Tyranny of Dragons

The Golden Stag and the Dissolution of the Band of the Kobolds
We killed all the baddies...

The caravan leader bursts into the camp incredibly excited about what the hunters have just told him. The Golden Stag has appeared and we know where we have last seen it. The caravan leader puts a bounty on the stag of 1000gp as he wants to add it to his trophy collection.

After Lian Lao, DoK stays back to watch over the Dragon cultists, Korin leads the party into the woods to try and track the Stag. He finds the last location of the stag very easily and begins to follow his trail. However, he soon finds that the other members of the party have started tracking Korin so as to be there as soon as the stag is identified. Once Korin notices that the group is being followed, he casts fog to distract them and soon splits the party up to lead their followers astray.

Once the party splits up from within the fog, most of the followers get distracted by Sir Fingrash of the Silver Paladin’s and [[:gracchus | Gracchus] while Korin and Fingrish split away. They soon recover the tracks of the stag and are able to catch up to it.

However, as Korin gets closer to the stag he is amazed to see the stag change into the form of an elf. Lehonti introduces himself to Korin and explains that he is under the curse of the stag whenever his homeland is under threat. Until that threat is resolved he can not have the curse removed. Korin after some questioning agrees to help Lehonti later that evening after he has spoken to his party.

Korin returns to the group and explains what is occurring and they agree to help. They return to Lehonti and get a recap of who has been seen around the fortress. Korin explores the area surrounding the fortress and comes and describes the course of action that they should take. Within a few moments, they sneak to the back of the fortress and attempt to scale the wall to the ballistae at the corner of the fortress. Fingrish and Gracchus decapitate the guard below the wall and scale the wall to the ballistae in a single turn.

There, they throw the guard off the tower and alert the rest of the guards to their presence, to their detriment. The cultists try to climb the wall and every time they do so Fingrish chops them down. Tiberrius uses the ballistae to destroy the cultists leader and even a cleric that emerges from one of the side towers.

After decimating the cultists in the courtyard, we enter into the tower, we descend a set of stairs and open the door where we see the two bastard assassins that thrashed us on the road to Waterdeep. They recognize us immediately and approach to attack us. They are confident they are going to destroy us as they had before.

However, Gracchus casts a spell and immediately restrains one of the assassins. With one of the assassins out of commission, we make short work of the assasin and cleric. When the second assassin is freed from the restraining spell he runs to a trap door across the room and drops into a room below.

We explore the room where we uncover a lot of interesting info about this second dragon cult, the claw of the kobold. We capture a few jars where the worm is stored and a few interesting letters from Rezmir. We store this in our packs and head to the trap door.

We open the trap door only to be blasted by a dragonkin breath weapon. We hunker down and shoot at a drake and dragon kin until we are able to drop them until only the dragonkin is left. He seems to become enraged and blasts us repeatedly with his breath weapon until only Fingrish is left standing and is severly hobbled. The dragonkin sees an opening to escape. He goes to the base of the tree, snatches what is a dragon egg, and escapes through the trap door. Furtively looking over his shoulder to ensure that we did not follow him.

After recovering from the blasts of the dragonkin, we escape the fortress just barely before it faded into the feywild. Lehonti, in his elven form thanks us for this service to his domain and gives us an elven bow before he fades into the feywild with the fortress.

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The Legend of Garg and Moonslicer
Legend of the Ogre Paladin...

I am Garg. I am strong. I am strong because I am Ogre. No-one in the forest is stronger than me. When I was young, the old Ogres make the rules, hit me when I don’t follow. Now I am older. I make rules. I go where I want. I eat what I want. I take what I want.

One day, I find something I want. Pretty pink-skin sharpclub. Bright stones on short round end, and long sharp end shimmers like pond water. I want, so I take. Little hard-shelled pink-skins have come to my forest with sharpclubs before, long time ago. They smarter than others. They know that they can’t hit stronger, so they need to hit better. I am going to use pretty sharpclub to hit stronger AND better. I am looking forward to using sharpclub to hit.

I am not expecting sharpclub to hit me.

