The Rise of Tiamat – Session 11

Outside Baldur’s Gate. The Sword Coast. 1489 DR.

The adventurers had stopped off in Baldur’s Gate, where they had paid the priests of the Lady’s Hall money to raise Ice, the halfling sorceress having been slain in their last battle against the Cult. Now they were on the Trade Way, heading north back towards Waterdeep.

However, the Cult of the Dragon had not finished with them. As they left an inn one morning, a red dragon flew above them, devils jumping from its sides to surround them. Darius and Mordechai engaged the devils on the ground as the others sent bolts of energy up towards the dragon. One thing they’d learnt from last session’s encounter: Don’t stand together! And so the characters scattered. It also helped that two of the characters were resistant to fire breath, as both Music and Mordechai were tieflings.

The devils soon discovered that the adventurers had area effect spells, and they weren’t afraid to use them, and Ice gleefully used her frost magic against the Red Dragon above. All of a sudden, the surprise attack had turned into a rout of the Cult – and the adventurers weren’t going to let them get away. The dragon may have wished to disappear into the clouds, but it couldn’t get away fast enough before magic missiles and eldritch bolts brought it down. Their attackers dead, the adventurers wasted no time in continuing on to Waterdeep.

The meeting of the Council of Waterdeep was tense. The Cult of the Dragon had stepped up its attacks on the towns and villages of the Sword Coast, and people under the protection of the Council were dying. The leaders who had gained aid from the dragons had fared better, but none were happy. The mood got worse when the Blue Dragon Mask was analysed by mages of the Harpers, and found to be false. Once more, the Cult of the Dragon had spirited away one of their key artefacts!

Discussion turned to the Tower of Xonthal. Who would gain possession of it – most of the Council members wanted control of it for their factions. As the debate continued, a representative of the Zhentarim – who had been curiously absent from most of the meetings – approached the adventurers. “It is yours by way of conquest,” he told them. “If you gift it to the Zhentarim, we can prove useful allies against the Cult of the Dragon.”

The proposal was initially favourably received, with the agent offering them a large sum of money and magic items as an incentive to make the “right choice”. Ice, herself an agent of the Zhentarim, was entirely for this plan. However, one by one the remaining adventurers realised that it was entirely possible allying with the Zhentarim was not in their interests. The Harpers stood against all the Zhentarim represented. The Lords Alliance didn’t want anyone gaining a position of power so close to their lands. The Order of the Gauntlet were worried of the influence of Bane. Only the Emerald Enclave might not have been bothered, but that was no reason to make the decision. In the end, dealing with the Zhentarim was a step too far, much like dealing with the Red Wizards of Thay. So, the adventurers declined the offer, instead offering the tower to the Harpers.

Now news was brought to light from agents of the Council that the forces of the Cult were gathering at the Well of Dragons. The oracles agreed – it was essential that the headquarters of the Cult be brought down before they could summon Tiamat to the Realms.

At this point, the leading voices of the Council turned to the adventurers. The Council could form an army to take on the forces of the Cult, but a strike team needed to go in and take out the wizards and clerics of the Cult and stop them from finishing their ritual. The adventurers agreed, but would all the Council?

One by one, the leaders pledged their agreement: Lady Laerel and Sir Isteval spoke highly of the adventurers’ deeds, rallying their fellow council members to the cause. And finally, as one, the council all pledge their aid to the cause. War plans were made. The time for talking was over – it was time for war.

From the cities and towns of the Sword Coast, men have responded to the call of the Lords Alliance. They have left their families to march towards a forbidding plain of bones. They march side by side with the armies of dwarves and elves. At the vanguard march the holy warriors of the Order of the Gauntlet.

Overhead, the metallic dragons fly in great formations. A great flying castle holds the giants of the North, who have come to the call of Blagothkus of Skyreach. The Harpers and Emerald Enclave scout ahead. The land is empty. The Temple awaits.

After much discussion, the battleplan is complete: The armies of the Sword Coast will fight the armies of the Cult. The great castle Skyreach and its giants will neutralise the evil dragons, while the good dragons will attack the Temple of Tiamat directly, attempting to sever its connection to Faerûn. The wizards and druids of the Emerald Enclave will use their magic to block the malign influence of the Mask of Dragons.

Over 20,000 have marched to the Well of Dragons.

And yet, the adventurers must still penetrate the Temple and stop Severin, mad leader of the Cult, from summoning Tiamat to the Realms. The Great Alliance has given the adventurers a chance – but the fate of the Realms is in their hands.

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