The Lands of Bearenor

Session Summary, Fri. Nov. 6
The Hatchery, Greenest, and the Hamlet of Mosley

Madbrew absent for this session.

After their death-defying encounter with Cyanwrath, the party took some time to rest and regain their strength for what lay ahead further into the cave. With Faramir keeping watch, they were able to rest undisturbed in the now disused cavern. Returning to the temple where they had fought the half-dragon champion, the party quickly dispatched the remaining berserker guard, who remained under the effects of Ezekiel’s Suggestion spell. Looting the chest that sat as tribute on the altar to Tiamat, Jeremiah’s lockpicking experience enabled him to bypass a deadly trap. Within the chest, they discovered several hundred gold in coins, some gems, a fine emerald ring, and a rather plain looking burlap sack.

Moving deeper into the cavern, the party came upon another dark pit bordered by a ledge above, similar to the one in which the Kobolds who were left to watch the guard drakes were defeated. Arguing amongst themselves about the best way to proceed, the group was ambushed by two Kobolds tossing glue bombs and two fully grown guard drakes rushing up from the darkness of the pit below. Though a tough fight, they managed to defeat the creatures, and descending into the pit below discovered what they were guarding: the blue dragon Lennithon’s eggs. As Ezekiel made to put one of the eggs in the bag they found earlier, he was astonished to find that as the egg was covered, it seemed to disappear into nothingness, and the bag grew no heavier. Perplexed, the party turned the bag upside down, causing the egg to spill forth and crack. Emerging from the egg were dozens of dragon wyrmlings, which, as Faramir recalled of the lifecycle of Dragons, was curious for an egg in such late development.

Before they could get the remaining eggs into the bag, tentacles shot out from the darkness of the pit and grappled the party. Slowly they were drawn towards what previously appeared to be a stalagmite, but which now appeared to have a large eye and several razor sharp teeth. Luckily for the group, the creature was currently not hungry, and after Faramir revealed to it the location of the meat locker they had stumbled upon earlier, it quickly released the party and left to investigate. After this encounter with this terrifying creature, they swiftly grabbed the remaining two dragon eggs, and exited the hatchery as quickly as possible, looting Cyanwrath’s body hastily upon their retreat.

It was not long before the dragon Lennithon found and approached the group, sensing that his eggs had been retrieved. After a brief misunderstanding at not being able to see the eggs as they were kept in the bag of holding, Lennithon momentarily let his guard down in excitement at the return of his young. In thanks, he left the silver-tongued Ezekiel a magical lute, grabbed the eggs, and flew off. Returning to Greenest, the party celebrated and prepared for their journey north to Elturel and their meeting with Leosin Erlanthar. From the documents looted off of Cyanwrath’s corpse, the learned that the loot gathered by The Cult of the Dragon was heading north by way of Westgate, to ultimately be delivered to a place called Naerytar.

After three days of travel through the Greenfields the party found themselves in densely wooded country. That evening, as they prepared to make camp, the party stumbled upon the hamlet of Mosley. As they investigated, it was clear the small town had been the recent victim of a raid or attack. Eventually, they discovered a woman named Dora Staleear who was able to describe what had happened:

Brandon_Staleear.jpg

“They came last night. Sweeping through the streets from home to home pulling us out. We signaled for the Elturguard, but they never came…. The raiders told us we were safe as long as we could pay for our lives, but few here have any wealth. When many of us couldn’t pay, they brought out a container filled with strange writhing creatures and gathered us in the town center. Inside were dozens of pustulent grey worms with razor beaks. They forced many of us to swallow the worms……those who resisted were held down while the creatures bore through their eyes into their head. They screamed in relentless pain, until one by one they fell silent. Within hours, we began to vomit rotten jellied sacs that the raiders dutifully collected. Those who were unlucky enough to take the worm by eye lay catatonic, their skin seeming to crack, harden and change color. Brandon was collecting firewood when they came…..I’ve been waiting for him to return…..

Late in the night, there was a terrible noise from the forest. Within minutes, scouts from the raiders returned to the camp, bloodied and seemingly frightened. After a moment’s conversation, the raiders left almost immediately. I don’t know how, but I know it was Brandon. He is still out there and he needs help. Please – will you find him? I fear the worst may have happened, but I must know for sure.”

