The Cult of the Dragon

Worth the cost
Musings of the bard formerly known as Kadence

Thank the gods, it’s finally over. The nightmares, which have plagued me for… months? Surely it has been longer than that… have finally ended.

We stopped Tiamat from escaping the Nine Hells and running rampant over the Realms, at no small cost to everyone involved. A lot of good people died serving this cause. And if I never have to manage the differing personalities of pompous, arrogant rulers more interested in either preserving their image or mitigating the loss of a portion of treasure which there was no guarantee we would secure in the first place, it will be too damn soon!

The deal with the devils… I keep waiting for that one to come back and bite me on the ass. All in all, though, I think most of the souls they collected were souls that were destined for the Nine Hells anyway. It became a question of going to Tiamat with the knowledge that you failed her, or going to some other portion of hell. It’s funny… I appreciate someone knowing what I was willing to sacrifice to get the devils’ aid (thanks Grrr), but I also am glad that most people don’t.

It’s strange now when I walk through the streets of Waterdeep. It seems like everywhere I go, people know who I am. I’m not sure how I feel about that. The attention and flattery are great, but along with that come the expectations that I can right all the wrongs (real or imagined) that these people have ever suffered. I didn’t ask to be a hero nor do I care to try and right all the wrongs in this world. There is no more sitting quietly in a bar, having a drink and maybe performing a song or two while I figure out who I’d like to take to bed.

I think maybe it’s time for Kadence to retire and only come out for “important” occasions (and possibly Gavin’s wedding). And, as much as it feels weird for me to say, I think Scourge is dead. That’s not something I can go back to, at this point. The question, then, becomes – who am I now? Ah ah ah, to answer, well now, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? And I can’t have that.

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The partial retirement of Grr Animal-Friend

Stopping the Cult of the Dragon from bringing Tiamat back was a major victory, but the job is not yet done. The battle at the well of dragons caused more destruction than I have ever seen. It will take me many months to heal the land. At least I have made some new friends from the emerald enclave that are able and willing to help. They have told me stories of the vast wildlands that they protect, and I think I would like to spend some time there someday.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The threat of Thay has been revealed to me. Their perversion of everything living is something that must be stopped. I discussed it with the pixies and they think it would be amusing if we teleport in, knock down their castles with earthquakes, and teleport back out. I wonder how many castles they have. Maybe Gavin will join me for a more tactical assault. He seems to have a good mind for these things.

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We Won the War
Damn I did Not Get a Red Tooth.

Dear Mother

Let me introduce myself I am Baron Gavin Breen, Lord of the Greypeak Mountains, Sheriff of Parnast, Hero of the Well of Dragons. Wow that is a mouth full when introducing little ole me. I have done it I have stepped out of the shadow of my father and I have lands, title and a keep of my own.

I am sending you this message now that the threat is over and Tiamat gets to stay in Hell where she belongs. I have to say that thanks to the training that I got from Onthar Frume we were able to come up with a battle plan that allowed our army to prevail on the field of battle. The cult never expected us to cast water-walking on the cavalry, allowing them to flank the giants that were defending the bridge. With the bridge taken the dwarves could move siege weapons onto the high ground and do some damage. Also the Paladin Balasar talked to the Rangers of the Emerald Enclave, and it was a sight to see, treants acting as mobile archery platforms for the rangers and druids.

Oh I am so happy with my new friend and mount Winnowill the Copper Dragon/Fay creature. Without her the battle would have been very different. I was able to fly into battle and kill the cult leader before he could cast a spell or do a thing. Being able to fly also allowed me to kill flying cultist who thought they would be safe in the air chanting. Well they were wrong about that.

I was worried about one part of the battle. I am not sure what she did, but Kadance made a deal with her infernal kin. Devils entered the battle to fight against the devils that the cult had employed. I think her deal was to let the Devils try and convert any cultist that survived the war. Which makes sense, if I was worshiping for Tiamat and I had failed her like the cult had I too might want a deal where my soul did not go to her, but almost anywhere else, thank Tymora we don’t have to worry about that. I just hope that Kadance has not lost too much of herself in this deal, but if she has I am ready to ride through the gate of Hell to get her back. Oh by the way, when it comes to Kadance going to knight her. This will give her title of Dame; this is just in case she ever has need of it. I may just put the paperwork in so that it is a surprise. I would love to see the look on her face the 1st time someone uses her title. “What can I do for you? Dame Kadance?” Hahaha I was thinking I would Knight Grr also, but that would just be confusing to everyone. As for Balasar I think he is on a different path with the order of the Gauntlet, but I will find out. He is a good man, and could be useful if he wants to live in the Graypeak Mountains.

