Perviously our intrepid group of heroes found themselves in the ruined town of Thundertree. Amid searching the town for loot they met Reidroth the Druid who warned them of a dragon who lived in the ruins of the old mage’ tower. Fearing themselves too underpowered to take on a Dragon the group continued on their quest, making their way to Cragmaw castle and freeing Gundren Rockseer. Now they have returned to Thundertree, smarter, stronger, and ready to pick a fight with a dragon.
Carlos, Cinnamon, and Atlas slowly wound their way down the meandering road into Thundertree. The three of them were tired, their journey from Phandalin had been surprisingly eventful. Two days march out from Phandalin they had encountered an Ogre. The lumbering beast was a challenge to beat, but the group managed to outmaneuver it, eventually stabbing it in the back of the head. During the battle Cinnamon took a club to the kidney and had been pissing blood for days.
They were eager to reach Thundertree, the excitement of killing their first dragon was almost too much to bare. They had barely even stopped in Neverwinter, except to pick up supplies. Perhaps they should have stayed longer. Less than a days march from Neverwinter they encountered a pack of Hobgoblins, six strong. Once again they used their old burning oil trick, and swiftly defeated the fiends, but not before Atlas took an arrow to the arm. It was surprising how effective that attack was, almost as if their enemies hadn’t figured out how to counter it.
Now they were finally in Thundertree, and there was nothing they wanted more than a nice rest. The dragon could wait. The sun began to set as they arrived at the outskirts of town. Watching for dangers, they dismounted their horses and quietly made their way to Reidroth’s hideout. They struggled for a bit to make their way in the dim evening light, but eventually they found it.
Carlos knocked on the door, but no one answered. He knocked again and the door slowly swung open. Peering inside there was only darkness.
“Huh…he must have left,” said Carlos.
“Who cares, I’m going to bed,” said Atlas throwing himself down on Reidroth’s cot.
“You’re just gong to sleep in his bed? What if he comes back?”
“Then he’s just going to have to turn me into a tree or whatever.”
Carlos tried to stay awake to greet Reidroth when he presumably returned, but soon he too had drifted off to sleep. He awoke in the morning to the sound of someone trying to open the door. The handle began to jiggle furiously. Carlos jumped to his feet drawing his sword. He prodded Atlas and Cinnamon with his foot, but they wouldn’t wake up. As the rumbling grew louder he slowly began backing into the nearest corner.
Suddenly the door burst open, and in walked Reidroth the Druid.
“Oh…you guys are in my house…” he said not so much surprised as disappointed.
Carlos let out an enormous sigh. “Thank the maker,” he said, lowering his sword, “for a moment I thought a dragon was going to burst through that door.”
“I mean, I didn’t invite you into my home, but sure…whatever.”
“Thank you for your kindness Reidroth, we don’t intend to stay long, as soon as my companions rise we shall head to the mage’s tower and free this land of the mighty dragon.”
Reidroth sighed, “I figured as much. I’m just going to let you know, you’re not the first adventurers to burst in here and try to fight the dragon. People do it all the time, you can probably imagine what happened to them.” He made an exploding motion with his hands. “But whatever, you guys are going to do what you’re going to do.”
About an hour later, Cinnamon and Atlas awoke. After gathering their things the quickly made their way up the road to the mage’s tower. In it’s day the tower must have looked impressive, but now it was no more than a crumbling cylinder overgrown with vines and all manner of wildlife. The roof has a large hole in it, and the yard is strewn with the corpses of giant spiders. The trio crept up the steps to the tower, coming to a stop at the front door.
“Alright Carlos, what’s the plan” asked Atlas.
“Wait, why do I have to come up with the plan?”
“I mean, you’re the plan guy.”
Cinnamon nodded his head in agreement.
“Oh come on! I can’t be the only guy who comes up with these plans! You make the plan this time Atlas.”
“I mean you do have the best plans,” said Cinnamon.
“It’s true, you’re plans are great,” said Atlas.
“No, there’s three of us, I can’t be the one who does all the work! I’ll wait for you two to come up with the plan.’
“Ok, well, uh, we still got those dragon robes right?” asked Atlas.
“No, I sold mine for this sweet bracelet,” said Cinnamon jingling what was, admittedly, a pretty sweet bracelet.
“Oh, god damnit, you guys suck at this,” exclaimed Carlos,”here, I grabbed an extra pair for Elephant, but since he’s off getting high and flirting on bar maidens again you can have it.”
“Oh, boy here we go!” said Atlas, giddily.
“Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll go up to the top, one of us will go in there pretending to be a cultist. They’ll try to convince him that we want to be his servants, once we gain his trust we simply convince him to leave, and once he’s gone we take all his treasure. Sound good?”
Atlas and Cinnamon nodded in approval.
The three of them went inside. The interior steps were cold and moist. Above them they could hear the gentle rumbling of a sleeping dragon. If the beast wasn’t a giant killing machine it probably would have been pretty cute. Slowly they made their way up the steps, careful not to make too much noise.
