EPISODE 3: DRAGON HATCHERY.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 605 posts
 Rule Number One:
 The DM is always right.
Sat 19 Mar 2016
at 06:52
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
(I took the liberty of assuming you would all be willing to return to the camp, since your IC conversations seemed to indicate that was the case.)

The next day, the atmosphere of Greenest is a disconcerting mix of celebration and grief.  Grief over the losses of the night before, and over the death of the heroic ranger, Sam, whom many remember seeing atop the battlements of the keep or at the besieged sanctuary of Chauntea's temple.  At other times, the villagers are celebratory, glad to have survived the night and ever thankful for the return of their lost family members.

All of you receive smiles and hearty hellos from the villagers you pass, most especially Amon, who has come to be known as the Champion of Greenest.  The children pester Vander to no end and the young men sigh over Rugadh Faoi.  Chan is much celebrated by the monks who are happy to have Leosin returned to them.  Julian gets pulled into conversations about his daring deeds.  The villagers have even overcome their initial wariness of the tiefling, Arkros.  He's never received so many thumps on the back, though he quickly learns to keep his tail up off the ground.  The villagers just aren't used to watching out for it.

They've begun rebuilding and repairing.  It's surprising to see that even the two kobolds that had been captured during the raid have been put to work hauling the broken timbers away.  They're kept under heavy watch, and their ankles are kept shackled.

In the evening, Nighthill summons all of you to his solar once more.  With him are Escobert and Leosin.  A new face also sits at the large table.  Another dwarf with soot black hair and deep brown eyes, dirty tan skin and a great black beard that is impeccably manicured.  Once you are all arrived and seated, a few servants bring in wine cups and morsels of bread and hard cheese.

Nightill raises his cup in a toast, "To the heroes of the day, tomorrow, and days gone by."
Rugadh Faoi Chinniuint
 Elf Bard, 240 posts
 RUH-goo FEE
 Actress par excellance
Sat 19 Mar 2016
at 20:07
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
That morning, Rugadh Faoi was the last to arrive at the breakfast table. She was in notably good mood. "Morning everyone", she said. The bard ordered a small breakfast and two cups of tea. With a grin, she moved the second cup of tea across the table towards Julian's place when it was delivered to their table. "Here you are!", she commented in Julian's direction.

As announced at the previous dinner, she began to unroll her plan of the next steps against the cultists.

At the evening in Nighthill's keep, when all important persons are gathering together again, she repeats her plan. "Sir Nighthill", she says, "you know that we are eager to pursue the case of the cult further and that we don't want to tolerate the cultist's camp in this vicinity - or any other vicinity of civilized society."

She gestures to underline her point. "However, I believe that a frontal assault against the camp will end up rather deadly. We may finally gain the victory, but not without heavy losses. So we need to resort to some tricks and some subtleties", she goes on to say.

The bard makes a rhetoric pause before she continues: "I left a message at the camp addressed to my special friend Edwan." She grins. "Edwan is trusting me and is believing that I am actually working for the cult as a double agent", she says. "And I hope he has been busy to convince the camp's leader of this, ahem, fact. The message I left said that I would return to provide them with the location where we would bring Leosin to so that the camp could launch an attack and kidnap Leosin again."

She takes a look around until she let her gaze rest on Nighthill and Escobert. "So the plan is obvious: I am going to provide them with a location where, however, we have set a trap for them instead of holding Leosin. At the same time their camp will be less defended as usual, because many of them will have left for the kidnapping of Leosin", the bard comes to an end. "Of course, this is only the general strategy. The detail will have to be fleshed out", she adds.
Vander Hickenlooper
 Halfling Rogue, 141 posts
 Professional Smartass
 AC-16, HP-26/26
Sat 19 Mar 2016
at 23:42
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
Vander seems to be entertaining the children with no end with various slight of hand tricks...and even some tricks that seem not so possible for slight of hand alone. He raises a mug to Sam's memory, seeming silent and taciturn for normally such a jovially fellow. Vander is more himself upon the following morning.

