Into the Rock – Hand of Light, Episode 8

29 Mirtul 1367 DR

“We could just sail the ship into that huge hole. That must be the docks.” Dunkle’s eyes sparkled at the thought. It would be his maiden voyage with his new ship, after all.

Dona shook her head. “We would be taking the former captives into danger. We should leave the ship here and have them hide here.”

“And,” added Dexter, “we shouldn’t go in through the obvious entrance. There must be another way in. A way that doesn’t involve us fighting through all of the githyankis’ defenses.”

And so the heroes, with their new minotaur ally in tow, flew off through the vast emptiness of the Astral Plane toward what they surmised to be the githyanki base: a massive rock the size of a city.

After searching the surface of the rock for some time, they did in fact discover a rough-cut tunnel leading into the rock. Cautiously and with weapons drawn, they headed into the tunnel. After some time, it came to a dead end.

Dunkle stepped forward. “Time to earn my keep, I suppose.” After a few moments of investigating the end of the tunnel, he found the barely perceptible outlines of a hidden door. On one wall was concealed what he believed must be the opening mechanism.

Karn stepped up next to Dunkle. “Be ready,” the paladin said to everyone as he punched the opening mechanism with all his force.

The stone door quickly moved aside, slamming into a recess and making a resounding boom.

“Damn it!” Dona hissed. “You’re beginning to act like the bard!”

Lyr was affronted. “What? With his burnt and scarred visage? He would never be allowed on the stage of the Sloshing Boot. I mean, really –“

“Enough, or I’ll slosh your shit.” Dona glared at him. “Again.”

Lyr paled and went silent.

Before the heroes stretched a hallway that ended in a set of two double doors. There was another door on the left wall, and the right wall held two archways that likely led into rooms. They could make out the sounds of chatter from the rooms, but it quickly went silent.

Dunkle stealthily moved up to an archway and peaked in.

Four tall, gaunt, green-skinned humanoids were just standing up from dining tables, hands on sword hilts. They were looking out to the hallway were the companions had entered. Several female servants were fleeing into another room, presumably the kitchens.

Dunkle darted back to his comrades. “The gig’s up. More githyanki.”

“Good.” Karn moved forward, glaive hoisted before him. “I’m tired of all this sneaking around anyway.”

Dona followed behind him. “You call that sneaking?”

The paladin of Torm and barbarian of Shit Sloshing barreled around the corner to confront their foes. The githyanki were ready and met them with silvery greatswords at the ready.

One githyanki slipped around the paladin and barbarian, heading toward Lyr. Gulping, the bard quickly cast dimension door, and reappeared in the kitchens. Seeing the servants moving to a back door, he dashed to block the doorway.

“Wait, we’re here to rescue you,” Lyr said, noticing they all wore silver collars. “You don’t need to run away.”

The servants grabbed him and dragged him away from the door. “Okay, maybe you do.”

The githyanki that had gone after Lyr stood dumbfounded for a moment. Just long enough to catch the charging minotaur’s horned head in the chest. “Green skin! Die!” howled Grull as he lay about the prone githyanki with his massive axe.

Meanwhile, Dexter began blasting the githyanki fighting Karn and Dona with rays of frost. Dunkle flanked the creatures put his rapier to work.

The Hand of Light storms the githyanki stronghold.

With two githyanki down, one of them moved to a door heading north. He pulled it open and shouted something down a hallway. Within moments, two more githyanki arrived.

As the battle began to swing against the heroes, Lyr finally gave up on his futile attempts to stop the captives from fleeing and went to aid his companions.

“It’s about flaming time!” growled Dona. She hacked her silver halberd through a githyanki’s plate armor, nearly dropping the beast. “You wanna stop screwing around and help?”

“One of the captives was your sister,” Lyr said. “Looked just like you.”

“Bloody mother…”

Dona glared at the githyanki across from her, and the creature faltered, likely seeing its own death reflected in Dona’s dark brown eyes. Working her halberd furiously, quickly felling the monster.

“We could use some help!” shouted Dexter, retreating from a githyanki that had come from the northing hallway.

Grull bellowed in raged and tackled the githyanki pursuing Dexter. The minotaur proceeded to gore its foe and quite literally tear him limb from limb.

“Never mind.”

Dunkle stepped up behind the last githyanki, drove his rapier through its back and slit its throat with his dagger. “Now, that wasn’t so bad.” The rogue looked around at his companions, most of whom bore several nasty wounds. All except Lyr. The bard bore not a drop of blood, neither his own nor his foes’.

Dona roughly pushed past Lyr into the kitchens, heading after her sister. Everybody else followed.

Through another hallway and in a room, they found a couple dozen female captives wearing silver collars. Dona’s sister Selise was one of them.

As the two reunited siblings embraced and shed tears, Karn and Dexter moved about the room, removing collars from the prisoner’s necks.

“You’re free now,” Dona told her sister. “And you’ll stay free as long as I draw breath.”

“What about the others?”

“We’ve found Quara already, and we’re searching for the rest of our family.” The barbarian’s face turned grim. “We’ll find them. Every last one of them. And kill anyone who gets in our way.”

The Hand of Light

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

Sword Coast Guard, Episode 1 – Hunting Ashton Sanguine

January 28, 2017

In-Game Dates: 23 to 29 Kythorn 1367 DR

After playing the Princes of the Apocalypse module for several months, my group has finally decided that we don’t like it. They don’t like the module, and I, the DM, hate running it. So, we’re going back to my homebrew stuff which we all enjoyed much more. The precipitating event was one of the players – who was habitually creating tension in the group – really upset another player. So, I “asked” him to leave the group. (There was no asking. He was removed from the group.) This is our first “reset” session. Two of the players decided to roll up new characters.

One of the players had his character exclaim “Gold, Glory, and Girls!” at the beginning when the group was talking about coming up with a group name. So, until they come up with a real name, that’s what I’m calling them: the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls (GGG).

After retreating from Sacred Moon Hall, the companions camp for the night. A fight breaks out between Varic and Dalinor. Varic ends up attacking the paladin, and both the paladin and Serpico fight Varic. Outmatched, Varic flees on his hippogriff. Pissed off, Dalinor and Serpico give chase.

Rusty and Nigel wait around for the night and a couple days. Their companions never come back. Finally, they fly off on their lone hippogriff to Waterdeep, thinking, “Screw Red Larch. Screw Elemental Evil. This stuff sucks.”

