Location: South of Rilan
Date: Trical 14, 1333 Avard
The young white dragon was surrounded – two ankies with ballistae and a paladin with a flaming sword on his horse on one side, a hippotaun on one side, and dismounted dwarves with crossbows and two mages all around him.
The dragon turned on the largest threat, the adult hippotaun, and ripped its head off – biting into it and twisting grabbing with both claws and twisting until the beast's head tore off.
While one of the ankies was covered in a sheet of ice that had it stuck, the other ankie broke free of the ice and spun around, hitting the dragon's front paw with its clubbed tail. The strike shattered bones in the dragon's paw, causing it to roar in anger and pain. Dwarves continued firing crossbow bolts at it, Hiko hit it with fiery bolts of magic, Chimes subtly shifted the dragon's attack to a poor defense, and Roland's flaming sword was a terrible flame in its face.
The dragon was hit by a spell that shrunk it in half. Finding the world growing larger around it, the dragon leapt up into the sky, climbing above the trees and flying south towards the fort. More crossbow bolts and a ballista shot, and one more fiery spell from Hiko, brought the dragon down. It crashed through the trees and into the snow, landing on the ground in a heap.
The dwarves continued advancing, firing bolts into it, just in case, when Roland's black horse suddenly flew up into the sky and south, Hiko and Chimes holding onto Roland.
Eingrim organized the dwarves, ordering them to march south towards the fort – Toox and Jasper potentially still in danger. The people of Rakore had a saying, that “Where there is one, there are likely more.”
Toox and Jasper snuck into the fort. Knowing the dragon had already been seen flying north, and knowing that they could not run as fast as a dragon could fly, they chose to investigate as quickly as possible. They did not know what to expect, but they were cautious, just in case. The dragon had torn up the dirt and snow in one part of the yard, only to reveal a cellar to the fort that the troupe had been ignorant of.
Moving into the fort's foyer to find a way into the cellar, they were startled by a second young white dragon.
Toox ran for cover and a place to hide.
Jasper could only grip her hammer as the dragon blasted her with its icy breath and then rushed her, crushing her ribs and puncturing her lungs with its terrible jaws, and then flinging her out into the yard.
The dragon began to hunt and stalk Toox, who rushed along the old oak's branches up into the second story of the fortress. From there, she found a spot in the rafters to hide herself, crawling up a wall and wedging herself between a thick beam and a corner of the ceiling.
The second dragon stalked her, first outside, and then inside. Like a dog unable to see a pile of poop, it sniffed around and around, unable to find her, and like too many creatures – not looking up.
It eventually gave up, and stalked off somewhere else in the fort.
Roland's black horse quietly flew by the window. Toox dropped to the ground and flung herself out the window, rejoining the Troupe.
Hiko had used his familiar in the shape of an owl to recon the fortress, having found Toox – and the cellar, and the dragon. Jasper lay inside the lair of the dragon, although whether dead or alive, they did not know.
They flew north a bit, passing Jasper's bear Alabaster as it ran towards the dragon. They had no way to call the bear nor stop it, and had to press on.
The troupe rejoined the dwarves, and together marched south towards the fort. It took them an hour to cover a mile in the deep snow and ice, but they gathered outside of the fort, and stood ready.
The dwarves banged axes on shields to draw the second dragon out, where it was immediately hit with crossbow bolts and ballista bolts, as well as spells that slowed it and goaded it. The dragon breathed an icy blizzard upon them, and then grabbed Roland and flew up into the air to finish him off. Spells and bolts hammered at the dragon, and it tossed Roland away and tried to fly back to the fort, a crossbow bolt in one lung and holes shot through its wings by steel and fire.
Hiko timed a feather fall spell to catch Roland just in time, and Chimes' familiar – in the shape of a unihorned bunny, healed him. He leapt upon his horse and raced to follow the dragon.
While Eingrim tended to the wounded dwarves and one ankie, the other ankie bundled up more dwarves and rushed to follow Hiko and Chimes, mounted on their trusty mule Clyde.
The dragon, being chased, rushed into the fortress and used its icy breath to seal up the entrance, blocking it with three feet of solid water.
Roland was first, his flaming sword leading, standing on his horse to get to a weak spot in the wall of ice and go through. Toox was next, her feet faster than any mount in the torn up snow and earth. Next in were Hiko and Chimes, standing on Clyde to get up to the entrance over the ice wall, and then through.
Roland pursued the dragon heedlessly down into the cellar, as did Toox, hoping to finish it off before it could recover from the spell that slowed it down. The familiars of Hiko and Chimes rushing ahead of them to assist.
The dragon let loose a barrage of blizzard in the small space, wiping the familiars out and wounding Toox, but not Roland. Roland's armor was insulated against the cold, and he was ready to destroy the evil that had plagued the fort and the land around it.
The dragon retreated to the far side of the cellar and curled itself up, saying something in the draconic tongue and looking pitiful. Hiko fired a magical bolt of fire at it, and Roland followed, plunging his fiery blade deep into the beast's breast.
It let out its last breath, and died.
The dwarves arrived, and helped to clear the rest of the fort. They found no other dangers, save the magical items the two dragons had pulled together into a pile, and lain upon.
Chimes found Jasper, barely alive, and called for Eingrim while doing her best to stabilize the dwarf. The physician arrived, and began life-saving efforts for Jasper. Up in the yard, he had found her bear, Alabaster, severely wounded and nearly dead – yet alive, as well.
The dragon was apparently hoping the cold would preserve them as snacks for later in the winter.
The dwarves dismounted the ballistae and installed them on the tops of the walls, in case any other dragons decided to visit, and then they set to building a fire in the kitchens and preparing the fort against the coming of night – and the winter wolves that would return after the deaths of the dragons.
DM's Notes: This was a frustrating session for Sualy. I gaffed as a DM, and did not handle the situation with Jasper and Toox well. Now, admittedly, Saige had Toox run away and left Jasper alone to face a young white dragon, all by herself. Given that they 1) Split the party, 2) Split the sub party into every man for himself, and 3) Did a shit recon… I can justify Jasper's death, and the death of her mount. But, honestly, she never got to swing a single hammer in combat, nor try to use her bear against a foe. To die like that is no fun. Sualy was steaming for hours afterwards, and justifiably so. She put a lot of time into making Jasper and Alabaster, and was then put down like a rabid dog without so much as a warning. So, yeah, serious gaffe as a DM. I'm going to rethink some things I do as a DM, not just to make sure something like this doesn't happen again, but also to make sure that the group as a whole enjoys the experience, more. I like seeing 20s on my dice – and I should prefer seeing 1's. When the DM crits, players should suffer – not die. A PCs death should be a sacrifice they choose to make as a hero, rather than random chance and a bad die roll.
Caileb kept having Missus Melbourne make fly-by attacks with a shocking grasp, and that seemed crazy over-powered, to me. I'll have to look into that, but it did a huge hunk of the damage to that second dragon. It's a trick that I think Hiko is going to use quite often.
They made it to 7th level after this session, and began some discussions on how best to handle the winter months, the fort, and some other things. It looks likely we'll do a down time session to play out what happens over the next several months within the campaign, such as getting the fort habitable and establishing some non-treasure income.
None to date.