D&D Encounters, Tyranny of Dragons, part 4

Previously on Tyranny of Dragons, the party arrived in Greenest to find it besieged by strange, robed figures, kobolds, and a blue dragon. Acting heroically, the group aid the town as best they could, repelling various attacks by these raiders. By early morning, in exchange for the lives of four hostages, a half-dragon named named Langdedrosa Cyanwrath engages in mortal combat with Vladimir. Despite his best efforts, Vladimir is defeated, but lives to breath another day. The Cult of the Dragon leave Greenest, allowing our heroes time to recuperate from their ordeal.

Our big damn heroes for this week include:

The villagers of Greenest get about repairing the damage to the town and trying to establish a sense of normalcy. For their efforts in repeatedly helping the town, the party are treated like heroes; ‘Heroes of Greenest,’ in all but official name, and given free food and lodging. Escobert the Red, the dwarven castellan of the keep, visits the heroes with fine dwarven ale, and insists that the group should adopt a name of some sort. After some failed attempts, he also shares that the Governor would like to see them as soon as possible. Escorting his friends to Governor Nighthill, the party are offered a difficult assignment: acquiring information. That is, he would like to know the location of the enemy camp, how many raiders there are, their leaders, the motivation behind these attacks, and where they plan to strike next. For their efforts, each character will be paid 250 gold pieces each, and any gear or supplies the characters need will be furnished by the town. Some haggling ensues, but the terms don’t really change all that much.

Before they could leave, a young man named Nesim Waladra asks the party to be on the lookout for his master, a half-elf monk named Leosin Erlanthar. They are from the town of Berdusk, and came to Greenest to investigate these cultist attacks. Fearing his master has been captured, or worse, he asks the party to be on the lookout for Leosin; some party members are more receptive to his plea than others.

After gathering supplies, the party finally leaves Greenest, following the fairly obvious path the cult left behind. The rolling grassland southeast of the town is obviously trampled and flattened. After following that path for a bit, they happen upon a a wisp of smoke several miles away. The party investigates, with Xavier and Bindlethorp employing their stealth for maximum effect. They happen upon a group of eight kobolds and four cultists, cooking what appears to be their lunch and arguing. The party immediately springs into action, attacking while their enemies appear to be distracted. Icarium displays quite a bit of bravado, who runs into the middle of their makeshift camp to cast a spell (and eventually goes down since he’s the closest enemy they can stab at.) The party does prevail rather easily in the end, and loot their prey, not that they had much to begin with: 28 silver pieces, though they also find a large sack from the kobolds containing silver dishes, candlesticks, and religious carvings to Chauntea. Some of the party think to return the latter to the Greenest sanctuary when they get a chance.

Continuing on the trail, the group eventually happens upon an area where the trail winds through a gap between two rocky outcrops. Only one person notices someone at the top of the outcrop before boulders come down at them. The boulders manage to do their damage and another battle ensues, this time with against a guard, six cultists, and two acolytes, split into two battle groups at the top of the two rocky outcrops. This battle is quite a bit longer, and Icarium falls again. At one point in the battle, Xavier (who employed stealth to get the drop on one group of enemies) athletically leaped across one outcrop to another, though barely sticking the landing. Perhaps inspired, enraged, or a little of both, three of the cultists attempt to do the same, and fail miserably, one of them falling to their doom, the other two injured by their daredevilry. Once again, the party prevails, and they notice that these raiders are dressed in black leather tunics with flared black mantles, distinctly different from the previous raiders they fought. Naturally, they take these uniforms to go along with the robes they already acquired, though they are disappointed that this group of enemies had zero wealth to speak of.

Continuing on the path, the party eventually come upon a grassy hollow of a rocky plateau, roughly horseshoe shaped. Kind of like a valley, with naturally formed walls of rock extending all around, save for the descending, sloping entrance to the area. There are numerous tents clustered together throughout, a guard tower near the entrance, another guard tower to the northeast, a significantly tent to the east, and a cave entrance to the east as well. They also notice that many of the raiders in this area (close to 200 figures) seem to be taking it easy, celebrating their successful pillaging of Greenest perhaps.

Brandishing their newly acquired black robes, Anders, Icarium, and Xavier immediately try to enter the camp for reconnaissance purposes, while Bindlethorp, Gabrielli, Tarvik, and Vladimir stay behind. Splitting the party, for the win! That always works out well. Just ask Wil Wheaton! (Incidentally, the above video is NSFW! Swears galore, but it is funny. It’s party eight if the third podcast series Penny Arcade did with Wil Wheaton. Yes, they split the party. No, it did not end well. You can find all the old audio podcasts here (prior to them becoming video podcasts, though you’ll have to click on the ‘See More Podcasts’ button at the bottom of the page a lot to get to the earliest ones.)

But I digress…

They infiltration group is able to find out some information, such a:

  • A salute the cultists say: “Praise Tiamat’s Glory!” while extending their right hand, five fingers outstretched.
  • At least some of the Cult is made up of mercenaries
  • The area  where prisoners are being used for manual labor
  • A monk matching Leosin’s description, tie to a stake, seemingly tortured and unconcious
  • Hunter’s bringing in antelope; some of this meat appears to be transported to the cave to the east

Eventually, whispers about the ‘rearguard’ not checking in reach the infiltration unit’s ears. They try to push their luck, but as the rearguard wore the black robes that they have, they are rather unlucky, though things could have gone worse. Thanks to some smooth talking / deception, they find themselves transporting cooked antelope and drink back to the rearguard members in the forest (that the party conveniently / inconveniently killed already.) They exit the camp and share their information with their hiding party members.

And that concludes last night’s beginning to episode two of The Hoard of the Dragon Queen. What will happen next week? Will the party rescue Leosin any any prisoners? Will the party attempt to fight their way through close to two-hundred cultists? Will they be captured and tortured to death? Whatever may happen, I am confident that it’ll be brilliant. And possibly foolish.

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