Tyranny of Dragons was the first full D&D 5e campaign I ran, starting back in 2015. Here’s the write up from the seventh session. Murder in Baldur’s Gate, originally published for D&D Next, came in very handy for fleshing out the city as the characters had some downtime and pursued personal goals.
Begin here with Session 1 – Greenest in Flames.
Town criers and broadsheets from Baldur’s Mouth announce news of last night’s violent robbery in the Lower City. Maggers gives Crake the party’s cut of the take and tells him the characters need to lie low for a while. Ug contemplates turning himself in, and insists that Rosie needs to confess her sins at the Shrine of Suffering. Turin gives Rosie the necklace he bought for her from Edhelri’s stall. The adventurers spend the evening in the pub planning their next move.
The characters buy a draft horse, a wagon from Ackyn Selebon, and 100 gp in bulky trade goods to fill it. Rosie tells Ug she’s been to the Shrine of Suffering and atoned for her sins by wearing a hair shirt.
That night, the characters break into the building “at the sign of the fox”. Ug climbs in through an upper story window, followed by Rosie and Turin and finally, Gwastdyn. Meanwhile, Crake picks the lock on the front door. When he enters the house, he draws the attention of Rex, the owner’s hell hound pet. The hell hound breathes on the thief and Rosie, dealing 21 hp damage to both of them. Ug moves downstairs to help while Turin creates an illusionary hole in the floor in front of the other bedroom door. The three sleeping thugs in the front room wake up – Gwastdyn changes into bear form and attacks them. Aravax Foxtraveler comes out of his room, leaps over the hole, and attacks Turin. The hell hound breathes on Ug (twice) but the paladin survives, killing the fiendish mutt with Edge of Agony. Gwastdyn kills one of the thugs, Turin knocks Aravax unconscious and the last two surviving enemies throw down their weapons.
The party interrogate Aravax who tells them he is expecting a group of travellers on 7th Kythorn – they will stay overnight before moving on to the north. He knows very little about them – in his business you don’t ask questions. His hell hound was a gift from a Red Wizard. Clearly scared by the adventurers’ casual conversation about whether or not to kill him and threats to turn him in to the Flaming Fist, he promises not to say a word to anyone about them. The party untie him and head back to their boarding house.
Rosie, Gwastdyn and Crake stake out the safe house and wait for the cultists. When they arrive, Crake goes to fetch Turin and Ug from the pub. Meanwhile, Rosie turns invisible and Gwastdyn wild shapes into a mouse. Both are able to witness the arrival of a black half-dragon (Rezmir) and around 20 cultists – some bear the insignia of the Storm Blades mercenary group. Rosie slips out of the front door as her spell is about to expire but Gwastdyn stays longer and checks out the chests the cultists are storing in the basement.
After an hour, Rezmir leaves in a palanquin with some of her guards and visits Selebon’s yard where she hires three wagons under the watching eyes of Ug who has hidden in a cupboard.
The caravan assembles – there are eight wagons in total, including the adventurers’. The cult have three wagons, each manned by a driver and a guard. Two separate groups of (one of four, one of five) are going with them as travellers. There is no sign of Rezmir. Before wagons roll, Rosie visits Bigbelly and asks him to pass on a message to the Zhentarim agent joining the caravan at Daggerford.
After three days of wary but uneventful travelling through the Fields of the Dead, a stranded wagon is spotted on the road ahead. Its horses are dead and the occupants are cowering underneath – a band of hobgoblins in wolfskins has them pinned down. The characters rush into action, attacking the humanoids, which brings grateful cries of joy from the merchant who turns out to be Samardag the Hoper, their old employer. Worried that he is going to blow their cover Rosie sends him a message telling him to “Shut the fuck up!” The adventurers swiftly dispatch the hobgoblins after Turin uses dissonant whispers to send their captain packing. They reluctantly agree to give Samardag a ride on their wagon as long as he promises to keep quiet.
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Tiamat image by Michael Komarck