Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Recap: Dragon Politics
In which Torrin gets his very first set of armor!
We got another session of Dragonborn Quest in this weekend, and it was a doozy! I'm going to focus on this article this week, there's also going to be a Storm King's Thunder article up but it will be shorter and will probably go up sometime tonight or tomorrow.

This story is part 2 of a series. The campaign was completed.
Previous Campaign | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 |

Dragonborn Quest: Dragon Politics

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Will: Daardendrian Kreev, Red Dragonborn Bard, former prince, back to set things right
Megan: Daardendrian Zovira, Red Dragonborn Fighter, Kreev's aunt, champion of the clan
Bria: Druuga Faelynn, Silver Dragonborn Bard, avenged her sister, now to fix the isle...
Michelle: Nerithya Finzerwin, Half-Drow Rogue, ex-cultist looking for a new purpose to her life
Matt: Myastan Faerbor, White Dragonborn Fighter, Kreev's friend and owner of the legendary Axe of the Elders
NPC: Svihios Torrin, a clanless young Gold Dragonborn who is eager to go on adventures and become a hero
NPC: Oddmund, Nerithya's Shield Guardian, has a smiling face painted on his head

When we last left our band of heroes, they had "commandeered" a pirate vessel and sailed it into the Free City of Metallic Dragonborn, Dovuaka. They had just pulled in when they were approached by a guard patrol lead by Myastan Faerbor.

Eldritch Knight: for when you need Sword and Sorcery
After some quick misdirection by Kreev, the other guards were sent away and Faerbor learned the true identities of the "pirates". It didn't hurt that Torrin had been disguised and Kreev was wearing his Hat of Disguise.

Faerbor was happy to see his old friend, and immediately joined up with the party. The group needed a place to lay low while in town; Faelynn suggested her clan's home. The group made their way to Prisma, the School of the Arts that served as clan Druuga's home.

Faelynn stood outside and played a clan Druuga lullaby on her bagpipes. The doors burst open, and Druuga Belgar, the clan leader, jumped out and was nearly floored to see her. The whole clan came out, including an older Dragonborn who had once been Kreev's teacher, and Faelynn's mother Druuga Vycki.

The clan grilled Faelynn on her adventures and where her sister was, while Belgar let the rest of the party know that they were welcome to stay in Prisma while they were in Dovuaka. The party decided to rest up and grab some food.

Over the meal, Belgar grilled Kreev on his intentions for coming back to the island. He was uncertain about supporting a full revolution, but Kreev set his mind at ease. Together, the group explained that they weren't here to start a war, they simply wanted to weaken the evil clan Z'ildroth and help Kreev bring peace back to the land. Belgar asked his niece, Faelynn, if she would trust the fate of the clan to Kreev. Her affirmative answer sealed Belgar's support of their endeavor.

Belgar granted them a small band of bards to assist them around town and on their mission. (I had the players come up with a name for this group, and they decided on Metallica. So, naturally, the bards were named Lars, Kirk, Clint, and James) He also informed them that there had recently been an election that they might be able to leverage into gaining further support or their cause.
Faelynn: surprisingly vicious
The Council of Dovuaka, normally consisting of 5 Dragonborn, had been stripped down to 4 a mere few months ago. The Copper Dragonborn leader of the council, Drachedandion Qibireth, had been killed when clan Z'ildroth had come into Dovuaka to rout the Copper Dragonborn, their most staunch political opponents. Now leaderless, the Council had come to a complete standstill, unable to even elect a 5th member to fill out the council.

Faelynn's cousin, Druuga Lorgara, had been in the running for the empty council seat, and they decided to meet with her. Lorgara was a dramatic and fanciful girl, who dreamed of separating the northern and southern half of the island and doing away with the conflicts between the chromatic and metallic clans. Her naive idea had lost her a majority vote, but fortunately no other candidate had claimed the position, so a re-election was going to be held in 2 days.

