Hoard of the Dragon Queen - Dragons of Faerûn

SHOPPING, you get the Nissa discount

We spent some time diving up the loot from killing the wyrm. Everyone got a fair share of the loot. Blagothkustook the castle and headed out after giving Caleb a token that he could summon him back if ever we needed him again. Thankfully we had a bag of holding for the sliver that was left. At this point the head of Silvery Moon approached us with a company of knight all dressed up. They looked like they were ready for a ball not battle. He spoke of giving the town a cut of the treasure or some such none senescence, seems like typical lordly tax to me. Nissa Timbers gave her portion or the treasure to the town for an orphanage and we donated the rest of the silver and copper that we could not carry to the town. An owl landed with a message and scrolls of teleportation with a meeting time.
The rest of the time was spent acquiring trinkets, weapons, and potions from the owner of the shop. The shop owner was head over heels for her. Any worse I think he would have proposed to her on the spot. Nissa Timbers has to stop being so modest. She’s come along way and we have a long way left to go yet. Everyone made out well in the shop. I traded the sword for a horn that summons spirts, I hope it is enough help the group. Nightshade made a good point in saying that more help will aid Nissa Timbers. The shop keeper assured me it was a good trade he seemed like an ok human, if he swindled me I will be back and take it out on his hide. I have not been able to master the sword its useless to me If I could not master it any way. I have to admit I feel better now that the damn thing is gone Nightshade and Ithil where right I was getting carried away with it, its not healthy I don’t want to end up like the elf. There are many vices a person can have that sword was becoming one of mine.

With this down time I am left to reflect on what an adventure is. It’s a dirty thankless profession. You get sent to far flung places that most have never heard of, dealing with people that usually want to kill you the second they look at you. We don’t get steady reliable pay like the regular army, mercenaries, or even town guard. An adventure takes the jobs that no one else wants or is too dangerous for the rest. Often the chance of survival is low and the rewards lower. Want someone dead on the cheap hire an adventure, want a government overthrown get some adventures so on and so forth. We are one slime step above thugs, highway men, murders, and thieves, but it’s that step that make all the difference. Death is ever a companion just out of reach always ready to embrace the unlucky, un-weary or un- prepared. Why do it? The simple answer is freedom, you don’t have to answer to a lord or commander in the army, you are not subject to a contract with a mercenary band, you don’t have to answer to town folk with being a guard. All of the gold you make goes into getting better weapons or trinkets to make sure you can survive the next encounter or to whatever vise you have. Any time things get to tuff we can walk away, the others do not have that freedom and is why they look down on us. The chance for some coin is usually an afterthought, it always comes down to being able to walk your own path the way you want to. The only people you answer to are those you travel with. These can be temporary alliances or lifelong friends. Each adventurer makes that choice to trust, to lead, to follow, to strive for more, all ways looking for the horizons horizon.

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Dragon battle
short one due to savan's limited view of the engagement.

Blagothkus asked a further boon from us. He asked us to slay the dragon so he could fully cleans the castle. There was some hot debate on whether we should or not, with nightshade fully abstaining. Ithal, Caleb, and I had a hot debate on how to go after the dragon. We went with Calebs suggestion and the mage bravely went out to confront the dragon alone. Caleb quickly got back to us through teleportation. I don’t know what happened but whatever Caleb did really pissed the dragon off. There was more talk of what to do. Knowing that there is a village near by and I did not want to relive Greenest I started off for the dragon’s lair. Everyone followed thankfully, nearing the cave I got a sense of crippling dread and could go no further. Drake Greystone tried the cave only to come back battered and wounded. The songs of battle called me but my feet could not be motivated to dance to the tune. Ithal, nissa, and Caleb battled the beast, I was not there for the details of the fight. They bested the wyrm and took some horrendous damage in the process. At this point Caleb is melting the ice the dragon’s horde is trapped in. Everyone else is getting some much needed healing or rest. Me, I am left to reflect; the party nearly died again, I feel responsible scrambling around like green beardless youth in his first battle. Once we get to Slivermoon I will find someone to help me with the sword, that or find something the will give me the strength to make sure my friends don’t die with my cut of the treasure it should not be a problem.

