Sacred Blades

Session 11: Dragon of the High Moor

Swamped

Breaking camp, the Blades prepared themselves for the challenges ahead. They knew a swamp dragon and her lizardman allies awaited. Map in hand, the Blades moved further into the High Moor. They planned to avoid the main entrance and lizardman village, using a rear cave entrance to hopefully reach the dragon. Arriving at the river a mile north of the lair, they swam stealthily downstream.

In the distance they saw two lizards guarding the rear entrance, bows in hand. Large boulders lay about in the swamp, providing cover to approach the lizards. Quietly planning their attack, the Blades were interrupted by several large crocodiles inching towards them. The predators looked like logs in the water, floating slowly. No time to plan now; they rushed forward from the river into the swamp. Boggy terrain slowed them as the crocs closed in.

The lizardmen noticed a commotion and began firing poison arrows as more crocs emerged from the swamp. Battle erupted, with the Blades fending off the massive reptiles while poisoned arrows flew into their ranks. Rolan fell behind then nearly lost his leg to the bite of a croc. It clamped down on him and began to roll, dragging him away. Griegor rushed to assist while Kriv and Operious took care of the lizardmen. After a few hectic moments the crocs were driven off and the lizardmen prepared to escape into their cave. The Blades rushed forward, cutting off the escape route – but not stopping the creatures from screaming at the top of their lungs, echoing down the cave’s passages. The lizards were dead, but there was no telling who – or what – heard their warnings.


Carrion Crawling

Patching their wounds and cautiously exploring the cave, the Blades quickly ran into trouble. Eyes peered at them in the darkness and a dozen or more lizardmen emerged from the shadows, surrounding the party. Trapped, the four Blades had very poor odds if a fight broke out. If only Fibbit had been here to scout ahead…too bad the rogue had stayed behind in Loudwater, spying on the Pilgrims for a strangely cautious Lady Moonfire.

Luckily the lizardmen wanted to negotiate…in a way. The tribal leader, Kal-Amis stepped forward and demanded the ‘warmbloods’ lower their weapons and surrender. The Blades had heard the name Kal-Amis once before, in Zelbross. Now they were at his mercy. After a tense negotiation, the Blades agreed to rid the lizardmen of the dragon Cheleen. The beast had become a liability for the tribe, demanding food and treasure, even killing a few tribesmen in a fit of rage. In her quest for treasure, she involved the lizards in a slave trade with yuan-ti that lived further in the swamp. She was supposed to protect them from the goblins in return, but protection was not worth all this trouble. Now the lizardmen wanted her dead. And if the warmbloods died instead, they could say they were donating treasure…

Leading the Blades to a large pit, Kal-Amis ordered them down, saying the dragon lived below. The pit reeked of death and bones were piled high on the ground below. Descending by rope, the last Blade made it down before Kal-Amis cut the line. The shaman then moved forward, casting a magical barrier of some kind over the pit. There was no going back; they were now trapped here to deal with the dragon.

Realizing they were not alone in the pit, the Blades saw several 10-foot long insect creatures, looking a bit like tentacled centipedes, they were identified as carrion crawlers. They wasted no time, rushing ahead for their next meal. Knowing their touch could paralyze, the Blades kept the beasts immobilized at range with spells. Just then, the massive pile of rotting flesh erupted, a massive otyugh coming forth. Ten foot across, with tentacles and a massive maw in its body, the hideous creature had a smell that could knock you off your feet. It bit into Griegor and he quickly fell ill, contracting some sort of disease from the carrion eater.

As the Blades battled for their lives, the lizardmen above cheered each blow, happy to see blood fly. The cheering lessened as battle turned in the Blades’ favor, turning to stony silence as the battle winded down. The creatures were defeated and the party prepared for a dragon to burst through at any moment. A deep, low chant began among the lizardmen. It was eerie, as if they were summoning something from the depths. A rumble from the caverns answered back – the dragon was indeed deeper inside. It was waiting.


