Episode 7: The Champion’s Roar

This transcript is colour coded for ease of use. Please download the PDF.

Tobe as played by Liz

Myx as played by Nina

Erbak as played by Tom

Mhurren as played by Vinny

Narrator/Scraw/GM/Everything else as played by Ray

Ray/GM: Hello and welcome to episode 7 of Tails from the Dark Dragons Inn, “The Champion’s Roar.” Thanks to those of you who supported us last week. You can look forward to seeing yourselves as NPCs in future episodes. As you may have noticed, our heroes are somewhat bereft of magical potency and this is something I intend to give them the opportunity to change. Though I have a range of options available, if you have any interesting ideas for items compatible with the 5e system of D&D, drop us a message on twitter @DarkDragonsInn. You may just see them pop up in a chest sometime. This week we have all the regulars: Vinny as Mhurren, Tom as Erbak, Liz as Tobe, Nina as Myx, and I’m Ray, your host and gamemaster. And I play.. Well, just about everyone else.

Usher: “You’re back! It’s so good to see you again! I thought after the last show, we might not see some of you for a while. I don’t know about you, but these stories keep me on the edge. Come on then, let’s get your table set up. The Doomsinger will be on any minute now.”

Doomsinger: “Humble patrons, be at ease for the Scales of Justice did survive this perilous night, as you well know. Tonight may well be our last night in the siege of Greenest, but the struggles of our heroes.. Well. Those are only just beginning…”

GM: Scraw staggers over to you all, looking fairly bloodied and beaten up.

Scraw: “Well fought friends!”

Myx: I put my hand on his shoulder and.. “Well fought. Well fought, my friend.”

Scraw: “I don’t know about you.. But I think I could use a trip to a medic.”

Myx: “Yeah, let’s get you taken care of. I suggest that we find the healing tent that I visited at some point.”

Doomsinger: “Yes! Proper medicining.. Not like that religious mumbo jumbo. I could use some of that also, I think.”

Myx: I shoot him a dirty look. “It was not mumbo jumbo.”

Erbak: I am still woozy. Too woozy do anything right now.

Doomsinger: “Priest! What was that back there? That was abysmal. I’ve never seen you so close to death. It’s ridiculous. Snap yourself out of it. Get it together.”

Mhurren: {frustrated} “Just go and find a medic, will you? Edrick?” He’s still here, right?

Edrick: [stammering] “Yes, yes? Thank you so much.”

GM: At this point, he’s looking up at you in awe because even though everyone was fighting, most of what he saw was you standing in front of him, having kobold after guard after cultist charging at your face and smashing the shit out of you. He watched you almost die in front of him and still get up and then fucking kill the guy who was essentially trying to stop him from repairing the gate. At present, he is in awe of Mhurren.

Edrick: “Um, yes, yes? What can I do for you?”

Mhurren: I pat him on the shoulder and say, “Not sure what you did with the gate, but it’s holding steady. Good job.”

Edrick: “It’s nothing, really. It’s just a simple… it’s an old thing, it’s nothing.”

Mhurren: “Can we see about possibly reinforcing them further?”

Edrick: {stammering} “There’s nothing that I could do, but I’m sure that we could have the captain take a look, possibly.”

Tobe: “Definitely need some guards down here.”

GM: So, it’s around about that time, a few of the townsfolk start milling down very cautiously looking down the stairs and somebody.

Tobe: A buttload of corpses.

GM: You see this wiry looking old gnome and he turns to his goliath compatriot carrying like a bunch of lumbr, he says

Gnome: “Is there something we can do to help down here? I was told that there something was in need of repair.”

GM: And he’s kind of just looking around you all really nervously because as you rightly pointed out, are surrounded by corpses.

Myx: I would like to help with the clean up of the corpses, because I’m realizing that it’s a mess and makes us look very scary and whilst that’s good to our enemies, it’s not so good for the people we’re trying to help. Can I put them in a pile? I’m laying out the bodies in a pile so that they’re at least all in a corner.

GM: Go ahead and roll a strength check for me. See how efficient you are at moving bodies around.

[laughing]

GM: You start trying to move the bodies around and you find the smallest one that you can.. ‘Okay, I’ve gotta put an effort in.. I’ve gotta make it look like I’m a helpful person.’ And you just find the smallest kobold you can and you reach down to pick him up, pull his body away and as you do so, you realize this is one of the ones that Scraw took care of and you put your hands on the shoulders of the kobold and pull up to lift it up and just the top half of the corpse comes away. And just viscera falls everywhere, covers you from the waist down and you are just covered in gore. Unfortunately, your attempts to make yourself look less intimidating go a little amiss and the guy looks at you in utter horror.

Gnome: “I mean no offense. We are simply here to..”

GM: And he looks at the door and goes..

Gnome: “It looks like there are no repairs needed here. Um, I think we’ve been misinformed.”

Tobe: I’m like.. “Oh, wait, wait wait.”

Myx: I just mutter and grumble and sit on the floor with my arms crossed.

GM: She sits in the gore. Actually, she drops the body and is like ‘Fuck this’ and plop down in the gore and crosses her arms like ‘hmph!’

Myx: Yup. At least my clothes will match now. It’s kinda stinky.

GM: Tobe?

Tobe: Before they ran off from this horror show.. “Wait, yeah, the door has been repaired, but we need to reinforce it because they attacked this door, they’re probably going to try again.”

Gnome: “Aye, that seems reasonable. We’ll see what we can do.” He looks around at you all. “You all look like you could use some rest. Well, a doctor, I think. Perhaps you should go do that.”

GM: And he motions to his goliath.

Gnome: “With me Ogreg! Come.”

GM: And the goliath just nods at him silently and brings the lumber over towards the door and he starts building some kind of structure to afix to the place. And as you guys start leaving the room, he turns to Edrick and says..

Gnome: “Ah, do be a dear and send some guards down here just in case this one is right and they try again while we’re reinforcing things?”

Edrick: {stammering} “Yes, of course. I’ll make sure someone does that.”

Tobe: I go to help Myx and then think twice about it

Myx: I do the shooing away motion to Tobe, because one, she’s grumpy and two, she doesn’t want to get blood and sinew all over Tobe and three, she’s grumpy.

Tobe: Okay, I’m going back up to the main keep to get some healing on.

Myx: Yeah, get some healing and in my case, and maybe get the closest equivalent to a shower.

Erbak: I’m just trying to follow everyone in a daze.

GM: You head up and you notice that the doctor seems out of it. He seemed to perform reasonably in that fight, but it seems to have left him a little bit dazed from the looks of it. Myx, you are leading the way. You are headed towards the medics, trying to get everyone there..

Myx: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up, if I’m leading them, aren’t I going to scare the medics away?

GM: You’re the only one that knows where they are.

Myx: Oh. Okay. I will lead to the best of my ability.

