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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
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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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Darren
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Strange Aeons
Welcome to Thrushmoor
Mid-Morning, Fireday, 27th Lamashan, 4716 ar

After freeing Briarstone Asylum from Ulver Zandalus and the Tatterman, you collected what valuables you could and made your way to the eastern bank of the Danver river, a half mile northwest of Thrushmoor. There, you came upon a fight in progress between a black-clad humanoid, and a noble Kirin. The Kirin was no match for the black figure, and was slain in a gruesome fashion. The figure then noticed you and approached, revealing himself to be Raevik's brother.

He thanked you for making it unnecessary to visit "that squalid little hommlet", motioning toward Thrushmoor, saying that he had come on behest of a Lord Kholas who was 'concerned' about Raevik missing several scheduled communications. As Raevik relayed the fact of his lost memories, his brother seemed quite amused, and also a bit calculating as well. He made a point of relaying how Raevik had toyed with, and abused, the rest of you for his own sadistic pleasure.

You recognized the name Kholas as one member of the Umbral Court in Nidal, a powerful figure indeed. Raevik's brother ended the conversation with a veiled threat toward Raevik, implying that they would meet again, and the next time, depending on Lord Kholas' will, things might not be so pleasant. Brotherly love indeed! He then vanished in a cloud of dark smoke.

Entering Thrushmoor, you encounted an individual named Keldrin Mon who was apparently a good friend of Maury's. Despite Maury trying to bluff his way around it, Keldrin picked up on Maury's strange behavior and eventually got Maury to confess to his lost memories.Keldrin was then able to fill you in on recent Thrushmoor events including the Count's disappearance, dozens of vanished citizens, and no assistance from either Fort Hailcourse or Iris Hill, both of which seemed to have closed their doors to the town. Keldrin mentioned that Count had allowed Maury out of Iris Hill a few times a week to receive alchemical tutelage from a Mr. Ruoy at the Healer's House just down the road. It was during these forays out of Iris Hill that Maury and Keldrin initially met, and would continue to meet regularly for lunch, conversation, and games of cards. Finally, Keldrin pointed you to Pier 19, where he observed the three of you (sans Raevik) stash something under the end of the pier just before going missing.

You decided to spent the night at The Silver Wagon, although the proprietor, Dena Gallegos, seemed openly hostile. She seemed to have a particular problem with Voyki for some reason which you did not inquire about. She presented you with an overdue tab for 39gp, and tripled her normal room rates, clearly expecting more trouble from you.

The next morning you proceeded to the Sleepless Building, but were briefly distracted when you noticed a monolith, or stelae, on a small hill that seemed to match some of Zandalus' drawings. You investigated this stelae which seemed to radiate a powerful, yet partially dormant, aura of conjuration and transmutation magic.

The runes on the stelae were opaque to all of you, and with nothing more to be gleaned you continued on to the Sleepless Building. There you met Meg Thaler, one of the in-house investigators, who subsequently introduced you to their leader, Cesadia Wrentz. As with the proprietor of The Silver Wagon, she was initially quite hostile and suspicious of all of you, with the exception of Winter. After a long period of pointed questioning and prodding, and heart-felt protestations from Winter about your actions back at the asylum, Cesadia was finally convinced of your honesty and amnesia.

Cesadia made sure that you were all aware that before your disappearance, you were in the Count's employ, and were not very nice people, to say the least. Looking at The Lion, she mentions a man named Klyn Murik, formerly in the Count's employ, who was found murdered. Looking at Voyki, she mentions an incident at The Silver Wagon where Voyki ran up a large unpaid tab, and instigated a bar fight. And finally, she looks at Raevik and accuses him of terrorizing the citizenry of Thrushmoor with his prodigious psychic powers, including one of Cesadia's own agents. Cesadia made it very clear that losing your memories does not absolve you of these crimes and while she personally has no legal authority in the town, she does impore you to try to make things right.

At that point she relayed all of her various concerns to you, leaving you with numerous possible avenues of action at this point:
  • She is most concerned about the disappearances of over two dozen townsfolk over the last couple weeks. With the constabulary holed up in Fort Hailcourse and providing no assistance, Cesadia has been visited several times by townfolk beseeching her help.
  • A fisherman by the name of Toli Remsatter reported seeing lights coming from a waterfront cave a mile out of town. He's spreading rumors that it is the Briarstone Witch returned, but Cesadia puts no stock in his ravings.
  • A local eccentric by the name of Elgrior Nasmeth has been harassing clients of The Silver Wagon and The Stain with his wild prophecies of doom. Convincing him to stop might win you a few points with the citizens of Thrushmoor.

Finally, Cesadia extends to you an offer of room and board at the Sleepless Building free of charge.
Session: Game Session #10 - Sunday, Feb 26 2017 from 7:45 PM to 10:45 PM
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Tags: Recap , Summary
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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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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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