Hoard of the Dragon Queen [tadley/basingstoke]

The Missing Boy
the prologue begins

[Note: The prologue was created by the DM, as the players are all new to the game and the DM new to 5e. It’s a short introduction to how the game mechanics work and allows the characters to introduce themselves before starting HotDQ proper]

The prologue began at the Black Calf Inn, a day’s journey from Greenest. Rumours of attacks on the road to Greenest have dissuaded people from travelling to the town alone, so individually our characters made their way to the Inn, planning to set off the next day alongside the daily coach.

The adventuring party consists of:
Arlen, a female mountain dwarf fighter (Amy)
Daeris, a female elf sorcerer (Hellie)
Lia, a female woodland elf ranger (Faye)
Nemo, a male human wizard (William)
Brykk, a male gnome ranger/bard (Holland)
Avinia, a female halfling sorcerer (Val)

Having spent the night, our characters were awoken at around 6am by the Innkeeper Aldrad and his wife Emmeline, both distraught. They told the group that their youngest son – a boy not yet 2 – was missing.

The group investigated and Lia was able to track a trail leading from the boy’s window north from the Inn to an old sewer entrance.

The group managed to get the grate open and entered the sewers where they came upon 3 hired guards and combat began.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

The Missing Boy part II
the prologue ends

Combat continued in the sewer with all characters managing to get in a couple of shots. All three guards were defeated and their bodies looted for a total of 11gp.

Further gold and three healing potions were found in the first room they came to, after Daeris successfully picked the locked grate.

Further down the sewer a locked box was also picked, revealing a dagger that deals lightning damage. Daeris then used Misty step to teleport into another locked room, finding more gold.

The group eventually came to a room concealed by a shut, but not locked door at the end of the sewer, where voices could be heard. The group were initially overheard, but Daeris managed to successfully trick the voice-owners into believing that she was one of the hired guards they had already defeated. The rest of the group then sneak-attacked, entering the second round of combat.

The room held another hired guard and two cultists in purple robes. Nemo, with his occult knowledge, recognised their makeup and attire as being from a dragon cult, but could tell nothing more than that. They could see the kidnapped boy at the other end of the room.

The group attacked, gaining a surprise advantage. Brykk used a sound illusion to distract them while the others attacked again. The guard managed to deal some damage to Arlen before being defeated, then one of the cultists was defeated. Before they could finish off the second cultist, he apparently teleported or similar away, leaving the kidnapped boy behind.

The group added a club and some more gold to their stash before returning the boy safely to his parents who were delighted and rewarded the party. They were also informed that a traveling merchant had arrived at the Inn and they could trade with him before setting off to Greenest.

Everyone gained 5gp individually and 100XP.
The stash is (I think!!) 21gp, a club, some cultist robes and three healing potions.
Avinia was given the lightning dagger.
Daeris, Nemo and Brykk all gained an additional 50XP.

Next session: 10th Jan at William/Faye’s. Onwards to Greenest and Episode 1 of HotDQ.

Episode I: Greenest in Flames, part i
The adventurers head into Greenest...

Having traded with a Merchant at the Black Calf, the adventuring party set off towards Greenest, taking the day to travel with some rests. As they top a rise overlooking the town, just as the sun is setting, they can see that the town is under attack from a dragon. On heading closer into town, they see cultists, kobolds and other figures running through the streets, as a Blue dragon (albeit a rather disinterested one) prowls overhead.

The group decided to head into town along the stream, giving them a cover advantage. They first encountered a group of three guards and an acolyte. They decided to try talking to the figures, but Arlen shouting out ‘hey we’re the good guys’ put any kind of discussion to a premature halt and they were attacked.

Lia managed to shoot dead one of the guards in one shot, the other two proved more tricky to down, with their armor fending off most attacks. Arlen, Nemo and Avinia all took hits, and Lia was reduced to grovelling by the acolyte, but healing potions were put to good use to keep them fighting. After the other two guards and acolyte were defeated, Brykk used Cure Wounds to heal Nemo as well, bringing everyone back up to reasonable HP.

