Last Time on Dorngeons and Dorgans! After placing an elaborate trap the crew ambushed a group of orcs who had been terrorizing the region. They scuffled for a bit until the orcs were defeated. Their mission complete they returned to town to rest and restock. Ready to go, the group set out for Thundertree, a ruined frontier town on the edge of the Neverwinter Wood. They stumbled their way through town in search of loot, encountering a number of angry shrubs along the way. Eventually the trio came to a strange house that appeared untouched by the cataclysm that had rocked the rest of the town. Trepidatiously, they knocked on the door, and waited with anticipation to see who…or what… would answer.
Carlos, Atlas, and Cinnamon stood frozen. They dared not move for fear of what wretched beast or wicked sorcerer lay in wait on the other side of the door. Of course it was their own fault. I mean, who just knocks on random doors they find in the wild. The silence was suddenly broken as the door flung open. A small elderly man wearing simple brown ropes emerged from the darkness.
“Get in here you fools!” he angrily whispered.
Before the trio could fully realize what was happening, they were being dragged inside, and the door slammed shut behind them.
“Are you daft? What are you on about rummaging through old ruins? You could have awoken the dragon!”
Stepping forward Atlas said, “Um…excuse me, but did you say there was a Dragon here?”
“Oh, yes. I suppose you mighty adventurers believer you have what it takes to fight a dragon. Well I’ll tell you I seen a lot of damn fools running in, thinking they got what it takes. You know what you are? Mince Meat! Bantha Fodder! Why it’s a miracle those Cultists haven’t gotten eaten by now, you surely stand no chance.”
Carlos decided to chime in, “Boy, aren’t you just full of exposition! Mind telling us who these cultists are, and mayhaps where we can find them?”
“All the better! You can go get yourselves killed together! Well the cultists are on the other side of town, over by the old smithy. They set up shop in one of them cottages not two months ago, and they’ve been a thorn in my side ever since. Why it’s a surprise they haven’t found me yet. But of course they don’t call me the Grand Druid of Altermacht for nothing!”
It was at this point that Carlos realized they might be talking to someone important and that it might be a good idea to get on their good side. “I must apologize,” Carlos began, in his most stately voice, “we have barged into your home, and caused you great disturbance, without so much as an introduction. My name is Cloak-Cheval Sir Carlos Luck, son of Andrew, and my companions are Cinnamon The Ghost of the Amber Forest, and Atlas Steve Rogers. We journey to find Wave Echo Cave, and the Lost Mine of Phandelver and reclaim the forge of souls for the Rockseer brothers. We also seek the location of Cragmaw castle so that we may rid this land of the scourge those fiendish goblins have wrought.”
“Thank you,” the old man replied trepidatiously, “that was…long, but informative. I am Reidroth, the Druid. I have spent many seasons traveling this land, and studying nature. There is nary a stone of whose location I do not know. I am familiar with this ‘Cragmaw Castle’, and with its nasty inhabitants. Please, show me thine map, so that I may mark its location for you”.
After a quick fumble to figure out which one of them had the map, they showed it to Reidroth who marked the location of Cragmaw Castle. It was back down south where The High Road met the Triboar Trail.
“Now as for the location of Wave Echo Cave.” Reidroth paused for dramatic tension. “I know of it’s location, but I cannot give it to you freely. If I am to continue my studies in this area the dragon lurking in this town must be dealt with. I am too old and frail to fight it with any success. Perhaps is fortuitous that you three should have arrived. If you can slay the dragon, I would be happy to share with you the cave’s location.”
Atlas turned to look at the other two. “Weeeeeell, that’s not happening.”
Carlos said in reply, “No I think we can do it, we just need to train some more.”
“Dude, we can’t fight a Dragon.”
Cinnamon chimed in, “Yeah, I’m with Atlas, that thing is gonna kick our asses.”
“But think of the experience!”
Atlas, thinking like a dungeon master said, “Look there’s probably something in Cragmaw Castle that will lead us to the cave. Let’s had there, finish that quest, then if we’re good and ready we can come back up here and fight the dragon before heading to Wave Echo Cave.”
Begrudgingly, Carlos agreed. And so they said their goodbyes, thanked Reidroth for his assistance, and set out to explore the rest of Thundertree. They spent the next hour or so going door to door searching old cottages, and ruined shops. They didn’t find much besides some more angry shrubs and the odd zombie. Altogether it was relaxing affair, if a bit boring. They didn’t find much loot, except for an old heirloom.
As they were walking past a ruined shop they noticed an old overgrown trail winding it’s way up a hill to the north. Atop that hill sat an old tower. Tired of searching more blasted cottages, the crew decided to take a peek.
As they were walking up the trail enjoying the nice summer sun, they were suddenly ambushed by two giant spider. And let me tell you, if you thought normal spiders were gross, I can assure you, they are much grosser in giant form. The one of the spiders shot out a barrage of massive globs of steamy white webbing. The globs hit Atlas and Cinnamon, ensnaring them. As the duo struggled to get free, Carlos was attacked by the other spider. It’s massive fangs sunk themselves into his flesh, releasing a potent toxin, poisoning Carlos.
After brief struggle, Cinnamon managed to break out of the webbing. He immediately picked up a nearby rock and cast Light on it. The rock began to glow with a piercing white light. Upon seeing it the Spiders immediately recoiled, attempting to cover their many eyes with their gross legs. As the Spiders were stunned, Atlas managed to free himself enough to fire an arrow. It soared through the air, striking one of the spiders in the eye…or I guess ‘an eye’. Agitated by his blinding light the other spider lunged towards Cinnamon biting him with all it’s might. It was a powerful blow, but Cinnamon was a powerful Cleric (still is I suppose- oops, spoilers). Calling upon Earths, his divine protector, Cinnamon unleashed a blast of healing energy. It was enough to rally Atlas and Carlos. Together the two charged the spiders with their blades, felling them both.
