The late afternoon sun shone brightly through gently stirring leaves with a warm glorious light. I brought a crock pot full of pulled pork, buns, cole slaw, and condiments. All gathered for the first time around the new table. Impressive. A great sheet of maple on powered legs that allows us to stand and play at will. No doubt, great deeds will be done and great stories will be shared around this altar.
We were missing Brokk and Himo. After a moment of silence for our lost comrades, we picked up where we left off before.
Our heroes were on their way – mid flight – back to Baldur’s Gate. Terredon, elven druid of the moon, flew in the form of a great eagle. The rest of our adventurers were lost in the trans-dimensional nether realm inside the mirror of life stealing. While flying through the night sky, two sendings arrived. One was sent to Terredon by King Melandrach of the Elves, the other by Lady Haventree to Valeriya was sent across time and space at some point during the 6 hour flight.
Lady Haventree sent: The council changes. Lady Silverhand now Open Lord of Waterdeep and Council Chair. New council finds Frostskimmer news challenging. Writ support in balance. Varram captured?
Discussion ensued. Terredon flew onward to Baldur’s Gate. On landing and releasing his comrades from the mirror, all learned of the message from Haventree and in-game actions caught up with the discussion at the table.
Neronvain was in the Misty Forest. A green dragon was likely there as well. Varram had to be taken to the Council at Waterdeep. The group arranged for one of Haventree’s people to escort Varram to Waterdeep, but on his arrival, they changed their minds. After a bit of a rest, all made the journey to Waterdeep courtesy of the help from the wizard, Habakuk.
At Haventree’s, Varram was released from the Mirror and just as he began to tell his tale, who should appear at the door but Melandrach and his escort. After some discussion with the high king in Haventree’s parlor, all agreed that they’d depart for the Misty Forest after meeting with the Council the following day. Melandrach departed and attentions returned to Varram the White.
Varram, convinced that he’s already a dead dwarf if ever caught again by the minions of Severin and the Cult of the Dragon, spilled his guts in hopes of saving his head. The white dragon mask has been stolen, possibly by a member of the Zhentarim. Varram was trying to determine its location when he was captured by the Yuan Ti. Dragons are gathering at the Well of Dragons. Severin is likely there with most or all of the remaining Wearers of the Purple and their Dragon Helms.
Varram spilled these details that night, and again the following morning to the Council of Waterdeep. Our heroes witnessed Lord Dagult Neverember, now deposed as chair of the Council, seated at the left hand of Lady Laerel Silverhand, one of the Seven Sisters and a legendary nigh-immortal figure known to have been blessed by Mystra – or even rumored to be one of her daughters. Lady SIlverhand presided over the Council with attentiveness to each voice and opinion – and was first to congratulate our heroes on their success in capturing Varram the White alive. Melandrach was visibly impatient for our heroes to depart.
When Varram’s interrogation finally ended, and a few private conversations and details were attended to, our heroes once again placed themselves in the mirror and Terredon transformed into a great eagle and headed out and away for The Misty Forest.
Hours later he touched down at the edge of the great mist. Giant trees loomed ahead and around a small stream sliding through the green mossy floor of the dense forest. They set off for the village of Altand at the suggestion of Melandrach. Some few survivors of the attack supposedly lived in Altand and may have information of the Dragon and of Neronvain.
As shadows deepened and the forest darkened, our heroes came to a great fallen sky-bridge and soon, the smell of death was apparent. Corpses of men, women, and children still lay here and there, crushed and dismembered in the great catastrophe. Silent figures came from the gloom and surrounded our heroes. Clearly traumatized, these survivors were pawing through the fallen ruins, trying to collect their dead and put their village back together. Some began to recount the attack – the dragon in the air, its rider, and green armored murderers attacking on the ground. Finally, their leader Warden Galin spoke up and welcomed the travelers. He offered accommodations against the dark and some dinner and a drink.
The party ascended one of the great trees to a high apartment. Conversations ensued. Some sensed there was more to the situation than appeared. The issue was pressed and Galin left, offended. After some conversation amongst our heroes, they pursued him and interrogated him further. Finally, Galin broke under Valeriya’s stern questions accompanied by warm compassion. His own wife and daughters were slain by the beast. In a moment during the slaughter, the rider of the dragon stood tall in the stirrups and offered to spare the remnants if Galin would offer some information – information about other villages of elves in the Misty Forest.
Valeriya and others counseled Galin in his grief. They learned from the Warden the likely direction of the dragon’s lair, and that dragon and rider were always wet and often covered by great strands of hanging algae or moss. Our heroes said they’d depart in the morning for the dragon and the lair of the cult – but departed as soon as night allowed for their secret passage.
All entered the mirror once again and Terredon flew through the forest on the trail of the soldiers in the form of a great owl. Weaving among the trees in the darkness for a while, following the stream’s channel, he suddenly realized he was not alone. Another, much smaller owl was shadowing him. He perched on a limb and the other owl did likewise, only to transform into a beautiful young woman who carried centuries of wisdom in her face. She seemed to know where Terredon was heading and wished him well in his attempt – weaving for him a lay of delicate blossoms from her hair. She was of the fey, and sought an end to the darkness that Chuuth had brought to the forest, her home.
