Crimson Brotherhood - HotDQ

Session 7 - Hatchery Cleared! Onwards to Elturel
On the hunt!

Session Overview

Notes to follow soon

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Session 6 - The Shrine of the Dragon
Of Temples and Eggs

Session Overview
The Dragon Shrine to Tiamat is explored and the Half-Dragon and Frulam are fought and defeated; though the group were worried that failure was definitely on the cards! But in the end they were triumphant. From there the group went into the Dragon Hatchery room and deal with the Kobolds but do not touch the guard drake in the pit with the eggs. Eventually though they notice they are being watched from behind them and see a winged shape fleeing down the other tunnel the group has not yet investigated. The dwarf looks at the ceiling and walls of the dragon shrine and works out the best way to collapse the tunnel to the dragon eggs to help stop the cults plans for them. Next session the group will head down the tunnel after the winded creature they saw.

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Session 5 - Into the Cave
The old prisoner trick!

Session Overview
The return back to the Raider’s camp after working out the plan of attack is slow and careful but the group is even more astounded by what they find. The camp is mostly deserted with a few hunters out gathering food but they make their way into the caves, using Joseph as a prisoner – nothing like a Paladin of Torm to sacrifice for the glory pf the Cult! The plan works and the guards inside the tunnel are surprised and dealt with. As members of the group look down on the Fungi, Mojo miraculously finds the hidden passage and the group goes this way instead.

The abandoned treasure room is found and the drunk cultist dealt with quickly and then the battle of the guards outside Frulam’s room is fought with the group victories. After looting they advance into Frulam’s rooms and find it abandoned (she has escaped!) and after finding a number of things, including the plans that the Cult has to attack Beregost next, Mojo spots the tunnel hidden under the carpets with the rope going down.

Information found on the Cult’s Activities
One of the tables has a simple map of the Greenfields area showing the villages the cult attacked and looted. An arrow is sketched in from the Greenfields toward the west and the town of Beregost on the Trade Way, where the arrow turns north. A separate sheet of paper covered with numerals in columns contains the note, “Everything must be freighted north to Naerytar. Rezmir allowed us to keep some pearls, a ring, and a handful of small stones.” Other papers have bad poetry about dragons. Also found was a second trunk containing Cult of the Dragon regalia that has been made for a female.

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Session 4 - In the Heart of the Enemy
Were hunting cultist...

Info to come

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Session 3 - The Raiders Camp
Tracking the Enemy

After making sure the freed townsfolk at the mill can walk, the players escort them back to the Keep and enter via the hidden tunnel. Escobert and the Governor are very pleased with the players actions and tell them to get some food and rest. The players decide to take a long rest as they have exhausted their reserves during the nights adventures. This does mean that they are only going to be getting up around 10.00 – 11.00am in the morning.

The Next Day
Escobert tells the players that the Governor wants to see them and to go up to the parapets again as the governor is there with his advises and local business leaders surveying the damage to the town. The players arrive and can see the destruction wrought and then can also see that the raiders have withdrawn!

The Governor turns to the players and says ‘Look at the town; destroyed, but I am the people of Greenest are very grateful’. He continues and talks about not knowing why the raiders attacked. Cult of the Dragon Queen possibly involved – what can it all mean?? The cult has been inactive for so many years – why now? He also mumbles under his breath about ‘The Duchy has barely recovered from the last war’.

The Governor continues and adds that he has been in communication with Baron Hawthorne and has been advised to get the players to do some important and valuable investigation. He says that the raiders left that way (and points to the south-west) and further in the distance is the Werewood. The Governor gives the players the carrot – the Baron has authorised the governor to pay the players 250g each for any information the can find out on the raiders, where their camp is and why Greenest and other outlying homestead and villages have been attacked. Who their leader is? Recovering any valuables is of secondary concern to rescuing any townspeople that the been taken prisoner by the raiders.

There are many questions that need answering and the Governor seems to be speaking more to himself than the players as he says ’What motivated the attack? Is there something here of value I do not know about? Greenest is an important hub for storing and transporting food throughout the duchy but what else was their reason for attacking? After this he tells the players to go and get whatever stores and supplies they need and head out after the raiders and get some answers!

Heading Out
Just before leaving the Keep the players are approached by a young man that introduces himself as Nesim Waladra, an injured Monk. He explains that he and his companions along with his Master tried to reach the Keep last night during the attack but he got separated from his Master, Leosin Erlanthar. He is worried that the raiders have taken his Master prisoner. Please you have to find him! Nesim adds that Leosin has been studying these bandits \ or cultist for some time ever since something strange happened to him one night in Berdusk. Nesim is not sure what that ‘event’ was but ever since Leosin has wanted to learn more about ‘dragon cults’.