With the battle finished they decided to continue their way up the hill, albeit this time more carefully. They soon arrived at the top. There stood a small cottage with a large tower attached to it. At the base of the tower lay the corpses of two more giant spiders. The bodies looked burned and blistered, there were large claw marks running down the length of each. Peering up at the tower they noticed a large hole, let’s call it, a dragon sized hole. And so they decided to turn around and head back down the hill…quickly.
Once the group was sure that they were a safe distance from what Atlas referred to as “the scary place,” they resumed their insatiable search for loot. Again, this is a ruined frontier town, there’s not much to be found. Anyways, after wasting some more time searching cottages, and fighting a few more useless shrubs, they decided it was finally time to go after the cultists. Trying extra hard to be sneaky, they pranced over to the cottage on the far side of town, across from the old smithy, just like Reidroth said.
They came upon a small one room cottage buried in the brush, but still intact.The windows were boarded up, and the door appeared to be reinforced. Not completely sure what to do, they begin to bicker over their next steps. Finally, tired of waiting, Cinnamon runs head long into the door in an attempt to break it down. It didn’t work though, and he fell into an embarrassed lump on the ground. While cinnamon regained his bearings, Atlas began pouring highly flammable oil around the front door in case they need to spring a trap.
After pissing about for far too long, Carlos backed up and gave the door a nice hard shove. It burst open, and the trio ran inside weapons drawn. Inside they found six men clad in long black robes and wearing ornate metal helmets. Upon seeing the three barge int the leader of the men burst forward his hands raised in surrender.
“Please! Please! We mean no harm! Lower your weapons please! We’re unarmed!”
Begrudgingly, they comply. The trio was incredibly suspicious of strangers, and especially so-called cultists.
“Please sit, there is no need for violence. Let us settle our differences so that each my be on their way.”
The trio did as such so as not to raise the cultists’ ire. Carlos, believing himself the leader of the group began, “Who are you and why are you here?”
“My name is Faveric,” the leader replied, “And why are any of us here? We seek the same thing you do. Only, we have no desire for earthly riches, what we seek is far more valuable.”
Something about this guy didn’t sit right with Atlas. He had known a lot of sleazy characters in his time, himself one of them! But this Faveric guy, something about him smelled sleazy with a side of cheese. “Cut the crap, something’s going on here and I want to know about it!” he yelled slamming his fist on the table.
“Please young Trifling, as I’ve said before, there is no need for hostility. Let us be civil. Perhaps I should be more precise. We are scholars, all of us. We have traveled for many seasons in search of knowledge. Lately our studies have brought us to this town in search of a Green Dragon. We believe he possesses great knowledge and we wish to commune with him in order to retrieve it. Does that satisfy you?”
Atlas scoffed, he’d had enough of this Faveric. He rose from the table and stormed out of the cottage. That room was ripe for an ambush he thought, best not be caught up in it. In order to confirm his suspicions he went in search of traps. He walked the perimeter of the cottage several times, but was unable to find anything suspicious.
He returned to the cottage. Inside Cinnamon and Carlos were still discussing the cultists’ intentions.
“Everything alright?” Faveric asked upon seeing Atlas enter.
Atlas stood silent and locked eyes with Carlos. They exchanged a quiet nod before returning to the conversation.
“Were glad to see that your intentions do appear benign,” said Carlos. “We ourselves share an interest in the dragon that lives here. As such we find your offer to commune with the dragon together very gracious, we’re going to have to decline.” As he finished Carlos struck up a mischievous grin.
Suddenly Carlos jumped up, flipping the table and sending its contents flying towards Faveric and the other cultists. Atlas sprinted forward, brandishing his dagger. He leaped over the fallen table, landing squarely on top of Faveric. Atlas let out an evil chuckle before stabbing Faveric multiple times in the face. Needless to say, that was a killing blow. The other cultists lurched forward before being blasted by Cinnamon’s Sacred Flame.
The all out assault was far too much for the rookie cultists to handle. The three who remained quickly booked it out of there as quick as they could. The trio wasn’t going to let that happen however. Atlas fired an arrow knocking down one of the cultists and mortally wounding him. Another was blasted by Cinnamon’s Fire Bolt. Carlos quickly caught up to the last Cultist and brought his life to an end. The battle was over, but Atlas wouldn’t be satisfied by anything less than a kill. He quickly ran to the wounded cultist and stabbed him several times in the face.
The trio gathered the bodies and brought them back to the cottage, so as to ensure they wouldn’t be found. One by one they stripped all the bodies of their equipment…and clothes. Look they really wanted some dragon robes ok? You saw how dope those outfits were.
And so they planned their next move. There was nothing left for them in Thundertree with the exception of that dragon. But they were far too weak to fight a full grown dragon. They also now knew the location of Cragmaw Castle. It was there they believed that they were most likely to find the remaining Rockseerer brothers and determine the location of the Lost Mine of Phandelver (you know, the whole point of this whole ordeal). And so they decided to return to Phandalin, regroup with Elephant, who was surely still hitting on that damn bar maiden, and make their way to Cragmaw Castle.
But what would they find at Cragmaw Castle? What fearsome adventures lay in store? Did Elephant have sex with the maiden? Find out next time on Dorngeons and Dorgans!