Friday, September 04, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons: Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Episode 2 - When the Wheel Turns

The scene setting was done here.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
This is a playthrough of the game as our table played it. You may not get the same experience, but there are spoilers if you plan to play.

 After the shaming way they were dismissed by the governor, our heroes find themselves torn between the task of continuing the search and the desire to help the citizens of this place. The local healers bring restoration to their bodies, but not their minds. They still need to find a way to go forward. Out of the crowds of villagers, a young monk steps forward. He approaches the trio plus Jake to seek their aid. The raiders have left Greenest with valuables of the villagers. The monk, Nesim, was a companion to Leosin Erlanthar. He was the one the party was to meet in Greenest. Now, it seems that Leosin is missing. He was there at the beginning of the attack. His original purpose was to infiltrate the raiders. He is gone now.The party agrees to seek him out and, if need be, return him.

Berrian and Toril choose to investigate the missing monk. They begin by searching his room at the inn. They find nothing that provides more information. D'Akath has returned to the keep for supplies. He believes he may be the only member of the party who the governor won't have slapped in prison on sight. As he arrives at the gate, a guard recognizes him and informs D'Akath that the captain of the keep would like to see him. D'Akath reports to the Escobert the Red and seeks assistance in the way of supplies. Escobert is grateful for the assistance of the party. He asks, without the blessing of the governor, if the party would be willing to pursue the raiders to find more information or recover the valuables that were taken.

D'Akath agrees on behalf of the party. But he still needs arms and supplies. He also asks for any assistance that may be able to go with them. Escobert offers the arms of fallen guards, but refuses to send any guards. He does point out, though, a wizard who has been in town as a possible candidate to join. D'Akath grabs the needed weapons and supplies and seeks out the wizard, Elroar. The wizard has been seeking an adventure and seems eager to join in hunting down the raiders. D'Akath also accepts the young Jake of the farm State as his squire and follower.

The new, expanded party sets out on the obvious trail of the bandits. Riding off into the hills south of town, the party encounters a clueless band of lagging cultists and kobolds. Sneaking upon the camp, the surpise attach catches the band unguarded, unarmed, and divided. The camp is the scene of very quick and decisive victory for our heroes.

Continuing on the trail, the heroes blunder into an ambush that had been set for them. A rear guard had placed themselves among the high walls of a canyon. After dropping rocks on the party, the enemy begins to fire arrows down upon them. The more agile among the party quickly scaled the sloped walls and put themselves among their attackers. A few wounds and a little more guarded, the party leaves the scene of the broken ambush and resumes tracking the raiders.

Berrian and Toril decide to scout ahead, and it is they who find the encampment of the raiders. They have established a semi-permanent base of operations in a horseshoe canyon. Huts and guard towers dot the protected enclave. The party decides to rest and wait for evening to make their move to infiltrate the camp.

Sneaking up the back of the plateau, Berrian and Toril believe they can convince the kobold guards in one of the guard towers to let them pass. The kobolds are not convinced and raise an alarm. Fearing that his comrades are in trouble, D'Akath leaps from the canyon rim to reach the guard tower. He fails. But he is able to save himself from serious harm by grabbing the supports of the tower legs. The guards are quickly silenced, but the damage is done.

Berrian and Toril are able to deceive the responding guards that they are members of the raiders. They send some of the responding kobolds along the rim of the canyon, away from the party, with a little help from Elroar.

Elroar and Jake retreat to the supplies in their temporary camp and await the return of the other party members. The other members are able to escape the canyon rim, but they are quickly cut off from their escape by guards coming to find the intruders. They are marched, unarmed, back into camp. They are questioned by the leader of the camp, a cleric and member of the Cult of Dragons, Frulam Mondath.

In the course of questioning, most of the party tries to hid their identity and purpose. Frulam is not impressed. But as her eyes fall upon the tall, bronze dragonborn, she sees something different. D'Akath throws caution to the wind and is honest about himself, if not the purpose of the party. Frulam puts D'Akath under guard and sends him to the tents of the cultists. The rest, she has them tied to stakes in the camp, stripped to their underclothes, and plans to execute them the following day.

Berrian, Toril, Elroar, and Jake consider their situation. They are tied up in the enemy camp. They face execution. Their strongest ally is hidden away among their enemies.

How will they escape this predicament?
What has happened to D'Akath and how will they recover their friend?
How will they get away from a camp of overwhelming numbers without weapons or clothes?
Who is this fellow silently eyeing them, tied to his own stake?

Tune in next time for Well That Could Have Gone Better.
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