3.0e

Silver Marches, April session

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Before leaving Dead Snows, Cetan inquired on the sheep snatching in the upper pastures to see about claiming a reward from the green dragon that he, Nongo, and Brother Logan slew a week or so earlier before meeting the rest of the group and the merchant’s mission. Apparently sheep are still disappearing, so some other evil force is at work.

The group joined the caravan heading to Sundabar in the morning. It was around the 22nd day of Eleint, with an 8 day journey planned with arrival just prior to the Harvestide holiday.  Cetan ran into an old drinking pal, the fighter Vidar (Mark Z.). Vidar said he would join the group for the time being. Morgyn met with the Argent Legion who would escort the caravan, but a messenger appeared with official documents say that the Silver marches were at war with the orc tribes, and the Argent Legion rode off to Adbar. The caravan leader, Fuad, accepted the group into the 13 wagon caravan (with several prospectors on foot and some sheep herders) and Morgyn volunteered to scout up ahead.

On the first day of travel, the caravan crossed the Icespear river bridge, and Morgyn averted a pit trap off the trail leading to the Forked Road. Later upon investigating a foul upwind odor, he stumbled across a lair entrance in the form of a smelly ground hole. The caravan reaching the Forked Road and camping for the evening, most of the group opted to go back and investigate the hole in the ground. Vidar and Drungar stayed behind.

A 30 foot shaft of wet rough rocks and roots was descended, with Brother Logan bouncing down the last 20 feet or so and needing to heal himself. A sloped wide and short lozenge type stone opening was traversed that led to a larger cavern. A magically lit stone was thrown ahead giving the impression of a 60 foot wide and at least 100 foot deep area sloping down. Tarena and Morgyn spotted Otyughs within. The group would have left at this point, but Nongo charged in to kill them. He briefly ended up in the embrace of one, whcih he killed with the help of Tarena’s flaming sphere spell. The remaining two rushed into battle after taking ranged damage. Tarena and Cetan killed one, while Brother Logan and Morgyn killed the other. Morgyn and Nongo had both been bit by the diseased mouths of the Otyughs, but both made their Fortitude saves.

At the end of the cavern, a cave-in was investigated. Cetan and Morgyn climbed through to the other side into a chamber (not a natural cavern) with a doorway and longer hallway beyond. They came across some treasure in that chamber and a gas trapped chest, which Morgyn narrowly disabled (thanks to his masterwork thieves tools). It surely had the capacity to kill Cetan and Morgyn had he failed. They transferred some of the silver pieces, 9 potions, and 3 scrolls into a sack, as well as taking a small metal shield, bow, and crossbow back through the narrow hole as sounds of something approaching was heard in the hallway beyond the chamber.

The caravan continued. A stampeding herd of Rothe was diverted by Vidar getting trampled a bit, and spells from Tarena and Cetan (calm animal and grease). In the distance, Morgyn spied two Worgs that had been pursuing the Rothe herd. They turned away from the caravan and disappeared from view behind the hills.

About halfway to Sundabar (prior to the trail to Newport) they ran into some locals who relayed a rumor of a dungeon uncovered outside their village by an earthquake. The caravan continued on and the group entered Sundabar. Vidar visited the Hall of Vigilance and was told there wasn’t a massive orc invasion or war (at this time).  Cetan went about appraising the treasure from the most recent and last adventures, trading in several scrolls in order to get “identify” cast on the other items. He also sold some of the other loot, and the other people in the party went about buying items.  Cetan also researched the ruins from the first adventure and discovered that it may be an old abbey of Selune that had been taken over by a cult of Shar before its destruction. The group also received a charter to investigate some disappearances north of the city for 100gp each, which is  where we will begin next session.

Silver Marches, March session

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Quick recap of events from the March session. (Nongo, Tark, Cetan, Terana)

The group had packed up the goods into the wagon and begun the track back towards Dead Snows, along with the freed dwarf prospector Throed. Morgyn (Rich) volunteered his horse for the wagon and scouted on foot as the party made its way back along the original route.