Sharpclub is alive. Sharpclub is angry. It does not want what I want, and so it hits me. I have been hit before. I am strong so I can take hits. But it hits my mind, and I do not know how to hit back. For the first time in long, long time… I submit. Sharpclub is strong. Sharpclub makes rules now.

Sharpclub tells me what to do. Sharpclub makes me stop fighting others in forest. Makes me give up land. I do not want to, but Sharpclub makes rules now. I am not strong now. Eventually, Sharpclub stops being angry at me and starts being curious.

Sharpclub tells me her name. She is Moonslicer, made by pink-skin shamans for pink-skin warriors. I understand this. She was made to kill pink-skin enemies. But I am pink-skin enemy. She does not kill me. I do not understand this.

One day, while eating dinner, I ask Moonslicer. “Why do you not kill me?”

“I don’t understand your question,” Moonslicer replies.

“You are pink-skin sharpclub,”

“Greatsword,” Moonslicer interrupts.

“and you are made to fight pink-skin enemies.”

“I was made to destroy evil,” Moonslicer answers. She always talks in strange riddles. I have become used to this.

“Yes, evil. I know this word. It means pink-skin enemy. I am pink-skin enemy. I am evil. Why do you not destroy me?”

Moonslicer does not answer for long time.

“You are… “pink-skin enemy”, yes. And most people would say you are evil… but I am not sure. I expected you to fight me, but you didn’t. I expected you to resist when I told you to stop bullying the other creatures of the forest, but you didn’t."

“Moonslicer is stronger than Garg, so Moonslicer makes rules.”

“All the same… I think there might be some good in you, somewhere.”

“…what is Good?” I ask.

“Good is…” Moonslicer stops talking. I can feel she is confused. “Good is… how to describe it? It is…” She stops again. She is quiet for a long time. “You know, I believe the best way to explain it is to show you. Go to sleep Garg. Tomorrow, we will start doing Good.”
Next day, Moonslicer leads me to pink-skin home, in the middle of fields. No pink-skins there right now. She shows me broken walls. Tells me to take stones and fix walls. Then we leave. I do not understand.

“Why do we fix walls?” I ask.

“Those walls protect the humans from harm,” Moonslicer says. “They have been torn down by raiders over the years. By repairing the walls, you have made the humans more safe. More strong.”

“Why do I make them safe?” I ask. “I am pink-skin enemy. I do not want them to be strong.”

“Patience, Garg,” Moonslicer says. “Have patience and faith. You will understand eventually.”

I do not believe her, but I say nothing. This does not make sense. This is pink-skin strangeness.

For the next two seasons, Moonslicer keeps sending me out to pink-skin lands. Fixing walls. Catching cows and taking them back to paddocks without eating them. Sometimes she makes me scare humans on roads. Sometimes she makes me hide from humans on roads. She calls the ones I scare “bandits” and the ones I hide from “merchants”. I do not understand the difference.

“The merchants are weaker humans,” Moonslicer says. “The bandits are stronger, and want to take from the merchants. You are driving them away from the roads so that they do not take from the merchants anymore.”

“This makes sense” I say. “They are stronger, they take what they want. But why do you make me scare them so they cannot?”

“Because it is not good for the strong to take what they want from the weak.”

“This Good does not make sense. I will never understand”

“You will understand” Moonslicer says. “Have faith.”

For many more seasons, Moonslicer makes me do many things I do not understand. Eventually pink-skins… humans… start to see me. At first they are afraid. I understand this. But they slowly become less afraid. They no longer run when they see me. I do not understand this. I dig long ditches from the river to their farms. I build walls along their roads. I bring large sacks of food to their towns and leave them there.

One season, there is a great storm. Moonslicer wakes me during the night, urges me to leave the cave and go to the human lands. There is a town I have been near many times before. The river that flows through the village is flooding. The humans are splashing, shouting, drowning. They are scared. Moonslicer sends me through the flood to their homes. I lift humans from the water and put them at the top of the homes. I do this again, and again. I am tired, but Moonslicer pushes me on. I save more humans, I wade through the water that is up to my chest. I save the male humans, the female humans, the young humans, the old humans. I save all of them. When the dawn comes and the water goes down, I am more tired than I have ever been. I sink to my knees. I know the humans will kill me while I am asleep but I am too tired to get away. I fall asleep.