The group decided to get working on gaining support, both on the council and off. Belgar said he would arrange a meeting with the council for them, and the characters went out into the city to drum up more support.

They met with the silver clans of Kimbatuul and Iandeinum. The clan elder of clan Kimbatuul, Quilmeila, was happy to see the group and immediately granted them a patrol of 15 Silver Dragonborn, all with basic military training. (To handle the groups, I used the very elegant mass combat system portrayed by this essay from Paul Hughes. Link is NSFW!) Kimbatuul Quilmeila was also a member of the council, and assured the group she would stick up for them at their meeting. Clan Iandeinum, however, was a bunch of philosophers, and didn't really take to any declarations of war. The did provide some helpful directions around town, though.

The last clan the group sought out that day was clan Fenkenkabradon, a Brass clan of wizards. Their leader, Mixora, was a stubborn old man, and it quickly became clear to the group why nothing was getting done on the council. Faelynn met an old friend, Fenkenkabradon Ariann, who joined up with the group and immediately gave everyone odd nicknames.

Guess who's here to take your stuff!
The group was heading back when they ran into a patrol of Black Dragonborn standing outside a residence. The patrol was part of clan Z'ildroth's enforcement squad, the Blackwings! They had found a Copper Dragonborn in the house and had murdered the occupants to get at him. The group quickly dispatched the patrol, and rescued the Copper Dragonborn. Before leaving, they placed the slain patrol in the house and set it on fire.

The next day, the group got their chance to meet with a few other clans, as well as the council itself. The group explained their entire plan to the council, including diagrams and pictures held up by Faerbor, Zovira, and Oddmund.

The council took their time replying, and although Quilmeila supported the group as she promised, each of the other council members had different levels of opposition to the plan, ranging from Fenkenkabradon Mixora's claims that the violence would eventually settle down, to the Brass Dragonborn merchant Turnuroth Zofrixis' near-blatant support of clan Z'ildroth.

In the end, the group got no support or opposition, and they realized that the only way to clear up the mess that was the council would be to get another Dragonborn elected to the council and break the many standoffs in the council.

They met with the other two candidates. Pezzuth Daxor was a hotheaded Bronze Dragonborn who merely wanted to wipe out the chromatic clans. Kreev, Zovira, and Faerbor obviously didn't like that too much.

The other candidate was a gossip Brass Dragonborn named Eophiadeinth Eraqrin. She wanted the council to support Z'ildroth and simply ask for negotiations and concessions, which the group didn't find appealing either. In the end, they decided to support Faelynn's cousin, Druuga Lorgara.

In order to cinch her spot on the council, they had to convince either Mixora or Zofrixis to change their vote. They decided to go with Mixora, and met the old Dragonborn in his study.

"A dragon doesn't change his scales" - someone who fell asleep in his own pudding
After intense questioning, Mixora finally agreed to switch his vote. He also gave them some parting advice: every Dragonborn Clan leader has something up their sleeve. They are the oldest, wisest, and strongest among their clans, and they always know more than they let on. Clan Z'ildroth's leader, Salathzar, was taxing the clans heavily, but hadn't said why. Mixora also warned the group that his champion, Z'ildroth Favnir, was also quite canny, and had actually been the motivator behind the Copper Dragonborn being attacked.

On the day of the election, the group decided to make one last clan stop, at clan Cletheinthiallor, the Bronze Dragonborn who ran the Temple of Bahamut. Their leader, Udoroth, had opposed Kreev at the council meeting, and they wanted to know more about the clan.

Udoroth was not in, but they met with the clan champion, a rambunctious War Priest named Cletheinthiallor Tofras the Smiter. Tofras took a liking to the group and offered his services on their journey. He was sure Udoroth would understand.

Finally, the re-election was upon them. The group was heading towards the council ward of the city when they heard a ominous rumor: several patrols of Blackwings had arrived at the docks. The heroes decided to press onward, but take a precaution: Faelynn laid a Glyph of Warding on the council chamber door.

The council heard the various candidate's proposals, and voted. Mixora changed his vote, and Druuga Lorgara was accepted onto the council!
When it comes to dragon politics, debate can get a bit heated
However, at that moment, Blackwings burst into the room, lead by none other than their clan champion, Z'ildroth Favnir! He demanded the candidates be handed over, as the council no longer had the right to elect under the rule of Z'ildroth.

The heroes leapt into action! Faelynn activated her Glyph, Zovira, Nerithya, Tofras, and Faerbor all jumped down from the balcony, and the candidates ran for their lives!

A chaotic struggle filled the chamber. The council, protected by a Wall of Force, was teleported away by Mixora's magic. Metallica grabbed Torrin and helped see civilians out of the chamber, while the heroes focused on getting between Favnir and the candidates. Arianna used her teleportation abilities to get Daxor away, while Eraqrin and Lorgara were protected by the Silver Dragonborn patrol.

As the Blackwings' numbers thinned, Zovira and Faerbor were able to corner Z'ildroth Favnir. Outnumbered, he fought well, but finally Zovira stabbed him in the heart with her Sword of Sharpness. He grabbed the blade, wondering aloud why Salothzar had failed him.

Then, he was suddenly surrounded by a column of black and purple flames. Zovira leapt back, abandoning her sword to save her scales. When the flames faded, he was nothing but bones and armor, but the corpse pulled the blade out of its own chest and used it to strike Zovira! Her own sword turned against her, she nearly fell to the now pitch-black blade.

The party decided that was more than enough reason to leave, and after finishing off the Blackwings, fled the room. Kreev and Ariann both left spells in the room to restrain Favnir's walking corpse, and as they exited with their allies, Mixora appeared and sealed the room behind them.

When they cautiously entered a few minutes later, the room was empty, save for a mass of destruction and a message carved into the floor in draconic: "This isn't over, Champion Daardendrian Zovira!"

The formerly alive champion of the Black Clan, Z'ildroth Favnir
Exiting the Council Citadel, they were met with a large crowd of metallic Dragonborn, relieved to see the council alive and surprised to see a red Dragonborn, Daardendrian Kreev, in their city.

Kreev gave a stirring speech and spoke of why he had come back home to his island after his exile, and that he planned to do something about the chaos and destruction wrought by clan Z'ildroth. The metallic Dragonborn, though still slightly cautious, applauded and thanked him for saving their council.

The group rested and healed their many injuries. Belgar thanked them, and asked what their next move was. The group decided to head across the island to Gravengong, the southern mining town and center of slavery among the Chromatic Dragonborn, to strike a blow to the livelihood of clan Z'ildroth.

They were outfitted with armor and supplies, and clan Kimbatuul even found a (less powerful) magic sword to replace Zovira's lost one. Turnuroth Zofrixis, embarrassed at having opposed the heroes who saved him, allowed the group to use the services of an assassin, Svihios Nazavur. (Svihios means "clanless" in Draconic. Torrin also uses that name, as the only remaining Gold Dragonborn on the Isle.)

The party decided to travel light, and dismissed the services of the Silver Dragonborn patrol and the bardic band Metallica. They kept Ariann, Nazavur, and Tofras the Smiter with them.

With that, they set out, hoping to learn more about their foes and deal a crippling blow to clan Z'ildroth!
Nerithya Finzerwin: great at stabbing, not as good at complex Dragonborn clan negotiations
We managed to get through everything I had written and more, and I was very pleased at how the group responded to everything. It was a long game, so I'm hoping next session I can show off the dangers of the center of the island and not worry too much about politics and such.

Overall, I'm really liking these sessions. I'm trying to make sure everyone has something to do, since a game about Kreev taking back his throne can really turn into "The Kreev Show". I think some time in the wilderness will help.

Thanks for reading!

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