Things were going fine until the scene of the ambushed merchant’s wagons was approached. The group encountered a hungry scavenging giant stag beetle.. The beetle dodged the entangling druidic powers of Tarena (Michele), and in combat tore through the horse of Nongo  (JT) throwing him to the ground.  That had the group rightfully worried. Nongo bounced up in a rage and into the fight. General battle was joined. The first beetle was soon put down by blade and spell but was joined by 3 additional beetles in the area.  Tarena used an entangle scroll, Cetan (Markus) a grease spell, and many crossbow and bow shots were fired amidst the chaos. In the end John, Paul, Ringo and George were dispatched, Nongo collapsed from his wounds as his rage wore off, but Tarena and Cleric Brother What? (Mark K) healed him back to consciousness.  During the battle a group of roughly 17 orcs had been spotted by Morgyn about a half mile away moving north towards the mountains. They ignored the group and appeared to have some wounded among them.

Following the battle, the group sought out the beetle lair. In a small wooded glen a cave was located. Some old remains were discovered of a human and halfling within the cave, along with a sizable amount of treasure. The group made it back to Dead Snows arriving late at night and staying at the inn within the town walls, with Morgyn taking his leave until the next day.

The following morning, the group went to visit the salt merchant to return the recovered supplies and collect reward. Cran Frinch however had left shortly after the group departed Dead Snows on the the adventure. The group was left to haggle with his assistant and came out with half the money of the salt and the wagon, with promise of the other half if they return a week later. Anxious to purchase items of great value and to sell some of the treasure, the group decided to tag along with the next caravan to Sundabar. It was perhaps ordained that such a caravan was leaving for Sundabar the next day.

Silver Marches, Session 2

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SESSION 2 (for JT/Nongo)

PCs present:  Tark, Nongo, Morgan, Cetan

The party had burst out of the old chapel into the exposed cellar of the ruins and fought off the gnoll ambush quite handily and also with the aid of a stranger (Morgan), who came to the group’s aid.

The meager treasure of the gnolls was quickly gone over, and the decision was made to investigate what appeared to be the gnoll lair, that doorway at the base of the earthen ramp where the previous night’s battle had been waged. The group descended along a sloping and at times stepped corridor to a guard room and then a turn left continuing as before but deeper into the mountain. Two large but damaged doors led to a long, tall, hall with rubble and a statue initially thought to be a gnoll waiting in an alcove. The group continued down stairs at the far end of the hall to another room. This chamber had a very high ceiling, like an old construction shaft. There was also a very deep, unexplored, square pit opening the group crossed via a plank to an alcove and concealed door beyond.

At this point the concealed curtain of leather led into a more roughly hewn or mined space. The group found some of the stock of the salt merchant Gran Frinch in the second room and some other items. The space beyond was the gnoll common room. Our cleric (Tark) turned a gnoll zombie chained to the floor in a side passage and just beyond a conflict in a prisoner holding area erupted. The party interceded in a human and dwarf fighting in chains with 2 orc prisoners. The group killed the orcs. Around this time the group was also dealing with another evil presence. Beyond a partition on the other side of the common area, an obscuring mist and darkness were penetrated and an evil shrine with the spell casting head of an animated undead gnoll shaman needed to be overcome. This was eventually accomplished.

Hostilities subsided, there was a questioning of the human and dwarf held in the store room. The dwarf identified himself as a prospector named Throed. The human man identified himself as Hiraz Ganoch, Frinch’s partner, when aggressively questioned by the group. During the group going through the store room, Hiraz fled, was shot at and kicked the plank into the deep pit as he ran out of the dungeon.  The group has some of his belongings, included a rough map and some coins wrapped in an oddly patterned cloth.

A wagon wheel was found in the storage room to repair one of the wagons found along the way to the ruins. The group decided at this point to return to town with the goods, and not search the other entrances around the inside of the ruins. We left off with the beginning of that trip back. Throed has joined the group until you get back to  the village of Deadsnows.

Silver Marches, Session 1

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As the summer month of Flamerule yielded to the even hotter month of Eleasias, a military escorted caravan from the city of Sundabar made its way east towards Citadel Adbar along a dusty road in the Silver Marches of Faerûn. Two travelers bade farewell to the safety of the caravan and made their way alone on horseback to a village called Deadsnows. There was adventure to be found here and possible wealth with the discovery of gold in the nearby hills a few months ago. The two were a odd match. The first a minstrel, an adventuring bard, who we only know currently as Bard, is quick with his rapier and given to song and music. His companion, a war priest of Tempus, was more keenly focused on his own purposes in pursuit of his own goals (that’s code for CN alignment). Brother Blood was his name.