I wake up. I am not wet, cold or tired. I am warm, dry, resting on something soft and comfortable. I recognize it as a human barn – I have brought escaped horses to these before. I am covered in many skins. I am lying in dried grass – the humans call it hay.

A male human comes in. He sees I am awake. He does not run or look scared. Instead he smiles. He brings a large bundle up to me. The bundle has meat in it. Good, cooked meat. Better than I’ve ever tasted. I watch him carefully, but I am hungry and I concentrate on eating. Once I am done, he takes the bones and the bundle away.

The day goes by, and many humans come to the barn. Some hide by the door and only stare at me. Others come in. I recognize many of them as the humans I saved last night. I am still tired, so I lie in the barn. I feel… I do not know how to describe it. The humans do not threaten me, but not because I am stronger. Finally, in the evening, many humans come to the barn. They bring Moonslicer with them.

“I have been negotiating with the humans on your behalf,” she says. “They are going to give you this barn to live in as a new home. They will give you food, while you keep the roads safe from bandits and help them tend their flocks and fix their buildings. I will stay with you to guide you.”

I am quiet for a long time.

“I do not understand.” I say. “If I was strong, and I came to take these things, they would not give them to me. They would run, or fight.”

“But you didn’t come to take them,” Moonslicer replied. “And that is what makes the difference. You have made the humans’ homes safe. You have protected their merchants. You have rescued their animals. And now you have saved their lives. And because you gave and gave and did not take, they now want to give to you, freely. And as long as you do not wish to take, you will receive. By serving them, you are now more free than you ever were in the forest. Not because you are strong. But because you are a friend. They are your strength now, and you are theirs. This is what Good is.”

And I understand.

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Bill the Pony needs our help! and other tales...
End of Marpenoth and beginning of Uktar

We awake and begin our breakfast during a very foggy morning. As everyone grabs a mug of coffee and begins to stumble about preparing for the day, a few shadows emerge from the darkness. All of a sudden, our campsite is overrun by spiders and ettercaps. As we fight for our lives, the ettercaps target our horses and begin to drag them off into the forest. As soon as each ettercap has grabbed a horse, the spiders disengage and turn to flee. We are left hurting very badly and would have all perished except for the timely aid given to us by Gracchus.

After ascertaining the status of the caravan, we determine that all of the horses have been taken and the caravan is effectively stuck in place unless we can rescue the horses. So we gather about Korin and follow him as trails the path left by the ettercaps and the horses. After several hours of tracking down the horses, we come to a heavily wooded area where webs link the trees in an unending span.

Korin and Lian sneak up to a glade hidden among the trees where they see the ettercaps wrapping the horses in webs. After a short consultation, Fingrash attaches some clockwork toys to the panther and send him out amongst the ettercaps. Like a moth to a flame the ettercaps and spiders, chase after the panther leaving the horses unattended.

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From Baldurs Gate and onto Waterdeep
25th of Elient

We disembark in Baldurs Gate and head to the trade office of Akin Selabon. We pass him our letter of introduction from Unthar Frume and he looks us over for a second time, this time with a bit more care.

He lets us know that he could probably get us set up as caravan guards for the next mercenary train that rolls by if its the one we think it is. We spend a few days within the city waiting for the cultist bands to arrive. We establish our bona fides as a group of mercenaries and after spending a few days getting to know the patrons, Akin has set up interviews for each of us. Fortunately, each of us are selected in some capacity as mercenary guards for the next caravan that is leaving. We join up and begin the long, tedious to Waterdeep.

