Hoard of the Dragon Queen

So Cold In The D
Episode 4, Session 20

I know not how long I was in the portal from the Feywild, nor do I know the length of time that has passed since I have seen my friends in Trine. Over two years, without a doubt.

The good Prince of Hearts had done his best to protect me from the evil forces that wanted the Seven and the Summer Queen dead. He told me that for my own protection, I must leave the Feywild. So, yet again, I was lost and alone… a learned killer in an amalgam body. The Dualist Soul, some call me, or the Star Scion. But I am BOTH Oriander, the fey pixie, and Oromandia, of the Seldar in Vailin. For nostalgia sake, call me Ori.

I came through the portal in a strange wood. I would later be told it was Trollbark Forest. Immediately, I became the grand prize of a hunt. The pursuers were hungry orcs, for an even hungrier troll. I ran and fought from morning until late in the afternoon that day. Then I stumbled upon a road and found something I had not felt in years. Hope.

There they were, a she elf sniper, a large half orc, a dichotomous paladin, and a quiet female caster. There was another in their party, a gnome, who had passed from this world. They were in haste, but stopped to assess the situation. At first I was not sure whether they were more foes to face, so I hissed at them. When I could see that they posed no threat, I took position and readied for a glorious end.

The rest of that fight is a red blur in my mind. I can never recall my battles. But I remember the taste of orc blood, for some reason.

When the battle was won, I offered to travel with these heroes… such a meaningful use of that term since my time with the Seven. They were in a push against time to get their gnome friend’s body to Daggerford. There they hoped to get him revived.

I rode with them a time, until I gave up my borrowed horse, for a wounded man named Carlo Amofell, whom they were taking on to Daggerford.

Now I am alone again, until the next battle finds me.

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x x x x x

There I was. I was finally home! But death nor resolution ever come at a good time. My purpose was not achieved in Faerun.

I implored Bahamut to give me one last chance to protect my mortal friends… and he consented. Now I will wait to save my friends in life, until they save me in death.

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Sleep tight, little Artifax
Interlude 2, Session 19

We woke up with the rest of the caravan. “What happened?” Artifax asked. “Did I blow anything up?” Some random guy told us that we were left for dead by Krusk. Azrael asked him who he was. “I am Azbara Jos, and I am here to stop the Greater Vampire from being summoned. I suggest you come along to help.” I was not too sure about this guy. There was something a little off about him.

We asked why we would need his help. Azbara told us that only he could stop the ritual from happening, but he would need a magical item to do so. We decided to go in search for the Dragonspear to stop the ritual. While we were looking for the spear, we came across Krusk! “Hello old friend!” Said Artifax. “I’m so glad to see you here” Krusk, in response, turned to Artifax and sliced him up like a pizza. Azrael and I screamed out in unison “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”.

We realized that Krusk had been through the same thing Birgette had previously. He was not himself. We pummelled on Krusk until he dropped dead, and the ghost revealed himself. He was no match for us. Afterword, with Krusk revived, we were able to move on in search for the spear. I heard something in the darkness, and Krusk was able to see something. There we encountered the creepy Varlo of the 23. He was no match, however, and we were able to quickly dispatch him.

Azbara said “quickly! we are running out of time! You guys might want to hurry up… just saying” (he said this many times throughout our time here in Dragonspear Castle) We were able to locate the Dragonspear in the next room, and Azbara successfully stopped Dorlak from being summoned.

As we all started to celebrate, slowly realizing that Artifax was not there to celebrate with us, Birgette walked over to Azbara and cut his head clean off with one swing. Everyone, while very confused, dared not question her, as she had previously single handedly almost killed us all. She explained that he was actually a member of the Dragon Cult. I suddenly realized what seemed so off about the guy.

At this point, we had one main focus. We have to save the little guy. Who would take care of Larelarela in his absence? Who will be my wingman when all of this madness is over? I just hope that we are able to find a way. I suppose we will find out soon enough. I leaned over to Artifax and said, “Sleep tight little buddy, we’ll wake you up soon.”

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And then there was one...
Interlude 2, Session 18

A fork in the road, some cryptic cameos messages, and a fateful decision.