The two rode along the trail to Deadsnows and soon found themselves in a wooded area. Ahead on the trail, a short but muscular barbarian lad on foot began waving to them. He beseeches their help to defeat an unidentified monster he’s been tracking for a short time. They are most skeptical of this ally of unknown quality. However, Bard senses a sincere motive in him so they indulge his request. Brother Blood is wary and insists this man, Nongo, lead the way. They tie up the horses and begin to follow the new trail of broken underbrush through the wooded and rocky hilled terrain. It’s an easy trail to follow. Nongo pauses when a large outcropping is visible perhaps a hundred feet away. As he and the others examine the tracks for evidence of what this creature could be, all he can discern and describe is ” Big..Four legs…and a tail!” Brother Blood, alert and looking down the beaten path, notices a small rise in front of the outcropped rock formation and the hint of the top of a cave at its base. It is hard to see anything else due to the shrubs.

Just as the small party discusses and prepares to move off the path to flank the cave, an aggressive, but rather young Green Dragon bounds above the low rise from the position of the cave headed straight towards them. It’s larger than a heavy warhorse as it bears down on them, knocking Nongo to his feet in the opening confrontation. Both the minstrel and priest fire their crossbows errantly, dropping them immediately to draw weapons to deal with the dragon in their midst. The barbarian strikes out at the dragon from his prone position but his falchion swings short of his foe as he regains his footing. The dragon feeling superior to the three men attacks at this point attacks with taloned claws and a toothy bite splitting its fury between the priest and barbarian as Bard moves into a flanking position behind it and began singing as the combat continued. The war priest missing with his battle axe steps back to cast Bull’s Strength on himself. The dragon swings around at this point to fight Bard and Nongo who have both done minor damage even though they’ve scored critical hits. Nongo goes down briefly and Bard rushes to his aid, healing him back into the fight, . Brother Blood rejoins the combat and with a mighty swing of his axe delivers a massive blow to the dragon.

At this critical point, the dragon is suddenly as close to death as his foes and lunges away to turn and breath a cone of acid on the wounded men that could surely seal their final fate. Nongo however seizes the opportunity as the dragon rushes past him and is able to deliver the killing blow before the dragon can finish its maneuver. Victory is had. The wounded heroes investigated the cave, finding the near consumed remains of 3 prior adventurers, some gold, a small number of gems, one with great value, and a potion of unidentified power that is a thick blackish liquid smelling of charcoal. Nongo takes some claws and teeth, and Brother Blood beheads the dragon so that their glory can be lauded upon arrival in Deadsnows. After some rest, the three set out for Deadsnows together, the barbarian leading the way again…

Long Road to the Grey Mountains

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They prepared carefully for the trip. Among the things they bought was a cart, barrels of water, hay, and two weeks of rations for each person. They would have to travel for many days through the desolation of Smaug. After they reached the top edge of Mirkwood they would be able to hunt and graze the animals. They gathered information about the road that led across the top of Mirkwood. They found out it was patrolled by Beornings, the first section would be desolate, there were dangerous sections where the Grey Mountains encroach on the road. They had to reach the river running north and enter the Mountains following the river.

After five days of traveling they reached the end of the Desolation of Smaug. Thal was now able to hunt and gather food for the party. They traveled five more days, during which Tuber went a little road mad. He accused Urki of stealing his pouch of ale.  It took awhile to calm him down. At the end of the ninth day the noticed a bear was following them. They stayed clear of it not wanting a confrontation. Thal had heard of the story of Beornings being able to shape change and knowing that they patrolled the road kept them from approaching the bear.

They made camp at the end of the tenth day. As usual they took shifts sleeping and guarding. While was on watch he saw the large bear approaching the camp. He woke everyone up. Thal warned not to attack the bear. “Are you a friend?” He asked, “Are you a Beorning?” The bear came every closer. Reldor was getting nervous, “We should attack.” “No!” said Thal. The bear stood up and changed into a man. The man approached the camp fire. “Who are you and to where do you travel?” Explanations ensued with Urki telling him of Glitterhame. The man was a Beorning. He asked them if they would fight a Troll. They agreed to do this.

