Tirad the Torn Land

The black dragon
Under the dome of the solar temple ruins

journal of Ekro Karrnava

Why were we there? Bumbling through the ruins of an ancient temple, once a bustling place but now occupied only by scaly monsters. Standing in front of a closed door, about to knock for trouble. Dim light and musty air and a clammy sense of doom.

One week ago, outside the city walls, living in the slums there, things were so much clearer. Back then, good times. There was the endless march of needy people, work for able hands to aid the suffering, afflictions burning to be eased. Sort of a best-case scenario for a devout volunteer healer.

But all good things . . . Some friends were not so clear of mind nor steady of heart.

There was a guild house of the poor, seedy and under-funded, but close to the slum-dwellers. It was the strength and the weakness of the whole thing, how integrated it all was to the impoverished place.

So close, there was no separation from the desperate needs of the forgotten slum-dwellers. So connected, the very homeless and orphaned folk found there an organization they themselves could grow into, run and expand, reaching out a helping hand to those who had not yet found the way.

Maybe too close, as the reformed unfortunate volunteers would often fall back into old ways, and often but not always fall back into the streets. Were the purest of the guild too focused on helping those outside its doors, too focused on helping to notice the growing dissent within the guild walls, too caring to take care and protect the foundation within?

The pure way is a narrow way, and those not learned of the laws of fealty ‘oft fall from the path. The house of generosity soon fell prey to baser instincts, to treachery and destruction, and even close friends became drawn into trouble. Until at last the only way was out, leaving the poor unfortunate behind, searching first as for a cure for poisons that afflicted his closest friends.


They were lizard-men, worshipers of the sun-devourer. Several were bloodthirsty fighters, but one was a reluctant follower, Wrecan, concerned more for freeing his tribe from “Vathga” who had recently usurped their traditional ways. Vathga spoke that Thoss-farunn (a black dragon) was the chosen of Telonna (lizard deity of illness), but Wrecan knew better!

The adventuring group includes:

Keiran Wiz Human
Kahr Fighter Half-orc
Ryne Ranger Elf
Alton Rogue Halfling
Ekro Pally Half-elf
Grimgus Jester Gnome
Meechion Cleric (Human NPC guide)

Farther into the darkness of the sub-basement, vile magics are placed in start contrast to the more blessed fixtures of the original solar temple. Ominous drums beat, shrieking statuary alarum, creeping acid splashes, shadow dragon lurks.

Rule: Fighting style = protection, reaction impose disadvantage for attack vs adjacent ally

Loot: “Dragon thumper” paladin’s magical mace (+1d6 vs dragons)

Follows: Ilmater, resides with Torm, works to ease suffering.

Diseased mutated lizard-folk emerge from a subterranean stream to swarm across the heroes. After they are defeated, Wrecan sadly recognizes some of his own tribal brothers. It seems that the pestilence that Vathga represents has wrought its havoc upon many previously sound hearted lizard-folk.

Large iron dwarven coin – sundered orc skull on one side, runic numeral 1 on the other side.

Secret door leads to a clay brick passageway, leads to the dragon master. Dragon master is another fevered and diseased lizard-folk, with giant snake familiars. After a heat armor attack, the heroes find loot, in a surprising large amount.

Here comes a black dragon bursting out of the underground pool. Ryne’s pet dragon seems to recognize its parent, who is pleased to be re-united with his offspring. Meechion offers to leave the dragon in peace if he returns the sea-altar that we were sent to retrieve.

The dragon explains that Avaric Zaltos (red wizard affiliated with the orcs) had offered the exchange for the stolen egg. The egg he had stolen by orcs. The same Avaric who was slain earlier by the hero’s, when they reclaimed the egg. Wrecan is very excited to see the dragon. It is a happy ending.

Nov 8th - FR Group

Session Updates:

Barghest Horde thieves guild

The Barghest Horde thieves guild was beginning to shift to a far darker area of operations than our adventurers wanted. Rilsa Rael, leader of the guild, began to purge and testing guild members on their loyalties. The final draw was when Glimgus was asked to slip a poison into a nobles drink and his refusal was a mark on his life. Rilsa Rael gave orders to kill Glimgus to Kahr, Keiran, and Ryne but that could not be fulfilled because of their long friendship. Instead Kahr, Keiran, and Ryne came to the Glimegus and told him about this death order so they all fled Baldur’s Gate for Daggerford.