The caravan made it past the Fields of the Dead and skirted the Troll Claw swamps, only to arrive at Dragonspear Castle. Several members of the caravan declared their interest in exploring the castle, and the party agreed despite numerous warnings to stay clear. This was perhaps inevitable, given the rumors of a magical halberd called the Dragonspear said to be in the castle. Where perhaps cooler and wiser heads may have stayed clear, instead the avarice and hubris of the party led them to their doom.

Dear Diary,

How are you writing a about my story before I’ve written it down?
…Magic?
…Right.

I had been watching the odd group of travelers for several days. At first I thought they were just an odd bunch of travelling companions, but even then they stood out; the hulking half-orc, rugged ranger, preening paladin, wary warlock and firebug forest gnome were obviously not your average party. My attention in them increased when they rescued the stranded merchant, then peaked when they rode off into the Fields of the Dead and actually returned. Obviously these were my kind of people – bold, adventurous and a little bit crazy. Perhaps they’d be able to assist me in my mission to
redacted,
but at the very least they seemed like they’d be fun to run with.
My dear Birgitte, please do be careful what you write in me. I may be magical but anyone can read me!
Oh yeah diary. Good point.

Anyway it didn’t take long after that before an opportunity presented itself for me to make an introduction – barbarian style. I quickly and loudly spoke up making it clear that only cowards would pass up the risks, and great rewards, of the castle. Our first challenge was to pass the Feats as posed by a crazy old man
Probably a wizard
Yes I know he’s probably a wizard but I didn’t want to assume. Anyway the Feats went fairly smoothly (the old codger thought a few giant snakes and bird would faze me, pfah!), but of course the probably-wizard had a trick up his sleeve, and I felt something strange settle on me. The best way to describe it is as an itch that you can’t scratch.
That’s a terrible analogy Birgitte. I’ve never had an itch before.
Diary, keep it up and I’ll end the story right here.
Sorry.
So I would have broken his stupid nose, but his face looked bad enough already.
That’s for the best really. You never know with enigmatic figures who show up out of nowhere. Chances are they’re a demon (or worse a god) and then you’re polymorphed into a chicken for the rest of your short life. Trust me, I’ve seen it. Twice. Well, not seen so much as had it written in me, but potatoes potatoes. Bah, I hate homophones. It really just doesn’t work when you can’t speak. But th
SHUT UP!
Oh, quite right. Sorry again.

I really just had to put whatever it was out of mind and push forward. Fortunately the castle loomed ahead and promised a chance for some excitement and to show these intriguing potential new companions what I was capable of. I sincerely hoped they would be able to keep up. And also that they wouldn’t die.
Oh, the dramatic irony!
I just sighed. Heavily.
Very funny.

The initial investigation of the castle went about as expected. We poked around, broke some stuff and I got my hands on a lovely magical hilt, Elvish I think, that could create a blade of fire! AND I got to use it on something right away!
What was it called?
Ilu … Ilyyl … Who cares! It was a blade MADE OUT OF FIRE! The balance was great and I was having a lot of fun with it. I think maybe I got a little bit overeager because the first door we found I decided to kick open and throw a torch through.
Well, I can’t say I’m TOTALLY surprised.
You do know me, after all. So we all went in and then these stupid cackling ghosts came out of nowhere! I thought we’d have a fun little romp wiping them out, so I called on my Wolf Totem for strength and charged the nearest ghost. The big guy, Krusk was fun to work with as we laid that one out. The pretty one, Jameth (insufferable, but for some reason I didn’t want to kill him) was easy to work with too. Both of them followed my lead perfectly and had some great moves of their own. Normally I’m not a fan of archers but Irel was a wicked shot taking out a ghoul from across the room. Azrael was hard to read, but underneath that seemingly innocent face lies a deadly and powerful spellslinger. To be honest, she scared me a little bit.
More than the giant half-orc?
Oh yes. Don’t get me wrong, they all held their own and even a giant Troll bursting in to flank us didn’t slow them down! It was a sight to behold them in action.

Unfortunately, I turned out to be their downfall. In a moment of weakness, I allowed a ghost to possess my body. Though I railed against it, I couldn’t get free and had to watch as I cut down Irel in a vicious attack. It was a relief when they knocked me out and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to continue to harm them. Jameth’s divine magic was able to drive the ghost from my body, but as I lay there fading into unconsciousness I saw the vile creature swap from mine to Krusk’s body. And though we were rescued, he remains trapped, a prisoner within his own body, raging within the ruins of Dragonspear Castle.