GM: I mean, to be honest, you’re in a keep in the middle of a warzone right now, so they’re not going to expect people to be turning up to the medics in pristine condition.

Myx: That’s fair.

Tobe: However, I imagine the townsfolk are giving them a wide berth.

GM: Yeah! You come up the stairs from the cellars. You are the first thing that anybody sees. And as it is, the guards were keeping everybody back and away from the stairs. There was a small group of guards at the top of the stairs standing guard in case anything tried to come up. The first thing they see is you and they just back away like six feet. They recognize you, but they see you’re covered in gore and they look concerned but are not sure what to do about this situation.

Tobe: Is that hers or is that somebody else’s?

GM: Yeah, exactly.

Erbak: “Hey, Myx. People seem very in awe of you all of a sudden.”

Myx: “I know! I wasn’t getting nearly this much attention when I wasn’t covered in guts.” Next time someone gives me a dirty look, I’m just going to growl at them.

Scraw: “A sign of a battle well fought, I say!”

GM: You don’t say anything to the guards backing away from you, you just storm through the tower, ignoring all of the townsfolk who are looking at you horrified and parents trying to shield their children.

Myx: Yeah, because I’m grumpy and realize that no matter what I say right now, until I’m clean, no one’s gonna.. Not just cower or question or whatever, and I can’t be bothered. I just want to get clean, get my friends healed up and get back to business.

GM: The Doomsinger is sauntering but with a limp. He is doing his best to look real casual, but you can tell he’s actually feeling the effects of the last encounter. The spear that took him in the shoulder, took him pretty fucking hard.

He is very much in need of medical attention. But he’s still at the back. He refuses to lead anyone anywhere, and he is doing his best to act like he has no particularly hurried intentions of getting anywhere.

So you make your way to a portion of the keep you have yet to have been to. And you make your way past a lot of the guards who are still in the keep. You see a small group of guardsmen doing a similar thing that you saw Edrick doing on the door, but on the ballistas and on the stone walls around that area. And you can see that the beginning of the ramparts and stuff are actually starting to reform and take some kind of firm structure again.

You guys find yourself winding through a few tunnels, come into a moderately clean area operated almost exclusively by tabaxi. One of which walks up to you, Myx and says..

Tabaxi: “You return so soon. Why?” Looks over you and says, “No, this will not do.”

Myx: “But..”

GM: And before you can say anything, she just raises a paw.

Tabaxi: “No. You must be clean. You cannot come in here like this. We have patients.”

GM: She turns to one of her compatriots and says,

Tabaxi: “Take care of this!”

GM: You see a dragonborn and a half-orc come over and they’re wearing little white robes, and they bow respectfully to you and take you by a shoulder each and lead you off into a side area where you find the bathing facilities. But they do not allow you to speak. They just hustle you out.

Myx: By the way, I’m imagining the scene in Mulan, where they like.. Bathe her and just.. Yeah.

GM: Yeah, they have no interest in the fact that you have a body or are a woman or whatever.

Doctor: “You need to be cleaned now. We are not performing our services while you are covered in this mess. This is not happening.”

Myx: I’m grateful for the cleaning, even if it’s a strange procedure.

GM: They lead you to the bathing facility. They don’t do the cleaning for you. The rest of you are invited to lay down on some beds, should you require healing. Erbak! You have been in somewhat of a daze since the battle, however I do not believe you are in an injurious state. Is there anything in particular you would like to do?

Erbak: For the most part, I’m just pretty damn confused. However, are there any doctors free in the area at this moment or are they all attending to one or the other?

GM: There are some attendants around here. Most of the Tabaxi you see lead Scraw, Tobe, Mhurren, and The Doomsinger to various beds. At which point, the Tabaxi doctors begin to put them through the process of.. Essentially treating them using methods you certainly have not encountered before in your medical profession, because it is exclusive to Tabaxi historical practice essentially.

Erbak: Well when you put it like that, I’m going to slap myself lightly to wake myself up a little bit and then go on over to investigate.

GM: whose table are you standing at?

Erbak: I’m going to stand at Mhurren’s.

GM: Mhurren, okay. So, Mhurren, you are led to a table. Think like a massage table where you lie face down, you’ve got the cushion around your face. Tobe! You don’t know what to expect yet, but you have also been led to a table and asked to lie down on your front.

Tobe: {laughing} I do, begrudgingly.

GM: Okay, so you are all now lying comfortable on your front. Tobe, you find one of the doctor’s places their hands on your back, and they start kneading. You feel.. Initially, Tobe, the doctor is kneading your shoulder area.

Tobe: I just grit my teeth and bear it, because I’m my usual suspicious and wary self, but I need healing. I’m half my HP.

GM: You observe Mhurren’s experience with absolute detail and in fact, despite the fact that you have never encountered this practice before, you are able to immediately analyze and determine how this is actually working.

You watch with interest as one of the tabaxi climbs on top of Mhurren on all fours. And this happens to all of them. And so Tobe, what I’m describing is happening to you now. So thai massage.. it is a massage which a person massages you using their body and they maneuver your body through a series of yoga like poses with their own body very firmly.. My hand is on your hand, my shoulder is on your shoulder. It’s all very interwoven. And you notice that the tabaxi are producing a sound which you realize resonates at such a subsonic frequency that it’s actually capable of repairing internalized damage.

You regret, however, that this is not something that you personally could replicate. So while Mhurren is undergoing this experience, do you have any questions for him, Erbak? As that was a very thorough investigation.

Erbak: No, no. I’m gonna focus intently on that. Although, if it’s that thorough, I’ll gladly glean anything I can from his physique as well. He’s got the crap beat out of him, but he seems to be still alive somehow. Pretty impressive.

GM: You gather that what happened earlier was very much a part of his orcish constitution. That the orcish portion of his bloodline allows him to brace himself against damage and recover from what would otherwise be a fatal blow.

Erbak: Interesting. What about the others? Anything else I can learn about them?

GM: In this case you are paying particular attention to Mhurren and the process he was undergoing. I would say not in this instance. I’m really deeply curious about how Tobe is handling the deep physical contact. It feels great. It feels real nice. But that’s not necessarily a reassuring thing for Tobe.

Tobe: I think just barely. No, I’m scatting that line of forcing myself to endure it but fighting myself to not just get the fuck up and leave. He doesn’t like it.

GM: Myx, this is the second time you’ve been through this today.

Myx: Thought I was still being cleaned.

GM: Yeah, sorry. At some point you are led out from the cleaning area. You come out dressed very simply and you also allow yourself to be ministered to.

Myx: I full on enjoy it. I puddle. Gets rid of the grump that was inhabiting me for all of ten minutes maybe.

Tobe: Meanwhile I have now gained grumpiness.

GM: Myx, you recall that the doctor was completely out cold when you left the room for the encounter and probably has no idea what happened.