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End of the module.
I am not dumbing it down like normal
We stood watching the darkness, seeing three figures come in and out tempting us to follow them into the gloom. Rurik Stoneshaft created a barrier to ward the lurking creatures. Out of the shadows lurched two vampire spawn. One hit the barrier and found the meaning of true fear running off scurrying back to the shadows that spewed it forth. The other braver child of the night tested the barrier searching for a way in the party tested his mantle and found him wanting. Nightshade took particular ire to the vampire spawn lighting the corpse on fire, managing only to burn the clothing from the body. Ithil and Nightshade scouted the magical darkness while the rest of the party tried to lure the remaining treats to the barrier. Having seen their comrade dispatched by us the remaining vampires thought better of it and let us be. The elves went off to scout the area and came up with the idea of going in the control room to see if we can land the castle and stop the cash from reaching its destination. The only way in was a window near the top of the tower, up they went without hesitation. Nightshade was able to blend in seamlessly into her surroundings. Ithilhowever was not as successful at obfuscating, dangling a leg out into the window. Blagothkus seen his foot and called him down to account for himself, which Ithil bravely did. The other giants with Blagothkus tried to provoke Ithil. After passing that trial and some negotiating with the giant, I was asked to bring in the sword as prof that we had killed most of the cultist and Rezmir. The Giant gave us a further task once we accomplished it he bestow on the group some trinkets of worth. Our task to kill the remaining vampires, we know where their layer might be and set out to accomplish his request. We looked in the old tower that was in bad shape where some previous scouting had revealed a coffin to be at the base of it. However the only way in was again through a window at the top of that tower. Ithil asked that a second way in be created, the strength of giants still flowing through my veins from the potions I obliged him. Opening up a small hole at the bottom for Nissa Timbers and proceeded to join the elves at the window. We all decided to go in at the same time. The malignant spirits were waiting for us. Nightshade got charmed by the fully fledged vampire on the opening exchange along Ithil ran afoul the vampire spawn and got entangled. Nissa Timbers conjured a magical storm in the tower launching a barrage of lightning bolts upon the fiends, each in turn healing all of the damage inflicted upon their foul bodies. The main fiend out of reach I tried to help Ithil out of the spawns embrace. Slashing with my sword for all I was worth did little to entice the lesser vampire to loosen its grasp. Ithil used a hidden talent and summon an eagle to fight by his side. The eagle buffeted by the storm and disoriented from being summoned missed his first attack on the lead vampire. His second landed to great effect inflicting the first our first physical damage to foul creature. Which it promptly healed fully, the vampire turned its attention now on Ithil charming him next. Nightshadewith an addled mind wandered around the tower along with Ithil and his new pet. The main vampire still out of reach I grappled the spawn and leaped off the ledge hoping to land on Nightshade to break the spell she was under. My aim was far less true then my intentions and I missed horribly. I was able to maintain my hold on the spawn and blade thankfully. Nissa Timberscontinued her relentless assault on the fiends. Our paladins where not up to the task of climbing the tower side. To further our woes a plague of bats was loosed on us by the main vampire. Nightshade cried not knowing why her “friends” where fighting, the first weakness I have even seen from the elf. The lesser vampire attempted rest free of my grip it might as well tried to move the tower for all the effort it put into it. Sensing an opening in the spawn’s guard I brought my sword into play slashing it once and then skewering it. I raised it up over my head with the blade Nissa Timbers blasted it with the full power of the storm using the sword as a conduit. Nothing remained of the vampire. The full vampire sought to avenge it’s lost comrade setting its charming gaze on me, thankfully I was able to overcome it. The paladins where able to finally enter the fray. The battle raged back and forth with the vampire. Seeing his new “friend” imperiled Ithil sent his eagle to hoist the vampire away. Cursing our luck and the fates everyone tried to bring the eagle down before it could reach the safety of window and refuge from our tools of war with no success. The vampire either through wanting to make sure its coffin was safe or enraged at the loss of its spawn choose to wade back into the fight with us. Which proved to be its undoing. Rurik Stoneshaft summoned another column of light to trap the beat and the final blow was struck. The fowl trickster had one last card to play and displaced itself into a mist. This mist sought out the refuge of its coffin to recompose its corporeal body. Drake Greystoneblasted it with a radiant light that fully purged its foulness from this plain. Blagothkustrue to his word gave us the promised trove and directed the castle to Silverymoon where they can deal with the dragon and its horde of treasure. The party rests. We were lucky this time, someone could have died. How many near brushes with death or desperate rallies do we have left before some miss steps and runs afoul of some demon, monster, undead thing, or dragon? I know of a way to even the odds in our favor and I have decided to attune myself to the sword. It’s rejected me once all ready and I could feel it trying to wrest control of my body. This is the only way I know how to protect the group they mean more to me than my own life through the power of this evil weapon. If I can save them will that erase my past transgressions? If the path through redemption takes me through all the levels of the lower plains I will gladly pay it to save them. I WILL MASTER THIS SWORD.
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First floor Cleared
As always Savan's skewed perception of events and reality.

