Tyranny of Dragons

When Rugs Attack

Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Chapter 8, Part 2

The party has infiltrated the flying castle of Skyreach, which the Cult of the Dragon has been using to transport the treasure it’s plundered from the communities of the Sword Coast.

Having persuaded the cloud giant lord Blagothkus and his minions not to intervene in their fight, the adventurers discuss next steps. They debate whether to attack the white dragon Glazhael or try to trick into leaving the castle, mindful that Larion’s sister Talis the White is a fan of that breed of dragons. They ultimately put off a decision about the dragon, and instead decide to attack the cultists first.

At the bottom of the icy stairwell, their gnome compatriot Jamna announces herself by goosing Hurk. She chides the half-orc for leaving a loose end: He had told the cult officer Tark that they were with Azbara Jos, so Tark was about to check with the red wizard when Jamna intervened. She charmed the cultist into giving her the numbers and location of the other cultists, then lured him into the glaciar tunnels. Once there, she bashed in his knee before kicking him down the chute into the open air. Garrett asks Jamna to remind him not to get on her bad side.

With the gnome’s information, the party decides to strike at Rezmir in her quarters. Slipping stealthily across the icy courtyard, they enter the frigid, giant-sized keep. Garrett tries to pick the lock on Rezmir’s door, but it is beyond his skill.

Raeyanne knocks on her door and in her best kobold voice calls out “Housekeeping!”

Rezmir sees through her ruse, but ultimately unlocks the door and invites them to enter.

Hurk forces the door open to reveal that the the half-dragon and two guard drakes are ready and waiting across the room. Rezmir raises a clawed hand and spits out a curse, launching a bolt of sickly green acid. Hurk leans out of the way and it passes over Beryl’s head before colliding with the opposite door, which it eats a hole through.

Jamna is the first through the door. But as she steps onto the the large, ornate rug inside, it’s corners suddenly pull up like a Venus fly trap. The terrified gnome manages to leap free before the rug’s jaws close and scampers up onto a nearby desk.

Hurk tries to leap over the rug, but gets tangled in its folds. The cloth monster tries to envelope him, but he plants his feet wide and beats its jaws back before hacking at it with his sword.

Moving with supernatural speed, Rezmir casts another spell, summoning forth a magical darkness that seems to fill the room. Garrett and Larion hold back, waiting for something to emerge from the inky blackness. Raeyanne fires her hand crossbow at the last place Rezmir was standing and is rewarded with a pained grunt.

Beryl steps gingerly into the darkness, feeling for the writhing fringes of the rug. Finding it, she brings her warhammer down onto it and slams the last vestiges of animating magic out of the cloth. The rug crumples lifeless and defeated to the floor.

The guard drakes rush forward to attack Hurk, but slam into each other in the dark, accomplishing little. But he discovers that Rezmir is far less hampered by the darkness, as she cuts open his side with her evil magic greatsword.

Jamna calls out to the others, trying to identify who is outside of the darkness. Garrett tells her the hall is clear. The gnome recommends they retreat back into the light, and then takes her own advice. Hurk and Beryl also withdraw. The adventurers realize they are caught in a stalemate as they ready themselves to fight anything that comes out of the darkness.

The guard drakes come out of the darkness to snap at them, and get steel as an answer. Beryl calls on Bahamut’s blessing to heal Hurk’s wounds. Rezmir spews forth a stream of acid that wounds Hurk, undoing Beryl’s efforts.

The door to the courtyard opens as one of the cultists enters. Raeyanne distracts him by claiming that the guard drakes have gone berserk, then shivs him. Garrett follows up by jamming a short sword through the man’s mouth as he tries to call out an alarm. Larion closes the door quickly, his first significant contribution to the battle.

The adventurers take down the two guard drakes. Rezmir, still lurking in the dark, starts calling for help. Beryl decides it’s time to bring the half-dragon out into the open and casts dispel magic to banish Rezmir’s supernatural darkness.

The cult leader stands alone in her room, the black-bladed greatsword Hazirawn in her hands and the Black Wyrmspeaker Mask on her face.

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