They go to the Safehaven Inn in the Adventurer’s Quarter where they meet a Shump the Long, a barbarian; Guld the Tower, a monk; and Elodin, a wizard.

[Shump is an NPC for rounding the group out to 5 characters. And as we look for another player, that player could play Shump for his “trial” sessions. I don’t accept just anyone into my groups…]

The heroes head to Castle Waterdeep, seeking out Tzarrakyn the Younger who they’ve heard is a city Watch contact for adventurers looking for work. Tzarrakyn tells them that a criminal named Ashton Sanguine recently tried to discredit the leadership of the New Olamn bard college in the city. When that didn’t work, Ashton tried to poison Grand Harper Pharlonae Song-joy, the leader of New Olamn. The heroes are to hunt down Ashton, and bring him back, dead or alive.

Nigel has met Ashton Sanguine before. He is the same bard that discredited Nigel back at his bard college in Silverymoon.

The heroes head to Rassalantar where Ashton was last seen. On the way, some prehistoric creatures, Pteranodons, attack them. The heroes easily defeat them.

[Oh, this is rich. They were supposed to fight some other flying creatures called Perytons (CR 2 each) but I pulled out the Pteranodon (CR 1/4 each) card instead. I make special monster cards with photos for showing to players and stat blocks on the back. This saves me from flipping through the Monster Manual when I have multiple monsters in a fight, and gives the players cool visuals. Anyway, the group was supposed to fight much much more difficult creatures than they actually did. And I only just noticed just now as I’m writing this!]

Then the group runs into a patrol of White Knights from Gauntlet Hall. They are followers of Torm but also a bunch of self-righteous bastards. Rusty ends up challenging one of them to a duel. The leader claims that it is trial by combat and that Torm will decide if the heroes are guilty and to be arrested or innocent. Rusty wins the confrontation – though it was a close one at times – with some subtle help from his friends. The nearly dead knight leaves with his soldiers claiming that Torm has judged the group innocent.

When they arrive in Rassalantar, they speak with an outpost of Waterdeep soldiers there, but they don’t give any leads. They head to the Sleeping Dragon Inn, but likewise find no leads. They head to Lord Vendrick’s villa – he’s the ruler of Rassalantar – and speak with him. Unfortunately, the best Lord Vendrick can offer is that the heroes talk with an old lady who lives on the outskirts of town, Granny Tichwillow. She has a knack for divination magic and should be able to help find the criminal.

The group finds Granny Tichwillow a few hours from Rassalantar. She lives in a cottage surrounded by wheat fields full of scarecrows. Apparently, Granny Tichwillow has a fetish for making scarecrows. The heroes enter and converse with the kind old lady. She is more than willing to help, but asks a small favor first. Her sister, Agnes, was recently burned alive by the White Knights – they had claimed she was a witch – and Granny Tichwillow asks they retrieve Agnes’ body so she can be given a proper burial. The group agrees, and before they leave, Granny Tichwillow gives them a potion of invisibility – crafted before their eyes with water, granny spit, herbs, and scratched off granny skin – to aid them.

The heroes head to Gauntlet Hall, the fortification of the White Knights. Rusty, Shump, Guld, and Nigel go to the front entrance and begin to converse with the knights. Meanwhile, Elodin uses the invisibility potion and sneaks into the chapel within the fortification. In the chapel, he overhears talk of catacombs and heads down into them from the chapel.

The rest of the heroes talking with the knights claim to be recent converts to Torm and say they wish to learn more of his ways. The knights are convinced and take them to the chapel where a priestess of Torm, Elena, begins to give them discourses on the ways of Torm.

Down in the catacombs, Elodin trails a patrol of White Knights for half an hour, getting himself thoroughly lost, but finding a special chamber. The chamber has statues of knights lining the sides, two angelic statues at the end, and a massive stone statue of Torm himself. A long basin of water occupies the center of the room. In the basin are several caskets with arcane runes covering them.

Elodin casts detect magic. The water and caskets glow with magical energy, and the statue of Torm is practically blinding, so magical it is. Against better judgement [and the DM’s very overt “flavor” description meant to convey danger and “dude, this encounter might be beyond your abilities], Elodin begins to open one of the caskets.

The statue of Torm animates immediately, bellowing, “Thieves! Graverobbers!” As it moves to attack, Elodin drops his torch, which becomes visible, and moves away. The statue of Torm smites the ground where the torch is, shattering parts of the stone floor with its sword. Elodin casts hypnotic pattern on the statue of Torm, but it is completely unaffected. [Immune to charm effects.]

Knowing this is beyond him, Elodin flees the chamber and the catacombs. [We also forgot that casting a spell ends invisibility, so Elodin got a freebee effect to help him flee.] He finds a rusty iron gate that leads to a secret sally port from the fortification about a half mile away from Gauntlet Hall itself.

Elodin misty steps out of the tunnel, goes around, and meets up meets up with his comrades in the chapel. They had been listening to lectures of Torm’s greatness for about an hour. Siting a need to use the latrines, the heroes all get themselves dismissed.

The heroes then leave Gauntlet Hall and group up nearby to discuss their plans for retrieving the remains of Granny Tichwillow’s sister from the catacombs.

The Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls

This is the group's interim name until they come up with an official one...

Russel "Rusty" Striker - Human Fighter

Nigel Dyreus - Half-elven Bard

Guld the Tower - Half-elven Monk

Elodin - Human Wizard

Shump the Long - Half-orc Barbarian

The Amulet of Mraphadyr

This is a cool side trek that my Hand of Light group finished running a few weeks ago. To the right are links to PDFs of the adventure and the maps to accompany it.

The campaign is set in Waterdeep, and the heroes had offended the Guild of Apothecaries and Physicians, one of the most wealthy and powerful guilds in the city. The guild (known as the GAP) had been making their lives generally unpleseant, but recently the GAP may have (or may not -- not even the players really know) arranged for some of the heroes' gnome alchemists to be arrested for selling illicit drugs. The group has some gnomes making healing potions for them and also selling them in the market for a profit...but that's a different story.

Anyway, the GAP basically makes a deal with the heroes. If they retrieve this magical Amulet of  Mraphadyr, the GAP will use its political connections to have the gnomes released.

The heroes go through the whole adventurer, get the amulet, and then decide NOT to give it to the guild. (This is the sort of twist that as a DM I love, because it just gives me more complications and trouble to throw at my poor players. Yar!)