On the twelfth day the Beorning led them a short way north to a small hill. On the top of the hill was a ruin of a watch tower. He told them that the troll came from the hill but he knew nothing else. They investigated the ruins but found no way into the hill. They eventually searched around the base of the hill and found footprints, clearly of a troll and maybe orc prints.  The prints led to a dark cave. They lit torches and entered. They followed a tunnel to the right and eventually came to a door. Tuber easily smashed it down. Inside the room were four orcs. A battle started and ended with all the orcs dead. A thorough search of the room revealed hidden doors and a door to the north.

They investigated the rooms and hallways until they determined in which area they might find the troll. They found two doors that seemed to lead into the same area. They separated, some at one door and some at the other. The plan was to break into the doors at the same time. But it did not work that way. Tuber smashed open his door but Thal could not break down his door. Urki and Thal had to run back to Tuber’s door and get in that way.

In the mean time Tuber entered a room, heard a growl and a rock was hurtled at him from the corner of the room but missed. They had found the troll. Tuber rushed the troll and
started swinging his sword. Reldor shot with his crossbow and Chandu waited in the doorway. Eventually Thal and Urki ran into the room. Urki ran up to the troll and swung his axe. Thal tried to get an angle from which to fire his bow. Urki took some hard hits from the troll.  Eventually the troll died. They found some money mostly from the orcs. They left the caves and met the Beorning again to tell him of their success. He was very pleased.

They traveled five more days with the Beorning and reached a camp next to the river. They made arrangements to have their pack animals and some of the equipment kept by at the camp. No one had heard of Glitterhame but Urki knew to go north along the river and find a fang shaped mountain.

Early one morning they headed into the mountains to begin their search. After many hours of looking they eventually did see a fang shaped mountain in the distance. They climbed for a while longer. They found an old road that Urki said could have been made by dwarves. Thal kept ahead of the party scouting.

After traveling along the road for awhile Thal heard voices ahead. It was two orcs. He spied on them for awhile then quietly went back to the group. The made a plan that Thal and Reldor would get within bow shot and try to kill the orcs. The plan was successful and the orcs posed no threat. They traveled more cautiously now up the road. Again they came to a curve and heard voices. Thal went ahead and saw a huge door in the side of the mountain but two orcs were guarding it.

After the Dragon

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Reldor was sick and tired of the arguments with Oskar and Raziel. They just were just too greedy for words. Reldor stayed at the Dwarf’s Gauntlet for a couple of days and learned that fighting men were
meeting in Redvale for a fight with a dragon. He traveled north and was met by a ranger called Horsa. The ranger told him where the rope was to climb into the ravine but that the party had left hours ago. He made it into the citadel without much incident. He followed a trail of footprints until he heard some noise.

“Halt.”

Reldor saw steel glinting in the dim torch light. “Are you here to slay the dragon?” he asked.

“Who are you?” asked the northman.

“Reldor. I have come to join you,” he answered.

“Draw no weapons,” the northman instructed. He turned and called into the door behind him “Master Elf, there is an intruder.”

“Is it an orc?” came a voice from the room.

“No, it is fair folk.”

“Let him enter.”

The party talked with Reldor, showing him the dead dragon. They cut the dragon’s head off as proof to bring to Dale.

They traveled back to Redvale and inquired after an herbalist. Their hope was to create a herbacide to combat the root system. But the herbalist could not produce the quantities needed to kill the roots of the huge Gulthias tree.

They stayed in Redvale for two weeks healing. They found that the bramble monsters were moving west. During this time they did their best to fight any bramble monsters that came along and ripped up roots from the planting areas. A black bird started following Thal around and one day came near. “I am Clee-ack. There are incursions by the easterlings. Do you have news for the king?”

Thal mistrusted the bird, “We will ride forth in fortnight and bring news to him.”

Later the rangers confirmed the news the bird had brought to them and the rangers were being reassigned to fight the new threat from the easterlings. Kerowyn also warned Thal to beware of Geonnyn’s sons, Goar and Grimhild.

They traveled back into the citadel to re-examine the Gulthias tree. While they were there they were attacked by huge wolves and orcs. After the long bloody fight they searched the orcs and found a map. It depicted the Mountains of Mirkwood, a tower, river and paths, and the words Guldrulgor. The orcs had a symbol on their armor depicting a black sun with yellow squiggly lines emanating
from it.