After we have travelled on our way, we have few incidents that elicit any type of requirement for our services. The only real exciting incident is when our caravan is beset by a few peratons. They wreaked havoc among the caravans, scared off a few horses, but overall they were dispatched without much difficulty,

The next incident we come across is one in which we see a group of individuals firing upon a caravan. After we sneak closer, we see a well ordered group of hobgoblins surrounding a caravan. Fingrash approaches them and attempts to negotiate their release. He uses some quick thinking and is able to persuade the hobgoblins to allow us to go through as well as release the other caravan. The other caravan is grateful for our assistance and joins us as we continue our journey to Waterdeep.

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Chasing down leads in El Turel
21 of Elient

We arrived in El Turel, the city of paladins, seeking the inn of Unthar Frume. After an extensive search throughout the city we were able to track him down in the inn of the Red Stag. We each took comfortable rooms in preparation for our tasks the next day. Lian left the inn early to meet with his contacts at the monastery of the Four Elements.

Lian attempts to engage Unthar to discuss the rumors he has acquired and to ascertain the whereabouts of Liosin. Unthar is so drunk he cant even take two minutes to speak. He asks me to meet him later after he has had some time to gather his wits about him, around 8 in the evening, 12 hours from now. What a waste of time.

Gracchus has gathered a group of followers around him as he has provided blessings to those he has passed in our journey from Berdusk. His followers direct him to the temple where he is able to find nourishment to his soul as well more individuals seeking his blessing. He is slowly gaining a name for himself as a very competent and kindly healer.

D’vynn sees a fellow tiefling as he entered the city and slowly moseyed over to him. With a sidelong glance, they duck into a nearby alley and they began to exchange some info about the more seedy parts of the city. Following their conversation, D’vynn wanders into a basement and then through a few doors and finds himself in an underground market.

He scans the slaves on sale and makes a few discreet inquiries regarding a few of the more sturdy chaps. He then sees a women, bent over with age, standing outside a covered stall near a darkened corner of the room. She crooks a finger at him and nods over her shoulder at her stall. D’vynn looks around, surprised that she has singled him out from the people in the room and is intrigued at what this woman has to do with him.

He enters into her stall and sits down on the cushion she indicated. She begins to draw cards from a deck, working out his fate. The only card that consistently was shown is that of death. D’vynn scoffs at her foretellings and leaves in a huff.

On his way back out of the market, he stops by the slaves market and through some careful negotiating tactics is able to procure 3 slaves and Bork, a large sword-wielding mercenary.

Tiberius spends his time in the city making inquiries about his family. Unfortunately his search yields no fruit and he still holds onto hope that they are alive. His hopes are rapidly diminishing as the news he has received is more and more dire.

Korin takes this time to meet up with the nobles in the city and begins negotiating with the lords and ladies to send assistance down to Greenest. He spends all day and most of the night in sessions discussing what he has learned and is eventually able to address and meet with the Lords of El Turel.

Our party gathers at the Red Stag Inn, waiting patiently for Unthar to make it down the stairs so our party can speak with him. As he mingles throughout the crowd, he eventually arrives at our table and asks for our name. Lian tells him that his name is Liosin. As this name is spoken, Unthar flies into a rage and begins to attack Lian.

As this unfolds, the patrons in the Inn leap to their feet in apparent readiness to come to Unthar’s aid if need be. Graccus reveals his holy symbol and instantly the people inn calm. D’vynn reaches his hand out Unthar and immediately he begins to calm down. Once he regains his senses, he tells us that we should follow him.

We accompany him to his room. His arm raises slowly and points to a closet in the room across from his bed. Lian crosses the room and slowly opens the door. His senses are assaulted by the sickly sweet smell of sulfur. A coffin is laid out in the room. Lian approaches and is able to see within the coffin. Liosin’s mangled body lay in disarray in the coffin, in several distinct pieces. On top of the coffin lay a note, which say. We are tired of your meddling. Leave the Cult of the Dragon in peace. Marked with a sign of the dragon.

We shut the door and discuss with Unthar what this means. Though it takes some convincing, we are able to get him to provide us with some more details about the rumors he has heard. He confirms what Gracchus heard in the bar. A group of some type left Greenest and was seen heading toward Baldurs Gate.

