Sunday, April 5, 2020

The House of the Dragon

The House of the Dragon
As quarantine continues, a new online D&D game set in Ravenloft begins.

The Characters
Tekla Vardagen, half-elf warlock
13 Shattered Mirrors, tabaxi warlock
Tank Orkerson, half-orc fighter
Gnagar the Bloody, kobold monk
Al', drow cleric

The characters were traveling as part of a religious pilgrimage when a strange, impenetrable fog began to seep from the land itself. They soon found themselves separated from their traveling companions in the caravan. They emerged from the mists to find themselves leaving a forest of white birch trees, a manor house sounded by broken stone walls standing in the distance.

Some fortuitous scouting of the maze of ruined walls by Gnargar uncovered that a man wearing an unusual metal gauntlet seemed to be using said gauntlet to guide a mechanical bird of prey down toward the party. A well-placed spell from Al' quickly caused the man to surrender. He revealed that he had thought it best to kill the party before they went into the house because the house belonged to a cult looking to end the world--and that one of the party was the intended sacrifice to cause the apocalypse.

Unafraid of the potential consequences, and frankly judging the previous party that were murdered while attempting to explore the house as "weak," the party ventured into the manor. The interior was all ornate wallpapers and sliding shoji doors. By observing a series of paintings throughout the house, the party gleaned that the owners were an imperious, sword-wielding woman with an eye patch and a man with curly gray hair, a beard, and whose hand had mutated into a reptilian claw.

They discovered a letter to the mistress of the house, Lady Noriko Sato, that rebuked her for an impious suggestion that her dragon goddess, the Five-Headed Empress, could be the key to winning the civil war currently being waged across the land. The letter was signed by Lord Yami Shinpi.

When no stairway to the attic was obvious, Shattered Mirrors exited a window on the third floor, and took to the roof to gain access for the party. Ghosts were encountered. First the specters of the couple's children, Akira and Makoto, told the party that they had been killed by their parents as sacrifices meant to make the Five-Headed Empress manifest in the world. (The ritual failed.) They also encountered the ghost of the children's nanny, who was murdered for resisting the children's sacrifice.

The also encountered a man in a sack known as the Apostate. His body contorted and split; three dragon-like beasts emerged from his body to attempt to devour the party. He was dealt with violently.

Down in the caverns below the house, the party discovered a ritual chamber. When Tekla placed a creepy doll with the head of a dragon onto the altar's surface, five stone dragon heads erupted from the floor, forming a kind of cradle around the altar. Lady Noriko Sato, her husband Guiseppe Sato, and two cultists wearing dragon masks emerged from the walls. Noriko pointed one of her swords at Gnargar and proclaimed that he was the sacrifice that would release the Five-Headed Empress from Hell!

Lady Noriko was the first to be taken out; Tank chopped off one of her arms, then let the momentum carry him forward to behead her as well--she was a veritable chanbara fountain of blood. Guiseppe fell next, then the two masked thugs. With the ritual disrupted, the caverns began to shake--the house was going to collapse. After a frantic run down a tunnel, Tank was able to push open a partially buried trapdoor that opened up some distance from the house. They exited just in time to see the House of the Dragon collapse in upon itself.

As they watched the dust settle, a carriage shrouded in funereal black emerged from the mists near the forest. It stopped near them, the carriage door slowly creaked open, and...we left it there.