Retrieving Riches

Session 11 February 2024

Perched precariously above the plateau hidden away near the stairs, I find myself face to face with the enraged dragon, its fury palpable as it unleashes a torrent of attacks. “HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?!” it bellows, its voice echoing across the chamber with menacing authority. The air around us crackles with magic as Farryn rushes to aid Morph.

The dragon attacks a couple of times more. “WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS NOW? YOU ARE THE APPETIZER,” it taunts, its words dripping with malice. “I am a member of the Disruptors! And the MAIN COURSE is my ARROW.” I retort heroically. However, all my arrows I want to serve him, miss. Anger surges within me at my own shortcomings, yet I am determined to press on, but I’m barely standing – so I need to find cover. Dodging the dragon’s relentless strikes, I retreat beneath the plateau, narrowly avoiding its deadly claws and snapping jaws.

Meanwhile, Patience unleashes his own brand of magic, momentarily stunning the dragon with a display of arcane prowess. But our respite is short-lived as the dragon, undeterred, continues its onslaught, narrowly missing me with each devastating blow.

With Farryn’s valiant efforts bolstering our resolve, we press on.

I try to get more distance between me and the dragon without setting him off too much. I shoot, two arrows miss their target, and then, I hit, with maximum damage. Then, I duck under the invisible plateau again, seeking cover.

The dragon tries to grab me with his tail again, slamming around with the tail. Then, he dips his tail accidentally in the molten gold he is partly covered in. The dark mage conjures a lightning ball again.

But then, disaster strikes. The dragon’s tail swings with unexpected force, catching me off guard. I am sent hurtling through the air like a ball, crashing into the ground with a sickening thud. Pain shoots through my body as I collide with the hard surface, my head striking the ground with a brutal impact.

As I lay on the ground, dazed and disoriented, Morph’s urgent cries pierce through the haze of pain. “Stay with us, little maiden – the dragon will not belittle you more than you’re little!” His words, though meant to comfort, only serve to remind me of the dire situation we’re in.

Morph takes action, shooting purple beams from his sword with precision. Three of them find their mark, striking the dragon with deadly accuracy. With a swift retreat to cover, Morph’s bravery inspires hope in our dwindling party.

The dragon’s attempts to unleash its fury are thwarted by some unseen force, as its wing flaps yield no effect. But just as a moment of relief washes over us, another earthquake rocks the chamber, sending tremors through the ground.

Undeterred, Farryn continues his assault, dealing cold damage to the dragon with unyielding determination. His efforts are met with frustration as his throw misses its mark.

Then, in a devastating display of power, the dragon unleashes its fiery breath upon us, engulfing the entire party in searing flames. I feel the intense heat wash over me, searing my skin and stealing the breath from my lungs.

As I lay engulfed in the flames, my consciousness slipping away, I am suddenly jolted awake by Morph’s urgent voice. Opening my eyes, I blink away the remnants of sleep, the reality of our situation crashing down upon me. The dragon, once a formidable foe, now lies before us stripped of its flesh and bones, its form twisted by dark magic.

I look around the chamber, noting the dim colors and oppressive atmosphere that seem to emanate from the very walls themselves. It’s a sight unlike any I’ve ever seen… It’s dark.

As Farryn tends to Grond’s injuries, his words ring out with a sense of urgency. “Grab what you can, and think of an exit strategy,” he instructs, his voice steady despite the chaos surrounding us. Taking his advice to heart, I begin scouring the area for any valuable magical items that may have survived the battle relatively intact.

Rummaging through all the gold, I find Patience’s bag of holding, and I retrieve various items, including a staff and an immovable rod. Amidst the rubble, I stumble upon a peculiar stick adorned with ornate spheres, its significance unknown but intriguing nonetheless.

Patience, though still recovering, seems to be regaining his strength, his golden clothing glinting in the dim light of the chamber. With his assistance, we start formulating a plan to escape without sacrificing our hard-earned treasures.

Meanwhile, Morph retrieves a longsword from his bag of holding, its black and white hues reminiscent of the shadows that envelop us. With a sense of reverence, he addresses the weapon, as if it were a long-lost friend finally returning home, calling it “Corvax”.

The dark mage, ever resourceful, secures the entrance with a lock, ensuring our safe passage out of this treacherous place without any Zhentarim getting inside the vault. As Farryn searches for diamonds amidst the debris, the remains of the dragon on the invisible plateau come crashing down, a grim reminder of the battle we’ve just endured. Gross.