Unthar promises to give us a letter of introduction to a merchant friend of his in Baldur’s Gate so we can meet up with this caravan. However, before we leave, we mournfully attend Liosins funeral and say a few words over his body in prayer and blessing.

As Unthar prepares our travel arrangements for our trip to Baldur’s Gate, we gather certain items in order to be able to disguise ourselves.

The following day, we board our ship and head to Baldur’s Gate, hopefully arriving in 3 days.

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Fingrash's Prayer to Bahamut

“Bahamut, I thank thee for your words and wish to venture forth. Your blessing on my traveling companions and myself would be a boon, because, though I am short of stature I am stout of heart, quite with my voice, but loud with my actions. Please I ask of thee to lend me you wisdom and strength so that I may inspire others to take up arms and assist in fighting back the darkness.”

Bahamut blessed our party granting each party memeber inspiration.

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Misery in Haster
Farmers and Kobolds - 13th of Elient

We returned to Greenest after defeating Frulam and Cyanwrath in the dragon hatchery. While there, we returned gold and silver to Mayor Torball and asked him to distribute these goods to the people that most needed it. He was overly impressed with our generosity and promised to let the surrounding towns and villages know of our heroic deeds.

We left Greenest and made our way to Scornubel passing through Berdusk, where we stopped, resupplied and continued our journey with the utmost haste. On our way to Scornubel, we came upon a town called Bywater, where the most gruesome and vile scene lay before our eyes.

In our immediate view, we see a group of white, flabby bodies dancing around a shrine made of bodily waste and other detritus. As these villagers danced and frolicked in a large circle, another group of villagers lay curled in the fetal position rclutching their horribly bloated and distended stomachs. Some of the bodies lay dead, with viscera and entrails lay exposed and small two legged creatures wobbling about. The last group of villagers stand around the well, spitting and retching blood and small flecks of flesh.

The dancing villagers invite us to come take the worm and join in the revelries. Fingrash scans the villagers and immediately detects the evil aura that surrounds this place. Lian sees the mark of the dragon cult upon the bodies of those dancing and rushes into battle to slay them. D’vynn’s horse is spooked by the crazy chants and noise emanating from the villagers and drags him off into the darkness.

Fingrash, Tiberius and Lian leap into the fray to combat the cultists, while Gracchus and Korin fire into the crowd from distance. After a short time, the cultists are all destroyed. The wanton destruction of all the evil evident in the area sickens and confuses us. We can’t understand how these simple farmers can engage in such wanton acts of brutatlity.

We are jostled from our thoughts by a loud scream emanating from the nearby inn. Fingrash rushes into the room and is shocked to see these normally staid villagers engaging in all types of sexual depravery. The mark of the dragon lies upon the back of one person and we immediately see the influence of the dragon cult upon these people. Though we try to avoid it, we slaughter the people inside as they run themselves upon our weapons.

We leave the building sickened by what we have seen and done. We discuss what we’ve done and try to determine the best way to dispose of the bodies and to cleanse the village so no one else would ever have to witness this again.
As we look around, we see a building off in the distance, where we can hear glass tinkling and voices murmuring.

We journey to the house and see a group of individuals gather around drinking and laughing, one voice is heard above the others to say, “This village has been very profitable.”

Upon this being heard, D’vynn throws a rock at the window, breaking it and tosses in a Molo’tov’koko’tiel right behind the rock. Immediately, the inhabitants of the house try to escape. Fingrash does his best to fight these cultists but he is knocked down several times. Thanksfully Gracchus prevents him from dying. After a brief tussle, the cultists are defeated. We burn the bodies of the villagers and burn the village down to the ground. The evil of Haster will not be seen by anyone else.

We journey to Scornubel, where we rest for a day or so to trade and exchange our gems and gold, speak to the priests in the temple, and prepare for our journey to El Turel.

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Fingrish's Triumph

He remembered it well, the blue scaled creature that was an a front to his god. The foul creature had stood outside the fort of Greenest and held a family. He remembered the husband wanting to sacrifice himself to the beast for his family. He could not let that happen. He took the fathers place and faced the blue drgonkin in combat. He fell, painfully. But the mark left on his flesh was not nearly as terrible as the mark left on his soul. But the dragon was honorable for such an evil creature and kept his word releasing the family. While a great loss for himself it also brought him closer to the group that saved him after he fell.

