Just a warning, This is going to be long and where possible, I have included your character’s actions in this Prologue as well as what happens in general During the Hoard of the Dragon Queen.. Also, LaShanna was fighting in Plan for the first portion of this adventure. I will note where she joins the party and the circumstances behind this event. By the time of the events that will start Rise of Tiamat, you will have become a solid group that has fought well together, for the most part, and knows each can be depended upon to fill their role.
The party, Stump the quiet but strong Half-Orc, Tessa VanSilgar the Human Paladin of Kelemvor, Balefire the Wiked (AKA Tim) a Dragonborn Sorcerer, Sylina Earthwanderer, a halfling Barbarian, and an* Elven Monk* (To be edited later;) ) , was hired to escort a caravan on run from Beregost to Greenrest. This was described as a “milk run,” by many, but it gives an opportunity for adventurers to gain experience without having to face dangers above their ability. The caravan proceeds with little issue, and the party’s only action was dispatching a couple of wolves and a few kobolds. As they approach Greenrest, the sun is setting and it looks to be a beautiful evening until they walk over the last rise. As you clear the top of the hill and see the small town, they see a scene of chaos. There is an adult Blue Dragon, flying overhead and buildings throughout the town are on fire. There are horns sounding and they can tell the city is being attacked.
The party rushes in, saving over 50 towns people from attacks by humans and kobolds, protecting them as they run into the Keep. Once inside, They meet Governor Nighthill, the leader of Greenrest. He asks for their help defending the town and the keep and they dutifully agree. This begins the longest night of their lives so far. Throughout the evening and night, they suffer the fatigue of marching all day and then fighting long into the night with little chance for rest and recuperation. There are many times that had it not been for a friendly cleric or spare healing potion, they may not have made it out alive.. They go on several missions, rescuing trapped towns people and even getting ambushed by what they determine to be Cultists as they learn of the adventurer’s assistance with the defense of the town. At one point, they had to show ultimate bravery in the face of an adult Blue Dragon named Lennithon. While Tim originally tries to talk to Lennithon, stating that a Dragonborn may be able to reason with a Dragon, the effort was a ruse for the party to prepare for a coordinated attack. During the battle that ensues, the Monk manages to throw a rock that catches Lennithon between two of his scales. Stump and the Tim combine forces to drive him away by alternating spell attacks that were very well placed with javelin throws that were right on the mark. Sylina lands the final blow which causes the Dragon to swear loudly that this was NOT what he expected when he signed up for this fight and then he flew off into the night.
Later, while on the walls surveying the current state of the battle, the party catches sight of a woman in purple that seems to be in charge and directing the attack, accompanied by a Black Half-Dragon. Near dawn, the cultists make a final push and manage to breach the main gates of the Keep, but the heroes fight them back and held off wave after wave of kobolds and cultists as the townspeople quickly did what repairs they could manage.. As dawn approached, the fighting slows and then stops as a large blue Half-Dragon named Langdedrossa Cyanwrath approaches the Keep’s main gate. He issues a challenge for a one-on-one battle with the best of the Keeps remaining soldiers. He presents four prisoners and offers to release them if anyone will face him in battle. He demands the the fight be an honorable fight or the prisoners will be killed. The party, who almost all want to fight, except Tim who would prefer to watch, draw lots. Tessa VanSilgar wins, or loses depending on the point of view. The fight goes on for minutes, but in her exhausted state, the Half-Dragon soon takes the upper hand and renders her unconscious. True to their word, Cyanwrath releases the prisoners and the Cultists and Kobolds retreat to to west.
The Raider’s Camp
After a rest, Governor Nighthill asks the party to track down the cultists and see if they will come raiding again. As the party prepares to leave, A monk approaches the party’s monk and asks them to search for Leosin Erlanthar, a monk who was studying the cult. the party tracks down the main camp and infiltrates. They are almost discovered but quickly recover when Tim acts like a leader and demands to be treated as such. They take him to Frulam Mondath, the Wearer of Purple and leader of this cult cell. Tim is able to convince her he is a new cult leader, but Tess is identified due to her fight with Cyanwrath. She is taken prisoner and tied to a post beside Leosin near the rear of the camp. Frulam tells Tim they are holding Leosin for Rezmir, the black Half-Dragon they saw earlier and whom Frulam called the Black Wurmspeaker for some reason. Frulam says Rezmir has gone ahead to prepare the way for the cult to transport their captured wealth. As the others wander the camp, they learn more of the cult and their veneration of Tiamat. The party also discovers these raids have been happening all along the Sword Coast and that they are amassing a Hoard to take north in preparation of Tiamat’s return from the Nine Hells. The party is also amazed to hear that there are Dragon Eggs in the caves near the rear of the camp and that they are expected to hatch soon. Once the camp settles in for the night, the party sneaks to where Tess and Leosin are hanging and cut them loose and open the cages of the other prisoners. They barely escape, and bring Leosin and the rescued prisoners back to Greenrest.
