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Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
Lost Mine of Phandelver with the European Union

The European Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero)
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit)
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate)
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor)
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor)
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Skype, usually once per week, for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #015 Wednesday 25th November 2015
Venomfang!

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 3
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 3
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 3
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 3
Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate) Level 3

All present and correct

The Action-

I got greedy, greedy and stupid… now read on.

1) An Invitation.

The guys search the Brown Cow Inn, or what’s left of it- having slain the four ash zombies that were within, the place has little to hold the adventurers attention for long, they depart- heading south back to Reidoth the Brown’s cottage. A chat with a druid to report in is in order- followed by a rest, very probably, and then the small matter of the dragon in the tower.

Thundertree_Meeting.jpgThe Meeting.

The best laid plans… chatting with Reidoth, quite amicably, outside of his cottage are a group of cowled and robed humans- the Dragon Cultists that the guys, and in particular Grimm, ignored earlier on their journey around Thundertree. All, however, is peaceable- Favric, the leader of the humans, repeats his request- this time to the guys directly.

Cultist_Dragon.jpgDragon Cultist- Favric.

“My Lord wishes for you to visit with him, he will await you in his tower- he would consider it a signal honour if you were to visit with him in an hour’s time.”

Favric is of course very gracious, the guys are however a little more circumspect, although equally as polite- they agree to the cultists request, they will be with the dragon as soon as they have had a chance to chat with Reidoth.

The adventurers take a moment to size up the cultists- they don’t appear to be experienced warriors, as far as they can tell; they are however armed.

After a minute or two more of inane chatter the cultists depart- at which point four of the five adventurers duck back into Reidoth’s cottage eager to tell their story, and to take a well earned rest.

The fifth member of the group- the elusive (Pedja is in game again) Hellwhip ducks into the undergrowth and does his best to follow the cultists.

2) Hellwhip the Spy.

The ranger is hidden from sight, and silent with it- over the course of the next few minutes Hellwhip follows the cultists, who take a circuitous route, to the dragon’s tower on the hill. Of note is the fact that during this action Hellwhip makes 4-5 Stealth checks, his lowest roll, before additions, is a ‘17’, the bad guys figure they’ve got away safely.

Alas at this point things get awkward- Favric and three other cultists duck inside the tower and disappear from sight, leaving two cultists to guard the door. The ranger can hear movement from within the tower- something big- obviously the dragon; he cannot however see what is happening or else hear what is being said.

Thundertree_Dragon_s_Tower.jpgI Spy.

Hellwhip has a plan- he grasps his magic sword Talon, leaps up and flies to the very top of the tower.

What the…

Let’s just take a moment to say something about my version of magic items- in this campaign magic items once attuned bleed a little of their story into the thoughts and dreams of those wielding them. So, over the course of several sessions Hellwhip (Pedja) has learnt from dreams and visions the following about his magical blade-

Talon.pngTalon.

a) Talon was manufactured by elven smiths and craftsmen many centuries ago- the elves lived deep within Neverwinter Woods.

Note the blade is a +1 Shortsword- +1 To Hit & Damage.

b) Talon was later gifted to Lord Aldith Tresendar, of Tresendar Manor, the then ruler of Phandalin. There existed at the time some pact between the Lords of Phandalin and the elves of Neverwinter. Hellwhip witnesses the ceremony in which the magical blade is handed over.

c) Talon is next seen (or else experienced- when the visions take place they are mostly from a first person perspective) being wielded expertly in a great battle by the Lord of Phandalin fighting alongside his men, and his elven allies, against a horde of Orcs sweeping down from the north.

d) The scene on the battlefield shifts, the town of Phandalin is in flames- the Lord Tresendar and his allies are in retreat- back to the Manor house, and still the orcs come.

e) The fighting continues, even more ferocious now, the orcs are winning- they have the numbers, the Lord Tresendar grasps Talon and screeches like an eagle, a signal for his allies to rally to his side. The fight however is lost.

