Tyranny of the Dragon Queen

Reasons not to make friends
How to take on an entire castle in a single battle

After a quick rest in town, we set out to rescue Grunden from Kragmore castle. While a quick journey compared to the last, the bitter cold made the trip nearly unbearable. We reached the castle at dusk and opted to make camp and warm up before going in. We found the first door unlocked and entered to an empty room. Quickly moving to the next room we encounter two hobgoblins. To our detriment, I win them over as friends. They immediately choose to bang on the south door and let the king know company has arrived. The wizard notifies us of danger approaching from behind. Thinking quick, the monk takes down one of the hobgoblins. Just then a great spiny worm/centipede approaches from behind on the ceiling and deals a mighty blow to the wizard. We hear more footsteps and five goblins appear behind the centipede to the west. Three more hobgoblins approach from the south door. We put up a valiant effort but our new sorcerer goes down to a goblin arrow. Feeling desperate, the wizard sends a powerful, thunderous bolt knocking back the centipede and goblins, but alerting the entire castle to our presence. The centipede is up quickly and knocks the wizard unconscious in retribution. Looking for a way to escape almost certain death, I cast a shatter spell at the centipede and five goblins miraculously obliterating all of them. Having only three remaining visible hobgoblins, the monk and fighter stay behind attempting to take out them out. One goes down, but ten goblins and five more hobgoblins show up in the room to the south. The fighter bravely stands in the line of fire to allow me to cast another shatter spell destroying another six goblins and three hobgoblins. The monk takes down another hobgoblin. Weighing the options, I decide to consume a portion of a dragon heart making me faster and harder to hit. Then I quickly pour a healing potion down the sorcerer’s throat reviving her. The fighter and monk take down more hobgoblins leaving only four goblins to the west and a taunting king with an unknown number of guards behind the south door. The sorcerer takes one goblin down with a fire bolt. I cast a healing spell to revive the wizard. The fighter consumes another portion of dragon heart, and we take down the last of the goblins. Now to find out what waits behind the south door with the boisterously confident king of the castle. If only some fresh warriors would show up now to help us take down what lies beyond.

The beginning Part 1

Me. Well there isn’t much to me I am just your everyday joe. There were rumors of strange activity happening at night around our village. I have always been skeptical about any strange activity its usually just a local wizard having some fun with people. Our village was a treasure hidden among the mountains really the only way in or out was by magic. We had no worries of goblin raids or anything like that nestled in the mountains so we tended to take things for granted at least I did. One night I decided to catch whoever was causing the disturbances I had a sneaking suspicion it was Paul from the village he has been wanting to get back at the elder for overlooking him for succession. I crept out into the field where they were happening each night I climbed to the top of a small ridge looking down into the gulley where the lights were seen each night. There was a small stream at the bottom of the gulley with a perfect place to hide underneath a rocky outcropping. I began to slide down the ridge heading towards the outcropping. I started hearing a buzzing sound getting gradually louder as I slide down the embankment. It kept getting louder and louder feeling like it was reverberating through my entire body. I was almost there I was running as fast as I could it was hard to breath at this point I could feel the buzzing and see the glow coming over the ridge. I leapt for the outcropping right as I was about to get there I stopped. Everything stopped the humming, the noise of the wildlife, and I realized I was bathed in light. I hadn’t hit the ground I was floating and being lifted into a giant ship that looked like a giant cylinder on its side. As I floated up towards the ship I tried to struggle and scream only to find my body could not move and when I screamed no sound came out. I was getting closer and closer to the ship just as I was about to press up against the metal a bright light flashed and I was laying on the floor of a completely white room. Slowly I was able to stand and noticed the room was empty no entrances or exits just a window that wasn’t quite a window. I could tell it was steel or metal of some kind but was transparent enough to see what was on the other side. I noticed we were rising above the mountains and I saw my village fall away as I was leaving I saw a huge portal open in the center of town and things began coming out of the portal in rapid succession. I couldn’t quite make out what they were but I clearly saw a dragon as big as the largest building in town fly out glistening in the moonlight the scales a dark black almost glassy color and it began ravaging the homes of my friends and family. I was stunned. I could barely breath my breath came out in short rasping gasps I just couldn’t take it I am just a normal guy this couldn’t be happening it was like a bad dream or nightmare. The world took on a haze and I struggled to hold on. I saw a light on the wall begin to flash a bright red color. The blackness started creeping in on my vision, I still couldn’t breathe everything gone my friends, my family, my village. I gave up, I willing gave in to the blackness wanting to join my friends on the other side.