Cheleen

Readying all their weapons and potions, the Blades prepared to do battle yet again. They knew little about the creature they would soon face: it was over a hundred years old, they knew its ‘human’ name, Cheleen, and they knew its general size according to the druid Orus. Doubtless many stories were written about it over the years, but no one had bothered to check ahead of time.

Cautiously entering her lair at the end of a long series of passageways, the Blades took in a strange sight. The passage lead to a series of platforms above a large pool of stagnant water. Natural fungi lit the room with their dull purple flouresence. In the poor light, shadows flitted about as if alive. There was no sign of their quarry.

The shadows proved hostile, rushing forward as if eager for blood. Quickly dispatching them, the Blades looked about for a dragon. They didn’t have to wait long as Cheleen burst forth from the water, flying into the group and breathing a deadly burst of acid. The beast was fully twenty feet long, all black scales, fangs and claws. Far larger than expected. How many years had it been since Orus had seen it last? Acid ate away at flesh and fear took hold of the Blades as death neared.

Some stood paralyzed in fear; others tried to fight back. Cheleen spoke words of dark magic, creating an area of shadow amidst the Blades. This was no ordinary shadow – more dark shapes moved inside, clawing and tearing at anyone within. She then uttered another word of power, causing dark tendrils of shadow to erupt from her body, knocking the Blades into her shadowy trap.

Rolan looked over the battle from his position behind the dark cloud. Things were going very poorly, if he didn’t act fast they would soon be destroyed. The bard yelled some words of encouragement and the group quickly pulled themselves together. They struck back, driving the beast further into its cave. Cheleen let another burst of acid loose, squarely hitting Kriv. Now weakened by acid, the paladin became the focus of attacks. Cheleen called out to the goddess Shar, unleashing a bolt of dark energy at the paladin. She tore into him with tooth and claw, nearly killing the dragonborn. As Kriv bore the brunt of the dragon’s fury, others recovered and pressed the attack.

The battle dragged on with the dragon becoming more and more weary, magical reserves long gone. Finally she had enough; slowed by spell and sword, she dove off the platform’s edge into the murky water below, heading under the platform. The Blades fired after her, but she was gone. They spread out, waiting for her to emerge. Soon she did, spitting acid again and launching herself desperately at the intruders. This time they were ready, and the Blades severely wounded her.

Nearing death Cheleen tried to flee. Launching upward, she flew to the other side of the cavern, making for an underwater exit. Daggers and spells followed her flight, drawing the last of her blood. She was almost free of her tormentors, but Rolan got the last blow. Lacking a ranged weapon, he uncorked an alchemist’s vial he had been saving. Throwing it poorly, he still managed to engulf the beast’s head in flames. It finally died, sinking into the water.


Ooh Shiny

Looking into the water, the Blades saw the dragon dead below, sinking into a billowing cloud of dark blood. She lay on her hoard: a massive glittering pile of coins from many nations, weapons without rust despite their watery bed, trinkets and magic items. Patching their many wounds, the party set to work recovering the gold, butchering their kill and preparing to leave. While underwater, they discovered the dragon’s secret exit leading to the river. At least they could escape without dealing with the lizardmen again.

During the long journey back to Loudwater, Kriv treated the disease that Griegor had contracted. Filth fever was nasty but not lethal, and after a few days the warrior was well again. While traveling, they again encountered Orus. He was grateful for the dragon’s death and promised to assist the Blades should they ever need his help in the future. Dragon’s head in tow, they returned to what has become their home. Approaching Lady Moonfire with the news, they again encountered the Pilgrims of Oreme, fresh from their most recent foray against the local goblins. They were busy showing off the goblin leader’s head, a puny trophy. As the Blades entered the town hall, dragon head in tow, the Pilgrims looked angered at once again being bypassed in favor of the Blades. As a means of keeping the peace, Lady Moonfire insisted on having a celebration in both groups’ honor. Loudwater would celebrate all who did good: dragon slayers and goblin hunters alike.



