Hoard of the Dragon Queen Part Two: Rise of the Great White Dragon

First Council of H2ODeep and beginning of "Rise"
What doesn't our part derail?

This next adventure we begin anew as you disembark Skyreach and head to a very important meeting. We really haven’t used this portal very much so I won’t write a lot, but I might transcribe much of what has happened at the table and in our email threads so that it has a centralized location to be stored so that our tiny sad human brains can access it between data dumps. Ooooor I might not.

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Update

We are heading into session 9, and will soon be boarding Skyreach castle! I may post a bunch at some point to fill in what never got posted, but I know that most info has been put out in game sessions so there’s a chance I might not actually get to it…

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Session Five in a Swamp!

Recap of session 5:
Having earned a reprieve from the task of following a caravan for two whole months, the adventurers teleport from Baldur’s Gate to Waterdeep along with the Dragonborn Joe and his master’s wizard connections. After the free ride they have a few moments to hang out in the noble’s house whose basement the teleportation circle was in (insert possible story hook for Barnabas to retcon if needed). At least one player briefly spotted who they thought was Azbara Jos before leaving Waterdeep, but did not make a big issue of it. Then they set out to the Mere of Dead Men to try and follow the lead which indicated that somewhere in the massive swamp is where most of the collected treasure was heading before “that thing that time” that had halted the caravan’s progress.
A LOT happened with fish people (Kua Toa). More could be said by me, but it’s not like most of them remember it the way you do though. A certain dwarf did make a few friends though…
By helping the Kua Toa the heroes have greatly helped themselves. They have found and defeated Odmer and his unexpected allies that come from the Underdark, and have retrieved some very unique treasures. The Kua Toa now have a much higher degree of free movement to the north thanks to you, and they believe that the castle y’all are looking for is somewhere up there. (Side note from DM, I wish I could write more, I had to do this in 15min. As soon as I get more free time in real life I plan to update the characters page a bit).

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The Caravan Experience

So it turns out that the party is tough to chew on. What should have been a looong caravan to follow the dragon cult and their treasure, has turned into an attack by an adult"ish" dragon who still retains some young properties (but won’t likely on the next meeting) in which the party performed the improbable and made it flee. Having returned to Waterdeep with a partial return of treasure, and the unexpected information that the caravans and ships have been bringing treasure north of Waterdeep to a castle in the Mere, it seems that a long and sloooow stretch of road is no longer in the party’s future. On a side note, the Wizard Joe will soon be teleporting to Waterdeep by a colleague of his mentor’s to perform additional work at his request. There may be a possibility that the party could tag along, if they play their cards right…

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Chapter 3 down, there's more!!??

Suuuuuper busy real life, I usually try and write a bit longer than this, but here’s all I can squeeze from work. Level four for next time! Y’all have Gau and company in tow as you head to Elturel, and you have a VERY interesting report to give of the hatchery. Hopefully everything works out and this whole dragon cult thing just turns out to be a big misunderstanding. That would mean you fixed everything and can enjoy retirement! Yaaaaay! Ooooor maybe???

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Letter from Sariel , Leosin's rescue
Sariel loses her cool

