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Hoard of the Dragon Queen Episode 0: Journey to Greenest


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Morganor moved to beside Erwin with shield ready and right hand resting one his war hammer ready to cast a spell.


Garanth stayed where he was with the crossbow ready since he had only to drop to the ground to be in the position ordered by Erwin.

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Arjhan's Continuous Perception: [1d20+1] = 4+1 = 5.

Arjhan only

You don't do continous perception checks... that's the same as taking a 20!  Roll once, and then that's your perception for the entire duration, until the situation changes. Arjhan doesn't notice anything out of the ordinary.  It seems like the caravan and the four riders are the only souls around the area.

The lead rider brings his horse to a halt, and his entourage follows in suit.  Holding up his hands to show he is currently unarmed, he calls out:
"Good journey, fellow travelers.  We mean you no harm.  As you see, we are unarmed.  May we approach?  We are in quite a bit of a rush."

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"Approach," Erwin agreed, sheathing his sword.  "My apologies if I seem overly defensive," he acknowledged the rider with a nod.  "But we're temporarily stopped, and your showing up at a hard gallop so close to the accident that stopped us..."  Erwin shrugged.  "My name is Erwin.  If you simply seek to pass by, I'll allow you to walk your horses to the right of our caravan."


Erwin left silent his personal opinion that anyone who ventured the roads unarmed was either an utter fool or a liar.  He wasn't interested in the argument that would ensue.

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Erwin only

His hands hold no weapons, but you can see a scimitar and a bandoleer of daggers on the man.  His escorts are equipped with clubs and staves.

"You have my thanks, Sir Erwin." the man says, extending to the youth a hand of friendship.  His grip is firm and self assured.  The man takes a glance at the dwarf fixing up the axle, and smiles. "We are not in so much a hurry as to ignore the plight of fellow travelers.  My brothers can help, if you permit it."
"I am Brother Abishag.  Tell me, Erwin, have you heard of the Cult of the Dragon?"
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"There is no sir on my name," Erwin said, voice pitched the carry to the caravan.  "And I do not like liars, Abishag.  You and your brothers are far from unarmed.  I think perhaps you should continue on your way.  And given that you have lied about being armed, you'll pass us one at a time.  Under guard."


{{ Ready Action:  The instant it even looks like Abishag is reaching for his weapons, Erwin's sword is going to be at his throat. }}

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A look of annoyance briefly flashes over Abishag's features, but the smile never left his face.
"I did not lie, young guard.  I said we are unarmed, and that is completely true in the moment I said so.  I never said we don't have weapons.  You know as well as I do that the roads are not completely safe."
Meanwhile, the one of the acolytes have caught sight of the red dragonborn.  He points excitedly to his fellows, and they start whispering to each other.  From this distance, it is impossible to find what they are saying.
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Erwin shook his head in bewilderment.  "I don't know who taught you to speak common, but they must have spoken great abyssal," he commented wryly.  "Demons see all sorts of hidden twists and turns that don't exist anywhere but in their own minds.  More to the point, the very definition of unarmed means that you aren't carrying weapons.  Which you and your brothers are."


"The roads aren't safe, and I will credit you with not having intended to deceive us," Erwin continued.  "But I don't think we're interested in your help.  Move on."  Erwin held himself tautly ready.  If they drew on them, he'd try to engage as many of them as he could so they couldn't get past him.  And the leader would feel the kiss of cold steel before he knew what happened!


{{ Ready Action:  Manuever to engage as many enemies as possible in melee; attack the leader with sword. }}




The tension sung in Arjan's bones as he held himself ready.  The excited, pointed looks these individuals have been giving him are starting to freak him out almost as much as the itching sensation the bard's humming was giving him.  Add in the slowly ratcheting tension and he was seriously reconsidering the wisdom of his spell selection.  He'd worked long and hard to create ensorcelled sleep, and mastering the ability to call frost was a wonderful complement to his burning breath, but neither was likely to be helpful right at the moment.  And he really didn't think any of his other tricks would be too terribly helpful right about now.


Well, unless matters devolved into an open fight.  In which case the fire that burned in his blood would see some good use.  Lets see, if things did drop in the pot, were the group in the back close enough together to catch with a single ice knife spell?  Maybe a sleep spell... no, too many to catch enough of them.  Weakening them up first seemed a good idea.  Or maybe he could just go ahead and crossbow bolt the leader in the face, get Erwin breathing room... Decisions, decisions...