 

 

Overview: The heroes are tasked with retrieving a magical amulet from its last known location, a swamp, in order to make peace with a powerful organization they have offended.

Creatures Encountered: plesiosaurus, lizardfolk, kobolds (yay!), trolls, "acidic" earth elemental, and a young black dragon.

Levels: This adventure is designed for a party of 5 characters, levels 8 through 11.


The Amulet of Mraphadyr (24 downloads)


The Amulet of Mraphadyr Maps (20 downloads)

Karn’s New Buddy – Hand of Light, Episode 7

29 Mirtul 1367 DR

“Hey, did you guys notice this?” Dunkle pointed at silver collars around the necks of the minotaurs and mind flayer. He and Karn were hauling the dead bodies back to the ship.

The heroes examined the collars closely and discovered a discrete latch that opened them.

“Now that is interesting,” said Dexter. “And it explains why mind flayers and githyanki – both known to be mutual enemies – were working toward a common cause. The githyanki enslaved both the minotaurs and mind flayers, using these collars to control them.”

“Bloody slaving bastards.” Dona slammed the butt of her halberd into the corpse of a githyanki, splattering blood about. “Let’s get to that rock off in the distance and kill them.”

“We need to secure the ship first. There could be more below.” Dunkle motioned to Dona who followed him below decks.

The two checked out the first level which contained only sleeping quarters and a galley. Down one level in the ship’s hold, however, they found two collared minotaurs hunched over a large crate, arm wrestling.

Dunkle approached quietly, but a minotaur half turned to regard him. “Not now,” it grunted.

Dona joined the rogue, and they both observed that neither creature was gaining any ground in the arm wrestling match. The barbarian shrugged. “Guess they’re busy. Let’s look at all these crates and barrels.”

Cracking open the crates they found salted meat, and in one a distinctly elven ear lay atop the chunks of meat. Dunkle inspected the meat carefully and announced that it appeared to be the flesh of humans and elves.

“Oh, Nine Hells! They’re all going to die!” Dona stormed over to some barrels and smashed them apart with her halberd. They turned out to contain alien-looking fish in brine.

Up on deck, Lyr had taken up a position in a mast to watch for any approaching danger. As he did so, Karn and Lyr opened the door to the forecastle cabin. Inside they found what appeared to be an interdimensional map room that marked several githyanki “meat colonies.”

As Karn went to inspect the poopdeck cabin, Dexter began to investigate how the ship actually moved. There was no rudder and no oars, and wind on the Astral plane was not something that one actually wished for…

After some time, he discovered that by just willing the ship to move, it slowly began to do so. He surmised that with enough mental energy bent to the task, the ship could be sailed. It was likely, however, that the githyanki, with their psionic abilities, would be better at the task than the heroes.

In the forecastle, Karn found what must be the captain’s quarters: bed and dresser of dark, gilt wood; an expensive tapestry; and a chest. A chest covered with runes in an alien language.

“What do you make of this?” he asked Dexter after calling him into the cabin.

The wizard spent a minute casting a spell to identify the nature of the chest and runes. “These runes appear to be tied to a trap of sorts, I believe. My guess would be an explosion of psionic energy. I’d let Dunkle handle this.”

Down below, the barbarian and rogue opened the final door in the ship’s hold to find two dozen ragged, dirty humans packed into a room. The people flinched back in fear and crushed up against the back wall.

“We are here to help you,” announced Dona. “You know the githyanki that captured you. Yeah, they’re all dead.”

The captives were hesitant to believe it at first, but once they did, they began to hug Dona and Dunkle in turns, blessing them for rescuing them. It turned out the githyanki had raided their village in Sembia, killing many of its inhabitants and taking others captive.

“Rogue! Got a trapped chest up here!” they heard Karn calling down into the hold. As Dunkle went up top, Dona took the captives up to the galley and began to give them fish to eat. She avoided the meat, naturally.

Dunkle approached the chest warily and began to investigate it. After a few moments, he found a spring mechanism which seemed to have something to do with the trap. Once he disabled the mechanism, he took a deep breath and pulled the lid open.

The chest was empty.

“Empty?” The rogue poked at the bottom of the chest and made sure there wasn’t a false bottom or something. “Some broke ass pirate captain…”

“I don’t think one of the githyanki we killed was the captain,” Dexter said. “I’ll bet he’s at their base, and he simply doesn’t leave his valuables on ship when he isn’t here.”

“Makes sense.” Dunkle shrugged. “By the way, we found a couple dozen human captives down below, and two more minotaur slaves with collars on. They are currently…indisposed.” The rogue chuckled.

Karn grunted and hefted his glaive. “Come, Dexter, let’s sort this business out.”

The paladin and wizard headed down to the hold where they found the minotaurs still arm wrestling. Karn removed the collar from one minotaur and said, “You are free. Now –“

The minotaur roared, eyes wide, and shoved the paladin to the ground. Then the beast flew straight up out of the hold, out of the ship, and sped away into the distance.

The sight of the minotaur caused an uproar among the captives in the galley. Screaming in terror, they cringed against the walls and in the corners. It took Dona several minutes to calm them.

“I suspect that wasn’t the reaction you were hoping for, was it?” Dexter asked, a smile creeping across his face.

Karn picked himself up, shaking his head. “Listen here,” he said to the remaining minotaur. The creature stood by the crate dumbfounded, unsure of what to do now that his arm wrestling partner had gone. “I’m going to free you. When I do, you need to help us hunt down the githyanki who enslaved you.”

When the minotaur just stared at him blankly, the paladin sighed and unlocked its collar.

“Free!” the minotaur said in poor Common. “You’ve freed Grull!”

“Yes,” Karn said. “And now you need to help us bring the githyanki slavers to justice.”

“The green skins captured Grull’s clan,” the minotaur said. “If I help, you rescue all clan?”

Karn nodded. The green skins must be the githyanki. “Yes, Grull. Join us and your clan shall be freed, too.”

“Grull accept then.” The minotaur clapped the paladin on the shoulder, nearly knocking him to the ground again.

Karn, Dexter, and their new minotaur ally flew up into the galley. “Great news, Dona,” Karn said proudly. “We have a new –“

The captives once again screamed in terror and began to scatter across the galley again.

“Damn, it! What in the Nine Hells is your guys’ problem?”