It seems to me you have only yourself to blame.
Yes, you’re right. Normally I wouldn’t care. I would leave him to his fate and continue forward. But … I find myself caring about these brave, powerful strangers. I sense in them kindred spirits. Plus, I am NOT about to let some mealy mouthed, hyena laughing piece of good for nothing orc baby eating pig buggering GHOST make a fool out of me!
Oh yes. That sounds rational.
Oh, I’ll show you rational! You’ll see I’ll ration that ghost right out of existence. Hopefully Krusk survives…

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Light It Up
Episode 4, Session 17

Before we had left Baldur’s Gate we had been warned that we were to under no circumstance start a fire or emit any kind of light at night while we were passing through the Field of the Dead. That meant no campfires, torches, fire bolts from gnomes, or illuminated weapons from well-endowed paladins. We would spend each night blanketed in darkness until we were clear of the Fields.

Our first night in the Field of the Dead was an eventful one. As we stopped to make camp we could see a column of fire on the horizon. We decided to slip off on our horses and investigate. About a mile from where the caravan made camp, we found the source of the blaze. A small village was on fire.

As we shouted to the residents to come out and follow us to safety, only a ghost appeared. The ghost warned us to flee, as this was the work of a powerful necromancer. Every so often he burns this imaginary village to attract and feed on the dead. Every time he feeds, his power increases.

Heeding the ghost’s warning, we turned and fled back to the caravan. Something in the darkness spooked our horses, and none of us were able to calm our mounts as we were all bucked to the ground. Alone in the darkness, we decided stealth was our best option for survival. As we crept slowly through the darkness we soon encountered our first ghast. Krusk and the ghast nearly ran into each other before each realized the others presence. They traded blows and the ghast received the worst of the exchange. Before we knew it, 4 more ghasts were upon us and soon the putrid smell of their insides filled the air.

After the battle, Irel tracked and wrangled the horses, and we headed back to the caravan relatively unscathed. Krusk received the worst of the battle, as he was paralyzed and drug off at one point. Everyone at the camp had questions for us, but we offered little explanation before calling it a night.

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Vacation Day
Episode 4, Session 16.5

I woke up one morning, there was a nice breeze blowing and as I got to my feet I realized, all of my friends were gone. After finding out that they were scouting ahead and that they had left hours before I decided to take a “vacation” day.

I walked and talked with the caravan, bunch of weirdos if you ask me. I mean who hauls around a cart of dirt…. what are you going to use it for? Building sand castles? Anyway I scouted around the caravan and looked at all the flowers and I ran into a few deer need the caravan. It was so nice getting to spend time in the trees and enjoying nature again, I haven’t done it in so long. I love the forest and spending time in them feels so natural.

I came back and was walking with a couple carts and Samardug and Enom were asking about some stories they were arguing whether or not they are true. They said they heard about the dragon in Baldur’s Gate, me tossing a potion into the careless paladin’s mouth from some distance, and shooting an apple out of the horny gnome Artifax’s mouth from hundreds a feet away.

I don’t particularly like talking to people but those were some of the great times with my friends. So I went ahead and told them all about the stories and how they were all true, they still didn’t believe me when I told them I did a back-flip before shooting the arrow.

After a few hours of stories and relaxation on the cart, I saw dark shadows limping toward us and as we approached them, I realized it was my friends and they looked as if they were fighting death. They were all staggering and Krusk was carrying Artifax who looked like a pin cushion with all of the arrows sticking out of him.

I had a hard time seeing him like that so I starting trying to pull them out and I heard him mumbling something so I leaned in closer and he said “Go south, there’s an arrow between me whittle legs.” I giggled and twisted an arrow, I didn’t think he would think that was funny, but of course he whispered, “You know I like rough.”

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I'm here to kick some ass and chew some bubblegum
Episode 4, Session 16

Dear Diary,

Today was a good day.

After being cooped up with the caravan for a few days watching for Dragon Cult activity, we finally saw some action today. It was our groups turn to scout ahead of the caravan, and it did not take long for things to get interesting.