Terredon resumed his flight deeper into the mists and soon came to an area where webs laced the trees and a green mist hung on the forest floor. Close to the lair of the great beast, he released everyone from the mirror and all discussed how best to proceed. After much debate, everyone re-entered the mirror and Terredon assumed the form of a giant octopus and worked his way up the creek toward the roar of a waterfall somewhere ahead.
Looking up through the waters, he saw many great spiders and ettercaps waiting and watching in the trees. He emerged into a large pool and beheld a great falls at the far side. There was no clear cavern or entrance path around the pool, so he began to climb, as only a giant octopus can, up the falls. Forty feet up the face he came to an opening into the hillside. He crept inside.
In the great cavern beyond the falls he first noticed a couple of elves, unarmed, and dressed poorly or in mouldering rags. Beyond them, above, from a ceiling hung with curtains of green dripping algae, hung the wings of the great beast itself. Chuuth. Everyone wanted to spring immediately to the attack – but there was no safe place for Terredon to transform. It would take several rounds to retrieve everyone from the mirror.
Terredon quietly slithered out of the chamber and up the falls further, to the top, where the creek tumbled down a slope before falling to the pool below. There he removed everyone from the mirror and all began to ready themselves and set ropes for an attack on the beast below.
Seconds later, however, a great splashing roar was heard from below and Chuuth rose to the attack. Instantly, Raynard the Warlock, Garr the Dwarven Fighter and Tan Meng, Cleric of Chauntea were stricken with fear. The great beast breathed stinging poison gas over all and the great fight was on!
Chuuth hung its great corpulent mass at the edge of the falls, breathing and buffeting our heroes, biting and clawing – but our heroes bit back. Raynard savagely rebuked the great beast twice, and twice it was wrapped in flaming chains of pain! Valeriya nailed the creature as well with several savage blows. Everyone took their shot and finally, the onslaught was too much for it to bear – it fled below and through the falls.
But Valeriya’s blade was wet with dragon blood- she could not pause. After securing her rope, she leapt down the falls in pursuit. She crashed into the great chamber only to find the beast standing just within, waiting for her arrival. The fight was joined again and Terredon was behind her. Raynard and Tan Meng could not bear to approach due to their fear of the beast. Garr began to slowly work his way down the falls. Dragon cultists appeared from down the cavern and fired their deadly shafts into Terredon and Valeriya. Terredon touched the creature with Contagion, and Chuuth began to bleed and shudder. Valeryia stroke again with her blade. Now Garr appeared, slashing his bardiche with dwarven fury. Terredon struck with Moon fire, and the beast was paralyzed in its diseased state, bleeding from every wound profusely.
Chuuth rose up and gave a giant buffeting attack, knocking Valeriya back into the falls out of the cavern to fall into the pools below – but her armor of swimming helped her. Garr’s bardiche bit home. Chuuth was locked, unable to retreat, it lashed out at Terredon again and again, but the druid returned as much.
Suddenly, with a great final blow, Terredon brought the beast down in a heap of green scales, armored plates, wet algae and thick green hide…and blood. Blood everywhere. The green cultists howled with rage and hatred – and fought on.
Terredon dropped a wall of fire among the dragon cultists. Several fell to the ground flaming. Finally Raynard was able to enter the chamber. One cultist champion strode through Terredon’s flames to attack, but Raynard hammered him with eldritch blast. Eldritch flames seared the champion and threw him back into Terredon’s flames. Badly burned, he stood for another few moments, but died screaming, “Tiamat – I come to you!” Ettercaps appeared from a secret side hallway to join the fray, only to begin to die under the willful force of our heroes.
One remaining cultist fled, the rest died in fierce battle with all our heroes pulling their weight. Blood was everywhere and on everyone. Everyone was injured. Garr fell at one point. Tan Meng brought him up.
Finally, all was still.
The dragon’s bloated belly and leathery wings lolled in the hallway among the corpses of dead and burned cultists, and slaughtered ettercaps.
Our heroes slipped quickly from the chamber and through the ettercap secret entrance. Except Garr – who thoughtfully went back to the surface to secure and retrieve the mirror. As the rest of our party pushed deeper into the tunnels, they began to find more ettercaps and to fight again. Raynard blasted one with eldritch fire.
In the hall outside, voices. Two great ettins talked among themselves as they explored all the previous commotion at the entrance to the cavern. Our heroes pushed deeper, away from the ettins and through more ettercaps.
Garr, however, came down the waterfall just in time to peek through the falls and see the two giants – and his friends were nowhere. He retreated back up the falls. A short way up, he turned to look down. There, a single elf figure leaped through the falls and dove into the pool far below. Garr made for the top of the falls to get a hand free and perhaps an arrow – but the pool was obscured in myst and darkness – there he waited.
Meanwhile, our heroes decided the ettins could not be ignored – and another great battle was joined among previously fallen corpses and near the great dead dragon. Back and forth it raged – but they were no match for our heroes who eventually, clove them down. Quiet settled again.
Terredon went to find Garr, who recounted the story of the departing elf.
And that is where we called it for the night. That is where we shall soon return.
Was that Neronvain? Can he be caught? Is it worth pushing deeper into the lair of Chuuth? The felling of Chuuth – The Green Assassin – is an historic and mighty deed. Its head would adorn the gates at any city with wonder and spectacle – and for those who carry it – glory.