The Hand of Light

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

A Song of Locusts and Fire – Hand of Light, Episode 6

28 Mirtul 1367 DR

As the strange, alien ship approached them, the heroes could see humanoid forms moving on its decks. A couple hundred feet away, the ship came to a stop and three forms floated away from it, heading towards them.

Two were large monstrosities resembling a cross between bull and man – minotaurs. They had dozens of manacles dangling from their belts and held massive nets in their hands. The other creature had a large bulbous head with octopus-like tentacles dangling from its chin.

“Oh, damn,” Dona said. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Yes. A mind flayer,” Dexter said as he mentally ran through a list of his prepared spells. They might need every one…

“Well that brain sucker can’t feast on what it cannot see!” Lyr held forth his magical staff and triggered one of its effects. The air of the astral plane about them rippled, and swarms of locusts began to pour out of folds in the air. Within moments, the locusts had formed into a cloud around the bard, obscuring everyone’s sight but his.

“Damn it, Lyr!” Dona looked around frantically, though all she could see was locusts. “How is that supposed to help?”

The minotaurs flew up to the edge of the insect cloud, whirling their nets about their heads, and waited for a target to emerge. The mind flayer flew forward, tentacles wiggling, and unleashed a blast of psionic energy into the cloud. The energy rolled over all the heroes, instantaneously causing splitting headaches. Dona was left reeling and stunned, but the rest of the group fought off the effects.

“That was the mind flayer!” Lyr shouted. “He did…something.”

“Ya – ya – ya think?” stuttered Dona, barely coherent, a line of spittle running down her chin.

Dunkle flew out the bottom of the cloud, figuring to get a jump on one of their foes. He found a minotaur waiting.

The monster hurled its net at him with practiced ease, entangling the rogue. Twisting about, Dunkle managed to escape and promptly ducked back into the obscuring insect cloud. “Well that didn’t work, “ he muttered.

Dexter popped out of the cloud near the top, fired a ray of frost at the mind flayer, and then ducked back into the cloud. The magical cold hit the alien creature, but had little visible effect.

At this the minotaurs rushed blindly into the cloud, one heading after Dunkle and the other barreling directly into its center.

Toward Lyr.

The bard yelped and flew upward. Fortunately, the cloud didn’t obscure his sight, just everyone else’s. Lyr watched as the minotaur hacked wildly with its axe right where Lyr had just been standing.

Dunkle had less luck, however. The minotaur ran right into him, wrapped him into a bear hug, and began smashing its thick forehead into the rogue’s face. “Bloody hells! Someone help,” he said as his nose crunched apart and blood ran down his face.

Meanwhile Karn flew straight forward, hoping to confront the mind flayer. The paladin of Torm exited the insect cloud, saw the mind flayer speeding off to the side, and gave pursuit. “You shall not escape Torm’s justice!”

In response, the mind flayer unleashed another blast of psionic energy into the insect cloud. This time Lyr succumbed to it, and the bard watched helplessly as the minotaur near him hacked back and forth with his axe. The monster was getting closer and closer to him.

Dona finally shook off the mind flayer’s stunning effect and flew toward Dunkle’s cries for help. She bumped into a large hairy form and brought her halberd to bare. “Hope this is the right one,” she said to herself before she began slicing away.

As it turned out, it was the right one. The minotaur howled and released the rogue.

Freed, Dunkle drew his rapier and stabbed forward several times in rapid succession. The minotaur didn’t last long under the barbarian and rogue’s repeated blows.

Dexter zipped out of the cloud, ready to blast the mind flayer again, but the creature was waiting for him. It wiggled its tentacles, obviously casting a spell.

The wizard recognized the magic as a powerful form of compulsion that would force him to perform the mind flayer’s will. “Not good.” He quickly tried to counteract the spell’s effect with a spell of his own.

However, it didn’t work, and the mind flayer’s magical compulsion washed over him. “Kill the one that made the cloud,” the mind flayer told Dexter in a gurgling voice.

Promptly and obediently, Dexter turned and fired a ray of frost into the cloud where he thought Lyr was. It hit the minotaur instead.

The blind minotaur growled and hacked more furiously, moving closer to the helpless Lyr.

Karn, finally having caught up to the mind flayer, saw his friend Dexter being controlled by the monster. “Die fiend!” the paladin screamed as he rushed the mind flayer, glaive sweeping back and forth in front of him. The mind flayer took several nasty hits and was forced to retreat several paces.

“Get rid of these bloody bugs,” Dona yelled at Lyr. “We can’t see a damned thing!”

As if on cue, the minotaur’s axe sliced open Lyr’s thigh, causing him to snap out of the psionic daze. The bard immediately dismissed the insect cloud, and the locusts retreated into folds in the air.

Lyr then flew for Dona and Dunkle, putting distance between him and the minotaur. “Help! It’s got an axe!”

“No shit.” The barbarian zipped past the bard and buried her halberd deeply into the minotaur’s chest. “But I’ve got a bigger one.” Dunkle, right behind Dona, stabbed the monster viciously in the side.

Now that his target was visible, Dexter began to fire a succession of rays of frost at Lyr. The bard dodged back and forth, trying to evade, but several did hit him.

Meanwhile Karn continued to press the mind flayer. “Your evil reign ends today!” With a wicked blow to the shoulder that tore through the creature’s breastplate, the paladin finally dropped his foe.

As soon as the mind flayer went down, Dexter snapped out of the magical compulsion. “Sorry about that.” The wizard waved apologetically at Lyr.

“That would have been easier,” said Dona as she pulled her halberd out of the now-dead minotaur’s skull, “if we had been able to bloody see!” She looked pointedly at Lyr.

Lyr, thigh sliced open and patches of skin frozen over, puffed out his chest. “What good is a magical staff if I never use it? Who here has a magical set of bagpipes that she never uses?”

“I’m gonna take that staff and shove it –“ The barbarian was cut off as a ballistae bolt flew past the group.

“Comrades, let us bicker after our foes are vanquished.” Karn hefted his glaive and rallied the heroes toward the alien ship.

Several more rounds of ballistae bolts were fired upon them as their neared the ship, but fortunately they all missed. Finally, four heavily armored, tall figures with green skin – they had been operating the ballisae – flew from the ship to engage them, greatswords in hand.

Dexter remembered reading about these creatures once. “These are githyanki,” he announced. “Ware the bite of their blades.” And then, before the githyanki could close, he dropped a thick cloud of nauseating gas on top of them.

