Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Session Stories: The Dragon Riders Chapter 1

This post contains spoilers for Hoard of the Dragon Queen. The first session we had followed the first act of the book very closely, so I'm not going to discuss that much here. Check out last weeks Chapter 0 to see a basic introduction of the player characters.

Arromar could hardly believe his luck. Three days ago he had been just another worthless tiefling. He didn't exactly go unnoticed, his red skin, small horns and long tail prevented that. He didn't just want to be noticed, he wanted fame.

Bard college had ended months ago, lute playing, poetry, storytelling, they were all in Arromar's repertoire now. His problem was that he didn't have anything to sing about, no stories to tell or poems to write. Yes, there were the same old stories of dwarven kings reclaiming their mountain throne, and fat halflings realizing their true potential for thievery, but tavern patrons had heard them all before. Arromar didn't want to be another two-bit entertainer playing for his dinner to a bunch of drunks more interested in the skirts of the waitresses than the cleverness of his rhymes. He wanted, he needed, to be more than that.

Now, three days later, he was on the road with a motley crew consisting of two half-orcs, a race even more discriminated against than tieflings, a contemplative gnome, whom Arromar suspected was eating the mushrooms from his knapsack for a reason other than sustenance, and a brash half-elf paladin, who has seemed to take the position of leader. Each of the traveling companions wasn't sure what to think of the others, having been in each other's company for just over a day.

Arromar found it hard to believe it had been just one day. They'd found each other on the road, had a minor dispute about whether Feng, the incredibly strong, barbaric half-orc that the paladin Varis had been transporting in a cage, belong in a cage just on account of his race. That dispute was barely mended when they'd come upon the small farming village of Greenest. Fire and smoke made visibility poor, but they still managed to make out a blue dragon, assaulting the minor keep in the center of the village.

 The five of them, eager to make a name for themselves as adventurers had rushed into town. Kobolds and men in strange red robes were everywhere, but seemed to pay them little notice. They rescued a family with three teenage daughters from a bakery, and two young boys hiding in a stable. It all happened so fast, without having time to second-guess the likely foolhardy decision, they'd run towards the center of town, bringing their rescued victims to the very keep they'd seen assaulted by the dragon. The mayor had mentioned some sort of plan, but to Arromar, it looked like all hope was lost.

Alric, one of the half-orcs, and Varis went up to the roof to shoot their arrows at the dragon, which turned out to be a pointless waste of arrows. Perhaps the dragon had been growing bored of the siege, or perhaps he was incredibly sensitive, but when Arromar, not knowing what else to do, had started to play his lute and improvise rhyming couplets teasing the dragon with childish, schoolyard insults, the dragon flew away. The mayor and townspeople had declared Arromar a hero, cheering his name. This was why he went to bard college.

Although the five of them were treated as heroes, the night ended badly for Greenest. The majority of villagers were killed in the raid, and all of the town's valuables had been hauled away in big, wooden carts. The attackers, which they later found out to be dragon cultists, had left town towards the rising sun in the east.

Now they were tracking them, turns out Alric, the half-orc, was some sort of woodland ranger, and knew his way around the wilderness. Arromar couldn't believe they were willingly going towards such a large force, but whenever his fears came close to overcoming him, he'd think of the songs that would be sung about them. The songs he would sing about them. He kept marching, they were getting close. They'd sneak into the camp, blending in amongst the chaos, and figure out why Greenest had been attacked.