Tyranny of Dragons

The Siege of Naerytar

Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Chapter 6, Part 5

Having infiltrated Castle Naerytar posing as mercenaries for the Cult of the Dragon, the adventurers coordinated an uprising by the oppressed lizardfolk the cult used as servants. The party successfully sabotaged the alarm drum and helped the lizardfolk secure the gatehouse. But Garrett was badly wounded in the process, and has to be tended to by Beryl.

While the dwarf cleric patches up the rogue, the lizardfolk press the attack deeper into the castle. Snapjaw reports back that the surviving cultists, together with the bullywug leader Pharblex Spattergoo and his bodyguards, have barricaded themselves in the mess hall. The mess also connects to the stairs leading into the tunnels below the fort where the stolen loot was being transported. The lizardfolk believe that the half-dragon Rezmir the Black and the Red Wizard Azbara Jos fled into the tunnels.

Storming the mess hall barricades would result in high lizardfolk casualties, so for the moment it has become a standoff. Snapjaw is confident that if the two remaining leaders—Pharblex and the arrogant sun elf Dralmorrer Borngray—are slain, it would take the fight out of the enemy. The party agrees that a decapitating strike is their best option.

After some discussion, Garrett asks Jamna if she can put together an explosive capable of breaching one of the barricades. She admits she knows how, but would need time to see if the appropriate ingredients are available. The party rests for an hour while the gnome scours the castle for parts and alchemical components. At Garrett’s request she also prepares a makeshift smoke bomb for him.

Jamna eventually reveals her highly dangerous, unstable explosive, which she hastily hands to Garrett. The rogue carefully transports the device over to the northernmost barricade, which he stealthily approaches to plant the bomb. It goes of with a sharp blastf, signalling the lizardfolk to launch their own diversionary assault on the other end of the mess hall. Garrett also tosses the smoke bomb into the room to screen the rest of the hall from their attack.

Pharblex immediately begins calling up spike growth and entanglement spells to hinder the party’s entrance into the hall, while his bullywugs hurl javelins at the adventurers. However, each of Pharblex’s spells are interrupted by by Raeyanne’s arrows and Beryl’s sacred flame. Garrett puts an arrow into one of the frogman’s eyes, while the party’s allies advance into the room as the magic fails.

The shaman throws up several spike growth and entaglement spells to dissuade the party from entering, but is distracted each time by Raeyanne’s arrows and Beryl’s sacred flame. Garrett shoots the shaman in the eye. Once the spells, have failed, the adventurers and their allies move in to attack.

Raeyanne finally brings down the outraged Pharblex, while Hurk shoulders his way through the melee to cross steel with Dralmorrer. The arrogant elf under estimates his foe and suffers a grievous wound. But he strikes back, electrifying the half-orc with shocking grasp and retreating while the sword falls from Hurk’s numb and twitching hands.

Garrett chases after him, but only manages to further wound the elf, while Raeyanne’s crossbow bolt goes wide. Hurk moves up to stand beside Garrett, and Dralmorrer tries to drive them both back with Thunderwave, but they stand their ground. Garrett tries and fails to tumble past the elf and cut him off, but when Dralmorrer lashes out he exposes his flank to Hurk, who goes in for the kill.

The smoke fades in time for the surviving cultists and bullywugs to see their leaders perish. The bullywugs leap out the window and flee, while the cultists (including Kevan and Tharn), lay down arms.

The party strips the valuable items from their fallen foes, while the lizardfolk offer them the cult’s treasure as reward for helping the revolution. Up in Rezmir’s quarters, they also discover that there is a portal circle in the caverns below (similar to what Beryl saw in her dream), which teleports people and things to a mysterious lodge on the other side of the Graypeak Mountains.

Adhering to their promise to the dragon Voaraghamanthar the Black Death, the party recovers the book he was obsessed with, a set of rituals to Myrkul the god of death, and sought out the scrying device that the dragon asked them to destroy, the farseer of Illusk. Jamna slavers over the device (“So many big gears”), and Raeyanne figures out how to operate it. Through it they learn the dragon’s secret—he has a twin. Raeyanne also uses it to check on the Carnath Roadhouse, where the cultists have been arrested (but Zora is missing).

She then uses it to scry out out the lodge across the mountains where all the loot is going, which proves to be a sizable structure in the forest. She notes that guard lizards and some sort of giant-sized humanoid appear to have left footprints by an outbuilding. The portal circle itself is in the woods some ways from the lodge. There are several other circles nearby, suggesting that this might be a transport hub of some sort.

Then, in keeping with their promise to the dragon, they destroy the farseer.

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