Tyranny of Dragons

A little Behind...

I have gotten behind in these posts, so here is a brief recap of what has gone on (in no particular order):

  • The Seekers were attacked by the cult right in Phandalin, destroying the work that has been done to rebuild the manor.
  • Drew got his father’s bow back from his old flame.
  • John became Iron Man
  • Lia now has Hazirawn in her possession.
  • Rolan received an extraordinary gift from Taern Hornblade to use against the cult, a Staff of Power.
  • King Melendrach tried, unsuccessfully, to discredit the Seekers with rumors connecting them to the cult.
  • The Seekers teleported to the well of dragons and snuck inside.
  • They found the temple of Tiamat and destroyed the wizards performing the ritual to bring Tiamat back to the world.
  • Tiamat appeared, weakened, and she was sent back to hell by the Seekers.
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Xonthal's Tower

After the attack in Loudwater, The Seekers head for Xonthal’s Tower on their shiny new Hippogriffs. In the early evening of the second day they arrive in the village that lies in the shadow of Xonthal’s Tower, which also bears the same name. Xonthal’s Tower is a tiny, sparse village where The Seekers must procure stabling for their mounts with a farmer, rather than proper livery.

A brief investigation in the village reveals that it isn’t uncommon for adventurers to seek the tower, and they are warned of the dangers of the maze, form which many do not return. They also hear an unsubstantiated rumor that a blue dragon has been seen around the tower.

As Rolan was anxious to try out his new spell, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion, they spend the night before tackling the maze in the morning.

The Maze

It is apparent that Xonthal did not want anyone around his tower. From the ground, it appears to be a well-trimmed garden maze. From above the truth is revealed: and overgrown mess of hedges that haven’t seen care in a century. The tower fades from view and there is an invisible barrier to prevent approach form the air. The maze is both the only path and a major obstacle.

Before entering the maze, they hear a voice calling out to them from high up on the tower. A human male stand upon the balcony waving something over his head and screams: “Heroes, they saw you in the village! I’ve taken the mask, but they’ll realize it’s missing within minutes! Look for me beneath the tower, for it’s the only place I have a chance to hide. This is the key that will let you teleport into the dungeon.” As he speaks, he holds up a second item–some sort to white, glimmering hourglass. "I will leave it behind after I use it, but others may find it before you do.

The speaker looks over his shoulder as another figure approaches. A flash of steel and spell-fire erupts and the figure who spoke pitches his assailant over the railing before running back inside.

The maze is actually a rather impressive magical construct of dimensional space. The main feature of which is a junction of garden paths with a sundial in the center, that serves as a puzzle. After fighting carnivorous flowers for pearls, Chuuls for a garnet, a gorgon for a diamond, animated armor for a bloodstone and testing their strength against a cyclops for a topaz, the path to the tower is revealed, as well as the exit to the village. Also revealed is a teleportation circle next to the tower and the body of a cult member which The Seekers saw pitched off of the balcony by who appeared to be Iskander.

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3rd Council of Waterdeep

The group teleports back to Waterdeep, only to find tragedy. When Rolan goes home he finds what appears to be his wife, dismembered with her limbs arranged is such a way that along with her head, presents the image of the 5 headed dragon, Tiamat. On the wall, in blood, is scrawled a message: “THE DRAGON QUEEN WILL RISE!”

In his rage and grief, Rolan burns his house to the ground.

However, The Seekers have a higher duty, and the council awaits. Before the formal meeting, The Seekers use the journal they have found to blackmail King Melandrach into an apology to the dragons for the dracorage mythal. One hopes that the King swallows his pride and lets this matter die rather than retaliate in some way.

The 3rd council yielded another lead. A letter has been delivered to Taern Hornblade, addressed to the “Champions of the Council of Waterdeep”:

“Friends,

You do not know me, but we can help each other immeasurably. My name is Iskander, and I made a terrible mistake in joining the Cult of the Dragon. The cult’s horrifying plans are sure to bring doom to all, but I can stop those plans with your help. Rescue me from the cult’s clutches, and I will deliver you the prize of prizes: the Blue Dragon Mask. Without it, Severin faces an insurmountable setback in his effort to call Tiamat back to our world. The mask is here in Xonthal’s Tower, being studied and guarded by only a handful of wizards, including myself.

The danger of my treason becoming known grows with every passing day, and if I’m discovered, I’ll surely be killed. Please hurry, for the sake of everyone and everything you value.