Myx: Once I stop being a puddle, I take the time to explain that some really scary stuff happened. Some really, really scary stuff happened. “Oh yeah! There was a giant lightning dragon.”

Erbak: {Disbelievingly} “Pardon?”

Myx: “There was a very, very big full grown adult lightning dragon.”

Erbak: I just put my hands on her shoulders and stare her in the eyes, {Urgently}“Where, where?!”

Myx: “It flew away!”

Erbak: {resigned} “Of course. Of course.”

Myx: “I’m sorry. I know how much you wanted a souvenir.”

GM: Scraw looks up and says..

Scraw: {indignant} “They wouldn’t let me fight it.”

Erbak: “That would probably be for the best. You would make a great meal for such a creature. They’re much larger than you, you know.”

Scraw: {Woefully} “A mighty foe.”

GM: with sadness in his eyes as he rests his face back down on the table.

Myx: I reach over if I can to pat..

GM: He shrugs off your feeble attempts at comfort.

Erbak: “If it’s any consolation, it would have been a very ignoble and humiliating death.”

[laughing]

GM: He just scowls. And he doesn’t even look up from his table but you can feel it. You don’t understand what it is because lizardman but you can feel it.

Tobe: I am too agitated to join in on this conversation.

Scraw: [grumble]

Myx: “We had no way to fight it. The reason we didn’t is because something happened to Mhurren. I’m still not sure what happened to him. But something happened to him. And he told us not to.” And then I look over at Mhurren.

Erbak: {confused}“Who told you? The dragon or Mhurren?”

Myx: “Mhurren. Mhurren told us not to hurt the dragon. He believes that it can be reasoned with.”

Erbak: “Quite possibly. They are intelligent creatures from what I recall.”

Mhurren: “We did reason with it, did we not? We avoided a fight.”

Myx: “Absolutely.”

Mhurren: “Well. A fight with a dragon that was beyond any of us.”

Scraw: [grumbles]

[Players laughing]

Mhurren: “My friends…Scraw… there’ll be other dragons to fight.”

Scraw: {sulking} “Better be bigger.”

Mhurren: “Can’t fight that one.”

Tobe: I can only imagine what’s going to happen if we talk him out of fighting an ancient dragon.

Mhurren: “I believe the dragon spoke of a progeny.”

Myx: “Yeah, we spoke to the dragon. Which was terrifying by the way. It told us of it’s progeny, which it wanted us to help?”

Erbak: “Ah the dragon has young. Of course. Curious why it wants us to help, however. It’s a dragon and we are just…well, us.”

Myx: “I don’t know, there’s something about… there was desperation in his voice.”

Erbak: “Which way did it flee? I assume it…”

Myx: “Yeah, I’ll be honest… there was so much going on, I was just trying to absorb what it said and I didn’t take note of which direction it was going in. Just that it left us alone. It left the town alone. It didn’t actually mean us any harm.”

Tobe: It’s that bit that gets my attention. “You know, aside from the unfortunate people manning the ballista.”

Myx: “[stammering] Pfft. Details.”

Scraw: [grumbling]

Doomsinger: “It was all rather remarkable to be honest with you. I had no idea what was going on but quite frankly I think it ran in fear of me.”

Myx: I just roll my eyes.

Erbak: “That is highly unlikely. You are incredibly small.”

Doomsinger: “Ah, but! I was the only one there to successfully land in attacks on it and it ran, so by extent of all considerable logic… I vanquished a dragon.”

Tobe: I’m just giving him this look. The fact that he believes what is coming out of his mouth…

Doomsinger: “Just call me the scourge of Tiamat!”

Tobe: I’m just like… uhhh. I don’t have the energy to deal with Doomsinger.

Mhurren: “I’m glad you’re still with us, friend.”

Doomsinger: “And I, you. I suppose.”

Mhurren: “And with yourself intact nonetheless”

Doomsinger: “Ah, such a foul creature has no power over me.”

Erbak: “If it came back, it would probably kill you. Quite horribly. In fact, it would probably kill all of us quite horribly.”

Doomsinger: “Perhaps we’ll see.”

Tobe: “Aside from us all dying in a horrible, embarrassing way if we were to face that dragon. I believe when it was talking about it’s progeny, it mentioned a cave. Sounds like the same cave that we were told about before… where it’s progeny was being held. It sounds like the same place where the villagers have been taken.”

Mhurren: Did the Doomsinger get healed up and get all the massaging and all that? Was his mask on the whole time?

GM: He has not removed his mask, no. The mask is still firmly in place. In fact, you do see at some point one of the medics tries to ask him to remove it and he simply lifts his hand…

Doomsinger: {dramatically} “Please. I am disfigured horribly. I would not wish to offend any here.”

Tobe: I am not sure how much I believe that.

GM: He seems really genuine. And that’s why he wears the mask. Of course, he’s disfigured. You feel a little bit guilty about judging him quite so harshly because If you were so horribly disfigured that your face needed to be masked, you’d probably be pretty bitter too.

Myx: I’m giggling a little bit at the situation.

Tobe: Considering that I am now convinced that this man is horribly disfigured, I now think you’re being really rude.

Myx: [Laughing uncontrollably]

Tobe: He’s horribly disfigured and Myx is laughing about it! As Myx laughs, I just give her this look of utter disbelief.

GM: Doomsinger just kind of [coughs pointedly].

Myx: I just look at my feet and shushes.

GM: So as you guys are lying around, you are interrupted by a polite [throat clearing] as Tarbaw Nighthill comes into the room and says..

Tarbaw: “I had been told I would find you here. You’ve done some excellent work tonight. When you are ready, I would like you to accompany me to the ramparts. I believe something is happening that I’m hoping you can provide some insight on.”

Tobe: “Of course.” And as soon as I’m able, I get up and puts a good distance between me and whoever was massaging my back.

GM: There’s a really young tabaxi girl… She’s 25, 26, and she sits down and she sees you uncomfortably shift away and she winks.

Tobe: Oh god, that makes me even more uncomfortable. I shift an extra couple of feet. If there is an empty space in this room, I am standing in it.

GM: ‘Of course. Yep! Got it. Go help!’ Scraw looks up from his table where he is still being administered to.

Scraw: {resigned} “You go on ahead. I’ve lost all energy for tonight. I’m exhausted, just go on without me. Find me later.”

Myx: Scraw is sulking.

Tobe: I have summoned Oz back.

[Oz caws]

GM: So you guys are walking to through the keep and Tarbaw leads you up the stairs up to the ramparts. When he gets to the edge he points out to the crowd ahead of you all. And you see that there is a significant gathering of various cultists. Specifically like the kobolds and they have various drakes with them and lizards and different things that you don’t necessarily all recognize at once. At the back of the crowd you see a group of large figures. They’re not large as much as they are gigantic, but they’re certainly more pronounced than the rabble that it hounding the gates. You see a figure surrounded by large heavily-armored individuals. There are two, what appear to be, prominent figures communicating. And Tarbaw turns to you all and says…

Tarbaw: “I believe whatever is about to happen will happen soon. We’ve seen more troops arriving and they appear to be amassing greater numbers.”

