Tyranny of Dragons

Seeking Varram the White

After the First Council of Waterdeep, Leosin Erlanthar and Onthar Frume took the adventurers aside and advised them to go after Varram. This dwarf known as Varram the White was on the move away from the main forces of the Cult of the Dragon. He was reportedly looking for the White Dragon Mask as there were rumors it was stolen from him.

He was last seen around Boaraskyr Bridge near the Serpent Hills. Leosin took the group to

… in progress

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Chapter 8: Castle in the clouds
Part 1

After the group successfully infiltrated Skyreach castle, they were now faced a difficult question, What now? the group wandered almost aimlessly throughout the castle trying their best to remain inconspicuous. however as they traveled to the lower levels of this castle looking for safe spot or a path for a emergency exit. They came face to face with a adult white dragon hanging from the ceiling. the group withdrew from the area with great haste, yet decided to further interact with such a fearsome and powerful creature knowing full well it could kill them at any moment… if it so wished. Going back and forth from the dragon’s lair and the kitchen, Tusk hatched up a scheme to earn the white dragon’s trust. His idea which was validated by the group, was to give Glazhael a fresh sheep carcass, drenched in wine and frozen. UNFORTUNATELY, Glazhael hated wine as she knew it dulled the senses of any creature who drank it. Offended by this offering she breathed her freezing cold breath weapon onto the group. Tusk was fine,dodged the whole thing without so much as a scratch on him. everyone else however was far from OK. Crispus was so critically injured from the dragon’s breath that he was barely hanging on to life. Persuading the dragon seemed to be more trouble than what it was worth.

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Chapter 7 - The Hunting Lodge (part 2)
Part 2

This is Part 2.

Frulam was killed and the party enters into the Hunting Lodge with Barbie dragging Frulam’s bloody corpse to intimidate any would-be cultist resistance inside the building.

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Upon entering the lodge the team found no one inside. Bairon was checking each door for traps and locks as we proceeded.

Area 4 – the entry room is a cloak room with a guard post.

Step further inside past two sets of elven plate mail in chipped green paint left and right of the door. Inside was a wide staircase going up to a landing and then two stair cases going up left and right to the 2nd floor. In this space above the team the could see the 2nd floor balcony and doors into other parts of the house.

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Bairon quickly explored some of the rooms on the first floor. Finding Room 11 — a Trophy Room of various hunting efforts. Rams, Stags, etc. mounted on the walls and various taxidermy in glass cases about the room. Found the hallway between the main hall and the 2 rooms numbered 10 — but did not go into any of the doors beyond the hall.

Returning back to the main room — the team began going upstairs using the left and right stair cases. Jamna made her way up the stairs to the right first and checked doors to rooms, but skipping the first door she encountered. Checking the 3rd door near the balcony she seemed delighted by what was inside with a soft gleeful squeak and bolted inside. The rest of the team wondering what that was all about.

Bairon and Tusk headed up the stairs to the left and began checking doors. To the right, Barbie, Hale and Crispus headed up the stairs. Barbie opened the first door at the top of the stairs and were greeted by woman in white scale male with what looked like an icicle wand pointing at the party and 2 veteran cult members. She introduced herself as Talis the White and that were welcome and that she could do business with us given that it appears we had slain Frulam. She pointed and indicated the halberd that Barbie was now carrying (Frulam’s weapon). Talis said she was please that Frulam was slain. She let us know also that Rezmir must have come from the teleportation stones, skipped past the hunting lodge and went on to the town of Parnast. Rezmir did not warn Frulam that possibly the team was behind her coming through the portal. Talis found this delightful, Rezmir betrayer her sister cult member. Talis let us know that SHE is was to become “The White” — a rank within the cult that represented the expert in white dragons. SHE was that expert, she knew so much more than Varam (the White — pfft she spits). That despicable dwarf stole her position and claimed the White Dragon Mask with the support of Wyrmspeaker Rezmir the Black. With Rezmir’s backing the mask went to Varam. Talis would like to see Rezmir’s part in the cults plans come to ruin. Talis is quite blunt in sharing information with the team, as she had a powerful wand pointed at us according to Crispus’ assessment of the icy magic item.

….. in progress …. more coming ….