Dear Elder Father Aust,

Our second day at Greenest is even busier than the first. Curzon has forgone sleep, choosing to help the town leaders with martial and organizational tasks. The new day also brings two travelers to town that pledge their arms to our cause. Barnabas Sliverfoxis a human sage and his companion is Rieta the Teifling bars. They came to Greenest based on a feeling from Rieta. I’ve never met a tiefling or a seer! Am excited to work with her…….. Our mission today is from Nesim, a companion of Lesoin. We are to rescue Leosin from the vile cultists. Rieta obtains valuable intel from the prisoners and we set off….. The day is lovely, but that alone will not stop the evil in the cultists hearts. On the way we walk into a caltrop trap and battle 6 kobolds and 2 drakes lead by a purple robe wearer. They are defeated and the rest of our journey is without resistance…… Before we reach the encampment, our group is blessed with a most amazing boon. We find the metallic drakeling dying in the brush. He has reached the end of his life expectancy so magical healing is useless. We delay long enough to comfort him and bury his body with religious rights. As he passes into the next realm, we hear a “Thank You” in our heads and suddenly find a small bag tied around his neck. Within are five magic rings. Each offer protection from one type of chromatic dragon breath. What a wonderful gift!!…… The encampment is far larger then anyone expected, with approximately 85 humanoids and 200 kobolds. I don’t understand how so many people can be lead astray by evil acts and false promises. Our plan is simple, Barnabas and Rieta will pose as cultists , with the rest of us as new recruits, and we’ll say our orders are to move the prisoner Leosin. This actually works! Tymora’s aid was with us for the camp was moving anyway and Rieta charmed a new recruit to help us. This poor guy not only helped us, but accepted a field promotion from Rieta. I’m so glad she’s on our side!….. We returned to Greenest after nightfall with a grateful Leosin. He had much intel from his time spent at camp and is now with the town leaders discussing strategy. I’m sure they will have a new mission ready for us by morning…… Elder Father, I have really messed up. Aemi and I had a huge fight. I didn’t have enough sense to take it inside behind closed doors. I yelled, didn’t truly listen to the meaning of her words, and acted rashly. You always said I had too much of mother’s temper in me and it showed. I totally forgot everything you taught me, and let my emotions over rule my rational thought. I brought shame on the family name and will try to make this publicly right tomorrow. I don’t know if she can forgive me, and perhaps she shouldn’t. I’ve shown myself to be totally lacking in judgement. I’m not sure I’m fit to continue on this mission with her and my other worthy companions. I’ll take a double trance tonight, pray, and make offerings to Selune. I’ll also pray to Oghma for the wisdom to make the proper choices….. Elder Father I’ll close this letter with a word of warning. Please, please use extreme caution during these dangerous times. Many situations, circumstances, and people are not as they seem. Be alert and quick to look for deeper meaning and deception. It upsets me that I can’t be more specific than this. All the facts aren’t in, and this letter might be intercepted by the enemy. Your wisdom runs deep and I’m sure you will discover the truth and keep the family safe….. Aemi and I love you dearly and we hope to return home soon. Sariel ….
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Chapter Two Conclusion:

As the sun rises on a new day in Greenest, it almost feels like a betrayal that one of the nicest days of the year with such beautiful natural surroundings would be in juxtaposition with such a ravaged town. That’s enough of the big words, the dwarf is awake now, the elves have finished their meditation, and Curzon has skipped his long rest in favor of managing the affairs of the town, keeping townspeople running their tasks like clockwork, while still finding time to soften up the prisoners at the request of both the Governor and Escobert the Red. There are two new arrivals in town, a Tiefling Bard and a Human Sage with a secret, who realized as they viewed the town on the horizon that they were too late to lend direct aid, but were still willing to assist in any way that they could.
Whether one would call it right place at the right time or wrong place at the wrong time, they arrived at the Keep in time for the Bard to lift spirits with an impressive performance, and for the two of them to become involved with some of the town’s leaders, temporary management, and other talented individuals who were now local heroes. A meeting of the minds occurred, a little bit of interrogation on the side, and before they knew it the two newcomers who were no strangers to the road found their offers of aid accepted as they travelled alongside two elf sisters and the oldest dwarf they had ever seen.
While the group was aware that there may have been a rearguard near the camp, and even stragglers, they did not realize that the last minute defeat of Cyanwrath had the cult on high alert, and a closer to town ambush was ready for them. The party was able to use their skills to get survive, and they learned that there was much more to this Human Sage than they had initially suspected. The skills of the Ranger proved very useful as they progressed further down the path without incident and led her to a discovery. The handicapped Drakeling (ie Pseudodragon) whose tiny stature seemed even smaller this time, as it was most certainly near its final moments of life. Someone, or something must have known of the party, because it had a small pouch that was seemingly for them. They showed compassion on the creature as they took the time to help it find comfort and kept it company so it did not die alone as it passed from this life to the next.
Perhaps it was a minor miracle that led them to the camp without further incident, and perhaps also a minor miracle that they were able to gain the unwitting aid of a young cultist initiate which helped them to retrieve the Monk that they came for and escape, or perhaps it was just luck. There is a certain green scaled Dragonborn in the cult who believes in miracles, as he is certain that his prior death as an Elf in Nesme was preordained, for when his cousins brought him back using a spellscroll, he came back with the full blessings and admiration of the mighty Tiamat as his newfound heritage clearly reflects, which serves to further increase his prestige. Odmer Verdana does not believe in luck, everything happens as it does for a reason…

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letters from Sariel Arrival at Greenest

I’ll be posting letters Sariel writes to her grand dad. These will tell the adventure from her point of view and include her thoughts about her companions. Be nice or she’ll tell!!

