Tribute - D&D 4E Campaign

Session 3: New Friends

The stone-skinned dragon raises it’s head to look at the party and hisses “Is it someone new?”

The group, Taliesin in particular, attempt to converse with the dragon, attempting to convince it that they all serve the same master. The dragon seems skeptical, but in the conversation lets slip that it has been trapped in the chamber for an unknown length of time, but that it’s ‘father’, which it called Balcoth, was once imprisoned there but has escaped. It then insists that something magical be touched to the large chains in the room, suggesting that this will free it.

Taliesin and Garret advance through the room, suggesting to the dragon they could use the staff held by the statue to free it, while Fourteen and Kharis maintain a watch from the entrance.

Taliesin picks up the staff, which he recognises as an enchanted Staff of the Warmage, and touches it to one of the chains. The staff burns to nothing, and the chains crumble to dust. The dragon, exultant, offers Taliesin a reward for freeing it – it touches a claw to his chest, leaving behind a seared brand showing the symbol of a mountain with a split peak. It says it will be touch, if the party survive ‘its guardians’, before rising up and vanishing through the solid rock of the ceiling.

As it leaves, the maw deamons leap to attack, and a pair of shadow-creatures detach themselves from the murk around the pillars. The maw deamons move to hold up Kharis and Fourteen, whilst the shadow engage the thief and the bard.

It is a bitter fight. The maw deamon’s snapping jaws make them difficult to approach, and the shadow creatures merge with Garret and Taliesin’s own shadow’s to attack them from relative safety. Taliesin is bought to the brink of unconsciousness, but is restored to his feet, hearing the whispered voice of the dragon in his head: “I have greater plans for you…” Eventually, however, the party succeed in turning the tide, as Fourteen and Kharis break through to help their companions finish off their attackers. In the aftermarth, they find that the eyes of the dragonborn statue are rubies, which they pluck out to sell later.

Battered, but victorious, the party return to the city of Tribute. They have two goals in mind: to research Taliesin’s strange new body art, and to exact revenge on Xeron, one of Ceren’s thugs, for his slight against Fourteen. Kharis returns to the library and, with the help of the librarian Devon Nerrels, sets about the research. The rest of the group go to stake out Xeron’s off-duty haunt, the tavern called the Black Fish.

They observe his routine and follow his route home from the tavern to his home in the tent city. The next night, when Xeron’s route home takes him through a largely abandoned part of the warehouse district, the party are waiting for him.

The dragonborn’s eyes widen when he see Fourteen step out of the shadows with murder in his eyes, and he takes off at a run, barging through the door of a empty warehouse. The party give chase and run him down in short order, with Fourteen bursting through the warehouse doors, knocking Xeron to the ground and beheading him with a single sword stroke.

Headin out to Xeron’s tent outside the city, a search of his belonging’s reveals a small iron ring carved with a dragon’s head – a symbol expressing sympathy with the dragonborn underground in the city.

They party re-unites with Kharis, who relates the fruits of her research. The symbol on Taliesin’s chest is the mark of Balcoth, the Groaning King, a primordial who fought against the gods at the dawn of time in a conflict known as the Dawn War. Many primordials were slain in the Dawn War, but Balcoth was amongst those who escaped into the Elemental Chaos, a plane of churning elemental power. Nothing has been recorded of his since that time.

Now looking for work, the party get in touch with Lirel Sorrel, the elven owner of the sunken city tavern, and something of a ‘fixer’ for the local underworld. They barter the location of the dragonborn statue from the vault to her in exchange for her aid in seeking employment, and she agrees to seek out some likely job opportunities for them.

Taliesin heads to the temple of Corellon to commune with his god, but is aghast to find that he can no longer hear to voice of The Lord of Spring when he prays, only the faint hissing sound of draconic laughter. The priest of the temple also tells him of a pilgrim ship which was found, frozen solid, along the coast not far from Tribute. Suspecting the involvement of the Winter Fey, Taliesin agrees to investigate.

Before heading out, though, the party pay a call on an old contact of Garrett’s: a human known as Brick, who leads a gang called The Wareforged. The Warforged, based in the Foundry district, are responsible for much of Tribute’s underground arms trade. Brick, a huge, scarred man with a gleam of intelligence in his eye, is planning a heist on a Guild warehouse he believes will contain items of a magical nature, and suggests that the party could find a place in his plans. They agree to take part, once they return from the shipwreck.

After a brief stop to buy provisions, the party head out to the shipwreck. They find a vessel which they recognise as being of eladrin origin, rarely seen outside of the Feywyld. A band on scavengers are already hard at work stripping the vessel, but after some negotiation agree to let the party explore it.

As the party prepares to enter the hulk, the session draws to a close.

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