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Chapter 7 - The Hunting Lodge
Part 1

Cripus looked over the magical writings making up the teleportation circle in the dungeon of Castle Naeyrtar while the rest of the team kept guard for the oncoming wave of bullywugs and/or cultist.

Crispus whispered a word. The floor covered in fog suddenly had a hole appear in the mist in the shape of the circle and a soft FOOMP noise. The fog rolled back into the circle covering the floor. He said the word louder and this time the team heard it “Draezir” (draah-zeer). Again the fog had a hole in the shape of a circle and a FOOMP noise, the fog rolled back into the circle. Crispus took a loose rock placed it in the middle of the circle and said “Draezir.” The same effects again and the rock disappeared at the same time.

The team gathered inside the circle ready to leave the castle and the impending threat of being overrun by bullywugs and cultist. The magic word uttered.

Darkness. Everyone could see each other but blackness all around. Everyone couldn’t breath. There was no air. Just as panic began to rise a sudden bright light all around. The smell of pine trees and cold wind blowing. As everything came into focus the team could see they were amongst trees with standing stones on each side of a rocky sandy circle. They were in the mountains with cold blowing wind. To each side of the circle they had appeared were other circles with other stones about 30 yards apart. Paths from the circles joined together into one path that stretched through the woods towards a hunting lodge.

hunting_lodge.jpg As the team stood there trying to understand where they were, the doors to the lodge open and several people and creatures come out. 2 guard drakes, 3 dragon claws, an cultist acolyte and …. then … Frulam Mondath!

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Those coming out of the lodge did not notice our team before they had a chance to dive into the trees and bushes for cover left and right of the landing circle. The cultist began making their way down the path towards the center ring where our team was hiding. The guard drakes sniffing the path and the air made their way to our team with the dragon claws behind them and Frulam and the acolyte behind them spaced out about 30-50 between groups. The guard drakes were fooled visually by the illusions put up by Jamna (gnome illusion) and by Crispus to hide the team. But when the drakes poked their snouts though the illusion right up to our team, the battle began.

Many of the team focused battling the guard drakes and the 3 dragonclaw cultist. Crispus focused his repeated fireball spells on Frulam and the cultist next to her.

Throughout the battle, Frulam healed the acolyte next to her and fell back to get out of the range of the incoming fireball spells. To no effect however as the acolyte and Frulam were blasted repeated by Crispus and the acolyte died. Frulam drank healing potions and fell back. Putting up a protection spell (Guardian Spirits) — demonic looking black shrouded figures swirled around Frulam causing the approaching team to reconsider attacking her. The rest of the team had taken out the cultist and guard drakes and now were bearing down on Frulam who was now alone.

There was a moment of recognition when Frulam looked at Barbie — “barbarian village girl ….”. She looked to Bairon the teifling rogue for mercy. “I have secrets! Information you need to know.” Blood gurgling from her lips as she got to her feet barely hanging onto life. Bairon said if she surrendered to him he would protect her. Barbarian and Crispus said the would have Frulam dead even if they had to kill the new member of the team. Hale state that if we offered sanctuary in exchange for what Frulam wish to reveal then it would a bargain for which he’d stand up and aid in Frulam’s protection.

Barbie let fly two axes at Frulam to kill this deal and the villain at the same time. Frulam swayed to her right and one axe flew past her very close and then she turned to see where the other axe was headed — just as it cleaved into her face with a wet CHUK! Frulam fell backwards and blood sprayed into the air. She was dead. Crispus giggled with evil delight and came up to the body, blasting the corpse’s head into oblivion with eldritch power.

Barbie grabbed Frulam’s remains by one of the feet and dragged it into the lodge as the team entered the front doors.

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Chapter 6 - Castle Naerytar

153castle.jpgThis will be brief info. Nothing too descriptive and flowery so I can get through all of this without writing a book.

Leaving Carnath Roadhouse where 30 lizard folk porters were killed in the tunnel before retrieving treasure. The team headed into swamp towards Castle Naerytar.

Wanting to know where the treasure was going once it left the roadhouse and to the castle and beyond. Also, Crispus and Barbie had scores to settle with Rezmir and Frulam Mondath.