Note at this point Talon gains a new ability, it’s wielder can make a loud screeching sound- like the noise made by a bird of prey, the noise has no in-game affect- although it could unnerve enemies (at the beneficent DMs discretion), it is however clearly audible from a great distance.

f) Lord Tresendar, mortally wounded, makes his way into the cellars and secret spaces beneath Tresendar Manor, there to die in the darkest hole- the crevasse (where Talon is later found by Cecil, the Nothic, and then when Cecil is slain by the guys). In the very last moment of this the final vision Lord Tresendar’s soul rises up from his now dead body on ghostly wings and flies up into the heavens.

Note at this point Talon gains a new ability, it’s wielder can Fly (as per the spell), although only briefly- for one turn per level of the wielder. Fly speed same as the wielder’s walking speed- but with the grace and skill of a bird of prey.

Note Hellwhip experienced scene a) when he attuned the blade, and from this point he wielded it as a +1 Shortsword.

He experienced scenes b), c) and d) on consecutive nights after Talon was attuned.

He experienced scene e) and gained the screech ability of the blade sometime while he was adventuring in the Redbrand’s hideout- we skipped over this because Pedja was away from the game.

Hellwhip experienced scene f) when he leapt over the pit in the Redbrand’s hideout- for a moment when he was airborne he had a sense of weightlessness, in that instant he knew that he could fly.

The revelations and visions are going to be more widely spaced for future magic items, I just had a brainwave when I dished out Talon, the adventurers first magic item- I’ll take my time in future, get the guys to think that they’re just wielding a +1 sword (or whatever), and then reveal any other powers when the time is right.

We’ll see how it goes.

Back to the here and now.

Hellwhip, on the roof of the tower, peers into the shadows below (after making suitable checks not to alert the chamber’s inhabitants). Within he spies Favric, the leader of the cultists, bowing and scraping before a large green dragon- his master. The ranger overhears the bad guy’s plan- which is in essence to get the adventurers into the tower, to trap them inside- the cultists have orders to kill any that attempt to flee from the dragon- hubris? We’ll see.

Dragon_Green_Young_1.jpgYoung Green Dragon.

Alas, Hellwhip chooses that exact moment to shift his weight, and in doing so allow a loose slate to fall- the ranger immediately realises what he has done and uses the last of Talon’s power to fly down from the tower. Hellwhip lands in a nearby tree and then scrambles quickly back down to earth.

A moment later Hellwhip is racing away from the scene, as fast as his legs can carry him, the cultists- and Favric, are quickly out the tower, they spot the ranger and call out to him, in a slightly less than friendly way- although no threats as of yet. Hellwhip however is already out of their range, he dashes all the way back to Reidoth’s cottage.

Safe within he tells all that he knows.

Grimm is grinning like a loon- I can hear it in his voice on Skype- he also makes gurgling noises every now and then, he can’t wait to get to the dragon- now the battle-lines have been drawn.

His colleagues however have other ideas.

3) Storming the Cultist’s Hideout!

An hour or so later, after a short rest, some healing and a little Arcane Recovery for the wizard- the guys head out, and with a clutch of goodberries supplied by Reidoth the Brown. Alas, for Grimm, the dragon’s lair is not their destination- first stop the cultist’s lair.

Thundertree_Cult_Lair.jpgThump!

Grimm hears a loud noise within the sturdy looking building, the doors and shutters to the place are however tight shut- a short while latter the guys discover the hard way that both portals are also locked. They make this discovery when Hellwhip and Grimm, special forces style, attempt to lead the charge through the doors- neither makes any progress.

There follows a brief, but rather amusing, display of ineptitude.

Grimm and Zyler, the two men of god get into a pissing contest rather quickly- they take it in turns to fail to shoulder-charge the southern door open; the DC to open the door is 15, the pair fail to break into double figures with four attempts. Things at the western door prove to be equally difficult- Hellwhip acquires a dead arm while Ken Lee manages to break a finger (and take damage). Both doors remain firmly shut- not a mark on either, that is until Zalt starts hitting the southern portal with Eldritch Blasts.

The warriors eventually rush in, and discover a well-kept living quarters- in the center of the chamber a slightly bemused looking goat, the source of the ‘Thump’ Grimm heard earlier, the animal has knocked a book off a shelf and is now making a meal of it. The place is empty- ten minutes later, after both rooms have been turned upside down, the guys are finally convinced.

