Monday, June 5, 2017

Dragonslaying in Swampy Majere

Campaign: The Situational Heroes (Scarabae 5e D&D)

Edmund Folderol, wood elf hunter ranger (background: outlander). Edmund Folderol says nothing about his past because he is super paranoid for reasons we don't yet understand.

Jester, hill dwarf thief rogue (background: entertainer). Jester is a renowned juggler who can't help but steal things. Bit of a klepto, really.

Grayson, dragonborn battle master fighter (background: mercenary). Grayson is the disgraced son of a famous family of dragonborn mercenary captains; daddy issues.

Miranda Lowe, air genasi storm sorcerer (background: noble). Miranda is a noblewoman from a far-off country. She's on the run from something, but she doesn't want to talk about it.

Mulga, half-orc valor bard (background: acolyte). Mulga believes that the world would be better if we all joined in a drum circle and really felt the cosmic connection, maaaaaan.

Pharasmos the Abjurer, human abjurer wizard (background: criminal). Pharasmos insists that he is not an arsonist; rather, his experiments just get "out of hand," sometimes.

Now that the party had acquired half a map from a murder brothel and half a map from an evil fey sorceress, they used the ship they stole from a pirate to sail upriver to Swampy Majere, a basin of hellish bog at the center of Lapin Island.

The journey to the treasure was punctuated by hit-and-run guerrilla warfare on the part of a tribe of crocodilefolk in league with the treasure's owner. One ambush in particular was so fierce that the crew had to veer off-route and take refuge in a cave to heal-up and recover. "Crocs are no joke," says Jester Jones.

The crew discovers why Edmund Folderol is paranoid, jumps at every sound, and is constantly on the look out for inevitable betrayal: he owes a great deal of money to the crocodilefolk clans on the island and they've put a hit out on him. This is the explanation for why he joined this adventuring party of crypt-kickers on Lapin Island: he had hopes that he would be either able to make enough money to pay his debts or maybe just end up in a position to help slaughter off the people he owes money to. 

The party also learns that Miranda had been holding back some information about the treasure they're seeking in Swampy Majere: it's already the property of a dragon. Would have been nice to know that ahead of time, Miranda. "I play by my own rules," states Miranda as she shrugs. When pressed on this, she reveals that the reason why she is pursuing this adventure is in hope of getting enough of the dragon's hoard to replenish her noble family's squandered treasury.

Health restored and morale lacking, the crew presses on through the boggy terrain. More crocodilemen are fought, but luck is on the crew's side throughout the day. Eventually they arrive at a sinkhole marked with an X on their map. Rappelling down into the sink, everything is far too quiet. Bound by chains within the dragon's lair is a halfling man named Otto Bellringer. Jester recognizes Otto, as the halfling is his great rival in the local juggling circuit. Before releasing him, Jester makes Otto admit that he stole crucial parts of his act and will admit so in public. Sweet comeuppance is short-lived as...

The dragon, all black-scaled and hideous, emerges from the murk and has a mind to parlay. He tries to convince Grayson, a dragonborn, that it is totally racist for him to side with elves, dwarves, genasi, men, half-orcs against a dragon--where's the solidarity with this people? Grayson is unmoved by this patter and reveals part of his own backstory: he is an adventurer because he disgraced himself in front of his warrior father by fleeing in terror from a dragon he faced as part of his dad's mercenary company. Now it's time to conquer that fear and swallow that shame.

The party spreads out to minimize damage from the dragon's acidic breath. Jester, Grayson, and Mulga take the dragon on directly, while Edmund, Miranda, and Pharasmos pepper his hide with arrows and blasts of magic. Mulga sings a crazed song about dragonslaying; her song reveal that her deepest-seated desire is for her friends to convert to her religion of cosmic oneness. She is bitten in twain by the dragon before any of her friends can consider their place in the cosmic unity. Thus always to hippies. 

Jester delivers the killing blow. Who knew a dwarf could look so graceful sailing through the air like that?

The dragon's hoard is duly looted and loaded upon the ship. Pharasmos tells his compatriots that he has been eager to get his gambling enterprise underway because he burned down his friend's gambling hall and this is to be a present to repair their soured friendship. The party, now wealthy enough to retire if they so choose, sails away from Lapin Island. Roll credits!