"It sounds like a good ambush plan...but assassinations are not my thing. I assume we will be taking the men alive if possible, yes? Maybe capturing their leaders to get the rest of them to surrender?" He asked. "In any case, we should not count on the fact they have not figured out your agent-double-agent trick. They may indeed come to the meeting you set up-armed for bear."
Arkros
 Tiefling Sorcerer, 145 posts
Sun 20 Mar 2016
at 18:17
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
Listening to Rugadh's plan again, Arkros speaks up, while holding and rubbing his tail soothingly, a boot print visible near the tip. "I was a little out of it last night when you explained you plan or I would have mentioned something. While we were at their camp I heard the name Rezmir come up as being the camp leader. I am more than a little familiar with this name, she is dangerous and likely to take quick decisive action. If he," gesturing to Leosin, "is deemed highly important to her she may likely send another raiding party this way to recapture him, regardless of what is said to convince her otherwise. Her other option of course, is she will vacate that area and move all of her forces to another location. She may leave a small force behind though. Leosin, I believe you had said something about trying to hatch dragon eggs in the cave that is there. If they are close to hatching she would not risk moving them."
Rugadh Faoi Chinniuint
 Elf Bard, 241 posts
 RUH-goo FEE
 Actress par excellance
Sun 20 Mar 2016
at 21:01
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
Rugadh Faoi nods at Arkros' words. "That is good to know", she says to him. "If that Rezmir tends to act rashly, all the better for us."

"Of course", she adds gesturing to Vander, "we have to make sure that their leader believes that I am an agent working on their side. By which I mean that we have to present some kind of proof to them. We should collect some ideas how such a proof can look like."

The small elf leans back in her chair. "I agree with Vander that our interest should not lie in assassinating as many of helpless cultists as we can", she says. It's probably enough if we capture or kill their leaders and destroy whatever eggs are in the cave."

"I am pretty sure", she adds with a smile, "that our guide in all ethic things - as you may have guessed I am speaking of our paladin champion - will have an eye on that we won't overstep the mark."

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 21:01, Sun 20 Mar 2016.

Chan Naxan
 Human Monk, 121 posts
 HP: 6/9
Mon 21 Mar 2016
at 19:42
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
Chan endures the celebration with a mixture of quiet contentment and embarrassment.  The monk is not used to being the center of attention, and compared to some of his other allies, it shows.  He seems more at ease once they are settled down into discussing their next steps.

"Striking a blow against the cult would seem to be a good next step.  If they have something valuable to them, such as the dragon eggs, perhaps that is the next best step.  And if we can lure some of their guards away, perhaps by tempting them with Leosin's recapture, that would be ideal."

The monk's face goes hard.  "That would have to be a ploy, however.  I wouldn't want to actually risk Leosin being recaptured by the cultists.  What sort of evidence or show of faith would they require from you, Rugadh?  I'm sure we could come up with something that would attract them - perhaps spread the word that Leosin is traveling back to another monastery, and would have to stay the night on the road, or at some relatively undefended roadside inn?"
Julian Coble
 Human Wizard, 100 posts
 HP 17/17
 PasWis 19 Ss 4/4 1 2/2 2
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 01:46
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
Julian smiled and gave a wink to the elf as she came down to the for breakfast and kicked out the chair next to him for her to sit. "Took you long enough." He said with a smirk.


That evening at Nighthill's place, he sat with rapt attention, listening to the plans being bantered back and forth. "I would not be quick to pardon these cultist... they have cast their lots, and those lots have fallen on the side of chromatic dragons." He said, looking around at the various people at the table, lingering for a minute on the dwarf, his eyes narrowed before he continued. "These are not innocents, they are part of a group that attacked this town, and have down who knows what other evil deeds." He shakes his head. "I will not kill any that request sanctuary, but neither will I offer it. As long as they stand, they will die."