When they were about halfway up Atlas asked, “Wait, who’s going to be the one to try and talk to him?”
Carlos turned around to look at Atlas, “What do you mean?”
“You said one of us is going to go and try to talk to him, we’ll which one of us is it?”
“Oh…I kind of just assumed you would do it.”
“Oh HELL no! I’m going to be in the waaaay waaaay back, just like always.”
“But you’re the most agile, and the most charismatic, you have to go.”
“Why can’t you go?”
“I don’t want to.”
Cinnamon chimed in, “I also don’t want to.”
“You know what fine,” exclaimed Atlas, “I’ll do it, but when people write stories about today they’ll say it was ME who killed the dragon.”
Atlas pushed past Carlos up the stairs and muttered under his breath, “bunch o’ cowards.”
A short while later they found themselves face to face with the door to the top level. It was the moment of truth, on the other side lay the most fearsome beast they may ever face. Atlas put on his dragon robes, took a deep breath, and walked inside.
A giant blast of green flame flew just over his head.
Atlas jumped to the ground, “What the?!”
A deep, snarling voice echoed through the room, “WHO GOES THERE?!” Another blast of green flame flew just over Atlas’ head.”WHO DARES DISTURB THE ALMIGHTY VENOMFANG?!”
Atlas jumped up, his hands raised, “Hey…buddy! It’s me…ugh…percival? I’m here to…commit myself as your…eternal servant!”
“SILENT PUNY ONE! YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SERVE ME?! I AM THE RULER OF THESE LANDS! THE MASTER OF ALL THINGS! THE ACID KING! WHAT TRIBUTE COULD YOU OFFER ME?!”
“Ugh…we have gold…”
“BRINGETH ME YOU HOARD SO THAT I MAY JUDGE IF YOU ARE TRULY WORTHY!”
Atlas quickly ducked back down the stairs to where his companions were waiting.
“Ok, so…slight hiccup. He wants gold,” said Atlas.
“How much gold?” asked Carlos.
“Um…all of it?”
“Were gonna get it all back remember.”
Carlos and Cinnamon piled all of their gold and valuables into a large pile and stepped through the doorway.
“Greetings mighty Venomfang,” said Carlos, “My name is…Dan, and this is my companion…San…dune…rum…stash, Sandunerumstash. We, along with Percival pledge to you this small fortune as a token of gratitude, and in tribute to your greatness. We hope that you may accept our gift and enter us into your eternal servitude.”
In the meantime Atlas was crouched in the stair way preparing for when things eventually went south. Reaching into his pack he retrieved the potion of invisibility he had found when they fought Glasstaff. Removing the cap he chugged it, and his skin slowly began to disappear. When he was satisfactorily invisible he crept through the door. He hugged the wall, slowly making his way behind the dragon. Meanwhile, Carlos and Cinnamon placed their loot on the ground, and knelt before the dragon.
“SO BE IT! YOUR HOARD, AS MEAGER AS IT MAY BE, PLEASES ME. STAND AGENTS OF VENOMFANG THE RULER OF THESE LANDS! THE MAS-“
Carlos interrupted him, “yeah, we heard all that before. Hey, so since we’re your servants now, we got a hot tip for you.”
“There’s this town to the north called Zirconia, and I hear they hav-.”
“I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS PLACE.”
“Ok, well yeah it’s a small place, they keep to themselves.”
“I AM THE MASTER OF THESE LANDS! THE RULER OF ALL THINGS! THERE IS NO SETTLEMENT I HAVE NOT HEARD OF! NO TOWN I HAVE NOT TERRORIZED!”
“Ok, well this one is really far away so maybe you just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”
“NO!! YOU FIEND! I AM THE MASTER OF ACID- ERR THE KING! THE KIND OF ACID AND…AND THE….RULER! OF THESE LANDS! HOW DARE YOU LIE TO ME?!”
“No it’s real! and they have a giant gold statue, you should go there, like right now and steal it!”
“I SHOULD KILL YOU!”
Atlas sensing his friend was in danger launched plan B. He drew his bow and fired an arrow. Unfortunately his arrow missed and fell to the ground harmlessly, but not without alerting Venomfang
“INTRUDER! SERVANTS GO, DEFEND MY HONOR! DEFEAT THIS FOOLISH INTRUDER!”
Atlas fired another arrow, missing again.
With the second arrow Venomfang now knew where the attacks were coming from. With a mighty roar he blasted Atlas with a wall of green flame. Atlas was knocked to the ground, mortally wounded, but still conscious. The blast had covered him in green goo, negating his potion of invisibility. Venomfang opened his wings, leapt out of the tower, and began circling our three heroes.
Cinnamon quickly ran to Atlas. Summoning all his power, he healed Atlas nearly back to full health. Feeling revived Atlas sprang to his feet and fired a particularly nasty arrow. Finally, this one hit the dragon just below the eye. Venomfang dove in for an attack. The trio ran to cover in the stairs as the room filled with green flames. Before they could shut the door, venom fang lodged his snout in the doorway. Cinnamon summoned one of his scrolls and sent a massive fireball right up the dragon’s left nostril. Venomfang pulled out coughing, and once again took to the sky. The trio ran down the stairs and outside to the base of the tower.