Coughing and snarling, the githyanki exited the cloud, two on one side, two on the other.

“Well done, wizard,” said Karn. “Splitting the foe increases the chances of victory.” Then the paladin and Lyr moved to attack two of the still reeling githyanki. Dona and Dunkle moved to take the other two.

The Hand of Light assails the githyanki astral ship.

As the battle began, the heroes quickly learned that the githyanki were able to teleport around with ease. Dexter explained this as a “simple” spell called misty step. For a simple spell, it certainly complicated things… And to add insult to injury, the githyanki’ silver greatswords appeared to be infused with psionic energy, causing them to bite deeper and harder than mundane weapons.

Dona and Dunkle were doing well against their two foes, but Karn and Lyr faired much worse. In fact, Lyr was forced to acts of desperation, using his staff to summon a giant scorpion which the bard mounted and rode against his foes.

Lyr’s giant scorpion stung a githyanki in the chest and pumped it full of enough poison to kill several of the creatures. Karn finished off the other one, calling out praises to Torm and taunts to his foes.

Dexter continued to provide ranged magic support, mostly with ray of frost, as Dona and Dunkle killed the other two githyanki.

Their foes defeated, the heroes gathered, breathing heavily, most of them wounded, some severely.

“That,” said Lyr from the back of his giant scorpion, “was exhilarating! Songs are sung about battles such as those.”

“Listen, dipshit. You ever drop a cloud of flaming insects on my head again, and I’ll sing you a song.” Dona glared at the bard. “A song of me causing you pain. Lots. Of. Pain.”

Lyr shrugged. “Can’t please every crowd, I suppose.”

“But we defeated our foes,” said Dunkle, his eyes wide as he surveyed the alien ship. “And we have a new ship to show for it.” He grinned.

“I’ve always wanted my own ship.”

 

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

Warehouse 54 – Hand of Light, Episode 5

28 Mirtul 1367 DR

“Do you think they’ll stop?” asked Karn.

“They had better. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d beat the shit out of them.” Dona gestured across the street at Warehouse 54. “Now let’s get down to business. At least one of my sisters is in that building.”

“From what you’ve all told me, Cloakmaster Jarvis is the regional leader of the Shadow Thieves.” Dunkle made sure Bleeder was loose in its scabbard. “I’m sure this compound is heavily guarded. We should approach this carefully. Discretely. Perhaps there are sewers that we can use to access the warehouse.”

“Oh to the Nine bloody Hells with that,” said Dona. “I’m tired of this sneaking around and political maneuvering bullshit. Let’s just get this done.”

“Aye, we should face this challenge head on. We have the might of Torm backing our actions.” The paladin brought his glaive down from his shoulder and strode across the street to the warehouse’s double doors.

“No, wait,” called Lyr. “Dunkle brings up a logical point,” added Dexter.

The street resounded with the thudding of Karn’s glaive butt against the doors. “In the name of Torm, open these doors and face us!”

Several minutes paced with no answer.

Finally, Karn reached down and tried the doors. They were unlocked and slide open quite easily.

“Hold on,” said Dexter, rushing over to grab the paladin before he could rush in. “Let’s at least send Vesper to scout it out.”

As the heroes held positions outside the warehouse, the wizard sent his bat familiar inside to scope things out. The warehouse contained aisles formed from crates and barrels, and there was a small office in the back. But there was no one actually inside the building.

The adventurers proceeded carefully into the building, checking the area carefully, before entering the office. There they found a bookcase slightly pulled out from the wall where it hid a secret passage. Inside the passage they found metal staircase leading straight down into the darkness.

“Looks like we go down,” Karn said. “Some light if you will?”

Dexter made a few gestures and muttered a short arcane phrase, causing the tip of paladin’s glaive to emanate light.

At the bottom of the staircase, they found a tunnel that lead to a door. Lyr wisely rushed ahead before Karn – or Dona – could reach the door, and pressed his ear up against it.

“I hear voices,” he whispered to his companions. “Let’s go in ready.” The heroes took up their standard battle formation, and Karn opened the unlocked door.

Inside they found a room with five men standing in it. They had the look of experienced cutthroats: black leather armor, rapiers, shortswords, and a certain bearing. At their feet lay the bloody bodies of perhaps a dozen bugbears.

The men – no, two were women – stopped their conversation, dropped their hands to weapons, and faced the heroes. One of the females chuckled. “It’s you. You’re a little late. We’re already taking care of Jarvis.”

The heroes stare back in surprise for a moment before Dona responds, “What do you mean? We’re here to take care of Jarvis.”

“Yes,” said the female. “Like I said, you’re late. We expected agents of the Xanathar to be more sensitive to the timeliness of eliminating Jarvis, but we were mistaken.”

“Xanathar? What’s that?”

The cutthroats laughed. “That’s who you work for, my dear,” the woman said to Dona.

“No, we work for the Red Sashes.”

The laughing intensified. “My dear,” the woman said. “If you worked for the Red Sashes, believe me, we would know. We are the Red Sashes.”

“Okay, what the hell’s going on around here?” shouted Dona. “I’ve had enough of this shit.”

“There is no need to shout, I assure you.” An immaculately dressed dwarf with well-oiled beard and hair exited a hallway on one side of the room. He was flanked by several more of the cutthroats. “Greetings, I am Dain Flintlock, an agent of the Red Sashes, and it sounds like you have been duped by the Xanathar.”

“Damn it, who’s the Xanathar?”

“They are a criminal organization,” said Dexter to his companion.

Lyr nodded. “Bad news.”

“Indeed,” the dwarf said. “The Xanathar are involved in any number of illegal activities, but foremost among them is slave trading. And you all have been working for them whether you realize it or not.”

“But we’ve been wiping out the Shadow Thieves at the behest of Etis Bright, a member of the Red Sashes.” Karn pushed open the visor of his helmet to better see this dwarf.

“Etis Bright is a known agent of the Xanathar,” Dain replied.

“It sounds like this Xanathar has been using you all in a sort of turf war,” Dunkle said. “And you all have been taking out their competition.”

Dain nodded. “So it would seem.”

“That flaming bagger! I’ll chop off his head!” Dona’s large muscles trembled in rage.

“And it sounds like we are too late,” Dexter said. “You have already dispatched the Cloakmaster, I presume?”

