Return to Brandonstead
After retrieving Sir Brandon’s magical dragon-slaying sword from his tomb, the heroes returned to Brandonstead. Here they reunited with Brigette, who had travelled from Neensford after completing her training. The rest of the group filled her in on their adventures around Brandonstead so far.
Nogge experimented with the warning stones discovered in Sir Brandon’s tomb, to determine if they vibrate only when living creatures cross the perimeter or whenever something is within the area. He determined that anything inside the convex hull of the stones would set them off.
Notgandalf wanted to find someone to construct a grasping device that could hold his solidified eyeball at the end of his 10-foot pole when he uses his magical ring to pop it out of the socket. This would allow him to poke the eye around corners to spy out the terrain, without needing to roll it around unconstrained. Quinn at the Golden Egg Tavern suggested he go see Warwick the town smith.
Warwick and the Fairy
Warwick turned out to be a burly man, but rather simple-minded and superstitious. His workshop was covered with lucky charms: horseshoes, rabbits feet, clovers, which he’d nailed to all the walls. He said he could make Notgandalf an eyeball holder but it would take a couple of days and cost 20 silver coins. But he’d had problems sourcing metal for working, since the dwarves who traded with him hadn’t visited for a few weeks. He also said that a “fairy” has been harassing him, spying through his window at night. The charms are to keep it away, but he’s not sure they’re working. Sometimes the fairy leaves flowers on his windowsill.
The heroes decided to stake out the smithy overnight and see if they could catch the fairy visitor. Nogge wanted some sleep to heal minor wounds, but was interrupted around midnight by the warning stones he’d set up near Warwick’s window. Brigette spotted a human-sized shape in a cloak approaching the smithy, but the figure bolted into the trees when the warning stones went off. Brigette chased and the figure, who stopped and removed her hood to reveal Ingrid, the town’s alchemist who they’d met before. Brigette and Nogge questioned her about why she’s spying on Warwick.
Nogge: “I’m not going to be surprised by anything you say about Warwick.”
Ingrid: “I’m in love with him.”
Nogge: “Okay, I’m a bit surprised.”
Given Warwick’s simple-minded obliviousness, and Ingrid’s nervous shyness, it’s clear any potential romance is doomed to be awkwardly difficult. The heroes suggested Ingrid write Warwick a note rather than spy on him, but she pointed out he can’t read. They said they would talk to Warwick and told Ingrid to go home. The next morning they talked with Warwick and asked what he thought about Ingrid. He said he thought she might be a witch, but the heroes assured him she wasn’t, and suggested he go talk to her.
Seeking the Dragon
That morning the heroes set out to try to find the dragon, now they had Sir Brandon’s sword. Brother Leonardo decided he had chores to do in the village, so stayed behind. The retainers Tarlan (cleric) and Fingers (thief) and a few others followed the heroes.
Following the path north along the river, they caught up to two men also heading north, a short fat one carrying a pitchfork and a tall one carrying a net and with a dead pig slung over his shoulder. The heroes caught up to the men and chatted with them. They were Tad (short, fat, only 4 teeth) and Zach (tall, big Adam’s apple). They explained in simple yokel language that they were going to use the pig to lure the dragon out, then toss the net over it to catch it.
Nogge: “They could make decent bait themselves…”
After some aside discussion, the group decided to let Tad and Zach try their plan, while they followed from a discreet distance and observed. And if the dragon really appeared, they could decide what to do then. After all, the dragon might have some trouble dealing with them.
Drashi: “I don’t think it’s going to have much trouble with a dead pig.”
Tad and Zach stopped at a spot close to the foothills of the mountains and staked the pig out near the eastern river bank, then took cover in the bushes nearby to watch. The heroes stayed about 100 metres south, hidden in the trees. A breeze was blowing south out of the mountains, so they were downwind of the dead pig, which they thought was sensible as the dragon would not smell them. Nogge decided to try to get some sleep while the rest watched throughout the day.
Mid-afternoon there was a commotion across the river, and the watchers spotted four goblins emerging towards the river, chatting, singing, and generally acting half drunk. They had short swords and ill-fitting armour. The group roused Nogge, who again failed to get a solid healing sleep. One of the goblins spotted the pig on the other river bank and they began wading across the river. Garamond loosed an arrow, which found its mark in the lead goblin’s chest. As it slumped dead in the river, the other goblins panicked and fled back into the western forest. Notgandalf tossed a dagger as well, but it splashed into the river.
Tad and Zach confronted the heroes, accusing them of wanting to steal their dragon. They calmed the brothers down and decided to head to the northern side of their stake-out. Once out of view, they resumed their surveillance from a distance. Now they were upwind of the dead pig.