Heading away from the stream, towards the town’s Keep, they were attacked once again, this time by two Cultists and an Acolyte. One Cultist and the Acolyte were downed before they could dish out any serious damage, and one cultist remains.

Episode I.ii - Seek the Keep
The adventurers rescue Linan Swift and head to the Keep

(posting this waay after it happened, sorry, so apologies if I missed anything)

After their initial encounter was over, the adventuring party headed from the stream into the town, coming across many kobolds (small lizard race) and cultists of various races in the process. Having successfully defeated a small raiding party, they noticed an armed woman, her injured husband and three small children dash out from between two houses, chased by a group of kobolds. The kobolds didn’t seem to notice/pay attention to the adventurers at first, focused on attacking the woman who was defending her family.

The adventuring party of course stepped in to help, defeating the kobolds. The woman introduced herself as Linan Swift, gifting the adventurers two healing potions for their help and telling them that they had to get to the town’s Keep – the only safe place in town.

The group, along with the Swift family, made their way up the winding road towards the keep. They encountered more raiding groups on the way – one they were able to convince that they were cultists themselves, and they learned a name – Tiamat, although were not sure what or who Tiamat was. The next group, however, were not convinced by subterfuge and attacked. The adventurers and Linan fought bravely, but were ultimately overpowered.

Thankfully, some town guards from the Keep came to their assistance, having spotted their plight, and ran off the last of the attackers. The adventurers and the Swift family were escorted safely up to the Keep where they were provided with healing and a short rest (1 hour).

Episode I.iii - The Old Tunnel
The adventurers meet Governor Nighthill and are recruited to aid the town

(posting this waaay after it happened, so apologies if I miss anything)

After healing and resting at the Keep, the adventurers were informed that Governor Nighthill – the town’s official – wished to speak with them. They met with him on the parapet. He appeared worried, and was nursing an injured arm, although seemed more concerned about his town and the wellbeing of his people than his own injury.

Governor Nighthill thanked the adventurers for their part in defeating some raiders and rescuing the Swifts, but asked that the group assist further if they were able. He mentioned a Dwarf, in charge of the Keep’s defense, Castellan Escobert the Red, and told the group to ask him about an alternate way in and out of the Keep to avoid the danger of the main gates.

He then presented the group with a series of tasks which they could choose to assist with if they wished:
Prisoners – he requested that a live prisoner from the raiding party be brought back for interrogation.
The Mill – he worried that the Mill may not be safe and the town’s main food source, as well as any people there, may be in danger.
Sanctuary – he expressed concern that a great deal of townsfolk had been seen rushing to the town’s chapel to seek shelter, and that they may be trapped there or in danger.

He offered the adventurers a temporary addition to their group – a young human acolyte called Rennu, who could be helpful to them as a healer.

The group sought out Castellan Escobert the Red, as suggested. He informed the group that there was indeed an ‘escape tunnel’ built for the Keep, although he doubted it had ever been used – at least not for several centuries. He showed the party the place where it began and gave then the keys.

The group cleared away the boxes blocking the doorway and were able to open the door with the key. The tunnel appeared clear, just choked with cobwebs. Due to the small width of the tunnel, the group had to progress single file. Nemo and Arlen took up the front, with the others following behind.

It wasn’t long through the tunnel that they encountered two swarms of rats. The rats attacked Nemo and Arlen, but were ultimately defeated. Rennu then healed Nemo of his injuries.

At the other end of the tunnel, they encountered a large iron grate which was locked and also corroded. They managed to open the grate with the key and they noticed a passing party of raiders on the other side. They decided to stay hidden and avoid them, waiting for them to pass.

With the tunnel open and clear, providing them with a way in and out of the Keep, avoiding the majority of the raiders, they decided that they would head to the chapel first, and planned to capture a prisoner if they could.

Episode I.iv - Sanctuary
The adventuring party head to the temple to rescue the townsfolk there

(again, I’m writing this way after it happened, so apologies if I miss anything)

The adventuring party used the stream again to creep along to the Temple. As they approached, they saw three groups of raiders outside the temple.

Group A was at the front doors of the temple with a battering ram, attempting to force their way through the doors.