Dearest Elder Father Aust,
Amei and I set forth ti Greenest with a passing caravan. You always said “Safety in Numbers”. All was well til we approached the city. Those dirty, rotten purple robes beat us there! Smoke filled the sky, citizens were fleeing their homes, and something large flew above.
We had to help these poor souls! I thought of you and all we had lost not so long ago.
Sister and I were joined by two like minded people from the caravan. The dwarf Kalin Bronzebeard and human Curzon of the Black Lake Abby helped to load a wagon with supplies and off to the city we raced.
Near the city we see two towns people and many children being attacked by Dragonrats. We are able to save them, praise Selune. The nasty kobolds had been looting the town! We sent the survivors to join the caravan in hiding and continue into Greenest.
Once there, the town is surrounded and we see no way in. It was then that the clever Curzon lit the wagon, pushed it into the crowd, and cleared a path for us. While running for the keep, we see a monk being carried off by dragon rats while a blue dragon supervises. I fear it might be Leosin! He’s too far away! We can’t reach him!!
Inside the keep we meet Governor Nighthill, town leader and Escobert the Red, manager of the keep. Bronzebeard immediately tends the wounded. From the window we witness mass looting and destruction. The purple robes were shouting orders to dragon rats, all the while making sure their hides were safe. Purple robes are cowards and have no honor.
We offer to help and Escobert the Red has three needs. The mill is about to be burned, leaving the survivors without food for the winter, people seeking safety are trapped in the chapel, and town leaders desire a captive to question. After a brief discussion, we start with the chapel.
At the chapel we find dragon rats, an orc, and one purple robe. Inside the building we see no movement and an already looted interior. It’s a diversion that luckily we aren’t deceived by.
On the way to the mill we fight off more dragon rats, taking a few minor cuts. These vermin have been looting for we found them with various mechanical objects of value.
At the mill are humans fleeing five dragon rats, one with a horn. We fail to take out the horn blower before he sounds the alarm.
The dragon rats were no match for our weapons and three souls are sent to the nine hells before a great blue dragon appears from above. It lacks a breath weapon. Instead it has the power to inflict terror upon all who see it.
I felt myself almost give in to its power but remained steadfast. My dearest Aemi was not so fortunate. She trembled in my arms a full minute before coming to her senses. Little does that dragon know it would have been better for him had she not been frightened.
She has a bloodlust for his hide now. We all know what happens when Aemi carries a grudge!
Stangely, the blue flew off while we killed the remaining dragon rats. Our theory is that the beast was merely frightening folk, and not truly interested in this battle. This curious development will need further thought.
Now we are free to find a captive and our opportunity arrives near the town’s cistern. We spy six dragon rats (so many of them today!!), a drake, and a dirty rotten stinking drow. It was a hard won battle, and Aemi went down twice!! Our new friends proved brave and skilled in combat.
Kalin’s divine power saved Aemi while Curzon’s arrows flew true. We kill all the vermin and take the race traitor captive. He is wearing a strange badge depicting a dragon’s claw. Perhaps the governor and keep master know it’s meaning.
Back at the keep Curzon helps with the interrogation. I offered to help and was relieved when he declined. I have little desire to harm outside of battle. The human used a strange combination of rum and a dagger to extract information.
I remained outside the door and have no clue to his methods. Curzon told us the race traitor said their job was to loot the town. The vile drow told us his job was to babysit a dragon and that the great blue works for an even more powerful dragon.
My mind staggers at the thought!! Is this the start of a dragon war? Why would dragons need scum doing their work, when a dragon can easily level an entire city in a few passes? Is the white and blue working together for a dragon that masters them both? Or, gods forbid, are there more than three dragons plotting and scheming?
Oh Elder Father, I fear to know the answers.
Just as we thought our night’s work was over, the blue slams his body against the keep. It was deafening! Everyone started to run but the wise Kalin told us it was another ruse. The keep was far to sturdy for the dragon to level and the dragon himself knew this.
Kalin is as goodly as he is wise for he comforted Aemi. He told her many are frightened by the blue’s gaze and there was no shame in her retreat. Many hardy warriors flee when stared down by big blue.
Elder Father, Kalin speaks with compassion and wisdom, reminding me of you.
By now one would think a rest was near, but alas it was not to be. For a call rang out from one of those awful dragon rat horns and in the courtyard stood several more dragon rats (will they NEVER all die!?) and a blue half dragon.
Yes, a true half dragon, not a dragonborn. He was a fierce sight to behold, with scales that reflected the blood moon and white gleaming horns.
Below him lay a young one, half beaten to death. The creature, named Langdarosa Cyanwrath, bellowed out a challenge. We were to send out a champion for one to one combat or he would slaughter the young one!
Does their cruelty know no end? Kalin offed his weapon but Aemi insisted on going. She still burned with vengeance against the great blue and realllly needed something to hit.
She matched him blow for blow in honorable combat but was losing till Kalin healed her from afar. Just then a dragon rat threw a large stone into the fray. This was our signal to fight them all!
My first target was the stone thrower, for he had been torturing a small creature. I killed the cruel torturer and as the small creature flew away, I saw a drake with metallic scales!! A good drake, can you imagine!? It left us with a boon of increased vitality, insuring a victory for the good guys.
Only now will we find a rest. Curzon and Kalin have bedded down, Aemi taken the first watch, and I write to you before my trance. Selune has blessed our mission by providing two good and true companions to fight with.
I burn to kill the great white but there is work to be done here. I hear echos in Greenest of my beloved Nesme and can not abandon these good folk. Forgive me Elder Father, if I have made the wrong choice.
There is also Leosin to consider. He once saved Aemi and I, and I pray we can find him whole and unharmed. My instinct tells me that Curzon and Kalin will readily aid us in this mission.
Curzon has much skill with the bow and carries himself with distinction and honor. Unlike most humans, he is quiet and chooses his words carefully when speaking. This Black Lake Abby trained him well and I eagerly await tales of it.
Kalin Bronzebeard is a cleric of Moridan, healing and fighting with the blessing of his god. He is advanced in age but willing to serve.I worry about him, fearing for his health and safety in these dangerous times. I pledge to do everything I can to ease his way without insulting his honor and manhood.
Goodnight, dearest Elder Father. I will keep Aemi safe and write when I can. Please offer prayers to our gods for the safety of all .
Love, your favorite grandchild

