Forgotten Realms

Horde of the Dragon Queen: Chapter I
Greenest in Flames

A motley band of travelers, largely unknown to one another, meet on the road to Greenest, where they are all headed for their own reasons. They travel together for mutual protection on the dangerous roadways. As they crest a rise, they see the village a couple miles ahead, but rather than the pastoral site they were all expecting, Greenest is in flames.

A dragon hovers over the town, occasionally swooping in to slay or devourer the inhabitants. As they race closer, the party sees that the dragon is supported by raiders who are looting the town. Eager to help save some lives, the party moves into Greenest.

Both humans and kobolds are working with the dragon to terrorize and loot the town. After slaying a few kobolds, the party comes across a family fleeing more of the little monsters. The party defeats the kobolds, and the Swift family tells them they are bound for the keep—the only safe place in the town. The heroes decide to escort them there.

Along the way they encounter more kobolds and human raiders. Once they are all safely inside the keep, the heroes are summoned to the parapet to meet Governor Nighthill. While the dragon’s attacks have lessened throughout the night, the ground forces are wreaking havoc in Greenest. Nighthill implores the heroes to help where ever they can, starting with securing the old hidden tunnel that leads from the keep to the creek.

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The Fall of Illfarn: Part 3
Zaltos Lives!

The Fading 19, 1484 DR
As they explore the Ironaxe Halls, the party comes across a young red wizard, inscribing another arcane circle to stabilize the mountain with several half-orc children. Content Not Found: baer-battlebeard tackles him before he can get a spell off, and the others pummel him into submission after getting the children out of harm’s way.

Having no wish to die, the red wizard reveals the whereabouts of Content Not Found: arvik-zaltos and agrees to leave the mountains and the order behind so long as his twin brother is likewise sparred. Through a telepathic bond, the other brother appears a short while later, with their possessions and leads his battered brother away.

The party rests in chambers with magical restorative powers, and decides it is time to face Zaltos before he realizes what is happening beneath him. Fearing collapse, they tell the elves to get the dwarves out of the mountain.

On the upper level, the party makes its way toward Zaltos’ laboratory, where they find him surrounded by wights and wraiths. Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne calls upon the holy light of Mielikki to turn the undead horrors, destroying many of the wraiths.

Content Not Found: wong-3_ throws himself at Zaltos, unleashing a torrent of blows, while Baer harries him with his axe. _Content Not Found: oren-greythorne finds that his magic has no effect on the red wizard, so he turns his attention to aiding his nephew against the undead. Gregor is badly wounded, much of his life force sucked away, but manages to defeat the creatures.

Realizing the battle is lost, Zaltos casts a dimension door spell, and slips elsewhere in the halls. As his final blow lands, Wong realizes that Zaltos is not what he seems, and his human guise is untrue.

The party looks around the chamber for anything that may help them deal with Zaltos once and for all. They find an old elevator, but it breaks down, triggering the collapse they have been so concerned about.

The party makes their way toward the exit., ushering the dwarves the encounter out. As they move to the lower level, they find the magic circles have been disrupted and the anvil that holds the fire key is gone—magically transported away. The heroes make it out just as the mountain collapses.

As the dust settles, they find that most of the dwarves have survived, including their king—who vows to rebuild the mountain. The elves offer shelter at their camp, and the party has a much-needed rest.

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The Fall of Illfarn: Part 2
The Mad King

The Fading 19, 1484 DR
The heroes make their way to the quarters of the captive dwarves. They move from room to room, letting the dwarves know the ocs below have been defeated. Though most of the dwarves wish to take up arms, they cannot disobey the will of their King.

Content Not Found: thord tells the heroes where to find the king’s quarters, and remains with the elves to convince the dwarves to act. While making their way towards the king, the heroes come upon a great hall with four vaults similar to the one they found below—having one iron coin, they can only open one safe, which runts out to be empty.

Content Not Found: baer-battlebeard_ is nearly crushed by a heavy stone door rigged to fall on anyone who pulls at it. Eventually the heroes find the king’s chamber, guarded by a wight. _Content Not Found: wong-3 quickly dispatches the undead creature, and they enter to meet the king.

King Korin, while younger than his late brother Derval, is quite old. Within minutes it becomes clear the dwarf has gone senile. Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne_ manages to coax a few lucid moments out of Korin. He claims that even with the Clotskull orcs defeated, a very much alive Content Not Found: arvik-zaltos_ is far to powerful. He reveals that the red wizard is searching for the hammer of Korins younger brother Derwin (who is also dead). When Content Not Found: oren-greythorne aks about the owls not being what they seem Korin claims to know nothing, but his attention is immediately pulled to the small golden chest hanging from a chain around his neck.

As Korin’s wits depart once more, the heroes trick him into handing over his necklace. Eventually they realize that if one says the “the owls are not what they seem” while holding the tiny chest, a real chest appears nearby. Inside this chest they find some bad ale, treasure, a few iron coins, and a mahical hammer made of cold-forged iron… presumably the very hammer Content Not Found: arvik-zaltos seeks.

The heroes head back tot he vault to open the other safes, finding ancient texts in one, and a bag of holding and some potions in another. Having no iron coin to open the last chest, Content Not Found: wong-3 attempts to pick the lock… which awakens four earth elementals who attack. Once the elementals are defeated, the exhausted heroes find the final vault contains gauntlets of ogre power.

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The Fall of Illfarn: Part 1
The Lower Halls

The Fading 19, 1484 DR
The party and their allies carefully make their way to the far side of the quarry outside the Ironaxe Halls. Though one of the elves is gravely wounded after a fall while rappelling down, the group eventually makes their way to the entrance of the dwarven halls.

Content Not Found: thord tells them that the Clotskull orcs control the lower level, while his people are held on the middle levels, and the red wizards control the uppermost level. Armed with the dwarf’s description of the layout, the party moves quietly inside, and battles orcs.

They find the halls to be in grievous disrepair, and on the verge of collapse. Thord explains that the red wizards have used magic to shore up the walls and prevent the whole thing from collapse.

Though their initial asault amnages to go unnoticed, eventually some of the orcs raise the alarm, drawing their leader—the ettin Harglevargle—and heavy reinforcements. In the end, the heroes stand victorious amongst piles of dead orcs, half-orcs, ogres, and an ettin.

In a chapel the heroes find an anvil the dwarves believed to bean artifact of Moradin, but what Content Not Found: oren-greythorne thinks is the resting place of the fire key. The anvil seems impenetrable, so they leave it for the time being.

Nearby, they discover Lump—Thord’s dimwitted half-ogre companion—sobbing over the loss of his pet rat (who was tuned to stone along with Content Not Found: darwa-dalion-1_). Content Not Found: wong-3_ finds another cave rat, and Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne convinces Lump it is his beloved pet.

The party ascends to tell the dwarves their liberation is at hand, and beseech them to take up arms.

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Interlude
Return to Daggerford

The Fading 11, 1484 DR
The weary adventurers collect the bodies of their fallen comrades, and then drag the stone form of Content Not Found: darwa-dalion-1_ to the chamber with the gas that can transmute stone to flesh. The red wizard is initially defiant, but soon becomes more subdued upon learning her mentor _Content Not Found: arvik-zaltos has been executed. They shackle her and make their way back to town.

The Fading 14, 1484 DR
Daggerford is a welcome sight after the ordeal in the crypts, and Darwa’s many attempts to escape. The party immediately hand her over to the law, and make their way to the Dragonback Inn. Dirty Bottom has begun restoring the in to its former “glory” and is clearly disappointed to see they have survived.

Suddenly a group of elvish bounty hunters burst in and arrest Content Not Found: jallal-duskwood_, stating that they have been tracking him for years to answer for his criminal misconduct with youngsters. A stunned _Content Not Found: wong-3 asks the others if he can remain at the inn while he decides what to do next.

The Fading 15, 1484 DR
In the morning Content Not Found: baer-battlebeard_ and Content Not Found: oren-greythorne_ take the bodies of their companions to the temple of Lathander. Content Not Found: luc-sunbright-1 agrees to return them to life for a healthy donation, misinforming them that it will take an entire day to prepare the rituals.

In all likelihood Grit and Lump took the earth key back to Mount Illefarn, and it is clear the red wizards believe the fire key is in the dwarven halls. Though he is eager to return home, the party convinces Content Not Found: thord to wait until they can accompany him.

The Fading 16, 1484 DR
The rest of the party is overjoyed to find Content Not Found: iblis-elko_ and _Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne alive again at the temple. Gregor has a renewed sense of purpose, and wants nothing more than to rid the land of the threat of the red wizards, but Iblis has decided her adventuring days are done.

Word has spread about the party’s latest adventure, and they are invited to dine with the Content Not Found: duke-maldwyn-daggerford-2 the next evening.

That night, the skies glow orange. The forest of the Laughing Hollow, near Mount Illefarn have caught fire.

The Fading 17, 1484 DR
At the ducal castle, the heroes dine with Content Not Found: duke-maldwyn-daggerford-2_, his sister _Content Not Found: lady-morwen-daggerford-2, and their old friend Sir Isteval. Isteval suggests the heroes visit Derval’s Smithy before they set out.

The Fading 18, 1484 DR
Derval it turns out was once the king of the dawrves of Mount Illefarn. It was he who bade his people abandon the halls, and it was his rebellious brother who returned and was ultimately overwhelmed by orcs. Just as he is about to reveal what he knows, the ancient dwarf dies.

A speak with dead ritual allows the party to learn a few cryptic things: They are directed to seek the elf king of the Laughing Hollow as an ally, and told the the “owls are not what they seem.”

That afternoon they set out for the mountain, passing worried farmers and scouts from Daggerford.

The Fading 19, 1484 DR
By the time they arrive, the fires have died down, and the forest is reduced to ash and cinders. The party battles some goblins scrounging in the burnt trees. Later, they find a bad of elves, who they convince to escort them to Alagarthas, prince of the elves.

Hearing their tale (and weary from searching for survivors), the prince and half his retinue agree to accompany the party to the mountain. By evening they reach the foot of the mountain and prepare to enter.

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Cursed Crypts of Ambergul: Part 4
Revenge!

The Fading 11, 1484 DR
The underground river takes the party steadily downward, until it deposits them in a long hallway. Though the river continues beyond, Content Not Found: wong-3 spies tracks leading down the hallway.

Through a doorway, they find a large chamber with six pools, each filled with a different type of liquid: silver liquid, a lavender liquid (that turns out to me a thin sheet of metal), ordinary water, boiling water, syrupy golden liquid, and opaque blue fluid. At the bottom of each pool, they find a treasure of some sort ranging from humble healing potions to a mighty magical staff.

A partially opened portcullis seems the most likely route, but it turns out to lead instead to a group of minotaurs who are roasting a member of Darwas’s band, the dwarf Content Not Found: thord. Once freed Thord explains the path their party took, revealing that his son Grit and the half-ogre Lump escaped with the earth key, likely bound for their home Mount Illefarn.

To leave the dungeon, they have but one final obstacle to face: The lich Alicia.

With Thord’s help, the party splits to take Alicia from two sides. After a pitched battle, the lich is defeated and the party takes down her mummies—including her latest acquisitions: Content Not Found: iblis-elko_ and _Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne.

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Cursed Crypts of Ambergul: Part 3
The Earth Altar

The Fading 11, 1484 DR
The party quickly defeats the medusa and her flesh golem guardian. They discover the remains of Olivine’s dead husbands in her chamber.

Beyond the heroes find a room full of figurines, among them a few of value. The room also contains two petrified trolls, who are reanimnated by a gas the turns stone to flesh. After defeating the troll, they find a secret passage, which eventually leads them to the altar dedicated to Ogremoch, the evil prince of elemental earth, and their quarry: Darwa Dalion.

The witch has been turned to stone. Nearby the altar lies in rubble, glowing with strange magical energy. There was no sign of the elemental key. Content Not Found: jallal-duskwood surmised the altar was trapped, and Darwa fell victim to is curse. The party continued on in hopes of finding the witch’s allies and the key.

They found the remains of one of the raiders in the next chamber—a long hall filled with light from artificial suns emblazoned on the doors. The corpse had been killed by a creature lurking above, which the party dispatched.

The trail then takes them to a chamber filled with gargoyles, and an other fallen member of Darwa’s party. After defeating the gargolyes, the only way out was through a flowing underground river.

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Cursed Crypts of Ambergul: Part 2
A Death in the Family

The Fading 4, 1484 DR
With the way out blocked, few options remain: They can either follow the secret passage Content Not Found: darwa-dalion-1 party took, or explore the other crypts. They find the crypts for Alicia and Olivine Amergul (neither of whom are interred there), and a passage shrouded in red mist.

Content Not Found: baer-battlebeard bravely steps through the mist, and discovers a tiny chamber with three stones bearing elemental symbols embedded into the wall. Suspecting the stones may unlock a secret door, the party attempts to activate them, eventually realizing that simply touching a stone, transports all int he chamber to a near identical chamber elsewhere in the dungeon.

Fearful of losing Darwa, the party decides to follow her rather than exploring the other parts of the dungeon. The choice is one they will come to regret.

The secret passage leads them to a large gallery. The secret door places them almost right next to a feminine figure draped in funeral wrappings—a lich! The lich, who they suspect to be Alicia Ambergul, demands to know who they are. For a moment the party is uncertain, but upon seeing four giant urns shuddering as if they are occupied, Content Not Found: iblis-elko breaks the stupor and acts. She hurls a flash of alchemist’s fire into one of the urns. When the urn falls over they realize it contains a now burning mummy. The other three urns topple over, revealing that they too are occupied with mummies.

Having no choice now, the party springs into action and attacks the undead horrors. Idris is surrounded by mummies, and knocked unconscious. The lich and one of the mummies teleport to the other side of the gallery, where she begins casting a cloudkill spell.

Baer and Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne_ attack the mummies, but as _Content Not Found: oren-greythorne prepares to heal Idris, he is attacked by an unseen enemy. He manages to cast faerie fire, revealing an invisible stalker.

Alicia’s cloudkill spell envelops the the party, and all but the dwarf fall. Sizing up the situation, Baer realizes he cannot save all of his friends—Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne_ is already dead, and _Content Not Found: iblis-elko, though still breathing, is just too far away, so he tosses the druid over his shoulder and races past the invisible stalker.

The stalker chases after the dwarf, and they trade blows as they race through the halls. Grievously wounded, Baer chooses to make one final stand instead of running, and slays the stalker. He dives into the red mist and teleports away. Unsure if the lich is still in pursuit, he pokes his head through the mist to see where he is… and he seeing a medusa lounging in a divan. Thankfully the creature was looking the other way. He tries another stone, and finds himself in a passage with a statue of a dragon which h suspects is a trap. Exhausted, he decides to just rest in the teleportation chamber.

The Fading 5, 1484 DR
When Oren awakes, Baer tells him the sad news that their companions are gone. The druid grieves for his nephew. Having gained no relief from their meager rest, Oren uses what healing magic he has, and the pair decide to attempt to flee the dungeon the way they came—Oren will shapechange into a weasel so he can squeeze past the block and then figure out a way to free Baer.

As it happens a pair of adventurers also seeking the bounty are attempting to push the block themselves. Oren decides to take a chance and reveals himself. The adventurers decide to assist the stranger, and push the block far enough to release Baer. The survivors head outside, and collapse.

The newcomers Content Not Found: jallal-duskwood_, an elven wizard, and _Content Not Found: wong-3, a monk from distant Shou Lung decide to watch over the pair if for no other reason than to learn what dangers await.

It turns out that even outside the dungeon, Baer and Oren can find no rest. Oren suspects the treasures they took from the crypts was cursed. Even putting the treasure back has no effect, so the exhausted pair have no choice but to return to Daggerford and hope one of the temples can lift the curse. The elf and the monk agree to accompany them back to town.

The Fading 8, 1484 DR
Back in town Content Not Found: luc-sunbright-1, the high priest of Lathander performs a ritual that ends the curse. After several days without sleep Baer and Oren return to the Dragonback Inn and collapse into bed.

The Fading 9, 1484 DR
Eager to settle the score, the pair ask if their new-found friends would like to accompany them back to the crypts to clear it out and hunt ton Darwa Dallion. Convinced the iron chain they found in her crypt is the lich’s phylactery, they get it melted down at one of the local smithies.

The Fading 11, 1484 DR
The four make their way back down into the crypts. Though Oren want to confront Alicia and exact some vengeance, Baer convinces him they shroud take one of the other paths in hopes of surprising the lich.

Suspecting the medusa is Olivine Amergul, the party decides to take her and her flesh golem servant on first. With a renewed sense of purpose, and the skills of their new friends, the group makes light work of Olivine and prepares to step through the next door…

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Cursed Crypts of Ambergul: Part 1
Tomb Robbing

The Fading 3, 1484 DR
The party arranges to travel south with a caravan bound for Baldur’s Gate. They spend the night at Liam’s Hold.

The Fading 4, 1484 DR
At mid-day, the heroes part company with the caravan, and follow the broken path toward the Ambergul estate. Along the way they are attacked by a group of goblins and bugbears lurking near a ruin, but the heroes manage to defeat the creatures.

As dusk approaches, the party comes to a graveyard – all that remains of the estate. Tracks indicate that a large group has recently been pillaging the crypts. They find a secret door in one of the crypts that leads to a chamber occupied by a pair of guard, one of whom turns of to be Arassan. The party convinces him to give up this job and return to Onya, though they have to incapacitate his companion first.

Arassan tells the party about the rest of the team, and points them to another secret door that leads to catacombs below. He expalins that the others are long overdue before he departs with Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne horse.

The heroes find the path blocked by a massive stone cube. With some effort they manage to push the block down the hall, revealing a side passage; due to the slope of the floor there is virtually no chance of moving the block back the other direction.

The side passage leads to a series of crypts of the Amergul family. In one they encounter the ghost of a deformed member of the family, who was bound to the mortal realm by four mirrors (constant reminders of his wretched appearance). After Sir Gregor is possessed, the other manage to release the ghost by destroying the mirrors.

In another crypt they find the desiccated corpses of two of the other tomb robbers, and the wraiths who killed them. Though victorious, the party is badly wounded, some suffering the life draining effects of the wraiths’ touch. When they make their way to the entry hall to make camp outside the tomb, they discover the block has been moved again, and their way out is blocked.

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Fane of the Sun Swallower: Part 5
Return to Daggerford

Highsun 4, 1484 DR
Exhausted from their battle with Thoss Furynen, the heroes made camp in the dragon’s lair.

Highsun 5, 1484 DR
The heroes explored the rest of the caverns, following the underground river back to the lizardfolk cave. Along the way they discovered a corrupted pool—the source of the disease that afflicted the tribe. They used the remaining statues, and discovered that the souls of the high priests within were tormented by the ordeal, so they destroyed them all.

Confident no further dangers awaited, the heroes took the day to inventory the dragon’s impressive treasure horde, and haul it out. After constructing a makeshift raft, they began the slow journey back to civilization.

Highsun 7, 1484 DR
The storms that had been pounding the swamps finally broke, but ti was replaced by terrible heat. Late in the day, the party happened upon a hydra sunning itself. The heroes managed to slay the beast, and track back to its lair, where they found still more treasure, including a magical adamantine greataxe: orcschlaten.

Not long after, they came across a group of soldiers from Cromm’s Hold, who escorted them out of the swamps.

Highsun 8, 1484 DR
Upon arriving at the keep, the party was reunited with Sir Isteval. The paladin reasoned that the water altar the dragon had and the air altar previously stolen from from Lord Floshin might have two siblings—one dedicated to fire and another to earth. Isteval was very concerned about the shapeshifter that joined the party in the guise of Content Not Found: maechen-1… it seemed to strike a cord of memory, but the knight would say no more of it. He agreed to return to Daggerford with the party before setting off for Waterdeep to research matters.

Highsun 9, 1484 DR
Upon returning to Daggerford, the party began spending their newfound wealth: Content Not Found: oren-greythorne_ and Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne_ commissioned armor from the hide of the dragon, while Content Not Found: baer-battlebeard and Content Not Found: iblis-elko negotiated with Old Dirty Bottom to purchase the Dragonback Inn.

Highsun 11, 1484 DR
Content Not Found: sir-gregor-greythorne set out for Greythorne Keep with his share of the treasure. While nowhere near what the family had lost, it would be enough to keep his father from ruin.

Highsun 24, 1484 DR
Gregor returned to find his companions hard at work on restoring the inn (all the while enduring Dirty Bottom’s criticism, since his permanent residence was part of the bargain). The group discussed their options for locating the other altars, but there were so many ruins around the countryside, there was no clear idea where to start.

Highsun 28, 1484 DR
In an effort to get rid of the multitudinous hogsheads of swill in the cellar and promote the new and improved Dragonback, Iblis and Baer opened the taproom with promises of free beer (the swill and samples of Baer’s latest brew).

Outside, a pair of guirdsment were nailing up a wanted poster—one of them turned out to be the real Content Not Found: maechen-1_, who was horrified to learn an imposter had sullied her good name. The notice posted a 1,000 gold piece bounty for of an associate of the late Content Not Found: arvik-zaltos_: a woman named Content Not Found: darwa-dalion-1.

The Fading 1, 1484 DR
While wandering through the stalls of the market, the heroes are drawn to a puppet show which depicts an inaccurate but humorous version of their adventure against the dragon. After the show, a young pregnant woman approaches them, and asks that they meet her in the shadow of Delfen’s Tower at dusk.

The woman, Onya, tells them that the father of her child has fallen in with a bad crowd. Arassan set off to plunder some ruin near Cromm’s Hold, and hasn’t been seen since. When she saw the wanted poster for Content Not Found: darwa-dalion-1, she recognized the woman as a friend of her lover. She fears he has become embroiled in some dark plot, and begs the heroes to find him.

After she leaves, the party is teleported inside the tower, where Delfen admits to hearing their conversation (despite the local rumor that conversations in the shadow of his tower cannot be observed). The wizard tells the heroes that long ago corrupt Netherese nobles int he area took to the worship of Elemental Evil. Having followed recent events with interest, Delfen believes the altars recently stolen are tied to this ancient cult.

He believes the long dead Ambergul family was part of this cult, and it just so happens the ruins of their estates seem to fit the description of where young Onya’s lover planned to plunder. He suggests the party should check it out, and offers them a book about the Red Wizards and a wand of secret door detection.

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