Carlos pulled a vial of oil out of his pack, and slowly coated his sword in the thick black liquid. Once he was satisfied with the coating, he reached back into his pack and retrieved his potion of flying (also from the fight with Glasstaff) popped off the cork and chugged it.
“Cinnamon,” he said, “Give me a light? I got a dragon to kill”
Cinnamon used his sacred flame to ignite Carlos’ sword. Feeling like a total badass Carlos took to the sky to fight the dragon on his own turf.
There’s a funny thing about dragons. Being one of the only flying creatures in the world, they’re keen to take their flight advantage for granted. Needless to say Venomfang was more than a little surprised to see his previously earthbound foe flying straight towards him with a flaming sword.
Dodging Venomfang’s acid blasts, Carlos made a bee-line for the dragons left wing. Swinging his sword in a 180 degree arc Carlos crippled Venomfang’s wing. The beast came tumbling out of the sky like a meteor. Venomfang fell to the ground, sliding along destroying a number of trees and cottages in his wake. The two non-flying adventurers quickly ran after the crippled dragon to continue the fight. Once in range Atlas fired an arrow aimed right for the beast’s rectum (you could say his was more than a little peeved about almost being burned alive with acid). Cinnamon for his part let out a few fire blasts that hurt the dragon, but people don’t seem to talk to much about that.
A now much humbler Venomfang realized that he had met his match, and he wasn’t about to stick around to see how this battle would end. He quickly pulled himself up, and tried to take off, but he couldn’t with his wing in its current state. Instead he attempted to run along the ground, but dragon’s legs aren’t really meant for running, so he didn’t get too far. Seeing the adventurers closing in on him he let loose another acid blast, missing. Atlas ran up to the beast slashing both of his hind knees.
Venomfang fell to the ground in immense pain.
“Please! No! Take my treasure! Take my keep! Just let me go!”
Carlos slammed down on Venomfang’s head, embedding his sword in its brain. As the beast let out his last breath Carlos said, “Not today!” And with that, the beast was dead. Without saying another word, Carlos wiped the sweat from his brow, pulled out his sword, and began walking back up the trail towards the tower to retrieve the treasure. Cinnamon quickly followed suit.
After retrieving their own gold they found the dragon’s meager stash. As it would turn out the frontier towns hadn’t been particularly profitable, the dragon had only collect around 200 gold and a few nice goblets. Carlos let out an annoyed sigh as he collect the dragon’s loot and made his way back down to regroup with Atlas.
They returned to the dragon’s corpse to find that Atlas had climbed inside the dragon’s mouth and was attempting to cut off the dragon’s head from the inside.
“What are you doing?” asked Carlos, flabbergasted.
“Well for one, this bitch almost killed me. Also I’m trying to build up a badass reputation,” said Atlas, “Just call me: The Kneecapitator!”
“You are such a weirdo” said Carlos.
After a fair bit of struggling, Atlas finally managed to completely detach the poor dragon’s head. The trio then proceeded to sit atop the dragon’s decapitated head drinking mead out of the dragon’s goblets.
Some time later Reidroth emerged.
“Wow, you know I didn’t think you would do it, but you did!” he said. “I guess you really are adventurers! As a token of my gratitude for killing the Venomfang, I want you to have these scrolls. I know it’s not much, but you never know when a handy scroll might get you out of tight spot.”
Cinnamon took the scrolls from the old man, thanking him.
Before Reidroth left he pulled Carlos aside saying, “Look kid, I know you’re just starting your journey, but you showed a lot of spunk out there. How would you like to join the Emerald Enclave. We are a group of adventurers much like yourself, who use our powers to defend nature and all her beauty.”
Carlos responded a bit surprised, “Uh…yeah, sure!”
“Then I hearby grant you the title of Spring Warden. May the enemies of nature cower in your presence!”
Reidroth then retired back to his cottage. Carlos returned to his spot atop the Dragon’s right eyeball.
“Hey so Reidroth just asked me to join the Emerald Enclave, I’m a Spring Warden now!”
“God dammit,” cried Atlas, “Every damn person we meet asks you to join some secret club! Why does no one ask me?! What’s that you’re third title? Mr. Cloak Chevall Spring Warden Master of the Universe Carlos Luck!”
Cinnamon and Carlos burst into laughter.
“What?!” exclaimed Atlas, “Ain’t no love for the Kneecapitator.”
The next morning the trio awoke with a particularly nasty hangover. After a nice breakfast of lukewarm rations they mounted their horses and set off of Phandalin. Nothing more stood in between and their final quest: reconquering the Wave Echo Cave.
Will the Trio recapture Wave Echo Cave? Will they find the third Rockseer Brother? Find out next time on Dorngeons and Dorgans!