffeting one of the kobolds with his wings and administering painful beakings and scratches.
  • The kobolds are handled speedily, but Max then vents his ire at the disturbance on Navarre.
  • Navarre quickly grabs Maggie and makes off toward the farm with Max in hot pursuit.
  • Kalif fixes the neck on the duck that was about to be prepared for dinner and restores it to life, in thanks it attempts to beak him.
  • At the end of the scuffle, Barley sees dark shapes breaking into the Governor’s manor.
  • There is also a scream coming from a goat farm on the far side of the manor where Navarre can see a halfling woman running out the front door of the house and heading towards the goat pens.
  • The heroes head into the Governor’s manor and are met by a feisty drake which is quickly backed up by cultists.
  • After defeating these, the heroes ventured deeper into the manor and soon were face to face with more cultists, this time with mercernaries and a spellcasting acolyte and some kind of leader interrogating a tied up Governor NIghthill.
  • During the fight the leader attempted to garrote the Governor to intimidate the heroes into surrendering, which they didn’t.
  • Navarre attacked the leader directly who let go of his garrote and knocked Navarre unconscious.
  • Kalif quickly used healing word and Navarre stood up moments later.
  • After a brief struggle the heroes finished off the cultists and were free to help the Governor or look for other cultists.
  • Kalif used his scroll of revivify on the Governor.
  • Navarre found the Governor’s desk had been ransacked. As had been most of the manor, and several of his servants had been killed.
  • The Governor told them about the petty cashbox that was in the desk, falsely weighted with lead, he never gave up the location of the town’s coffer.
  • The heroes quickly remember another struggle going on and hurry to the save the goats and their caretaker.
  • At the farm there are three drakes snapping up goats, not all are able to spring away in time.
  • It takes some time, but the heroes are able to stave off the drakes, and just as they get it under control, a group of cultists with another drake shows up.
  • After only a few rounds of combat the cultists give up the fight and depart as quickly as they could.
  • Just as the heroes catch their breath, another alpha drake is attracted to the smells of goats and blood and has to be dealt with.
  • Then, just as swiftly as it begun, all in the town goes quiet again and the heroes have time to think.
  • The swineherd Sandford Porteus had rendered aid to someone he found after the raid, one Tucker Duffus who had amnesia. They recalled seeing him slipping out of town with a sack over his shoulder during the fight with the kobolds.
  • There was a curious statuette amongst the rubble of the Governor’s ruined desk. It was in the form of a red dragon, but seemed to be missing parts or was part of something else. Probably just a curio of the Governor’s, but memorable because of it’s uniqueness.
  • During the fight at the goat farm, Dora Fairbairn seemed to know her craft with a blade, but was completely ineffective despite putting on a good show. Barley trailed her and saw her thieving, where her stash was and diary. Being nosy, he checked it out and discovered she was in fact a murderous thief lately from Phandalin and wanted to set up shop in Greenest. Seducing Veneranda Gammidge the goatherddess, was just one of a long string of manipulations and a cover for her. Unfortunately for her career as a thief, she in turn fell in love with her own cover and was struggling to change her ways.
  • The heroes rest for a week or so, recovering from injuries and have a chance to bask in just being heroes before getting called back to task by Leosin Erlanthar.
The Dragon's in the Details
What has been learned thus far
  • Early on during the raid, the cleric was able to recognize the raiders as members of the Cult of the Dragon. These cultists are members of an evil group which creates dracoliches from killed dragons which are under their control.
  • The dragon attacking the town was neither under the cultists’ control nor dead, it was quite alive and in control of its own actions as it fled the storm which struck the town at the same time as the raiders.
  • From the interrogations of captured raiders they heard that the group has been raiding communities all through the Greenfields for loot and not all of them are cultists, but many are just mercenaries. The cultist turned out to be an initiate and bragged that he was a member of the Cult of the Dragon and that they were collecting loot “for the great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragons.” This cultist also let slip that the cult had a clutch of eggs they were hatching.
  • Because of the failed trap at the mill, the cultists were aware of adventurers getting involved with saving the town.
  • Langdedrosa Cyanwrath is a blue half-dragon serving the cult and has marked the face of the character that fought him in single combat, which also proves the cult know adventurers are involved.
  • Leosin Erlanthar is a monk which had become alarmed at the unusual rise in cult activities in the Sword Coast and took it upon himself to investigate, becoming trapped, though not entirely on accident or unwillingly. His time during captivity was especially brutal, and considered it cut short by his rescue. However he learned much to be cause for great alarm.