Now mother you will need to get ready to travel. Once I have the manor house in Parnast ready, and the Keep around it under construction. There is going to be a wedding. Now that I truly have something to offer Lady Mollasandra Minuette Brightwater DeSolla, Second Daughter of House DeSolla, Keeper of the Keys, Lady in good standing with the Houses of Termish, the added title of Baroness. I am going to officially propose, and not worry about the arrange betrothal that you and the Lady DeSolla came up with years ago. Yes I know that ultimately I am doing just what you wanted, but I am now doing it on my own terms, and I hope that is what Molly wants also.

So in getting my manor house and keep ready I might have to get a new grounds keeper. My troll Trepsin might be a problem. I am going to give him a choice, he can stay and be the grounds keeper, but he will have to give up his worship of demons, and he will have to stop eating people. I am not sure if this is something I can explain to him and if not he will have to go. But I hope to keep him around by trying to get him to worship the god Silvanus, god of nature and hunting. If this does not work I will make a deal with the Giants of Skyreach castle and see if they would like to add a troll to their crew of monsters. I think he will like it there because they have a liberty that has books in giant, and oddly enough that troll loves to read, but my plan is to keep him as a grounds keep or maybe a scout into the more dangerous areas of the Graypeaks, I figure a 4 armed troll should be able to survive anything he runs into out there.

Lastly I am going to tell you a secret. I know that I have always hated the idea of joining groups, and organizations and stuff like that. But now that I have responsibilities beyond myself I am going to join the Harpers. Yes I know they are nosey, do-gooders that know how to ruin profit for everyone, but I am not about profit. The lands that I am in control of has a number of teleportation portals, one I know where only one of them goes, but the other 4 we barely have an idea. I believe that the Harpers are the best people to figure out the portals, and they can help me control them. Also being on the edge of Fallen Lands I will need the information, and the help to keep the people safe. I will talk to Remi Haventree, and Leosin Erlanthar I am sure we can some to some kind of agreement. Let’s hope that they can supply me with information, troops, and all the things I will need to be a successful Baron. So please keep the Harper stuff to yourself, they like secrets.

See you at the Wedding (I hope she says yes) or when you visit.

Your truly Baron Gavin Breen, Lord of the Greypeak Mountains, Sheriff of Parnast, Hero of the Well of Dragons, but mostly your loving son.

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Thay is the worst place ever -- introspection of Grr Animal-Friend

After clearing out Xonthal’s tower, we found the corpse of the cultist defector Iskinder and the blue dragon mask. Kadence combined it with the green one to create an even more powerful dragon mask. While cool, I am concerned that bad things could happen if we bring more of them together. Gavin claimed a blue dragon tooth for his necklace after a brief fight with another dragon.

The Zhents were eager to buy our newly captured tower from us so we sold it to them for 50000 gp (Balisar could have a bag full of spyglasses now!), in exchange for their help in the battle to come. They also agreed to move the library with the portal to our hunting lodge. Balisar thinks the portal goes to the city of brass in the plane of elemental evil. I’m not sure what were going to do with this, but it sounds like trouble.

The council then sent us to Thay, which I have to say is the worst place ever. Every creature there seems to be some sort of undead abomination. Gavin got upset at them for magically interrogating us in our dreams (which was extremely unpleasant), then they refused to work with us as they thought Gavin was impolite. I really don’t understand politics. We reported to the council that the Thayans are a bunch of dicks, and we should go back and chop them up with a sunglaive. I would enjoy trying out some of my new sun spells on them after we finish with the cult.

The council has finally agreed to attack the well of dragons in 2 weeks. Some exciting news came in at the last minute that our cloud giant friend with the flying castle is sending help too. I knew that helping our giant friends was a wise decision, and we would not have to worry about giants causing trouble in Faerun any time soon.

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When in Dough Bash It Out

Dear Mother

I have always hated hedge mazes, but you play nicely and you walk the ladies through the maze and we all pretend it was fun. Well not my friend Grr! No he got sick of the maze and decided to walk through the hedge, and you know what? He was right, that was the way, but I have gotten ahead of myself.

