They rested for a while after the fight with the face-huggers. After an hour an elvish voice came from the darkness of the cavern.
“Sodium Chloridius – glad to see you made it.”. It was the half-elf monk, Leosin, who they had last glimpsed tied to a cross at the back of the Raiders’ camp.
Salty knew him well, as they were both exiles from the Well of Dragons following the recent attacks by the dragon cult. Leosin was known to be the foremost authority on the Cult
“Thanks to your distraction, I managed to wriggle free. Rather than make a run for it, I came deeper into their lair. You guys were all captured and they did some ritual to magically prepare you for the hatchlings. You’ve been asleep for 3 days waiting for the hatching time.
I’ve spent the time living in the kennels of their pet lizards, covered in lizard crap to mask my smell.
I was able to sneak out a few times and managed to loosen the glue binding you all to the walls.”
He dragged over a sack containing all their lost equipment.
“I think I can sneak out, if I go alone. I have vital news and can’t risk waiting for you. The cultists are planning raids all over the Sword Coast. They will be selling the loot to buy gold and smelting it into new coins marked with Tiamat’s heads. Then they are gathering all the coins at some secret location ready to help with the great Summoning. They mean to summon Tiamat herself from the deepest hells and have her conquer or destroy the entire world!
Their first shipment will be leaving by wagon train from Baldurs Gate, heading north on the 7th of June (a week or so). I don’t know how many wagons or which ones or how many cultist guards.
They bragged that they had cultists infiltrating every organisation, and could not be stopped.
If you make it out, meet me at the waterfall, halfway between here and the Town of Greenest. I’ll wait one day – good luck. If you make it and I don’t, pass on the news to Sir Onthar Froome in the City of Elturel.”
Leosin also explained that the Raiders’ camp had dispersed leaving just a small honour guard behind to care for the hatchlings.. There were three possible ways out…
1. past the kobolds and drakes in a fungal forest – about 12 kobolds, 2 large lizards and 4 small ones.
2. past the high priestess “Mondath” who is in charge
3. past Cyanwrath the terrifying blue half-dragon man that killed their friend in Greenest and KO’d them all when they reached the camp. Cyanwrath had two orcish henchman with him.
They decided to take on Cyanwrath! [GM: they are 3rd level now and hoped to get the drop on him. They knew it would be a tough fight but I guess they wanted revenge]
David was terrified of the dark and spent most of the time whimpering.
Ragnar sneaked up into the temple area – currently empty and found a golden treasure chest bolted to the floor in front of a huge statue of the five heads of Tiamat. He spotted that the nostrils all had hidden tubes but decided to check the box for traps (and failed) then tried to unlock it (succeeded but triggered the trap). The nostrils sprayed acid mist everywhere and he took a lot of damage but managed to grab a couple of potion flasks and stagger out.
They waited for the mist to clear and went back in. The treasure in the chest was all melted by the acid – the gold was fake, the gems and pearls and rings were fake. They wondered if the potions were fake too but didn’t get around to checking them before their bickering drew the attention of one of Cyanwrath’s two guards.
Salty tried to bluff and intimidate the orc and was quite successful. He told Hakka to go back upstairs and says they will continue to search fopr the escaped monk downstairs (but then for some reason he chose to follow Hakka in the opposite direction). Hakka and Salty (and Marcel) exchange more insults and Cyanwrath and the second henchman were alerted.
Marcel stomps over and Hakka shoots down at him from the landing [GM: crit and big damage!]
Ragnar pops in and out of hiding and shoots with advantage (but misses every single time!).
The second orc henchman appears and also shoots Marcel, nearly finishing him off.
Finally Cyanwrath appears and uses Lightning Breath to blast Marcel and David. When he charges Marcel, his greatsword cuts the brave dwarf down. David scrambles over and forces a potion down the poor dwarf’’s throat – unfortunately the potions from the fake treasure chest were poison and Marcel dies.
Salty firebolts the enemy but is cut down by Cyanwrath. The unlucky half-elf bleeds out before anyone can get to him.
David once again challenges Cyanwrath to single combat – goading him into it by saying “last time you chickened out”. He hexes the creature and then manages to survive the first couple of attacks and hits him with Arms of Hador. It’s too little too late, and the half-dragon cuts him down – fortunately the boy doesn’t bleed out and passes into unconsciousness.
Ragnar fires a few more arrows at Cyanwrath as he runs off up the stairs, pursued by the two orc henchmen. After several more misses, he smashes his bow in frustration and ducks into a fungal forest (away from the noises of kobolds and drakes) where he nearly falls asleep due to the spores.
Somehow he manages to shrug off the drowsiness and sneaks out to find another way back to the main chamber, mere seconds ahead of the orcs and Cyanwrath. He scoops up David and grabs Marcel’s shield and manages to escape the caverns and the deserted camp.
The shield seems to have absorbed Marcel’s protective spirit and has become a +1 Magical Shield.
[GM:They level up again to 4th level – the two replacement characters will also start at 4th]
How I thought that whole scenario might have gone
It’s a lot easier with hindsight and without being betrayed by the dice, and if you are more familiar with the spells and abilities…
1. Ragnar could have been so suspicious of the obvious trap, he would have left it alone.
2. When the single henchman came downstairs to investigate their noise, Ragnar was hidden and could have easily got behind him for an attack with Advantage and Sneak Attack extra damage, also giving Marcel a hack with advantage (with Ragnar flanking), then Salty could have automatically knocked him out with a Sleep Spell and made almost no noise. [I deliberately had a single guard come down to give them the chance to take him out]
3. The second henchman would have come down to investigate after a couple of rounds and I’m sure they could have killed him in similar fashion before Cyanwrath arrived on the scene and without the loss of a single hit point.
4. The fight with Cyanwrath was always going to be tough but David managed to take about a third of his hitpoints with Hex and Arms of Hador, it would only have taken a couple more hits before his hitpoints got so low, Salty could have KO’d him with Sleep.
5. At least one of them had a healing kit, so the first order of business when somebody goes down and fails a single death save should be to stabilize them – no roll required if you use a dose of the healing kit. Healing is better as they get back in the fight but no PC should ever be left to bleed out when there are people who can stabilize him.
6. Marcel died with his Second Wind unused – for a fighter Second Wind is a bonus action so he could have used it in any round to get 1d10+con hitpoints back.
7. It was amusing and “in-character” for David to feed the poison potion to Marcel, but was it really worth the resulting carnage?
8. At any time, they could have surrendered and their captors would have stabilized them [they would have had another chance to escape – because they are the heroes of the tale].