It took 2 days to reach the castle. On the way lizard folk were seen leaving the castle doing some ritual in the woods. Zaxxonox talked to them. Found they were reaching out to the spirit of Suncaller their slain shaman leader. Killed by Pharblex Spattergoo the witchdoctor-like leader of the bullywugs.

The lizard folk said they would join our side during the castle raid — if it looked like we were going to win. They’ve been so oppressed by the bullywugs and the cultist — they were trying to just survive the current situation. They also mentioned the black dragon in the swamp by the name of Voaraghamanthar. The cultist had a working relationship with the dragon, but they were hoping their “prayers” would change the dragon’s mind and have it clear the swamp of these intruders.

Observing the castle before the raid — we saw that Rezmir and the red wizard Azbara Jos were present and giving orders to the bullywugs to find us in the forest swamp.

The raid on the castle began with creating a magical illusion of a mighty warrior stepping out of the swamp forest edge to challenge the bullywugs. They raced to attack and then a fireball wiped out most of them in one blow. While this was going on the rest of the team made their way into the castle. Lizard folk had taken out some of the bullywugs in the entrance and taken out the ones that would use the signal drum in the 2nd floor of the barbican.

First Level of Castle

The team rushed in. Bullywugs were throwing spears from the 3rd floor of the back tower down onto the entryway bridge and court yard. Upon entering the base of the back tower, the team encountered some lizard folk. Tusk had a brilliant idea of saying to them "For Suncaller!’ as a battle cry to the lizard folk — they were immediately on our side. Rushing up the back tower stairs, took out the bullywugs firing down into the bridge and courtyard. After clearing them out — opened 2 doors — 5 giant spiders come out — battled them.

Third Level of Castle

During the spider battle. Some of the team split off to take out someone using the drum to signal reinforcements. Jamna and Hale went to do that — during this time Bairon (Jared’s character unknown to us) — was in the castle doing a mission on his own. He saw Jamna, and followed her — asking what she was doing here. No time to explain — had to silence the drums. Bairon, having been in the castle for the past couple weeks knew the drum signals and he was able to use the drum to signal “all clear” and stop bullywugs from rushing to the castle.

Coming down from the back tower, the team headed into the bullywug barracks looking for Pharblex Spattergoo. Taking him out would shake the ranks of the bullywugs and maybe disrupt their ability to respond with organized force. The team went through and killed about 20 bullywugs. Cleared the place. No Pharblex. Found some treasure in a chest (filled with lots of “lady things” — mirrors, brushes, cosmetic boxes, etc. — valuable but all things typically found in bedrooms of rich women — weird).

Second Level of Castle

Bairon was able to give us info about the castle layout — who might be where and such. Jamna vouched for him, saying she knew him from some previous encounters. Didn’t explain any more than that.

Team moved across the court yard and into the kitchen connected to the main dining hall. Dwarf cook Tharm Tharmzid yelled at everyone for tracking mud into kitchen and not having any game for him to cook. Shouted everyone into the dining hall with a meat cleaver waving.

Entering the dining hall, the team saw 4 dragon claws and 12 cultist. They are all working on going through loot. Polishing, cleaning and putting loot into new boxes. Zaxxonox was able to bluff and get the dragon claws to believe he was there to see Rezmir with the rest of this unknown team. They bought it, and sent someone to talk to Rezmir. This cultist came back after a few minutes and whispered to one of the dragon claws. The 4 dragon claws move into position and draw swords telling us to surrender. (Obviously Rezmir said she didn’t know us and gave orders for us to be captured.)

The battle begins. During the battle, one of the team witnesses the red wizard Azbara Jos leaving his tower and heading for the main hall. The cultist and dragon claws are pretty quickly taken out — right before the wave of lizard folk came in and their noisy approach signaled to Azbara something was up and he cast an invisibility spell.

The team goes after the red wizard and quickly have him killed. Crispus says we need to not let him die. Crispus seemed to be reacting to voices again. Barbie throws Azbara over her shoulder and down the stairs into the dungeon where the team hoped to find Pharblex and maybe Rezmir. Bairon said that the loot does go into the dungeon and that he heard there’s a portal down there. He’s not been allowed down there yet. Rezmir might be trying to escape through that portal.