When they returned to Redvale Horsa wanted to know what happened. They told him they were attacked by orcs with the black sun symbol and had found a map. He asked if they had tracked the
orcs to find out from where they came, but the adventurers had not done this and had no other answers.

The group felt tired and fed up with the bramble monster situation. They could not think of a solution to rid the world of them. And giving up hope they made plans and prepared to travel back the Dale. In five days they arrived at Dale and met with Bard. Bard had sent Clee-ack for news and wondered why Thalimar had given such a cryptic answer. Thal admitted that he was suspicious of the bird. Bard was pleased that the dragon was dead and rewarded them each with a huge gem. Thal also returned the extra silver and the Bow. The map was given to an archivist and Guldrulgor was translated “Sarn Goriwing”, “Stone of Foul Waters”, “Outpost of Necromancer”.

They rested in Dale for several days while Urki visited his home in the Lonely Mountain. Urki came to see them one day and presented a grand adventure to them. He wished to find a dwarven stronghold, Glitterhame, “Glittering Caverns”. A stronghold of old in which they would find weapons and armor made by Durgedon. They would have to travel far west into the Grey Mountains and find the Stone Tooth Mountain.

At the Gates of Dale

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At the gates of Dale the party was met by the guard, “What is your business in Dale?”

“We wish an audience with The King,” Thalimar answered.

“What matter is so important that you wish an audience with King Bard?” the guard asked.

“It is of evil news from the south that we wish to speak to him about. We seek his council and will only speak to him,” Thalimar said. The guard bid them to wait. Ten minutes later he returned with the King’s steward. He was a wizened older man with a gray beard. “Who are you and what news from the south do you wish to speak to the King about?” queried the steward. “I am Thalimar Xilomar of Lothlorien, this is Tuber of the Grey Mountains, and -” “Urki son of Balin,” Urki interrupted bowing deeply. “There is a dragon wymling to be destroyed and we seek help and wise council,” Thalimar continued.

The steward led them through the walled city. They walked around a great square. In the center was a massive carving depicting the Battle of the Five Armies. A small swarthy man was working on a   portion of the statue. The figure he was working on was of a halfling with large furry feet. They paused before the statue to watch the foreign looking carver work. “What manner of creature do you carve?” asked Thalimar. “This is Bilbo the Hobbit,” said the tiny man. “Let us hurry on and I will present your information to the King,” the steward said.

They entered the palace and were requested to leave their weapons behind. Thalimar immediately placed his bow, quiver, sword of Gondolin, and dagger at the guard’s station. The others followed his lead but Urki grumbled something about his father’s father..

The steward eventually returned and led them into the King’s audience chamber. King Bard looked at them curiously.

“What is an Eldar doing wandering in the lands of men?” Bard demanded.

“The tale is too long to tell,” Thalimar answered.

“What news have you from the south and why should it concern me?” The King addressed Thalimar.

“It is a long story but the short of it is this: travelers near Redvale were being attacked by plants that could move magically. We investigated and found a citadel in a ravine in the woods bordering Redvale. On the second level of the citadel was a sorcerer who tended a tree that fruited two types of apples. The apples could heal or sicken a person. The people of Redvale were given these apples and told to plant the seeds.

Apparently the seedlings grew and became mobile and attacked wantonly. We destroyed the Gulthias tree so that no more seedlings can grow. We also killed the sorcerer so another Gulthias tree can not be spawned by him. On the first level of the citadel were two orc tribes and one tribe was eaten by the dragon after it got loose. The first tribe we no nothing about except that they had the dragon caged but could not control it once loosed. We need help to dispatch with the wyrmling. We know nothing of its powers only that it ate an entire band of orcs.”

“We will speak of that shortly. Urki, your father has been looking for you. He has even said that you are probably dead,” Bard said.

“Nearly so, orcs captured me and I was rescued by this Elf and barbarian. Of course I had to help them battle the sorcerer,” Urki answered.

“About this dragon, I can give you arms but not men and I can give you funds,” Bard offered.

“Can you put out a call for volunteers?” Thalimar asked.

“Yes, the call will ask for fighters to meet a month from now at Redvale,” Bard said. “I will also send rangers down to guard against orcs getting in and out of the area.”