When I opened my eyes I saw a figure standing over my body I still couldn’t quite see everything was still very hazy. The person told me to sit up and drink it will help me recover. The voice was firm but reassuring it put me at ease I can’t explain why. I drank the liquid it was clear but it was not water it burned like fire going down but made me feel warm inside and gave me strength to sit and begin to focus. Slowly the room pulled into focus and I saw I was in a room very similar to the one I was in before but the shape was slightly different and there was a table in the middle of the room that I was sitting on other than that it was the exact same the shape of the window was different so I assumed I was in a different part of the ship. Although there wasn’t much to see outside the window under than a sea of black dotted with the stars in the sky. It was then I realized the person in the room didn’t actually say those words it was more like I felt them. I look and he looked like a normal person standard build brown hair, blue eyes. His mouth opened and I couldn’t understand it was unlike anything I have ever heard before a series of clicks and hisses. I began my chant to cast comprehend languages and as it finished I understood what he was saying. He looked me over and said “good at least you have your wits about you enough to cast that” “My name is G’thulakire Tranthrule you can call me Gith” You are not human why do you appear so. “You went into shock over what happened when we picked you up, and you saw what happened to your village, we were barely able to keep you with us as it is”. “I figured this form would be less abrasive to your condition”. I looked him over and asked why did you take, and why did you destroy my village. He laughed only I could tell it came out as a series of screeches like a hawk hunting for prey. “We did not destroy your village we simply observed its destruction”. “As to why we took you, I don’t know maybe we had a touch of remorse for what was about to happen, and we saved you”. I could tell he struggled with why they took me. “We do have a purpose for you I know that.” “You owe us and so you will perform a favor for us.” I couldn’t quite understand “favor” I could tell it was just more of the appropriate meaning given to me by the spell but it means something completely different to their species than it does to mine. I am nothing special I am just a regular guy what can I do for you. Your clearly the more advanced people what can I do that you cannot. “We need to move through space to a place that we cannot go or remain.” “It is a one way trip and as you have no connection to your prior life left.” “ You can make the trip where as we cannot.” “Take this it will allow you to communicate with me and view me as if we are in the same space.” “ I will let you know what we need later.” He touched my hand and it burned for a second and then after there was just the slightest scar on the back of my hand.

When he said “space” I got the distinct feeling he was meaning a different plane or dimension. That type of magic had been outlawed where I came from so I only knew bits and pieces. I asked when I would be going. “He simply smiled and said right now” The room flashed white and I blacked out.

I woke up laying in the grass. I stood up and took in my surroundings I was for lack of a better term outside of a smoking ruin of a great city. “Oy, are you all right lad” I whipped around and saw a dwarf sullied from a day’s work with genuine concern for if I was ok or not. That was truly different from what I am used to; dwarfs wouldn’t give me the time of day let alone piss on me if I was on fire in my dimension. We chatted for the time being and since I hadn’t had a real person to share my experience with since that night. (Also realizing I had no idea how much time had passed since that terrible night it all seemed like a day. The season’s told me differently though.) I just began blurting everything out and a couple of times breaking down under the weight of what was happening. The whole time the dwarf kept listening never reacting or judging he just listened to my tale and when I was finished he sat for a minute with me on the ground. I could only assume he was sizing me up either for a cage or seeing if I was telling the truth or not. Then all of a sudden he stood up “Whelp that was a doozy of a tale lad.” “First thing you should do is keep your mouth shut about any of that.” “Not good for yer health if you know what I mean.” “Do ya want a pickle it always makes me feel better after being in a pickle” He held out a pickle and I gladly took it as I felt as if it had been forever since I have eaten. “Tell you what you help me and I will give you a place to stay and look after you for a time while you figure out what you’re going to do.” Where am I? or When? “Aye laddie welcome to the jewel of the north this here is Neverwinter just off the sword coast.”

After a while the dwarf and I became good friends I was able to help him with his metalworking with my fire spells and he provided me with the finest pickles a man could eat. He introduced me to some acquaintances of his that he wanted me to help with getting to a settlement to the south and setting up some kind of trade with them. He said he sent a guy before us but had not heard back for some time. The was a very capable looking fighter, a beautiful in both voice and looks bard, and a Barbarian who was both scary and attractive at the same time. I felt severely out of place in that most of the time I have my nose in a book and just your average looking guy these people looked like heroes, people who commanded respect. Me I am just Patrick I didn’t know what I could do for them. I resolved myself that I would help them however I could.

We set off on our journey and traveled most of the day by the main road we turned off to head for the village an after about 45 miles of the 55 or 60 we needed to travel. There was two dead horses in the road ahead of us with thick black spears sticking out of them. We obviously knew this must be a trap or ambush of some sort. I moved to the tree line to take cover and try and provide support. The barbarian was approaching the horses with the rest of the party behind. Several of the black arrows flew out and narrowly missed the barbarian. She began to give ground and get back to the party. I was able to make out several ugly goblin like creatures however they were different than the ones I was accustomed to. The spears were coming out of their mouths. There were four of them all just within my range I took aim and fired a flame shot at one and instantly regretted it. I didn’t think about the fact that shooting from the tree line would reveal my position the goblins. Fortunately the shot I took hit one squarely in the chest and burned through. He fell to the ground dead. I thought oh well either I am gonna die or they are so I quickly fired off another shot and it caught him in the eye dropping him dead. The remaining two one fired on the barbarian and the other threw one at me. Fortunately it struck the tree right next to me and the ichor rolled down the shaft of the spear into the tree turning it black and corrupting it. I felt sick like I was gonna throw up here I am in the first life or death situation of my life and my body rebels against me. I steadied myself and noticed the goblins dive into a thicket after their spears fired. I aimed where I thought they would be and let loose and that part of the thicket went up in flames. The fighter and barbarian began advancing on the goblins. I fired again and destroyed another section of the thicket the barbarian rushed forward getting grazed by a mouth javelin. She reached the bush where one of the goblins was and took a swing that would have felled the largest tree in Murkwood. The brush fell apart reveal a bloody mess as the goblin desperately tried to hold his body together but then it fell apart into sticks and brush that were corrupted. The thicket was burned and smashed all except the last section the goblin was no match for the four of us.

After looking at the horses for gear and exploring the area we discovered a trail. Examination of the goblins and horses leads us to believe the mouth javelins they spit spread corruption and the goblins are then born from the twisted mass of whatever was living when the spear struck it. This was all so different and violent from what I am accustomed too. However, I suppose this is how it is now. The trail appears to have drag marks from where they dragged off whoever was riding the horses. I was a bit relieved and terrified that we decided to go see if we could go rescue whoever was taken. Relieved that the people I was with were obviously good people to do such a thing terrified that we might run into more of those twisted abominations. As we followed the path we were careful to keep watch and look for traps. One was easily spotted another was more difficult but our fighter was deft in springing free from the area of danger.

To be continued …….

My sister the hero
Deliver the goods they said, it will be fun they said...

I lost my twin sister today. She made the foolish mistake to align herself with a bunch of unlearned roughians, half of which don’t even seem to know what day it is much less where they are going, on a trip to deliver some goods to the south through evil-invested wilderness to some barely-inhabited ruins. About halfway there they encountered the two dead horses of the person who hired them staked to the middle of road and growing new evil in their bowels. Since turning around and taking the goods elsewhere to earn their profit would have been logical, they opted to investigate, searching for the malicious perpetrators. As I’m certain is obvious to anyone not within Treble’s, ‘adventuring’ party, it was an ambush. The orcs began firing their arrows. The mage hid, the barbarian ran, and the fighter and my sister, a well trained bard of the great Ortan college, shot their bows. Defying all odds, they defeated their attackers and burned the abominations growing in the horses.

