The Rise of Tiamat, session 2

Apologies for the delay in posting this. I’ve been very busy with another project over the last couple of months, which has eaten into my spare time to keep the blog updated. There are another two or three sessions to post over the next few days – along with the regular run of reviews and retrospectives. This session was two hours long, incidentally, and I had five players in my group. Numbers at the store have been wildly variable throughout January, ranging from 20 to 34!

Oyaviggaton, the great iceberg lair of Arauthator.

The adventurers had spent several days getting here, and their greeting by the Ice Hunters who lived on the iceberg hadn’t been the kindest. Two of them had slumped unconscious to the ground after eating poisoned food given to them by the duplicitous Hunters, and now the group discovered the rest of the Hunters approaching them, ready for battle. For less experienced adventurers, this might have gone badly.

However, the group had powerful spell-casters amongst them, and Ice demonstrated to the Hunters exactly how bad an idea it was to betray them to the dragon. A great storm of ice slew many of the potential attackers, and the rest quickly fled. The leader of the Ice Hunters was dead from the storm, their shaman, Bonecarver, captured.

It must be said that the adventurers then acted with uncommon generosity, upon discovering how badly the remaining tribesmen would fare when the dragon learnt of their failure, they healed and released Bonecarver, and vowed to slay the dragon. In exchange, Bonecarver showed them the passage down into the depths of Oyaviggaton, where the great white dragon had his lair.

The group rested so that Mordekai could throw off the effects of the poison, then made their way down an icy staircase. It was very slippery, and they did not take proper precautions; thus, when two of the adventurers slipped and fell 60 feet to the bottom, it provided me with much amusement. Luckily for them, no monsters awaited them at the bottom; only a room where supplies had been stored by the Ice Hunters.

The group then came to a chamber where a number of kobolds were resting from their chores. The kobolds were not happy to see intruders, and pulled out slings with which to attack the characters. Unfortunately, kobolds aren’t really a threat for seasoned adventurers, and the kobolds were soon surprised to find themselves dead.

Three kobolds who were sleeping survived. Upon being awakened, and seeing the fate of their companions, they quickly pledged their allegiance to the adventurers, and were drafted into holding lanterns and carrying supplies.

The adventurers carried on through the tunnels and discovered a great trophy room, the centrepiece of which was a great frozen ship. Upon seeing the treasure on the chest, they were immediately wary, and inquired of the kobolds about the ship. The kobolds chattered on about how they’d taken many nights to bring the ship down, piece by piece, from the surface of the iceberg where the dragon had deposited it. The group briefly considered getting the kobolds to return it to the surface, before abandoning that as the impractical plan it was. More importantly, the kobolds confirmed that Arauthator was aware of every piece of his treasure, and he would instantly know if one piece of it were taken. The group, wisely, abandoned the boat.

As they began to leave the room, a group of ice toads confronted them. Negotiations were short and unfruitful, with the party now feeling quite aggressive. In no time, the toads were dead, with Ice muttering under her breath at the number of creatures that were resistant to her preferred elemental spells.

The group finally asked the kobolds where the tiefling they were looking for was, and the kobolds gleefully led them to her chamber. They found her in a strange edifice – a replica of a Calimsham tent made of carpets. It was an odd thing to see here in this icy cavern rather than the sands of its native land. The tiefling was within, and suspicious of the strangers that had arrived at her doorstep.

Her name was Maccath the Crimson, and she was a member of the Arcane Brotherhood who had come to the isle in search of knowledge, only to discover that speaking to a dragon often means one might be eaten or captured by the dragon. She despaired of her situation, and did not expect the adventurers to help. However, Music was extremely persuasive, and she began to hope that perhaps, just perhaps, she would be able to return home – but such would be impossible without first slaying Arauthator.

She showed the characters the back way in, but even that was treacherous. Pass without trace was used again to aid the adventurer’s way in, and the group were able to enter the lair unobserved. They stood on a huge ice shelf, with Arauthator’s treasure frozen within, while below on a lower level the white dragon slept… with one eye open.

The group moved into position around Arauthator, only to find that, even with their magic, they were not as stealthy as they hoped. With a roar, he leapt at the adventurers, and ice fell from the ceiling onto their hiding places. It was a difficult battle. Darius, the monk, tried to leap onto Arathator’s back as he had in his battle with Glazael, but with no more luck: a great burst of his wings knocked Darius off, and he was knocked unconscious at the dragon followed it up with his breath weapon, a great blast of ice.

However, Ice was throwing some of her much-hated fire spells at the great dragon, and Arauthator was not willing to die in defence of his home, for it was but one of many. After the party has inflicted over 100 hit points of damage (in three rounds of combat) on the dragon, he broke through the ice covering one of his underwater escape routes, and was gone.

Maccath supervised the kobolds digging out the books and tomes that were so precious to her, as the party gathered what treasure they could. Finally, all of the party returned to their ship, where Captain Lerustah Half-face waited with his crew. They all clambered aboard, including the kobolds, and set sail towards Waterdeep and safety. There was no telling when Arauthator would return.

As they left, they could see the ships of the Ice Hunters also fleeing the isle, fearing the dragon’s retribution.

 

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