I haven’t been posting a lot on this blog lately, but truth-be-told, I HAVE been writing. Lately I have been engrossed in some Role-Playing-Games (RPGs) like D&D 5e, Pathfinder, and the new Pathfinder Play-test. So to combine what I AM writing and blogging about it, I thought I would combine my gaming focus AND writing experience by providing my character backstory and session notes for a D&D 5e scenario “Hoard of the Dragon Queen”. This published adventure takes place in the Forgotten Realms world of Faerun.
From the Diary of Thenric Blackthorne
Too many jobs over the years have delayed my journey, but the stars aligned in the spring and I finally left Baldur’s Gate. I left in the company of Joe, a member of the Kin, knowing in the wilds there is safety in numbers. I quickly surmised Joe was not the best choice of a traveling companion. He was far too interested in stealing than traveling, roping me in several jobs along the way. What the hell, I needed the money anyway.
We arrived in the sleepy town of Greenest. Joe continued to look for jobs, but I just wanted to lie low for a while. The Lord’s Alliance were out in force, as big a bane here as Baldur’s Gate, and I did not wish to cross paths with them, in fear they would keep me from my purpose. Joe was foolhardy and got himself pinched; I ducked into a doorway to escape detection. This little happenstance led me the door of Brandhoft & Sons, a trading company who had just lost a caravan. The elder Brandhoft was named Gillam, and he had two sons with him, Stefanos and Clark. There were three adventurers hired to look for the missing caravan. After listening to an arrogant Elven Ranger named Llewellyn Featherstep describe the attack on the caravan but not intervening because he was “too busy”, it was all I could do to keep from stabbing him and leaving in disgust. A ranger who doesn’t offer assistance at a time like that runs contrary to everything my father taught me about rangers.. Nonetheless, I had nothing else going on, could use the coin to continue my journey and was a good way to lie low from the Lord’s Alliance in Greenest. I was also happy to see sword-slingers in the group, protection is great to have, so I threw in on this job. Besides, at least I would be out of Greenest for a while.
Looking at my fellow party members. looks like a good group. There is a human ranger named Barton. He reminds me quite a bit of Father. A mercenary, his skill with the bow exceeds my own. It is a rare thing to find an archer better than I, but I have been stuck in a city for 7 years. A fellow mercenary in his company is a huge half-orc warrior named Chazz. He strikes me as more brawn than bright, but I think it may be a mistake to consider him stupid. My gut tells me he is smart enough, merely inexperienced outside the regimented world of the military. Last is Magnus, a Dwarven priest to Moradin. With a war hammer in his hand, I view him more hitter than healer. Impersonating a priest has gotten me almost as many doors as my thieves’ tools, so having a real one around can only help. All-in-all, this might be a good group to further my Journey.
Just before we left Greenest, Gillam and Stephanos Brandhoft approached us at the inn. Seems they had a little “side hustle” going that Dad didn’t know about, and there were 3 treasure chests hidden in the caravan. They offered us 300 gp for the return of the chests without Father Brandhoft finding out. After an indigestible meal we headed out of the village under cover of dark. Stopping about midnight, we camped for the night. Although the noises of the night were all around us, no creatures ventured near us and our weapons. The next day however, we were not that lucky. Soon after we decamped, we were bushwhacked by 6 bloodhawks. I was wounded by one of these creatures, but fell back and dropped him with an arrow to his neck. Once the surprise was over, the rest of the group made short work of the marauders, although most of us suffered wounds of our own.
Continuing on, we found the site of the caravan capture. No bodies or debris remained, but we could see the trails of the carts and kobolds leading into the woods. As all knew of the cunning of kobolds, we sidestepped the trail (and any snares or traps) and took another path to the tower mentioned by Llewellyn Featherstep. The only drawback of this plan was an attack by 5 flying snakes. They inflicted serious damage to Chazz and bloodied most of the rest of the party. But we finally killed the little bastards and continued our trek to the Overwatch Tower.
The tower was not in great repair nor well guarded. We dropped the sentries and moved in. Chazz and Magnus stormed the tower door while Barton and I provided cover and support, ever alert for other guards. The morale of the kobolds was lacking, as we easily gained entrance to the tower. Moving higher, we next encountered some cowardly kobolds, obviously impressed into service. Barton could speak the kobold language and learned the name of the kobolds’ leader is Delfarion. There were 5 lieutenants, one of which was a dwarf named Drungor Ironhide. Moving higher, we made it to the top of the tower where we were attacked by 4 Urds sitting on top of a rookery. They dropped rocks on us, so Chazz scaled to the top of the rookery and pushed the creatures away from their supply of rocks. Unable to use their favored attack, they fell victim to our arrows and steel.
We noticed a rope leading off the top of the tower to the ground below. Barton eyed Drongor Ironside running away with a box of treasure. Taking calm aim, he dispatched the dwarf with a well place arrow to the head. With the kobolds cowed, we were able to load up the stolen caravan carts. The half-orc paid the kobolds to clear the trail of any traps. In addition, the kobolds told us of a large force of 60 kobolds and 30 humans that took most of the treasure of the caravan to a nearby swamp. This force seemed excessive, seeming more like a small army than a band of brigands. This concerns me. Is Greenest in danger? Are they trying to close the trade road? I imagine we will find out soon enough.