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Chapter One Conclusion

During the previous episode, The Sacking of Greenest, a small group of travelers encountered the town when it was in a state of distress, and they quickly found themselves working together and using their skills to lend aid as much as they possibly can. A learned man trained in the arts of investigation and tactics seized the opportunity to blaze a path into the Keep, while two elves kept their eyes out for every opportunity to get revenge on dragons and anybody associated with them. A venerable dwarf proved to be a steadying influence, and a calm in the center of the storm. As they moved throughout the grassy terrain while keeping relatively discreet, the travelers progressively took on the role of Heroes, and on subsequent trips to/fro the Keep, many depressed and weary villager faces would light up with excitement because hope for their continued survival had arrived!

Of course nobody in town actually expected anybody to slay a dragon or completely thwart the efforts of the overwhelming number of attackers, the heroes were vital in the town’s defense and are credited with saving many lives by their actions, and also managed to recover some of the town’s looted goods which seemed to have been the real target. The calm temperament of the seasoned dwarf prevented chaos as the Evil Blue Dragon attempted his ruse, and the order to stand fast inside the Keep was given. The human inquisitor wasted no time in softening up their very first prisoner, so that by the very next day he will likely be sure to break and exchange any information for even a hint of freedom. As one elf sister did the unthinkable and accepted a one on one challenge with a Half Dragon now called prisoner number 2, the merciful actions of the other sister was a turning point that ensured the powers-that-be were on the side of the heroes! It took all of the heroes working together on the side of good, but the seemingly last minute blow that has been dealt to the cult will most certainly be felt. After the action had settled down, the humility and pious actions when the mighty adventurers decided to leave loot in the temple that they properly concluded really belongs to the town may have garnered some unknown attention as well…

The next adventure will begin as the sun rises on a new day, and a new chapter in the lives of our heroes continues to unfold…

Will the sisters find a path to their White Dragon? Will the human be in the right place at the right time with his special training and services? Will the dwarf get a nap?

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Initial post

This is the tab where most players will post notes/ interactions and whatever seems relevant between sessions. Some like to post outlines, others like to recap the story from their character’s perspective, and some people don’t post at all, which of course is fine too because real life can be a bear! Enjoy it as much or as little as you like…

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