Still, Arjan grinned wide.  The tension wasn't half so heard to bear when you were thinking about how exactly to wreak mayhem!


{{ Action:  Continue to keep True Strike active }}

{{ Query:  Analyze enemy positioning with an eye towards throwing an ice knife spell at the group in the back.  Are they clustered close enough together to catch all of them at once?  Is Erwin too close?  Etc etc }}




Perrin could feel the slowly ratcheting tension just as well as Arjan.  More than that, he could clearly see and hear Arjan muttering under his breath, maintaining some kind of spell.  That seemed like a good idea.  If matters continued as they were, a fight seemed almost inevitable.  Still, Perrin would rather prep a slightly less lethal response.  As soon as things broke out, he'd cast a sleep spell.  Wait, no, better yet he'd wait until Arjan threw whatever spell he wanted to throw, then cast a sleep spell.


{{ Ready action:  Cast sleep spell if anyone attacks }}


{{ Note: in the event a fight breaks out, please do take my characters readied actions for their first round actions.  Attack in melee, ice knife or crossbow bolt as appropriate, and sleep! }}

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Brother Abishag sighs a little.  This lot was clearly overly paranoid and were not ready to be evangelized.  No matter, they were still young.  They will learn.  After all, the youthful are nothing but malleable.  


"All right, I can tell we clearly do not yet have your trust.  I hope we can meet again under more favorable circumstances.  Come, brothers, let us take our leave."


Abishag had no specific reaction upon seeing the red dragonborn, but he does offer the urchin a membership recruitment pamphlet extolling the virtues of the Dragon Cult.  As he passes by Morganor, a murderous fire briefly flashes across his eye as he recognizes the symbol of Bahamut on the dwarven cleric's shield.  Still, the four made no attempt to attack, and were quickly on their way.


After a while, the caravan master cried out in triumph.  "Fixed it!  Everyone back to positions!  We're ready to roll!"


As the caravan begins to travel again, the dwarf quizzically turns to Erwin and asks.  "You went all quiet back there all of a sudden.  What happened?"

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"Quiet?" Arjan comments, annoyed.  "Didn't you see those idiots who passed by?"  He hands the pamphlet over to the caravan master.  "They even gave me this bit of marked wrapping paper."




Perrin just barely manages to swallow his laughter as Arjan demonstrates his complete illiteracy.




Erwin looks at the caravan master, then over at the rest of the party.  "Sir, there was a minor incident..." he reiterates the events of the last few minutes.

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The Dwarf flips through the pamphlet the urchin handed to him.  His eyebrows furrow as if in concentration, and then he breaks out in laughter.
"Lad," he tells the dragonborn as he handed the pamphlet back, "You can't blame them for taking an interest in you.  After all, you've got the bloodline of a great red dragon in you.  I have to admit that's a little more aggressive recruiting than normal, but they're mostly harmless.  Just a bunch of whack jobs who believe their great Dragon Queen is going to return, and reward them with riches beyond imagining."
The dwarf lets out a chortle.  "Course, Tiamat is more likely to eat them than to reward them, but don't tell them I said it."
"Now, are your men ready to go?" the caravan master asks Erwin.

Be sure to specify your marching order, if you decide to change it around.

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Garanth lowers his crossbow and returns to his post ready to continue.


Morganor continues to watch the four travelers as they leave; He didn't miss the look of hatred from the leader when he looked at his shield.

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As the day wears on, the cultists were true to their word.  They had continued on to their urgent mission elsewhere, and had done nothing other than to recruit new initiates for their cause.


The sky turns a brilliant shade of orange as the sun starts to set from the horizon.  The caravan master is about to call a halt to the trip, and start making preparations to camp for the night, when he abruptly held the reins, causing the wagons to grind to a halt. The caravan has just rounded a curve - just 15 feet in front of the trail, a single horse lies dead, its body riddled with arrows!



Just imagine said body has a saddle, is riddled with arrows and is all bloody and stuff. Too lazy to photoshop those it.

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Erwin Investigates: [1d20+3] = 20+3 = 23

Erwin alights from the caravan and examines the horse thoroughly. His years of experience immediately tells him that this horse was killed no more than 20 minutes ago. The arrows that pierced the horse were crudely made, probably of goblinoid craftsmanship. The penetration wasn't as powerful as a longbow, although it was pretty lethal nonetheless.

If Erwin had to guess, the unfortunate equine was killed by a volley of arrows from a number of shortbows.

