Tyranny of Dragons

Baldurs Gate

Boating down the Chorantar

Baldurs Gate

Met with contact in Black Gate

visited shops

met Harper agent

citing of Rheznar

Joined caravan

    Jobs:

On the road north

     overturned wagon

      fired for new guards

      a head in the road

       man buys passage with cult wagon

      merchant wagoneer killed in the night.  Charlatans exposed

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Pac's Return to Greenest

Pac returns.

meets new adventurers

Leosin went to Elturil to meet with a leader of the Order of the Gauntlet

Party travels north through Elturguard near the Wood of Sharp Teeth

Stop in Berdusk

     Esla the green

      Znetarim gnome gives ring

      

Ogres kill horse

Entreat Lycanthrope clan 

Ride Wolfweres to edge of Forest.

Meet in Elturel

PCs tested by

pick pocketing

        wizardry tricks

         arm wrestling

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The Humble Gathering 10-11 Eleint, CR 1492
Aftermath and Finding the Raider Camp

At the dawning of 10 Eleint, the Gathering finally found rest after the long night of fighting raiders and rescuing townsfolk. Helping as much as they could with the dead and injured the Gathering inevitably succombed to a long-needed rest.

The Gathering began their quest to determine more about the Cult of the Dragon and the whereabouts of Leosin at late Afthighsun, discovering the raider camp in the evening after sunset. They left with Leosin at Nightsend and arrived back in Greenest at the Dawn

11 Eleint, CR 1492

At late Afthighsun again, taking another long-rest, the Gathering returned to the Camp in the evening, and found it abandoned except for a few scouts and hunters. That evening they began exploring the cave at the southern end of the hollow where he bandit camp had previously been based.

Just inside cave: Ambushed by Dragonclaws

Discovery of hidden passage: Defeated Frulam Mondath, Discovery of map

Fugai cave

Stirge Cave

Drake training cave.

Meat cave

Kobold tribe attack, falling ceiling trap

Pac sole survivor rescued by Loriens wolf.

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Humble Gathering 9-10 Eleint CR 1492
Greemest Aflame

9 Eleint, CR 1492

The Dark Twin covers eyes above in darkness.  Milil's prose, I suspect, will be needed when all comes to close. Billows of smoke and chaos pass over Greenfields, as a great wyrm passes with a brief moonlit shadow.  The raining light of Talos strikes the Keep walls of Greenest as men-at-arms who fancied themselves brave with sword and scabbard found themselves prone to their nature, trembling and cowering in fear. Tonight, and days forward, if there be some, there will be little tales to welcome a lady's unpaid attention or sport a toast to bravery at the tavern.

The Gathering on this day's stage-opening at moondark, found my audience, and as best I can, I thus endevour to delineate its composition.

ACT 1: GREENEST UNDER SIEGE

The morning hours of Moondark, governed too oft by a twisted doll between sisters,  carried on with little haste, and for want of Akadi's apparent slumber. Selune's tears concealed in billowing clouds and the glow of fire set upon Greenest, lightening rains down in clockwork increments; the coming of each strike foretold by an electrified vaginal halo in Shar's veil, and a glimpse of a dragon's silhouetted head and torso within. Chauntea  slumbers, chained in her satisfaction with the foreday's harvest of the Fading; she tends to her sleepy eyes elsewhere.  Vignettes of a circus of scrambling bodies among homesteads appear in flashes of light and fire while Tempus teases us with a melody of Garagos' cacophonous symphony of basoon and panpipe.  The Gathering bears witness, prone atop a cresting trail leading down to the outlying Greenfields below.

Led by Lorien, wisping downward under cover of wood, leaf, and reed, the Gathering soon became realized in the midst of Common folk and militia in panic, affected as such in a town under siege by uncountable of dogmen, "Kobolds" as some regard them, led by a cult with an affinity for dragons, composed of all manner of folk, all with a notably apparent common purpose to the whole affair.

