Dragonlance 5e

Mountains, plains, forest, swamp

After the heroes dispatched the hobgoblin garrison at the foot of the Eastwall Mountains, they woke the next day to find the half-elf ranger missing. They began a trek over the rugged range, but the mountains proved too challenging for the party, and they were forced to turn back. They spent several days trekking south and around the Eastwall Mountains, then heading north on the other side of the range, through Dire Wood. There, they avoided a nest of giant spiders thanks to Zayander’s magic, and made their way through the forest, crossing into the swamp of Xak Tsaroth.

There, they discovered that the swamp was a network of earthen islands in the mire connected by tangled vines, fallen trees and obelisks, and rusted iron bridges. Crossing a fallen ironclaw tree, they were ambushed by three lizard-like humanoids with dull brown (bronze?) scales and a uniform, similar to the hobgoblins they fought in the foothills. The heroes were surprised that the creatures cast arcane spells, and exploded when they died! After dispatching these, the heroes attempted to cross an ancient rusted bridge. Embarrassingly, the most agile of the heroes got stuck putting their feet through the rusted latticework, while the Telia gracefully danced across. The heroes were met by five more lizard-men, these with gold-brown (brass?) scales, who used their wings to stay light-footed on the bridge. These ones turned to stone when they died, and as they were slain, the statues burst through the fragile lattice work, like slingstones through paper, dropping into the disease-ridden water below. There was a tense moment as Zayander, in giant spider form, sank his fangs into one, which became stuck in the statue as it fell through the bridge. Fortunately, the spider was strong enough to grip onto the bridge until the statue crumbled to dust.

Again, with the help of druidic magic, the heroes avoided an encampment of dozens of the lizard-soldiers, some of whom seemed to be worshipping(?) an enormous wicker effigy of what looked like a dragon, if such things existed. The party was alarmed to learn that Quetzal could naturally speak their language.

Crossing a fallen obelisk bridge, the heroes find themselves in the remnants of a ruined city; a large plaza surrounded by crumbling buildings, including a larger edifice that seems more intact than the others. In the center of the plaza is a large well, with vapor rising ominously from it. The plaza is absent the buzzing and croaking of the swamp, and is quiet … too quiet …

Each character gained 450 XP to put us on a total of 1,460 XP (I think).

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Journey from Solace

The unusual band meet up in the treetop town of Solace. After a brief questioning by some overweight hobgoblin and his goons, they shared a drink or two in the tavern. A few of the group began listening to the tales of a wizened old man near the hearth. Upon completion of his tale of Huma the Knight, the man made a request – journey to the east and find an ancient book made of gold and deliver a blue crystal staff to a statue in some ruins in the swamp.

It sounded like a grand adventure and the group heartily agreed. After a quick stop at the local merchant, they were off. A few days journey out of the city, they came across a distraught farmlady. Her son had gone missing in the nearby wood. Being expert trackers, the troop took to the woods, tracked down the hag and her toadish friend/fiend, ate her soup, was given a black crystal staff to take to the same statue, and then ended the hags miserable life. They also received a cryptic warning from the hag’s severed head about her master returning and putting an end to Mishakal, but the head was smashed before it could say more. They returned the kidnapped boy to his mother unharmed and continued on their way.

A few days into the plains, after being escorted through the lands of the Que-kiri, and while settling down for the night, the group was startled by a man running across the fields chased by three figures in dark robes and ghostly ceramic masks. Strangely, the figures turned to dust upon being killed, so little information was gleaned from them. The human told of his people being captured and enslaved by an army of sinister men and hobgoblins. They dragged his people off in chains to the south. The following morning, the group saw a large fire burning on the horizon. As they approached the once thriving trading post of Que-shue, they discovered the stomach-turning devastation – mass graves and burned, chained bodies in the town center.

The group had a decision to make – turn south and follow the army or continue on their quest to the east. Believing their small group could do little against an obviously powerful army, they decided to find the swamp and the ruins within. The plainsman needed to try to save his people, so they wished him the best as he headed south towards where his people were being led and the lands of the elves. The group traveled east towards the mountains. As they approached the pass, they noticed a make-shift barricade staffed by more reddish-brown hobgoblins. A hasty plan involving a fake prisoner was discussed which quickly fell apart, as plans are wont to do whenever a kender and/or kobold are involved, and the group quickly sacked the small garrison.

The way through the mountains is now ahead of them. They’d better keep moving – that army may come back to find their dead comrades and probably wouldn’t be pleased.

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