5e FR - Night 1

Please build 1st level characters according to the current 5e rules.

If you need a copy of the rules: Download them here

The game is set in Daggerford in the Forgotten Realms.

You will be do some ‘town’ work and you are expected to be ‘heroes’ and will be working with an old retired paladin.

Dwarves feature promptly in the story.

5e Forgotten Realms - Daggerford History
Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle night 1

Daggerford is a town that lies along the Shining River on the Sword Coast in the Western Heartlands. It is a walled town with a population of approximately 900, with a number of outlying hamlets, farms and estates bringing the population to over 2,000. The town is strategically placed along the Trade Way and fortified by the local duke’s dwarven-crafted castle. It is primarily a farming community, but a desire to grow and be seen as an alternative to the northern city Waterdeep has caused the town to actively seek craftsmen and artisans. Its streets are unpaved and the buildings are ramshackle in appearance.



The town takes its name from a 400-year-old legend about a boy named Tyndal who fended off a tribe of lizardmen with only a dagger. The first community was built along the shores of the river at that spot. All the Dukes of Daggerford claim to be descended from Tyndal. Construction of Castle Daggerford atop the ruined remnants of Morlin Castle begins immediately after the fall of previous Duke of Callador and the ducal site is relocated here from Delimbiyran.

After the Illefarn, the Fallen Kingdom of the elves, retreated to Evermeet, the Kingdom of Man controlled the region and Daggerford’s environs included all territory bordered on the north by Floshin, on the west by the Lizard Marsh, on the south by Dragonspear Castle, and on the east by the Misty Forest, although that territory is far reduced today. After the Kingdom of Man was ended by dynastic feuding, the people of Daggerford built a proper town near the shores of Delimbiyr, the Shining River. Eventually, the town and castle were walled in.


Until fifty years ago, Daggerford was controlled by a Duke. A town charter was granted by Duke Conan leading to the Council of Guilds now controlling the town. Attempting to imitate Waterdeep, the guildmasters wear masks of secrecy when conducting official government business, but their identities are public knowledge. The current Duke of the region is Pwyll Greatshout, who is sometimes referred to as Pwyll Daggerford.

The dukes of Daggerford claim all the lands from the estate of Floshin, south as far as the Dragonspear Castle, east to the edge of the Misty Forest, and west to the verges of Lizard Marsh and the coast. They actually control far less, from about a half day’s ride north of Daggerford, where their forces meet up with road patrols from Waterdeep at a little pond called Waypost Water, east to the hills around the Laughing Hollow, and south to the hamlet of Bowshot. These lands take in about 20 farming hamlets.

Notable buildings

Inns and taverns
◾ The Dragonback Inn
◾ The Happy Cow – Donavon inn keeper Miss Donna bar madd
Gambler John
Hoven of Waterdeep and the dancing squirls

◾ River Shining Tavern
◾ Lady Luck Tavern

◾ Derval’s Bright Blade
◾ Farrel’s Fine Jewels and Apparel
◾ Korbus’s Jewels and Fine Ornaments

Temples and shrines
◾ The Harvest House, temple dedicated to Chauntea.
◾ The Morninglow Tower, temple dedicated to Lathander.
◾ Table of the Sword, shrine to Tempus
◾ Fairfortune Hall, shrine to Tymora.

◾ Although most large-scale overland maps show Daggerford on the south bank of the River Shining, the town map itself from N5 Under Illefarn and Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast both place it unambiguously on the north bank of the river.

Into the Lair
Find Digger's Cohorts

In which the TwistedBranch is asked to find the Bejeweled Goblet of Palor.

A local noble Farren Mcculloughey (Lord Warden of Fallcrest) requests a visit from the Twisted Branch. “Come to the Moonstone Keep at noon” his courier relays to the group at the Nentir Inn. The proprietor Erindel Zomoran is a good sort, but one who doesn’t always keep his story straight.

Later, arriving at the keep, Farren and a local priest Grundelmar (Dwarven priest of Pelor) introduces a tanned human priest of Pelor named Jonathan of Neversummer, sent by the high priest of Neversummer. Jonathan tells a tale of the Bejeweled Goblet of Pelor. The goblet was stolen recently from the church, and the church is searching far and wide.