The Dragon Hatchery
Two days later, Leosin is well enough to ask the party, hire them actually, to go back and investigate the camp. They need to see if they can discover what the Cult is planning. They also need to remove the threat of the dragon eggs. After they complete this task they are to join him in Elturel to brief him on what they discover. He will be going there to meet Ontharr Frume, leader of the Order of the Gauntlet.
Once the group arrives at the campsite, they discover it has been abandoned and several wagons seem to have gone North, Rangers still in the camp that had been hired to help gather meat for the cult, let the party know there are still kobolds and others in the caverns as they are still buying meat. As the party explores the caverns, they stumble upon Frulam Mondath and quickly capture her. They tie her in a way they believe is secure as they do not want to take time to question her at that moment. They then work their way further into the caverns. They soon discover Cyanwrath in a Temple that has been created to worship chromatic Dragons, especially the Black and Tiamat herself. Cyan wrath immediately recognizes Tessa and the two begin a rematch of their first battle of only a few days previous. The rest of the party fights the other Cultists and kobolds while Tessa and the blue half-dragon match blow for blow. This time however, Tessa isn’t exhausted from over 24 hours of fighting and the battle is more evenly matched. She finally gains the upper hand and strikes down Cyanwrath as he tells her she will make a fine sacrifice to the Queen of Dragons.
The group then enter the hatchery and after defeating the hidden Roper, they destroy the black dragon eggs. The party now goes to question Frulam and they discover she has escaped, but she has left her purple robes and writings which show that Rezmir, the wearer of the black dragon mask and the Black Wurmspeaker, is headed north with the stolen hoard.
On the Road
The group travels north to Elturel and find both Leosin and Ontharr very quickly. After the group recounts their tale, Ontharr asks them to continue on to Balder’s Gate and sign on as Caravan Guards for one of the main caravan groups headed north. Since that is the most likely way that Rezmir will transport the stolen hoard, it will be an excellent way to see where they are taking all those stolen goods. The party takes a boat to Balder’s Gate and attempt to gain employment on the caravans about to head north to Waterdeep. Tessa is hired as a captain for one merchant with Stump and Sylina reporting to her. The others are hired as drivers, except Tim and the Monk, who end up traveling along with the caravan. The party recognizes some of the cultist in amongst the travelers and the cultists seem to have several wagons of their own in the caravan itself. Rezmir is nowhere to be seen. The trip north to Waterdeep is a normal, but very long trip trip, fighting off bandit and wild animals as well as thwarting an ambush of orcs. The party discovers a Golden Stag, who is a disguised Sylvan. He gives them a weapon and states, “What you seek is in the Castle in the Clouds, but the way is perilous. That is not your end however, though sadly some of you may never see the end.” The most notable event was when one of the cultist’s wagons lost a wheel and some of the crates in the wagon fell out and broke open. Before the cultists could get the contents covered, Sylina recognized some of the jewelry as being stolen from Greenrest.
Just south of Waterdeep, in a town called Daggerford, two new travelers join the caravan. The first is a Human male who keeps his head covered at all times and the other is a female halfling that seems to be up to no good. The human is taken into the cultists wagons, something that has not happened since the start of the journey and he stays with the cultists throughout the rest of the trip. The Halfling seems to be watching the cultist closely and convinces the party she is on their side. She helps them confirm what is in the crates. She also kills a cultists, but they blame Tim. The strange man, known as Azzara Jos, settles the crowd by proving it wasn’t Tim but someone else. Stump happens to notice the strange human seemed to have tattoos all over his head, but does not tell anyone until much later.
Once the caravan arrives at Waterdeep after eight ten-days of travel. The goods are transferred through town for a continued trip north and the party is trying to decide what to do next. It is here the party is approached by a female Elf, LaShanna Nailo who has a letter from Ontharr. It introduces her as a ranking member of the Order of the Gauntlet who had done service in Phlan and helped protect the town from the cult. She also helped rescue as many as possible as a dragon took over the town and turned it into his lair. She tells the party they are to continue to follow the trail north to see where it leads. Not looking forward to more travel, the party then signs on as guards for the further trip to the trailhead for the new road to Neverwinter. While traveling out of town, they discover that Rezmir was seen passing through the city and headed in the same direction, and she had ben joined by Azbara . When Stump mentioned the tattoos he’d seen, LaShanna instantly recognizes this as a Red Wizard from Thay as she had dealt with several in Phlan as they attempted to recreate the Pool of Radiance. After four more ten-days, the group arrives at the trail-head and discovers that the stolen goods are being smuggled out of a secret tunnel out into the swamp.
While tracking the path of the stolen goods, they come upon a lizardfolk named Snapjaw, who asks the party for their help in liberating their home, Castle Naerytar from the Bullywugs and the strange humans who talk about Dragons. As the party makes their way to the castle, they discover other Lizardfolk whom Snapjaw helps convince to fight. The party then hatches a plan to sneak into the castle and then signal Snapjaw and his newly formed Lizardfolk army to attack the bullywugs while the party clears the cultist from the castle. While working their way through the castle, the party uncovers records that indicate a huge amount of the stolen goods have passed through here on their way to a Skyreach Castle in the far north. They also see a keyword that seems to operate a teleportation circle. After fighting their way through the castle, they find the Teleportation circle and evidence that Rezmir and Azzara Jos recently escaped through the circle.
The Hunting Lodge
After clearing the cult out of the Castle, the party uses the teleportation circle and they are instantly transported to an area near the Spine of the World. They discover the teleportation circles only seem to work one way with their control word and decide to approach a hunting lodge they see in the distance. Rather than fighting their way in, they simply knock and are led into the rooms of Talis the White. Assuming them to be fellow cultists, Talis enlists them to help her recover the White Dragon Mask from her rival, Varrum the White. She claims the mask is rightfully hers and offers the party aid in gaining access to what they seek. She tells the party the hoard is being loaded into Skyreach castle, a floating castle currently anchored in a town named Parnast just to the north. She wants Rezmir to fail and for white mask to be taken from Varram and given to her, the “rightful bearer.” She also asks that the party tell Glazhael, the Cloudchaser that she longs to see him again. From her description, it is not hard to determine that Glazhael is a white Dragon. After a heated discussion amongst the party and against Tess’s wishes, the party agrees to the deal, with the intent to double-cross Talis at the earliest opportunity. Talis gives them banners and pass-phrases that will get them into the castle and tells them she will be watching for them. Before they leave, while getting provisions in the kitchens, they discover several prisoners in the basement. Two of these are Varrram the White’s daughter and brother, and the other is a priest of Kelemvor. The party quietly frees all three and as they leave, Variorum’s Daughter tells you that she and her father are in the party’s debt.
Castle in the Clouds
The party travels north to Parnast and find the castle. After almost being discovered in town, they make their way into the castle which starts to float away just as they enter the gate. The party sneaks around and discovers where Rezmir’s room is located as well as a group of Red Wizards lead by Azbara. They also discover that the castle is in the control of a Cloud Giant named Blagothkus. The party first tracks and kills Rezmir. Tess takes the sword from Rezmir’s hand as she dies. They then discover a small box with a black dragon’s mask. They hide that away and go to destroy the red wizards. However, the wizards were alerted by the fight with Rezmir and they all, including Jos, jump from the castle and escape using feather fall. The party then fights an epic battle for control of the castle, eventually defeating Blagothkus and his army of Cloud Giants, Stone Giants, ogres, and Kobolds. They are aided at night by Vampires who inhabit one of the towers in the castle after reaching an agreement with the party that they would allow the Vampires to remain in the tower after the party took ownership of the castle. The party gained the control key for the castle and quickly learned to steer the castle by communicating with the spirit of Blagothkus who took up residence in the control room. As long as they held the key, his spirit was forced to do as the party wished.
Finally, they were ready to face Glazael. Using the black mask LaShanna convinced the vain but a slightly muddle headed dragon that his favorite person, Talis, was in trouble and needed his help. LaShanna, using the powers of the mask, convinced the dragon that they would watch the hoard and take it on to the proper destination. The Dragon actually agreed and left the castle, headed for the direction of the Hunting Lodge. The party quickly changed the direction of the castle’s flight and turned on its mechanism that allowed it to hide so Glazhael would not be able to find them once he learned of their lie.
It is at this point, the new adventure begins.
The key points to take away.
- The cult has been raiding the entire Sword Coast to build a Hoard fit for Tiamat.
- They seem set on worshiping Tiamat.
- They have masks which allow them to convince Dragons to do as they wish.
- These masks are somehow connected to Tiamat.
- The only way to stop the destruction is to stop the cult at all costs.
- The Red Wizards are involved in some way
- The Cloud Giants and Stone Giants are involved in some way
- Caravan Trips take forever.