No more events occurred until after sunset. Nogge tried again to get a full sleep, but was roused around midnight when a slithering, slobbering, snuffling sound carried across to them from the western forest. Emerging from the trees was a large crocodile-shaped creature, 10 metres long, low slung and heavy on the ground. Its mouth glowed with a sickly yellow light and tendrils of smoke drifted from its nostrils and slavering jaws.
The Dragon crossed the river and went for the dead pig. Garamond began sneaking up through the cover of the trees. Tad and Zach rushed out brandishing pitchfork and net, but the dragon breathed a cloud of yellowish smoke at them and they began choking. Zach fell where he stood, while Tad raced to the river to wash away the noxious fumes and rinse out his throat.
Garamond charged the dragon with the Sword of Sir Brandon! The magic sword found its mark, puncturing the dragon’s side. Drashi also hit and Notgandalf loosed a magic missile. The dragon clawed at Garamond, raking its talons down his side, and lashed with its jaws at Drashi. Brigette joined combat and Notgandalf hit it with another magic missile. Nogge got a hit in, before Garamond skewered Sir Brandon’s sword through its mouth and up into its skull, vanquishing the fell beast.
Tarlan raced over to provide magical healing to Zach, saving his life. As everyone watched, the dragon’s scales fell off and its body dissolved into pools of acidic slime. Amidst the ooze were not dragon bones, but the skeleton of a dwarf! The heroes collected the bones, and then discussed with Tad and Zach, reinforcing the narrative that they had, in fact, slain a dragon, even without the ability to bring the dragon’s head back to town.
Confirmation and reward
The party, with Tad and Zach, returned to Brandonstead. They went to the Clumsy Fox Tavern to seek out Eric the village Reeve, who was relaxing there. They related their story, including that the dragon dissolved when dead. They suggested that Eric accompany them north the next morning to see the dragon-stained grass by the river to confirm their story. Bentley, owner of the Clumsy Fox, complained that he’d been having trouble with someone stealing his best booze from his cellar.
Next morning, they set out with Eric the Reeve and Lady Hilda, the captain of the village guard. They reached the spot where the dragon had died, seeing the large area of grass burnt by the acidic slime. Eric accepted this as evidence and promised the heroes their reward when they returned to town.
But the party wanted to search for the missing dwarves, and so parted ways with Eric and Hilda, who returned to the village. The party crossed the river and followed the dissolved vegetation of the dragon trail through the forest, coming across a collapsed log cabin near a hillside with a mine entrance. Digging through the ruins of the cabin, they found a mining pick with the name Grimni carved on the blade, and a silver dwarven beard comb. They then found the body of a dwarf, wearing a ring.
Investigating the mine entrance revealed a collapsed cave-in just inside the entrance. Brigette and Drashi used their dwarven skills to shore up the roof and excavate a bit, finding another dwarven body. This one was holding a pick engraved with the name Kedri.
The party decided to follow the dragon tracks further west, leading them to a cave in the base of the mountains, surrounded by blackened and dead vegetation. Investigating, they found the cave to be a simple chamber containing the dragon’s hoard! Around 2000 gold coins, 6 golden rings, most still on severed fingers and hands. Garnet earrings, still attached to a rotting human head. A carved stone skull with red gemstone eyes. And a magnificent cutlass decorated with gems of different shades of blue. The group collected the treasure and began hauling it back to Brandonstead.
- Brigette – Chasing down Ingrid the alchemist through the midnight forest outside Warwick’s smithy.
- Drashi – .
- Garamond – Slaying the dragon with Sir Brandon’s magical sword.
- Nogge – Playing with warning stones. Suggesting Tad and Zach would make good dragon bait.
- Notgandalf – Commissioning an eyeball holder for his 10-foot pole. Two magic missiles on the dragon.
- Ring from dead dwarf – magical.
- 2000 gold coins
- 6 golden rings – estimated value 10gp each.
- Garnet earrings – estimated value 140gp.
- Stone skull with red gemstone eyes – estimated value 250gp.
- Blue gem decorated cutlass – magical, Drashi.
This pretty much wraps up this adventure, so I’m planning the next one now! There are a few loose threads, but nothing major, and I think we’ll address those pretty quickly at the start of the next session before launching into a new adventure.
At the game, we had a feast on Greek chicken and lamb with pita bread, because my wife’s work had a lunch function which was – as is always the case at these things – heavily over-catered, and so she brought home two big boxes of food.
Today (Saturday) was hot again, 35°C. Scully had her pre-Christmas groom, and my wife had the groomer cut her har a lot shorter than we normally do, because of the hot weather. I spent some time shuttling them both around in the car to avoid walking around in the heat of the day. But we all went for a walk together in the evening as the sun was setting, which was much nicer.
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