Another DnD write-up by me. This was actually the most fun I've had writing a story in a long time.
Your regularly scheduled introductory stuff
The following story is based upon the DnD adventures of @Racie02, @Marendex_T17, @Political_Slime, @Ranaki_Pakewa, @BeefJStag, someone who doesn't have a boards account (I'll call him TB), and their DM, @Middlefingerstudios. It was transcribed by me, with help from Racie. Any inaccuracies are due to her memory or creative liberties I took to adapt the story.
Jeszin = barbarian half-elf = Racie02
Mef Darr = dwarven ranger = Political_Slime
Stagro = tiefling bard = BeefJStag
Tepec = lizardfolk fighter = Ranaki_Pakewa
Dromon = warforged paladin = Marendex_T17
Tiwin Beewin = goblin fighter = TB
End introductory stuff
Part 1: Tiwin
My name is Tiwin, and I have had many great ideas.
Leaving the army led by the guy who tried to kill me? Great idea. Joining the Quentiam Coetus? Great idea (although sometimes I wonder about that). Founding my own city and mining company? Genius idea.
Infiltrating an enemy city on my own and getting caught by the guards, who intend to give me to the dragon? That might not have been such a great idea.
Perhaps I should explain. I am a member of the Quentiam Coetus, a merry band of reprobates and "heroes of the land". Right now, we're in the midst of trying to defend the land against a group of dragons and demons known as the "Wings of Tiamat" who have taken over much of the world already. One of these dragons, a massive black Dragon named Edrad, has taken over the city of Malus Navis, a massive city that was once the capitol of the land.
We (the Quentiam Coetus) were in a port city far from Malus Navis when several portals opened and an army began attacking. When we recognized them as the army occupying Malus Navis, and realized that Edrad was not there, we came up with a plan: teleport to Malus Navis and attack Edrad while her army was miles away. A chance to take out one of the Wings of Tiamat without having to fight past an army first was not something we could pass up.
If only we could agree on how to do that. When we discovered that the Dragon was not in the city, but up in the mountain near the city, I put forward the idea of rallying the townsfolk to our cause. And when no one would listen to my plan, I flew off on my own to enact my plan.
Well, I entered the city, disguised as a member of the goblin army so they wouldn't recognize me, but funny thing: apparently the goblin army has codes now. I didn't know the codes, of course, and they figured out who I was and captured me. They began escorting me to the town square, with an ominous warning "Edrad will be here soon. She'll decide what to do with you."
Okay, so I'm surrounded by goblins. They're armed and I'm not, they've taken my bag. I need a plan.
One of the goblins, an old "friend" of mine named Ort, is in charge here. He steps toward me, holding a pair of manacles, and attempts to put them on me. I don't let him.
"What's the idea?" I ask.
"Well, you're our prisoner," Ort says.
"I'm not going anywhere," I said. "I came here to join you guys." This was kinda true, although I intended to have them join my side... Seeing the doubt on their faces, I added "I came to you guys, didn't I?" Again, true. I did go right up to the guards. Of course, I did it under disguise, but...
My words seemed to convince them. "Fine, whatever," Ort said, tossing the manacles into my bag. Yay, a free pair of manacles. Well, as soon as I got my bag back...
The goblins shuffled me into the town square, and stopped there. I tried to think of what I had in my bag that could be useful. "You guys interested in any rocks?"
"Rocks?" one of the goblins asked.
"Yeah, you know, diamonds, gems, rubies. I own a whole mining company. Look in my bag, you should find one."
One of the goblins reached into my bag. His eyes grew wide, and he pulled out a large amethyst.
"There's more where that came from," I said, but I could tell they weren't listening. They would not be bribed. But they would happily take my stuff, and the goblin who had taken my amethyst pocketed it.
Still trying to be amicable, I said. "Take it. A gesture of good faith." Inside, though, I was already trying to figure out how to get it back.
Well, okay, time for plan B. "Well, I'm bored," I said. "Anyone up for cards?"
No one was up for cards.