GM: (Privately to Tobe) What nobody else realizes is that Tobe has advantage in this situation. You are looking out over the fields of various cultists and kobolds and so on and so forth. None of that has your attention at all. At the back of the crowd, surrounded by heavily-armored knights in ornate gear, is a purple-wearing half-dragon that you recognize to be Rezmir. I need you to roll a deception check to see if you can hold your composure long enough to control you reaction to seeing… You do so with advantage because nobody has yet noticed or queried and that you always go quiet as fuck when anyone mentions anything. You manage to keep your cool long enough that nobody notices your immediate reaction of…

Tobe: Unbridled rage?

GM: You definitely see Rezmir and she is talking to another half-dragon that is wearing really ornate gold armor. He is holding a massive spear and they both look deep in conversation.

(To everyone) So you guys look out over the crowds and you see a great gathering of kobolds and drakes and cultists. At the back of the crowd, you see two large half-dragons. Erbak, I don’t think you’ve ever seen this before. A half-dragon is not a dragonborn, nor are they lizardfolk. They are actually, quite literally, half-dragon in the same way that Mhurren is half-orc. They are actually part dragon. And here there is not one, but two of them. They are deep in conversation. They’re both wearing purple robes. One of them is wearing very ornate armor and he wears his purple robe swished back behind it. The other that he is talking to is surrounded by a battalion of highly armored troops and they are deep in conversation with one another.

Myx: Question. If they’re half-dragon, what’s the other half?

GM: You’re not sure. They are very large. It’s difficult because that fact they don’t have any visual signs of being anything other than a dragon except for the fact that they’re walking on two legs.

What you gather from your observations at this distance is that there is something unnatural about these creatures. They could be mistaken for dragonborn by someone who is less observant, but there is definitely something more dragon-like than you’ve ever seen in any dragonborn. But based on that investigation check, it is immediately apparent to you that these guys are either generals or very important people, not least of all because one of them has an armored cadre of guards and the other is wearing fucking gold-embossed armor with a big ass spear ready to fuck some shit up. Tarbaw looks around at you all nervously.

Tarbaw: “We’ve been waiting for hours for something to come to a head. I’m just concerned something’s going to happen. “

Tobe: “I’d say if something is going to happen, those two are certainly going to be perpetrators of it.”

GM: As you say this, the smaller of the two, the darker of the two, the one that has the armored guard, begins to walk away and they leave. You see the golden-armored character turn towards his troops. He raises a hand and motions. What you see is a large group of kobolds and cultists with various drakes begin to swarm down the path. The half-dragon steps through them all until he is standing in front of the group.

He begins to walk down the path towards the keep. As he does so, the line of cultists begin to light torches. He steps down the path. As he steps into the light, he is at least seven foot tall. His skin is covered in blue scales. He has wicked claws. And his face has the muzzle and the reptilian eyes of a dragon. He stops about 80 yards from the main gate of the keep and scans the walls. Behind him, the kobolds, with their spears, prod four dwarven prisoners in the dim light. You can make out a teenage boy soaked in blood, two children, as well as a woman. As these are revealed to you, the half-dragon steps forward, shouting at the top of his voice.

Half-Dragon: “Defenders of Greenest! This has been a glorious and successful night and I am feeling generous. Do you see these four pitiful, useless prisoners? We have no need for them. I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me and you can have these four in exchange.”

GM: And as he is saying this, you hear a sudden cry from one of the guards on the ramparts.

Guard #1: “Tarbaw! That’s my sister. My sister and her children! I’ve got to go, I’ve got to fight him.”

GM: The guardsman next to him..

Guard #2: “For gods’ sakes, man, you couldn’t! Have you seen him? He’s monstrous!”

GM: He’s struggling with his friend to let him go, so he can fight this seven foot tall half-dragon man.

Myx: I’m trying to think of the best thing to do, because I know I’m not strong enough to fight this being.

Erbak: “It’s a shame, Scraw would be great for this right now.”

Tarbaw: “My friends, you’ve all demonstrated your prowess all through this frightful night. I realize this is an awful burden to ask you to bear, but any of you has a better chance than any of my militia. Family or no, I cannot send another man to his death.”

Tobe: I don’t say anything. I start walking down the ramparts towards the gate.

Myx: I notice this and run after him. “You can’t. You can’t face them alone.”

Mhurren: I follow.

Half-Dragon: As he sees no response from the ramparts, he calls out “Come! Are these lives of no worth to you? Are none of you brave enough to face me?”

Myx: “What if one of us goes up to him, but the others attack himfrom a distance? Would that work?”

Erbak: “Most definitely not, the moment we attempt anything to interfere with the match, he’s likely to slaughter them all.”

Myx: “Can anyone summon a dragon?”

Erbak: “I’m uncertain of this. Was there any contingence on us winning the duel? Or simply fighting it?”

Myx: “He’ll probably kill them anyway…”

Erbak: “Can anyone here, feign death? I’ve done it before but I had the help of a mountain of corpses…”

GM: Doomsinger turns to Myx.

Doomsinger: “Shouldn’t have had that bath!”

Myx: I shoot him a dirty look. “Yeah, yeah, Mr. Funny Man.”

Tobe: {Genuine remorse} I’m so conflicted.

Erbak: “Aasimar, are you actually capable of flight? Never quite certain with yours.”

Myx: “Not yet.”

Erbak: “Doomsinger, You’re good with folk. Find out if the children will be released even if we lose.”

Doomsinger: “Very well!”

Myx: Doomsinger is addressing this mysterious..

GM: He sticks his head up over the ramparts.

Doomsinger: “What are you going to do with the brats? If we win?”

Half-dragon: “If you win, you may have them.”

Doomsinger: “Unharmed?”

Half-dragon: “Of course! I am not a monster. My night has been very successful, I look for the joy of battle! Send out your warrior, hurry!”

Doomsinger: “And what if we don’t fight you?”

Half-dragon: “Then they die. They are of no use to me whatsoever, but if you do not wish to play, then neither do I.”

Erbak: “Ask him what happens if we were to die in the combat, would the children still be released?”

Doomsinger: “If we face you, but we lose, what happens to them?”

GM: He barks laughter.

Half-dragon: [Laughing loudly] “{Incredulous} IF! I like the cut of your jib. The children go free. Either way. I care not.”

Erbak: “Ah! That’s all well and good. We can send someone out then. One for four is a perfectly good trade.”

GM: It seems to be on the up and up. He’s not attempting to lie to you in any way. He’s very much just says what he means and means what he says. He’s happy to let them go. He wants to fight someone. He has not had a single good fight all night. It’s been a very successful night and he’s heard that there are warriors worth fighting but he has yet to encounter any.

