HoTDQ

Castle Naerytar, part 2
Episode 6

The huge castle is made of stone, with four defending towers and one observatory emerging from the center of the ancient building.

The plan had three parts. The fisrt one is to enter the castle posing as cultists, with the guidance of Snapjaw. The second is to meet the leaders of the lizardfolks. The third part was still under construction.

The party was given a room in the North West tower that was left abandoned. Their first task was to clean the room from a nest of centipedes, repair some damage and clean it. Stor Lackman fell asleep immediatly, and our rogues decided to take the chance and explore the suspicious basement of the castle.

It appears that the basement is an underground cave complex, and the rogues are able to find the tracks of the treasure crates. They lead in a chamber filled with fog, with a circle of runes in the center that is most probably a teleportation circle.

A room near the chamber seems to be a shrine to a messed god, a fuse of Shar the goddess of night, the drow god of slimes and of a primordial lizard god. Also the one who created this god seems to have no knowledge of any of its parts, and gives his god the shape of a shadowed woman with the head of a frog covered in slime. The last passage leads to an underground lake, where two bullywugs spot the rogues and lead them to the entrance, after believing that they were lost.

When they returned, Stor wakens, and with the barbarian awake, trouble is always nearby. -I’m hungry, said Stor, and stormed into the main room searching for the kitchen. Two giant lizards start hissing, and Stor the barbarian gets the message and backs off. No, not really. He draws his greatsword and starts hacking the lizards. One fells from his savage attacks, as the door opens and Snapjaw enters to save the day. he calms the lizard and brings Stor some food.

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Castle Naerytar, part 1
Episode 6

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The creepy swamp surrounds the party as they start questioning the lizardfolk. It seems that the Cult uses the lizardfolk to move the treasure from Carnath Roadhouse to a castle in the north named Naerytar, leaded by Rezmir and a half-elf named Borngray. Also the Cult made an alliance with a lizardfolk tribe and a bullywug tribe, with leader a bullywug named Pharblex Spattergoo. It seems that the lizards are being bullied by the bullywugs.

Meanwhile, Yeni Silentsteps sends his familiar owl to scout the entrance of the tunnel behind. Torches appear from inside, and a small force leaded by Andred Briferhew emerges from the tunnel right into the half awakened lizardfolk. The battle that followed was bloody, and when Andred and his mercenaries got close to the victory, the cultists backstabbed and killed them all.

After the questioning, the party decides to sleep in the trees. Strange silluettes patrolled the swamp, but the party managed to rest successfully, waking up only to find out that they had forgotten their things back at the Roadhouse.

After deciding to head back, the party found Larion, who brought them their bags and warned them that the cultists took control of the Roadhouse and brought reiforcements. Also he needed some bodies to prove that they were dead, so they headed to the swamp and fought zombies so that Larion could collect bodies to match their description.

In the heat of the battle with the zombies, the captive lizard managed to escape, and brought a small squadron of lizardfolks to attack the adventurers. Soon the heroes understood that their shaman leader was testing their strength, and with his final breath he ordered his son Snapjaw to plea with them, so that they would help save their tribe.

Snapjaw the lizardfolk explained that his tribe wants to get rid of the Cult and bullywugs from the castle, but until now they waited for the right time. With the help of the party they would have the upper hand. And so the party, with Snapjaw leading, makes its way through the swamp using the canoes of the lizardfolk to Castle Naerytar.

But as we said a couple of times already, nothing is as simple as it sounds. Almost at dusk Snapjaw spots a massive creature heading their way, and recognizes it as the moss that walks. The shambling mound graps Yeni and tries to devour him, but Stor pulls him out of the rotten weedpile and with Alder they paddle to the shore. The creature follows and the heroes make their stand in the shore, dousing the mound with oil and setting it on fire. Finally, with an excellent combination of attacks the creature is brought down.

Snapjaw, amazed, explains that the mound terrorized his tribe for a long time, and killing it pproves once again that the heroes are the saviors he and his tribe needs.

After half a day paddling, the party arrives in front of Castle Naerytar, feeling that they are getting closer and closer to Rezmir and her treasure.

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Construction Ahead part 2
Episode 5

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The gods have proven that Alder was not the one who murdered Nina’s boyfriend, and the cultists, head down, leave for their rooms.

Meanwhile, in the other side of the Sword Coast, a young bard named Keenblade, joins the harpers, and with the help of Leosin and the ranger of the Emerald Enclave Gom-Mena gets an artifact that will allow him to get teleported to the person he can think of most.

First person that comes in his mind is his companion Alder, but as the ritual of teleportation begins, his head is filled with thoughts of his lost father. Next time he opens his eyes Keenblade is surrounded by a dark swamp. Sobbings can be heard behind some bushes, and the bard sees the figure of a man crying silently in front of a destroyed ritual.

‘’Father!’’ he shouts, and Larion Keenblade, his elven father runs and hugs him, not beliving entirely that his son is real. After a moving meeting, the bard learns that Larion joined the Cult to protect his family, but cant stand it anymore, and he was planning to find a way to leave. Together, they head to Carnath Roadhouse, where thanks to Tymora are resting the other companions of the Bard. All except one.

Stor Lackman the barbarian decides to find out where the treasure is stored, and what is so fishy about this place. His instict guides him to the storeroom, full of road repairing equipment, as well as a locked door. Scatching noises and whispers can be heard from inside. And a door cannot stop a barbarian from the Sky Pony tribe. Two kicks are all that it takes to send the door flying, as well as waking all the residents of Carnath Roadhouse. Also the barbarian gets attacked by enemies he cant see inside the dark strongroom.

Having travelled with Stor Lackman for many months, Alder and Yeni Silentsteps are sure what the source of the noise is. Darting, the two rogues run to the storeroom, and the rest of Carnath Roadhouse residents, with their PJs and their weapons drawn circle the entrance. All evidence show that the party is trying to infiltrate the strongroom, and neither the shouts of Andred nor the presuasiveness of Keenblade can change the situation.

A battle begins, with the half orc breaking the door to the strong room and the barbarian holding him off the entrance. After some slashes, Bog Luck moves back and orders his archers to attack the barbarian. With a nod, Larion bids farewell to his son, as the bard hypnotizes most of the Cultists and builders with a powerfull spellsong. Bog Luck and four Cultists resist the spell but fall before the axe and the arrows of the companions. The heroes run into the strongroom, exhausted, where they find a secret door and enter as fast as they can.

The tunnel runs for almost a kilometer before leading through a trapdoor to the damp swamp. The rogues spot an ambush from lizardfolk ahead, something that gets taken care of from a second hypnotizing spell from the bard. The party grabs one of the sleeping lizardmen and run into the darkness of thee swamp.

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Construction Ahead part 1
Episode 5

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In the South gate of Waterdeep, the merchant employers pay and thank the party before scattering in the vast city. The cultists continue together north, and the party decides to follow them. The cultists stop at a warehouse near the North Gate and then take a room at an inn.

Yeni Silentsteps decides to find more about the warehouse. It seems that the cultists joined a caravan bound north yet again, belonging to High Road Charter Company, tasked by Lord Neverember to repair the High Road that connects Waterdeep with Neverwinter. He also learned that the Company hires builders and guards.

The heroes signed for the guarding job, and joined the caravan early in the next morning to travel the High Road east of the Mere of the Dead Men. Guess who wasnt happy with the heroes joining the caravan. The cultist group kept staring angrily through the journey.

The only event that happened during the ten day trip was an interaction with three lizardfolk merchants. As the heroes were trying to bargain for some slaves the lizardfolk had in their possesion, a group of twelve bullywugs attacked the lizardfolk and the party. The heroes helped the lizardfolk fend of the attack and traded some metalic weapons for the three slaves, a young woman named Ophelia, a small kid named Amon and a halfling woman named Sophie.

At the seventh day the party was able to get a first look at the Mere of the Dead Men, a vast swamp with a tangle of trees, brush, boggy ground, standing water and vines, stretching as far as the eye could see.

The base of the constuction operation was an ex-inn named Carnath Roadhouse, a wooden complex of buildings near the High Road. As the caravan arrived, a burly half-orc that was in charge started giving instructions for the unloading of the wagons, and our heroes went straight for rest.

Alder couldnt help it and went for a little rogue buisness in the cultists room, finding out that Larion Keenblade was stealing gems from the cult. After making the gems his property, he scoured off to the tavern.

The scent of hot soup and red wine filled the tavern, but when the characters finally relaxed, a drunk Nina, the girlfriend of the cultist who was murdered two days before Waterdeep, bashed her hand on the table and started blaming Alder for the murder yet again. Only one way could solve this. A duel. The builders and cultists, as well as their leaders Andred Briferhew and Bog Luck, made a circle in the inner yard, and the two combatants stared angrily at each other. The match that followed was bloody, but Alder the rogue used every advantage he found and with a mercilless slash he cut open Nina’s throat.

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On the Road part 4
Episode 4

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After your humble servant’s Losvious Longnose warning, you are sure. Sarvos Varaan has almost regognized Alder, and the party must deal with him as fast as possible. And the perfect opportunity arrives when Sarvos goes off into the woods at night. Yeni Silentsteps decides to spy on him with his owl familiar, and finds out that he prepares a ritual for Tiamat.

The party, with the aid of Gale the Bard, follow him into the woods. Praying in his goddess in front of a symbol illustrating the five heads of Tiamat, Sarvos summons a black oily snake, to help him slay the traitor of the Cult who think is Alder.

The party then interrupts the second summoning before the oily snake can materialize and attack the black dragonwing cultist. The heroes manage to subdue the cultist and burn his snakes, but his will is strong and he kills himself before giving any information to his captors.

The last long day rest is housed on Daggerford, where a halfling named Jamna and a caped man from Thay join the caravan. Asbara Jos, the Thayan, purchases a seat in the Cult’s wagon, even though the cultists turned everyone else away.

in the following days the characters notice that the halfling Jamna spies both the characters and the cultists, and is also aware that the heroes have noticed her too. She joins them in the next morning and showes them a sharp bone hidden in the cereals that they were ready to eat, telling them that they have a common enemy and that they should talk at night. Later the heroes exchange information about the cultists, and learn that Asbara Jos is most likely a red wizard of Thay.

Two days before the end of the trip, the caravan is awaken by a murder. A cultist posing a guard was slain by a shortsword weilder at night. A cultist woman named Nina accuses Alder the rogue, saying that they were watching them and murdered his boyfriend. The merchants side with the heroes, as they were the ones that saved them from all the trouble in the road, and finally Asbara comes forth and tries to calm everyone. Nina’s accusations die when someone tells her to check if anything is missing from her wagon.

Finally, after two months on the road, Waterdeep, the city of splendors appears in the horizon.

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On the Road part 3
Episode 4

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Three days of traveling under heavy rain and storm is a very effective moodbreaker. Wet clothes and a cold is the best that one can hope for. But alas, the storm has passed and a new surprise awaits the heroes. The fields, as far as the eye can see, are filled with fast growing fungi. In an hour the fungi are almost a meter high and they scream when touched/ slashed/ fire bolted. Finding no other way, the heroes cut through them for six hours of a traumatic experience that will stop them from eating mushrooms for the rest of their life.

Some days later our friend Alder meets two buxom twin sisters, saying that they were robbed and abandoned by their guide. Also the twins seem to have a liking for Alder, who they befriend and tease all the time. Not everything can be bad in a journey! Right? Well, Alder found out the hard way, as the twin sisters were tranformed dopplegangers, trying to eat a fresh halfling. Just when things started being interesting. Arrieta was defeated and Zelina ran into the woods screaming vows of revenge.

Finally a sunny day and the caravan spotted a herd of elks, with a magnificent male with golden fur and horns. As the caravan hunters happily prepare to hunt the magnificent beast, Yeni Silentsteps, after a plea from his employer, takes it to himself to stop the hunters from killing it. A good use of his illusions and the hunters are misleaded. The two rogues follow the magnificent beast into some abandoned ruins. There, the elk approaches them, offering a magical bow and saying: ‘’You are on the right track, continue following the river of gold until you reach the castle in the sky. Sadly, the road is filled with hardship and blood’‘. Fading it whispers: ’’Not everyone will survive’’.

The caravan, having last rested in the Dragonspear Castle some days before, stop outside an inn. However, their hopes of a soft bed and a well cooked meal disappear, as the inn is sold out to some rude nobles. But our heroes do not tolerate bullying, and they enter the inn, only to find out that the nobles are really assasins tasked to create trouble. Their poisoned arrows are not enough to stop our mighty heroes, and the party teaches them their last lesson of life: bullying is a bad thing.

Almost 40 days in the road, a rock breaks the wheel of a cultish wagon and lots of golden items and coins spill into the ground. The players, not wanting to draw attention, leave the cultists gather their stolen gold and help them fix the wheel.

Three days later and the party spots a head in the middle of the road. They find out that it belongs to a half burried harper, still alive, named Carlon Amofell. He was falsely accused of oathbreaking by some cultists and was left there for the gods to decide his fate.

Passing through green forests, the caravan gets attacked by some etteraps and their pet spiders. The ettercaps steal two horses and run into the woods. The heroes are tasked to find them and save the horses, something that they successfully do, also revealing some charlattans that wanted to deceive the merchants of being epic warriors and then steal their money.

As the journey takes his last big rest before Waterdeep, Alder notices that a Cultist named Sarvos Varaan watches him suspiciously, as if trying to remember where he s seen him before…

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On the Road part 2
Episode 4

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The journey to Baldur’s Gate through Chionthar River takes 3 days.

Baldur’s Gate, being one of the biggest cities in the Sword Coast, is full of merchants, adventurers and all kind of people. After fencing some of the goods and luckily not betraying their mission to a shady trader (imagine what would happen if he was a Cultist, maybe he was), the heroes camp at the North Gate Tavern, an inn opposite of a clothes shop owned by Aravax Foxtraveler.

Thanks to the scroll the rogues picked the party finally spots the cultists and with some spying and help from the harper Celebon, learn that they will travel with the next caravan north, to Waterdeep.

The party gets hired as caravan guards by various merchants, and the next day their journey following the Trade Way begins.

No peace can be found in Faerun, and this goes to the Trade Way as well. Two days after entering the Fields of the Dead, a vast land filled with sandy hills where counless of battles were fought, the party interfered a cruel beating that a merchant was giving to his worn out horse. After some angry talk, Beyd Sechepol agreed to trade horses with the barbarian, and promised to treat it right.

The weather got cloudy the next days, but the heroes were able to spot three human-like shades coming from the sky, belonging to some monstrous flying deer-head heart-eating magical beasts, the perytons. The party rogues Yeni and Alder managed to kill all three of them, with the help of the epic crossbower Ebon Tonun, who, as he implies, was shooting from under a wagon. And with his crossbow inside the wagon. And his empty quiver in the right side of a horse in the front. Um.. Oh well..

Not one ten day had passed and the heroes had to save a wagon that was surrounded by a group of Hobgoblin bandits. The one-handed grateful merchant thanked the party by giving them a pouch of already stolen gold (Alder did it.) and access to some of his books.

As the long journey north continues, the weather worsens, and heavy rain begins to fall…

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On the Road part 1
Episode 4

riders.pngThe heroes, having defeated two of the Cultist leaders in the hatchery and learned some info about the Cult’ s next move, heads north to the town of Elturel to meet Onthar Frume and Leosin Erlanthar.

First stop is the town of Greenest, now trying to repair the damaged caused by the raid. Governor Nighthill informs them that the monk left some horses they could use to reach Elturel fast.

Four days from Greenest the party spots a broken wagon, with two men obviously irritated, and stops to help. Some pickpocketing from the rogue and the heroes learn that the men belong to the Cult, and that they are trying to freight treasure through the town of Baldur’s Gate north to Waterdeep. A well placed sleep spell now grants the party two prisoners.

Arriving in the city of Elturel, the heroes get a first look in the wondrous Amaunator’s Sun. The guards tells them about the tavern where Frume is located.

Good food, a lot of beer, gambling and small competitions await the heroes as they join Frume’s Knights and the monk Leosin, as well as the next part of their mission.

Frume and Leosin asks the heroes to follow the Cultists north of Baldur’s Gate, to learn what they really plan to do with all the treasure they took. Also they learn about the factions of the Harpers and the Order of the Gauntlet, now trying to gather help and put an end to the Cult of the Dragon.

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Dragon Hatchery, part 2
Episode 3
dragonhatchery.jpg The heroes who were able to continue, and with the aid of new allies, started exploring the cave (carefully and stealthy this time).

After falling some trapped stairs, killing some fungus, discovering a food storage room and hacking some kobolds and urs, the heroes heard a familiar voice from the room beyond.

‘’You survived. I don’t know wether to be disappointed or pleased. Its a mix of both i think’’. The half-dragon Cyanwrath attacked the party, in a room filled with dragon carvings and a huge illustration of Tiamat emerging from a volcano.

Greatswords clashed, bolts, arrows and spells flew and lightning breaths illuminated the room, as both adventurers and the half-dragon with his berserks fought fiercely. Finally, the heroes emerged victorious, extracting their revenge for the duel in Greenest.

The last room was an immense cave chamber with stalactites descending from the ceiling. Some kobolds tried to ambush the party, but they were defeated easily. The party had finally found the true purpose of the caves. It was a hatchery housing three black dragon eggs.

A dilemma appeared before the party. What should they do with the eggs? Most of them wanted to destroy them, but the ranger firmly opposed to it, saying that this would break the balance of nature. As the party argued, two guard drakes surprised the party and managed to knock unconsious the ranger before falling from the barbarian slashes and the rogues bolts.

A roper, posing as a stalactite, curiously watched the characters from the ceiling. After stealing some rations from their backpack, the party finally spotted it. ’’Food’’, said the monster, and grabbed some more rations from the unconsious ranger’s backpack. To evade its insatiable hunger, the party told the roper about the meat storage, making it leave happily.

Now that none was there to argue, the barbarian pierced the eggs, killing the almost born baby dragons.
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Dragon Hatchery, part 1
Episode 3

cave.pngThe heroes would have to venture to the Cultist Camp once more, to further learn of their plans and investigate a strange cave that was spotted last time they were around.

The heroes set out, only to find the camp abandoned, with a few remaining hunters and some Cultists guarding the cave.

The Cultist Guards ambushed the party, and the sound of battle echoed through the cave, bringing Frulam Mondath and her Cultists to attack the invaders. A bloody battle followed, and with serious losses the party managed to win. Mondath was dead, but her right hand Cyanwrath was bound to be close.

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