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Dragon of Life ([personal profile] dragonoflife) wrote on November 24th, 2016 at 09:23 pm

The game opens with the DM yelling at Krixxix. All is right with the world. Last time on Dragon Ball Z, they talked a lot and Goku held his hands over his head the entire episode. Last time in the game, they had killed cultists, thrown Rezmir off the castle, and made the Red Wizards flee – the DM pauses as Thalynmar keeps gesturing at him.

DM: ..what?
Krixxix: Water to clean the table.
Thalynmar: Trying not to interrupt you, but that didn’t work.
DM: I was like… what do you want to drink? I just opened this soda, but you can’t have it.
Krixxix: Want some hand soap?
Thalynmar: Nope!

The group finds themselves in the Red Wizards’ chamber, wondering what to do about the ogres and the giant. Some of them hadn’t even remembered those guys.

DM: For the moment, all is silent…
Eben: Magathinious, Magath--Magathonius…
DM: What are you talking about?!
Eben: What’s his name?!
DM: Blagothkus?
Thalynmar: Blogothkus?
Eben: Vlagothkus?
DM: No! Bluh! Bluh!

Weirdly, a bunch of horse skulls are nailed to the ceiling. One of them is Pinkie Pie, apparently. They banter a bit while the DM pushes them to act!

Thalynmar: I don’t think we should charge blindly, we might be able to get out of this. They didn’t like each other.
Maldrake: I’d like to talk to him, so.
Eben: We’re tapped out from this fight anyway.
DM: As you head out, you hear the immense tromp of many booted feet. A moment later, the ogres that were training up above with javelins emerge from the staircase. They quickly form ranks, and face you with their javelins drawn.
Maldrake: I guess the food never made it up…
DM: No, you saw them eat it. You notice a couple look slightly green around the gills. But considering that poison only does a d6 of damage a day, they’re not exactly in poor combat shape at the moment.
Eben: D-O-L-T. DOLT. Damage over loooong time!
Raven: I’ll take a moment to drink one of my healing potions. Like apple juice.
DM: As you reach for your backpack, you see the javelins come up sharply. The ogres prepares to cast them. The small one cries out, “Surrender!”
Eben: TOADY is telling us to surrender, now? I don’t know if I can surrender to Toadwort.
Thalynmar: Then this is where we end the campaign.

Maldrake leads the charge in lifting his hands, while Krixxix tries to talk his way out to little success.

Maldrake: That’s when the Gummi Owlbears show up! Bouncing…
Eben: They don’t bounce so good.
Maldrake: No, they bounce REALLY good, that’s how they’re able to get onto the castle.

The DM prods them repeatedly, finally resorting to explicitly asking if anyone is NOT surrendering repeatedly. No one replies, so they surrender! The ogres surround them and take them off to see… apparently Arkapatang, because everyone loves that name. They are marched up to the top courtyard, where Blagothkus frowns down at them.

DM: “WHY did you slay the Cult?”
Maldrake: “We are enemies of the cultists. We’ve been following them for quite some time now.”

Other people start folding their arms in imitation of the DM, leading Blagothkus to rage that only he may do that. Eben contemplates casting Fly to stand on someone’s shoulders.

DM: “Enemies of the Cult! But earlier you offered to take my dinner order on their behalf.”
Thalynmar: “A clever ruse.”
DM: “FOOLISH ruse!”
Thalynmar: “Aye. Didn’t quite work out.”
Maldrake: “I didn’t want to say that when we found our way onto the castle we planned ahead. We kind of like to shoot things by the hip, as it were? I believe that’s a saying in this world…”
DM: “TELL ME. What are your names, and who do you serve?!”

The PCs laboriously introduce themselves, remembering belatedly that they’d joined such illustrious organizations as the Order of the Gauntlet and the Harpers. Also some of them are Mario Brothers. Krixxix’s introduction goes just where you’d expect.

Maldrake: Rules of gnome-throwing: it can be halflings!

Blagothkus actually notes Lualyrr is a half-drow, which most people have not done this far. Maldrake tries to roll a character and comes up with a hopeless case, vowing he can never ever die.