Grimm is less than impressed- “The Dragon!” He reminds them, again and again.

4) The Dragon & the Cultists.

And so it comes to pass, after a brief tactical discussion, the guys head up the hill- each of them approaching the dragon’s tower from a different direction, moving cautiously and as quietly as they can from cover to cover. Except for Grimm of course, the paladin strides up the central pathway towards the two cultist guards, making no attempt to disguise his approach.

Sadly for the guys there are three more cultists hidden in the bushes on the hill- watching and waiting, and inevitably signalling back to their leader Favric; who is observing proceedings from one of the windows in the building at the base of the tower.

Thundertree_The_Dragon.jpgHere We Go!

The cultists guards watch Grimm approach, whispering the news to Favric peeping through the window behind them, the cult leader wants to impress his boss, the dragon- he’s got to play this one carefully.

The guys however have figured out the best way, they think, to counter the dragon’s plan- they ain’t going in the tower; at least not yet.

Zalt starts the attack, firing an Eldritch Blast, after his Hex, into one of the cultist’s guarding the door- and yes, of course, a critical hit- the poor fellows head explodes.

Hellwhip is next in line, and of course- another critical hit- the second cultist guarding the door into the tower takes an arrow to the head- messy, it expires in agony moments later.

The cultists hidden in the bushes dive into action as Favric screams for them to attack, the first to move takes a crossbow bolt to the gut, courtesy of Ken Lee, and immediately arrests its charge. A second cultist gets the drop on Grimm and slashes the paladin in the back with its scimitar, Grimm cuts back and the fight is really underway.

Zalt re-positions his Hex and fires another Eldritch Blast into the cultist that Hellwhip wounded- that’s another dead, at which point the third hidden cultist suddenly reveals himself and slashes and cuts the warlock- damn, Zalt was standing right next to him.

Grimm decapitates the cultist he’s fighting and makes his move, a rush up the hill and to the tower, it seems the paladin has already forgotten the plan. Zyler activates a shimmering Shield of Faith and races to catch up with the paladin- he too is going to kill the dragon.

They’re back to the pissing competition.

“Tempus is with me!”
“Tymora guide me!”

That kind of thing, although all of the shouting is aimed not in the direction of their mutual enemy but at each other, they should just sleep together and get it over with.

Zalt is left to his own devices, going toe-to-toe with one of the cultists, not ideal- the warlock stabs his attacker and manages to dodge the human’s counter; this could take a while for the warlock with his dagger.

Favric leaps out of the building and screams- “A-ha!”, he just surprised the guys (not), followed by “For the Five” (which sounds odd- 4 the 5? What is this a maths lesson). The cult leader stabs at Zyler, which only makes Grimm jealous; the two religious types and Favric get busy with it, and fail to notice- if only for a second, when the green dragon smashes its way through the roof of the tower and bathes the trio in its poison breath.

Favric’s skin bubbles and bursts- liquefied it sloughs away from his bones. Grimm and Zyler fare a little better, the guys remember all have resistance to poison- a gift from Agatha, and my attempt to balance this fight.

The priest of Tempus, god of war, makes a run for the tree line- he’s almost down (on 4 hit points); Grimm heals himself as best he can, swears a Vow of Enmity on the wyrm, and then dodges into the building at the base of the tower. The paladin rushes on, into the dragon’s lair, only to discover that there are no stairs to take him to the top of the tower- to face his mortal foe in glorious combat.

Screw that- I’m playing a dragon!

Dragon_Green_Young_2.jpgYoung Green Dragon.

Ken Lee stays under cover and fires three Magic Missiles into the cultist battling Zalt- killing the foul fellow. A moment later Hellwhip steps into the open, briefly, and fires an arrow straight into the dragon’s snout (another bloody Critical Hit), the arrow lodges there, even as the dragon paws and scratches- and then roars louder still.

Zyler chooses this moment not to heal himself but to Bless his comrades and scream dire threats in the direction of the furious green dragon perched on what’s left of the roof of the tower. Zalt backs up the priest- the warlock Hexes the beast and then fires another Eldritch Blast into it, next up Zalt screams at Zyler, grabs out a Potion of Healing and rushes over to heal the impetuous fool.