Part 2: Dromon
Have you ever had a one-time opportunity to do something big, a chance you might not ever get again, and then, just as you're about to put your plan into place, some idiot does something dumb and ruins everything?
That was pretty much how we felt about Tiwin right now.
By we, I mean the rest of the Quentiam Coetus, the team destined to save the world from the monsters known as the Wings of Tiamat. Four giant monsters, with an army of smaller monsters to back them up. And now we had the perfect opportunity to take down one of the four big leaders. So what does Tiwin do? He flies straight into the enemy-occupied city to try and talk the enemy's remaining soldiers into joining us. He's going to get himself killed.
No, he's not going to get himself killed. The rest of us are now going to go save him, because we're noble like that.
"So, we're going to rescue Tiwin," Mef Darr, our dwarven leader, declared. "Any objections?"
Jeszin, our half-elf barbarian woman, raised her hand. "I still say we should try to take down the dragon, before Tiwin lets everyone know we're here. We can ambush the dragon, and then rescue Tiwin without having to worry about fighting a dragon."
"Or we can rescue Tiwin, and then all of us together can fight the dragon," Mef countered. "And what if we go after the dragon, and the dragon's already gone to the city? We need to get to the city, now." The other members of our crew nodded in agreement.
Not everyone here was so eager, however. Our crew had recently been joined by some old friends of mine, a group of warforged who had been working for the enemy, but had elected to join us after our encounter, and after talking to me for the first time in decades. Zhen was staring at us, impassive as usual, but Hoshun was looking very hesitant, and Theia... well, as soon as we had mentioned fighting a dragon, Theia had sat down, grabbing her legs, and hadn't moved or spoken since. She was terrified.
Mef Darr started with Hoshun. After joining us, Hoshun had really hit it off with Tiwin, and the goblin had convinced Hoshun to join his company. And now that goblin was in danger in enemy territory. Hoshun was eager to save his boss, and Mef had given him 800 gold to fight alongside us, so after a moment of hesitation, he commited to joining us.
That left Theia. Mef walked up to her. "Listen, you guys are powerful, and we're powerful, and we can do this, together. My name is Mef Darr, son of Mref Darr, of the house Darr of Nal Garuhm." Why he decided to give his full name and title, I have no idea.
Theia didn't respond.
"I think she already knows who you are," Jeszin pointed out.
Theia still didn't respond.
"I'll stay here with her," Zhen offered. "You guys, go save your friend."
"All right," Mef Darr said. "Then, if there are no further objections, we shall go." And, with Mef Darr in the lead, the Quentiam Coetus began walking toward the city.
I hesitated. Should I stay here with Zhen and Theia too? I looked at Zhen, who seemed to read my thoughts. "You go with your friends," Zhen said. "They'll need all the help they can get. We'll be fine."
I nodded and followed the Quentiam Coetus.
Despite her initial objections, Jeszin was with us, but it seemed she wasn't through with her ideas. "Hey, what if I bring down the cave where Edrad is? It could slow her down, buy us some time."
"Is she even in a cave?" I asked. Tiwin was the only one who'd seen her mountain base, and he hadn't given us too many details before he left.
"She's a dragon, dragons are always in caves," Jeszin said.
"But how would you even find it?" Mef Darr countered. "Tiwin didn't say where she was."
"If Tiwin found it, then so can I," Jeszin declared.
"But could you find it before she heads down to the city?"
Jeszin considered that for a moment. "Fair enough."
After several minutes, we finally approached the gates of the city. Okay, first problem: how do we even get into the city? There are still guards. Lots of guards, more than we can fight our way past.
"What if we pose as a group of travelling merchants?" This came from Stagro, our tiefling bard.
"Right. A group of travelling merchants who are heavily armed, have a giant mechanical lion, and just so happen to look like the Quentiam Coetus?" Mef Darr replied. "I can cast Disguise Self on myself, but not you guys."
"Perhaps we could just fight our way in?" Jeszin offered. A chorus of "No" from Mef Darr, Hoshun, and I shut down that idea.