Eben: “I am called Eben. My only tether to life is the extermination of members of the cult.”
DM: “That’s… very melodramatic of you.”
Eben: In his head, telepathically. “THIS IS MELODRAAAAAMAAAA!” Tentacled beard!
DM: The giant reels back at the voice in his head, then stares at you with a greater respect.
Eben: (quickly and quietly) “AndIamatyourservice.” I am EBEN – and Eben—
Eben and DM: --means--
Eben, DM, and Thalynmar: ME!
DM: “So, you are bent on eliminating the Cult, are you?”
Maldrake: “That’s the goal.”
DM: “Well, you’ve done a fine job so far in this castle.”
Eben: “How are you caught up in all this?”
DM: “I transport their treasure.”
Eben: “In return for?”
DM: (chuckling)
Eben: ‘For laughs.’
Thalynmar: (ridiculous laughter)
Eben: We wish the one called Toadwort to come with us.
DM: “The unified threat of the cult will at last stir my people from their complacency! WE will rise up against this foe. In a way, you have done me a favor by ridding this castle of them. Perhaps now they’ll see what the stakes are. I never liked them anyway. You should know they are entirely serious about making dragons a power along the coast. Heh heh, can you imagine? The nerve. Your job on this castle isn’t finished. If you wish to eliminate the Cult of the Dragon, you must eliminate the dragon.”
Thalynmar: “Oh right, we heard there was a dragon here.”
DM: “Yes. Guardian of their treasure.”
Thalynmar: “How big is it?”
Eben: Big to us is not necessarily mean big to a giant.
Krixxix: “What do you know about this dragon?”
DM: “It’s white.”
Krixxix: “Why’s it have to be white? Why we gotta be racist?”
Eben: It’s cold in here…
Maldrake: Also white dragons are also evil.
Eben: And they’re kind of dumb as dragons go.
Thalynmar: They are the dumbest dumb dragons.
DM: “Where is it? THERE!” (dramatically pointing)
Thalynmar and Krixxix: HOLY SHIT! (miming furious attacks)
DM: You all attack the air.
Thalynmar: ‘Invisible, are ye?!’
Maldrake: Don’t include me in that!
Thalynmar: (grabbing Maldrake’s arm and forcing him to attack the air)
Maldrake: Nooooo!
Eben: And you named ME melodramatic.
DM: He’s large, he can get away with it. He thrusts a finger at the great mound in the center of the courtyard, just in time to see the tail retreating deep within one of the large tunnels. “Finish him.”
Krixxix: Babality.
DM: “If you do this, then I will take MY castle north and rally my people. We have a fight ahead of us. If not, it will prove you cannot oppose the cult, weaklings! If you wish, I shall grant you a night’s rest and FREE run of the place! I care nothing for the valuables the cultists possessed.”
Krixxix: “DEAL!”
Lualyrr: “Is there any place we should respect, or any place you don’t want us to go?”
DM: “The upper courtyard is the domain of my people. And bother not the giants on the lower! They are diplomats. They are my KIN and shall be RESPECTED AS SUCH!”
Thalynmar: Damn, I wished she hadn’t ask that. I’d be like, ‘Welp, calling Blagothkus’s bed tonight.”
DM: “Time to rest.” (crushing noise)
Thalynmar: (muffled struggling and agony)
DM: ‘Working out that pressure point!’ (squirming around)
Thalynmar: (a muffled crack followed by a funeral dirge)
DM: You see Bahamut. (dropping his head to his hands)
Thalynmar: ‘I am not reviving you again.’
DM: “DO YOU AGREE to these terms?”
Thalynmar: “I don’t think we have much of a choice, so… aye.”
DM: “You have a choice. I can put you off and resume my transport for the cult.”
Thalynmar: “Nay, I think we’ll do this. One less chromatic dragon in the world is a good one. Wait. Nope. Didn’t say that right. Bit knackered after the fight. I’m gonna go to sleep.” (snoring)
Krixxix: “I suggest you send your entire contingent of soldiers with us to make sure we do our job against the dragon there and help lead us toward the dragon…”
DM: “If you do your job it will be obvious. I will RESERVE my ogres, in case you all decide to come up with another… ruse.”
Maldrake: “Fair deal.”
DM: “Return to the bottom.”
Thalynmar: “Can I borrow one’a those sweet helmets?”
DM: The ogres look OFFENDED! Before Blagothkus can -- (belching)

The group collapses in laughter.

Eben: His breath weapon!
DM: Before Blagothkus can speak, one of the plumed ogres stomps forward. “Dis helmet is a special gift! We da members of da honor guard! You nothin’ compared ta us!” He inches forward on you, thrusting his belly into your face. It would be your chest, but you’re too short. In an obvious posture of dominance.
Thalynmar: “Quite a bit of a paunch you got there…”
DM: “We well-fed! Shows we good!”
Thalynmar: “You got it there.”
DM: (grunting and looming at Thalynmar aggressively) He continues to grunt at you for a bit, but since you don’t rise to any further provocation he steps back among his peers.
Eben: Thaumaturgy to make the sound of a huge fart.
Thalynmar: “Blagothkus, you got quite a charismatic group here.”
DM: The ogre appears to let out a massive fart. The other ogres look at him, then clap him on the back with respect. He looks puzzled, but accepts the accolades nonetheless. “That was some mutton.”
Maldrake: I’m tempted to roll a medicine check to find out if he IS fat for an ogre or not.
Krixxix: I’m tempted to use Sleight of Hand to snag one of those helmets and be sitting there like, “Ooooh!”
Thalynmar: You WOULD be going over the edge.
DM: Talis warned you he would betray you!
Krixxix: ‘I don’t understand what’s so great about this thing.’
Thalynmar: We just shuffle away from him.
DM: “Tell the kobolds to keep. COOKING.” (bursting into laughter)
Thalynmar, Krixxix, and Eben: (also laughing, loud and fake)
DM: “The fuck is wrong with you?”
Maldrake: (also bursting into laughter)

Balgothkus wanders off, muttering that the PCs will get eaten alive. The ogres stare at the PCs, who decide to head back to Rezmir’s room to search it.

