Crimson Brotherhood - HotDQ

Session 2 - Behind Enemy Lines
To discover the truth

After the interrogation the players are asked by Escobert to go see the Governor who is up on the parapet. Looking down the players can see that the Keep has been encircled by the raiders. Outside the players can see remaining townsfolk trying to hide and being hunted down. The Governor asks that the group get back out there somehow and save his people!

Escobert the dwarf has a plan so it is down to the Cellar. After removing the boxes and other items a secret exit is unlocked and Escobert explains that the tunnel leads out beyond the lines of the enemy to the river and that the players can exit and enter through the tunnel and bring back rescued townsfolk this way.

Marching Order through the tunnel is Joseph, Karathor, Lothar and Mojo. At the far end the front two characters are attacked by Rats!

Swarm of Rats – surprise round and i miss

Initiative
Mojo – 23
Joseph – 3
Karathor – 9
Lothar – 15

Rats – 19

The rat swarms cause damage and have the characters hopping but they prevail and exit the tunnel after getting through the lock. Once in the shallow water the party are surprised by Kobolds and a cultist that leads them. some of the kobolds have higher ground and use slings to attack.

Initiative

Kobolds and Cultist – 8

Mojo – 18
Joseph – 10
Karathor – 19
Lothar – 6

The battle is over fairly quickly but not without the players taken damage but no one falls (but it was close!). After much needed healing from Karathor, the group sets out to investigate other parts of the town in the hope of rescuing more townsfolk. Eventually they get their wish as the players come across a group of people that have been taken prisoner by an robed acolyte and more kobolds. This time the players get the drop and attack first.

Initiative

Kobolds – 18
Acolyte – 16

Mojo – 9
Joseph – 14
Karathor – 8
Lothar – 23

Lothar is devastating with his axe and quickly causing death with every swing. Karathor and Joseph and close behind and soon the kobolds and the acolyte are dead as Mojo’s magic stops any from escaping. The players take precautions and make their way back to the tunnel and get the townsfolk inside. Soon a message is delivered by a runner to say that there is something going on over at the mill and that they need to check it out. So after a short rest the players make their way as stealthily as possible to the mill.

Here they once more see some wagons being prepared to take away food stuffs the the town will need after the siege. There is also a figure on a horse that the players know is the human female, Frulam Mondath, who is said to be in charge of the attack on Greenest. The players make their way forward to make a surprise attack but when they ‘spring’ the trap there is no one around. What is going on?? The players decide to approach the mill and go inside where they see more prisoners. The players move towards the prisoners and miss all the signs of the waiting ambush. The hidden guards attach with spears and do damage then the battle is joined!

Initiative

Guards – 17
Cultist – 17

Mojo – 15
Joseph – 17
Karathor – 12
Lothar – 20

Lothar again chargers in straight towards the cultist that leads the attackers, with Joseph close behind. This fight was a good one and the players worked well together with Karathor also standing side by side with the other two. Behind them Mojo cast his spells to good effect and eventually the players were victorious (especially after the massive critical hit by Lothar on the Cultist Leader to take him down.) The prisoners were untied and some healing cast. The players also realised that their actions throughout the night had come to the attention of the leaders of the raiding forces, so they were very careful escorting the townsfolk back to the keep.

End of Session 2

GM NOTE – Combat in D&D 5th ED is quick and as this was the second session and the players had become more comfortable with the system and their characters play moved quickly. I like it a lot and the con-census is the same from my players. I rolled a lot better this session and we all had a lot of fun. All players have reached Level 2 and this is also the end of Episode 1 of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

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Session 1 - Greenest Under Attack
I see a Dragon!

The adventure starts with the players escorting a caravan of goods from the city of Hawthorne to town of Greenest. In charge of the caravan is SGT Blainee, a gruff veteran of the ‘undead war’. About an hour before dusk the players top the rise of the last hill that over looks the valley where Greenest sits.

Episode 1
Below in the valley the town is under attack. smoke rises from burning buildings and even from this distance the players can see figures running around. some appear to be chasing others while overhead circles a dragon! A real DRAGON! Blainee ordered the guards and players to head towards the town. The wagons form a circle and wait for word before heading down to the town. Just after dusk the players arrive at the edge of the town. It is hard to see (for humans) because of the smoke haze, but Blainee sends the players one way while he goes another way towards the keep with the remaining guards.

The players head through shallows of the river and up one of the banks. Joseph and Lothar come out of the brush and run into a cloaked figure and 3 guards. Combat starts as the cloaked figure (actually an Acolyte) goes to cast a spell, but since Mojo and Karathor have surprise as they have not been seen and are ready for trouble, they act first.