During the battle in the main hall — Zaxxonox went invisible and then headed off to find Rezmir. He snuck up into a library area. Doors open. Cultist and dragon claws in that room saw the door open and suspected something. They moved towards him and Zaxxonox ran back to join us. AND also during this battle the drum started up again with some sort of alarm rhythm according to Bairon. Jamna and Hale left to take out the drum. Destroy it. They returned as the team was ready to head down into the dungeon warning us all that hundreds of bullywugs were coming out of the swamp forest and headed for the castle. There was no way out of here without wading through lots of bullywugs!

The team headed down into the dungeon with the wizard’s body — Crispus poured a potion down Azbara’s throat. He was revived. Interrogation began. Not much is learned. The wizard said he had “such surprises in store” for Crispus and then tentacle-like vines poured out from under his robes and consumed Azbara Jos and battle began against the Shambling Mound now in place of the wizard.

Dungeon Level of Castle

The shambling mound was defeated and it fell into vines, leaves pieces and parts. Azbara was gone. Huh? Crispus apologized for bringing the wizard back to life and started handing out healing potions to everyone that needed one. Strangely generous.

The team moved into the rest of the dungeon cavern. Wanting to not only find Pharblex and Rezmir but also find the portal to make an escape out of the castle. Making their way down into a frog-theme’d temple, found Spattergoo with 12 of his bullywug inner court. Another quick battle and they were all taken out.

Spattergoo had on him the star sapphire that belonged to Suncaller and it held a lot of the slain shaman’s powers. Howard knew upon handling the gem that this belonged to a powerful druid and that Suncaller was the tribe’s connection to the swamp and the life in the land of the Mere of Dead Men. Howard felt a calling within himself and within the sapphire. He knew what he needed to do. Howard decided to stay find within the tribe someone that could be trained to reconnect the lizard folk tribe to the land and to the power of this gem.

The team explored a bit more of the dungeon cave system. Found off the frog temple area, Pharblex’s chamber with a powder hallucinogenic trap over a chest with a few treasures. Then into another arm of the caves found a chamber with pools of low fog and below the fog were inscriptions in the stone. Crispus was able to figure out it was a permanent circle of teleportation magic. For the circle to activate and teleport us away to some unknown location, it merely takes the correct activation word. He began to study the writing to see if he could figure out this secret word or phrase.

Stay tuned for next week ….

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Character Cutscene
Sharpening the Tusk

Tusk is off at one of the nearby streams that feeds the town’s waterway thinking of recent events and the people fate has thrust upon him. It has been so long since he had words for the Wild God Silvanus, and he still felt unworthy, but he had questions and no answers of his own. His meditation is like a combination of the prayers his mother taught him and his father’s ‘listening to the natural voices’… so intent on it, Tusk slips into a trance. He studies the reflections of the stars dancing on the water and sees it as the dragon fire of his dreams which give him an understanding of nature being out of balance. He scoops the water up out of the stream, staring intently, but it doesn’t drain out of his hands. It ripples and floats above his cupped hands becoming a ball of water which he continues to peer into as if it were a crystal ball. He seems to catch glimpses of something in the water… hints of a path he must take and the burden he must bear.

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Raid on Greenest

Crispus Angelous, Tusk, Howard, Barbie the Barbarian, were traveling with a caravan from parts north of Greenest. Over the week of travel the 3 half-orcs gravitated towards each other and then this half-elf inserted himself into their group using his charm and silver tongue.

Upon reaching Greenest the caravan stopped on a hill about a half-mile away and watched as the town was assaulted by a blue dragon breathing lightning. The dragon’s roar echoed with a metallic reverberation as blue-white tendrils of electricity clawed into buildings and people below. Amongst the townsfolk running for cover, the group noticed members of a cult wearing purple along with swords-for-hire raiders. The cult members looked familiar to Barbie and Crispus. These appeared to be Cult of the Dragon members.

Barbie and Crispus begin discussing how they are here in Greenest to seek out members of this cult for revenge and much needed killing. The two of them charge into town.

Tusk and Howard look up on the devastation with mild fascination. They both have had dreams that looked like this, and the reason they have come to Greenest is a compulsion to prevent the coming destruction. However, they both were somewhat unconcerned with the fate of the town or its’ people.

