Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tyranny of Dragons Kickoff

"You've all been hired by the trader Basko to escort a wagon of trade goods to the village of Greenest."

And so begins an Actual Play log of the D&D 5th edition centerpiece campaign.  As an Actual Play thread, the spoilers for the campaign will be flying fast and furious.  All the usual warnings for those who may play the campaign in the future apply from here on out.

The new gaming group started off the long-term campaign, A Tyranny of Dragons, this past Friday with a classic kick start to the campaign – five strangers thrown together as guards for a shipment of supplies through bandit infested lands.  Things have been heating up in the north of Faerun lately, with all sorts of unsavory types doing all manner of unsavory things, even along the most well traveled routes.

Our cast of characters:

  • Raane Inontani, sickly half-elven illusionist/diplomat, my own character
  • Gilgamesh, pale teifling necromancer in dark robes who tends to target opponent’s eyes with awide range of death bolt and death touch spells
  • Karren, beefy dragonborn fighter carrying a big old sword
  • Aramis, human tank style cleric of Helm
  • Grim, an appropriately named human rogue/archer

Tiefling wizard with pale white
skin and jet black dreadlocks.
Basko, the trader who hired the sausage party to run interference for his driver – a friendly Halfling named Jeppo – clearly wanted a group that covers all the bases.  His guards include one each of the four major roles, plus an added ‘faceman’ whose talents lie outside of combat.

What should have been a routine wagon run quickly turned into the running of a kobold gauntlet.  While passing through a small farmstead on the outskirts of their destination, a village called Greenest, the party’s casual conversation was interrupted by a farmwife banging out the front door of her home with several kobolds and a mastiff sized lizard-beast in hot pursuit.  The plucky heroes saved the woman in short order only to be ambushed from behind by more kobolds, this band led by a purple robed maniac. The maniac warned the party that if they didn’t lay down their arms and join in the glorious people’s future they would forever burn in the fires of all dragonkind.  The party put their arms down, right down through the center of the dragon's head symbol on the crazed cultist's chest.

For their part, the kobolds attempted to recruit the one dragonborn member of the part, Karren.  What?  Just because he’s dragonborn he’s the only one worth recruiting?   Racist little bastards.  At this point it isn’t entirely clear whether or not they succeeded.

So.  Cleanup.  The housewife Shelley was quickly bundled into the wagon, given the loot dropped by the kobolds – the least the party could do to help the now widowed, childless, and farmless victim.  Topping the next rise, the party spotted the village of Greenest under attack.  Purple robed cultists and hordes of kobolds running around scaring the citizens, burning homes, and engaging in wanton plunder, death, and destruction.  A large blue dragon circled overhead, blasting the central stone tower with lightning.

After a quick consult, the party elected to take the direct route into town.  The illusionist quickly cast alter self to appear as a purple robed, order barking, maniac.  This plan worked well until the party entered the main square of the village, at which point they blundered into a squad of kobolds chasing down several children and an old man protected only by an injured peasant woman.  Too much for the cleric of Helm, Aramis charged into battle, scattering the kobolds and buying time for the civilians to hop aboard the wagon.  As a side note, while bluffing the kobolds, Raane learned that the scaly little buggers were under orders to capture as many children as possible.  As a main note, the party wiped another handful of kobolds off the face of Faerun.  High points of the fight:

  • Grim has a deadly way with a bow, firing repeated shots into crowded spaces and only hitting enemies each time
  • Karren’s dragonbreath works just as well on dragonkin as it does on humans
  • Raane doesn’t seem too concerned about standing on the front lines of a fight despite being the not-so-proud owner of a measly 4 HP
  • Aramis might just be a cleric of Saint Ineffective, missing on every attack role – on the other side of the coin, his healing touch saved two party members from certain death
  • Gilgamesh the mage is already dealing more damage than the front line fighters, his chill touch and witch bolt devastating opposing spellcasters left and right
  • Karren (whose player is the youngest member of the group, it’s worth noting) was the only one with the presence of mind to capture a kobold alive for later questioning

Openly running now (slowly what with all the civilians in tow), the party found itself in a foot race for the still open gates of the main keep.  Their opponent in the race consisted of a large body of well-trained troops headed in from the opposite direction with a handful of skirmishers out front.  The party arrived at the gates at the same time as the skirmishers, and engaged in a quick fight for control of the gates.  Crossbow wielding enemies - humans this time - set up a withering fire; their bolts put both the dragonborn and the half-elf on the ground.  The leader of the villains, a spellcaster, never got a shot off – the party’s own spellcaster choked the life out of him by way of a well placed chill touch.  Good old Grim managed to lay down effective covering fire from the interior of the keep, staving off the crossbowmen long enough to allow the wagon to enter and the party to drag their wounded comrades into the keep.

BOOM! the front gate slammed down right in the face of a troop of fifty enemy warriors.  Thanks to Grim’s insistence on fulfilling the letter of the contract despite the dragon circling overhead and obviously changing nature of the situation, the supply wagon was delivered and signed for by Tamil and Escobar, a human and dwarf charged with managing and protecting the keep.  The two expressed gratitude not just for the supplies but for the five extra defenders.

While the locals brought the rest of the party up to speed on the situation, Gilgamesh dragged the captured kobold off to a quiet corner for a little private discussion.  During the interrogation, the following three names bubbled to the surface:
  • Bogluk, the guardian of the hatchery
  • Rezmir, a mighty warrior and chief hero of the revolution
  • Frulim, the great overboss of the whole evil shooting match
Following the interrogation, the nameless kobold was re-introduced to his fallen comrades in the next life.

End Chapter One

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