He swore silently to himself that he would take vengeance on the blue beast and end its life. It took all of his willpower to not challenge the dragon when they first arrived at the cultist camp, and again when the teifling informed them that it was down that hole. Instead he waited, saved up his energy and prepared. When his eyes locked with the dragon’s he strode forward and let loose a challenge of single combat. He gave a small grin as the dragonkin accepted and headed to face it. His first blow hit true and Bahamut’s wrath filled his blade as he sliced into the beast. The dragonkin’s own blades hit though rarely as fiercely as his own. Though the dragon used all his might to fell the proud Gnome, the cleric gave a small prayer and brought him back to the world of the waking. As breath filled his lungs he stood and swung his blade,still glowing with holy light, and sliced through the dragonkins head, toppling it over and panting heavily on top of his felled enemy.

As the party cleaned up the rest of the cave system and pulled the dragon eggs they had been sent to collect from the swampy muck, he pulled the mighty great sword that was easily taller and maybe even twice the size of himself, away from the fallen dragonkin and snugly put it on his back. It was heavy but he was strong for almost any race.

He had claimed his trophy and slain an evil dragonkin for his god.

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The Dragon Hatchery - More to edit
10th of Elient

We leave Liosin to his travel north to El Terel and head back to the camp of the dragon cultists. We plan our arrival to occur in the evening to avoid detection. We hide ourselves above the entrance to the camp and observe what is going on.
The camp seems to be very lax in its discipline. The guards outside the entrance to the cave slouch against the sides of the cave. The tents have been cleared out accept for a few scattered around the camp ground.

We mingle for a few moments around the outside of the cave. One our group approaches the guards and tries to talk his way into the cave saying that he has a message from Cyanwrath. One of the guards leaves to take the message. The rest of our group approaches the remaining guards and immediately try to overpower them.

After a scuffle of a few moments, we are able to dispatch the guards without too much difficulty. We sneak further along and when the room divides into two parts, a path through a fungal garden or into a darkened hallway.

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Investigating the Dragon Cult - infiltrating the Camp and Extracting Liosin
4th - 6th of Elient

After being trounced by the rear guard of the Dragon Cult, we realized that maybe, just maybe, fighting each and every member of the cult may not be the best option. So as soon as we snuck up to the camp of the Dragon Cult, we looked over the hundreds, maybe a thousand followers and debated on whether or not we could fight our way in and out of the camp. We are not always the most astute individuals but we eventually reach a satisfactory conclusion. Camp Rumors

Our first task included a quick reconnaissance of the area. Afterwards we compared notes and identified the main tent, two watch towers, a protected cave entrance, and Content Not Found: null’s contact tied to a post. All in all, not a very small encampment. Through a few charms and skullduggery, we were able to enter the camp unobserved and mingle with the campers and gather bits and pieces of information from several of the groups that made up the camp.

We identified several mercenary groups as well as several cultist groups. Through our meanderings within the camp, we were surprised by how little order existed amongst the followers. With the precision the cultists had shown in their overwhelming display of power in Greenest, we had expected a more military organization here. Our expectations couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Lian was able to make to contact with Liosin, his contact, and after we had regrouped, we devised a plan to extricate him from his perch. Lian cast a minor spell so we were able to stealthily approach Liosin and untie his bonds. Thanks to the healing potion we slipped him, he was rather refreshed and was able to accompany us without too much trouble.

With Liosin in our midst, we were able to make our way back to Greenest without trouble. He informed us about the motives and designs of the Dragon Cult and their aims now make much more sense. In short, the cult is sacking towns to acquire people and gold to raise the standard of Tiamat once more. The cavern we saw is the location of several dragon eggs that are stored in a secure location deep underground.

Now we have a decision to make. Do we continue investigating the Dragon cult or do we try and capture more information about those that are making the decisions at the camp? We have the rest of the evening to decide. We head out again in the morning.

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