He shook his head, clearing his thoughts. "Nighthill, I don't suppose the town has any combustible materials? I've heard of oils that can combust like a wizard's fireball. Though perhaps simple oil will work if we had enough."

He turned to the group and explained his thoughts. "Splitting the group too much will weaken both forces. Though one or two, with the right trap set destroy the group that goes to "recapture" Leosin, while the main force focuses on the encampment."
Rugadh Faoi Chinniuint
 Elf Bard, 242 posts
 RUH-goo FEE
 Actress par excellance
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 14:17
EPISODE 3:  Returning to Camp
"Maybe we don't have to split our group at all", Rugadh Faoi thinks aloud. "We should setup such a trap that only a few of us need to be involved directly with, maybe just a few of Nighthill's women and men. The one important purpose of the trap is to delay the return of the cultists to their camp as long as we are taking care of the hatchery."

She looks at Chan. "As to evidence or show of faith, Chan", the bard addresses him. "Well, the easiest thing would be if I delivered one or two tips during the next days to them, say, where there are good next places to rob or raid. However, these tips shouldn't be fake tips. They should be successful in following these tips and actually achieve minor victories. So they won't think too much anymore when I give away Leosin's would-be location."

She laughs. "Whatever they could rob due to my insider's tips, we can return to the rightful possessors when we finally deal with their camp."
Leosin Erlanthar
 NPC, 7 posts
 Half-elf Monk
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 18:05
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Leosin is much improved after a full day's rest under the care of Rentiki and his fellow monks.  His skin has lost his pallor and his energy has risen.  He listens avidly to the ideas and plans being shared around the table.  When Rugadh throws out the idea of using him as bait for the cultists, he sits forward with a hint of eagerness in his eyes, but holds his peace for now.

Arkros:
"Leosin, I believe you had said something about trying to hatch dragon eggs in the cave that is there. If they are close to hatching she would not risk moving them."

He gives Arkros a respectful nod.  "You are correct on both counts.  I don't know how close those eggs are to hatching, but it is imperative that we find out more."

Chan:
"And if we can lure some of their guards away, perhaps by tempting them with Leosin's recapture, that would be ideal."

The monk's face goes hard.  "That would have to be a ploy, however.  I wouldn't want to actually risk Leosin being recaptured by the cultists.

The monk in question chuckles shoots Chan a look that is both grateful for his defense and disappointed at being pushed to the sidelines.  "I don't recommend letting yourselves get captured, either," he jokes.

After more banter and ideas, Leosin decides to contribute his own ideas to the discussion.

He meets Rugadh's eyes with a smile.  "You seem to know your way around the camp."  He makes a gesture to include everyone at the table who infiltrated the camp last night.  "All of you do, now.  With or without this clever lady's distraction, which I heartily endorse by the way, you will need to return to the camp to learn more.  If the cultists are preparing to conduct another raid, or a large body of them marches away, or if anything substantial is carried into or out of that cave, I need to know."

Nighthill clears his throat in gentle reprimand, and Leosin catches himself, replacing his initial sardonic reaction with a more humble one.

"We all need to know," he conceded, then continued as if he hadn't been interrupted.  "If you have a chance to get into the camp and look around again, that would be the ideal way to spot anything that's changed.  You can use my good name as a lure or any other way you can to get more information, but I'm afraid Chan is right.  I'm not quite up to joining a full-scale attack or infiltration.  Yet."  Leosin is deeply grieved that he must be excluded form the action.

His piece said, Leosin leans back in his chair and says chidingly, "And now, Tarbaw, if you would be so kind as to introduce your new guest before we give away all our secret plans..."  He ends with a flourish of his fingers toward the new dwarf sitting at the table.  He gives Chan a wink, inordinately pleased at having caught their host in a social gaff.
Nighthill
 NPC, 16 posts
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 19:11
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
After his toast, Nighthill sat down as the others took the lead in the discussion of what they should do next.  He nods here and there, approving of the plan to lure a portion of the raider into an ambush and destroying the dragon eggs.  He looks conflicted at the discussion of whether to kill or capture the cultists, and finally speaks up after Julian shares his opinion.