Surprise Round
Mojo and Karathor

Initiative
Villains
Guards – 21 Acolyte 1

Party
Lothar – 22
Joseph – 14
Mojo – 23
Karathor – 13

The spell fails as Mojo casts sleep taking down 2 guards and the Acolyte. The last guard is cut down by Lothar and Karathor. After checking the bodies, the players head towards the keep, and at all times avoiding the Blue Dragon that is circling over the town and blasting areas. There are many dead townsfolk and guards everywhere and all points to a very well planned attack.

The players get to the Keep and meet a red haired Dwarf by the name of Escobert and hand the prisoner (Acolyte) over and are told that SGT Blainee has been here and they are to follow the orders of the Governor.

They go to the parapets and look down on the damaged town and can see fires everywhere. The raiders are taking slaves and stores from the town. The players are ordered to go out and save the townsfolk and bring them back to the safety of the Keep. They are given a special badge so that the guards will not kill them on sight when they return. Without the badge the Keep will not open the doors.

As the players head towards the largest group of raiders to scout them and see what they can discover on the way, they come across more dead and a family being chased by kobolds and battle begins!

Initiative – Kobolds – 3

Lothar – 7
Joseph – 9
Mojo – 22
Karathor – 11

Six of the kobolds are killed and the other two captured – the family is saved with the players getting important information on the layout of the raiders attacking the town. It seems the raiders are made up of humans and kobolds and they are slowly encircling the town and moving inwards. Townsfolk are taken captive or killed if they cannot walk. The raiders are far more organised than everyone believes. After learning this the players escort the family back to the Keep.

Interrogation Time!

Downstairs in the dungeons, the Acolyte, two guards and the two kobolds are chained up. (The NPCs – Ranger and Blainee brought back) are questioned by the players at the request of the Governor. Karathor uses pain and fear (breaks a knee of the Acolyte) and this made him talk, causing the guards to spill the beans (they are hired mercs) and the kobolds were told to just loot and have fun.

Information Acquired
Appears the Cult of the Dragon is the group responsible for the well planned attack on the township, with many brigands hired to cause as much trouble as possible. The kobolds report to a ‘dragon lady’ and all they are after is loot. There is a main leader is a woman and this person is protected at all times with a least a dozen guards. They have also heard rumours of dragon eggs in the cults camp. The Acolyte gives the following information – ‘for the great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragons’. The acolyte also confirms that there is a clutch of dragon eggs under heavy guard in a cave near the camp.

End of Session 1

GM NOTE – The players did well and we had a good time playing D&D 5th ED for the first time. I rolled really REALLY badly and barely did any damage to the players. Next session i expect better from my dice!!!

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Timeline Advanced approximately 5 years...

With the release of D&D 5th ED I have worked out ‘future events’ based on my players actions (and what they had planned) from the original Crimson Brotherhood Campaign. As a result towns were attacked and war came to the Duchy of Greenwood and the lands of Eltugard, with evil almost reigning supreme. Now time has passed and Dragons have come to the Sword Coast…

Now is the time of the ‘Hoard of the Dragon Queen’

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Session 7 - By Barge towards the second sun

After the encounters in the warehouse the discovery of the ritual in the tavern near the waterfront the players speak once more with the authorities and go over what has been found. Some unknown group is causing problems around the borders of both the Duchy and Eltguard. Dispatchers will be sent with all haste to the rulers of both countries in case this is the beginning of something much bigger. It is decided that the players will travel by barge towards the capital to keep on with their investigation. That night as the barges travelled the third barge came under attack. The creatures were the same as the ones that were at the festival, only this time they were not after the players themselves but were trying to break the chains linking the third and fourth barges. The players managed to stop this (just) but the barge has had to stop for the time being while the chains are repaired. Why were the barges attacked? Is someone trying to stop them from getting to the capital?

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Session 6 - Berdush, a city with secrets

The next morning the part of the group head to the temple of Torm to give warning and tell the forces of Eltugaurd about what they have discovered. The force of trolls and gnolls will have to be scouted by troops from the city. At the moment many of the Paladins from Berdush are to the east investigating a strange sickness and other goings on, but a small scouting force will be sent out to investigate what the players discovered. Messages will also be sent to the capital and to the Duchy of Greenwood so that patrols and information sharing can be stepped up. The truth will be discovered!