Thalynmar: I know there’s shit all over the place because the Thunderwave went off in there.
Eben: And the damn carpet.
Thalynmar: And the carpet. Oh wait, crap. The carpet!
Eben: It shouldn’t be enchanted now because Rezmir’s… indisposed.

They head back in and down to Rezmir’s room, checking to make sure they’d cleaned the place of cultists. They work out the Thunderwave hadn’t gone off in Rezmir’s room, and Krixxix heads in to check the suspicious chest on the desk. The rug promptly grapples him. 10 damage later, he squeezes out and gets the hell out of the room. Maldrake and Raven are off in the kitchen, so the rest blast and hack at it till it goes limp.

Thalynmar: Since Krixxix is still outside, we’re just gonna throw it out the door at him.
Krixxix: ‘Aaaaah!’
DM: The rug comes flying out at you! Roll your attack roll…
Thalynmar: If I roll a 1… 14.
DM: You nimbly dodge as it falls to a heap in front of you! What do you do?
Krixxix: I’m going to take out my rapier!
DM: You stab it!

Krixxix disarms a poison needle and picks the lock on the chest, finding a lot of money and a mask of ebony.

Krixxix: “The only thing in here was the mask!”
Thalynmar: I do want to remind you I was standing over your shoulder.
Krixxix: Sleight of Hand!
Thalynmar: What kind of minus does he get when I’m staring at the chest!
Maldrake: I do like the idea of you doing a Sleight of Hand, him not seeing it, then just -- (miming grabbing Krixxix) ‘I’m going to keep squeezing till treasure comes out.’
DM: I was gonna say you squeeze him and a dollar bill comes out of his mouth, but there are no dollar bills in D&D! So we gotta go with the obvious currency equivalent. You squeeze him and a tapestry comes out of his mouth.

The DM openly encourages Thalynmar and Krixxix to pocket the money and tell no one, even invoking Thalynmar’s secret fallen dragon nature. Maldrake shows up to heal them and also put a stop to this.

Maldrake: I start to walk out. I don’t even like dealing with this crap.
DM: You gain inspiration. Best damn response.

The DM vows to tell them the loot only once, then reads it off with Micro-Machines Man-like speed. The loot is gems and coins, and is useless. Krixxix loots the barracks pointlessly, while the others go to the Red Wizards’ room. Carpets, desks, lanterns, and four hulking gargoyles!

Krixxix: Smash the gargoyles while they’re still in stone form!
Eben: If they were that kind of gargoyles, why wouldn’t she have just activated them when she figured out who we were?
DM: By the way, you notice that wall that was missing is now back there.
Thalynmar: I go up and touch it, is it an illusion?
DM: When you touch it, it vanishes. It felt solid for a moment, but then it was gone. You look out on the outside landing platform, where someone could easily land a wyvern or something similar. Or land with a Fly spell!
Maldrake: I love the idea of him going… (miming jumping) ‘Oh shit I forgot I used all of my speeeeeeeellllls!’
DM: ‘Low falling damage, please!’
Thalynmar: ‘Crap I’m a wizaaaaaaard!’

The debate begins over whether or not a certain level of falling damage should be automatically fatal, with Thalynmar and Krixxix offering to die to it in service of principle.

Thalynmar: I tentatively poke one of the gargoyle statues with my glaive.
DM: (rolling) Nothing happens.
Krixxix: You didn’t have to roll for that.
DM: If you say so!
Thalynmar: Then I take off my boots and feel the carpet between my toes.
DM: It’s really nice, actually.
Thalynmar: (miming stepping off)
DM: And you forgot to put your boots back on, you are frozen to the icy ground.
Thalynmar: But I’m too proud to admit! ‘Thalynmar, we’re gonna go rest…’ ‘Aw no, just wanna – stand here for a moment.’
DM: ‘Why are you hacking at the ground with your axe?’ ‘No reason.’

Thalynmar scoops up some letters that look interesting and discovers them to be from someone VERY high placed in the cult – Severin.