Experience
Hungry Hungry Crocodiles: 1150 (level 6 encounter)
Trash Pit: 900 (level 5 encounter)
Dragon: 1400 (level 8 encounter)
Slay the Dragon: 800 (level 5 major quest)
4250xp total, 1062xp per person
Grand Total XP per character: 8035 (10,000 for 7th)


    • Level 5 Solo Lurker
    • Cheleen, Black Dragon of the High Moor
    • Large natural magical beast (aquatic, dragon)
    • XP 1000
    • Initiative +11
    • Senses Perception +9; darkvision
    • HP 260; Bloodied 130
    • AC 23; Fortitude 19, Reflex 21, Will 18
    • Immunities Resist 15 acid
    • Saving throws+5
    • Speed 7, fly 7 (clumsy), overland flight 10, swim 7
    • Action points2
    • Bite (standard; at-will)  •  Acid
    • Reach 2; +11 vs. AC; 1d6+3 and ongoing 5 acid (save ends)
    • Claw (standard; at-will)
    • Reach 2; +9 vs. AC; 1d4+3
    • Double Attack (standard; at-will)
    • The dragon makes two claw attacks.
    • Eldritch Blast (immediate reaction, when any attack misses the dragon; at-will)
    • Close burst 10; Attacks the enemy that missed it; +9 vs. Reflex; 1d6+4; “Cheleen dodges your attack and with a flick of her claw, retaliates with a bolt of dark, crackling energy.”
    • Breath Weapon (standard; recharge 5, 6)  •  acid
    • Close blast 5; +8 vs. Reflex; 1d12+3 acid and target takes 5 ongoing acid and -4 AC (save ends both)
    • Bloodied Breath (free, when bloodied; encounter)  •  acid
    • The dragon’s breath weapon recharges and the dragon uses it immediately.
    • Arms of Hadar (standard; encounter)  •  arcane, implement
    • Close burst 2; +9 vs. Reflex; 1d8+4, and push target 3 squares; “As Cheleen mutters a word of power, black tendrils erupt from her body, battering nearby creatures and pushing them away.”
    • Frightful Presence (standard; encounter)  •  Fear
    • Close burst 5; targets enemies; +6 vs. Will; target stunned until end of the dragon’s next turn. Aftereffect: target takes a -2 to attack rolls (save ends).
    • Hunger of Hadar (standard; daily)  •  arcane, implement, necrotic, zone, sustain minor
    • Area burst 1 within 10 Effect: Creates a zone of darkness until the end of your next turn, blocking line of sight. Creatures that enter or start their turns take 2d10 necrotic damage. Sustain minor: When you sustain, make a secondary attack. Secondary Target: Each creature within the zone. Secondary Attack: +8 vs. Fortitude; 1d6+3 necrotic “Cheleen creates a zone of complete darkness, filled with flying, fanged shadows. They rend at the very life force of creatures caught within.”
    • Warlock’s Curse (minor; at-will)
    • Place on nearest enemy you can see; enemy takes extra +1d6 damage once per turn.
    • Align. Evil
    • Lang. Common, Draconic
    • Skills Arcana +9, Nature +9, Stealth +17
    • Str 16 (+5)
    • Dex 20 (+7)
    • Wis 15 (+4)
    • Con 16 (+5)
    • Int 12 (+3)
    • Cha 10 (+2)
    • Equipment -
    • Description Sacrificing physical power for dark magics, Cheleen is a master of evil arts. She resides in the High Moor of Faerun, lairing in the Undermoor.
    • Tactics round 1: Frightful Presence, Curse, Breath, round 2: Hunger of Hadar, Curse, Arms of Hadar (if surrounded) or Bite/Double Attack round 3: sustain Hunger or Curse, Breath when available, melee otherwise, flees if at 1/4 hitpoints
    • Created with DungeonMastering.com’s DM Tools

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