Tobe: He’s the evil version of Scraw.

Mhurren: “We need to get Scraw back.”

Tobe: “No, we don’t, ‘cause we’re gonna get him killed.”

Mhurren: “He wants a fight.”

Myx: “Do any of you have any distraction tactics? Anything at all that we can use? Because even if one of us goes up to just play along with it for a little while.. Enough time to maybe get the group to safety, make some kind of escape?”

Erbak: “I have an idea..with the fight, if we can convince him to make it to first blood. If it’s first blood, I could simply knock him to sleep and then knick him. On his own, I can cast it on him, bring him down that way”

Doomsinger: “If we fight, do we have to kill each other?”

Half-dragon: “What is a battle without death? There are no stakes!”

Erbak: Can I take control of Doomsinger for second?

Myx: By all means.

Doomsinger: “Yo, dragon leader, let’s make this interesting. Do you consider battle to be an art,Do you consider it a dance between two worthy foes?”

Half-dragon: “I’ve never been one for dancing, but I don’t see why not. It truly is the highest form of life and art, as it were.”

Doomsinger: “Let us test your finesse, then. He who draws first blood slays the loser. He who draws last, dies.”

Half-dragon: “If the warrior agrees that I may kill them on first blood, certainly. They will lose their head.”

Myx: Can Tabaxi healers revive?

GM: You do not know the answer to that question.

Erbak: “I’m not convinced they can revive someone who’s head has been severed. I will put this forward. Of course, I’m not one hundred percent keen on sacrificing myself, but I would consider sending someone else out. If I could sneak a sleep spell out, at the right moment. Just enough to cause him to lose consciousness, another person, perhaps this soldier here.”

Half-dragon: “My men grow weary. Their sword arms grow tired. I would hate for one of them to slip.”

Erbak: “What say you all? If I can knock him to sleep whilst he’s duelling someone else?”

Myx: “I’ll do it. If you’re confident you can get him to sleep, I will do it.”

Erbak: “Make sure you have a means of escape.”

Myx: “Escape is so-so.”

Erbak: “Even if it will be difficult, you only have to draw blood. The sharpest blade you have, the sharpest.”

Myx: “The squishy warlock is going to go fight a dragon beast and pray that Erbak succeeds on the sleep spell.”

Erbak: “Come on everyone. Help me find some kind of place I can get cover.”

GM: Myx goes down to the keep floor and the guards begin to open the door to let you out.

Myx: My heart is in my throat right now. Like [groans].

Erbak: If we lose your character Nina, If this goes horribly wrong, I do apologize for Myx’s untimely death.

GM: As the doors open you see the dragon creature turn and smile broadly. He looks at you and his face kind of crinkles a little.

Half-dragon: “You must be brave or stupid, or perhaps mightier than you seem.”

GM: He turns to his men and he nods. The three children start walking towards the keep.

Half-dragon: “As a show of my faith, the children go free now. However, this is a duel between two. If any interfere, the woman dies. My men will see to it, regardless of what happens to me.”

GM: Myx is already out of the gate, I assume.

Myx: Yes.

GM: She’s seeing these children coming towards her.

Myx: Yes. Slow as she can towards the..

GM: The kids walk right past you and start running towards the keep. He makes no moves to stop them. Nobody tries to stop them. You see the kobolds getting frustrated and being like [kobold noises]. And they start like poking the woman until he [growls].

Erbak: “Everyone stand in front of me, make sure they can’t see what I’m doing.”

Myx: I shout to him, “Is there any way I could persuade you otherwise?”

[laughter]

Half-dragon: “I am Langdedrosa. This will be the final name you hear. Alas, this may be the last time you draw your weapon.”

Myx: I draw no weapon.

GM: Go ahead and roll initiative.

Myx: Oh my god.

GM: Myx still goes first in combat, but she said she’s not drawing her weapon. What is Myx doing?

Myx: I’m casting a spell, that’s what I’m doing. I am actually going to cast Witch Bolt. I’m terrified, but I’m trying my best to put on a brave face.

GM: You hold your hands in front of you and you focus. The crystal around your neck floats out from underneath your collar and floats between your hands. You charge it with your internal energies. You release it all at once. It collides with the creature standing in front of you who has introduced himself as Landedrosa and smashes into him. He howls in pain and reacts instinctively with his lightning breath.

Myx: Oh fff.

GM: Roll a dex save for me. Very nice. You see him bellow and arch his back and he roars forwards. The air in front of him crackles with lightning. You leap backwards, dodge sideways and roll to one side and land in a three point landing with your hand up and ready. As you do so, the lightning fades. He starts laughing.

Langdedrosa: [Laughter, followed by acceptance]

Myx: “What’s so funny?”

Half-dragon: {Satisfied} “This could have been a great fight.”

Myx: “What do you mean could have?”

GM: Turns and walks towards his men. He just punches the kobold nearest to the woman in the face. Nods his head at her and she runs. One of the drakes nearby snaps at her leg and he punches that in the face, too. She runs towards the keep and starts banging on the door. He turns to you and says…

Half-dragon: “Well-fought mage. I’ve decided to keep my head.”

GM: And he just leaves.

Myx: I fall down on my knees. Terrified. Confused. Relieved.

GM: He’s basically reneging on your deal to allow you to kill him, but you did preposterously well and he is impressed. And has decided that he will let you live, simply.

Myx: I am… what’s the word?

GM: Flabbergasted?

Myx: That’s a good one, yeah. I’ve been holding my breath this whole time and can actually take in air and just..

GM: You learned that trick from a certain relative. Right now, you’re getting these flashes of memories of the training that she had growing up. All of that was brought to the fray as she dived out of the way of this massive lightning storm that leapt forth from this creature. It saved her goose, which otherwise might have been very cooked.

Tobe: At this point, I’ve run from the rampart down and I’m running towards Myx.

GM: The gate has been open. The woman’s run in. The guard’s rushed down to greet her. They’re having a happy reunion. Tobe’s rushing down the path to Myx, who is on the ground. There are still cultists and kobolds around, but they don’t seem to be approaching you guys or the gate as they’re clearly stunned and a bit confused about what they’re supposed to be doing right now as their boss is running off and has recently assaulted two of them.

Tobe: When I get to her, and I just collapse on my knees next to Myx, and I just wrap my arms around her, cause I am so glad she is not toast.

Myx: [stammering] “Did you see that? I did it. I’m not dead.”

Tobe: “Well done.” I pull back and put my hands on her shoulders and look her dead in the eye. “Next time you stop me from doing something stupid, do not go and do the same stupid thing.”

Myx: “Someone has to —”

[crosstalk 38:05-38:07]

GM: You guys hear from the keep…

Scraw: {Outraged} “She did what? Oh come on!”