We took a rest back in that hiddy hole to help Caleb get back to full and a patch some minor wounds taken during getting them ballista. After our rest much to the ire of all of us everyone we scouted had moved. So we had to scout again and this time we set off some ward set on the door to Langdedrosa Cyanwrath. They were ready for us thankful Caleb dropped two fireballs on them which took care of most of them in the room. Ithil bravely rushed in and was confronted by a living rug. He gave it a good shag and rug eventually expired. The half bred wyrm teleported out of the room and spit on us. After that we quickly put it down. I claimed the sword, as few are strong enough to weild the thing, theres something about it thats making me uneasy. Someone talking about it being able to talk, a talking sword bha. I feel drawn to it and repulsed by it. I was only paying them half a mind when they where talking about it. The wyrm was sitting on a treasure trove of items that we where quickly distributed through out the group. Now we dont have to worry about anything coming up and kicking our back sides when we are in the thick of it.

After that we made our way up to the second floor its covered in magical darkness. They are ready for us. I hope that we make it through this I am uneasy, I am not sure if its the sword or my feeling that something is not right here. Maybe we should have pressed on and keep pushing when we had their backs against the wall.

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Sky Castle
Savan's point of view keep in mind hes gruff.

After resting up in our hiddey hole, the group did some scouting of the place while the poison went to work. The place is thick with orges, giants, and even a ICE DRAGON is what Nightshade and Rurik Stoneshaft brought back to us. The second floor especially. The wyrm is laying on its horde just waiting for us to assist it in removing it from this plain.We know where they all are, now its just going to WORK taking them out when it best suits us I am for rushing in letting my ax lead the way. As usual some one else has a better idea, as long as battle is joined what do I care. The group took out most of the first floor guards and orgs manning the ballasts. Nissa Timbers and Caleb did most of the heavy lifting. While the rest of us finished them off. We can use them ballistas on some larger foes now me be thinking. The mage is looking tired and nearing the end of his bag of tricks. Thats the problem with mages and spell slingers, they can’t keep up on the long haul, pretty as their tricks are they only have so many of them and when they are all out it’s all ways the ax, bow, or knife that bites the longest. We are getting ready to knock on storm giants and Rezmir’s doors. With the ballista ready and waiting to answer. What a fine fight this will be, what a time to be alive. The battle calls and my ax is ever hungry.

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The lodge and after affects

We entered the cabin and found a lovely elf waiting for us. She’s a cultist but our goals seem to over lap so we let her live. In exchange she gave us some information about our final destination. A sky castle controlled by giants that the cultists are allied with. We spent the night there resting up. Well some of us did I enjoyed the company of the elf and she mine if you get my meaning and again in the morning. A much needed revelry. We set off for the this sky castle with the password to get in.
What a place this castle is parked by a major town. One we did not get to explore on account of the castle flying away soon. So the group got dressed up like the cultists to blend in with them again, I wonder when they are going to get wise to that. Ithil forgot to speak the password and nearly got us in the mix with some stone sentinels. Thankfully Daltrus remembered it. What fun we all ways seem to get into. The elf is not the same since getting of drink, I think its all ways on his mind. We did some quick scouting and poisoned some food thanks to Nissa Timbers making the poison and the lovely Nightshade placing in the food of the cultists. I hope we get some of them kobalts and humans. Caleb found us a hiddy hold to rest a bit and catch our breath.

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A long time coming
Savan's view and to the best of my recollection.

