This adventure log will contain spoilers for the D&D 5th edition Tyranny of Dragons adventure, Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Ye’ve been warned!
The second trip to the box canyon where the cultists and raiders set up camp was much less perilous. When our heroes arrived, they found the camp all but abandoned. After talking with some surly hunters, they learned that the big cave in the back was still occupied by the Wearer of Purple, the dragon-dogs and the dragon-man. As they approached the cave, they took note of how hastily-abandoned the camp seemed; a result, they supposed, of the recent prisoner rescue.
A not-quite-steathy approach to the cave meant our heroes were ambushed once they stepped inside, but they dealt with the cult’s Dragonclaws in short order. There were several passages out of the entry cavern. One was a fungus-choked passage with two trails leading through the fungus. Reconnaissance revealed the presence of kobolds and ambush drakes on the other side and the Heroes of Greenest led the kobolds toward them, ambushing them amongst the fungi. They set traps along the path and threw the corpses of the Dragonclaws and kobolds to the violet fungi in the passage. It seemed to deter the ambush drakes from pursuing.
Instead of navigating the deadly fungus and confronting the drakes, the heroes decided to investigate side passages first. They found the abandoned treasury where the raiders’ ill-gotten spoilers were kept, now empty saved for a sleeping, drunken cultist. They dealt with him and scavenged for leftover treasure. What they found was paltry compared to what was stolen.
The next chamber they investigated turned out to be a barracks of sorts for the remaining cultists. Judicious use of a sleep spell dealt with most of them, but a few resisted the spell. During the fight, from a connecting room, came an incantation from the Wearer of Purple. One of the leaders of the cultists joined the fray, dealing grievous wounds with her halberd, but in the end, she fell to the combined skills of the Heroes of Greenest.
Upon searching her chambers, they found a stack of papers. Most of them seemed to be poetry about dragons, but one was clearly a ledger of sorts and one was a map that seemed to show the cult’s targets. Interpreting the unlabeled columns of numbers would have to wait, as a hole was discovered in the floor of the chamber underneath a rug. Dropping a light down the hole elicited cries of alarm. The heroes of Greenest prepared to lower themselves down and do battle….
It was a good session, though a little slow-paced due to Christmas-related distractions. We were short one player due to illness, and frankly, I’m surprised we were short more. My wife got the flu right before Christmas and it put her down most of the two weeks I took off work. It’s a miracle I didn’t contract it while being home with her the whole time. Lots of Vitamin C, zinc (probably too much zinc… gotta watch that stuff), and hand sanitizer. Or maybe it was all the Christmas cookies I ate. Or both.
I spent several hours during my time off setting up that Dwarven Forge stuff, naturally, they chose the path that lead right to the section I didn’t have mapped out. I may switch to a different media for the map next session, though, the rest of the caverns are really hard to render even close to accurately (lots of long, curvy walls, few sharp angles).
Dwarven Forge works best when you base your map on what you have built already, rather than trying to build what someone else has drawn (unless they stick to squared-off rooms). It definitely adds a “wow factor” to the table, though.