[laughter]

Myx: I hide behind Tobe. If Tobe’s wearing any kind of cape or anything…

GM: You see the guards on the ramparts at this point are hurriedly making come hither motions.

Guard: “Come on, what are you doing? Get back in here.”

Myx: Yeah, my legs are still a little shaky, hold on to Tobe just for some stability and maybe they make their way back to where it’s maybe safer than out in the open.

GM: The guards hurriedly shut the door behind you and you are suddenly smothered by a group of two young dwarven children and a very grateful mother. You see the teenage male dwarf talking to his uncle and not looking directly at you. The kids are just hugging your legs and their mother is crying on you.

Myx: I just start crying, too. I’m just so happy they’re safe and so happy I’m not dead. I’m just sobbing with them. I’m very emotional right now.

GM: You see Scraw wandering around the courtyard. Not storming around, just wandering backwards and forwards. He doesn’t want to interrupt the moment you’re having with the family. He’s happy to wait. Talk with you afterwards.

Erbak: I’m just going to hover back and get a rough idea of how many people there actually are.

GM: You mean soldiers?

Erbak: Yeah, how many of these cultists and whatnot there are.

GM: Hundreds. You can’t get an exact figure. There are just too many of them. This is an army.

Mhurren: Can I peek over? Is the horde reacting? Are they retreating as well?

GM: Not at this moment, no. They seem to have filled up the gap that the troupe that he was with left behind to more surround the area. So now they’re covering the path. There’s literally not going to be any way in or out of the keep at this point.

Mhurren: But the guy is gone?

GM: Yeah, he left. Some of his troops went with him. The small, personal guard. Not like the guard that you saw around the other half-dragon… the guard that was with the other one were elite shock-troop. This guy left with some of the footsoldiers, which were his personal entourage, I guess. Doomsinger wanders over to you, Myx.

Doomsinger: “I think that’s two dragons we’ve vanquished between us tonight. Maybe we really are the scourge of Tiamat.”

Tobe: I just give him a look because they got through both of those encounters by the skin of their teeth. Myx, quite literally.

Doomsinger: “You know, that’s actually quite a good name. Tiamat Scourge. Scourge of Tiamat. I just feel like there’s a folktale there waiting to happen.”

Myx: “Well, maybe you can sing about it when…”

Doomsinger: “I will! Yes. Yes, that is what I will do.”

GM: At the fastest pace that you have ever seen the Doomsinger walk, he strolls off into the barracks. He doesn’t say anything, he just bolts off.

Myx: “Creative types.”

Tobe: “I hope you’re comfortable with the fact that there’s going to be a very embellished story.”

Myx: “Well…”

Tobe: I’m not comfortable with the fact that the one singing about their daring tales seems to be the Doomsinger.

Erbak: I’m thinking that this will be a wonderful and it will be great if there’s actually any people alive to hear it which is not very likely and is a shame really.

GM: What do you guys want to do?

Myx: Take a vacation. I am well and truly exhausted. More on like an emotional level than anything, but exhausted.

GM: Tarbaw comes down from the ramparts. You see the look on his face of pure admiration and thankfulness and he approaches you.

Tarbaw: “That was exceptionally well-fought. I’ve never seen anybody move like that before. Truly, I am glad that you are alive. Needless to say, this family is likely to herald you for the rest of their days, but you do look somewhat tired if you don’t mind me saying. Could I perhaps find you a room for the night? You have all done more than enough and should we need you, I know that you will be here, but I feel my men and I … well, if we cannot sustain ourselves, then there’s not much hope left for us.”

Mhurren: “Well, the horde seems to be at a standstill.”

Tarbaw: “I’d agree.”

Tobe: I am reluctant, but accept it. Emotionally, they have all been through a lot. Physically, they have all been through a lot in what I’m assuming has probably been several hours.

GM: It has been seven hours? Eight? You have effectively been run ragged since you arrived. You have been running around and fighting your way through and around town for roughly eight hours. You all look knackered because you probably are. More than one of you has almost died tonight and been brought back from the brink.

Myx: I very gratefully accept his offer slash suggestion to rest.

Tobe: I reluctantly accept it as well cause yeah, they’ve been through a lot and I’m not sure how much I or anyone else in the group can actually realistically take if another thing gets thrown at them.

Erbak: I’m actually feeling pretty good so I’m going to have a wonder around, have a good look around the keep and assess exactly what kind of defenses they’ve got, if there’s any kind of possibility of escape.

Mhurren: I just say to Tarbaw, “You’ll come find us if the situation changes?”

Tarbaw: “Yes, of course. Please follow me.”

GM: He starts to lead you towards the tower again, but this time he takes you up into private rooms. Erbak, you hang back. Myx, as you are making your way towards the keep tower with the others, you feel a large, furry hand place itself upon your shoulder.

Myx: Imagine her getting really stiff all of a sudden, because she didn’t expect..

GM: And you hear whispered into your ear…

Scraw: “I heard what you did.”

Myx: I’m like, “Uh oh.” I look really guilty and don’t want to look Scraw in the eye.

GM: When you turn around, Scraw is looking at you and he’s just smiling and he has his hand out in front of him.

Myx: I look at his hand and look back at him, wondering, ‘Do I take the hand?’.

GM: He reaches past your hand and grasps you by the elbow. Forearm to forearm grip.

Myx: I am in with the cool kids. I now understand what Scraw is doing and clasps onto his elbow/forearm.

GM: You wouldn’t reach his elbow, but his forearm certainly.

Scraw: “You are a fine warrior and I am glad to be traveling with you.”

Myx: I blush a little bit. “Thank you, Scraw. It’s a pleasure to be travelling with you, too.” Though she still lowkey feels a little guilty for telling Scraw not to do dangerous things and then goes and does something really stupid.

GM: So you guys all follow one another up. Edrick is posted outside of your room as a guard, just to keep watch. Obviously he is also keeping watch over the Doomsinger. You all find your way to bed, where you.. Are you all just going to curl up and try and sleep? As Erbak is not?

Erbak: First of all, I’m just going to explore, look at the keep, get a good idea of it’s layout. Have a see who’s around.

GM: So you’re wandering around the keep. Nobody particularly tries to stop you. They’re familiar with who you are now. They know that you are a doctor and that you’ve been travelling with the group that has been doing their best to help people tonight, so nobody particularly tries to get in your way. You’re sort of looking around, you find a lot of different rooms that are occupied by townsfolk. A lot of different barrackses and beds. You find a couple of kitchens, a dining hall. You don’t find anywhere that stands out, like an escape route, but you do find yourself wandering around a tunnel when you come across some jail cells. These are of course guarded. So you have a few guards wandering up and down the corridor of the jail cells.

Erbak: I go up to one of the guards and speak to him.

Guard: “How can I help you? Are you lost? The barracks is down that hall. You probably took the first left, but you have to take the second left. Or the first right, whichever. I’m not sure where you’re staying. If you’re looking for the governor’s quarters, you just gotta go straight on past all the lefts and take the first right… second right, sorry. I’m not so good with directions.”

