Having watched the leader of the Trolls, Vicki Venom Voice, transform into a mighty Green Dragon only to later flee the battle, The Hellbenders quickly routed the last Trolls.
But in despair the heroes could only watch as Vicki flew towards the Hall of Grudges at the top of Mountainhold.
They knew they would never catch a dragon in flight and certainly not up the steep mountain side.
However, Vicki, in her arrogance, had ignored the blood loss from wounds the heroes had inflicted upon her.
And as she climbed, the remaining blood rushed from her head and she fainted mid air.
The heroes watched as her lifeless body fell only for Vicki to regain consciousness seconds before hitting the ground. She levelled up, but too late to avoid the ground and the heroes saw her silhuette disappear in the trees not to return to the sky.
Our heroes wasted no time and started rushing up the mountain, refuelling with healing potions as they ran.
With the guidance of Kaari the Ranger, they soon came to a huge clearing between the forest and the continuous mountainside.
Cautiously, Kaari made her way to the edge of the woods, while the Pestilence, the Tabaxi Warlock, climbed the trees for a better vantage point. Meanwhile Thorga, the Dwarven Paladin readied his Hell Gun.
Kaari used her Primeval Awareness and indeed she got a strong ping ahead from a Dragon, possibly through the huge opening in the mountainside.
But she also got three faint undead pings from behind, further down the mountains. But they were faint and far away. Finally, she noticed the ground being stable, but swampish and wet.
Pestilence from up in the trees also saw the swampiness of the clearing, but she also noticed a change in vegetation in front on the huge cave entrance forming a large circular shape. Finally she spotted 4 large crystals around the circular shape.
First cautious steps
Regrouping and sharing the information they had gathered, Pestilence summoned an Unseen Servant to walk across to the huge entrance in the mountainside, crossing the circular area on its way.
As it approached the edge of the circle, it became clear the circle was a small, deep lake in front of the entrance.
The heroes followed to investigate further. Thorga looked at the Crystals and discovered that tapping on the Crystal created a loud resonating sound that almost hit Pestilence, who for a second felt stunned by the loud sound.
Kaari dropped a piece of living mushroom (that she had picked up in our first campaign) into the lake.
That didn’t trigger anything, but just as she moved away, she thought she spotted movement deep deep down in the waters. Looking closely she saw the shadowy shape of a dragon at the bottom.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Vicki slowly and silently started to ascend from the bottom of the lake.
But while she thought she was being clever and sneaky, the heroes got ready to ambush her taking positions behind each crystal.
And as she emerged, their ambush sprung!
First Pestilence hit the dragon with Eldrich Blast, while Thorga and Kaari struck the reasonator crystals in an attempt to stun the dragon, but with no luck.
As Vicki emerged she sprayed her poison covering Pestilence and Thorga, but both were protected by cover and dwarven resistance.
A few highlights of the fight that ensued:
- Vicki rolling a Critical Miss trying to hit Thorga, hitting the crystal he was hidden behind instead, stunning both Thorga and herself in the process.
- Vicki calling forth little animated plants, two of which Pestilence killed, while the third remained at his feet biting away.
- Kaari, taking advantage of the stunned condition of Vicki, bringing all her items to bear seriously wounding the dragon with her arrows.
- Followed by Thorga killing the dragon, pinning its head to the ground while her body slumped down in the lake.
The leader of the Troll army, Vicki Venom Voice was no more.
DM note, here’s the thing: Technically the campaigns end here, but the world doesn’t.
Kaari cut a horn from Vicki’s dead body while Thorga filled a vile with her dragon poison and took one of Vicki’s eyes, just as the Green Dragon’s dead body slid down into the lake forever poisoning the water. In the days to come the lake would be named Lake Venomfall.
Meanwhile Pestilence picked up a shard of the resonating crystal.
But as the heroes concluded their looting, their focus turned to the huge cave entrance in the mountainside.
Pestilence opted to stay out to keep a look out, while Kaari and Thorga edged their way into the ancient structure.
DM note, from here on we altered between what Pestilence experienced and what Thorga and Kaari experienced, but for summary I will group it under each sub-group.
Kaari and Thorga in the ruins in the mountain
Kaari and Thorga found themselves in a great ancient hall with a sun beam from a hole up the wall shining across and a single statue of an archer in the far side of the room.
The companions were suspicious of the sun beam and Thorga opted to use his Misty Step to jump past the beam to the statue, where he read the following inscription on the bow:
Here I lay asleep in the gloom
As I owe nothing to the darkness
My oath is to the light
And its shine will awaken my sharpness.
Using his shiny silver axes, Thorga shone the sun beam on the bow and it turned from stone to gold.
Kaari finally made an attempt to walk through the sun beam, triggering no trap, and took the bow called Sun Oath for her own.
Meanwhile outside with Pestilence…
Outside, from up in the trees, Pestilence saw three faint blue light moving through the forest further down.
Curiosity drove Pestilence moved through the tree tops towards the lights coming up towards her location.
Soon he saw two dwarven ghosts fleeing what looked like the ghost of a troll!
To make maters worse, the troll spotted him!
Confused, he rushed back through the tree tops to warn the other Hellbenders, but distracted by the odd ghostly hunt, he fell down and landed right in front of the troll and a fight broke out.
It became clear that while the troll did have ghostly features, it was indeed alive. It was a rare Spirit Troll.
Unfortunately, Pestilence was on his own as Kaari and Thorga was busy admiring the Sun Oath deep inside the ruins in the mountain.
But just as he was losing to the dangerous troll, the two dwarven ghosts joined the fight and together they killed the Spirit Troll.
The ghost silently smiled and while Pestilence couldn’t hear the words, he could see their mouths forming a “thank you” before they vanished just as Kaari and Thorga came strolling out of the mountain.
Soon the Troll army disbanded.
While the Trolls had had their ability to absorb features from other beings enhanced by Vicki’s magic, they had not lost their desire to be alone.
The Trolls went their separate ways looting at random, but being now disorganised, the mountain dwarves quickly routed them.
The Hellbenders received the praise and thank you of the mountain folk and were named “Heroes of Mountainhold” with all the perks and assistances that came with the title.
The tunnel where their late companion Seipora had been assassinated was named “Seipora’s Bane“.
A nice gesture, but brought little comfort to the Hellbenders knowing that Seipora’s soul would not rest in peace as long as it was in the hands of the foul devil bounty hunter Hammelthal.
But the heroes knew where to find Hammelthal. He would be in Abriymoch, the Capital of Phlegethos 4th layer of hell and home to the Infernal Courts ruled by none other than Pestilence’s patron, the Archduke Belial.
And D&D mugs from Tony a friend in London we used to play D&D with.