After this the players investigate the movements of Samuel Jackson throughout the city. It is discovered that he liked to frequent a local dockside tavern called the Gutted Fish. This establishment caters to many of the local workers and barge workers that help move goods and services east and west along the river. After some discrete enquiries, the players manage to gain access to a room Samuel’s has on permanent retainer. A cursory look finds nothing unusual; the room holds a well-maintained four poster bed, duchess and clothing cupboard. The room has a womanly feel and one that puts you at ease. Never a group to take anything at face value, a search is conducted. What they find is in a word, ‘wrong’. Attached to each post of the bed is a manacle. Each has dried blood on it. After removing the mattress from the bed the players find a magical symbol carved into the underneath of the it. After consulting between themselves, the players believe it is a demonic link. What foul rites were taken place in this room! The room is sealed and a runner is sent with a message to the High Priest of Torm. Not long after Paladins of Torm and the High Priest are at the Gutted Fish, shutting down the tavern and the players take the owner and staff in for questioning.

After questioning the staff they are let go as it is evented that the owner is the only one that had an idea of what was going on in the room. Staff did mention that there were a number of different women and girls that went to the room with Samuel’s. Evelyn was one of these girls.

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Session 5 - The Mystery Deepens

On the last leg of the trip to Berdusk, tracks belonging to the Gnolls are discovered. Travelling now at the slower pace the group come upon a hidden trail that leaves the main road north. Following it brings the players to a well hidden camp in a small sunken hollow where the gnolls have set up camp. Here they can see that the gnolls have a prisoner that looks exactly like the cleric that was leading the Paladins on the road the night before. He looks like he has been tortured. As the players decide on what to do the gnolls go on alert but they are not looking at the players but at some new arrivals. Heading down towards the hollow from the north is a group of trolls! Gnolls and trolls working together!?!?!? This is a bad omen as the only trolls are to the east of the duchy! The cleric is handed over to the trolls. The players move on and continue to ride hard for Berdusk as the forces in the hollow are too much for them to battle and there are troops at Berdusk that can be utilised to form a rescue. Late in the evening the players arrive in Berdusk.

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Session 4 - Northwards

The brotherhood re-examine all the sites of the attacks during the day and discover that there is a member of the Wagon Masters family missing. His oldest daughter is nowhere to be found and was last seen in the city of Berdusk. Mika communes with the dead and is disgusted by what she discovers. There is a child involved and the daughter is the mother – is the child a devil in a child’s body? The daughter and baby must be found. It is also at thios point Mojo finds the daughters diary and brings it downstairs. He opens it and sets off the trap for the book was left behind on purpose! The trap is just overcome and not long after a quasit is found watching the players. It barely escapes laughing and cursing the players.

Later after all this information is relayed back to the Duke, some members of the Brotherhood head north through the Duchy towards Berdusk, as this seems to be where the trail is leading. On the evening of the second day the group is at a sheltered camp on the border with Eltguard when they see a small group of Paladins of Torm plus a cleric heading east at pace. Later in the evening an old camp is discovered nearby – the tracks say Gnolls were here (which explains the presence of the Paladins on the road). In the remains of the fire the players from the severed left arm (from the elbow) of an elven woman please a ring detonating she was a member of a family from a Forest area to the north. There is no sign of a body.

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Session 3 - Night Games

Not long after the first attack, other members of the Brotherhood that are relaxing at their Chapter house in the city come under attack but undead minotaur’s and two live ones. A priest controls the undead while an axe wielding minotaur tries hard to kill Datak. The attack is defeated but not before the roof of the building starts to collapse as it is eaten away by the acid attack of a black dragon and its rider. Quasi who is already badly hurt is mentally controlled and attacks his friends that have to subdue him. The unconscious Quasi is taken to the Keep for medical attention. The dragon and its rider fly off vowing that this is only the beginning.

As this has been going on, the garrison building, Greenwood Keep and parts of the city are attacked by fiery missiles from ballista that are somewhere within the city! The group splits and goes to the wagon yards to discover a portable ballista and some dead guards, one of which is sliced in two from an axe attack.

Others of the Brotherhood head to a granary and discover a we concealed ballista built into the top of the building. A search of the building also discovers 8 bodies in apple barrels. Are these the real workers, as the bodies have been here for some time. People around the area say it has been business as usual.

The third building investigated is the home of the Wagon Master for the city. Inside is found the wagon master and his family, all slain in some kind of bizarre ritual. It is truly evil. This is only the beginning of the attacks it seems!

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Session 2 - The Festival!

Invisible assassins discovered during the festival – are they linked with the current ill tidings’ that are plaguing the Duchy?

Later that night, some members of the Brotherhood are attacked by undead creatures in their own homes – the plot thickens.

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Session 1 - Old Friends, New Mystery

Travelling from Baldur’s Gate, three members of the Brotherhood are attacked by demonic creatures, but add arrives in time. It seems the borders of the Duchy are not as safe as they once were. Once in the city of Greeenwood, more news comes from the east – forces of the Duchy were attacked while scouting the area of rift where the land fell into the Underdark. An undead giant killed but with many losses. Evil is on the move once more…

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