2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

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Grimnir
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2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Hello,

This thread is for my current campaign. I know some people have showed an interest in hearing about it so here it is.

Some setting background:

My game is set in FR, using mostly 2e with a few 1e additions, but I have taken the continent that is labeled Katashaka and detailed it for my own use. The north and east part of the continent has been ruled by a Red Great Wyrm and his mate for centuries. They have produced 5 offspring, increasing the size of the Royal Family. Being Red Dragons, they rule with an iron fist and are tyrants of the worst kind. They have established an army of humanoids (mostly orcs but augmented by ogres, fire giants, etc.) that help to enforce their rule.

There has been a loosely organized resistance that has been looking for a way to rid themselves of these tyrants for years. The Harpers have taken an interest in the situation and agreed to help find a group that could assist in this endeavor. In their research it was found that there was a magic item of great power that could help eliminate the Reds, but it has been lost for centuries.

The items creation has been lost to the ages, but it was hidden in a far off land where dragons did not hold any power. (I placed it in a dungeon in the jungles of Zakhara). I created an intelligent long bow +2/+5 vs. red dragons that was stored in Elohna'a Quiver along with 3 arrows of Red dragon slaying.

Queue the party. They were contacted by the resistance in various ways by an agent of the Harpers and hired to find and return this mystical item to the resistance. The party is an average of 10th level and currently includes: Half Elf Ranger, Drow Thief, Half Orc Fighter, Dwarf Cleric, Half Gold Dragon Ranger/Cleric, Human Wizard, Elf Assassin/Illusionist.

The story so far:

The party managed to book passage across the ocean to Zakhara, traverse that continent to the jungles, search for and find the location of said item. They delved into the lost ruins where the item was hidden and defeat the guardians. During the course of this part of the campaign the party did lose one PC to some Lesser Serregans (he ended up being eaten by the beasts so no resurrection was possible) and a few players ended up leaving the game (I did not include them in the cast). They have since returned to the main continent and have been "convinced" that they are the best suited to use the magic bow and arrows to rid the country of these despicable rulers.

At this time they have a lead on what may be a lair of one of the royals. They talked to the local Duke and were given a crude map of the mountain pass where one of his patrols has gone missing. One body of a member of that patrol was found burnt and bloodied but nothing can be found with scrying to determine what happened to him. The party has entered the pass, managed to defeat a group of Fire Giants with their pet hell hounds and is searching for any clue of what happened to the patrol.

The next session is this coming Saturday and I will post more as I have it. Please feel free to ask questions or post comments as I am always open to ideas and suggestions to torment the PC's with, lol.

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Sturm »

Seems an interesting story and a useful development of the Realms.
Have you developed Katashaka lands an inhabitants more than what's written above of you plan to?

BTW I suppose that should go in the Forgotten Realms forum, rather than generic AD&D, probably the moderators will move the thread if they think it's better.
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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Seethyr »

Have you tried to include any of the African elements that Katashaka is often attributed to? The Grand History of the Realms also refers to the "Sleeper" being awakened at times in Katashaka - a creature who is none other than the tarrasque!
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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Currently my maps are rather crude but I am working on improving them as I flesh out the continent. Right now I really have not added any of the "African" feel to it, using it more as a blank slate for my homebrew. I do remember the "Sleeper" reference and have considered having it wake up at some point, but that may just be if the party is really irritating me, lol.

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Big Mac »

Grimnir wrote:My game is set in FR, using mostly 2e with a few 1e additions, but I have taken the continent that is labeled Katashaka and detailed it for my own use. The north and east part of the continent has been ruled by a Red Great Wyrm and his mate for centuries. They have produced 5 offspring, increasing the size of the Royal Family. Being Red Dragons, they rule with an iron fist and are tyrants of the worst kind. They have established an army of humanoids (mostly orcs but augmented by ogres, fire giants, etc.) that help to enforce their rule.
There are a couple of topics about Katashaka on The Piazza that you might be interested in: They are both in the Maztica subforum, inside the Forgotten Realms forum.

I'm currently wondering if I should put my moderator hat on and move this topic over there too (or to the main Forgotten Realms forum or the Al-Qadim forum). :?
Grimnir wrote:There has been a loosely organized resistance that has been looking for a way to rid themselves of these tyrants for years. The Harpers have taken an interest in the situation and agreed to help find a group that could assist in this endeavor. In their research it was found that there was a magic item of great power that could help eliminate the Reds, but it has been lost for centuries.