Iskander
Kythorn 19, 1489DR"

Hornblade personally expressed his support of the party and apologized for his previous lack of fatih.
He teleports them to Loudwater and gets them some hippogriffs to help them get to Xonthal’s Tower, then leaves

The cult attacks The Seekers the 2nd time, in broad daylight and in public. Their leader was the head of the Templar order and John’s father, who in a bombshell also confessed to killing Rolan’s wife. Accompanying them was a black dragon, who wreaked havoc on the townspeople, killing as many as two dozen, and injuring at least as many. Of course, The Seekers spend time aiding the injured and helping the townspeople deal with the dead.

The town master, Lady Moonfire, expressed her realization of the extent of the threat from the cult and offered The Seekers to keep the Hippogriffs, to aid them in their quests.

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The Misty Forest

Following the lead they received from Delaan WInterhound of the Emerald Enclave, the Seekers of the Stranger hired a coach from Waterdeep to Daggerford, then on to the Misty Forest. The spent the night resting in Daggerford before moving on with a fresh start in the morning.

As they are entering the forest, the are confronted by a group band of orcs who seemed to be trying to rob them. Rolan returned there greeting with a fireball in the face. The orcs fought viciously but ultimately met their fate fertilizing the vegetation.

Immediately after the battle, what appeared to be a half-dragon stepped out from behind a tree and offered to take Lia in single combat while his cohorts handle the rest of them. Rolan counter-offered with a wall of fireto the face, effectively dividing the battlefield.

One of the cultists got Drew’s attention by firing a lightning bolt from a bow…a very unique bow easily recognizable as his father’s bow, stolen some time ago. A moment of recognition passed between Drew and the bow, and the masked cultist and Drew before with a flourish of her cape, the cultist disappeared in a puff of smoke. The SotS, of course, dispatched the cultist fanatics without too much difficulty.

They didn’t have to tarry too long in Altand before uncovering the story there. There was a green dragon attack that devastated the village. Though the accounts as told by the villagers were conflicting, several told of a rider on the dragon.

The attack abruptly stopped after the dragon rider had a conversation with Galin, the warden of Altand who subsequently began acting as the leader of the village after the death of the priest in the attack. An interrogation of Galin revealed that he had made a deal with the dragon rider to spare Altand in exchange for information about other villages that would be targeted. Their interrogation also lead them to what would be the lair of the green dragon involved in the attacks.

The investigation of the lair was pretty straightforward: They walked in the front door and Drew announced who they were and why they were there. The resulting melee ultimately drew out every cult member including the dragon rider who turned out to be the green wyrmspeaker, as well as Chuth, the green dragon. In the end, the lair was cleaned out of all the cultists and the dragon was killed. Unfortunately, no information was able to be extracted from the wyrmspeaker…as he was killed needlessly.

However, in the search of the lair they did find his personal journal. It turns out he was an elf named Neronvain, the estranged son of King Melandrach.

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Second Council of Waterdeep

The second council of Waterdeep will begin with a debriefing on the events in the north in Arauthator’s lair, and the fate of Varram. It will end with the Harpers, the Order of the Gauntlet, Ambassador Brawnanvil of Mithril Hall and Taern Hornblade of Silverymoon, all agreeing that they will not be willing to commit resources to the cause at this time, in part due to their lack of faith in the Seekers of the Stranger.

Delaan Winterhound provides a lead to investigate in Altand, an elf village in the Misty Forest that survived a recent dragon attack. The SotS are also appointed as neutral representatives of the council in a council of dragons to the north. The metallic dragons’ envoy, a silver dragon named Otaaryliakkarnos in the guise of a human woman named Elia, allowed them a once in a lifetime opportunity and flew them to the council.

The two main events of the council that defined the encounter were the apparent antipathy the council’s leader Protanther has for elves, and the copper dragon Tazmikella’s recognition of Rolan’s staff as an item from her personal hoard that was stolen from her.

Protanther demanded that an apology come from King Melandrach for the dracorage mythal

The SotS agreed to the brass dragon Ileuthra’s demand that the dragon masks all be returned to the metallic dragons should they be recovered by them.

The return of Rolan’s staff of fire to Tazmikella, along with an apology, gained her support as well.

Despite the apparent tension between the dragons and the party, they were in the end successful in garnering they dragons’ support.

With the council complete, Elia offers to fly the SotS back to Waterdeep. Drew and John were conscientious objectors and used the teleportation circle to teleport back.

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The Crypt of Diderius

This week’s epic story begins in the library, where Our Heroes have encountered the manifestation of a ghost. Ser John, in his fear hatred of the undead, attacks her immediately. They then return to the previous antechamber for a brief rest before moving on to the throne room.

Of coarse moving on to the throne room was not that simple
as they failed to pay the proper respect and give the holy gesture of Mystril as they entered thus triggering mummies hidden behind tapestries to attack.