“I can also give you this,” Bard rose from his throne, he took a bow hanging behind him and offered it to Thalimar, “This is the bow that slew Smaug.”

Thalimar took the bow and examined its fineness. He slung it over his shoulder and bowed to Bard. “If anything helps us this surely will, thank you.”

“Go to the Lonely Mountain and see the Dwarves. They may have information about dragons that can help you and I am sure Balin wants to see his son,” Bard bid them good luck and the adventurers left the chamber. They picked up their weapons and went back out into the square.

The little carver was still working on the hobbit. The carving looked so real that if it hadn’t been for the coloring of the stone one would think the figures were moving and breathing creatures.

“Where are you from and how did you get here?” Thal asked.

“I am from woods south of the great plains. I met up with a caravan that was headed this way and when I got here I needed money so got a carving job.”

“If you are from the wood then you may be of some help to us on our mission to slay a dragon. Meet us a week from now and travel with us south,” Thal said.

“It sounds very dangerous but I will go with you,” the carver said.

“What is your name?”

“Chandu Ghan.”

Urki led Tuber and Thal into the Lonely Mountain. Its entrance was newly wrought and the halls were great and fair. There were many lamps made by the dwarves lighting the chambers. Thal felt a bit uneasy under the weight of the mountain. Urki was greeted heartily by many they saw and many inquired why he was with an elf and a great barbarian. Urki did not tell any the tail, knowing that it would be told at a huge dinner to be held for his return. They meant to see Balin and seek his advice about the dragon and the artifacts they had found.

They entered a Balin’s chambers. Balin was over joyed to see his son. Urki told the tail of being captured by orcs, freed by Thal and Tuber, finding the dragon and fighting the sorcerer. They showed Balin the books and scrolls they had found. Balin was especially interested in the Black Dragon Hide Book. He knew that some elders would be able to interpret it but it would take some time and it would have to be left for at least a week. Thal agreed to this.

The rest of the week they spent some time in Dale getting potions and scrolls identified and read. They eventually went back to see Balin. Balin presented Tuber and Thal with chain mail shirts that were very light but would protect them as chain mail. The Dragon Hide Book was a book that described the lost citadel as a place of dragon worshippers that kept dragons as gods and tended to them. The Book also had a map of the citadel. A scroll completely described how to open all the doors and clearly marked all the traps.

They met Chandu Ghan and helped equip him for the trip back to Redvale. Two weeks later they left for Redvale. Just outside of Dale they saw three men hung by some local guardsmen. Thal and Tuber recognized them as being part of the band that had attacked them on their way north to Dale. They met the usual merchants and travelers on their ride south. The river was busy with traffic also. Thal waved to many elves traveling up and down the river.

During the night they rested along side the road, making a fire and sleeping in shifts. One night when Chandu was on guard he heard a rustling of dried leaves. It did not sound right to him so he woke the others. Thal recognized the sound immediately. He dove for the packs to find a torch and grabbed his sword. Tuber ran at the vine monsters with his axe. Chandu backed away trying to get away from the unnatural creatures. Urki groggily picked up his axe and prepared for battle.

Between Tuber and Thal they quickly dispatched the bramble monsters. They talked for some time, trying to figure out what could have gone wrong with the dispatching of the Gulthias tree and the sorcerer. Chandu commented that they could be plants that reproduce through their root system. Thal tried to track the creatures but could not find anything concrete to follow. The next day they met a ranger and discussed the bramble monsters and the orcs with him. Orcs were killed trying to leave the ravine. Bramble monsters have been found all over the place and are being killed but no end seems to be in site as to eradicating them.

They finally entered Redvale and met with Kerowyn and Hucrele. They spoke with them briefly about the bramble monster problem. But could come to no conclusion. The party went to the town
great hall and set up a place to meet men at arms to help fight the dragon. Geonynn entered a little later. “So you are trying to get people to go on a foolish mission?” Geonynn proclaimed.

“Destroying a dragon that grows in power is hardly foolish,” Thal replied.

“You have no proof of the dragon’s existence, I do not want any of my townspeople wandering off with you and your fantasies,” Geonynn said.

“Are the bramble monsters not proof enough that there is evil about? You are a coward and anyone that listens to you is the fool,” said Thal getting quite angry.