“Not quite.” Dain shook his head. “Jarvis fled before we could confront him. We’re bringing in a wizard now to find out where he went.”

And that wizard arrived just about then. It turned out to be Fea Entorchul, one of Dexter’s very own instructors at the Entorchul Academy and a powerful wizard. Using powerful detection magic, she ascertained that Cloakmaster Jarvis had fled to the astral plane.

The heroes, especially Dona who wanted to find her sister, all wanted to deal with Jarvis themselves. Dain offered no objections, and the wizard was soon casting powerful magic upon them that would send them to the astral plane.

The wizard had given them a Gem of Returning, and as the heroes shifted away from their home plane to the astral plane, she called out, “And whatever you do, don’t lose that gem!”

Blackness momentarily clouded the heroes’ vision, and when it cleared, they found themselves floating in a vast void. Silver emptiness stretched in all directions as far as they could see, and thousands of motes of light, almost like stars, twinkled in the distance.

Far away they could see a massive object moving through the void, trailing a wake of fire and debris. Closer they saw a smaller object, clearly a gigantic rock.

“I suspect we’ll find Jarvis on the smaller rock,” said Dexter. “Remember, here on this plane movement is a matter of will, not physics. Simply use your mind to—“

The wizard was cut off as a ballista bolt soared over his head.

In the distance the heroes saw a large alien ship, similar to a sailing vessel but with foreign, otherworldly protrusions, flying through the void toward them. Humanoid figures moved about the decks, and they saw ballista being aimed their way.

“I think Jarvis already found us,” Karn said.

No one could argue with the paladin’s point this time.

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

Coming Clean – Hand of Light, Episode 4

27 Mirtul 1367 DR

“We’re agreed then?” asked Dexter. The wizard had been foremost in leading the discussion about what to do to get their gnomes freed. If he left it to Dona and Lyr, the most vocal of the companions, it would have likely ended in Dona bathing in blood yet again.

Karn stood from the table they had gathered around. “Yes, let us go to Magister Altadar at once and be done with this business. Torm smiles on the straight and honest path.”

“And you keep your mouth shut unless you have something constructive to contribute,” Dona said to Lyr. After a pause she added, “No, just keep your mouth shut.”

“I shall stay behind,” said Dunkle. “I’m not sure exactly what you all have involved yourselves in, but – and no offense intended – but I would like to minimize my exposure with your group until things have sorted themselves out. I hope you understand.”

“It is logical,” said Dexter. “It may also work to our advantage to have one of our members unknown to the authorities. Though much of the city did see you walking the streets with us not so long ago.” The wizard shrugged, deciding it was a wash either way.

With that, the heroes left their underground compound and proceeded to River Gate. It was late in the evening, and as they expected Magister Altadar was on duty.

“Good day, adventurers,” the old, black-robed magister said from his paper strewn desk in his office. A scribe sat next to him, and several Watch members stood nearby on duty. “I hear you have slain a black dragon. Well done. One fewer of those evil creatures plaguing the realms will do the entire world good.”

“Aye,” said Karn as he planted the butt of his glaive on the stone floor. “We have other business this day, though. Three gnomes were arrested about a tenday ago, charged with selling drugs. The gnomes work for us.”

The magister’s eyebrows rose and the scribe began to write.

Dexter stepped forward. “That is to say, although they work for us, they were following orders by a former companion of ours. This companion, Katso, was directing them to manufacture and distribute illicit substances.”

“Yeah, we had no part in it,” said Dona, “and I assure you, Katso will not survive the day I lay my eyes on him again.”

Magister Altadar paused a moment to take in the information and consider. “I see. We have been interrogating these gnomes. However, they swear allegiance to ‘the Great One’ and have not been very forthcoming with information. Might ‘the Great One’ be this Katso?”

The heroes all nodded in unison.

“Yes, that certainly sounds like him,” said Lyr. “You have my pledge, too, that all mention of Katso will be expunged from all my songs recounting our deeds. It will be as though that cutthroat never existed.”

Altadar looked at the bard curiously. “That is comforting,” he said dryly.

“And as far as the gnomes go, we will give them a firm talking to,” said Karn. “We will explain to them the pitfalls of such nefarious pursuits.”

“And make sure it never happens again,” Dona said.

The magister considered the information for several long moments. “Very well. The gnomes did not seem to understand the nature of their actions. I’m inclined to believe they were led astray and placed on this criminal path. Now, tell me, where is this Katso?”

“We don’t know,” several of the heroes responded.

“But when we find him, I promise you, he will pay,” said Dona, her knuckles white from their firm grip on the shaft of her halberd.

“Very well,” Altadar said. “You have all proven your worth to the city, especially with that map business. I will have the gnomes released to you. Makes sure they do not slip back into their wayward ways.”

The magister began to dictate formal orders for the gnomes’ release to the scribe. When the document was ready, he signed and sealed it.

“Present this to Captain Rulathon at Castle Waterdeep. He will have the gnomes released to you.”

The heroes took the document, expressed their thanks, and began to leave.

“And if you do find Katso—“ Altadar looked pointedly at Dona. “And if he survives, please bring him to me. I will ensure that justice is dispensed.”

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

What Name Do You Go By? – Hand of Light, Episode 3

26 Mirtul 1367 DR

“What name do you go by, adventurers?” a man called out from the crowd. A mass of people were following the heroes as they moved through the streets of Waterdeep, the slain dragon on display in a wagon.

The companions begin to glance at each other, unsure of how to answer.

“I’ve never considered this before,” said Karn. “However, it makes sense that the common folk will need a name to which to attribute all our great deeds.”

Dexter sighed. “I’ve been meaning to bring this up. All great adventuring groups have a name. We should have a group charter, too.”

“I have just the thing,” Lyr said, swinging his mandolin off his back. “A great name that the people will remember us by! Other bards will regale the people with our accomplishments! My patrons at the Sloshing Boot will—“

“Oh, stuff it!” Dona shoved the bard backward. “Keep this business with your boot to yourself.”

After several minutes of discussion and having given the crowd no answer, they arrive at their destination, Essimuth’s Equipment.

“Great people,” intones Karn, stepping forward. “I shall tell you our name! And my illustrious companion, Aelyrendar Fairsong – “ He holds a hand out to indicate Lyr. “ – shall recount to you the tale of our glorious victory over this deadly foe!”

