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Dale
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Tyranny of Dragons
Session 41 (16 March 2017) Thay
Thay turns out to be creepy and harrowing.

The party is met by another Red Wizard and a group of undead wights who escort them to a sumptuous set of apartments with an scrumptious banquet laid out in the common room. They are told that they will be called for on the morrow and are cautioned that, while they are no means prisoners, it would be unwise to leave the apartments as the halls are patrolled by undead guards who can be ... indiscriminate.

The eat and sleep. In the morning a delightful breakfast has been laid out: they eat that. They wait. And wait. A group of undead servants brings a delightful lunch. They eat that. And wait some more.

Finally, in mid-afternoon they are brought before the Tharchion. Rider recognizes that she is a vampire and offers her some of his blood - she declines remarking that if she wanted it she would just take it. The party is debriefed as to "the story so far" and they forget that they should always address a Thayan official by title. This among other things, notably their failure to permanently destroy the Thayan traitor Rath Modar counts against them and they are dismissed: they will be informed of Thay's decision in the morning.

That night each of them is subjected to the most horrific nightmare where they are alone in a boiling cauldron secured by chains and tentacles and surrounded by unknown Red Wizards who subject them to "enhanced interrogation techniques". The questions all dwell on their failure to destroy Rath Modar, the intention of the council and the weaknesses of the other members of the party. Some lie and some tell the truth but all are called "Liar!" and subjected to the most excruciating pain they have ever felt.

In the morning they awake to bloodstained sheets and are summoned to hear Thay's answer: no. With a wave of his hand the Red Wizard Nyh Ilmichh teleports them to a small farmhouse which they discover is about a mile north of Waterdeep.

Walking dejectedly back to the city they are accosted by a group of non-hostile dragon cultists who ask if the party will meet their "master" who represents a faction of the cult opposed to Severin and his ambitions for Tiamat. This master turns out to be a bone devil who styles itself Lord Volmer and informs them that it represents a number of the Lords of Hell who are, for their own reasons, opposed to Tiamat's release from Avernus. He offers the party a contract (8 encyclopaedic tomes in 8 point font) to enlist the aid of these devil's hosts in the struggle. The party decides this is above their pay grade and takes the contract to the Council for their lawyers to peruse.

Feeling pretty flat about their failure, the party makes their way to Xonthal's Tower ...
Session: Session 41 - Thursday, Mar 16 2017 from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM
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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 40 (9 March 2017) Waterdeep
The Cult lanches an all out assault on the party while they are relaxing between council sessions in Waterdeep. A group of cultists supported by a summoned demon and an adult black dragon that was either smuggled into Waterdeep polymorphed or teleported in charges into the tavern where the party is discussing their options.

Rider polymorphs into a T. Rex which lasts until damage from the dragon's breath weapon causes him to lose concentration, after which he uses the same spell on Krega. Magnus falls back on the old staples of Hasting Ella and Krega and dropping Fireballs once the civilians have run away. Krega rages - whether as a T. Rex or himself this is pretty scary. Ella tries unsuccessfully to banish the demon, who has a good run of saving throws, but who is ultimately banished by a heightened spell from Magnus. Krega takes down the dragon but not before it renders Ella unconscious. With the dragon and the cultists dead the party heals their wounds and monster the demon to death when it returns from its sojourn.

In the wreckage of the tavern they are met by Lady Laeral Silverhand who is very complementary that the party is obviously seen as a big threat by the Cult. She warns them that after this defeat they will probably try again - with greater force.

She and Leosin urge them to take the embassy to Thay. Even though it will be hazardous and Thay would prove to be a problematic ally: the Red Wizards are powerful and would be very useful in thwarting the Thayan exiles who are needed by the cult to perform the ritual for Tiamat's return.

Leosin describes Thay as a rigid hierarchical magocracy led by the lich Szass Tam and with everyone in the hierarchy being a mage, undead or both. The only point of common ground between Thay and the Council is they would both like to see an end to the rebel Red Wizards who are helping the cult, the so called "Thayan Resurrection".

The embassy is to a Tharchion named Eseldra Yeth who has ruled Lapendrar for nearly a century. The Thayan emissary, an Tharon named Nyh Ilmichh, will teleport them in and out. The Council will provide diplomatic warrants stating that they are representatives of the Lord's Alliance, The Order of the Gauntlet, the EMerald Enclave, the Harpers and the Zhentarim, however, in Thay these may only be worth the paper they are written on.

As always the party considers their options and opines: "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?"
Session: Session 40 - Thursday, Mar 09 2017 from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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Dale
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Tyranny of Dragons
Session 39 (2 March 2017) The Misty Forest & 3rd Council of Waterdeep
Exploring the green dragon's lair, Rider gets into some potent elvan wine and with a lowered sense of danger, sets off a Glyph of Warding. They discover that the wyrmspeaker they have captured is actually Neronvain, the missing second son of King Melandrach who represents the elves at the Council of Waterdeep. How will this play out? Having a son who is high up in your enemy's heirachichy could be considered a political embarrassment.

As they get ready to leave, they find that they have been tracked down by a hunting party from the cult led by an old friend, Langdedrosa Cyanwrath who is accompanied by a young blue dragon. Long time readers may recall that the last time Krega, Ella and Rider had parted company with Cyanwrath they had ensured that his head was disjoint from his body. Cyanwrath boasts that he has been looking forward to settling scores, however, things don't quite pan out as he expects as Rider Dominates him and then puts the dragon into an Irresistible Dance where missile attacks make short work of it.

Through interrogation, they learn that Cyranwrath was raised with the specific purpose of hunting them down and he has already disposed of Illusar. Although he cannot confirm it, he may not be the only deceased "old friend" that this has happened to. Given the capabilities of the Cult this reveals, the party determines that they will be taking live prisoners where they can and thoroughly destroying the bodies of those powerful Cultists they unavoidably kill to prevent more revenant lead hunting parties.

Making their way back to Waterdeep with their prisoners they lay out the results of their activities. In general, the council is well pleased even if King Melandrach is mortified by his son's treachery and Brawnanvil is mortified at being required to apologize for the historical dragonmoots; in his view, a fully justified mechanism for dealing with "misbehaving" dragons no mater their colour. The overall vibe is that most if not all of the factions are fully behind the party.

Two new missions beckon:

  1. An embassy to the Red Wizards of Thay, or
  2. An expedition to Xonthal's Tower to extract a Dragon Cult defector.



Session: Session 39 - Thursday, Mar 02 2017 from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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Tags: Battle , Journal , Recap , Summary
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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 38 (23 February 2017) The Misty Forest
Penetrating behind the waterfall they find a large cave complex. At the edge of an underground pool they are challenged by a group of elves. Their attempts at passing themselves off as members of the cult fail dismally when they are unable to name any of the cultist ranking structure (although a creditable effort was made at the ranks of Catholic Church).

Combat is initiated and while they dispatch the elves quickly, the entire complex is alerted to their presence. This leads to a rolling melee between the party, a group of ettins, more elves, some cultists and an annoying invisible magic user: several times Rider would say "Counterspell", only to follow up with "Damn, I can't see him!".

Magnus takes out most of the cultists with Fireballs, Ella takes out most of the elves with Spirit Guardians, Rider is Blinding ettins and Inspiring like crazy and Krega is wailing with Hazarim. The opposition is reduced to the invisible wizard and an elven knight, and then the dragon and the wyrmspeaker come ...

Rider Polymorphs Krega into a T. Rex and he immediately grapples the dragon and throws it to the ground. Magnus judiciously places a Wall of Fire on the now immobilised dragon and leaves the raging T. Rex Krega to hold the dragon in it and pound on it to boot.

The dragon manages to get off one poison breath which knocks Ella and Rider unconscious, severely damages Magnus but barely hurts a T. Rex. It is then reduced to mundane attacks and while dragons do a lot of damage, raging T. Rex's are resistant and have a lot of hit points. The dragon has a brief moment of hope when it successfully suggests to T.Rex Krega that if he lets go he could get at the dragon's more vulnerable neck. However, even when this happens, rising from prone leaves the dragon within reach of Krega who promptly reinitiates the grapple, and the prone and drags the dragon back to be roasted. (D&D aficionados will note that Rider falling unconscious should have ended the Polymorph, however, in the heat of the moment everyone overlooked this - ultimately it would not have mattered as Rider was up before Krega's next turn and could have cast another Polymorph)

Meanwhile, Magnus gives Rider a healing potion, Rider cures Ella and Ella then proceeds to cure everyone. All the while, Rider and Magnus and giving the wyrmspeaker hell with long range magic. The wyrmspeaker decides to bolt but Magnus cuts him off with a Dimension Door and renders him hors de combat with a Hold Person.

Victory!
Session: Session 38 - Wednesday, Feb 22 2017 from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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Pointer-left Me_thumb
Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 38 (23 February 2017) The Misty Forest
Penetrating behind the waterfall they find a large cave complex. At the edge of an underground pool they are challenged by a group of elves. Their attempts at passing themselves off as members of the cult fail dismally when they are unable to name any of the cultist ranking structure (although a creditable effort was made at the ranks of Catholic Church).

Combat is initiated and while they dispatch the elves quickly, the entire complex is alerted to their presence. This leads to a rolling melee between the party, a group of ettins, more elves, some cultists and an annoying invisible magic user: several times Rider would say "Counterspell", only to follow up with "Damn, I can't see him!".

Magnus takes out most of the cultists with Fireballs, Ella takes out most of the elves with Spirit Guardians, Rider is Blinding ettins and Inspiring like crazy and Krega is wailing with Hazarim. The opposition is reduced to the invisible wizard and an elven knight, and then the dragon and the wyrmspeaker come ...

Rider Polymorphs Krega into a T. Rex and he immediately grapples the dragon and throws it to the ground. Magnus judiciously places a Wall of Fire on the now immobilised dragon and leaves the raging T. Rex Krega to hold the dragon in it and pound on it to boot.

The dragon manages to get off one poison breath which knocks Ella and Rider unconscious, severely damages Magnus but barely hurts a T. Rex. It is then reduced to mundane attacks and while dragons do a lot of damage, raging T. Rex's are resistant and have a lot of hit points. The dragon has a brief moment of hope when it successfully suggests to T.Rex Krega that if he lets go he could get at the dragon's more vulnerable neck. However, even when this happens, rising from prone leaves the dragon within reach of Krega who promptly reinitiates the grapple, and the prone and drags the dragon back to be roasted. (D&D aficionados will note that Rider falling unconscious should have ended the Polymorph, however, in the heat of the moment everyone overlooked this - ultimately it would not have mattered as Rider was up before Krega's next turn and could have cast another Polymorph)

Meanwhile, Magnus gives Rider a healing potion, Rider cures Ella and Ella then proceeds to cure everyone. All the while, Rider and Magnus and giving the wyrmspeaker hell with long range magic. The wyrmspeaker decides to bolt but Magnus cuts him off with a Dimension Door and renders him hors de combat with a Hold Person.

Victory!
Session: Session 38 - Wednesday, Feb 22 2017 from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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