Group B was circling the temple in something of a parade.

Group C was at the rear entrance to the Temple, attempting to stack hay against the doors and set it alight.

The adventurers decided to wait until group B had passed the rear entrance and then they attacked group C. They managed to get inside the temple where they found more than 30 townsfolk all huddled in a panic. The noise of the battering ram rang through the temple every few minutes, causing plaster to tumble from the ceiling as the room shook.

The adventurers managed to locate Priest Eadyan Falconmoon who worked with them to usher the townsfolk out of the rear entrance of the temple and to the stream, taking care not to alert the circling group of raiders in the process. Most of the group started to escort the townsfolk back to the tunnel entrance, but Nemo stayed behind with some intention of exploring or looting, and Arlen stayed with him to protect him should anything happen.

However, the ever increasing bangs from the doors that were struggling to hold back the battering ram made the wizard see sense and he and Arlen retreated back to the stream with the others.

Episode I.v - Save the Mill (and Prisoners)
The adventurers go to Greenest's Mill to save it from apparent fire (and capture a prisoner)

(Holland/Brykk was absent for the second part of this mission, hence his ‘guarding’ mission.)

The party and Rennu headed to the Mill. On the approach they noticed groups of Kobolds and Cultists setting fire to the mill.

Brykk and Daeris crept forwards to inspect what was going on and Daeris noticed that the fires seemed to be more for show than actual substance. She suspected that it was a trap and they returned to the rest of the group to inform them.

They decided that they would try to capture a prisoner from one of these outside raiding groups. As they attacked, most of the kobolds fled. Lia managed to rope one of the cultists and, having defeated the others, they managed to subdue and tie up their prisoner.

Brykk guarded the prisoner, hidden by the stream, while the others went to the Mill to investigate the fire.

They were definitely suspicious as they approached – smoke seemed to be coming from within the Mill, but they couldn’t tell if this was some form of illusion, or smoke from a small ‘false fire’, or the actual Mill alight. As they entered, they were cautious and some of them noticed either sound or a presence in the loft above them.

Nemo launched a blind magical attack and Lia followed it up with arrows. The noise of a cultist taking an injury confirmed their suspicions (or as Arlen put it "Oh there’s definitely someone up there!!) and they all joined in – Daeris and Avinia using magic, and Arlen rushing up the ladder to the loft to attack with her ‘Wit’ (her warhammer). They were attacked by a volley of spears, but ultimately managed to defeat the cultists and guards that had been waiting to ambush them.

After the fight, some backup arrived from the Keep to guard the Mill and they left, meeting up with Brykk again and escorting their prisoner back to the Keep via the tunnel.

Episode II.i - Investigations and Stragglers
the adventurers are asked to track down the raiders camp

Roughly 48 hours passed, allowing the adventuring party to rest and heal. Brykk took the opportunity to entertain his fellow travellers with a song, like all good bards should!

Governor Nighthill approached the group to inform them what he had found out from the interrogation of the prisoner. The raiders were all members of the Cult of the Dragon and were collecting loot for ‘the great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragons’. The cult apparently has a clutch of dragon eggs at their camp. The camp is located due south of Greenest. Nighthill asked the adventurers to investigate and find out the following:
Where the camp is.
How many raiders there are/will be coming
Who their leaders are
what’s motivating them
also as a secondary goal, to recover any stolen property from Greenest.

He mentions that he was due to talk with a Monk, Leosin Erlanthar, who had mentioned a dragon cult, but he hasn’t seen him because of the raid.

The adventurers headed through the town asking about this monk’s whereabouts. In the tavern, they found out that the monk and his apprentice, Nesim Waladra, were staying at the tavern. On talking to Nesim, they discovered that Leosin had been researching these raiders for months and had been looking at ancient Dragon lore at the library in Candlekeep. Leosin, however, went missing during the raids. Nesim thinks that he may have tried to infiltrate the cult, or was perhaps captured. He gave the adventurers Leosin’s broken staff and ripped-off choker. Nemo decided to have Avinia mend the choker and he put it on.