Shaking her head, Dona whispers to Karn, “Good, take care of this annoyance. And keep the bard from saying anything stupid.” She thought a moment. The paladin is as likely to say something stupid as the bard. Oh, whatever…

“Come on, let’s get this dragon armor business sorted out,” she said, gesturing at Dexter and Dunkle to enter Essimuth’s shop with her.

Essimuth was a short man – many mistook him for a dwarf – with a peg leg fashioned in the form of a half-owl half-bear creature. He seemed to have been waiting for them.

“A dragon, I hear!” He chuckled, hands on hips. “I bet that’s a story!”

“It is,” Dexter said with a forced smile. The heroes had learned when they first met the man that above all else Essimuth placed great value on the recounting of adventuring stories.

The bookish wizard proceeded to tell the story to the man. His recounting was perhaps a bit dry and definitely more succinct and less colored than it would have been if Lyr were doing the telling, but he got the job done.

After the formalities, Dona handled the actual business of loot selling. How the barbarian had gotten stuck with playing the group accountant she didn’t know, but damn it if she wasn’t going to do a good job of it.

Besides selling the treasure the group had acquired on their recent adventure, there was the business of crafting dragonscale armor from the dragon’s hide.

Essimuth explained that it was a tricky business, but that he knew master craftsmen in the city who were up to the task. It would take roughly three tendays, but at the end they would have their wares: suits of light dragonscale armor for Lyr and Dunkle and dragonscale pants and shirt for Dona.

Once their business with Essimuth was concluded, the three exited his shop.

“And then,” said Lyr as he strummed at his mandolin, “waves and waves of small winged reptilian creatures began to swarm us, hurling massive kegs full of acid. However, despite the overwhelming odds—“

“Damn it, let’s go.” Dona grabbed the neck of the bard’s instrument and began to pull him along. “You can finish this at the Shitty Boot.”

“It’s the Sloshing Boot.”

“Whatever.”

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

Deposing the King – Hand of Light, Episode 2

24 Mirtul 1367 DR

“What part of ‘This looks good on me.’ don’t you understand?” Dona asked Lyr, gesturing angrily at the Amulet of Mraphadyr that hung about her neck. “We’re not giving it to that bloody guild, and we are certainly not going to enter into a business relationship with them!” Besides, it protects me from diseases, and I do bathe in the blood of our enemies with satisfactory frequency.

“But imagine the potential of such an arrangement with the most powerful, wealthy, and influential guild in the city,” Lyr said as he helped row the boat. The trees in the stagnant water slowly crawled by them as they made their way north and out of the swamp.

Karn shook his scarred visage. “It would not be proper to ally with them. And I could not in good conscience enter into such a partnership. The Guild of Apothecaries and Physicians is a corrupt organization known for past crimes against the city. If anything we should be exposing that corruption and working against them, not allying with them!”

“But—“ began Lyr.

“No, it’s final,” Dona snarled. “Drop the bloody subject. We’re not giving them the flaming amulet, unless you plan to take it from me…” The barbarian glowered at the bard, and even seated in the boat  seemed to loom over him.

“We could simply go to Magister Altadar about this,” Dexter said. “Tell him the gnomes were working for us. It was Katso’s fault, really. I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“I support honesty.” Karn nodded at the wizard.

“Um, guys, maybe we should—“ Dunkle said.

“Not now, new guy.” Dona cut him off and shot him a look. “We need to figure this out, and your opinion doesn’t count.”

“But theirs might,” the rogue returned, pointing ahead of the boat.

As one, the heroes looked ahead of their craft to see nearly a dozen lizardfolk standing waist-deep in the dark water, clubs in hand and spiked shields raised menacingly. One lizardfolk, larger than the others, had four arms. He held four flails – one in each hand – and began to whirl their spiked heads about him.

King Mogavon.

“Ah, Smooth Skins, we meet again,” the king hissed in rough Common. “This time, however, only one of us walks away. You think you can ruin all of my plans and simply stroll out of my domain with no repercussions?”

“Look, you bastard,” snarled Dona, standing in the boat, “we killed your flaming ‘god.’ Do you really think we can’t handle you?”

The rest of the heroes stood and readied their weapons. Lyr pulled his new mandolin off his back and began to strum a makeshift melody about dragging the king’s corpse through the entire swamp as a warning to all who would oppose them.

Dunkle winced and nearly covered his ears. “Oh, please stop. Don’t you need to tune that thing first?”

King Mogavon who moments ago seemed on the verge of rushing forward to attack, paused to consider Dona’s point. Finally, he said, “Yes, you are right, large one. Now, all of you, leave my swamp and do not come back!”

As the lizardfolk backed down and began to move away, King Mogavon turned to one of his warriors and whispered in Draconic, “It will be easier to return, kill Krokavoc , and take over the village anyway.”

Straining to hear, Dexter was just able to make it out. “He plans to return to the village, kill the shaman, and take over,” the wizard translated for his companions.

“Oh, damn it all!” Dona hefted her silver halberd. “Let’s just kill them then!”

As the battle broke out, the heroes quickly found their small craft surrounded and swarmed by lizardfolk. King Mogavon himself chose Karn as his first target, the paladin having taunted him.

Mogavon fell victim to well-placed paralyzing magic by Dexter, and most of the heroes focused fire on the king, dealing blow after devastating blow to the mutant lizardman. However, the king managed to shake off most of the blows and break free from the paralyzing magic.

Meanwhile, Lyr found himself beset by two lizardfolk who set on him with clubs and spiked shields. Next to the bard, Dunkle struggled against just one of the creatures, his hangover from the night before severely impeding his combat effectiveness.

While Karn and Dexter focused sharp glaive and lethal magic on King Mogavan, Dona slew lizardfolk after lizardfolk, reveling in the blood and gore that was being splattered over her body.

Finally, King Mogavon was mortally wounded as Dunkle drove his rapier, Bleeder, through the lizardman’s back and out his chest. A final ray of frost from Dexter brought the king low, dropping his corpse onto the deck of their small craft.

With his king dead and the rest of his kin slain, the lone remaining lizardman dove into the water and began to swim away from the deadly adventurers. Dona and Dunkle both jumped in after the creature, and the barbarian knocked it unconscious with her halberd.

With Dona restraining the lizardman, Karn healed it a bit and brought it around. Then, assisted by some mind-influencing magic from Lyr, the heroes convinced the lizardman to return to his village with the head of King Mogavon and tell his kin that the traitor has been dealt with.

