Hoard of the Dragon Queen Journal Pt II

After the second HOTDQ session, all 4 players wrote journals! (Nathan sadly bowed out of the campaign for a few weeks, so Yenorin was NPCd) If you haven't already, check out the first journal! Obviously, there are spoilers ahead.

Make sure to check out the Tyranny of Dragons Index for more!.

Danaeron  night 2 journal
On the turret of the keep we stood. Maybe 30 in total. The dragon strafing the keep and letting out bursts of lightning upon the defense. Castle guards fired wildly but their volleys did nothing. Yenorin helped keep shields up. The governor looked on in horror. Castellan the dwarf gritted his teeth but there's little he can do with that axe. I quivered an arrow and shot. I know I shot true and my arrow must have struck my quarry, but alas this beast didn't even flinch. Another pass and another volley. My second arrow was waved off in the wingbeats. An arrow flies past my side from below and I know it must be elven bow training. Ennis’ arrow finds its target but again nothing. She is proving a good shot.

I watch the beast blast lightning into the keep and guards fly and are incinerated. After another pass I see it's movements. I know what is coming. Like an owl after its prey in a meadow it slows. It will land. I feel the rushing of everyone escaping. I inhale. Arrow ready. The force of his landing nearly knocks me off the other side. His wings lower and he sits on the wall. If he wanted me dead, I would have been. I remember Nithbis saying that these beasts are intelligent. Perhaps I can speak with it?

Read More After the Cut!

I lower my bow slightly and ask what it wants. This monster laughs and snarls. He stalks around the top of the turret and I side step. He says that is a good question. From behind me I hear Sallos say he is a coward to stand against one man. This wanderer has a truer heart than I gathered at first. Perhaps two will stand against this beast. Sallos continues to antagonize the dragon, asking about its masters. This seems to do more damage than my arrow. He calls for all heroes. I stand ready with my arrow though I think this night will be my last. Yenorin cautiously comes up followed by Nithbis and Ennis. Sallos walks along the wall toward us. I ask who the dragon is and he says he is Lennithon the Magnificent. I tell him we could help him break the chains of this cult;that he is too great to be attacking a small town. He gives a nasty laugh but looks at us sideways.

He calls each of us out and can somehow see our pasts. Each word is meant to strike at our hearts. He called me a dog. I feel the ire rise in my chest. I am no beast. I am the hunter or beasts. He gives us a proposition that he will leave the keep if Ennis will take her amulet of her God and step on it. This cruel monster. He reminds me of Fenris. A killer toying with prey for its amusement. I see the pain in her face. She makes her amulet glow with light. She is my charge and we cannot beat this foe like this. I know her faith is deep, but her life is worth more. I tell her “what is a trinket to true faith.” Nithbis argues with the dragon to make sure he will keep to his word. He slammed a foot down and looked like he might eat her if she pressed further. Ennis did as she was asked. Tears falling from her eyes. I want to wrap my arms around her. I feel her pain in me. The party stands beside her. Each sending their strength to her. The beast laughs and yells “how easily the faithful are broken!” And takes off. Blasting some of the cultists as it goes. I pick up her amulet and put it over her again and try and smile and nod. She is quiet and far away for awhile.

The governor thanks us, but mostly addresses Ennis. He asks if we could talk to the prisoner we took. We agree. Descend the stairs. He is there sitting tied but comfortable. I have had enough. I've fought through a village and stood against a monster. I draw an arrow and Nithbis questions him. He tells us the direction of the camp and that it is guarded. He asks us to secure his release. We go to the governor. He says people will want justice and is hesitant. Nithbis says he could release him and tell the town when he is released. It took me a moment to understand. Release the rabbit in the wolf’s den. The governor looks appalled and he isn't alone. What is wrong with her? She is with us and an agent of nature, but she reasons without care for others? The governor agrees to release him and not tell the town. We head back down but before we can get the rest of the information, Ennis tells us to look.

The sallyport is full of cultists, mercenaries, and kobolds trying to sneak through. The door seems broken on the end. They are being led by some giant lizard? He is a beast and I shoot for him. My arrow sinks in. Ennis follows and lays another over mine. Sallos runs past me out of nowhere. The beast tears into him. I would have rather stayed back and taken them out with arrows, but he cannot hold that tide alone. I pull my swords and join him. Before I reach the beast he fells it with his sword and another kobold. We are shoulder to shoulder. Ennis is firing arrows and Nithbis is using her thorn whip. Sallos is dodging and his swordsmanship is practiced. In the cramped space I drop a sword and he tells me to grab a dagger. I do and keep fighting. So many enemies in a small space I can't keep up.

I'm run through by a cultist blade. I feel myself fall and I feel the warm blood over my body. I'm flashing in and out of watching my blood fill the tunnel and the great river. I'm on a boat. Crossing over. I see Lokur on the shore. Giving me a sad smile. There is a great oak standing higher than can be imagined. I will join its branches forever. I will become part of the fabric of nature. I hear a song all around me. I've never heard it but it is familiar. Ennis is singing. I just get back. All I do is turn back from the shore. My eyes open and I'm back in the cave. My wounds are closed at least. A kobold with a knife covered in my blood recoils. I run him through and kill the cultist who nearly took my life. We fight back the foes and move to close the door. It takes all my strength and Ennis pulls something from somewhere and we close it and she Mends it. We return to the tower. As we reach the top a voice calls out. A half dragon in full armor calls for a hero to face him. Kobolds hold knives to a woman and three children. He will release them if faced in combat.

I see the fear in my companions. Sallos speaks up first. He says he has never been a good man and perhaps he can make that up now. Nithbis tells us not to. That their lives aren't worth any of ours. How can she look at children and say this? Sallos can help them more than I. He is a better man than he thinks and knows about this world. No, "I will go" I say. I tell them I can beat him at a distance. I lie to them and to myself. Ennis gives me a worried look. Sallos bows and tells me to move around him. Before I descend the wall. Nithbis looks annoyed but touches my arm and says “may the old ways protect you.” Again she surprises me. Standing outside the keep against this foe, I know I won't defeat him. There isn't enough room to move and he is strong and capable. He keeps his word and let's them go. Welcomes me with a bow of honor. I bow but say nothing.

He draws his axe and swings it. Now is my chance! I draw an arrow and fire. It catches him in the shoulder. He winces but then laughs and breaks it. He rushes me and I am able to side step him and move back. He is so fast and running. I try to shoot again but he closes the distance faster than I can adjust. His blade catches me and tears into my wounds. I'm able to run and back to the wall. I should have time to lay another arrow into him. Before I can quiver it he is upon me and with a strength I've not seen. His axe slams through my chest. I'm again flashing between pain and oblivion. He yells I was very brave but very dead and I watch him walk away. I am back on the boat on the river. The great oak is now the leaflord himself. Standing with his bow that fells anything. Rillifane will take me on the spirit hunts. Finding the game of the afterlife. Maybe my spirit will be a tree that grows deep roots. The weave will connect me to everything. The song again. Ennis’ voice. I'm nearly on the shore but I look back. The pain is immense, but she is cradling me in her arms. She looks magnificent. Like the paintings of the great elven lords. Nithbis kneels and smiles too. Yenorin puts his hand on my shoulder. Sallos is laughing and telling me the women we secured will help me heal.

As I recover. Nithbis has a contact asking us to rescue his master. We agree we must go to
the cultists' camp. Find him. Scout it out. Sallos tells me of dragon eggs and mercenaries. As I meditate I think of Ennis’ song. I sing it in my head and touch my fresh wounds and watch them heal. I see the weave better than I ever have. I ask the governor humbly for the money promised. It is awkward. I have not asked for money before, but I want to purchase armor and a grappling hook, more rope and some arrows. He and Castellon graciously give it to me. The armor is found and fixed to fit. The hook and arrows come. Sallos gives me direction on making caltrops and goes on to tell me stories of using them on ships on the sea. He laughs but I don't understand the humor. Whenever I try and pay for these, people push my money back into my hand. Thank me and call me a hero. I feel shy. They have lost much.

I decide to hunt to clear my head. I hunt some rabbits and I remember Lokur speaking of marking a prey. The weave. I'm able to concentrate on a target and a glowing symbol appears on them. I find them and my arrows strike perfectly. One of the children I ran to the keep is out there with a short bow trying to help hunt. I give him a lesson and he learns quickly. A good student. His mother, the valiant guard, offers any assistance in the future. As I enter the gates the guards call me Danaeron the fearless. It is kind and it warms my mind. I'm not fearless though. This world is terrifying, but I will stand against it and the chaos. The wild one needs this of his agents. I cook the rabbits with help from the townspeople. Feed the party and give more to Ennis. She is quiet and I leave her to her thoughts. The rest I give to the town. I feel renewed. I'm ready to face this cult.

*From the Journals of Sallos Zha Zhoala Part Deux*

When Sallos first learned of the Cult of the Dragon he thought it was simply another group of fanatics that decided that a really cool scary name would give them some "street cred", little did he know that they truly cohorted with Dragons.  When the great blue dragon Lennithon landed on the tower, the stone creaked against his mighty weight.  His presence alone sent even the bravest fleeing for their lives but Sallos and the gloomy elf stood tall.  Sallos gave the elf a silent nod of respect.  Sallos has been to the foot of the city of Shade deep in the Anauroch Desert where ancient undying wizards rule, he has seen the effects of the Mythal of Myth Drannor and seen Demons from beyond the Pale walk its streets, and he even glimpsed the Mad Wizard of Undermountain once after entering the dungeon from the Yawning Portal but the might, majesty and sheer power of this dragon instilled more fear than all of those.  As he steeled his will against its presence he realized that this creature was as much a prisoner as a thief in a stockade.  He wondered what could cull a creature like this to its bidding.  He decided to test it.  He called out to the Dragon and asked about its masters, mere mortals who command it.  He realized that his words struck true and the beast reeled at the comments.  The dragon did not realize that Sallos was trying to distract it to gain its attention so Danaeron could flee but the elf stood his ground.  Again noble but foolish.  Sallos realizing that his new companions were no ordinary folk as he sees Ennis and Nithbis emerging from the tower, their fear conquered.  tbc...

Hahahaha….Sallos cannot continue.  Sallos must admit that he “borrowed” Danaeron’s journal and read it and wanted to try and be as serious as he is and write like he does but I could not go on anymore.  Sallos thinks that elf is way too serious but truth, he and the other two (or three?) are very good allies and Sallos would fight by their side anytime.  Sallos is not sure about the fighter yet as he has yet to prove himself like the others have.  Sallos has decided that Dania would like this lot and that her spirit would rest better knowing Sallos was around to guide them and protect them, gods know they need it.  Sallos misses Dania, terribly, but Sallos must go on and try to do some good in this world.

After the pathetic dragon flew off, unable to swallow us and the truths that Sallos fired at it,
we decided to interrogate the captured merc.  He was very forthcoming to Sallos when he thought Sallos was his ally.  Later when the merc realized Sallos was playing him he threatened Sallos and Sallos does not suffer threats, or at least he didn't in the past.  Sallos, in another life, would have quietly made his way into cell of the merc and sliced his throat from ear to ear but again Dania’s spirit would have been sad so Sallos let him live.

Soon we were attacked by cultists and kobolds from the sally gate.  Sallos with some help from the companions made short work of them.  Next we are called to the tower to see some half-dragon curiosity calling one of us out to fight it for some prisoners.  Being the best swordsman and the leader Sallos volunteers first and surprisingly so does the elf.  Sallos and the elf argue about who will go fight both knowing it is certain death.  Sallos does not want to die but he cannot in good conscious let his followers die for him.  Finally he allows the elf to go knowing that his group could not continue without his leadership.  Sallos again must
give the elf some praise for he fought well but fell to the mighty axe of the dragon man.  The dragon man true to his word released some prisoners and Sallos and Ennis were able to save the elf.  Now we must decide what to do.  Sallos has decided that we will follow the army and try and kill their leadership and all agree.

Nithbis’s secret Druidic etchings day 2
Blue dragon- reasonable, small amount of damage left to area. Stop. Townsfolk left poor but no important records or town documents damaged. Stop. Disgusting half dragon and cohorts challenged my party, have moved on to location unknown(possibly South, will scout as soon as I'm able to change form in front of my party), cult of the dragon at large. Stop. Acquaintances held captive but now released. Stop. Fellow acquaintance missing. Stop.

Ennis' Journal: I pray to you oh, Naralis Analor, God of the Seldarine, He who gives me power, gives me Life: I have failed you today. I have put your sacred amulet and placed it under my foot, and for what? The life of my party. I have used your high teachings to heal Danaeron and I do so in your name. If he, a fellow Elf, had fallen I know you, Oh Analor, would have helped him cross over. But with your Grace I was able to keep him in this world. I have touched him with my Light. I pray for guidance on how to conquer this next mission, so many will need saved. So many will need healed. Please, put your Power in my hands. Help me heal the sick be well, help me help my dying die. Please watch over me.

In your name.


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