So, of course, having learned their lesson and just how dangerous these lands are, the group packs up and heads to the nearest settlement to sell their ownerless goods for whatever they can get and forever praise the gods for sparing their lives. Of course not…they find a slight trail covered in orc prints and decide to follow it …Another Ambush!!! They again wipe out the evil-doers , but not without a near-deadly injury to Treble. Not at all frightened or deterred, she heals herself and they go into a cave! Just inside they see a large room filled with evil wolves chained to the floor. Clearly the way to deal with a large pack of guard dogs is to blow them up and expect no one will notice, because that is exactly what they did! A pack of smoking canines later, they find a hole leading up that is clearly being used as trash chute. I bet you can’t guess who lives at the top. That’s right! The boss lives up there with his dog and evil orc minions. The fighter goes first, without a torch or light of any kind. So, Treble, always so curious and helpful, follows with her lamp. After a few mishaps, they get the other two to the top. Now, they turn on the lights and looks around only to find they are in yet another ambush and naked bugbear-boss-guy is no stranger to a fight. It is quickly apparent the party stands no chance. Their barbarian is down and Treble is out of spells. The fighter should have been cleaved in two, but a unbelievable stoke of luck saved him from a double-critical hit. Seeing little hope, they begin to retreat. Treble bravely drags the barbarian back to the top of the chute and the fighter throws her down in a last ditch effort to save her life. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, she lands directly on her head bursting it like an over-ripe tomato on the stones below. The bugbear swings again, knocking Treble and the mage unconscious. Being the only one left standing, the fight jumps down the chute into the room below. Only mildly injured, he makes it out of the cave and back down to the road where he encounters me and that barbarian’s identical twin sister just moments too late to save our siblings.

Believing that the mage and possibly my sister could still be alive, we are left with little choice but to return to the death lair. Allowing the fighter only a brief rest, we head back into the cave fully anticipating another ambush. We notice a lonely orc standing twenty feet up on a rickety swinging bridge and are able to shoot it down without incident. Deducing that the bugbear’s cave is just beyond the bridge we must choose climbing directly up to the bridge to taking the cave in the opposite direction in the hope the it curves back around and onto the bridge. Fortuitously, we take the cave route and encounter our mage and one of the bugbear’s mutinous second in command. Heartbreakingly, we also learn that my sister did not survive her wounds. The second agrees to give us back our mage as well as share the a map of the cave with all traps marked if we will only eliminate his rival for him. He also agrees to return the friend of the person who hired my sister’s party who remains alive against all odds.

Emboldened with our new information and the addition of an ally, we cross the rope bridge and take aim at three orcs in the distance. Unfortunately, we are only able to down two of them with our first arrow strikes. The remaining one runs into the boss’ lair to warn them of the attack. First to round the bend is the bugbear’s favored dog. Two arrows are loosed and he is down. Next is the injured orc which I am able to finish with a single arrow. Finally, the naked boss with several orcs round the corner. Arrows are loosed, and he is hit but still advancing. Just then, his second rounds the corner and comes at us from behind double crossing us. Caught between two evils pack bent on our destruction, we divide our strength. The barbarian takes on the orcs crossing the bridge from behind while the fighter melees the boss. Finally, the bugbear falls and I curse the second in command with whispers that cause him to run in terror. The barbarian deftly cleaves the remaining orcs on the bridge while the mage and fighter down the lady of the bugbear’s party. It is now that the mage notices the backstabber approaching the bridge from the lower level. He looses a fire bolt narrowly missing but convincing the traitor to flee. The mage jumps over the side of bridge in pursuit nearly breaking his leg on the fall. He manages to recover and continue the chase as we eliminate the few remaining orcs on the bridge. With great agility, the fight leaps from the bridge, falling the twenty feet, lands on his feet, and is able to follow with only a bruised big toe. As I am already near death, I take the safe route down and follow at least a hundred feet behind. The traitor is hiding in the thick brush while running from the cave. The severely injured mage follows without a single thought for his own safety throwing fire bolts at every opportunity. Closing in, he lands a blow. The fighter nears and begins shooting arrows. Finally, we catch him in an opening and I see my know. Quickly taking aim, I loose the cross bolt. My heart sinks. I know I have missed and given the criminal yet another chance to make his escape. I quickly begin to reload when I notice he is no longer attacking or trying to escape. He collapses on himself, and he is down. I had not missed after all. I had in fact nailed him directly in the head and has fallen unconscious. After making certain he will not be getting another chance to run, we return to our barbarian ally. She has loosed the final prisoner and we are all now searching for both treasure and clues about this strange den of death.

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

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