They initially tracked the thieves down to The Black Sparrow, a disreputable dive in Neversummer, and one thug who did not escape was a half-orc named Digger. He did not escape because he had just been murdered, perhaps double-crossed? Digger was said to be from Fallcrest, so Jonathan came here.

Jonathan gives each member of the Twisted Branch 50gp retainer to assist with this quest.

Dain gets the word about town that Digger’s old haunt was the Blue Moon Ale House (down by the docks). The bartender there (Parwin Nomer) is gruff, but interested in Tasker’s tales of illicit trading in the underdark, so stops watering down the group’s beers. The TwistedBranch settles in and watches as the dockside day laborers wander in.

According to a table of half-orc dock workers, Digger was a porter (dock worker) until 6-7mo ago, when he hooked up with some adventuring ruffians from south (Black Scalers) from about 2 days into the southern swamp.

According to a table of halfling river-boat pilots, they have found their own way through the river-fen to avoid problems. This way involves a toll or tribute with the denizens of the swamp. Gisvol Rattlebottom finds out they offer passage south in about a week.

Rather than wait for the pilots, the TwistedBranch decides to rent a boat and go find trouble on the way down the river fens. Before long, the TBranch finds a branch in the river marked as the domain of the Black Scalers.

A patrol of orcs with owlbears proves no match for the TwistedBranch. But, dead orcs tell no tales, so there is little new information gained. The road that the patrol came from leads back to an old keep in a stretch of mangrove swamp. The keep flies the flag of the Black Scalers.

The next day, the TwistedBranch assaults the keep. Monk riding giant spider (Gisvol), flying battle dwarf, invisi-mage: it is all very confusing and troubling for the orcish contingent. Soon the keep has fallen to the adventurers, who defeat about 1doz troops, 3 owlbears, and a few leaders. But, the orcish warlock got away with an owlbear.

(OOC: Next session)

The lone surviving black scaler thug left proves unwilling to talk. So, 20-minutes later, the TwistedBranchers descend into the sub-basement of the keep, which is probably how the orcish-mage escaped with his owl-bear. The sub-basement is the living quarters of the orcish contingent. Thea finds some orcish poetry, an ode to Tinious the dragon. The author was clearly reverent and he (perhaps all the BlackScalers) were involved with the black dragon.

Gisvol discovers a secret door in the fireplace, which reveals stairs down to a semi-natural tunnel, then extends out through the mangrove roots of the marsh. Most areas of the tunnel-path are natural, but a few areas are reinforced with stone, long ago fallen into disrepair.

Several hundred paces out, beyond and from under the walls of the keep, the Branchers pause to sounds up ahead. The orc-shaman and his owl-bear have paused in a chamber containing three pools, and the shaman is muttering (incanting?) to a log (dragon?). Setting doubts aside, the heroes charge in!

The orcish shaman sprouts into a hulking vine-form, as another viney nightmare emerges from the snarl of underbrush on the cave-room floor. As the heroes engage the two vile foes, a black dragon emerges from a pool, to spout acid on two of the beleaguered TwistedBranchers. The situation does not look good. But, thanks to various heroic actions, the enemies are defeated.

Plunging into one of the dank pools, the druid assumes fish form and, blessed with invisibility, scouts out what turns out to be subterranean tunnels. The group tracks the dragon through the sodden tunnels, swimming from air pocket to air pocket. After that ends at a dangerous underground stream, the druid trick again seeks out a proper pathway, and the brave Branchers follow the trail.

Reaching the dragon’s lair, the Twisted Branch is dismayed to find that the dragon’s evil has permeated the cavern and from there radiated to infect the entire marsh. As the heroes searched for the chalice, the beast made its surprise attack. Then ensued a rapid struggle as the lair itself became as a weapon against the adventurers, and the dragon shifted in never-ceasing movement around the dark and dank space.

The heroes tried to apply their best finesse but the slippery foe simply shrugged off the usually effective assault tactics. At last, the Branchers dug deep into their reserves of ferocity, and renewed their attack, casting aside all caution. The monk, Thea, as his last act, released a wave of flame energy even as he fell. Other smiting blows finally felled the scaly shadow fiend, and the chalice was recovered.

Under the shrine of Tiamat, the “white robes of the arch-magi” are bestowed by a spirit of an ancient mage of goodness, who is finally freed from evil domination by the dark forces.


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