Not far down the road was an overturned wagon along the side of the road. Artifax put his newfound stealth skills to use to get a closer look. Before getting too close he spotted a squad a hobgoblins hiding in some bushes shouting at the wagon. He turned around to make some weird hand signals to us before leaping out from his cover attempting to blast the entire squad away. The hobgoblin closes to him took the brunt of the attack, saving the rest of the squad from taking much damage. Azrael used one of her weird magic attacks to kill another, and then it was my turn to spring into action with my faithful steed, Duckbutter. With ease, I was able to take out the final 2 members of the squad.

Jameth stepped up to try to talk to the people hiding behind the wagon. I’m not sure what he said though, I tuned him out after He said “I’m Jameth Falconsflight….” Whatever he said though must have worked, because they didn’t try to kill us. After Jameth’s monologue, we could hear some more yelling behind another bush further down the trail, and two more squads of hobgoblins stepped out. The hobgoblin captain also stepped out and took a few massive swings at Jameth, while the squads released a volley of arrows at Artifax and somehow Azrael.

Jameth and I took out the captain and a few members of the second squad. Meanwhile Azrael teleported across the field and attempted to take out every member of the two remaining squads. A few managed to roll out of the way and take minimal damage, but two were turned to ash.

After we cleaned up the final kills and I chased down the final hobgoblin trying to escape, we finally had a moment to speak to the owner of the overturned wagon. I didn’t catch his name, but he tried to buy Duckbutter and I laughed in his face. I could never part with my precious steed. After the conversation, we headed back to camp to rest and recover after the intense fight.

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Draggone: How The Falconflight's Got Their Groove Back
Interlude 1, Session 15

“That was amazing!” The tall redhead exhaled as she collapsed in bed. The gnome just smiled and said nothing.

“Do you normally smell like campfire?”

“Only on good days.” He said as he sat up and fixed his jet black hair.

“Wait, you didn’t tell me what happened earlier today in the Wide. Does a girl not get anything for sleeping with one of the Heroes of the Wide?”

“I was wondering when you would ask.” The gnome turned his back to the woman. “If you change the dressing on my burn I’ll indulge you.” And under his breath he continued, “and if we can go again after.”

Laraelra laughed. “Artifax, do you think I’ve never changed a battle wound before? Okay, its true I’ve never had sex three times in a row with a gnome before.”

The gnome pulled off the bandages and moved closer to the beautiful bartender, “If we both stay in town, you will likely have the opportunity to do both more times that we can count.”

“Begin then and I’ll take good care of you.”

Artifax began recalling the past days events in his mind and spoke….

_ _ _ _ _

It had been a crazy day up until that point. There were parties with a guy that had tattoos on his face. I mean, when you see a dude like that, you kind of want to party with him. It was crazy good. After that we actually leveled a city block. That is a long story, but I’m sure by now you have heard it. I smelled like campfire that day I can tell you… After that, we had gotten into a fight with the leader of the Flaming Fist.

Between the five of us, I think we might have had five hours of combined sleep since the previous day… What day is it again? Never mind… Anyway, we had learned that there was a plot to blow up parliament. And as much as we dislike those wig wearing, filibusting, upper city dwelling, dick bags, we weren’t about to let innocent people die. So we headed up there…

By then we had convinced the city watch and the Flaming Lips, or whatever their names are, to work together. They escorted us to Parliament. We told everyone that Silverspoon had played a part in placing explosives in the basement and planned to use them to assert control over city legislation. When the guards checked the basement, they found our story to be true.

[Ouch… that hurts. put some of that ointment you have on it. And when you are done, can you put some on my back too…]

So they took that douchebag steward duke Silverspoon guy away. We thought that we had done a good thing and were hoping we could go get drunk and…. ummm… Anyway…

As we wandered back through the Wide, we saw some shit go down. I mean, I might actually be scarred from it had I not seen some pretty bad shit in my day. There was Rilsa on the stage in the square. And in the crowd were these… ummm.. Other people?

[Artifax, I get the feeling you are leaving parts of this out?]

I’m a mystery baby, what can I say? I’m an enigma wrapped in a tigers cloak. I put the Grrr in Groovy.

So there she was… Rilsa commanded these other individuals to begin killing the citizens in the square. She was absorbing their souls, it seemed, as everyone died.