At Dora’s request the party followed Brandon’s tracks as best they could. Discovering a terrifying beast that appeared almost half bear half dragon as the source of the roar in Dora’s story, the party engaged it. After a battle in which Faramir was bitten by the beast, the creatures form shifted, and before the party lay a grotesquely disfigured man with the features of dragon-kind. Identifying him as none other than Brandon Staleear, they returned to Dora with the news. Taking shelter in one of the now abandoned homes of Mosely, the party rested.

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Session Summary, Sat. 10/31
Raider's Camp & the Hatchery

Tiamat_Statue.jpg

Madbrew absent for this session.

Beginning where we left off, the party had just returned to the site of the raider’s camp at the request of Leosin Erlanthar. Upon arriving after a half day’s travel through the rolling plains of the Greenfields, they found the camp nearly deserted, save for a small group of ragged looking humans gathered around a campfire. Moving stealthily into the camp to investigate, they found traces of a hasty departure, but nothing to suggest why such a retreat was ordered. After establishing the group gathered at the fire had little interest in them, the party proceeded to the cave at the back of the camp.

Reaching the top of the cliff-face and entrance to the cave, they were greeted by the same foul stench emanating from within that Ezekiel and Jeremiah had experienced when they were previously in the camp. Proving too much even for his hardy halfling stomach, Faramir was overcome by a fit of vomiting at the smell, but pushed on nonetheless. Moving into the cave, they found its source: a large pile of human corpses in various states of decay. Its was clear that each body possessed odd injuries to the abdomen and heads, almost as if something had exploded outwards from within. Before they could investigate further, they were ambushed by two Dragonclaws.

After dealing with the threat they continued into the cave, passing through a cavern covered in bioluminescent fungi, some of which Faramir was able to identify as deadly Violet Fungi before the party could be attacked. As they traveled further, they discovered a trash dump for the camp as well as a meat locker of sorts with several animal corpses of various kinds fresh and old hanging in a chilled cavern. Trouble came when they stumbled into a group of Kobolds resting near a large pit. Oddly enough, the pit was gated off and animal training implements lined the walls.

Thinking quickly, the party hailed the Kobolds disguised as Cultists and were able to learn of the ferocious “Guard-Drakes” being trained down below. Having moved to the edge of the pit to point the beasts out, Jeremiah took the opportunity to push two of the Kobolds in, who were quickly devoured by the hungry creatures. After dispatching the rest of the Kobolds as well as those from their nearby barracks, the party learned from one they had captured that the Cultists had left in a hurry, though he did not know why, only that they were told to stay and guard Lennithon’s eggs under Cyanwrath’s command.

Moving further into the cave to confront Cyanwrath and recover one of the eggs, the party found themselves in what appeared to be a temple, the distinctly flat walls of the chamber being covered in abstract carvings of dragons in which their tails coiled into intricate patters and knots across the walls. Knelt before a large onyx statue of a dragon with five heads erupting from a volcano was none other than the Half-Dragon champion Cyanwrath, attended by two human berserker guards. Recalling his near fatal encounter with Cyanwrath during the raid of Greenest, Faramir attempted to persuade the others to retreat and to return later with a better plan. However, they refused, and sneaking deftly through the shadows Jeremiah was able to surprise the trio and score severe damage on one of the guards. Unable to convince himself to abandon his new friends, Faramir rushed into the battle to aid his allies.

After a long and bloody fight in which Ezekiel and Faramir were at one point both unconscious, the party prevailed and defeated Cyanwrath. It was Faramir, the young wizard who, in a moment of triumphant reprisal, dealt the killing blow. Engulfed in Faramir’s suffocating cloud of poison, the already weakened half-dragon stumbled from the cliff’s edge and was dead before reaching the floor below. Taking advantage of the respite in combat, the party decided to rest.

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Session Summary, Fri. 10/17
Raider's Camp & Greenest

At the beginning of the session Madbrew found himself drinking with the Stormblade Mercenaries and being regaled with a boring tale by – oddly enough for an all Dwarven company – a human named Lane. By speaking with the Stormblades further, he was able to learn some details of the camp itself, and witnessed dissension among their ranks when a cleric of Bahamut named Drola loudly condemned the company’s leader for allying with the Cult of the Dragon.