The throne room reveals a throne that resembles a cloud concealing a golden sun. Seated on the throne is a 12’ tall, regal, well-muscled humanoid male with a flowing white beard and purple toga. At his feet, a pile of treasure, apparently a tribute paid before moving on. Our Heroes wisely follow suit and pay as well, moving on to the dining hall.

In the dining hall, we see a strange sight indeed: At a table is 5…humanoid-looking creatures with purple skin and spiky tentacles where beards should be. Bearded devils. The pay Our Heroes little mind, and even inform them that to the south is a treasure room, and through the door to the north lies the room with the divination well. Our Heroes chose to investigate the divination well.

This large chamber that houses the divination well is strewn with strange, stone arrows, and a corpse lie on the floor. Rolan recognized that the strange symbol on the arrows is of the yuan-ti god Merrshaulk. An investigation by Drew reveals that the corpse on the floor appears to be that of a dragon cultist, and that he was killed not by arrows but by a dragontooth dagger.

Rolan investigated the dry divination pool that way dry. Really, really dry. He pours a little water into it and watches the water spread through the well and glow with a black light, the sight of which turns Rolan into a gibbering idiot for a short time before the effects wear off. The divination well being a mystery that they cannot crack, they move on to the next room, the tomb of Diderius.

This vaulted chamber contains but one thing: the large, elaborate sarcophagus on a stepped stone dais. A deep voice issues from the sarcophagus: “You approach Diderius in repose. I know what you seek. Yuan-ti have taken the one called Varram beyond their portal in the northern wall. Be prepared, for I shall open the way to peril.” With that, a secret door is revealed. Our Heroes, anxious as they may be to find Varram, are even more anxious about leaving a treasure room un-looted. So, they turn back and go to the treasure room beyond the dining hall, and the devils.

One their way through the dining hall, the devils let them pass once again. They enter the treasure room which appears to have been a well appointed bed chamber at one time. There are valuable books on the shelves and a chest filled with silk robes, a ring of poison resistance, and 2 scrolls of protection from energy. There is also a silver ewer and 4 goblets on a table that is filled with a yellowish vapor that when poured and drank like a liquid, grants advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance to poison damage for 3 hours. This can be used once per seven days. Our Heroes sleep in this room under the protection of Leomund’s secure shelter.

The next day as they attempt to pass back through the dining hall to explore the area beyond Diderius’ tomb, the devils do not let them pass. Our Heroes, in their fear, pay off the devils with 100 gp of gems each and go on their merry way.

As they pass through the tomb of Diderius again, Rolan is hit with a nigh overwhelming urge to commit suicide via mummy lord. Thankfully, the stranger guided them through and Our Heroes moved on into the lair of the Yuan-ti where they encountered all manner of snakey ickyness including two suits of armor animated into attacking by filling full of snakes that had poured out of the walls.

In the Yuan-ti temple is where they found Varram whose life is hanging by a thread, a victim of the torture and sick rituals of the Yuan-ti. Our Heroes bargained for Varram, agreeing to leave the Yuan-ti and not harm any more of them. They decide to rest again before teleporting to Waterdeep, during which Drew, in a fit of cowardice, viciously attacked the nearly dead dwarf and finished him off.

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Journey to the Serpent Hills
On the Trail of Varram the White

This weeks story begins in Waterdeep. There Our Heroes have arranged passage…or rather passage has been arranged for them by Leosin Erlanthar…on a ship. Taking a ship proves to be fast and relatively safe. So, on the Lady of the Coast they sailed south to Baldur’s Gate bringing them some 360 miles closer to their destination of Boareskyr Bridge, a small tent community on the trade way that caters to travelers.

Our Heroes didn’t linger in Baldur’s Gate, with all of the political turmoil and the rising power of criminal organizations that is probably for the best. While passing through, they generously paid 20-30% more for the horses than they were worth, thus improving the life of a struggling merchant and giving him the means to further enjoy the pleasures of drink, games of chance, and ladies of the evening.

So with horses and provisions, they continued on enjoying a peaceful trip until the second night when they were ambushed by a pack of 5 displacer beasts. This proved to be no more than a mere inconvenience to Our Heroes however. The 3rd night a pack of wolves and dire wolves led by 2 werewolves encroached upon their camp, killing the horses they had purchased. Lia only narrowly escaped the curse of lycanthropy. It must have been the fortune of Tymora that saved her, because The Stranger certainly did not intervene in her favor.