Scene 1: The Family Swift

 The family Swift led by its mother, Linen, were the first to welcome the Gathering. A family of wholesome farmers besieged by Kobolds, in the midst of their farmstead aflame after it was deprived of all things valued. Reptilian dogmen circled  the Swifts with daggers and slings; Linen, husband and father Cuth, and three children in his tow. The beasts fancied some sport in torment, the Swifts' demise an amusement, as the family's wares and small treasure were reluctantly spoils solely for the cult's purpose.

The Gathering came upon this family, and Linen Swift defending it with a broken spear as her bleeding, bruised, and hobbled husband, Cuth Swift, struggled to shield the children from Kobold slings with what remained useful of his injured body.  Mother…Wife,  as if fended off  vermin from the cupboard of her womb and for love of a man who sowed the seeds of her bounty, with the heart of Torm she saved faithful seconds with the hope of the appearnace of militia or miracle.  As if her courage and faith willed it,  from a distance, arrows met their mark within the neck of the familys' torment as Lorien provided quick to death several of the beasts with her long bow. The enemy scrambled with guttural reptilian yipping as the rest of the Gathering overwhelmed the stage,  hacking Kobolds to spraying ichor and severed head and torso.

Scene 2:  Make way to the Keep

 A not-so-common Swift family saved, another heroic deed engraved, ……………….the Gathering made way through falling homesteads to the relative safety of the Keep Tower, located earlier from the vantage of the crest. 

Lorien's guidance availed little help by neither Akadi's boon in speed, nor Mask's mastery in stealth. With the encumbering family Swift to guide as the remainder of the Gathering tended to vanguard front and rear, the rescue effort naturally produced an unlikely anomaly of order appearing in the chaos acting, as it always does, as a beacon to all who would smite it.  Appearing a large grouping not in tune with the cult's common purpose, the Gathering was spotted by priest to this cult in robe and cowl, guarded by coin-bought men in arms, and the wingless dragons men call drakes. A second battle ensued, much like the first. Making quick work of the enemy with longbow and edged steel, this time however, fortune found the Gathering an unconscious captive in the cult priest as a result of Pac's ironized maul.

The Gathering, with refugee and captive in tow, found itself a nigh 100 yards or so from the keep walls as they sighted the waving hand of figure that seemed an apparent ally at the yet-closed gate of the sally port entrance to the inner bailey outside the keep tower. The hand of the figure urged haste across the final stretch to the keep through open low-grass and field, offering little cover or hope against enemy fire and watchful eyes.  As the Gathering made the best possible dash of it while providing cover and protection to its tow, marauding Kobolds under cover along the perimeter of open field within flanking trees sprung to attack with slings and draconic yelping.  The attack forced  Pac, Zix and Rhogar to reverse their progress to engage the enemy in closer coordinates, and also draw fire away from the Swift family, none of which could afford further trauma or injury lest they taste death.  Again, the dogmen proved little match for the martial skills of Pac and Rhogar, and the arcane energies of Zix.  Easily dispatched, If it were not for a misfire of Zix's wild magic, the comedy would have been lost here, for it was the Winter King who at this moment was distracted; the source of Zix's magic inadvertently disposed of their captive, burning him to a crisp prone on Rhogar's shoulder. The love it all, I suspect the somber God smirked at this happening!  None-the-less, the mere sight of this otherworldly happening caused the remainder of the dogmen to flee, as it may have nearly caused Rhogar if it were not for the occupation of disgust and wiping the charred remains of the priest from his armor as he dropped a heap of limp flesh to the ground. 

I see the act ends here with the Gathering's exhausted run, passing the last length of vulnerable terrain, finding a moment's refuge as the curtain drops with a rattling chain, signaling the sally port gate lowering to closed behind them.

STILL WORKING ON the rest below.

Intermission: Nighthill and Escobert

A moments rest, the Gathering met Governor Nighthill and Escobert the Red atop the Keep tower. Nighthill a lordly man of good blood, injured and battered, had been defending the townsfolk with his own toil and ambition. Escobert the Red, a Shield Dwarf of Many Scars and virtue of past wars and battles, barked commands to what remained of his militia who were not incapacitated with fear or otherwise injured or dead.

Act 2: The Secret Tunnel

Atop the tower, the Gathering surveyed the chaotic scene around them. From this vantage, they became aware of the massive onslaught that swarmed over the entirety of Greenest, and the desperation of its leaders. The Mill, housing Chauntea's blessings in grain and flour, seemed under seige; set aflame it was, as an unwitting offer to the cruel one, Auril.

disturbed rat nest, Zix swarmed.

Attacked by Kobold search party with 2 cultist. Monk almost killed

The cover of the stream.

Act 3: Save the Mill

 setup and ambush

Betrayal by the miller's son

Act 4: The Temple of Chauntea

Eadyan Falconmoon

Folks saved, Temple desecrated.

Act 5: White Apple Tavern

The drunken Ogre

Captive Hobbits

missing savings, recipes and history of Greenest

Act 6: Breached Sally Port

Staying off the assault and incursion

mending the gates

Act 7: The Eye of the Dragon

A dragon never forgets

half hearted commitment.

Act 8: The Challenge of Cyanwrath

Death of Rhogar

10 Eleint, CR 1492 (Dawning)

Epilogue

Missing Monks

Apparent hierarchy of cultists/ Wearers of Purple

The raiders laden with spoils left before dawn to the east.

 

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The Humble Gathering, 8-9 Eleint CR 1492
Late Delivery of Cider

8 Eleint, DR 1492, dusk settles on Berdusk, and the Afthighsun begins to retire. To the pious; Amaunator rolls over and retires away from Shar and her sister Selune, who embrace Toril until the coming of Lathander, the dawn of a new day.  Knaves gather to talk openly in the streets and taverns, at last, relieved from the ever-watching eyes of the self-righteous and the false pious. Berdusk, is indeed a city of night and day, and of many gods. 

During their time at the Humble Gathering, our group of knaves came to know one another and discover a mutual quest. They may know it not, but they vowed under fellowship, and would open the path to their legend as the First Humble Gathering themselves on this day, and proceed forward on, the reward of destiny and the enlightenment of fate ever be it the dawn.

Coming to the tavern, Dalk found disappointment. Selune would shed little light upon her sisters veil. On two obsessions he dwelled. One, he had discovered no information on the whereabouts of his friend, Leosin, and two, the Humble Gathering apparently ran out of White Apple Cider. He mocked himself because in sin he pondered which was worse. His desire to taste this famous spirit, urged him from this quandary to approach Loren who was drinking at a table by herself, in a most shadowy corner of the main floor of the tavern. Indeed, Selune revealed the Wood Elf's stealth, and thus given her back a way to balance.

Dalk's blunt, and slightly stuporous, approach generated the closest thing to an unlikely smile on Loren's face, and it was a welcome interruption to an encounter with a Moon Elf, Zix, who had initially tried strike up a conversation as if they had something in common.  A drunk monk, any day, over a haughty Moon Elf, who caused ruin to our lands with high magic and an arrogant self-importance over grass, forest and balance of all things, she thought.  Would it not be for dragons, I would favor my quarry High Elves, she muttered. 

As tongues of brevity ensued, the door opened upon the topic of dragons, which was either discussed or overheard by those intended by chance or fate; no god claims exclusive dominion to such things.  Zix, reserved and calculating, saw this as the opening he needed to re-engage this rather anti-social Wood Elf, as a commonality seemed an obvious destiny and purpose of this whole affair.  Again, he thought, the stars have to me a slave, as I am in a spot for the mystery of the future to unfold. Indeed, the coordinates of things are ever simultaneous; intended and unintended in time.  To what end,  I will never know; he mused, the lonely inevitability associated with why and when. 

Prior to joining the conversation, the hulking figures of Dalk and Rhogar seemed to clear an unneeded amount of space away from them, a void-like shell it seemed, where neither Mystara nor violent magic of a mob could penetrate. Despite their futile attempt to conceal their appearance with hoods, the presence of a human dragon and an Orc, together, dressed as paladins had little a glance to spare from others, that is, until later in the evening when the cider set in nicely with the Halfling spirit for all. Until that time, it seemed only the green barmaid, the barkeep, and the other would-be adventurers welcomed them with less interest. A bond formed by warriors at that moment in mutual fear, as is the energy and force of the so-called outcasts, to be later nurtured in blood, battle and deeds whether they be of valor or sin. This warrior, thought Pac, whose visage strikes fear in men, has found a way to honor a his path through this world regardless of whether it is he being among it. This warrior, thought Rhogar, smells of honor in battle and blood, he is tempted by things,  for he is clanless, and even Tempest cannot tame his thoughts.   

As it seemed, each had a separate, but mutual interest in the topic of dragons.  An unreachable point in time, they no it not, but they agreed to bring together in the Humble Gathering, on the behalf of the Harpers and personal reasons alike, a fellowship for an adventure and quest to unravel the mystery behind increased bandit raids and rumors of the possible involvement of the Dragon Cult

Ah, but there is more. A hint in my madness; I am moved to verse, he who ascended, loosened her chain by fraction. To this, I give, hidden in text from even the Keep,  so that the pleasure of thought endures, and the dance of the jester can evade his grasp. Is a fiend by plan ever a fiend?

Selune and Shar gossiped like estranged sisters, the music and ruckus from the floor below increased, and much of the crowd seemed to gravitate downstairs after [[Elsla the Green]] set aside her apron to dance; a performance missed by the gathering as they continued their knowing of the other. By the hand on another, I know not who, for this Court I have nigh entertained for eternity has yet to say a thing.

A happening of great significance lit a star as a barge arrived outside with a late delivery of White Apple Cider from Greenest.  Four Halfling merchants unloaded three barrels engraved with an apple in a circle of reed. Indeed who would not laugh at the Earth Mother's sigil burnt in wood. Of course, argument about payment for a late delivery was inevitable with the barkeep whose purse would have seen such ill-affect.  By my eyes, the Gathering lent their mouths and ears to the dispute, be it of the concern of Mask?, and learned that the delivery was delayed due to a fire, suspected sabotage, or something like that. A calming occurred as the barkeep begrudgingly paid for the delivery. In truth, he never had a choice because where else can you get true White Apple Cider?  Knock-offs just don't cut it. I should know.

Prior to leaving the tavern, the music died down, and Elsla the Green returned to her barmaid duties on the main floor. Elsla offered Dalk the opportunity to spend the night upstairs, which he modestly and most-respectfully declined. Not offended, after accepting a portion of his purse, without services rendered, Elsla indicated in the passing of a cloud, how Dalk  reminded her of a Half-Elf Monk she is quite fond of, Leosin. Alas, the passing was short. Through a nigh further conversation with Elsla and the barkeep, Dalk learned that his friend and pen-pal was last seen in the tavern over 3 ten-days ago talking about an intended visit to Greenest. 

After shopping in the Merchant-Brown District of Berdusk, the gathering convinced the Halflings from Greenest to transport them to Greenest; although at first they were quite reluctant to be in the company of Dragonborn, Rhogar, the likes of which few in the North have ever seen, let alone Halflings from a remote rural town on the middle of the Western Heartlands. However, Rhogar and Pac immediately noted the eyes of Halflings knew bravery seen oft not in ten men. which I attest is true;  that it wasn't fear that caused them to pause,  as much as it was shrewd business and justifiable caution. 

At Nightsheart, under the of light of Selune and her tears, the gathering boarded a mule-drawn barge, which the Halflings led south, upstream the River Choranthor. As early morning fog set in,  they docked the barge at what seemed to be ancient shore-side ruins converted into a rest stop and communal campsite. Other than evidence of other river-goers using this place on prior occasions, Loren determined that the only other denizen that frequented the area was a family of wild boars that seemed to scavenge the campsite for left-overs from time-to-time. Surely, there is a lost irony hidden by Silvanus in this place at this time. The lost history of this place is perhaps a inquiry for another day, thought Zix, but pondering it a moment further, he had to ignore the meaning in it. 

9 Eleint, CR 1492

After a long rest, I witnessed Lathander bless this Humble Gathering as a late Dawn breakfast of potatoes and eggs was graciously offered by the Halflings.  This gesture I have seen many days by hearty folk such that it causes me to envy my lost chance at mortality, for there is never a jest in a gracious host and a crafty cook.  The Gathering boarded the barge, and set up-river for another half-day until they reached a small river trading and transition post where the river veered east. There, the Halflings unhitched the mules from the barge, and after giving them a short rest and some feed, transferred them to a wagon for the rest of the journey west along the Trade Way

The journey west along the winding and rolling path of the Trade Way through high grass plains and hills, lasted the rest of the day and well into midnight.  Lathander's promise was hard see its coming, for the chain loosened another fraction under cover of Shar's distraction.  As the wagon reached the foot of the final length of the journey up a long path to the top of a rise, where the Halflings and the Gathering immediately noticed an out-of-the-ordinary glow in the night sky emanating above the top of the crest, overlooking the Greenfields, along with Greenest, below on the other side. Suddenly, piercing the sound of silence, the mules and wild life grew silent, and moments later a nerve shattering roar was heard overhead and in the distance. 

As the Halflings ran off towards Greenest, Akadi for Yondalla blessed, concerned for their loved ones in the town over the rise and below, the Gathering said little for a short eternity. All but Rhogar, sharing a gaze they all understood; that roar, that tremor in their body causing a twist in senses, is caused by one thing and one thing alone; a Dragon. Rhogar, noted it a half-hearted roar at best, not nearly as convincing as his sword.

I jest, some greater than Lennithon, naive in his youth,  fear a tremble below, for the chain loosened on their mother, is perhaps a new freedom or a new restraint.

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The First Humble Gathering (8 Eleint, DR 1492)
Prologue: The Humble Gathering in Berdusk

A Gathering Knaves

On the Afthighsun, 8th day of Eleint, as is commonly known as The Falling, 1492 years from the Dale Reckoning (DR), our "knaves," an adventurous group of would-be heroes, met for the first time in Berdusk at "The Humble Gathering"; quite the hospitable establishment among taverns growing in reputation. The Humble Gathering is a popular tavern in Berdusk, "the Jewel of the Vale," that has grown in popularity. It is also the title by which the fellowship of our knaves  and others would to be known. Each, of these "knaves," came to Berdusk, as each would learn from one another, for their own reason, which by the Gods, chance, or both, aligned for what would be a shared path south to Greenest.

I am the Great Sartaak, and I shall tell their tale.

Zix (Zixianathad Starbreeze), a Moonelf-Warlock, came from the Feywild through a wintry portal to the Twilight Hall.  Seeking, "Talis," who he accused as a renegade Harper who stole a "dragon mask" from the Court of the Unseelie, he found himself in alliance with a small matter of minor concern to the Harpers.

As chance would have it, he came to meet [[Drussa Brightcandle]] of the Harpers. Drussa, who had increased concerns regarding reports of Dragon Cult activity and increasing raids of villages by bandits in the Western Heartlands. Newly discovered information from Zix, coincidence or not,  was just  enough to convince the Counsel of Harpers to commission an investigation. Zix, realizing that he could not only serve a worthy cause bound for adventure, which is usually enough for the inquisitive one,  but also benefit from the intelligence gathering assets of the Harpers to further his personal quest, agreed to accept and assignment from Drussa to investigate these reports, and seek out other fellow adventurers with a small stipend to that end.

Zix determined, what better a place to find Knaves, persons who value their lives less than adventure and legends of their memory, than a tavern? In the least, there is never a shortage of ruffians who take proper pay for bearing arms where libations and harlots quickly drain one's purse. As it was, he found himself in the Humble Gathering, most certainly the most popular tavern in Berdusk

These knaves found a role in this plot;

Pac, a Half-Orc-Paladin of Tempest, abandoned as a runt, always neither here nor there, and left for dead at a distant Temple on the border of the Savage Frontier. Human residents of the Temple raised him in the ways of many gods of Faerun. Learning of balance in higher powers, is different than living it.  Alas, came to wandering the fringes of civilization as an outcast when his heart could not resist its thirst for vengeance, and the promises of vindication by the One-Eyed God.  A story yet to be told, his membership in the Order of the Gauntlet, along with his faith in the Tempest, is a curious mystery. Berdusk, a place he simply came to be by way of wandering, and by wondering whether he should entreat with his savage brethren or seek kinship with the "civilized," to whom he owed his life, and perhaps the only thing that finds him a heroic knave rather than a villainous one. As chance would have it again, he encountered kindred outcast at the Humble Gathering; Rhogan, a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut, whose aura of honor shined like a beacon above scorn, and brighter yet than the golden hued scales that covered his body.

Rhogan, Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut, left his clan for what one might say is wanderlust. But that would be far-too removed from the nature of his kind. Clan, governs all, except for a paladin such as he, who unlike his kin, honors Bahamut, the Dragon God of justice, order and good above all. To Rhogan, Io beget Bahamut, who beget the clan; there would be no clan without Bahamut, and when visions of scorched earth plagued his mind, his god compelled him to seek its meaning. Indeed, something stirs among those who share his bloodline, and it is unnerving.

Trekking west, he found himself in the Humble Gathering speaking with others he had never known, who brought forth further enlightenment, and thus, compelled join in a quest and protect all those engaged in whatever endeavor Bahamut has clearly led him to toil.  To Rhogan, there is no doubt that Bahamut has led him here, among his fellows, for a reason yet to be discovered. Vowing to the lord of dragons, swearing to honor his clan, he shall see this to its end. 

Loren Lightfoot, Wood Elf-Ranger of the [[Emerald Enclave]], a knave with love for "civilization," nonetheless found herself in the "City of False Piety" with the others. Like Rhogan, she too sensed an imbalance, a tremor below, that unnerved her. After consulting with tree folk, soil, and circles of the Enclave in [[Neverwinter Wood]], she journeyed a great many leagues south. The further she ventured, the frequency of raided villages and scorched farmsteads increased. To Loren, this meant dragons, the worst of dragons or their kind, who to her, are by their very existence, a freakish imbalance in nature who have outlived their time when purpose was found in their warring with giants and greater evils. When she learned of the abomination of a cult who revered undead dragons, her disdain, and common purpose was set in stone. Why, may one ask, would a knave who preaches balance in nature, choose dragons as her quarry, with such a threat long past?

Dalk, Human-Monk of the Order of Many Gods, came to Berdusk to determine the well-being of a friend and pen-pal, [[Leosin Erlanthar]], a monk from the Monastery of Chauntea. Several months had gone by since Leosin had invited him to come to Berdusk and join him for a visit and a White Apple Cider or two at the Humble Gathering, in Berdusk.  Leosin, had also indicated that he really wanted to share with him the experience he had in Candlekeep reviewing archives on the history of an obscure Dragon Cult.  Dalk had written back, whimsically suggesting that "for that story, I hope there is plenty of potent cider," and suggesting a few dates he could travel to meet him. Over a month went by, no courier, no pigeon.  Leosin never wrote back. Fearing he had either offended his friend, or something untoward had occurred, Dalk made haste to Berdusk.  Seeking cider, he found himself among the others at the Humble Gathering.  Alas a clue would come to him;  Elsla the Green dancer, and the barkeep of the Humble Gathering, informed that Leosin was a regular who, to the best of their knowledge, never returned from a trip to Greenest.

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