Julian:
"These are not innocents, they are part of a group that attacked this town, and have down who knows what other evil deeds." He shakes his head. "I will not kill any that request sanctuary, but neither will I offer it. As long as they stand, they will die."

The governor quietly stands and puts his hand on the table before speaking.  "I think this young man is right.  These cultists have destroyed much of our town, and would have killed many more of my people if it hadn't been your help.  I've done what I can to accommodate your requests for leniency," he glances at Rugadh and Arkros as he says this, "but I do not have the space to keep a large number of captured cultists.  I don't have enough guards to watch them.  I couldn't keep them decently fed for long.  And I am not inclined to offer those even if I did."  He meets Julian's eyes in perfect understanding.  Then he looks to Amon and the other dwarf that has joined them at the table.  "You understand, I have to look after my own first."  That is as close to an apology as her can give for his merciless statement.  He sits back down to let the discussion continue around the table.

Julian:
He shook his head, clearing his thoughts. "Nighthill, I don't suppose the town has any combustible materials? I've heard of oils that can combust like a wizard's fireball. Though perhaps simple oil will work if we had enough."

"I know we have oil.  Escobert can take you around to the shops to find out what else we might have for you."

The red-haired dwarf nods agreeably.

Rugadh Faoi:
"Maybe we don't have to split our group at all", Rugadh Faoi thinks aloud. "We should setup such a trap that only a few of us need to be involved directly with, maybe just a few of Nighthill's women and men. The one important purpose of the trap is to delay the return of the cultists to their camp as long as we are taking care of the hatchery."

Nighthill shoots Rugadh Faoi caustic look at her suggestion, but takes a moment to consider before replying.  "I realize your trap or ambush will give us an advantage over them.  You can use any treasures that weren't already taken, and I will send my guards and militia to help with your plans, but I will not order any others into danger.  They've seen enough of that."  With a sigh, he admits, "There may be those who will volunteer to help you, though, if asked.  I can only ask that you consider their families before you involve them further."

At Leosin's chiding, he rises again, his face flushed with embarrassment.

"Of course, Leosin.  Thank you."  Was that sarcasm from the governor?  "My pardons.  I was distracted by the plans being made.  This is Uthgar Moltenstone.  He came to investigate the increased dragon activity here.  Once he learned what had happened, he offered his services, and I accepted.  I ask that you include him in your plans.  He may be able to call on stronger allies than I can, if the need is sufficient."

Nighthill gives Uthgar a deep nod, almost a bow, then sits.  He refuses to look at Leosin, who is looking speculatively at Uthgar.
Amon Thawne
 Human Paladin, 139 posts
 Every day
 is judgement day.
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 23:33
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Amon joined the meeting wearing the finest clothes he had with him - A short-sleeved long black tunic embroidered with a golden emblem of his family, and a relatively thin and loose leather belt around his waist. He greeted those that came before him, as well as those that joined the meeting afterwards, with a slight nod and few words.

He enjoyed the cheese, but more so the vine. He was somehow still hungry, even after the plentiful lunch he had earlier that day. Constantly having food in his mouth he was hesitant to talk and decided to play the card of a careful listener. When Julian expressed his opinion of the cultists and how they should be treated, Amon wanted to agree, but as he just took a larger bite he gave up and decided to let his eight pound steel blade do all the talking when the time comes.

"Your plan seems rather complicated to me, Rugadh. It would require time - time that we don't have. What you are talking about could take days, and Razmir..." he paused. "Rezmir... could both hatch eggs and relocate the camp in that time. I'd rather not risk anyone's life if we don't need to, volunteer or not.