And there we were… Tired. Injured. Horny… well at least Irel was… We did the only thing any prudent hero would do- we decided to blow Rilsa up!

[How did I know you were going to say that?]

I know… I know… But this time it wasn’t me. I swear. It was the quiet one that decided to blow things up, Azrael… I’m so proud of her.

When the explosion went off, everything went white. I felt a hand… A scaly hand, come to think of it, push me back into consciousness. When I awoke, I saw a fairly large, fairly clumsy chimera.

Krusk, Jameth, and Irel took some of the first shots at it. I thought that they were going to go down at first, but they are some tough sons-a-bitches.

When the situation was getting dire, Azrael and I made eye contact and we both blasted the beast. Kursk continued to beat on the remaining head, but it was Jameth Falconsflight that finished him off.

He was the hero of this day… and he may have even redeemed his family name in the process.

[What do you mean?]

It’s not something that you and I need to worry about. It’s a noble thing. But let’s just say that Jameth would have a prominent place in this city if he were to come home for good.

… These guys… it’s weird. I feel really close with them. They have my back. And I wouldn’t let them fall either. Especially the Falconsflight. I really didn’t like him at first, but he is a good shit. Maybe you will get a chance to get to know everyone someday.

For now, I must go. It’s morning now and we must visit Rezmir and Selebon about our caravan that will be leaving soon.

[My dear gnome, are you satisfied so soon?]

Well… maybe once more…

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Placeholder 3
Interlude 1, Session 14

Killed Flaming Fist guy
Saved the upper city
Guild and Dragon Cult United?

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Placeholder 2
Interlude 1, Session 13

Party
Harbor Master
Explosion

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Errands and Taints
Interlude 1, Session 12

After meeting with each of the factions, the group reunites at the Elf Song Tavern to decide what, if anything, to do next. After a little deliberation and a few drinks, it was decided we would not side with anyone until we learned more about what was going on in Baldur’s Gate.

The next morning we head to meet with Rael and inform her of the plots against The Guild. Rael suggests we go along with requests of both Silvershield and Ravenguard and carry out the tasks they assigned to us.

The next morning we set off to complete out list of tasks. We started at off by closing down Oasis and getting Jameth a new roomie. From there we headed off to search the store of the town alchemist Yssra Brackrel. We found nothing that pointed to any signs of guild involvement here, and asked Yssra to brew us a few health potions before our caravan leaves. Next we head off to check out the next traitor on Torlin’s list, Norold Dlusker. Rael had told us there would be nothing to find here, and to not question who finances his operations.

Finally we set off for our final destination, the Low Lantern. As we approach we hear some fighting coming from inside. Silvershield had sent his some members of his watch to assist us in searching the Low Lantern, and they are having a minor disagreement with some of the patrons when we arrive. We tell them we can handle things from here, and tell them to leave. After the Silvershield’s goons are gone we head back to check on Laraelra. Only to find her belongings gone and she is sailing off into the distance.

As we’re on our way out, Ravenguards goons also show up to help us shut the place down. Despite our efforts they are determined to shut the place down. That is until Azrael goes invisible and heads outside, only to re-enter as Ravenguard himself. Fortunately none of the guards could see through this trick, and they leave the Low Lantern.

With our tasks completed, we check in with both Silvershield and Ravenguard. Silvershield promises to have a reward delivered to the Elf Song Tavern later, and Ravengaurd is pretty unhappy with what took place at the Low Lantern. Surprisingly enough, Jameth of all people actually steps up and calms Ravengaurd down.

Just when we thought our day was over, we run into a few members of the Flaming Fists causing trouble at the Basilisk gate. Feeling good about saving the day with Ravenguard, Jameth decided to mouth off to the captain. Krusk may or may not have encouraged. Captain Taint sucker punched Jameth with his axe, and the first fight of the day seemed imminent. However, instead of defaulting to blowing something up, Artifax’s voice rang out as the voice of reason convincing the lieutenant the captain was crazy for searching these innocent people for his lost lockbox. Soon a few more members of the Flaming Fist showed up, and escorted Captain Taint back to Wyrms Mouth.

After a long day of errands and no blood-shed, we arrive back at the elf song tavern. To our surprise there was a package from Silvershield containing gloves of swimming and climbing, as well as a note from Coran inviting us to his manor for a party.

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