Barbie and Crispus immediately began battling kobolds and dispatch a gang of them as a family of townsfolk escape. Then as they were resting, a large group of cultist and raiders moving from house to house begin approaching. Howard noticed that his new friends were unaware of this group approaching. Howard motioned to Tusk and they made their way into town to help their new friends.

The four adventurers took cover as this large group of cultist and raiders made their way through some for the buildings near by. They adventurers overheard the raiders talking about grabbing treasure and valuables and the group moved on to the next building.

Then another group of townsfolk running to avoid the cultist & raiders passed by the adventurers and said they were making their way to the keep. They knew a way around to the backside of the keep where there was a tunnel. The adventurers joined them and helped the group reach the tunnel and were able to force the drain gate off the tunnel. The townsfolk rushed in and encounter a large group of rats (much to the amusement of the the adventurers).

Once inside the group met Governor Nighthill who approached them with overly friendly physical contact and tried to hug people. Tusk shoved him away, thankfully not hitting the governor as he often does with others.

Nighthill thanked the group for delivering some of his townsfolk to safety and asked if they could assist him with another task. He took them to the top of the keep and showed the raiders and cultist in a ring surrounding the keep. He and the other leaders wanted to know the motivation behind this attack. Besides just stealing stuff, the coordination of a blue dragon and the systematic way this group had moved through the town, hinted at some greater purpose to the raid. He asked if the adventurers could sneak down into the camp and bring back a raider or cult member for questioning. The kobolds mixed into the raiders would be less reliable under interrogation. As Nighthill attempted to persuade the team, Tusk simple walked off to the tunnel to go retrieve one of the cultist and Howard wonder off as well to follow. Crispus and Barbie said to the governor they would return, made apologies and followed.

Upon reaching the outside. Howard motioned to Tusk to stay put with very little said. Crispus and Barbie where unsure of this communication and what was going on. Howard walked up to the edge of the raider camp and got the attention of 2 kobolds and just walked away. The kobolds were very curious and were inviting Howard back to the campfire. Howard just motioned for them and muttered “come. see.” The kobolds followed. As Howard returned with the 2 curious kobolds, Crispus lashed out at one of them with his demonic purple energy and killed it. The other screamed in alarm and Barbie quickly dispatched the 2nd kobold before it could alarm anyone. Howard stood there exasperated with the result. Tusk picked up one of the bodies and began walking back up to the camp, Howard did the same.

As they approached a group of raiders around a fire with two bodies in tow, Barbie and Crispus followed behind unsure of what was happening next. Tusk sat down the body stepped up and sat down next to the raider and reached for some meat very casually. Howard sat down the other kobold body and the cultist in the group began asking what happened and who killed these kobolds? Looking at Howard and Tusk (both being dressed in very simple natural gear) the raiders and cultist presumed these two were part of the group. Howard said “Let me explain” and then punched the cultist.

Battle began and at the end of the fight one cultist and one raider were knocked out and the rest of this small group of 6 were slain. This small group was on the outer edge of the raider camp and didn’t raise any notice from the rest of the raiders and cultist.

The adventurers return back to the keep with the 2 prisoners to be interrogated. Governor Nighthill was very pleased.

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Be a Part of a Faction?
You can choose one of these if you want ....

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Discover Player Factions

Just so you know in Faerun there are “factions” of which your character can be a part.

“The known player factions are organizations that have risen, been shattered, and risen again several times. Their longevity and resilience are largely due to their grassroots, secretive nature, and the near-autonomy of many of its members. The Harpers, for instance, have “cells” and lone operatives throughout Faerûn, although they interact and share information with one another from time to time as needs warrant. With the Zhentarim, their public face appears more benign than their otherwise power-hungry natures, offering the best mercenaries that money can buy. Whether noble warriors, rugged survivalists, or deceptive agents, your choice to join a player faction will help shape your involvement in the game’s ongoing story.”

Read more here: dnd.wizards.com/dungeons-and-dragons/story/factions

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Where Does It Begin?
In the Town of Greenest

compass.jpgThis campaign will be in the Sword Coast region of Faerun. The adventure begins in the Town of Greenest.

You can click on the links above to see maps. Or just go to the MAPS page.

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