The trail led to a camp of lizard men and some canoe’s that they where using. We inspected the camp and the lizards came back in the middle of it. I tried to poison them with some bad mushrooms that I have been holding on to. It didn’t work they smelled them out, maybe next time I will just force feed the mushrooms to them. Once that did not work we talked to them and where able to convice them to join us with a little coin and they honey tonge of Night shade. The told us about the strong hold where the cultist and the more of the living mounds things are hold up. We promised to help the lizard men out with the bogmen or what ever they are called if they help us with the cultists.
Once we got to the strong hold the elfs did their job of scouting thing outs for us and we entered the strong hold. We where all itching for a fight that day and we found one once we entered the main tower through the roof. We missed the gargoyles that where defending the tower and they surprised us. Which did not last long, they where put down quickly by our might and turned into dust to be ground under our boots. After that we exited the tower and where jumped by a combination of cultists and bogmen. The Mage cast a mighty fire ball that took all of them down without much of a fight. We followed the tracks left by the cultists and came upon a dirty elf that is working for them, must have some drow blood in her. I will have to spill more of it find out. We nearly took her before the crafty elf went through a portal. I made sure the portal was safe by using my ax to go through then we all decided to follow together. We came out unharmed and in a snow covered area with mountains. I wonder if we are in the spin of the world, I don’t want to see my kin yet. I can’t face them after what I have done.
The blood trail lead to a cabin, the elfs went into scout with Nissa turning into a squirrel to help. Me and the paladin got jumped by some dirty trolls and dragon spawn. We where able to take them but not without getting almost as good as we got. I got me a troll and a dragon spawn. The paladin got put down but stayed in it bravely, to aid us. He would have made a proper shield dwarf if not for the fact that he is a human. Now here we are about to enter the cabin battered, tired, and with little reserve left. The dirty elf and cultists must pay.

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Nissa's day
Savans view of last weeks events

Nissa Timbers did her druidy things and turned into a rat. She was able to get in to a area with the help of Nightshade unlocking the door with her tricksy ways. She was able to track some lizard men and found out how they where getting the treasure out of the inn. She came back and told us. Naturally we all followed them into the swamp using a trail they had been on, I was hoping to crack some skulls if we came across them. In stead we came across some living plant mounds that smelled of death. I wanted to cut them down to size but they took Nightshade idea and used illusion to get around them. I dont like leaving an enemy at my back but no telling what kinda racket killing them would have made. I feel stronger tonight and every one else looks a little stronger as well. There is to much skulking around for my taste its making my blood boil, my ax is sharp, its only a matter of time before it tastes the hide of our enemies.

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Reflections on Waterdeep. (belated)
Ithil's musings

WIthout the comfort of strong drink to sleep, the nights on the road seem endless and rarely do I sleep. So as we wait at this gods-forsaken work camp for everyone to fall asleep taht we may accomplish our purpose, I have decided to begin a record of our travels and adventures. Perhaps it will pass the time.

We have just left Waterdeep in company with this caravan. Never have I been so happy to be out of a city and back in the wild. I have found all cities to be treacherous, but none moreso than this. Nightshade and I kept watch outside one tavern where the cultists were rumored to be resting. But ourefforts were in vain as the true threat lay elsewhere. A traitorous scoundrel named Izzy Moran or some such gave us false information that lead into a trap…perhaps one of the most dangerous that we have ever faced, with a countless swarm of Kobolds, and when we had cut our way through them and the floor was slick with their foul dark blood another wave emerged. All fought well, Nissa’s thunderous spells and Caleb’s fireballs, savan’s axe and daltrus blade. Nightshade was the first into the trap but came out unscathed and Drake lent his aid both at smiting and healing. When all was done we went to hunt for the scoundrel who betrayed us. We found some cultists along the way and questioned them (how I will not ask for I was not there) but we learned that their crew was joining a caravan to work on a road traveling further along the sword coast. We have travelled through marshland and along the mire of dead men, which seems as foul and ill as its name. Along the way we met a giant crocodile, and I was saddened to take the life of such a magnificent beast but it clearly threatened our caravan. And I had to show those city-born fancy folk Caleb and Nightshade how hunting is done. That was a worthwhile hunt, but this camp is less to my liking. It is noisy and crowded and the smell of that Orc captain Bog Luck seems to be everywhere. My heart beats fast with hatred at the sight of his ugly orc face. He is in league with the dragon cult- that much is clear. In truth I am glad of it, for I will rsleep better perhaps when I have put an arrow through each of his evil yellow eyes.

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Leaving Baldur's Gate

Otharr Frume of The Order of the Gauntlet arranged for the party to meet up with his contact Ackyn Selebon in Baldur’s Gate so that they can be hired as guards for a caravan headed north of the city to Waterdeep (750 miles). Selebon told the party that guards for Rezmir the half-dragon have purchased five wagons and supplies which are packed onto the wagons, covered in canvas, and lashed down. Selebon offered to put the party in touch with other merchants and travelers who will be in the same caravan to whom they can apply for jobs as guards.
The caravan began its journey towards Waterdeep. One evening, the caravan was attacked by ettercaps and giant spiders which attempted to make off with several horses until the party interfered. On another day during the journey, Ithil was scouting ahead and came upon a pair of perytons who attacked him and planned to consume him as part of a mating ritual which requires a fresh kill; the party was able to rescue and revive him, but he was left shaken by his brush with death.

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