“Coward?!” yelled Geonynn. He drew a sword hung from his huge waist.

Thal drew his blade of Gondolin. Thal decided to simply defend himself and let the fat man tire himself out. Geonynn lunged at Thal and Thal easily parried his slice. This went on for a while until Geonynn blooded Thal with a lucky slash. Thal, angered, decided he had better fight back. But Thal only fought to bruise and tire the Thane not to kill. He fought Geonynn until he dropped to the floor unconscious. The few men who stood around the hall watching looked at Thal in a new light. They each approached eagerly to sign up for the dragon hunt. The party now consisted of Thal, Tuber, Urki, Chandu, and five brave young fighting men.

Thal loaded up his men with another hundred feet of rope giving the party a total of two hundred feet of rope. The rangers had cut the rope leading down into the ravine so that no creatures could escape they would need eighty feet just to get down into the ravine. When they got all the way down the cliff face, they approached the entrance to the citadel. Urki led them over the loose paving stones and Thal made sure Urki knew about the hole trap in front of the door. They moved quickly to avoid attracting any rats.

A side door to the entrance led to a small ten by ten room which held three skeletons. The skeletons animated and attacked the party. They were soon smashed to smithereens by Tuber, Thal, Chandu and Urki. They found three arrows with runes that said “Smite Foe”.

According to the book to get past most of the doors they needed a key from a carving of a dragon in the great hall. Thal remembered that the throne had a carving of a dragon. Thal instructed the party to wait behind in the dragon cage room while he silently searched about for hints of dragons, goblins, and orcs. He found out that the dragon was in a chamber through the eastern most door of the goblin queen’s hall. He found only dead goblins.

Thal moved down a parallel hallway to get the opposite end of the great hall. Here he heard a silent sobbing coming from the queen’s throne. He silently approached but she did not move or look left or right. She simply stared ahead sobbing and crying. Thal moved to her side and waved his hand in front of her face but she did not move or notice him. He put her out of her misery. He searched the throne and found the key in the dragon carving’s mouth exactly where the book said. Thal also found three scrolls. They searched some rooms to the south but it only led to fear, injury and traps. There was little reward. And they were putting off the inevitable.

The fighting men were growing impatient and did not like this adventuring. They returned to the dragon cage room and put all of their articles and equipment out to see what they could use against the dragon. The arrows they found would be of use especially with the bow Bard had given them. Thal would use these. Also two of the scrolls would be of use “Conjure magical lights to confuse the foe”, Urki was given this to use, and “Skin toughness of armor” was given to Thal to use on Tuber. Tuber would drop the caltrops in front of the doorway and the dwarven fire potion Chandu would throw at the dragon. Everyone lined up at the door on either side. Thal entered the large chamber.

“Who has come to worship Calcryx,” the dragon said. It was lying on a large dragon sized dais.

“It is I, Thalimar Xilomar,” Thal drew the arrow back and let it fly. He could feel the power of Bard’s bow. The arrow hit the dragon and it roared. Thal ran out the door as the dragon followed. Tuber threw the caltrops in front of the doorway. The dragon’s large head poked through the door and its mouth opened. It drew a great big breath and breathed fire on the line of adventurers to the left of the door. The tried to leap back but were all hit by the dragon’s fiery breath. One of the men burst into flame, cried and fell to the ground. The dragon’s head disappeared back into the room.

They stood looking at each other for a moment realizing the dragon was not going to come out after them. They pushed the caltrops aside and Thal led the way into the large chamber. The dragon was back lying on its dais. Thal shot another arrow at it hitting it. Tuber ran forward and swung his great axe at it. Urki moved into the room positioning himself near the door and started singing from the scroll. The men followed and positioned themselves around the dragon. Chandu stood closer to the door he threw the potion of Dwarf’s Fire at the dragon. It exploded in a great ball of fire. Thalimar shot the third arrow at the dragon but it missed and now he switched to sword and dagger. They hacked away at the dragon which fought back mightily with its clawing and biting attacks. It
landed some good blows on Tuber but he stood up to the punishment. The magical lights distracted the dragon for a few moments while the party took advantage by a flurry of blows into its hide. Chandu even shot his blow gun into its hide. Urki lunged forward and got into position to swing his axe. The dragon was overcome by all of the wounds and fell to the ground.