Erbak: “That’s perfectly fine, it’s a confusing place at times. I was just hoping to have a look around the area.Just like to assess the keep’s defenses. Determine if there’s any way to get the villagers out. We’ve got one escape, it would be helpful if we had another one, would you not agree?”

Guard: “Well, the things is.. The truth is, if this keep’s gone, they’re lost anyway. The tunnel was never meant for getting anybody out. The tunnel is a way of getting food in when we’re under siege. It’s a hidden, small entrance. It’s not a lot of space out there. The keep is meant to be impenetrable, as far as I know, there’s no way in or out except for the main gate.”

Erbak: “The tunnel was the one that we had to defend earlier?”

Guard: “The one that I heard got broken in through. That’s the only way in or out and I didn’t even know about it.”

Erbak: “How old is the keep?”

Guard: “I dunno, thousands of years as far as I know. We put a lot of time into keeping it ship-shape.”

Erbak: “It might be possible that there’s an older, hidden tunnel somewhere.”

Guard: “Of course, it might be possible. I didn’t know the tunnel that got broken in through last night existed until.. Well, I heard about you folks travelling out of it, then we heard about folks breaking in through it. Luckily, you were close to hand to put a stop to that and I thank you.”

Erbak: “Of course, of course. Though I would hope such an instance would not happen a second time. Do you mind if I take a look around the area? Of course, you can supervise me.”

Guard: “By all means, have a look. My compatriots and I will keep a close eye on. There’s a couple of dangerous prisoners here. You don’t want to get too close to the bars, so please keep to the wall.”

Erbak: “Of course.” So I’m just going to wander in and as quickly as I can, check all the areas. Look around for anything that might look a little out of place or anything like that. Oh, also, I would like to pay particular attention to any kind of water source that we have as well. The possibility of an underground tunnel.”

GM: Looking around the prison tunnels here, you don’t really see much. I mean, nothing really stands out. You don’t actually find a source of water in this area. You do recognize the prisoner who was brought here as the one who bit off your chunk of finger. However, you do not see anything that particularly stands out as being unusual for the structure or integrity of the place. Nothing that would indicate there’s any sort of tunnels here or there about.

Erbak: {sighs} I’m just going to walk out of the prison now that i’ve had a good look

Guard: “Absolutely. If you’ve got any questions, I’ve heard you guys have been doing good work tonight. So, please stop by at any time.”

Erbak: “Do you have a well? Where do you get your water from here?”

Guard: “Yes, it’s in the basement.”

Erbak: “Do you mind if I take a look?”

Guard: “By all means, just go through the keep tower.”

GM: You realize as he’s saying this that he’s talking about the basement that has the tunnel that was broken into. It’s in the same area.”

Erbak: “I’ll bimble on down there.”

GM: You go in through the tower, through the entrance that you’re familiar with. You get to the top of the stairs and there are guards posted there.

Guard: “Sorry. You can’t.. We can’t.. I’m very sorry, doctor. We can’t let anybody down into the basement anymore. There’s a lot of… well, dead things. And people, dead people down there that I believe that you and your friends were responsible for. But the captain has ordered that we are not to allow anybody else down there at present. Apologies.”

GM: And this guy is a half-orc.

Erbak: “That is quite understandable. I just have a few inquiries about the well. Your water source that you use down here. This is where you draw the water for the entire keep?”

Guard: “Ah, yes. We have a fresh clean water source. It’s actually pumped up directly from the river.”

Erbak: “How wide is the river? Large or?”

Guard: “The river..?”

GM: I mean, you’ve seen the river yourself. Basically when you come out of the tunnel, that leads directly to the banks of the river. I’d say it’s a pretty fucking large river. I don’t know.

Erbak: “So, in theory, one could escape the keep via the well?”

Guard: “Well, I’m not really sure how it works to be honest with you, but there’s a pumping mechanism. So I expect that probably the entrance to the well is not very large. It’s big enough for water, I guess. I mean it’s possible it’s very large, but that well hasn’t been dry for, I don’t know, centuries.”

Erbak: “I’m just contemplating the possibilities of emergency evacuation, you see?”

Guard: “Certainly, that makes sense. Best to talk to the captain about that, I’d imagine.”

Erbak: “Where is the captain now?”

Guard: “He’s probably manning the ramparts or you know, just telling people where to be, what to do. Keeping an eye on things.”

Erbak: “Very well. Thank you for your time. I’m going to go and try and locate the captain now.”

GM: You wander out of the keep wondering, “Bloody hell, how the hell am I going to find the captain with all this chaos?” and you just walk right into him. Practically trip over him as he’s crossing the courtyard.

Captain: {angrily} “For gods’ sake’s man! Sorry– Should you not be sleeping?”

Erbak: “I’m going to head to bed soon. I just wanted to have a quick word with you about something, if possible.”

Captain: “Aye, aye. Is it important? What is it? I’m very busy.”

Erbak: “Well, of course, we have to prepare for the worst in this situation. With what’s going on outside. Contemplating possible evacuations and escape routes. I have some enquiries about the well.”

Captain: “Aye, what about the well?”

Erbak: “Well, being a lizardman, I’m actually capable of staying underwater quite well. If we had someone down there, such as myself, who could go down and offer assistance in helping people escape. So I was wondering if it would be possible to get down the well and of course, we need to consider the possibility that things may come up the well.”

Captain: “Very interesting. I have to say it’s not something that’s come across our path before.”

Erbak: “There seem to be a lot of hybrid breeds in the army out there. All it would take is one or two, such as myself to…”

Captain: “Indeed. To tell you the truth we don’t have many lizard-folk in this town. I’m not sure it’s ever been investigated. Come with me.”

GM: And he actually leads you back into the keep and he takes you past the guards to the basement.

Captain: “To tell you the truth I’m not sure anyone here really knows the answer to your question, so… If you’d be willing to find out, you’re more than welcome to try.”

Erbak: “Thank you.”

GM: And he stops you.

Captain: “I don’t mean to be rude, but this is the drinking source of the entire keep at the moment, you’ve not got any diseases or anything contagious?.”

Erbak: “Of course, if you’d like I will happily wait until my party is ready and the room is fully clean before we investigate properly”

Captain: “I’ll leave it to your discretion, doctor. You are a medical man, you must know these things. Whatever you think is best.”

Erbak: “Of course, I will now retire. I should probably get some sleep. Thank you for your assistance.”

Captain: “Of course, I thank you for the forethought. I’ll run your questions past Tarbaw. He might know something that I don’t.”