He doesn’t get there.

Suddenly the plants and bushes surrounding the pair reach out to grab and grasp, and Restrain.

Yeah, I figured I’d give the dragon some lair actions, and then when the guys decided they weren’t going to head into the tower I decided that the dragon’s lair included all of the hill.

I have a mother and father I assure you.

Zalt doesn’t make it to Zyler- while the priest is wrestled and pinned to a tree by the strangling vegetation.

The dragon leaps down from his high perch, a graceful descent, and then smashes and claws Zyler down- and the cleric is dying.

“I am Venomfang!” The dragon declares- “Fear me!” It grins and toys with Zyler’s limp form.

Ken Lee breaks the moment by firing another three Magic Missiles into the beast, Hellwhip adds to the dragon’s wounds with an arrow in the back.

Just to say last session the guys were making hard work of fighting a bunch of CR 1/8 monsters- four turns to take down six Twig Blights, in this fight- and the Dragon with AC 18, they’re hitting 80-90% of the time. In the chat window Hellwhip writes- “46 damage to the dragon so far”.

Grimm comes rushing back out of the building, screaming all the way, he buries his greatsword in the dragon’s flank, ripping through the webbing on one of its wings en route to its flesh. The paladin’s blade pulses with radiant light- which burns, his Divine Smite (for 22 points of damage).

Venomfang roars in agony, almost bloodied (I gave it a few more hit points than it had in the book, about 145 from memory- shh, don’t tell my players).

Zyler meantime is almost, but not quite, dead.

Zalt hits the dragon again, with another Eldritch Blast, and then scrambles the rest of the way to Zyler grabbing out a Potion of Healing en route- the warlock grabs the priest and drags him away from the beast, he doesn’t however manage to feed the potion to the dying cleric.

The dragon’s bloodied, and should be getting the hell out of dodge.

Hellwhip chimes in on chat- “that’s 85 damage”.

The damage counting bastard- I know what the score is… and yet I can’t resist it.

Suddenly a surging wave of spiky vegetation, centered on the dragon, scours and cuts at all within its path- which is only Grimm, alas. The paladin is forced back- bloodied and almost broken. This was a version of the Tangled Brush lair action- I just changed the effect a little, still got the paladin for 16 damage.

Venomfang abandons Zyler and lurches around and plows forward swatting at Grimm with its claws, the paladin gives ground, he blocks and parries- however the great beast’s first claw attack almost flattens the holy warrior (on about 10 hit points), the dragon’s second claw attack fails to hit the spot, while it’s furious bite is nowhere close to the target.

Dragon_Green_Young.jpgYoung Green Dragon- Venomfang.

That was the greedy part- I went after the paladin, which was exactly what he wanted. This is 4e all over again with the bloody defenders, only these bastards in 5e really hurt.

This next bit is the stupid part.

Venomfang has had enough, well past bloodied its time for him to get the hell out of dodge, the wyrm leaps into the air- at which point Grimm takes a step forward and cuts with all his might, his blade once again bathed in radiant light- the paladin removes the last foot or so of Venomfang’s tail (and another 25 points of damage- I’ll save you the maths, the dragon has taken 110 points of damage, that’s about 35 hit points left).

Venomfang gets height but doesn’t get far, it leaps and flies up and back onto the tower in an effort to continue over the structure next round- to put the building between it and its enemies. Ken Lee has other ideas, the wizard reveals himself at last and fires a Shatter spell into the dragon, the blast also accounts for the rest of the tower’s roof- masonry and rubble rain down.

A moment later Hellwhip’s arrow thuds into the scaled beast’s neck, blood spurts and cascades down the wrecked tower as the dragon flails and claws at its perch.

Zalt rams the Potion of Healing into the fallen priest’s gob and tips the contents down.

Zyler’s eyes suddenly open wide.

“Is it dead?” he asks, Zalt shakes his head- no.
“Am I dead?” the priest inquires further, again the warlock shakes his head.
“Good” Zyler declares, and then scrambles to his feet and fires a Guiding Bolt straight into the chest of the dragon, the beast screams horribly, in absolute agony.

“That’s 134 damage” Hellwhip helpfully adds in the chat window- thanks.

Zalt takes aim for a brief second, and then fires his signature Eldritch Blast into the wyrm.

The end.

The dragon claws, flaps, flails and then tumbles- back through what little is left of the roof of the tower, there follows a great bone shattering thump as it hits the bottom, followed swiftly by a roiling cloud of dust and grit which which bursts from every available opening in the structure.

Venomfang is dead.

“Dragonslayers!” Zalt tests the word and grins.
“That was…” Grimm states, a little emotional now, followed swiftly by “I was born for this”.
“Zyler damn near died for this” Hellwhip cautions, but even the priest is grinning.

ENCOUNTER #27
PCs 5 x Level 3
Monsters 6 Cultists (including Favric) 25 XP each & Young Green Dragon (Venomfang) 3900 XP
XP 4050 Adjusted 10125 CR 13
Deadly

That can’t be right- can it? CR 13?

5) The Horde.

Although not a massive horde, its certainly enough to satisfy the guys- the lair of the beast is searched, as are the dead cultists- the body of the dragon is carved up into a fine collection of fleshy trophies. The prize, the wyrm’s head, is taken by the paladin- Grimm. He already possesses the last foot or so of the beasts snake-like tail.

There are a pair of scrolls for Ken Lee, a Potion, a clutch of jewels and gems and a whole heap of coin.

There’s also the small matter of the greatsword that Grimm finds beneath the fallen body of the dragon, as he’s hacking it to pieces, the blade is beneath his feet- as it was in his vision when Agatha killed Ken Lee by entering the wizard’s body.

Grimm grins as he tests the heft of his new found weapon.

Hewer.jpgHewer.

“I am Hewer”, the sword confirms, in a gruff voice which echoes in the paladin’s head.
“Yes, you are.” Grimm replies, aloud, to odd looks- and grins a little wider.

And that’s pretty much all we have time for this session, except to say that the guys have now completed Quest #12 Clear Thundertree.

6) Are You Experienced?

All of the guys have enough XP to advance to level 4, all they need is a good night’s sleep.

Session #015 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #9 Find Gundren & Wave Echo Cave & Quest #12 Clear Thundertree- DONE.

NPCs of note- Gundren Rockseeker (Patron)- MISSING- TAKEN TO KING GROL, Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Elmar Barthen (Barthen’s Provisions), Toblen Stonehill (Stonehill Inn), Tilena Stonehill (Toblen’s wife), Pip Stonehill (Toblen & Trilena’s young son), Linene Graywind (Lionshield Coster), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- WHERE IS SHE?, Harbin Wester (Townmaster), Daran Edermath (ex-Adventurer), Halia Thornton (Phandalin Miner’s Exchange), Qelline & Pip Alderleaf (Halfling female Farmer and her son), Iarno Aldbrek aka Glasstaff (the leader of the Redbrands)- DECEASED. Mirna and her kids (the dead woodcarver’s family), Agatha the Banshee & Hamun Khost, the Red Wizard of Thay. Reidoth the Brown- Druid in Thundertree.

Enemies of note- Klarg (Bugbear Chief)- captured ESCAPED; Hobgoblins lead by Targor Bloodseeker (took Gundren); King Grol? (Cragmaw Goblin leader) & the Black Spider? Glasstaff (Iarno Aldbrek) & the Redbrands- DECEASED. Orcs in the hills- Wyvern Tor- DECEASED OR FLED. Zombies, plant creatures and other nasties in Thundertree- DECEASED. The Cultists in Thundertree, and the Green Dragon- DECEASED.

New Info- Klarg, the Bugbear, has escaped. Where is the real Sister Garaele? Gundren Rockseeker needs to be found, as does Wave Echo Cave- PRIORITY ONE say the Lords’ Alliance. Thundertree- Reidoth the Brown (Druid) will take the guys to Cragmaw Castle as soon as they report back to the guy. Ken Lee is hosting Agatha the Banshee. Venomfang, the Green Dragon, is dead.

XP Awarded-
50 Section 1) Meeting with the Cultists.
100 Section 2) Hellwhip the Spy.
4050 Section 4) The Dragon & the Cultists.
200 Section 5) Quest #12 Complete- Clear Thundertree.
4400 XP Total

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