If it was up to me, we would head there with the first light and simply wait for an opportunity. That cliff seems like a good place to set up a watch post."
he said, pausing only when the governor introduced the dwarf.
Uthgar Moltenstone
 Dwarf Cleric, 3 posts
 "Watchful Eye, watch
 over this wanderer."
Wed 23 Mar 2016
at 02:32
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Well this should be interesting, Üthgar thought to himself whilst the group entered the room. An odd assortment of people, but nothing he hadn't seen before, and as long as they wanted to help he could get behind that. He sat quietly awaiting the introduction Tarbaw said he would give.  Nodding at Tarbaw he began,  "Greetings.  As Governer Nighthill said, I am Üthgar Moltenstone.  I have travelled far to investigate words that have travelled even farther.  Once I became aware of the current state of things, my fears were confirmed.  I wish to help in any way I can with the situation, and being that I am new to this, our dilemma, I shall like to defer to your plans of action for the present."
Rugadh Faoi Chinniuint
 Elf Bard, 243 posts
 RUH-goo FEE
 Actress par excellance
Wed 23 Mar 2016
at 14:35
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Rugadh Faoi raises her arms in a deprecating fashion when Amon finishes speaking. "You are like the typical human, my friend Amon. Your lives are so short that you want to do everything in a rush", the elf says. "Learn this from an elf that has been living for more than a century: Most of the time, patience is a boon and not a bane. Preparation and well-staged trickery can save life of innocents."

She smiles at him. "If you don't want to take the elven race as an example, take a look at how the spiders do. Even if they haven't been feeding for days and their hunger burns, they are still capable of waiting in their webs motionless until their victim advances too much and they let their trap spring."

Rugadh Faoi shrugs and looks at Amon. "Maybe I am too stupid, but why don't we have a few days to set up a plan? If the eggs were about to hatch that soon - which I don't believe because they didn't defend their camp very well - I could find that out while offering my help as their spy among your ranks."

The elf turns back to Nighthill. "I am sorry in case my words seemed to imply that I wanted to endanger any of your women or man, Sir. We haven't yet made up the exact nature of the trap we want to lure them into. With the right trap, the operators don't need to come into direct contact with those running into the trap."
Arkros
 Tiefling Sorcerer, 146 posts
Wed 23 Mar 2016
at 17:16
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Having been listening to the conversation Arkros decided to chime in again. He first gave a slow, welcoming nod to the dwarf, "Welcome Uthgar, I am sure any way you can aid us will a blessing indeed."

He takes a deep breath before saying his peace, "I agree with Julian's assessment. Most deserve death for their actions, though I too would be willing to grant safety for those who surrender and ask for sanctuary. The only ones I would give no quarter to, are their leaders, they of all members of the cult know what they do and do it with purpose."

He takes a slight pause to think what he will say next, "That being said, Rugadh, I believe we should try your plan. At the very least it will let us know if they are still in camp or if Rezmir has got them on the move. My thoughts, pick a target, let them know it is well guarded but you are in a position of great trust here. Ask for a reply to your message, if they are interested you will arrange to have minimal guards at the target. If we do not hear a reply with in a day, we can assume camp has been moved already. If that is the case, let us then make to the camp to find any signs of where they may have moved and see if the eggs are still there. We saw what one adult dragon did here, imagine a clutch of dragons growing up nearby."

Almost as an afterthought, he looks towards Governor Nighthill, "Governor, I should ask, how are those kobolds working out for you?"

This message was last edited by the player at 17:17, Wed 23 Mar 2016.

Nighthill
 NPC, 17 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 17:59
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Nighthill looks like he agrees with Amon's assessment of the situation, but gives Rugadh Faoi's plan his respectful consideration.  He looks more reassured after Arkros gives his endorsement of the plan.