On the 4th day they arrived in Boareskyr Bridge and took a brief respite in Bolo’s Tentside Inn, a rough and tumble establishment in the center of the settlement. Once there they learned from the owner Bolo (an energetic halfling woman), that a dwarf in purple robes (Varram) had been through the settlement with a large entourage and had killed one of the scaled folk from the Serpent Hills to the northeast. Then they all left in that direction.

Our Heroes purchased a cart and hitched it to Lia’s warhorse (demeaning him in the process) and drove into the hills, following the trail of the dwarf.

Other than a spectacular display of showing off by Drew in killing a helpless Antelope from 600 yards…nothing much happened.

It was a few days until they found the end of the trail, a ruined village with an entrance to what appears to be the manse of a powerful wizard from long ago. The entrance is 30 feet up, but someone was kind enough to leave a ladder. On either side there were two 20 foot tall statues. The left depicting a bearded human male in exotic clothing holding a balance in his right hand and a cudgel at his side. His left hand raised as if in warning. HIs face is smashed beyond recognition. The right statues depicts a young human male also in exotic clothing holding a shepherd’s crook in his left hand and a sword at his waist. His right is raised in warning, just as the other statue.

As they approached the entrance, the statues they turn their shattered, featureless faces toward Our Heroes, and two voices boom out in unison:

“Halt. You come before Diderius, ether walker and conduit of clairvoyance. Behold ye now his wondrous triumphs. Diderius extends wisdom, and Diderius offers knowledge. Which do you seek?”

Of course, Rolan replied “We seek knowledge.” Nerd.

Inside the entrance they find the floor littered with shattered skeletal remains and 6 wizard statues with black, empty faces who watch them as they walk through. A thought simultaneously occurs to them all at once: " Some secrets are not meant for mortal minds to know. Look away from the darkness in which such knowledge hides."

As they entered the next room, they are greeted with a beautiful mosaic tile scene on the floor depicting a knight in plate mail wielding a glowing sword against a chimera. Once they enter, the tile chimera rises from the floor and attacks! Of course, Our Heroes defeated the tile beast. They then headed to room to the west.

This room is a round room about 30’ in diameter with a 10’ well in the center. The room diameter is important, as you will see in a moment. There is also a stair in the north wall, an empty basin at the top along with a lever. A bucket and rope also sits near the well. As it turns out, filling the basin with water and pulling the lever sends the water elsewhere through the wall. It is in this room that Our Heroes spend the night. They use their immovable rod to bar the door and Rolan creates a Leomund’s Tiny Hut, its 20’ diameter covering the well in the center of the room.

During their rest, trolls start to emerge from the well…inside the “protective” dome of the spell! This drove Rolan out of his spells area, thus dispelling it, and the rest of the party out of the room. Rolan then cast a wall of fire in the doorway, driving the trolls back down the well. An immovable rod over the hole in the bottom of the well prevented any other incursions by trolls.

After some much needed rest, Our Heroes move on. Their first act of the morning is to try to open the bulging, straining double doors to the north of the room with the tile chimera. This released an avalanche of stone from beyond the doors that blocks passage. So, their last choice is a downward slanting hallway to the east with a mosaic sun on the floor at the top. Part way down the sun slides aside and a boulder made of partial skeletons and miscellaneous bones rolls over the party and traps Rolan and John within it, threatening to bash them on the wall at the bottom of the chute. Rolan’s quick thinking in using the immovable rod allows them to escape before they are injured however.

At the bottom of the chute is a long, angular room with tapestry covered walls and a smell of incense in the air. As they enter, an unfamiliar voice is heard to whisper: “Humility proffered in the manner of Mystril shelters those opening the way to seeking knowledge.” A door to the east and a set of double doors to the north await exploration.

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Deep inside Oyaviggaton
A Meeting with Old White Death

Descending into the lair, Our Heroes must traverse a steep, 60’ stair of ice. They used ropes and pitons to mitigate the slipperiness. In the icy lair they have encountered many kobolds, which isn’t really all that surprising. They also encountered something they haven’t seen, Trolls specially adapted to the freezing north. Our Heroes dispatched their foes without difficulty.

Also in the lair, they the person for whom they were looking, Maccath the Crimson. She was a prisoner here. Arauthator used magic contained in texts stolen from the Arcane Brotherhood to keep her undetectable and keep track of her movements, so that she could study the magical texts for him. She agreed that if all of the materials that the dragon stole could come along she would help them and leave Oyaviggaton, and so she gave them information about the dragon as well as a few items she had made: a ring of cold resistance, and two arrows of dragon slaying.