So after dealing with Mid-Summer, dragon attacks, and an incubus that I wish I could kill again, we got a chance to see my favorite gnome in the whole world, Jamna. She had stolen a letter that had info on where the blue mask was. It appears that a man named Iskinder wishes to defect from the cult. He misses the old days of just making Dracolichs, and does not want to bring back the 5 headed lady. He is in Xthonals Tower with other wizards, most likely Red Wizards, and he wants out, and he wants to be rescued. Well we go to save this guy, and we get to find out 1st hand he is a knuckle head. So to get to the tower you need to get through a magical maze, and as we approach this guy goes to the top of the tower, and yells “Heroes! I have it, come find me at the bottom of the tower”. He then gets into a fight with a guard, and throws him from the top of the tower, so everyone now knows we are on the way, and who we are coming to get. Thanks Iskinder!
Now we enter the maze and it sucks, magic, illusions, conjurations, and mumbo-jumbo. We fight water monsters; we wonder around, we fight a Dao, we wonder around, we play games with Cyclopes, and we wander around!!!! And then like a stroke of genius Grr say he is going to just hack his way through the hedge maze, and POW. The illusion fads and we are at the base of the tower. We have been able to find a way into the tower, and we also found the dead guy that Iskinder killed, but we have not found him yet. So it is time to search the tower for the tall man in the purple robes, let’s hope he is not dead.

So on another note, I am not sure if The Lady Mollasandra Minuette Brightwater DeSolla, Second Daughter of House DeSolla, Keeper of the Keys, Lady in good standing with the Houses of Termish will be staying in Waterdeep or not. She had been attacked by a devil, and I can only hope that she can recover from the mental aspect of his ordeal. I wanted to stay with her and help her through it, but the cult is not waiting for me to deal with my love and her pain. If she comes home please help her as you can, we all know how the 1st witch of house DeSolla can be.

Well Wishes your son

Gavin

PS: you know I think I should get the council to give me my own lands, and title. If I survive all of this that is.

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Midsummer Meetings
From the private journal of Balasar

Midsummer

How fitting that on a day which doesn’t exist in any month, we bring in a prisoner that doesn’t exist.

We returned Melandrach’s wayward son to the council, to face judgement as the Green Wyrmspeaker. In the midst of being done a huge favor by having his dirty laundry not aired in open session, Melandrach was still an arrogant ass. Perhaps his gods should turn him into a goat for a few decades? I have it on good authority that being turned into a lesser creature helps cure arrogance.1

Kadence mentioned the Devils’ offer to the council. I think she did it just to make them realize how bad an idea it would be, but they were far more receptive to the idea than I would have liked. Also, if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t know how much of my belief is wishful thinking. She is quite disturbingly attractive, and I’m not naive enough to forget the tendency we all have to make excuses for those we find attractive.

Onthar asked us to look into the murders of the council aides. We tracked down the incubus who had been charming others into killing for him, only to discover that he had sent Lady Molly to commit suicide that very day. In my haste to get to Lady Molly and free her from this compulsion, I neglected to cast Protection From Evil on my companions before I (and the divine aura of Bahamut that surrounds me) left.

Hearing Kadence and Gavin arguing over the past few days, watching them go at it hammer and tongs like an old married couple, I can perhaps be excused for assuming both to be too strong-willed to fall for even magical compulsions. Unfortunately, that’s all it would be — an excuse.

Some troubles with magical charms aside, however, they managed to dispatch the incubus back to the vile hells that spawned him, after learning that his fiendish masters have recorded everything the council has discussed (and even the very occasional things that the council has done) for months. That would be bad enough if he were part of the hellish faction which claims to be working against Tiamat, but such is not the case.

At this point, we may be saved only by the fact that evil is by its nature terrible at working together. The devil who cornered us in the inn and claimed to have every reason to be on our side, for example, still refused any help unless given unreasonable concessions. I can only hope that that same tension exists between the devils and Red Wizards, and between the Red Wizards and the Cult. If it does, their unwillingness to share will be their undoing.

1 For example, I once would have been sceptical that there even are yet-lower creatures into which elves could be turned.

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Lair of the Green Dragon - introspection of Grr Animal-Friend

I must’ve caught some sort of disease the last time we were in Waterdeep, because I woke up this morning in the misty forest not knowing how I got there, and the rest of my friends were gone. I was able to find my way to an elven village that was recently attacked by the green dragon we came to hunt. My visit was dampened by the local raven-neglector and lord who didn’t seem to grasp the urgency of our quest to save his village. Of course the raven knew what was going on — I don’t know why I even bother talking to the humanoids first. The lord was being bullied by the green wyrmspeaker into giving up information about other nearby villages.

An incompetent tracker — although still more helpful than the lord — was able to point me in the direction of my friends. I caught up to them at the entrance of the green dragon’s lair, and just in time. A whole garrison of cultists, the wyrmspeaker, and the dragon were waiting for us. Kadence’s firestorm and Gavin’s polearm made short work of the garrison. The new guy Balisar literally exploded the dragon with his sword and a holy light. Am I glad the animal spirits sent him to join our cause. I was able to test out one of my new elemental forms the spirits granted me — very fun, and the dragon didn’t seem to like it one bit.

We managed to capture the wyrmspeaker, who turned out to be an elven prince who led a coup against the king, then faked his own death using a doppleganger in a deception that would’ve put Sabir to shame. We can turn the wyrmspeaker in to the council, so maybe now they’ll help us go after the well of dragons.

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Musing

Maybe I am just being too paranoid. With all the things that have been going on, is it possible I’m seeing things, patterns, deceptions that aren’t really there?

Take the apparent suicides of not just one but two scribes working for members of the council. To me, this feels like the Cult’s attempt to find a way to worm someone into the room where all the major decisions are happening, to have a finger on the pulse of the opposition.

Next, take Lady Molly’s reaction. It could just be that she’s a jealous woman and concerned that I’m going to try to steal Gavin from her. If this is actually the case, it’s laughable. But the change in demeanor between how she reacts to me now and how she reacted to me the last time we met bothers me. Again, I could just be seeing shadows which aren’t really there.

Finally – that elf in charge in the Misty Forest. Could be he gave us the village’s worst tracker because he honestly figured the trail would be so easy to follow that even she could handle it Or, could be he was trying to get us lost in the wilderness. Am I going to start second guessing everything? I used to be better than this. Used to be people were second guessing me. Weird, I know.

At least we did find what appears to be the lair of the green dragon that’s been ravaging the villages. And we took care of the “grunt” minions so far. We’ll have to see what else we can find.

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In a Battle Dragons beats Elves……silly elves.
I did not DIE!

Dear Mother did you know? Now I understand this council that has formed to battle Tiamat, is run with an undercurrent of Greed. We have now found out that all of this good will to fight the good fight is being motivated by everyone wanting a shear of the hoard that the cultists have accumulated. Some of them are so worried about getting gold that they seem to have forgotten that Tiamat might get a chance to enter our world. Now that I have an idea of what is really going on I think I can raise an army.
So far the Flaming Fist and the Purple Knights will send troops. I believe this is because they understand that we need to deal with the cult now, not once they have divine dragon help on their side. Almost everyone else is waiting for me and my associates to prove ourselves again. In order to prove how cool I am I was able to negotiate with the Metallic Dragons and they have agreed to also send troops. But dealing with dragons can be difficult. They are SO old and have so many grudges; thankfully we were able to deal with most of it. Speaking of grudges did you know that one in our ancestors was a thief who stole a bag of holding from a copper dragon about 1000 years ago? How cool is that?! So this copper dragon Tazmikella said I smelled like someone who stole from her about 1000 years ago. I am really going to have to learn more about these good dragons. Maybe we have some dragon affiliation in our blood from who knows when. I can see learning a lot if I can get over being treated like a pet. Oh but back to my dragon army, one of the things they wanted was an apology from the elves. This is the funny part the elves pushed back saying that if I forced them to apology they would withhold troops…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA right in fighting a flying enemy like evil dragons I have to make a choice between elf army or a good dragon army….hahahahahahahahahaha… Right, hard to pick.
I believe that if my cadre and I can complete one more mission we can get this army rolling. There are reports of a green dragon with a rider attacking the elven woods not far from here. My Troll at arms Trapsin had a prisoner from the cult. This man told us a little about the cult, and that the green worm speaker was named Narumvain. My guess is that the rider is the green worm speaker. To get a worm speaker out of the battle and to hand over the green mask to the Brass dragon Ileuthra should put the cultist on their heels.
I wonder if I could convince one of the good dragons let me ride them. Maybe one of the younger ones who is looking for adventure, Gavin Breen Dragon Rider! Humm I would have to get cool matching armor to match the color of this adventurous dragon.
Talk to you soon.
Gavie
PS: It was so romantic when I gave the Lady Molly her matching platinum-dragon tooth neckless (is dragon tooth a kind of ivory?). She was so happy to get it. Also I was surprised to see that she was put to work as a scribe from the Turmish delegation, if you can send me a massage with some background on what is going on.

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Crystal City Musings
Wait. This is a job interview?

Everything was going so well. I’d summoned a new familiar to replace Az (Ez, the cutest owl on Toril), and we headed off to Luskan with Macath. Outside of Luskan, we were attacked by pirates, as is traditional for the town. After switching from our damaged ship to their more intact one (and burying their dead and not-yet-dead at sea), we headed into town to fix Kadence’s ugly rock problem.

We stopped by the Hottstower of the Arcane to discuss the Cult. There, we discovered that the Arcane Brotherhood color codes their leaders in a way oddly similar to the Cultists, got a minor history lesson on the Drachorn which provided no new information, and extracted their promise to destroy Hazirawn (the sword).

Why do I specify “the sword”? Because when we were later discussing the fact that I flavor all of my food with Prestidigitation, I suddenly woke up here. My best theory is that I was poisoned by Hazirawn (the meat puppet).

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