He's startled at Arkros' inquiry about the kobolds.  "They are cowardly creatures.  As long as I keep two guards to watch and direct them, though, they work hard for us.  They've already cleared the debris from the sanctuary on their own.  Corben has graciously offered to help our craftsmen start repairing the temple tomorrow."  He's impressed in spite of himself, but admits "I haven't decided what I'll do with the little beasts once all the work is done.  I can't imagine they'll want to stay here any more than we want them to."

He gets back to the matter at hand.  "So, you will go back to the camp alone?" he asks Rugadh Faoi, "to try to discover the cult's plans and then lure them into your trap?  While you are doing that, we will be preparing said trap and waiting for your word?"  He looks around the table to see if everyone else is ready to move on with this plan.
Arkros
 Tiefling Sorcerer, 147 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 18:20
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Arkros takes the opportunity to speak up again, "I would not send her alone, though I would not send a whole contingent either. I will volunteer my services to go with her as she and I have the best covers to gain direct access to the camp. Rugadh it is up to you if you want my company or not, but if you do I suggest we only take one other with us. One who can act as a runner to deliver our message to our friends in case Rezmir or one of the other high ranking cultists there request we stay."
Chan Naxan
 Human Monk, 122 posts
 HP: 6/9
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 18:30
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Chan nods.  "That plan sounds workable to me.  I will help prepare the ambush site, as I do not think that keeping up a disguise is one of my strongest points."
Julian Coble
 Human Wizard, 102 posts
 HP 17/17
 PasWis 19 Ss 4/4 1 2/2 2
Thu 31 Mar 2016
at 01:15
EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Julian frowned, he did not like Rugadh being so deep in the heart of the enemy with so little support, but now wasn't the time to be worrying. "Be safe and careful, do not be afraid to flee if need be. I will help set the trap for the bastards."
Vander Hickenlooper
 Halfling Rogue, 142 posts
 Professional Smartass
 AC-16, HP-26/26
Thu 31 Mar 2016
at 15:54
Re: EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Chan Naxan:
Chan nods.  "That plan sounds workable to me.  I will help prepare the ambush site, as I do not think that keeping up a disguise is one of my strongest points."


"As disguises don't really work for one of my size, I fear I will join Chan at the Ambush site as well." Vander says, gesturing to his crossbow.
Amon Thawne
 Human Paladin, 141 posts
 Every day
 is judgement day.
Thu 31 Mar 2016
at 21:07
Re: EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
"If you're already going back, I'll come with you. I will escort you in case there is any trouble, and stay away during your interactions." - Amon proclaimed with a stern look on his face.
Rugadh Faoi Chinniuint
 Elf Bard, 245 posts
 RUH-goo FEE
 Actress par excellance
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 10:38
Re: EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
"Wonderful!", Rugadh Faoi says with a smile on her face. "Let us give them proof that we are the smarter team."

The elven bard with the long shining white hair turns to the dwarf at the temple that has volunteered to help them. "Üthgar, nice to meet you. I am glad that we can build on your dwarven strength and intuition as well as what lies ahead of us won't be an easy task. Don't hesitate to chime in or to raise your hand. We need all intellectual capability", she says while tapping her right temple with her gloved finger, "we can get."
Escobert
 NPC, 5 posts
Tue 5 Apr 2016
at 14:51
Re: EPISODE 3:  DRAGON HATCHERY
Acting on a cue from Nighthill, Escobert stands.

"If there is nothing else...?  I'll be taking Julian and the others to get that oil you spoke of and anything else you want for that ambush.  I'll round up what men we can spare for the job.  If any of you want to ask around for other volunteers, you can do that while I brief my men."  He nods and claps his large hands together once, loudly, signaling an end to the meeting.

If anyone thinks of anything else, they can talk to Escobert.  He'll be the man in charge of organizing Greenhill's resources for your endeavor.  Nightill remains in the keep for the most part.  Leosin busies himself around the perimeters of the group, observing and helping as much as he can.  I'll try to get the new threads started soon.