GM: Tobe, you… after some time, manage to fall asleep. It’s restless sleep. It’s disturbed. You have been through a lot. You have just recently almost seen your friend die. You almost put yourself in that same position. It occurs to you that you’re not entirely sure that you would have made it out in one piece yourself. Maybe you’re questioning why you were ready to do that. As sleep takes you, you find yourself alone in a dark room. Or, you thought you were alone. You hear heavy ragged breathing coming from the opposite end of the room. As your vision begins to clarify, your eyes adjusting to the lack of light, you see Rezmir, bloody and badly beaten. She is pleading for her life. You focus and you see a single black feather land upon Rezmir. She seems to weaken and a soft, purple light glows around her. It’s then that you notice the aching in your fingers. You look down at your hands, drenched in blood. For a moment, you feel rage, shame, remorse. Then a voice begins to echo in the chamber. It is Rezmir’s. It becomes louder and clearer until it fills your mind with a white, hot clarity.

Rezmir: “The weak ones are to be slaughtered. They will not be needed on our journey to glory!”

GM: The fury within you can no longer be contained. It billows up within you and your arms outstretched, you loosen eldritch blast at the already battered form, channeling all your rage and pain into this one moment. The agony you cause Rezmir seems endless. You’re blinded, suddenly, as a flurry of feathers and wings sweep your consciousness. A soft voice whispers.

Feminine Voice: “Soon, but not yet. You are not ready.”

GM: As you push through the blinding wall of feathers, you find yourself in a library, scroll and texts that seem lost to time itself. You browse through, but find nothing intelligible in any language you recognize. Looking up from a book with frustration, you find yourself looking into the void-like eyes of the raven queen. She bends before you, leaving a soft kiss upon your forehead. Despite yourself, you do not recoil. You blink, and she is gone. You take a moment and sigh. You return to the books to find something of use, and you come to see that you completely understand the text in front of you. A recipe for spanish omelette.

Tobe: What’s Spanish?

GM: Indeed. Perhaps you will find the answers in the texts within your dreams.

Mhurren, you are brought to a chamber where you lay down. Before long, sleep takes you completely. It’s a deep, but restless sleep. Your dreams are a discordant mess of dragon teeth and darkness. You see over and over again, Lennithon’s swinging claws coming towards you inches from utter destruction. You hear the resonating tones of his voice, bellowing the word, ARENDELONTHOS. It echoes in your mind over and over, but you manage to center yourself. Focusing on your memories of who you are, you recall your training at the temple at the feet of your master, Kriv, under the order of the stone claw. A sense of deep calm overcomes you. There are words littered through your training. Distant memories of things Kriv once said. Perhaps even in passing, but begin to take on a meaning just outside your range of understanding. You feel invigorated. You recall training sessions many years in the past and you see much younger versions of yourself striking and moving in ways you can’t remember ever having been capable of.

You hear Kriv’s voice telling you to focus, to harness, to channel the energy within, but those memories fade. You don’t recall ever reconnecting with that intensity. That is, until now. You find yourself flowing with energy as you push away the thoughts of dragons and beasts and darkness. You focus on the flow and the movement of your body and you find you feel almost weightless, capable of reacting to even the smallest of details. When you wake the next morning, you realize that intensity is still with you, sitting just below the surface, waiting to strike upon your call.

Myx, you’re brought up to the chambers by Tarbaw Nighthill, who shows you to a number of beds. You find one probably near Tobe and soon enough, exhaustion takes over. And you fall into a deep but restless sleep. Your dreams are filled with smoke and fire and dragons. The smoke clears and gives way to a smiling figure, one you’re familiar with as he has been with for as long as you can remember. Eregar, he beams at you with pride and you are filled with warmth and light as his voice whispers.

Eregar: “You have done well, my starlight. But there is more yet to be done.”

GM: Your vision blurs and you find yourself crawling through a filth-entrenched mire. As you pull yourself through the muck, your hands find purchase on something soft, smooth like fine porcelain. You lift it up and the dirt simply falls away as though it were water. You find yourself on your knees in front of a still lake, holding a plain porcelain mask. An understanding comes to you. And as you put the mask upon your face and look down into the crystal pool, you see you are wearing no mask. You see only your face. With a wave of your hand, you caress your cheek softly. Closing your eyes, you run your fingers through your thick, rugged beard.

You open in your eyes in alarm and see a dwarf staring back at you. You blink and you find yourself staring into the eyes of a beautifully adorned Triton. Again, a dragonborn. The possibilities seem endless. You find yourself walking through a field, side by side through the dawn with Tobe and the others. Oz turns to you and you find that he speaks quite plainly, in common.

Oz: “You know you really should consider taking off that silly mask.”

GM: You motion him into silence as you approach the camp. What you seek is close and only wit and guile will serve to deliver it. When you awake the next morning, the sounds of people working in a camp ring in your mind and the need for stealth and secrets seems true.

Erbak, a guard leads you to a chamber that the others were brought to and you find that they have left a bed for you and everybody is dead to the world. They are utterly asleep. They are tossing and turning here and there and you hear a few of them talking to themselves. It seems everybody is sleeping restlessly. And when you, yourself find sleep, you find that your sleep is restless, too.

Your sleep is restless. A night filled with slaughter you have not seen for many years since your escape. You find yourself wandering through a field in the dark, unsettled by feelings you do not recognize.

You hear in the distance, a bestial roar. Something large, no, monolithic. It gets closer and closer, but at the last minute, you fall into the earth and you hear it soar past you overhead. You strain to look up at it, but the earth drags you down, consuming you. You open your eyes to find your body brimming with energy. A green glow envelops you and you channel it into the surrounding earth which shakes and stirs, rising up, lifting you. And you see that you are standing on the back of an immense creature, long since forgotten beneath the ground. An undead creature barely recognizable for what it once was. You hear a bell toll in the distance. A flash and you are standing on the edge of an encampment. The night is dark and those within are huddled close around a fire. Defenseless travellers. Meek. And you are so very hungry. You approach silently, your face shifting into the visage of a goliath with a great scar across his face. You greet them loudly in common and they invite you to sit by their fire and share in their food. It is poor fare, but you dare not risk to be recognized so close to the wastes and raising an alarm would no doubt cause trouble. You know they are hunting you. The snap of a tree branch in the forest, and you turn, a blast of energy leaps forth from your body surrounding your target and slamming it over and over. You awake with the sudden violence of it all. The memory still clear in your mind, you take fast your spellbook and make detailed notes of the incantations you recall. It becomes clear to you that if you are to ever achieve your goals, it’s probable that the ways of necromancy is where you will find the answers you seek.

Ray/GM: And that’s all we’ve got time for this week. I hope you enjoyed that last insight into our level up process, which we aim to keep almost entirely in character. Let us know what you thought on tumblr, twitter, facebook, or better yet, through an iTunes review. The track at the beginning of this episode was “Extravaganza” by TRG Banks. The track you are hearing now is “While You Are Here” by Ending Satellites. Until next time, travel safe, and remember, the Scales of Justice are here for you always.

The Doomsinger Written by: