Under the Well of Dragons

In which our heroes attempt to rescue more prisoners from beneath the Well of Dragons.

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While the party rested in the disused tunnel, Roscoe sent a message to the alliance’s commanders via flying snake, alerting them to the presence of the prisoners. A reply came back to say that a force would be dispatched in their direction to assist with the rescue mission.

Once they were feeling refreshed, the heroes sent some of their followers to scout the side tunnels while they headed back to the prisoner pits. They got the prisoners to start shuffling through the Red Wizards’ rooms to the disused tunnel.

Eventually some more cultists came to find out why the flow of prisoners had stopped. They were quickly cut down, although one was taken prisoner and dragged off to a side room to be interrogated. He didn’t know a whole lot, but he was able to tell them that there were lots of Red Wizards in the temple, along with Severin, and they were busy using magic to open a portal to Avernus. He also warned them to watch out for the Bladelord.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the Bladelord found them. He was an undead knight, and he had served as the Cult’s commander at the Well of Dragons for over a century. Shadowy beings flitted around him as he cut down the Lords’ Alliance soldiers guarding the intersection through which the prisoners were moving. The heroes rushed to engage him. Flint sent a fireball up the passage. It incinerated the shadows but the Bladelord kept coming. Skie rushed forward to meet him. The wight fought ferociously and very nearly drained the life out of the fierce barbarian, but he was ultimately no match for the combined might of the heroes.

When the scouts reported back that there was a room with some cultists resting in it down the main passage, the heroes went and cleared them out. They had sent the scouts to guard the passage leading up to the temple, and shortly after the last cultist fell, they heard screams.

Roscoe attempted to sneak up the passage to see what had happened to the scouts, when he was pinned to the ground by a massive claw that materialized – along with its owner, the green dragon Chuth – in front of him. As the others approached, they heard the dragon laughing and taunting them. He let out a terrifying roar, but Skie shook it off as she flew into a rage and charged forward enough that she could throw her axe at him. Flint stayed back and conjured a storm sphere around the dragon.

As the fight got into full swing, Neronvain, the green wyrmspeaker, materialized on Chuth’s back and proceeded to fire her poisonous magic bolts at everyone. Roscoe managed to escape from beneath Chuth’s claw and scampered up onto his back with the intention of attacking Neronvain, but the dragon knocked him off with one swipe of his tail.

With Skie’s axe and Flint’s lightning bolts raining down on them, Chuth and Neronvain were soon feeling the hurt. The wyrmspeaker leapt off the dragon’s back and went flying back up the passage to the temple, while Chuth turned invisible again and muscled past the heroes. They heard him mutter an oath as he went past: “To the hells with Tiamat! I’m not sacrificing myself for her!”

As the sounds of the dragon’s passage down the tunnel diminished, the heroes breathed a sigh of relief and withdrew to lick their wounds once again. They were getting ready for the final push.

In the Dragon’s Den

In which our heroes beard a dragon in its den.

Note: This recap covers two sessions.

While the group rested in Flint’s extradimensional space, Roscoe got restless and decided to go exploring. Flint turned him invisible and the nimble halfling dropped down out of the hole and crept through the dragon’s lair. To the north of the main cavern he found a passage leading to two caves in which laired a number of dragon cultists. Some were asleep in their bunks while others played cards at a table by torchlight.

From that end, he couldn’t quite make out what was on the ledge at the south end of the cavern, so he crept back into the ettin lair and up a narrow sloped passage to a makeshift wooden door. Peering through some cracks and having a good listen, he realized there were more elves on the other side.

Roscoe decided it would be a good idea to try and lure one of the elves out so he could acquire a prisoner for interrogation purposes. Unfortunately, he drew out too many of the elves with his mysterious disembodied voice. This also gained the attention of the cultists, who came running to investigate. As a fight ensued, the rest of the group abandoned the rope trick to assist their comrade.

Skie flew into a rage and slaughtered many of the elves and cultists. The only one that really caused them any problems, though, was an elf mage who turned herself invisible and cast spells at them without reappearing. Keo ultimately dealt with her by transforming into a bear made of whirling air, into which he sucked her still-invisible form and crushed her into a wall.

The few surviving elves attempted to flee back up to their ledge, but the heroes were able to knock one out, finally getting their hostage. But then the dragon struck. A cloud of poisonous gas rushed into the ettin lair, taking out both Keo and Imsa, whose limp forms had to be dragged into the narrow passage to the south, where they were revived with healing potions.

As the heroes caught their breaths, a strangely androgynous yet clearly elven voice called out to them, suggesting they surrender. Instead, the revived their captive elf and interrogated him. He didn’t know much and seemed unwilling to lend any aid, fearing the dragon more than the heroes (despite having witnessed Skie’s murderous rage), but as time ticked away and the heroes began to feel trapped, the elf commented that it looked like they needed a miracle. There just happened to be an old shrine to some human god in an alcove at the back of the ledge. If he were to suggest to his remaining comrades that they not attack the heroes, and if the heroes managed to be stealthy enough, they might be able to get to the shrine and ask the god for help.

Not knowing what else they could do, the heroes jumped at this chance. When they arrived at the shrine, Keo and Imsa recognized it as belonging to the goddess of the druids’ First Circle: Eldath, a deity of streams and waterfalls but also peace and tranquility. The heroes all prayed for her aid, and they all felt an urge to drink some of the water in the shrine’s basin. Immediately they felt relaxed and rested, as if they’d just gotten a good night’s sleep.

Refreshed, the heroes turned to battle the dragon and its mysterious rider. The dragon called upon all its primal magic, filling the ledge with noxious gases and entangling weeds. The heroes struggled to fight their way through to the cultists who’d come up onto the ledge and the dragon, who clung to the ceiling nearby. Keo transformed into a bear made entirely of fire and chased the dragon into the lake in the middle of the main cavern, but only after it had killed its remaining elf slaves out of spite.

The others killed all the cultists except the leader, who turned out to be an elf as well. As the battle swung in the heroes’ favor, the elf leapt off the cliff and flew down to an island in the pond. When the dragon emerged from the water, the elf climbed onto its back and together they fled out into the woods.

After picking themselves up, the heroes went to investigate the rest of the lair. Beyond the cultists’ rooms, they found a larder and what looked to have been the leader’s personal quarters. They found some journals written in Elvish that they put in Flint’s bag for later. They also found a secret passage leading to a hidden shrine to the elven god, Fenmarel Mestarine, which contained another secret passage leading to the dragon’s private sanctum. As Roscoe and the others scooped up coins and trade bars and potions, Keo scouted around and discovered a submerged passage leading from here into the lake in the main cavern – obviously the dragon’s main entryway.

Emerging from the dragon’s lair victorious, the group made their way back to the village of Altand, where they informed Galin that he was free from the cultists’ influence. Flint, feeling guilty about the deaths of all the elves, insisted on telling Galin where to find the bodies so they could be laid to rest properly. Flint also used comprehend languages to translate the journals, which revealed that the cult leader was none other than the cult’s green wyrmspeaker, Neronvain, who also happened to be the long-lost daughter of King Melandrach. The journal outlined her plans to use the cult’s resources to overthrow her father and put herself on the throne. It also mentioned that, because of the loss of the black dragonmask, Severin had ordered all other masks be sent to the Well of Dragons for safekeeping.

Empowered after their defeat of Chuth, Keo cast wind walk himself (rather than having to use a scroll like before) and the group flew quickly back to Waterdeep, where they reported all that had happened. Flint returned Neronvain’s journal to Melandrach, who was both grateful, angry, and ashamed.

The group also did a more thorough debrief on their results with the dragon council. Most of the delegates were happy, although Ambassador Brawnanvil and King Melandrach were both incensed at the prospect of having to apologize to the dragons for their respective races’ activities in the past. They both agreed to do it, however, as protocol demanded it.

Lord Neverember also voiced his disapproval that the heroes had agreed to give the dragons a share in the treasure hoard recovered from the Well of Dragons. He was further disappointed when the heroes failed to assign any dragons to protect Neverwinter.

(As an aside, the heroes were surprised to see yet another new face at the council – this time a tiefling woman sitting beside Lord Neverember, ostensibly as an aid of some kind; she said nothing during the council session, but it was clear she was listening intently. Several of the other councilors, particularly Sir Isteval and Ontharr Frume, could barely disguise their disapproval of the tiefling’s presence.)

By the end of the session, the heroes had agreed to assign dragons to protect Baldur’s Gate, the Misty Forest, and Waterdeep, as well as to assist the Harpers and Emerald Enclave.

Next up: The cult strikes back!