  • In the camp, a salute was common, the words “Praise Tiamat’s Glory!” and a handsign of an extended hand with all the fingers outstretched. Though some used a similar handsign with a couple fingers curled under the hand.
  • A large number of kobolds were present because their worship of dragons made them easy to manipulate. An accurate count is impossible but anyone’s best guess is between 80 and 150, although they slightly outnumber the non-kobolds.
  • There were hunters from outside the cult which roamed the grasslands for game to feed the camp, and a portion was stockpiled in the cave.
  • Prisoners were kept for demeaning manual labor and eventually worked to death and then fed to the drakes. Some converted.
  • The cave was referred to as “The Nursery.”
  • A female black half-dragon named Resmir was Leosin’s chief tormentor. It was she that first came to the area and scouted the camp, turning operations over to Frulam Mondath. Langdedrosa Cyanwrath is Mondath’s right hand.
  • The raid on Greenest was the largest settlement the cult attempted to plunder and it was also by far the most successful and richest.
  • Everyone was under orders to loot and noone was permitted to keep any for themselves, it all had to go to the Great Hoard. It is kept in the cave but noone knows how much is there, it surely must be a great heap!
The Mouth, Does It Bite?
Session 2
  • The party comes along a band of stragglers attempting to cook some stolen chickens.
  • The halfling shinnies up a tree to get a better look and sees that it is in fact cultist raiders with a troupe of kobolds.
  • The halfling uses vicious mockery to belittle their cooking skills and immediately draws their ire.
  • The remainder of the party hides in a gully for a moment before realizing the kobolds are backing away and talking amongst themselves.
  • The cultists are handled readily and the kobolds just fade into the scrubland.
  • Chicken is eaten by the party as a few of the “dead” cultists attempt to sneak away.
  • The cultists are re-deaded, then one is saved at the last moment for questioning.
  • The cultist refuses to be intimidated, taking a branding to the cheek from one of the cooking skewers by the halfling.
  • The monk has a bad vision while meditating and slays the cultist.
  • The halfling says he wasn’t done and spares the dying.
  • The cleric removes the prisoner’s boots and plucks a feather from a chicken and proceeds to further the torture, which after a few minutes he cracks and tells them about the rear guard which has fortified itself about two miles down the path.
  • The cleric then persuades the cultist to change his ways, unties his feet, stands him up and points him towards town.
  • The party finishes lunch and continues to the camp, skirting the rearguard by a wide margin.
  • The halfling alters his appearance to that of a kobold, disguises the monk and they strip the cleric of arms and armor and tie him up as a prisoner.
  • The party walks straight into the camp unmolested but has to spend a fair bit of time not getting lost, avoiding direct questions and find where the bosses are camped.
  • The party is firmly threatened upon trying to go to the boss’ tent, but see where the rest of the prisoners are tied up in the process.
  • The cleric is locked up with the other, more malnourished and battered, prisoners, and they see one especially abused half elf dressed in a dirty and torn gi suspended from a St Andrews cross.
  • The halfling knows his spell will wear off so he hides in the bushes with all the gear.
  • The disguised monk fed the prisoners moldy gruel and learns one of the cult’s hand signs in the process.
  • The cleric surreptitiously casts cure wounds on the half elf.
  • Shortly before nightfall the monk challenges the guard to a drinking game, looses and has to stand watch in his place while hungover.
  • The halfling comes out of hiding, gets the key from the monk, and frees the prisoners.
  • The half elf is carefully lowered to the ground.
  • It is decided, that under the cover of darkness the escape would be made by climbing the cliff, traveling along the top of the plateau and descending the south-eastern slop and making a circuitous path back to the trail some miles distant.
  • The monk drinks a spider climb potion and goes to the top with a rope, but can’t tell when it’s time to lower it, so the halfling joins him.
  • A few of the prisoners are too weak to make the climb and fall to their death waking the camp while the party is clinging precariously to the cliff.
  • The escape is effected as the camp is in disarray, but the escaped prisoners are noticed immediately and the search is begun.
  • A four hour brisk hike becomes a multi day ordeal and they are just out of food and exhausted when they come back to the trail near Greenest.
  • The monk runs ahead to town and comes back with a wagon.
  • Governor NIghthill thanks the party and awards them the promised 250gp.
  • Leosin tells the party what he knows and beseeches the party to return to the camp to watch and learn what they can, any changes might be vital. He offers them employment for 150gp each.
  • Leosin is going to rest and recuperate and tells the party to meet him in Elturel if he is no longer in Greenest, and if all else fails to pass on any information to the paladin Ontharr Frume.
Preserve, Persevere!
Session 1

The session opened with discussion about which was going to be better for the well being of the townspeople, a secured food supply or the emotional support that the temple of Chauntea represents. It was decided that if the mill was unable to be saved, that by preserving the temple and priest Chauntea would bless the town with recovery. Thus the adventurers headed to the temple.

  • The old tunnel needed to be opened. Fortunately the Castilian was present and had the key. * After removing piles of barrels and crates from the gates leading below, the long unused lock gave in to the persistence of the key and revealed a damp, web choked tunnel leading nearly straight to the creek.
  • Swarms of rats were surprised and nibbled at the adventurers in defense of their home.
  • Finally at the end of the tunnel the key was nearly broken in the neglected lock, which yielded with a groan which the patrols of raiders seemed not to hear.
  • Sneaking along the high creek banks the party made it to the rear of the temple just in time to see a large group walking around the temple, beating on the walls and throwing debris through already broken windows.
  • A smaller group was stacking burning bales of straw against the back door.
  • The boom of a battering ram could be heard from the far side of the temple.
  • The monk sneaks up close using the noisy armor of the cleric as a distraction.
  • The storm knocks down a tree narrowly missing the cleric.
  • The raiders tending the fire are handled swiftly and a survivor is chosen to be taken back to the keep for interrogation.
  • The pile of straw bales is only smoldering and easily removed from the door.
  • The terror stricken commoners are herded out by the Priest and the adventurers as large cracks appear in the front door.
  • The adventuring party swiftly returns to the tunnel passage narrowly avoiding discovery.
  • A short rest is taken and the adventurers hurry to save the mill.
  • As they near it, they surprise a few raiders outside, and on further inspection none of the fires surrounding the mill are particularly dangerous.
  • Upon investigating the mill interior, the insightful cleric says it feels like a trap and the party avoids being surprised by the group lurking in the shadows.
  • The mill is saved and another prisoner is taken in for questioning.
  • Upon returning to the keep they hear that the raiders are members of the Cult of the Dragon, a fanatical group which hunts dragons, slays them, raises them as dracoliches under cult control. Which does not seem to jive with the very much live dragon circling the town. Further they are under instruction to gather as much loot and treasure as possible and are forbidden to loot for themselves, only for “The Great Hoard.”
  • The sally port on the side of the keep, usually for sending out counter attacking parties, is suddenly broken through as it was in poor repair as had been the tunnel gates.
  • Intruders were repelled and a mage was found to repeatedly cast Mending on the doors.
  • As the dragon swooped low the dragonfear overwhelmed many, including the mage which stopped mid-spell and ran into the darkness to be slain by the raiders.
  • The dwarven Castilian and cleric used their skill to reset the door, but not before a second group tried to break through, which was also repelled.
  • Several guardmen are slain as the dragon breathed lightning as he passed overhead.
  • Suddenly everything got quiet, then there were shouts as a tornado came through, the dragon departed to safety.
  • The tornado ripped up part of the town and as it dissipated, pulled a few people and items out of the keep.
  • The bard snared the airborne cleric with an arrow to which had been affixed a rope but was ultimately unable to fully reel him in before the tornado moved on dropping him some 50 feet in the air, to drop over the side of the keep dangling on the end of the rope.
  • As the sun comes up a blue half dragon hails the keep offering an exchange of prisioners for honorable single combat.
  • The monk steps forth and with his flurry of blows knocks the half dragon down, but then makes the mistake of striking him while he was down.
  • The half dragon then handily kills the monk, and deals a second intentional killing strike before commanding the remaining prisoner to be set free and departing with the rest of the raiders.
  • The monk is saved by experienced medics and is rewarded two healing potions by the Governor.
  • The adventurers choose to take a long rest after their grueling night.
  • Governor Nighthill approaches the party and asks them to scout the raider’s camp to ascertain the future risk t the town and the real purpose of the raid.
  • The acolyte of a missing monk also approaches the party and asks them to seek for his sensei in the camp.
  • A few miles outside of town one of the adventurers falls though the crumbling roof of a buried chamber which turns out to be some of the remnants of an earlier civilization.
  • Riddling columns are discovered and most of the riddles are answered.
  • Undead are found lurking in the corners, perhaps former guards or other servants.
  • Several items are found, including potions, one for each properly answered riddle.
The Keep Besieged
Prelude to Session 1

As you catch your breath after the harrowing dash up the hill to the keep of Greenest, the heavy doors clang shut. The sound still ringing in your ears, a male human of post middle years approaches. His fine clothes bloodstained, his right arm in a sling and the right side of his head and face is bandaged. He stops to speak with a few of the commoners you rescued. One of those commoners points you out and he turns to you.

“Well met adventurers. I am Tarbaw Nighthill, and at the behest of the citizens I am Governor. I bid you welcome to our town of Greenest. Unfortunately our accommodations are rather sparse at the moment. I assume you understand our present difficulties. Linan tells me you happened along just in the nick of time and saved her and her family. I also saw others come along with you when you entered the keep. For this allow me to express our gratitude in the name of the town of Greenest. Please join me upon the parapet, we can get the best view from up there.”

Part way up the steps to the parapet the wind begins to rise and it stirs your hair and ash drifts over the edge. You can see the storm is almost upon you, and whirling overhead is a great blue dragon. Chanting from below rises to your ears and you can make out a name, Lennithon. Spears clash on shields below creating a dissonant noise which makes it hard to think.

“This is our castellan, Escobert.” Introduces Governor Nighthill, “he is master of the keep and in charge of its defense.”

“Well met,” replies Escobert. He is a stout dwarf with wind tangled bright red hair. On his belt is an enormous iron ring laden with many keys of brass and iron.

A sudden crescendo of noise from below triggers a feeling of deep dread. Pressure in the air above you seems to build, your skin begins to prickle. You can see Escobert’s hair begin to float and stick out. Surveying through the gloom and smoke, the clearing around the keep swarms with raiders. A small group is promenading around the keep yelling, and beating on shields.

“If only I had someone to question!” Bemoans Governor Nighthill, “then we might know their true motives. They haven’t made much of an attempt to take the keep. They seem to be content with us bottled up here, but I fear for those that have not made it to safety.”

“Seems to me we might have a few enterprising individuals,” says Escobert sizing you up. “There is the sally port a few brave souls could run out through to brave their way through the lines. We’ve never had a siege, but there is an old tunnel that reaches to the creek. It might be in a sorry state but shouldn’t take too much work.”

Just then someone in robes embroidered with sheaves of wheat runs up the stairs. “Governor! I can’t find Father Falconmoon anywhere! I fear he must still be at the temple!”

“The temple is a stout building but not one made to resist something like this.” Says Governor Nighthill, his brow furrowing. “And I wonder how many more people are also sheltering there, doomed to slaughter.”

“Governor, look!” Exclaims Escobert, “there’s raiders at the mill with torches! They’ll burn it and all our flour and feed stores!”

Governor Nighthill speaks, “We must gather guards to send to the mill. Of all the town, that loss would be sore. It’ll take some time to gather enough men to deter the raiders. Someone must go now or we’ll only be guarding ashes.” Governor Nighthill turns towards you. “We are in a sorry state this night for visitors and I fear our entertainment must be self provided. On behalf of Greenest I would request your aid. No promise of reward can I offer with the sacking of the town happening around us.”

The wind begins to pick up and a few fires below begin to smolder less, the smoke starting to clear.

  • Go to the forum The Keep Besieged for any questions and comments about the prelude.

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