The items creation has been lost to the ages, but it was hidden in a far off land where dragons did not hold any power. (I placed it in a dungeon in the jungles of Zakhara). I created an intelligent long bow +2/+5 vs. red dragons that was stored in Elohna'a Quiver along with 3 arrows of Red dragon slaying.

Queue the party. They were contacted by the resistance in various ways by an agent of the Harpers and hired to find and return this mystical item to the resistance. The party is an average of 10th level and currently includes: Half Elf Ranger, Drow Thief, Half Orc Fighter, Dwarf Cleric, Half Gold Dragon Ranger/Cleric, Human Wizard, Elf Assassin/Illusionist.

The story so far:

The party managed to book passage across the ocean to Zakhara, traverse that continent to the jungles, search for and find the location of said item. They delved into the lost ruins where the item was hidden and defeat the guardians. During the course of this part of the campaign the party did lose one PC to some Lesser Serregans (he ended up being eaten by the beasts so no resurrection was possible) and a few players ended up leaving the game (I did not include them in the cast). They have since returned to the main continent and have been "convinced" that they are the best suited to use the magic bow and arrows to rid the country of these despicable rulers.

At this time they have a lead on what may be a lair of one of the royals. They talked to the local Duke and were given a crude map of the mountain pass where one of his patrols has gone missing. One body of a member of that patrol was found burnt and bloodied but nothing can be found with scrying to determine what happened to him. The party has entered the pass, managed to defeat a group of Fire Giants with their pet hell hounds and is searching for any clue of what happened to the patrol.

The next session is this coming Saturday and I will post more as I have it. Please feel free to ask questions or post comments as I am always open to ideas and suggestions to torment the PC's with, lol.
Have you ever looked at the Council of Wyrms campaign setting? That has a number of dragon clans running the world. Maybe you could raid some ideas for your dragon royal family from that.
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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Actually I did have the Council of Wyrms box set and have used it to customize the royal family.

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Well, today is game day. We shall see if the party can survive this encounter.

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Well, the session went well, although one player was unable to attend due to medical issues. Even without the wizard the party was again frustratingly efficient in dealing with the monsters.

The party was in a mountain pass looking for any trace of a missing patrol, and what may have happened to them. Through some earlier intel they were hoping this was the work of one of the royal family. In this episode they managed to find the lair of the youngest royal red, however their approach did not go unnoticed. Once in the cave that led to the lair our prince was waiting for them. They rounded a corner in the passage and then a short way down they heard a metallic "click" as a portcullis dropped dividing the party. At that same moment the princely dragon dropped his hallucinatory terrain revealing that he was at the end of the tunnel, and then filled the entire passage with his fiery breath. Most of the party managed to made their saving throws (the only one who did not was a half-gold dragon who is immune to fire) so none of them died right away, although they were severely damaged, taking about half their total hp in that one blast. The half dragon character did lose several items that were burned/melted away.

At this point the dragon hops back a little bit to prepare his next attack. Party wins initiative, and the half Elf ranger who has the intelligent bow who's purpose is to slay red dragons states she is firing the Arrows of red Dragon Slaying that they had found ages ago (and which I had forgot they had). She has three shots that round and 3 arrows of slaying, first two miss, and then the final one hits, instantly killing BBEG that I has spent so much time on. So much for all the planning for this fight, but that is how it goes sometimes.

At least 2 of the three arrow were unrecoverable so they only have one left to deal with the remaining 6 members of the royal family. Also, now the royals know what the party is capable of and will be actively mobilizing every available resource to eliminate them. Since they control the entire armed forces and constabulary this is going to prove very difficult for the party to move about. Bands of assassins will be sent out to hunt them down as well as standing orders to all troops to kill them on site. Additionally, the King has been dealing with a Glabrazu and will be pulling some extra-planar support to hunt the party as well.

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Next game session is Saturday. :twisted:

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Well, half of the party was not able to show u for the game session so it was postponed for now. :|

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Finally, the next session was able to commence this last weekend.

Our illustrious party has headed out to go home to their keep after dealing a great blow to the Royal Family by taking out the youngest of the dragon brood. During their trek they noticed that the general populace is actively avoiding them, parents hold their children close and rush off, businesses close shop when they start to walk up, they are refused rooms at most inns, etc.

By means of a Glabrazu that is contracted with the Royals, word has been spread rapidly through the kingdom that the party are wanted for High Treason and anyone caught giving them aid will be subject to summary execution.