Our Heroes, determined to slay the beast and armed with new weapons that will help them against him, descend 60’ down into the freezing cavern below. It is much colder down here than above and a cold mist rolls through the cavern. It didn’t take long for Our Heroes to walk right toward where Old White Death lay, and with a deafening roar the beast shook the entire ice cavern, dropping chunks of ice atop them.

However, Our Heroes got the drop on the beast and unleashed a flurry of devastation that nearly killed him before he could even react. Defeated and humiliated, Arauthator slithered into his secret escape tunnel and out to the freezing sea.

When Our Heroes ascend and exit the icy lair, they are greeted with cheers and gifts from the Uluik. They had seen Arauthator escape injured and can now disappear into the frozen expanse of the north. The chief told Our Heroes, “Though our paths are unlikely to cross again, if they do you will always have a friend in the Uluik!”

With that, Our Heroes did not delay in leaving the frozen wasteland to return to a warmer and more hospitable climate to the south.

They returned Maccath to Luskan, and moved on to Waterdeep without incident. While in Waterdeep Our Heroes visited loved ones and replenished provisions. John used some of his new found wealth to purchase better armor.

They then returned to Phandalin to check on the progress of their investments. They saw that the rebuilding of Tresendar manor has begun, and that a new Apothecary has already moved into town, a mysterious tiefling woman named Despair who has everyone on edge. Once she arrive, Grista the dwarf whom owned the Sleeping Giant disappeared, and Despair has moved into the building.

Their doesn’t yet seem to be any sign of the blacksmith whom Our Heroes hired to train the Phandalin blacksmith. Though, it has only been a couple of weeks.

Rolan and Drew went to check on their investments by going to the town hall and speaking with Harbin Wester who is tasked with managing them. All seems on track, though Sildar has apparently gotten himself caught up with Serana, a former companion of Our Heroes. He has been using her services, but has become smitten with her and thus jealousy consumes him.

Our Heroes, satisfied with what they found in Phandalin and getting a brief rest, use the secret teleportation circle to return to Waterdeep so that they can travel south to investigate the lead they got from Leosin Erlanthor concerning Varram the White, the white wyrmspeaker whom had the white dragon mask disappear from him.

Magic Items in Oyaviggaton:

Maccath -

  • Ring of Cold Resistance – Platinum ring fashioned to look like it is made from ice, with a clear blue stone “frozen” in it
  • 2 Arrows of Dragon Slaying (page 152 DMG) – used on Arauthator

Scriptorium Scrolls -

  • Gaseous Form
  • Haste
  • Protection from Energy
  • Water Breathing
  • Evard’s Black Tentacles
  • Fire Shield
  • Wall of Fire
  • Hold Monster
  • Chain Lightening
  • Disintegrate

Arauthator’s Lair -

  • Immovable Rod
  • Necklace of Adaptation (page 182 DMG)
  • Chime of Opening (page 158 DMG)
  • 1 jar of Keoghtom’s Ointment, 4 doses (page 179 DMG)
  • Potion of Growth (potions page 187 DMG)
  • Potion of Mind Reading (potions page 187 DMG)
  • Potion of Heroism (potions page 187 DMG)
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The Journey North
On the Trail of Maccath the Crimson

After the sounding of the mysterious Draakhorn, Our Heroes spoke to Lady Dala Silmerhelve, a Waterdhavian noble. She informed them that the foremost authority on the Draakhorn would be Maccath the Crimson, a tiefling sorcerer and member of the Arcane Brotherhood who disappeared 3 years ago while investigating the Sea of Moving Ice. The Sea of Moving Ice is also the last known location of the Draakhorn.

So, in pursuit of finding Maccath Our Heroes were outfitted with cold weather clothing and arranged passage on a ship created for plying the likes of the Sea of Moving Ice. The ship is a shallow-draft longship capable of using oars a single sail as the case may be. She is captained by Lerustah Half-face. The right half of his face was scarred by frostbite years ago while sailing the Sea of Moving Ice.

It didn’t take long for Frostskimmr to find Oyaviggaton, an iceberg said to be the home of a fierce white dragon named Arauthator, also known as “Old White Death”. Oyaviggaton is also a likely place that Maccath the Crimson was investigating.


[Native snow-mexicans] “Dragon? Red lady? Sorry, no comprende de common.”

[Fight with champion] Orcaheart, John…it was a close one.

[Shaman help] Shows them them an entrance to the lair.

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A Humble Beginning
Arriving in Phandalin

Our story begins in Neverwinter, where our heroes, Rolan, Talia, Alex and Drew, were hired by Gundren Rockseeker and Sildar Hallwinter for the task of escorting a shipment of supplies headed for the small town of Phandalin.

…bad stuff happened….

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