D&D Tales – Dragon Hatchery (Part One)

Adam continues his descent into roleplaying games in a new D&D campaign.

For our fourth night we had present Ravoprax the dragonborn druid, Artin the dwarven fighter, Carnicula the elven sorcerer, Red the human barbarian and Eldo the forest gnome cleric, with a couple of absences due to people having lives or something. We awoke in the town of Greenest, and wandered into the town square to meet the governor and our friend Leosin, whom we had saved last time from imprisonment in the dragon cultist camp. Presented with a map of the cave system at the back of that camp, ominously titled ‘Dragon Hatchery’, Leosin asked us to go and check it out, find out what was hidden there and try to scupper the plans of the dragon cult. He was heading off to the nearby town of Elturel, to discuss the cultist threat with a companion of his, and if we met him there after scoping out the hatchery we could get some more information a decent reward.

hotdq-episode-3-map

Our trip back to the camp was uneventful, passing through the blood stained area of the fight we had last time, the dead bodies now largely expended carrion. Using the ‘Speak to Animals’ spell gained from following the barbarian ‘Path of the Totem Warrior’ option at level 3, Red spoke to a crow that was pecking out the eye of a dead cultist, and asked it to fly ahead to the camp and scout it out for us. An hour or so later we approached the camp ourselves, the crow having not returned yet, and we saw that almost all of the tents, including the large command tent, had been burned to the ground as the cultists had packed up and moved on. The only cluster still standing was to the east, and as we walked up to them we saw a small group of hunters gathered around a cooking fire, slowly roasting a crow that they had shot out of the sky (it seems this power will only be useful if your DM isn’t a dick).

We started to talk, as they clearly did not want to try and fight us. They were simply hired by the cultists for aide, to help bring them food and other items – they weren’t exactly prepared to throw away their lives for the cult. However, they also weren’t keen on spilling all the secrets of the cult, as they would likely want them dead too for that. Carnicula used a ‘Friend’ spell on the leader, a timed charm that made the target trust the caster – for a limited time. Immediately afterwards, the target would know that they had been put under a spell. We used the chance to ask about the remaining cultists in the cave below, with a few kobolds, cultists and the lieutenants Langdedrosa and Frulum Mondath all still down there. Once the spell wore off, the mentally violated hunter spat on the ground in front of Carnicula, before they all packed up and walked away.

We headed to the cave entrance. Fortunately, the previously bright and sunny day that would have cast our shadows deep into the hatchery as we approached and spoiled the element of surprise had clouded over, with the credit largely being attributed to Eldo Timbers Cracklebang constantly praying to his tempest god Talos.

clouds

Praise Talos.

As we slowly tried to move in, it was clear that there were enemies laying in wait for us behind some of the large stalagmites inside. Red moved forward to reach around and grab an enemy, and as the waiting dragonclaw raised an axe to cut off her arm, Ravoprax turned into a bear and attacked him savagely. Red then drove her sword into his throat, ending him before two more of his fellows sprung into action, facing down the tag team of the barbarian woman and the bear-dragonborn-druid.

lightning attack

Further behind, an ambush drake jumped down from a ledge above right onto Eldo, ripping into the gnome and nearly one-shotting him. One of Eldo’s abilities is for an arc of lightning to strike anyone who melee attacks him, so with 1HP he managed to deal some nice retaliation damage to the drake. Then, with the help of a firebolt from Carnicula, he finished the ambush drake off with ‘inflict wounds’ – literally ripping the life from the now dried husk of a lizard. Meanwhile, Ravoprax took some substantial damage from one of the dragonclaws, losing the bear transformation. Backing off, he finished him off with a dragon breath. As Red fought the other, cutting open his stomach (which was miraculously kept in place by his armour), Artin finished him off with an arrow from a support position with the spell casters. Three kobolds then appeared at the end of the cave, and Red, after activating rage, ran up and cut one down. Artin ran in from the back and ruined the second, while Ravoprax used a thornwhip spell to grab the last and finish him off.

 

We pressed on, moving down a corridor and into a nearby room where we found a cultist asleep and snoring loudly. We put on our various stolen robes, with Eldo balancing on Carnicula’s shoulders to wear the bear-sized robe we created last time. We started to talk to him, unconvincingly as we all threw terrible rolls. Eldo managed to hit Carnicula in the face, and when he cried out in pain from within the robes the cultist threw knives at him. Red tried to attack him, and failed so badly that she fell prone on the ground. Fortunately the bad luck didn’t continue, Ravoprax killed the man and we moved on. But not before looting the body, as is tradition.

As we pressed on, we came to another room. It appeared to be a barracks, now largely bare except one man drinking at the table, wearing ostentatious purple armour and an ornate dagger and scabbard with a dragon design. Ravoprax, Carnicula and Red all decided to stumble in, pretending to be drunk, while the others waited at the door…

Come back next time for the conclusion of the Dragon Hatchery episode, including lightning, infanticide and vengeance!

Adam

 

 

 

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