While traveling on some "back roads" to avoid detection, they come across a small town that is having some issues with manticores and some evil cultists. The mayor, not being a fan of the royals to begin with, offers them a place of respite if they can assist them in ridding the town of this blight. Of course our heroes accept this plea for help as it will help them in gathering support for the rebellion.

The fighter/thief and illusionist/assassin manage to capture one of the cultists and interrogate him. They are able to determine that he is a member of a Cult of Dreyneld (an evil god residing in the Abyss that likes to take the form of a beholder). During the interrogation, our half dragon ranger/cleric decides that this is a bit much and spends some time on his own around town. While out he is approached by some travelers who ask for assistance in getting some of their gear out of a wagon to bring into the inn, and agrees without any reservation (being of good alignment). Unbeknownst to him these three "travelers" are in reality a trio of doppelgangers hired to infiltrate and eventually assassinate the party. Instead of killing the ranger outright, the doppelgangers have captured him and are keeping him bound and gagged in their enclosed wagon while one of them takes his place with the party. This way they can continue to use their ESP to try and gain more info to aid them in eliminating our heroes.

This is where the session left off. Next episode, the party goes to confront the cult and manticores while the doppelgangers try to replace another member of the party...

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Re: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants

Post by Grimnir »

Last Saturday we had the next installment session.

The doppelganger that had replaced the ranger/cleric did not account for the rangers companion and mount, the black bear. Bears have a very keen sense of smell and well, the imposter just did not smell right. The bear's reaction clued the party in that something was not quite right with the ranger and they ended up killing the doppelganger and freeing the actual ranger.

Next morning they set out for the cave complex to see what they could do about this cult and the beasts. They get to the cave opening at nightfall and proceed into the dark opening expecting trouble. Through judicious use of a couple of invisibility spells, invisibility 10' radius, improved invisibility and a ring of invisibility they manage to get the entire party unseen.

The first resistance they encounter is a group of 8 manticores. Now normally this would be a good challenge for most any party, but with all of our "heroes" being invisible they were able to get the drop on these nasty beasties and dispatch them with little to no injury.
Venturing further into the caves they come upon a guard post manned by 6 members of the cult of Dreyneld who really did not stand a chance against this determined group of adventurers, although they did manage to sound the alarm alerting the rest of the occupants.
After quickly divesting the guards of their lives they move on to the heiracosphinx lair that have been charmed by the beholder ruling this complex. Between the cleric casting a Column of Fire, the thief and assassin using back-stab and then the "tanks" rushing in to finish what was left they left a wake of bodies behind.
Finally they come to vertical volcanic shaft that is 350' deep and several hundred feet to the top vent. Floating on the other side of this 40' wide hole is the beholder flanked by 2 more heiracosphinx bodyguards. About this time they realize the party scouts realize that they are no longer invisible even though they should be. They walked right into the anti magic field of the beholders central eye.
Understandably concerned by this last development they retreat to the rest of the party and inform them what is ahead. It is decided then that they want nothing to do with the beholder while he is right next to that nasty drop off. They manage to lure him out by questioning his superiority. Now the beholder is not stupid by any means so he sends his 2 bodyguards first and follows a bit behind them. The party had set up an ambush at a "T" in the cave tunnel and engaged the sphinxes from either side as soon as they came to the intersection.
During the ensuing battle the half dragon ranger was hit with a critical bite and ended up with his left leg severed at the hip. Down and bleeding the beholder could now see him from back down the tunnel and hit him with the flesh to stone ray, turning him to a one legged statue. At that same time our nemesis also spots the half orc fighter on the other side of the "T" and hits him with the death ray, dropping him instantly.
The remaining members of the party did manage to dispatch the 2 bodyguard sphinxes the next round while the beholder moved back towards the shaft to have a better position.
Now, beholders do not move very fast, they only have a move rate of 3". They party was pursuing cautiously at first, but when the eye tyrant rotated to bring other eye stalks to bear the party realized the anti magic area was no longer pointed at them. The sphere of death then targeted the dwarf cleric with its disintegration ray which the dwarf fortunately (for him) made his saving through barely dodging the beam. This gave the thief a chance to use her ring of invisibility from around the corner of the tunnel out of sight and then run up and back-stab the ball of vileness with a natural 20. Full back-stab damage x3 for the critical and one beholder dead.

At this time it appears that the campaign will be on hold through most of the summer due to many of the party having other obligations/events. When we do have another session I will of course post updates.

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