"What if we just surrendered?" Stagro said. "They'll take us to wherever they have Tiwin captive, right?"
"We could do both," I said. "Pose as travelling merchants, and if they figure us out, we surrender and they take us to Tiwin."
"Wait a minute," Jeszin cut in. "Mef, you said you can disguise yourself, right?"
"Yeah, but I can't go in alone--" Mef objected.
"Wait, listen. What if we all gave our weapons to you, and you entered the city ahead of us? Then you can follow us once we're captured, and once we lotace Tiwin, give us our weapons back. That way they can't take our weapons away."
"Jeszin, that's brilliant!" Me Darr said. "Let's do it." Mef took off his hat (which I should explain is also his magic storage device that can hold a nearly infinite supply of stuff) and the crew began placing their weapons into it.
I looked down at my prized sword. "I'm not putting my sword in your bag," I said. "I don't trust you with it."
Mef Darr sighed. "Look, we don't have time for this. How much would you take for me to hold your weapon. 1000 gold? 2000?"
"Hey, Dromon, didn't you say you can summon your sword back to your hand, Thor-style?" Stagro pointed out.
"Oh yeah," I remembered. "In that case..." I jammed the sword into the ground. I would leave it here, and call it when I need it.
"All right," Mef Darr said. He waved his hand, and a shimmer of magic went over him, making him look like a typical merchant. Once that was done, he began walking towards the gate.
Part 3: Mef Darr
My name is Mef Darr, son of Mref Darr, of the house Darr of Nal Garuhm. I am the recognized leader of the Quentiam Coetus. By recognized, I mean I started calling myself the leader and no one cared to object.
Normally, when one finds themselves walking into enemy territory, it's a good time to have a plan for what you're going to do and say. But I never was big on making plans. Tiwin is normally the planner of the group, but as luck would have it, he isn't here. So, I did what I normally do in situations like these, I improvised.
My disguise set, I walked up toward the gate. I couldn't look the least bit hesitant; I had to walk up to this gate like I owned the place. I was just entering the gateway when someone called out "halt."
I dutifully halted, and a goblin approached. "State your business here."
I adopted a strong accent to disguise my voice (a useful skill to have in times like this), and told the goblin "My name is Dren Thimble, and I am a travelling merchant, come to sell my wares in your fine city."
"A merchant, eh," the goblin said. "Where's your cart?"
"I don't need no cart," I said. "I've got it all up here." I reached into my hat, and pulled out some clothes I'd taken from Paxon's castle a long time ago.
"All right, you can go into the city, but you'll have to have an escort," the goblin said. He called for a few of the guards. "Watch this fellow, would you?"
Okay, an escort. Not part of the plan, but I could work with this. With the guards following me, I entered into the city.
"So, you got any sort of town square here?" I asked.
"Well, the town square's kind of occupied at the moment," one of the goblins explained. "Your best bet is to head down to the suburbs." Occupied, huh? Occupied by a group of guards holding a prisoner, perhaps? Okay, so I knew where Tiwin was, probably. Now if only I could shake my escort.
Casting mage hand, I began digging around in my hat. What could I use for this situation? I doubted vomit would help, or egg shells, or a half-pair of smelly pants...
No, I'm not a hoarder, what are you talking about?
Suddenly, I remembered the ball bearings I had. If I could drop them on the ground behind me, it would slow down anyone attempting to follow.
Before I could think of any other ideas, I heard a powerful beating of wings somewhere nearby. That could only mean one thing: a dragon. I was out of time.
I pulled the bag of ball bearings out of my hat, tore it open, and dropped them onto the ground. Then I took off running. I ran around a corner, and then another, and then cast invisiblity on myself. Now, it was time to go save my friends.
By the time I got to the town square, the dragon was there. Tiwin was on one side of the square, surrounded by a few goblins, and the rest of the Quentiam Coetus was on the other end of the town square, surrounded by several dozen goblins. And Edrad was walking toward them, acid dripping from her fangs.
I needed to get my friends their weapons, but they were surrounded by goblins. I needed a distraction. Thinking quickly, I pulled out a few of the molotovs we've had for forever and planted them around a nearby building. Then I lit the first one, and took off running toward the dragon.
The building wasn't quite brought down, but the explosion took out a good chunk of it, and the dragon turned to see what was going on. At that moment, I ducked under the dragon, pushed through the goblins, and handed my hat to the first member of my team I reached. Then I grabbed my dragon-slaying greatsword, rolled back toward the dragon, and struck the first blow. The dragon roared in pain as my sword drove into her stomach.
The battle had begun.
Part 4: Stagro
Have you ever seen utter chaos break loose? Everything starts happening all at once, as if suddenly all the events that want to happen start fighting to be first. I've seen chaos erupt a few times, and one thing I've learned -- it's always best when you are the one making everything happen, rather than things happening to you.
My friends and I certainly made things happen. In seconds, we had passed the hat among ourselves, each of us grabbing our weapons. Dromon charged toward the dragon, blasting her. Jeszin thrust her lightning javelin, making a bolt of lightning appear, also hitting several of the goblin guards. Tiwin activated his boots of flying and flew into the air, only to get blasted by one of the goblins. Tepec, our lizardfolk fighter, tackled the guards, dragging several of them with him. Dromon's lion, Tetsujishi, also pounced on the guards. All of this was happening at the same time. It was chaos, all right, and the Quentiam Coetus was the eye of that chaos.
The guards were just a distraction. Our real enemy was the dragon, and we couldn't waste time and energy fighting the guards and then deal with the dragon. We needed to fell all the guards in one fell swoop. Luckily, I had just the spell for that, and they were all in range. With a wave of my hand, a wave of thunderous energy struck everyone around, save me and my friends. And just like that, all of the goblins fell.
Well, almost all of them. The goblin shooting at Tiwin was just out of range, as was one of the ones who had brought us here. The second one looked around for a moment, then turned and ran off. Apparently, he had decided to go live another day.
With the guards down, we could now focus on the dragon. Unfortunately, the dragon was now ready for us, and had taken to the air, out of reach. Well, out of reach of everyone but Tiwin. Our ranged fighters started shooting, trying to hit her, and Jeszin was using her magic chain to try and hit the dragon with her axe, to little avail.
The dragon wasn't going to just let us attack, of course. Opening her mouth, she unleashed a blast of acid, hitting me, Jeszin and Tetsujishi. I wasn't dead, not quite, but another blast like that and I might be. Tetsujishi collapsed. Another blast of acid hit Mef Darr and Tiwin.
If we were going to have any chance of winning (or even surviving) we needed to take to the air. But none of us could fly except Tiwin, who was currently tied up fighting that last goblin. But maybe we could fly on something... I suddenly remembered a particularly large creature I had seen once. Raising my hand toward the sky, I cast conjure animals with the highest strength I could muster, and four giant eagles appeared, circling Edrad's head.
Moving faster that I would've thought possible, Edrad lashed out and grabbed one of the eagles, crushing it with her jaws. The other three flew down and began grabbing members of our team, and now Dromon, Jeszin, and Mef were airborne and attacking the dragon up close.
"Now it's a real fight!" I called out.
Part 5: Jeszin
Have you ever leapt onto a dragon that's trying to kill you, and slammed it with an axe? No? You should try it sometime. It's something everyone should do at least once before they die (and for most, it may wind up being their death). I've done it at least twice now, and it's an exhilarating experience.
On the ground, there wasn't much I could do. I had attached my Shadow greataxe to my Chain of Returning (I call it the Shadow Chain) allowing me to launch the axe into the air, but it was a slow attack and hard to hit. I began to think I wasn't going to be much good during this battle.
Then Stagro summoned four giant eagles, and one swooped down and picked me up. "Drop me onto the dragon!" I yelled, and the eagle complied.
As I landed, I pulled the Shadow Chain back to me and began digging my axe into the dragon's back, serving as both an attack and a way of holding on should she try to dislodge me. Meanwhile, Dromon also whaled into the dragon, though he stayed on his eagle (chicken). Mef jumped onto the dragon, grabbing onto her horn, but didn't attack with his sword. Come to think of it, where was his sword? I only saw his bow.