Meanwhile, Faramir had just begun to regain some lucidity after the mind altering effects of the Dreamyst he had been offered started to fade. Apparently taken with the drug, he traded with a red-eyed, gruff sounding cultist named Ur for three more doses. After speaking with Ur shortly and not getting anywhere, Faramir made to leave, but was stopped by a Cultist who ordered the both of them to clean the wolf kennels. In Ur’s cursing of the cult after receiving the dirty duty, he noted that the cultists weren’t allowed to keep any loot from the raid on Greenest; a detail that would prove useful later.

Jeremiah and Ezekiel were lead to the area where the prisoners were kept in the camp and were then goaded into beating the already bruised captives. At the direction of one of the cultists, Jeremiah quickly and cleanly removed one of the defenseless prisoner’s eyes. At that moment, all of them were ordered to cease their abuse of the prisoners by the camp leader, Frulom Mondoth. Though they had seen glimpses of Mondoth during the raid of Greenest, this was their first face-to-face encounter with one of the leaders of the Cult, other than Cyanwrath. Unfamiliar with all of the initiates in the camp, she assumed the two were cultists and ordered them to assist in bringing the corpses of already dead prisoners up the hill to the mouth of the cave. Though it was not clear what purpose the bodies were meant for, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were able to use the opportunity to scout out the entrance to the cave, which emitted a terrible stench, and learn of something about “dragon hybrids” from an odd initiate helping to push the cart.

Returning to the prisoners, they identified the man lashed to a crossbar as the man they had been tasked to find: Leosin Erlanthar. With Leosin found, the group reconvened and began to formulate an escape plan. Ultimately, they decided to incite a brawl between the Stormblades and Red Sun mercenaries and sneak out with the prisoners in the subsequent chaos. Ezekiel had no trouble of convincing the stoic leader of the Red Sun Company, Nolan Broadbane, that the cult had no intention of paying them and that most of their share from the raids would be going to the Stormblades. Also spreading the rumor among the camp, the Red Sun Mercenaries were quickly worked into a fervor. In the Stormblade camp, Faramir and Madbrew managed to convince several of the dwarf mercenaries of a similar lie, causing one very large dwarf to lead a group of others to fight the Red Suns. Though many of the veterans of the company controlled themselves and stayed in their camp at Old Barty Quint’s command, too many had gone to fight, and the brawl eventually grew large enough to spill into the camp.

As the attention of the entire camp was focused on the growing brawl at its center, Jeremiah freed the prisoners from their bonds, and with Leosin on Madbrew’s back the party began to sneak along the southern wall. Unfortunately, the prisoners were spotted by nearby cultists, and in the end only two managed to make it out with the group: Ben, who Ezekiel later learned is struggling to cope with seeing his family eaten by Kobolds during the raid, and Jemorah, who left to return to his village that had been raided previously.

Escaping the camp unseen, the party returned with Leosin to Greenest, where they rested, crafted, and re-geared. After a full day of rest Leosin awoke and had much to say:

“For the past several months I have been receiving reports from my informants all over the southlands of villages and towns being targeted by raiders. After speaking with some of those who survived one of the raids, they indicated that a dragon had been present and drew an insignia that they had seen some of the raiders wearing. I set off for the library at Candlekeep to research it, and found that it belongs to a very old cult known as the Cult of the Dragon.

However, what I learned doesn’t seem to explain the raids. The cult has existed for centuries, but in all that time, they primarily focused on worshipping deceased dragons and working to create Dracoliches; a task they were never too successful at. However, all of that seems to have changed recently – not only has the cult been far more active than ever before in its history, but they have grown in numbers significantly if my sources are correct.

Leaving the Candlekeep library, I knew from their previous attacks that the time was right for the cult to strike a bigger target, and in this area Greenest is the most prosperous yet poorly defended town, making it likely the next to be hit. I was correct, and sought to infiltrate the Cult, but was captured.”

Leosin also told the party of what he learned while he was in the camp: that it is lead by a half-dragon named Rezmir, a woman named Frulom Mondoth, and the half-dragon Cyanwrath. Also, that the cave was often referred to as the “nursery” and that the loot collected from Greenest, the “great hoard” as he heard it called, is being stored there.

At the behest of Governor Underhill and Leosin, the party set off to return to the camp and observe whatever they could of the Cultist’s operation. However, upon arriving at the camp, they found it nearly deserted after being filled with hundreds only a day ago.

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