They all had a Small at the tavern and the barkeep, on discovering that they were going to track the raiders, asked that they look out for his missing wife Dogrose (and promised free beer for life on her safe return).

The adventurers headed south and then tracked the raiders. They came across a small group of 4 mercenaries and 8 kobolds who had stopped to make camp, and they launched battle, gaining a surprise attack. The kobolds immediately fled and hid. Amongst the fighting, Nemo managed to firebolt himself (but was healed by Rennu), Lia managed to fire an arrow at Daeris’ foot and Nemo failed to charm a mercenary. Brykk put one merc out of action for a while with his dissonant whispers and the party as a whole managed to defeat one mercenary and weaken another.

Nemo's Letters home
Letters from a travelling wizard

First letter home.

My dear Arronax,

I have been desperate to write to you since my departure, as I have had time to reflect on my note, telling you of my reasons for leaving. I know I my actions are against your advice, but please don’t take this as a personal affront. You are all I have as a family, unless I do what I am doing.
This infernal damp weather has delayed my writing you, as I’ve been sleeping on the hoof so far. My cloak serves me as well as it always ha to keep me warm. Tonight however, I have made it to an inn – I forget the name – but it is about a day’s walk from Greenest. I am still damp and hungry, so will write until I need to light a candle, before seeking some supper and sleep.

I’m am hoping to hear news of slave traders in the town, and seek my sister. I can’t leave her unknown to me any longer. I know you feel my skills are not refined or diverse enough to support such an adventure, but I can feel my confidence growing, and I feel stronger with each step of independence.

I know you need my youth to help you in your home, and please don’t feels I am deserting you, but I need this. I feel Lathendar calling me away. I can’t ignore it. I will grow and return a wizard of the world.


Second letter home.

Dear Arronax

Adventures abound! I left you with news of my travels to Greenest, and the adventure started that evening. We were woken in the night to screams, and on investigating it transpired a child had been taken from the inn. A few of the less merry ones of us (it is an inn after all and there remained many slumped over the tables as events progressed), well those that were able formed a group to go in chase. We had a dwarf, a couple of elves, a gnome and a halfling, anyway, we followed a trail out the window which led to a funny smelly sewer. To cut a long story short we managed to do over a few guards – that Dwarf did some good stuff on them, and rescue the child.

After returning the child, we all made our way together into Greenest. It was a merry journey, getting to know my new companions. As soon as Greenest was in sight, the first thing we saw was the smoke. It wasn’t the smoke of the industry – the town was on fire, with a dragon in a field near by. We aimed for the keep and skirted round the town via a stream. Our plan may have been successful if we hadn’t met some guards and the like – the worst are the Kobbolds. Even then the dwarf who is in my understanding very amiable for a dwarf, showed she is the brawn and certainly not the brains. Having shouted at the bad guys, ‘Hey we’re the good guys!’ did nothing to help our surprise attack, so it was just as well that she did have the brawn to use. Swiftly defeated we had some more Kobbolds on the way to the keep. We rested there and then set out on several missions to the temple and the mill, to see if we can save any of the townsfolk.

There was a really bad sewer we had to walk down. This was full of rats, and I had a terrible spell. I firstly learnt a valuble lesson – my magic is a ranged weapon, not for close combat. And I know what you taught me on the power I have with magic and how it should be used for good, so I don’t talk of killing lightly, but these are evil times of dragon worship. Also I failed in a spell. It wasn’t that it was the wrong spell or against a hard target, it was that I didn’t feel it. It just didn’t happen. The fizz was all wrong. I wish I were able to consult you on it. It seems to happen sometimes, as it was when I was first studying but I don’t know if it is because I am in strange lands. It is happening more and more and I wish I could have your expertise to understand it.

We were able to get the townsfolk to the keep and are now resting. I suspect we will be heading off to follow the cultists, acolytes, kobbolds and look to rescue any captured townsfolk. I would love to spend time writing about my companions. The elves are beautiful, and Brykk is a bard. He sang a lovely song for us earlier, but I’m not convinced he wasn’t singing it for Arlen, the dwarf, but I’ll keep you posted on that!

I’ll write you again when we next rest, but until then, I’ll send you my love,



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