At that point, the dragon shifted, nearly throwing me off, and I decided to focus on what I was doing. I grabbed onto my axe as the dragon started ascending. Then, she suddenly turned around and began flying away from the attackers. We had her on the run!
When the dragon turned, Mef lost his grip on the horn and flew off, flying into the air. I hoped he would be okay, but I couldn't focus on him right now. He'd fallen off a dragon before, and it hadn't killed him yet. He should be fine.
That left me alone on the dragon. Glancing back, I saw the eagles scrambling to pick up everyone, but the dragon had a head start. For the moment, it was just me. I pulled my axe out and slammed it into the dragon's back repeatedly.
The dragon looked back at me, and began to speak. "It's useless. You'll never win against us."
"Winning isn't my goal," I responded. "My goal is your eye." This earned a look of confusion from the dragon, who apparently hadn't heard about my little hobby.
Meanwhile, other attacks started to hit the dragon, arrows shot by the other members of my team. The dragon roared and suddenly disappeared. For a split second, I thought the dragon had teleported, but I realized I could still feel her under me. In an attempt to evade us, she had gone invisible. Unfortunately for her, my teammates could still see me and tell where the dragon was.
Suddenly, Stagro and Dromon appeared beside me, having teleported. Stagro grabbed onto the dragon and joined me in riding it. Dromon tried to, but grabbing onto an invisible dragon is harder than it sounds, and he plummeted toward the ground.
We aren't that high, he should be fine. I hope.
Suddenly, the Dragon decided it had had enough of us, and began spinning. Stagro flew off into the sky. I tried to hold onto my axe, but the force of the spin pulled it out of my hand, and I joined my tiefling partner in falling toward the ground. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted...
Impact! But not the one I had expected. I forgot that I still had the Shadow Chain wrapped around my wrist, and the axe at the end was still embedded in the dragon's back. The sudden jerk nearly pulled my arm out of its socket, but I held on. I tried pulling the axe back to me, but the chain wasn't quite up to the task. So I began climbing up the chain, hoping I could make it before the axe came loose...
Part 6: Mef Darr
This fight really did not go my way.
First, I had to give away my hat. Then I took a faceful of acid. Then the dragon flew out of range of my dragon-slaying sword, so I dropped the sword and began using my bow. Then, when one of Stagro's eagle brought me up to face the dragon, I went to attack with my sword... and remembered that I had left it lying on the ground. All I had is my bow, which is not a great close-range weapon. So I instead shot a spell at that last goblin on the ground, knocking him out.
Then the dragon started moving. I started moving too. Very fast, toward the ground. I survived the fall, but only barely; I didn't even have enough strength to move now.
Fortunately, I didn't have to. One of the eagles swooped down, picked me up, and brought me to Stagro. Stagro cast a healing spell, allowing me to regain some of my strength. I retrieved my sword and my hat, then jumped onto the eagle and flew off after the dragon, unleashing arrow after arrow.
Suddenly, the dragon disappeared. An attempt to evade our notice that might've worked if our barbarian hadn't been on its back. I fired at the barbarian, until the dragon managed to dislodge her. No, wait -- she still had her Shadow Chain attacked to the dragon, and pulled herself back on. As she climbed back on, I was able to make out the general shape of the dragon. I notched an arrow, aimed for where I imagined the center of the dragon's body to be, and fired.
The arrow struck home. The dragon let loose a mighty roar, then suddenly reappeared and began falling toward the ground. Jeszin rode it all the way down, whooping like a maniac. The dragon had just reached the outskirts of the city, and slammed into the city wall, making another hole in it. Jeszin leapt free as the dragon landed and rolled, narrowly avoiding being crushed. I directed my eagle to swoop down toward the dragon's body. Not that I needed to check.
Edrad, the Black Dragon, one of the four leaders of the Wings of Tiamat... was dead.