DM: Not Severus. Before anyone goes there.
Lualyrr: Do I know anything about this Severus guy? Severin?
DM: (unfathomably dirty look)
Maldrake: (bursting into laughter)

Thalynmar sets off a stud finder for no reason as he learns that the Red Wizards, or at least many, are significantly tied to the Cult. No one can say ‘Severin’ until the DM threatens to dock experience. Thalynmar begins questioning if he can lift the gargoyles, leading to a long argument.

Thalynmar: I’m just dicking around. I don’t think I’m going to pick them up and throw them out. Athletics…? I do have it trained. +7, I’d need a 13 or higher, or… do I get a hernia or something?
DM: Do you want to find out?
Maldrake: We just hear a scream…

They elect to take their ease in the barracks, feeling this to be the most sensible place for them to rest. Krixxix plunders the barracks and demands to know what he found.

DM: A trivial amount of coins.
Krixxix: Sweet, a thousand goals.
DM: A TRI-VI-AL amount.
Maldrake: In this RPG it IS trivial! You need 5000 dollars to get a one-bedroom house! 5000 gold. This ain’t fourth edition…
Thalynmar: We eat and sleep. Same time.
DM: …that’s a Dexterity check.
Thalynmar: Yay! I – ooh, that’s right, I’m not a dexterous person. Can’t I just shovel it in with Strength?
DM: No, you’re asleep. Are you setting a watch?
Krixxix: I don’t think it’s necessary.
Maldrake: I hope I die.
DM: ….damn!

Eben and Lualyrr don’t technically sleep, so they become the de-facto watch. In the depths of the night, Eben hears a faint cry and the sound of an ogre body striking the ground. Maldrake and the DM cross wires, and the DM inadvertently instructs Maldrake to let the pie they baked sit overnight. Eben booms his voice in Thalynmar’s dreams to wake him.

Eben: “Trouble stirs in yon courtyard! Arise! Punch the white wolf! Turn into a drago –wait, wolf is first.”
Thalynmar: I rise…

They begin waking the others – some more gently than others.

Thalynmar: I don’t know why my character’s such an ass to Krixxix. Pick him up out of his bed, open the door, and throw him out. “SEE WHAT’S OUT THERE!”
Eben: You two are Flint and Tasslehoff. Every other worth out of your mouth is ‘rattlebrained kender’!
Krixxix: Why are you beating Krixxix…?
DM: Are you throwing Krixxix out?
Thalynmar: Because you’re against all our ideals – NO I’M NOT THROWING HIM OUT!
DM: I can promise you it will be awesome!

Krixxix hears nothing as he listens at the door, and when he nudges it open he finds himself staring into a thick wall of fog. Maldrake takes offense to the DM’s description of the fog!

Thalynmar: “Is it another illusion?”
DM: Most likely it’s the fact that the castle is very icy and is condensing water vapor into go.
Thalynmar: “Agh, science.”
DM: It’s the hand of the gods. Okay?
Thalynmar: “Ah, Moradin, why do you do this to us?!” I become an atheist dwarf.
DM: Okay, Dwarfghalien.

The players take a moment to question what they should be doing and how they can deal with this – and what the heck is out there that isn’t bothered by this thick fog. The DM calls for a Perception check, and some of the PCs hear footsteps!

DM: They definitely do not sound ogreish in nature.
Krixxix: Aww crap, what’s-her-name came back to the castle.
DM: And they’re heading for the staircase that leads to the upper courtyard.
Thalynmar: “They’re heading up.”
Eben: “No one else should be here but kobolds.”
Thalynmar: “No.”
Maldrake: “Can we follow the sound?”
Thalynmar: “I think they’re about to head up the staircase. Let’s see if we can cut them off.”
Eben: “But why…”
Thalynmar: “I don’t know. Let’s get to them and ask questions later.”

Krixxix fades into the fog with a Stealth roll and moves on ahead, with the rest of the PCs coming behind them. Eben digs into his spell repertoire, comes up with Thaumaturgy, and uses it to produce a loud noise.

Thalynmar: How about an explosion? Thunder might make them just like, “Oh, ‘bout to rain.”
Maldrake: “Wait a minute. It no rain on ice castle…”
Thalynmar: An explosion is like, “Uh-oh. Barrels of meat get bad again.”

Up top, ogres let out a cry as they hear the noise. Eben fires off a Firebolt into the air to see if the fog burns off, doing his best to test if the fog is magical. The bolt cuts through the fog, which makes it nonmagical in his opinion. Krixxix heads up the stairs, reaching a point at which the fog diminishes, but he encounters nothing until he reaches the top of the stairs and spies the ogres guarding the top.

Eben: Maybe the one I heard fall over just rolled a natural 1 on his saving throw or something. I dunno. I’m out of ideas… This will be the ship-run-aground version of the boat adventure because the castle will crash. We’ll have to walk the rest of the way to wherever we’re going. Fortunately the castle will take all the falling damage…
Raven: Can I drive the castle?
DM: How?
Raven: Actually I don’t know how this thing is…
Eben: Right foot gas, left foot transmission…
Maldrake: There’s just a bunch of rocks moving it.
Raven: Does it have one of those pull-handle things you have to go like this to start?
DM: You haven’t seen one!
Thalynmar: There’s a giant hamster down there.
Eben: There’s a great big propeller blade on the front of it.

Maldrake begins walking the walls to look for trouble, and as he comes around the corner of the keep he stumbles over the body of an ogre! The DM calls for an Investigation check, which Thalynmar rolls a mighty 6 on.

Thalynmar: Nope! Spontaneous death.
DM: With your compromised vision you begin feeling over the ogre, but you can’t find any signs of wounds to his torso or abdomen, no blood spilled on the ground beneath him.
Thalynmar: “That’s strange. And definitely no pulse…” Did anyone come with me? Where’s Eben?
Eben: (making a whoosh noise while miming movement)
DM: (miming him slamming into a wall) Flying while blind, dude.
Eben: I’m not flying. I’m just making that noise to myself while I’m walking around with my hands in my sleeves.
DM: ‘Melodramatic!’ echoes a voice from the giant’s tower.

Maldrake rolls Medicine on the ogre, determining it is pale and unusually cool even considering the ice. Investigation leads him to check his dick. Or alternatively his neck, where he finds two puncture marks. The players immediately realize Mer’dorvich has gone cross-campaign to hunt them. Eben wanders blindly around calling mentally for Krixxix.

Eben: “We must alert the ogres above.”
Thalynmar: “Tell him to do it with discretion!” ‘HEY GUYS LISTEN!’
Thalynmar: And then like 50 javelins stick out of Krixxix. There’s not even room for 50 javelins.

Eben warns the ogres of the vampire, and it turns out they knew the entire time. Eben is fairly annoyed.

Eben: “Is there anything else… what’s-his – Blog-blag—Big B forgot to mention to us?”
Thalynmar: There’s a sign up we didn’t even bother reading. ‘Beware of vampires.’
DM: “We though it gone with cultists! You not kill it?!”
Maldrake: “We didn’t know there was a VAMPIRE here.”
Eben: “Had we known of its presence…”
DM: “It only come out at night.”
Eben: “Had we KNOWN of its PRESENCE…”
DM: “We didn’t know you didn’t know! How we know you didn’t know?!”
Eben: “So you are aware of it.”
DM: “It stalk all over. Stalk us ogres. We want it dead. We see it, we kill it. Now that cultists not protecting it no more.”
Eben: “Is there any more evil creatures walking the keep you would like us to kill for you?”
DM: “You don’t gotta kill it! We take da vengeance. You guys stay indoors. Not go out alone. We not send no more patrols down there. Not get any more eaten. But then we find it during day. We kill it. It done too much to us! THIS OUR VENGEANCE!”
Eben: “How do you decide who stands guard alone when the vampire stalks along?”
DM: “WE THOUGHT IT GONE! We told you. You guys kill all cultists, vampire with cult, we thought you kill it.”
Eben: “Ah yes. Demon man not function ears so good.”
DM: “Me know.”
Thalynmar: (cracking up)
DM: “Evil creatures stalking castle… uh, there dragon. You know about dragon?”
Eben: “We know about dragon.”
DM: “There kobolds.”
Eben: “We kill kobolds?”
DM: “No, not kill kobolds! But they evil!”
Thalynmar: “Did I hear they’re gonna take care of it? Because I’m going back to bed if they are.”
DM: “Uh… there that little guy.”
Eben: “Yes, he’s pretty evil.”
DM: “Yeah, he with you though, so me guess you know about him.”

Thanlymar decides to go grab a gargoyle statue to barricade the door, and fails to give himself a hernia in the process. They all thoroughly expect it to come to life and savage them while they sleep.

DM: Here’s the plot I’m not going with. You wake up to see Thalynmar has barricaded the doors with gargoyles, but the vampire has fed on him, and now you guys can’t get out because the gargoyles are too heavy. It escapes in mist form through the keyhole and you guys slowly starve over the course of several days, the end.
Thalynmar: I’m sure between Raven and Maldrake they would be able to move it…
DM: NOPE! Only Thalynmar.

Maldrake turns to his religious knowledge to try to identify the weaknesses of the vampire, and actually realizes that in this edition they have explicit problems with running water. Thalynmar blocks a door, then realizes there’s a second one. The rest of the night passes uneventfully… and Krixxix, who is the one handling the mask, is called upon to make a Wisdom saving throw. He promptly becomes the Mask, dons the Masque of the Red Death, and becomes Dio.

Eben: Jeez. This is gonna be an extended stay. Every night there’s going to be something to fight.
DM: You stare into the eyes of the mask, and you know what it is. The legendary Black Dragon Mask.

The DM recites the properties of the mask, which are NUMEROUS. Most of them would directly benefit Maldrake, but he refuses to wear it out of principle, being a copper dragonborn.

DM: The adventure was specifically constructed so the PCs would not get their hands on this item.
Thalynmar: Really.
Eben: Then why have it… there?
DM: Because it is. It belongs to Rezmir, she had it with her.
Eben: But was the adventure constructed so that Rezmir had it with her?
DM: In fact, if she dies the contents of her chest are teleported to safety.
Thalynmar: But she didn’t die.
DM: Yes, nor could she fight you all to the death.
Thalynmar: That’s wild.
DM: She WOULD have fought you all to the death. But she was never even given the choice.

The group specifically notes that they of all people would find some goofass way to get the mask despite all odds. A female voice whispers into Krixxix’s mind seductively, and the group finds him wearing it when they wake in the morning.

Maldrake: “You use the power of our enemy so callously.”
Krixxix: “Your point?”
Maldrake: “Any trust I once had in you—“
Krixxix: “If the power of our enemy can be used against them, then why wouldn’t we use it?”
DM: (whispering) “He’ll try to take it from you.”
Krixxix: “We turn the weapon of the enemy against them!”
DM: (whispering) “He cannot be trusted!”
Eben: ‘You cannot use it! The mask must be destroyed!’
Thalynmar: ‘Don’t! TEMPT! Me, Krixxix!’
DM: (whispering) “Guard your sleep!” You all are refreshed and revitalization from your night’s sleep. Arcane energies and holy might thrum in your mind! Your sword-arms are vigorous! Your boners mighty, except for Lualyrr!
Thalynmar: Damn morning wood.
Maldrake: “I can’t stop you from using its power—“
DM: Yes you could! You’ve got weapons!
Maldrake: Well, I don’t plan on killing him…

Two nights later Krixxix is inexplicably crucified. A voice that ISN’T the DM’s whispers to Krixxix to abandon pants. He develops the Innsmouth Look. This leads to a weird long discussion about Lovecraft and works inspired by him, till the DM finally hauls them back on track. The audio craps out for quite a while – when it picks up again, the PCs have ventured deep into the core of the castle, where the dragon guards an immense pile of treasure, clinging to the icy ceiling as it glares down at them.

Thalynmar: Oh that’s not good.
Krixxix: “Hiii!”
Thalynmar: (trying to assemble minis) We have three left arms and no right arms.
DM: Huh.

The audio craps out again, but the dragon bid them leave and they do not – so initiative erupts! Some of them advance forward into the cave, and then Lualyrr casts Darkness over the group to provide visual protection.

DM: The dragon lets its claw free, flips, and flaps in your direction.
Maldrake: Farting to boost its speed!
Thalynmar: Is he large size?
DM: He is Huge. You all hear his claws slam into his ice above you, and those of you who are not in the darkness can see him up there. A horrible realization that you are about to take on a dragon washes through your veins, and you must each make a Wisdom saving throw against his Frightful Presence.

The rolls only punish Krixxix, who uses his mask to autopass instead, and Raven, who remains the group’s bad luck sink. Krixxix realizes way too late he has advantage on fear checks. The dragon, which can clearly see them, unloads a withering blast of frost breath down into the midst of the darkness!

DM: Those of you who can see the dragon almost think there’s a smirk on its jaws as it looks down into the darkness and whispers, “I can see you…” Then its jaw opens and an immense torrent of cold pours down on the two of you who have taken refuge within. It’s a Constitution saving throw! The DM abruptly realizes he shouldn’t be rolling 12d12 for the dragon’s damage; the damage comes to 48, to their horror.

DM: It rolled low.
Krixxix: It rolled low and it’s a 48?
DM: Yeah.

An argument erupts over whether Thalynmar can reach the dragon with his glaive, though the DM nixes this. Lualyrr maintains concentration on her darkness spell despite the damage and Raven takes a quarter of the damage thanks to his Ring of Warmth. Eben casts Shatter on it.

DM: You fire the Shatter upwards and you see the ice crackle and break around it.
Eben: Oh yeah! It does that, too!
DM: Icicles go flying!
Eben: I totally had no intention of it having that effect!
DM: And a cloud of icy dust bursts into the air, briefly catching the iridescent light and scattering into rainbows as it scatters about the room.

Krixxix fires a sneak attack at the dragon and promptly rolls a 20, putting the arrow cleanly into its open mouth. He promptly ducks back into hiding behind Maldrake with his rogue action.

Maldrake: I hate to remove your hiding place…
Krixxix: Aw come on, dude!
Maldrake: I’m trying to spread us out but I don’t think I can hit it with my breath.
DM: If you got slightly less than beneath it, you’d be able to breathe on it.
Maldrake: Well, not taking my weapon out. I break out the thing that’s been in my backpack for a long time—
DM: The dildo. Boioioioioing.
Eben: The dragon recoils!
Maldrake: No, the Ancient Oath longbow, elven, thorn, blood prints, that’s all I wrote for this thing… “Making me use a bow, dragon! Come down! Come down, little drake. Come down.”
Eben: The ceiling is damaged, is it more apt to give way?
DM: I rolled for it, the dragon is still holding on.
Thalynmar: Hit it again.
Eben: That was an unintended effect.
DM: It was, and I gave you credit for it, but it had no result.
Thalynmar: AGAIN!

Maldrake is delighted to discover he wrote down the bow information, and everyone gets a kick out of the noise he makes. He hits!

DM: The arrow slams into its side. It starts to let out a roar, then pauses and looks back at its flank, sort of thinks about it – that one didn’t hurt as much as the other one. Then another Shatter goes off!
Lualyrr: 18.
DM: The Shatter erupts over the ceiling. This time the ice that is beneath the dragon’s clinging claws bursts into countless cubes and chunks. The dragon begins to plummet for the ground, but with quick reflexes it rights itself, slamming heavily onto the –

Maldrake promptly knocks the mini over, taking out Lualyrr in the process. The group has to pause for a moment to stop laughing.

Thalynmar: Well played.
Eben: It somehow misses Raven!
DM: Lualyrr, you’re dead. The dragon fell on you, I guess.
Lualyrr: Okay.
DM: Raven, you find yourself face to face with the dragon, and ice runs through your veins. Raw terror grips you. What do you do?
Raven: I’m shaking in my boots heavily, and then I guess the only thing I can do is grab my sword and with my eyes closed, start swinging.
Maldrake: RAGE OUT! RAGE OUT! Pool your might – can he rage?

Raven spends Lucky to add a third d20 into the mix and take the best. Then promptly critically fails on his second swing, because he’s the bad luck sump. The DM kindly declines to apply the critical failure result of hitting Lualyrr, and instead he can only make a move action next round. At the end of Raven’s action, the dragon buffets them all with its wings, knocking over Raven and taking a quick flight hop across the battlefield. Thalynmar promptly crits the dragon, then misses the second attack. The dragon engages Krixxix.

DM: You take 38 piercing and 13 cold as its jaws snap shut around your tiny form. Then it slams you into the wall.
Maldrake: Did he just gobble you?! Do you have hit points left?
Krixxix: Yeah, I’m at 64 originally. How many did I take?
Maldrake: 51.
Thalynmar: Krixxix’s screams pierce the air.
Eben: And they crit the dragon!
Thalynmar: Blood pours out of his ear holes!
Krixxix: Do I need to roll acting to play dead?
DM: As you bounce off the wall, the dragon brings its other claw around and slams it into you. You take 14 slashing damage.
Krixxix: Waaaagh!
DM: Then, as it holds you up, it uses its third attack to reach out, rip the mask off your face, and then lets your body slump to the ground.
Maldrake: So he took the mask?!
Eben: You know how dragons are with their magic items. And he LOVES to have dragons take magic items away from Krixxix…
Thalynmar: So you had a very powerful magic item, and you critted him – you were like super enemy #1 all of a sudden.
Krixxix: When have I NOT been enemy number one?
Thalynmar: That’s no one’s fault but your own.

Eben, Thalynmar, and Lualyrr all get attacks of opportunities as the dragon moves away. Eben, however, carries no weapon!

Maldrake: Let him punch! Punch! Punch!
Krixxix: Punch it!
Eben: It’s not going to hit, I’m still at a -1.
DM: You slam your fist against the dragon’s side. It pauses as it rises, and gives you a – ‘what?’

The dragon repositions itself, and then Eben is up.

Thalynmar: He turns around and walks away,
DM: Looks left. Looks right. Fires two eldritch blasts into Krixxix.
Eben: Hairbrained kender, nrrrrr.
DM: Look at it this way, Krixxix. You absorbed an entire claw attack that could have landed on a teammate because he had to peel the mask off of you. You’re a team player! Ish.
Thalynmar: Thanks, damage sponge!
Krixxix: Now my AC’s down to 14. I want my leather armor back!
Thalynmar: ‘What’d you do with it?’ ‘I threw it over the side…’
Krixxix: ‘I never need this again!’
DM: Down below, Rezmir’s like, “Now that I’m healed up, I can –“ Crushed by leather armor at terminal velocity. You see Rezmir wandering around, the leather armor’s gone over her head somehow.
Thalynmar: ‘Agh, smells like halfling!’

Eben fires his eldritch blast, while Krixxix racks up one of his death rolls and contemplates a new character. Maldrake Blesses the melee, then vows enmity on the dragon.

Maldrake: I stare into his eyes. “You, my enemy, will fall.” And I proceed to move towards him!
Lualyrr: Healing Word on Krixxix. 13 points.
DM: And Krixxix is back up. Raven, what will you do? A, use half your move to stand up.
Maldrake: B, continue to only move.

Krixxix argues that the dragon should lose a claw attack! The DM irritatedly explains why it should not… while glaring at Maldrake, who’s agreeing with him.

Maldrake: I’m not fighting you on it.
DM: Thank you! I expected you guys to, honestly.
Maldrake: Maybe if he was holding a column or something.
Thalynmar: If he was smaller, I might give it some….
DM: Just be glad this item requires attunement, and he can’t just go ah–ha! (miming popping it on)

Raven spreads out a bit with his feeble movement, while Krixxix begs to be allowed to hide behind ice cubes. The dragon is up!

DM: The white dragon looks over at you, Maldrake. “Holy warriors… I know what you all love the most.”
Thalynmar: Pussy.
DM: (moving the mini over the fighters)
Maldrake: Oh. Our friends?
Thalynmar: God damn it. This is why I hate flying creatures.
DM: “I wouldn’t have done this if not for your vow!” Whips his head around and unleashes a withering cone of cold on the three of you in the tunnel.
Thalynmar: Ouch. Goodbye, Krixxix.
Krixxix: Do I get my evasion—
DM: No, it’s a Constitution save! It is not something you can dodge, merely something you can endure.
Maldrake: “I’m pretty sure you would have done that regardless, dragon. Really? You really think you’re hurting me? Really.”
Krixxix: You’re like, ‘dude, I never liked Krixxix anyays.’

The breath deals 56 points of damage, half on a save. Krixxix is right the hell back down, and the DM spends a while trying to persuade a very tired Lualyrr to record her damage. Eben counters with Hellish Rebuke, launching retaliatory fire back into the dragon’s face. He ponders a use of Polymorph, as the DM recommends the Giant Ape.

Maldrake: I swear to all heavens, if you turn me into giant ape, this game ends now.
DM: 157 hit points, it has multiattack—
Maldrake: If you DON’T turn me into a giant ape…

His eldritch blast has knockback built in thanks to a class power, so Eben blows the dragon back towards Thalynmar. The dragon does its wing-buffet thing again at the end of Eben’s turn, knocking over no one once everyone remembers Bless. Thalynmar takes his AOO as the dragon escapes. Maldrake has a long thought about whether to drop his bow, and ends up putting away his bow and breathing on the dragon.

DM: “You call that a breath weapon!” the dragon shouts out.
Maldrake: “My mouth is kind of small!”
DM: Meanwhile, its tail whips out and smacks upside Thalynmar’s side.
Thalynmar: “Hey!”
DM: You take 16 points of bludgeoning damage.
Krixxix: Does that mean he’s facing—
Maldrake: Just stop it.

Lualyrr heals herself, and everyone encourages Raven to act, which he eventually does. He and Thalynmar pound on the dragon a bit, while Sulesdag appears in the background for no reason. The dragon, now hurting, takes a withdraw action and flees for a side tunnel down past a thirty foot drop. Eben fires blasts at the dragon’s flank.

Maldrake: Putting my bow away, I start to run. It’s a thirty foot drop?
Thalynmar: You can do 3d6, you’re tough.
Maldrake: Yeah, that’s what I’m about to do…

Maldrake leaps down the cliff, shouting invective, while Lualyrr heals Krixxix and the group speculates why the mask is so valuable to this dragon. The dragon slaps Maldrake with his legendary tail slaps. Raven leaps down the cliff too, then uses Second Wind to heal himself. The DM explains legendary actions, a new 5E concept, to the group. Thalynmar follows down the cliff, inexplicably absorbing the falling damage with his armor.

DM: Oh, you guys are not going to like this. The dragon takes a disengage action, surges up on its hind legs, and bashes through the ceiling of the tunnel as it begins to burrow through the ice that is its natural habitat.
Thalynmar: Aww, it’s a burrow—I forgot they were burrowers.
Eben: I like the fact that this legendary creature is pissing its pants in its attempt to get away from these little insects.
Thalynmar: Just shout out, “Coward!”

The dragon is effectively gone, and Maldrake fumes that they’ve failed and the giant will not accept it. The DM hurriedly assures them that will not be the case; the dragon is fleeing, though Maldrake is still convinced it is lurking about. They ponder going to taunt the dragon till its pride require it to return.

DM: I am going to tell you, it has a bonus to its resistance to being taunted equal to the number of hit points it has lost at this point.
Eben: Why are you taunting the treasure pile…?
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