After a four week hiatus from Dragons, we gathered once again at the usual time and place. All were in attendance except Brokk. I provided some caribou and lamb vindaloo, along with indian rice, saag paneer and naan. All were satiated. We sat down to work and began to grapple with the task at hand – the killing or serious wounding or Arauthator.
One thing everyone agreed upon at the beginning of the evening. There was no way anyone was going to descend into the lowest level of the caverns to face the dragon in that large open space. That would be suicide. There was one other thing everyone agreed upon – Terredon was the only one who really had nothing to worry about. He had several options for a complete and safe escape.
A variety of conversations ensued entertaining all manner of potential strategies. Finally, the group settled upon trying to draw Arauthator up into the smaller more confined passages of the second level. The treasure was threatened… and then some of the pages and books from “the library” were threatened to be burned… finally Arauthator was tempted to speak.
“Burn what you want, destroy what you will… there is no escape for you. I am patient beyond your knowing and sooner or later, you will come down and then you will die…. If you think destroying a few of my trinkets from this one far flung little resting place will be sufficient to cause me to give you any kind of opportunity or advantage – you are mistaken…”
Back to the drawing board.
Himo or was it Terredon…or maybe it was Garr…or Valeriya…Tan Meng? someone went etherial and travelled throughout the lower chambers looking to see what was there…looking for the dragon and looking to discover the layout of the lowest chambers. … After thorough mapping and exploration – that place is huge – it was re-decided that going down there was off the table.
Himo probed the route to the surface, and found it sealed with ice to a great depth.
A variety of options were reconsidered. Hit points were re-evaluated. Spells calculated. Arrows of dragon slaying, healing potions and resistance potions and scrolls inventoried. Inventories were scoured for some possible piece of missing gear that might yield answers. There was nothing. Nothing seemed to offer a way forward besides descending.
The trap was complete. There was no way out but down. They must face Arauthator in his lair.
That decided, the team set to work. Garr was lowered down the library shaft by rope. Some sort of spell like effect triggered and he was slammed about in a whirlwind and blasted by magical frost before being hastily pulled to the surface once again. The same was tried with Valeriya to the safe effect only at a lower depth. And again. Finally, after several more tries and some debate (amongst characters and between Valeriya and her sword, Hazirawn), the shaft was deemed clear. Spikes were hammered, ropes thrown down the steep icy slope.
Our heroes descended into the lair of Arauthator to fight or be killed.
It happened quickly. Terredon, Valeriya and Raynard hit the floor. Seconds later they could hear the dragon coming. Himo and Brokk were right after, followed by Garr and Tan Meng. Valeriya and Raynard had a great plan which involved a readied action and Raynard casting Dimension Door. As soon as Arauthator swung into sight, Raynard cast and both were in the air and falling over and onto the dragon.
Valeriya swung first and hit hard as she fell through. Then Himo and Brokk opened with arrows. Himo let fly with two arrows of dragon slaying. One of those hit home and Arauthator screamed in rage as he breathed deadly ice and whirled for another pass.
The battle was fierce and fast. Ice trolls climbed from the fog to rake at Terredon and Brokk. Kobolds found Raynard who had used Misty Step to safely land outside the main fray. Arauthator breathed again as another round of fire hammered home on the great winged beast. Raynard ignored the kobolds and Terredon ignored the trolls as they hammered on him – all focussed fire on Arauthator.
As irony would have it, the one who had nothing to worry about, the one who could escape at any time, Terredon was the first to fall. He fell from the trolls but also from icy breath.
But within three rounds, Arauthator was badly battered and though still flying, smoldered and bled from many wounds. As a parting shot – a fireball hammered home and engulfed our gathering of heroes, felling Brokk and dropping Terredon into the realm of death.
Luckily, Tan Meng was able to call upon the blessings of Chauntea and used the miracle of Revivify to keep Terredon from falling from this world.
The dragon, Arauthator, cursing and promising revenge, departed.
All was quiet.