Nesim adds that they have been returning from Candlekeep where Leosin has been using the records from the great library for his research. He seemed excited about something and they were on their way back to Berdusk when the arrived at Greenest during the attack. The players agree that perhaps Leosin might have valuable information and they will keep and eye out for him during their investigation of the raiders.

Following the Trail
The players easily find which way the retreating raiders have gone as the grass has been trodden down underfoot. They also fine a number of beast footprints and can tell they are burdened down with goods and materials that have been taken from the town. After many hours the tracks eventually lead the players to the edge of the hilly area of the Werewoods. The tracks started to become harder to follow but it was still easy for the players to work out which way the raiders had gone.

At about and hour before dusk the players came upon a party of 4 humans and 8 kobolds. They seemed to be lost from the main group and had chosen a very bad place to make a fire and eat. The plan is to hit the kobolds first with the element of surprise and before the raiders know what is happening, five of their number are dead! The last of the kobolds fall as first Lothar, then Karathor and Joseph do the same to the human cultist. The battle is over in no time with many impressive killing blows.

Joseph says he will climb a small rise and see what he can spy around them just in case the battle has alerted others while the bodies are checked. One cultist is still alive and can be questioned. Karathor and Mojo question the cultist and they discover the following:-

  • How many raiders? Many! But they eventually get some numbers but are not sure if they are accurate – 60-80 kobolds and 50-70 cultist
  • Why were this group here? They were lost and camped.
  • Who are the leaders of the cult? a human female Frulam is mentioned and the players have received information on her before. She lead the raid on the town. There is also a half-dragon (Dragonborn?) called Lang that is not to be trifled with for he serves the Dragon Queen.
  • How many dragons are there? He has seen only one – Blue Dragon called Lennithon which is the same one that attacked the town.
  • They are not the rear guard – he tries to bite his tongue but is stopped. Eventually he says to follow the trail (and he points) and about a mile (or more) and the rear guard is there. Look for where the path passes between rocky bluffs and they will be there.
  • Where are the prisoners? 500 feet from the rear guard is the hidden camp but the overlook will stop you! The players are not sure what camp overlooks and protects. They also discover that there at approximately 10 humans at the rear guard location and they are proper guards! No Kobolds.

Shortly after this Karathor kills him (Crushes his windpipe) as he cannot provide them with any additional information. The plan currently is trying to get up onto the outcrop but how will depend on what the players find further on.

Loot! Found on the kobolds is a sack containing items stolen from a shrine back in Greenest. A set of pewter candle sticks and 3 silver serving dishes with the markings of Chauntea (Good God of Growth and Prosperity) on them. Joseph says they must be returned! The human cultist had only 28 silver pieces.

Meeting the Rear Guard
The players make their way along the path for about ¾ of a mile, the players spot the location mentioned during the interrogation. Even in the moonlight it is possible to see the two outcrops that appear to almost join in the middle above the path. They can also see a number of large boulders on either side of the path and as they watch they do see a shape move behind one of the boulders. Before moving closer the players discuss the significance of the boulders; can they be rolled down to block the passage or worse; used as a weapon.

The players continue on moving as silently as they can while looking for an alternative route and they manage to find a goat track that leads to the left of the path. With no other real option available they follow the track and finds that it winds around the area where the guards are stationed until the players find themselves behind and above the rear of the outcropings.

THE FOLLOWING IS STILL TO BE EDITED. BASED ON PHILS NOTES.

We try to draw them out with an illusion of a deer, unfortunately it seems they have orders. Looking at them we can see that they are wearing some type of weapons.
We Coup De Grace the 3 alseep from Mojo’s sleep spell. We then range attack the two at the first boulder and also the ones at the 2nd boulder.
The 2 men behind the shaded area appear. Lothar charges one of them and takes him out with his battle axe.
I dispatch the last one.
Bringing all the bodies into the secret base. We find a scroll – orders from Frelan – any small groups that follow – kill them. If larger force – drop boulders and send runners to let the main camp.
The prisoner lied – This was the rear guard – all dead. We know that a scout will appear in 1 hour (40mins now).
We are heading down the path to the main camp and considering setting an ambush for the runner so we can buy ourselves some time – to investigate the main force and see if we need to go back and get a larger force.
We reach a point where we can see the area. It’s on a plateau but inside a large crater with multiple levels. Two main camp areas – one where you come in and one further back. Lots of people in uniform, many are bedding down.
There are circular huts and tents everywhere. There are some sentries around but this area in front of us is the kobolds – who can see in the dark easily.
We haven’t been able to work out if the prisoners are here. We’ll have to investigate further.

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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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