Happy Saturday everybody! That means we're playing D&D, and while everybody's levelling (because we never do that before we actually come to D&D, I'm sure a lot of other gaming groups can relate) I'm going to go ahead and write my pre-game bullshit.
Pre-Play Reference Stuff:
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.
We're currently playing out way through Tyranny of Dragons. We just rescued a bunch of slaves from the Dragon Cult, helped the town of Greenest with the attack they were under and are currently making plans to go back and screw over the encampment as soon as the bulk of their forces move for Baldur's Gate.
Keep in mind, this is going to be full of fantasy names that I haven't seen only heard so they're probably going to be spelled wrong and if they aren't I likely asked the DM (My fiance Josh) how to spell them.
We're all level 7 now, by the way, because that will allow us to actually play at level 20 a little bit when we get to that.
Cast of Characters:
Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He isn't.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior.
Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.
Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar".
Return to the Encampment / Dungeon Crawl
(I'm not a big fan of dungeon crawling expect my description of this part to be lackluster at best.)
So we get back to the encampment and there are signs of people taking off. It looks like the inhabitants have spread out all over the place but the wagons and shit all went west, which doesn't contradict what we've heard. It's the middle of the day and it doesn't appear as though anyone is here.
Oh boy it looks like we're dungeon crawling, okay. I'll spare you guys the play by play of every single room but...
Stalkurn: What are we supposed to do here, look for loot?
Varis: Yeah, loot the place that makes sense.
We can see an ambush by a few people that aren't as hidden as they think they are.
Stalkurn: You are possibly the least stealthy people I have ever seen.
Nicophel: That was such a piss poor performance that I almost don't even want to kick your ass anymore, get out of here.
???: We can't let you pass.
So we roll initiative and commence the slaughter. Iroh immediately shoots them both dead and Varis laments that they should have picked a different career and takes their shiny daggers.
We go down some stairs, going farther into the compound. Apparently we trip a trap that makes the stairs slide us downward and brings us faith to face with "these tiny pourous penis looking mushrooms with tentacles" (direct quote from the DM).
They hit Stalkurn and then Nicophel proceeds to firebolt them until they die because he can cantrip all day bitches.
There are bats flying around the next part of the cave minding their own business. There are also dead bats on the floor so Nicophel decides not to let his familiar socialize with the other bats. Then there's a cold patch and Varis is like "Nope" and we go the other way.
Now there's kobolds, including one with wings, and some steps that lead down to an iron gate. We dispatch the kobolds quickly after Varis nat 1's and accidentally hands his weapon to the kobold, which inadvertently makes the kobold cute and makes me not want to kill it but Nicophel kills it anyway because he wouldn't so much care about that even though it kind of hurts my soul.
Then we fight more kobolds.
And then we find the place we think the kobolds were sleeping. We get some loot, including money and some dragon statuettes, Varis keeps most of which intending to sell but Nicophel keeps his because he wants it as a souvenir (or possibly to send to his sister in Silverymoon).
Cyanrath is in the shrine inside beyond the kobold fight, and he looks at Varis and says he isn't sure whether to be surprised or impressed that he survived (of course Varis wasn't supposed to win that combat as we found out later).
Anyway we win that combat and find a big idol of Tiamat and a chest in front of it. Stalkurn picks the lock and then after the fact realizes he had the key the whole time. Dividing up the loot is pretty difficult because one piece of treasure is worth like half the wealth.
We find out that one of the murals in the shrine depicts a volcano named the "Well of Dragons" and it happens to be very close to Silverymoon where Nicophel grew up. And where his twin sister is.
More Dungeons, Probably More Dragons
We head down this dark and windy path leaving a healthy amount of distance between Varis and the rest of the party due to the traps that have been rampant here. Eventually we find a ladder that leads straight up into some chute. Stalkurn sends dancing lights up the shaft and the party maturely giggles about the word "shaft".
We find a staircase down that we know leads to dragons because of Iroh's ranger senses. Stalkurn tries to sneak down the stairs and crit fails so he falls down the stairs and hits the metal door. Iroh actually sneaks down the staircase anyway even though our cover is so blown.
There's blood on the floor, we roll initiative, more combat happens.
Nicophel gets covered in glue and everybody else manages not to and we all start taking fire damage.
There are kobolds and some kind of stalactite monster. Another combat happens and I'm going to be honest I never got a turn so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention and then we find dragon eggs and Iroh proceeds to late term abort the baby dragons.
Which I'm not going to linger on because "always chaotic evil" is bullshit imo and sounds like an excuse to make it okay to treat a whole species as acceptable to kill and the descriptions got kind of gross and I'm low key actually really bothered by it. Like I don't have a problem with abortion but if you don't see how there's a difference between a late term abortion for the sake of the health of a mammalian mother who is still carrying a baby and breaking a dragon egg and graphically telling me about the thing that flops out of it there's probably something wrong with you.
So then there's a room with a desk that has some shitty poetry about dragons in it written by the person Stalkurn left the love letter for before and he goes ahead and takes it because he's a doofus.
The notes say that everything must be freighted to Naerytar and mentions some of the things that were allowed to be kept here (things we already have on our persons). Well, now we know where the horde is.
The party asks Nicophel to go ahead and burn the clothes in the wardrobe but he goes through it first and takes what he wants because fuck you guys he's fashion forward.
So after we get done with that we go to meet with Leosin. We get to the tavern and there's a squire there whose like "Hello, I suppose you all will be here for my master and his friend?" and ushers us over.
We talk to Leosin and his paladin friend about what's going on and they explain that they for some reason need us four adventurers to take on the whole dragon cult (???) and then we go shopping. With our purchases we continue North and proceed to try to furtively get hired on by a caravan as guards.
Everybody rolls really well except for Nicophel who ends up a pleb guard instead of somebody's body guard and gets paid half as much for two whole months because of one bad roll. On the other hand at least he's got the wiggle room to investigate the dragon cult which I guess is why we're here to begin with and he finds out there's 12 dragon cult guards and the palanquin that Stalkurn wants isn't even in this group of wagons. Nicophel low key acts like he deserved that even though he didn't because he's sort of petty like that.
This whole time Stalkurn is trying to seduce his boss. "She sees what you're doing and she is not turned off" <--DM's exact words.
Anyway while we're on the road Iroh's electrum mug goes missing in his sleep after his employer kept trying to ask him to sell it at a fraction of what it was worth. We do find out that the man was run out of Baldur's Gate. We also find out that the dragon cult stole it for their horde.
We make a plan for Stalkurn to "steal" something from Alder (he's Iroh's crochety employer) and frame the cultists for it. Meanwhile Stalkurn is pulling the "I'm secretly a secret agent" card trying to get in his employer's pants.
At this point Alder goes nuts and everyone is pointing fingers at the cultists and we are all laughing so hard we can't breathe. All of our shit does turn back up.
Not long after we find a head lying in the road and it's a living person buried up to the neck. When Nicophel digs him up he finds out that the man is a Harper and was tracking some smugglers (he fed us a lie at first about a marriage contract but Nicophel has been storing all kinds of "detect thoughts" in that ring of spell storing he bought earlier) and Nicophel manages to secure his help and contacts for when we get to Waterdeep.
At Daggerford, two travelers join the caravan. A male human with a woolen cap like, South Park style, that covers some tattoos--we've pretty much discerned already that he's a red wizard of Thay. And a female halfling that we already know from Ringmaster's Captivating Caravel. Fortunately we have some good will with her already.
And at that point we decide to drop for the night.
What I learned today: Surreptitiously means in secret or clandestine.