The Rise of Tiamat, session 12 (finale)

The Well of Dragons. 1489 DR.

The armies of the Sword Coast had reached the Well of Dragons, and the evil dragons and the forces of the Cult of the Dragon had risen to oppose them. As the battle commenced, word came from the mages of the Harpers and Emerald Enclave: the Cult had begun the ritual to summon Tiamat to the Realms. At this point, only a small strike force would be able to penetrate the Temple of Tiamat and disrupt the ritual. The adventurers were called upon, one last time.

The Temple lay in the heart of an extinct volcano, surrounded by a plain of bones. As the adventurers scouted the area, they realised that there were various lava tubes leading into the temple, all of which were guarded by the cultists. However, as some lay out sight from the others, the adventures chose one of those to assault. They did not let the other guards know of their approach. Quickly, silently, deadly was their approach, and soon the guards were dead and the way into the tunnels lay open.

It wasn’t long before they were noticed by one of the inhabitants of the caverns below – a wight named Naergoth Bladelord. He demanded to know what the adventurers were doing in his domain, but the adventurers attacked him with swords and spells in response. The battle was brutal – Mordekai was quite hurt by the time it finished – but after they slew the wight it seemed that no-one had noticed; everyone being far busier with other matters. Chanting and screams could be heard echoing through the tunnels, their source indistinct.

Faced with a number of branching passageways, the group explored them one by one. As they did so, they stumbled across the great treasure chamber of the cult. The treasures looted from the Sword Coast over the past months made great piles of gold and jewels, enough to stir the heart of the most ascetic monk. The treasure chamber was guarded by a dragonfang (high-level cultist) and his flesh golems. It didn’t take too long for the group to destroy them, and then Mordekai and Darius stealthily scouted through the piles of treasure. The sound from the Draakhorn was now becoming overwhelming, and their companions discovered that the other passage led to the temple. Mordekai had to be persuaded to abandon the treasure; his soul inflamed with dragon-greed, but eventually the entreaties of his companions bore fruit and he regretfully left the treasure and made his way towards the temple.

The temple rose like a demented flower in the centre of the volcano’s caldera. From within the temple, prisoners were being led into the caldera where they were being slaughtered by five great dragons – one of each colour. The blood energy that was being gathered was unmistakable to the arcane magic-users, and Ice the Sorceress and Tim’s warlock were tremendously worried by the power that had been raised. Devils and guard drakes barred their way into the caldera, but the adventurers were able to attack them with surprise, and that was enough to finish them off quickly. Far more worrying were the five dragons; how were the adventurers to get past them?

The answer came from above – the metallic dragons, the dragons of good, flew in to attack the Temple directly, sending blasts of fire and lightning at it. Seeing the Temple under attack, the evil dragons rose to oppose them, but the good dragons were more than a match for them, especially as Skyreach Castle came into view overhead, sending giant-thrown boulders and great ballista bolts at any evil dragon unfortunate enough to be in range. Taking advantage of the distraction, the adventurers rushed to free the prisoners, choosing some of the more alert prisoners to lead the others through the lava tubes to safety, and giving them a map of the way out. With the prisoners fleeing and the chromatic dragons gone, it was time to enter the Temple.

There they found ten Red Wizards, led by Severin, the master of the Cult of the Dragon, conducting the ritual to summon Tiamat. The space inside the temple was immense – five spires raising 50 feet into the air, arranged in a star-shaped pattern around a central spire rising 100 feet into the air. Some of the Red Wizards were on the ground, others were flying in the air. Severin seemed distracted. He wore the full Mask of the Dragon, having assembled it from all five Dragon Masks, but its powers were weak and erratic. Unbeknownst to him, the druids and mages of the Emerald Enclave were working a great countermagic against the artefact, stopping him from accessing its full power.

The first order of business were the two Red Wizards immediately before them in the Blue Chapel. Eldritch Blasts aimed at the higher one were counterspelled, but this just left him vulnerable to Music’s dispel magic. He plummeted to the floor as his fly spell failed, and Darius and Mordekai finished him off.

The group then split up, with Ice and Tim’s Warlock concentrating their attacks on Severin in the middle of the temple, whilst Darius rushed towards the wizards in the White chapel and Mordekai and Music hastened towards the wizards in the Red chapel. The last two were greeted by twin fireballs, the wizards having left off their concentration on the ritual long enough to attempt to blast the intruders to ash, but they hadn’t calculated on both their opponents being tieflings and being mostly immune to the fire. Darius just dodged the spells coming his way with great effectiveness. The temple shuddered from time to time as the metallic dragons outside sent more of their breath weapons into its structure. The Red Wizards were swiftly falling to the adventurers’ attacks, their attempts at defending themselves just disrupting the ritual more.

Severin desperately wanted to counterspell the eldritch blasts coming his way from Tim’s warlock, but there was one problem: Tim’s warlock was too far away for Severin to interfere with the spell-casting. Severin was pounded again and again and again. He was able to counter some of Ice’s workings, but the Warlock’s blasts were astonishingly potent. He did not flee, and soon enough, the architect of the great evil was slain, his body falling to the floor with a reverberating crash. With his death, the wizards lost control of the portal, which exploded in upon itself, ripping the life-force from some of the wizards, killing them in the backlash. The remainder fled. As the temple began to disintegrate, Ice rushed forward to Severin’s corpse and quickly disassembled the mask, taking the White Dragon Mask as a keepsake. Her companions did their best to destroy the remaining masks, and fled as the entire temple fell in on itself.

Outside was oddly quiet. The battle was over. The warriors of the cult, disheartened, had laid down their weapons. The evil dragons had fled to all points of the compass.

The Battle of the Well of Dragons was over, and the heroes were greeted with great acclaim by the assembled troops and Lords and Ladies of the lands.

What now for our brave adventurers? Mordekai might return to Baldur’s Gate, to take his place as one of the Grand Dukes of the city. Ice might travel north, to the lands of the Frost Giants. The Warlock might investigate the mysteries of Xonthal’s Tower more closely. Darius might travel to Waterdeep, there to instruct others in his martial arts. And Music might continue to roam the world, telling stories of great danger and valour. Whatever might occur, they are known as some of the greatest heroes of Faerûn.

23rd August 2014 – 11th April 2015. Seven months of play in 30 two-hour sessions. The Tyranny of Dragons is over!

3 comments

    • merricb

      Due to the requirements of the Adventurers League, the party was only 11th level at the time… Miss T seemed a bit tricky to use. (But also, I felt that the correct ending is to have her not appear!)

      Like

  1. robus

    Just about to transition from LMoP to ToD and this series has been invaluable for getting my bearings. Thanks Merric!

    Like

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