The lizardman did so – Dexter sent his bat familiar to observe and make sure – and punctuated the tale by stabbing Mogavon’s head through a javelin and placing it on display from a guard tower.

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

Friends of Clan Gnashtooth – Hand of Light, Episode 1

23 Mirtul 1367 DR

“So, we slice it up then,” said Lyr. “It will make transport easier.”

Dexter thought for a moment. “But it is only book knowledge, remember. Properly dissecting a dragon into its constituent parts is only something I’ve read about.”

And thus the discussion began as the five heroes stood over the body of the black dragon.

“There is something to be said about strolling into Waterdeep with the intact corpse of a dragon we’ve slain suspended between us,” Karn said as the discussion began to carry on too long for his likening.

Lyr’s eyes lit up as he imagined that scene. “Yes! The people will speak of us and spread stories of our heroics. And I will sing the tale at the Sloshing Boot!” The bard fumbled excitedly for his new mandolin as if to begin preparing the song at that moment.

“Not now,” Dona said, annoyance painting her face. “Let’s just drag this damned thing out of here and get moving. This whole trip was a side trek. I’ve got more important things to do.”

Dunkle nodded to this as he finished buckling his new rapier, Bleeder, to his sword belt. “And we wouldn’t want to screw it up. Destroying magical dragon parts worth thousands of gold would be irresponsible.”

Fortunately, it had been a rather young dragon, as dragons go, so its bulk was manageable. The heroes carried the dragon up and out of the ancient ruins, carefully stepping around the heaped corpses of kobolds and trolls that littered various rooms on the route out – those minions had been… annoying.

Once they emerged into the swamp, they set about constructing a raft out of fallen trees. Dona, being the resident expert on such things, directed them to choice logs for the matter. However, as their raft came together, it began to quietly sink into the murky waters under its own weight.

“It would appear,” said Dexter after examining the logs Dona had selected, “that old rotted logs were not the best choice.”

Dunkle smirked. This crew that he had recently joined up with had not the least inkling of how to build a simple raft. Incompetents.

“What do I flaming know about building rafts?” Dona said, bringing her halberd down on the rotted logs. “You all asked me to find the logs, but I’ve told you before I’m best at just bloody killing stuff.” The barbarian glared at her comrades, especially the rogue. He had better wipe that look off his face before I do!

“Why doesn’t the new guy figure it out?” She gestured angrily at Dunkle with her halberd which still had flecks of flesh and blood on it from slaying the dragon.

“As you wish,” Dunkle said.

Guided under the expertise of a former sailor, the work on the next raft proceeded quickly, efficiently,  and most importantly, effectively. In the end, the heroes had a raft that not only floated under its own weight, but supported the corpse of the dragon. With that done, they all climbed into their own boat and set off north for the lizardfolk village, the raft in tow.

Several hours crawled by with half of the group rowing, and all of them peering cautiously about them at the rank waters of the swamp. More than once had creatures risen from those waters to attack them on their trek through the swamp and to the ruins.

Finally, the heroes could see Clan Gnashtooth’s village, Pavok, off in the distance. It was situated on a mound of dry ground and surrounded by a forbidding barrier of sharpened spikes angled outward. Inside the curtain of spikes stood nearly a dozen large huts made of wood and vegetation.

As they approached the village, lizardfolk watchmen posted in the guard towers spotted them and called out to the rest of the village in Draconic, “The Smooth Skins have returned! And they bear the body of a lizard god!” At this, lizardfolk began to move toward the village entrance, some emerging from their huts.

A crowd of lizardfolk met the heroes on the bank, but the crowd quickly gave way as the heroes exited their craft. Whispers of “god slayers” spread about the lizardfolk as they looked alternatingly between the heroes and the dragon’s corpse.

“They believe we have slain a god,” Dexter translated to his companions, as he was the only one who spoke Draconic.

“Hopefully it wasn’t their god,” muttered Dunkle.

“Yes!” proclaimed Karn loudly, striding forward. “This was the creature that threatened your southern border and has slain so many of your village. And yet he stood not a chance against Torm’s righteous might! Thus it lies shattered at our feet, and your people are free from its oppression!” The paladin took a breath and looked to the wizard to translate.

“The dragon is dead. Your village is safe,” Dexter told the lizardfolk in Draconic. “We would like to talk to Krokavoc, your shaman, now.”

Karn narrowed his eyes slightly at the wizard, but said nothing. Perhaps Draconic was more efficient than Common. He would give his companion the benefit of the doubt.

After the clan’s shaman pushed forward through the crowd, the heroes explained to him – with Dexter translating – of King Mogavon’s betrayal and how he was planning to lead the clan under the authority of the dragon. In fact, Mogavon had been sending lizardfolk loyal to the shaman to the south for some time so that the dragon’s forces might destroy them.

The lizardfolk and Shaman Krokavoc in particular were disturbed by this news, but not surprised. It turns out that many of them did not like the king anyway.

“We thank you for what you have done for our clan,” intoned the shaman. “And now we will fulfill our part of the bargain. We will spread word to the other clans, and together we will find this trinket that you seek.”

“Actually,” said Dona as she reached into her shirt and pulled out the Amulet of Mraphadyr that hung about her neck, “that won’t be necessary. You see, we’ve already found it.”

The shaman stared blankly at her for several moments. “Then Clan Gnashtooth is in your debt, and that debt must be paid. Please wait.” The shaman left for his hut and returned a minute later displaying a large ceremonial spear adorned with feathers and gold tokens. “This spear designates its bearers as allies of Clan Gnashtooth. No lizardfolk in our domain will trouble you so long as you bear it. Please accept this as a token of our gratitude.”

The heroes accepted the spear with Dona exclaiming that it was quite beautiful.

The shaman explained to them that several hours ago the lizardfolk saw dozens of winged creatures – the heroes recognized these as remnants of the kobolds from the dragon lair – fleeing to the north. Shortly after the creatures flew overhead, King Mogavon left the village with several of his elite warriors.

“You owe us nothing further, of course,” the shaman told them. “However, should you come across Mogavon on your way home… Well, all of Clan Gnashtooth would be most grateful to never see him return.”

As the heroes departed the village, dragon raft in tow, they assured the shaman and the rest of the lizardfolk that should they run into Mogavon, their former king would not live to regret it.

The Heroes of Waterdeep

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm