Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Recap: Mission Dalyassa-ble
Bum-bum-badaa bum-bum-badaa
Another month, another Dragonborn Quest. It's gotten to the point where the players are familiar enough with the island that they are able to self-direct their own adventures. I certainly don't mind that, it just means I ask them where they want to go and I write a game in that direction.

As far as DMing goes, that's half the work done for me! Coming up with an idea for an adventure is just as hard as actually writing one.

This story is part 5 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: Mission Dalyassa-ble

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
Other traveling companions: Tofras the Smiter (War Priest of Bahamut), Ariann the Wizardess (Faelynn's friend), Nazavur the Assassin (clanless and edgy)

When we last left our heroes, they had freed a lot of Kobolds and killed Moudan the Scale-Eater, the legendary Behir living beneath the The Isle of Z'ildroth. However, they had lost their comrade Dalyassa, who was also Kreev's half-sister. She had been captured and was being held in Gravengong Fortress, the eponymous center of Gravengong city.

Faerbor, who had been gathering information from Yarjerit Jinprax, his "employer", dismissed himself in the night and returned to the group to share what he had seen of Dalyassa. The party decided to infiltrate the fortress and save her, opting for disguises and stealth over force.

The party left Tofras, Torrin, Oddmund, and Ariann at camp. They decided to take Nazavur the Assassin, not only because he would be good at stealth, but it seemed like he was getting dangerously annoyed with Torrin while the heroes weren't around.

Kreev made them all disguises, except for himself and Nerithya, who donned their Disguise Self spells. They left camp for the city and arrived as evening was setting. Nervous but unnoticed, their disguises got them through the city streets past the guards at the fortress gates. When pressed for a reason for their visit, they made up an appointment with Yarjerit Perfyire, clan elder of Yarjerit.

A fortress this big is a Sen
Once inside the fortress, they found themselves standing before a training yard, where White Dragonborn of clan Myastan were practicing their fighting techniques on slaves. Faerbor, being from that clan, immediately recognized his cousin, Faergrax, running the exercises. Faergrax was the current clan champion of Myastan, and the previous owner of their clan's artifact, the Axe of the Elders, which Faerbor now held.

While a Yarjerit guard was sent to inform the clan elder Perfyire of their "appointment", Faerbor and Faergrax got to talking. Faerbor learned that the front door of the castle was warded against non-Black Dragonborn, and that there was an alternate entrance through the dungeons, which was locked.

While they spoke, Kreev noticed a group of Myastan trainees beating up on a slave that wasn't a lizardfolk - it was the Red Dragonborn they had seen being sold in the slave market when they arrived in Gravengong! Kreev used magic to whisper to the slave that he had friends nearby. However, the poor Dragonborn seemed like he might've thought he was going insane, rather than having actually heard the voice of a friend.

Meanwhile, Nerithya showed off her pet rock to Faergrax. He was a little confused, but after a few moments she left him alone, having pocketed a set of fortress keys from under his nose. Faelynn then used her illusion magic to create a glint of light in a nearby sewer/body disposal pit, causing Faergrax to order several trainees to spend hours searching for his lost keys.

The Yarjerit guard returned, saying that Perfyire wasn't aware of their appointment and that it was too late in the day for them to take any further guests. Faergrax offered them a set of beds in the barracks within the fortress, and they took him up on it.

While he was outside looking for his keys, Nerithya secretively opened Faergrax's personal foot locker and looted it. They found a few magic items and a note that said Dalyassa had been taken to Perfyire's personal torture chamber. The group decided to wait until cover of darkness and make their move.

After everyone in the barracks had gone to sleep, Nerithya woke everyone up and they snuck out into the training yard. Using Faergrax's keys, they entered the fortress via the dungeon, through a basement door.

The area was filled with cobwebs, implying that nobody used this entrance, or hadn't in a while. They burned away the webs with their torches, and Faelynn made sure to lock the door behind them.

As they walked down the tunnel, suddenly Faelynn felt a cold wind pass through her. A ghost appeared in their midst, and took the form of a Copper Dragonborn! The spirit howled in anger and bore down upon them, shouting that she would destroy all Black Dragonborn.

The group was still in their disguises, and they quickly dispelled them to prove they were not the subjects of her torment.The ghost calmed down, and told them that she had been one of the first Copper Dragonborn captured. The Blackwings, clan Z'ildroth's personal army, had tortured her for information. She had tried to escape, but had been killed in this hallway.

The group promised they would try to avenge her, and carried on to the prison. After Nerithya dispatched a sleeping guard, the group started asking the caged kobolds and lizardfolk what they knew about the place. The prisoners were mostly unaware of the fortress layout, but they said one Kobold had made it out of the cells and was being punished in the Maze of Darkness.
In the dungeon, the mighty dungeon, the kobolds sleep tonight
The Maze of Darkness, it turned out, was a pitch-black room behind an iron door in the prison. The group tied a rope around Zovira and sent her in to find the lost Kobold. She felt multiple waves of magic wash over her, but in the end was able to pull the creature out of the darkness. The heroes didn't know how the maze worked, but they were glad to have navigated it successfully.

The rescued kobold was named Lok, and he promised to lead his friends to safety, using his knowledge of the fortress. The group unlocked the cages and pressed onward.

They bumped into a guard, but Zovira made quick work of him. After passing over a false pit trap, and unlocking the door leading up into the rest of the building, they came across a forge and armory situated within the fortress.

The forge itself was a large structure covered in runes. Inside, the fire howled and banged the walls, and it was apparent to the group that this was a captured fire elemental. Kreev and Nerithya used their knowledge of arcana to unseal the forge just long enough for the elemental to escape.

The creature introduced itself as Scoria, and swore a debt to the group for saving it. It told them there was a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire in the fortress, and it was hoping to use the exit to get home.

As luck would have it, nearly immediately afterwards, the group beat up a Blackwing guard and stumbled on the portal. It appeared as a large painting, with swirling red colors in it. Scoria took their leave, but not before promising to uphold the debt he promised. Kreev said he'd hold him to it.

The party moved to the second floor of the fortress, Perfyire's personal quarters. They faced a long hallway, with the shadow of a guard just around the corner at the end of it.

Faelynn, invisible, and Nerithya moved from room to room, checking on doors and getting information. They saw signs that the door at the end of the hallway must be Perfyire's, and found her servant's quarters. Nerithya discovered the torture chamber, which sure enough, contained Dalyassa. Meanwhile, Faelynn discovered the identity of the shadow: Yarjerit Baldaar, the clan champion, who apparently fought with a bullwhip of demonic power.

After coming up with a plan, the group sprung into action. Kreev placed a Forcecage around Baldaar, while Faelynn cast Otto's Irresistible Dance on the Blackwing Elite guarding Dalyassa. Nerithya freed Dalyassa from her restraints while Nazavur and Zovira let the slaves loose from the servant's quarters. Finally, Faerbor cast Arcane Lock on Perfyire's door, to keep her locked up tight.

Baldaar roared in fury and brandished his whip against Kreev's cage, to no avail. Meanwhile, Faelynn grabbed Dalyassa and used Dimension Door to get outside the fortress, to the training yard. Everyone else made for the upper balcony and leapt off, letting Faerbor cast Feather Fall to slow their descent.

Uh oh
As they landed, they saw a standoff had occurred on the training yard. Perfyire, who was apparently on a midnight walk, had a poisoned crossbow leveled at Faelynn and Dalyassa. With her finger on the trigger, Perfyire warned the group that so much as a slight movement would end Dalyassa's life.

Kreev, acting quickly, cast Animate Objects on the crossbow, while Faelynn began shouting the incantation to Dimension Door. However, as soon as they began speaking, the bolt had left the crossbow, and it thudded into Dalyassa's shoulder a split second before she disappeared.

Faerbor and Zovira attacked Perfyire, who had drawn a blazing sword made of pure sunlight to fight them. Also, her now-living crossbow attacked her as well. Nerithya quickly went to work on the main gate, hoping to raise the portcullis and let them free.

Meanwhile, Faelynn cast a powerful healing spell on Dalyassa. The Red Dragonborn was still unconscious, but the poison rushing through her veins had been quelled. Faelynn made them both invisible and quietly walked out of town.

Inside the fortress, Faerbor struck the final blow to Perfyire, and with the fortress coming to life around them, the group made for the gate. Zovira grabbed the sunblade, as well as a strange amulet around Perfyire's neck.

Later, in the forest, the group met back up at camp. Search parties were beginning to travel through the woods, which prompted them to move their campsite even deeper into the woods. As they did so, Kreev and Faelynn began to examine the mysterious amulet.

The amulet turned out to be a key of sorts - wearing it would change the portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire into a portal to Palaga, the capital city. More amulets would allow the wearer to travel deeper and deeper into Castle Z'ildroth, and each of the four chromatic clan leaders under Z'ildroth were given an amulet.

The remaining chromatic clan leaders were all within or nearby Palaga as well, but the group didn't feel like they would be able to sneak back into Gravengong and get back to the portal. Instead, they opted to travel overland to the swamps of the western coast, hoping to gain some allies among the Lizardfolk of the island.

As they were eating dinner, Nazavur the assassin stood up and announced his intention to leave, with Kreev's approval that he had fulfilled his contract. Kreev reluctantly granted it, and the assassin disappeared into the night. The group shamed him while he left, much to Torrin's delight.

Oddly, not five minutes later, a new Dragonborn approached the campsite and introduced himself as Cheskapen. He appeared to be from clan Kepeshmolik, a Black Dragonborn tribe. Though he claimed to come in peace, weapons were brandished and aimed at him. He slowly raised his claws in surrender.
Big bad Dragonborgs
We stopped there for the night. I'm really happy with the way the game went, since normally when I run these kind of dungeons it takes a lot more time, and we were able to do a pretty short and sweet game.

Also, now I get to write a swamp game. Fun stuff!

Thanks for reading!

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