D&D Tales – Dragon Hatchery (Part Two)

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

Last time we left the group down in the Dragon Hatchery caves, about to enter the now almost empty barracks, as the majority of the dragon cult had packed up and moved along. In the room was a lone cultist wearing ostentatious purple armour and an ornate dagger and scabbard with a dragon design, drinking heavy at the table. Ravoprax the dragonborn druid, Carnicula the elven sorcerer and Red the human barbarian all stumbled in, pretending to be drunk, while Artin the dwarven fighter and Eldo the forest gnome cleric waited at the door.

Responding as if we were friends (we were still wearing out pilfered cultist robes), he told us that the rest of the cult had headed north to Neverwinter, and that there was actually much more to the ritual of raising the dragon queen Tiamat than just amassing gold. He indicated that Frulum, his boss, was in the next room through a wooden door. Carnicula then offered up a drink to the man, a shot of the dragon’s blood from Eldo’s bottomless flask that had already permanently altered Carnicula’s body (leaving him bald and 10 inches taller the previous day). He poured out shots for all four at the table – Red faked drinking her shot, Ravoprax gained the temporary ability to teleport, Carnicula was surrounded by an aura of floating butterflies, and the cultist gained the ability to shoot lightning out of his hands, causing massive damage (something like 4d10) to whomever he targeted. We egged him on to attack the wall (instead of us), but he decided to aim straight at the door. Vaporising the wood, the bolt crackled into the darkness of the next room. There was the sound of a woman screeching (to the tune of 33 DMG), and then silence.

electrocution

The cultist, now concerned that he may have harmed his superior, timidly walked towards the smoking door. Carnicula sneaked up on him and stabbed him with a dagger, while everyone else then attempted to attack him too with varied success. Enraged, the man nearly instant-killed Carnicula, taking him down to -12HP (if you go more than your max HP below zero you die instantly, without the chance to stabilise with saving rolls when unconscious) and pinned him to the wall. Ravoprax then finished the man off with a thornwhip. In the next room we found Frulum Mondath dead, saving us the trouble, but anything of value had been fried when she burned up in the attack. In her chambers we found diaries and a map of the area, indicating the towns already attacked and ransacked, and an arrow pointing to the town of Beregost – potentially the next target.

half-dragon

At the end of room was a rope descending into the darkness beneath. Ravoprax led the way down, with everyone following with various degrees of success when trying to stay quiet. There, praying to a large statue of a five-headed dragon, we found Langdedrosa, the blue half dragon who led the attack on Greenest and delivered a beating to Red in one-on-one combat for the lives of some hostages. Eldo, for some reason, cast a fog over the back of the room. As he had already heard us approach, we walked out of the fog and faced him. After taunting Red for her defeat, and Ravoprax for the slaughter of his people, the party attacked Langdedrosa. Ravoprax enveloped him in a moonbeam, a column of light that delivered damage as long as he stayed in it, but it would also damage any of us entering the area, making melee attacking almost impossible.

Almost.

Ignoring this, Artin ran in to attack, receiving damage herself from Ravoprax’s spell and then missing the attack badly, knocking one of the heads of the statue. Suddenly acid spat out of several holes in the wall, damaging Langdedrosa and instantly knocking out Carnicula again. Staying out of the moonbeam, Red threw her handaxes at the half dragon, dealing moderate but frustratingly low damage considering how much she wanted his head. Enraged at the acid burning his skin, Langdedrosa hit a multi attack on Artin and knocked her out too. But in doing this, the DM forgot to move him… so at the end of his turn he took a huge amount of extra damage from the moonbeam, and collapsed to the ground.

The spell ended, Red walked up to his body and cut off the head, as Ravoprax prised off a tooth for his necklace. We stabilised and woke our unconscious comrades, and opened a chest under the statue. A click indicated a trap, but as Artin had already set that off during the fight by accident, nothing else happened. Inside was a good haul of various gems and jewellery, so we pocketed all of it to sell later.

Continuing into the cavern, we found a room with three large black dragon eggs. For reasons that I probably won’t ever understand, Carnicula and Eldo decided to sacrifice one to Talos under the Tiamat statue. Cracking the egg open, Carnicula bit into the infant dragon in it’s death throes, again taking acid damage before it died. As Ravoprax thought that the best course of action was to finish destroying the eggs, because more black dragons would be a bad thing, we elected to crack them open. So, through a decidedly less insane method than the other egg, Red and Ravoprax broke open the remaining two and put the writhing baby dragons out of their misery. Dark.

Image credit: Dragon eggs by jedeleon2

Dragon eggs by jedeleon2

We moved on, finding another room largely empty with a few rats scurrying around. Using ‘Speak to Animals’, Red asked one of them about what was left in the cave. After finding out that we had disposed of all of the dragon eggs and most of the cultists in the area, and hearing the words ‘ambush drake nursery’ describe one of the remaining caves, we decided that we were done here. It was late, we had been battered from all of our fights, so we headed outside.

A single kobold stared at us from the watchtower outside the cave. Red held up the head of Langdedrosa, and the kobold threw himself out of the tower, killing himself instantly. A pretty extreme reaction, as this was one of the rare times when Red wasn’t actually planning on killing. The party decided to head through Greenest to rest, before heading on to the town of Elturel to meet up with Leosin.

We decided to start recording these D&D sessions as a test to see how it would sounds as a podcast, and we ended up liking it a lot and kept it up in the form of ‘Total Reroll’. As such this is the last installment of D&D Tales, mainly because it is too much hassle writing up and editing the sessions for a podcast at the same time (it’s also much funnier). Check out the first episode here!

Adam

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