With the immediate danger passed, I return Patience’s bag of holding to him, offering what healing I can before turning my attention back to salvaging whatever items I can find amidst the lingering heat and smoke.

As the dark mage urgently announces our limited time frame, I continue my frantic search amidst the rubble, uncovering a small wooden chest now adorned with a golden sheen. Determined to make the most of our fleeting moments, I press on, discovering yet another immovable rod hidden amongst the debris.

With the dark mage readying his teleportation spell, I hasten to join the others as they gather their belongings. As we prepare to depart, a surge of relief washes over me as I realize that we’ve managed to retrieve all our precious items. The sense of triumph is palpable as we ready ourselves for our imminent departure.

However, Farryn’s voice breaks through the jubilation, his tone tinged with concern as he voices his desire to return for the items he feels are still missing. Despite our protests, he remains resolute, his determination unwavering as he lists off the various treasures he believes we’ve left behind.

Suddenly, we find ourselves in a strange, unfamiliar house, the startled figure of a sleeping man occupying the bed. Disoriented and bewildered, he awakens to our presence, his confusion evident as he demands answers amidst bouts of vomiting. Sensing the need to vacate the premises quickly, we hurriedly exit the cottage, leaving the bewildered man behind as we make our escape.

As we step outside, the man’s accusation hangs in the air, his revelation of our magical abilities met with a mixture of amusement and discomfort. With a mischievous grin, Morph offers a cryptic response, further confusing the man before he stumbles and falls into his own vomit (because I let him trip), an unexpected and rather unfortunate turn of events that leaves me with soiled trousers and a sense of exasperation.

With cautious steps, we make our way to the hobgoblins stationed at the road leading to our base, taking care to avoid detection as we observe the flurry of activity among the Zhentarim forces. The air is tense with anticipation, and though the passing soldiers remain tight-lipped, their hurried movements betray a sense of urgency.

As we approach the hobgoblin base, Morph assumes the guise of Padrick, seamlessly blending in with the hobgoblins as he communicates with them. With Morph leading the way, we follow him invisibly, seeing Morph get greeted warmly by the hobgoblins who recognize him as one of their own. Following his lead, we navigate through the base until we finally reach our destination.

Gathered together with POES, Simu Farryn, and Scarecrow, we recount the harrowing events we’ve endured, sharing our tales of triumph and survival amidst the chaos of the dragon’s lair.

With a flourish of arcane energy, I conjure the Rope Trick, weaving the threads of magic into a portal to another realm. Farryn’s surprise is evident as he gazes upon the shimmering entrance, his eyes widening with newfound respect. As the party steps into the ethereal space, they are enveloped by a forest-like ambiance, adorned with trinkets and mementos that echo my nomadic journey. Dragon figurines, predominantly brass in hue, dangle from branches, while a weathered poster featuring Farryn beckons adventurers to join our cause. The scene speaks volumes of my extensive travels, each item a testament to the adventures we’ve shared and the trials we’ve faced.

With the party assembled within the enchanted sanctuary, we set about identifying the treasures we’ve acquired. I eagerly examine my fuzzy bag, and the dark mage discovers it to be a Rust Bag of Tricks, its potential for conjuring allies in battle sparking excitement within me. Meanwhile, Morph uncovers a magical quiver, which upon inspection reveals itself to be an Efficient Quiver containing a single Arrow of Dragon Slaying, a weapon of formidable power. My attention is drawn to a wooden chest brimming with venomous substances, which I claim for future use. Another discovery, a white pouch, proves to be a Bag of Smuggling, its clandestine properties intriguing yet practical.

Passing the staff adorned with balls to Farryn, the dark mage reveals its true nature as a Wand of Wonder, a mystical artifact capable of unleashing unpredictable magic. Farryn’s disappointment is palpable as he examines a ring he got from Morph he believed to be his engagement ring, only to realize it is a Ring of Spell Storing. Despite his frustration, he asks us to put a couple of spells inside it – and I oblige, with a “summon beast” spell.

After a brief respite to recover our strength, we linger within the safety of the Rope Trick, attuning ourselves to our newfound treasures. I focus my energy on the Wand of Wonder, its enigmatic properties sparking curiosity within me.

As we contemplate our next course of action, Farryn suggests a return to confront the aftermath of our heist. Questions and concerns linger in the air, particularly regarding the potential repercussions of our actions and the Zhentarim’s involvement.

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