Based on the well used saddle on the horse, he could tell it had a rider, who was now nowhere to be seen.

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Goblin Stealth: [1d20+6] = 12+6 = 18
PERCEPTION - Arjan: [1d20+1] = 3+1 = 4, Erwin: [1d20] = 4, Perrin: [1d20] = 17
PERCEPTION - Garanth: [1d20+1] = 14+1 = 15, Morganor: [1d20+3] = 11+3 = 14

Try as they might, all the guards could not see any sign of ambushers.
A trio of arrows suddenly rain down from the trees, all of them targeted towards Erwin.  Had the fighter not been crouching next to the horse, all of them would have ripped into him!
Surprise Attack: Erwin's AC is 18, plus 2 from partial cover

Goblin A shortbow (Advantage) vs Erwin: [1d20+4] = 12+4 = 16 [1d20+4] = 17+4 = 21 HIT (5 damage)
Goblin B shortbow (Advantage) vs Erwin: [1d20+4] = 6+4 = 10 [1d20+4] = 15+4 = 19 MISS
Goblin C shortbow (Advantage) vs Erwin: [1d20+4] = 2+4 = 6 [1d20+4] = 13+4 = 17 MISS
Goblin D shortbow (Advantage) vs Erwin: [1d20+4] = 11+4 = 15 [1d20+4] = 20+4 = 24 CRITICAL HIT (5 damage plus crit dice)
Critical Hit Die: [1d6] = 5 damage
Erwin takes 15 damage.  Dying.

The last lucky shot caught the young human completely by surprise.  He collapses to the ground, blood gurgling out of his mouth.
Those who watched Erwin fall can now see four goblins hiding behind the foliage, all grinning maniacally as they reload their crossbows.  Two goblins carrying scimitars emerge from the brush, and start looting the downed fighter.


"IT'S AN AMBUSH!" the caravan master cried, stating the obvious.

Initiative: Goblins [1d20+2] = 9+2 = 11
INITIATIVE: Garanth [1d20+3] = 3+3 = 6 Morganor [1d20+1] = 5+1 = 6
INITIATIVE: Arjan [1d20+2] = 4+2 = 6 Erwin [1d20] = 4 Perrin [1d20+3] = 6+3 = 9

Two goblins reposition and attempt to hide, while their two compatriots send another fusillade of covering fire at the guards.
Round 1:

Stealth: Goblin A [1d20+6] = 4+6 = 10 Goblin B [1d20+6] = 20+6 = 26
Goblin C shortbow vs. Morganor [1d20+4] = 4+4 = 8 MISS
Goblin D shortbow vs. Garanth [1d20+4] = 9+4 = 13 MISS
Goblin E steals Erwin's coin pouch containing 10 gold pieces!
Goblin F steals five of Erwin's daily rations!

It is now the caravan guards' turn to act!  Goblins E and F are right next to Erwin, who is 15 feet from the caravan.  Goblins C and D are 20 feet away, partially covered by the foliage.  Goblin A has chosen a poor hiding spot; it is 35 feet away from Erwin.  Nobody can see where Goblin B is.


Initiative Order: Goblins, >> Perrin, Garanth, Arjan, Morganor, Erwin (death save)

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{OOC: I'll give you my actions and you can put them in order when Rilbur gives his guys.}


Garanth fires his crossbow at either goblin E or F (depending on what Perrin does), drops it and heads toward Erwin with shield and sword.


Morganor either takes the other goblin near Erwin or one of the other two C or D with Sacred Flame cantrip. He will continue to use Sacred Flame as needed as he tries to reach Erwin. When/if he reaches Erwin he will use Spare the Dying cantrip to stabilize him until the fighting is over. Morganor also has his shield in place.

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Perrin swears as he sees Erwin collapse.  He calls his magic to his hand and softly speaks a word of healing.


{{ Action: Healing Word on Erwin }}




Fury ran through Arjan's veins as he saw the goblins attack.  Puny, petty, annoying things.  They should have known better than to try to attack a caravan under his guard!  Later on he'll want to talk to them, so for now sleep would be a very nice thing.  Yes, sleep...  Sleep... for an instant his eyes seemed to grow heavy, then he threw that weight over the goblins still firing arrows.


{{ Action: Sleep on Goblins standing near Erwin }}




Erwin shook himself awake as raw, revivifying energy settled into his bones.  Not ready to question his good fortune, he quickly adsorbed the situation immediately surrounding him and sprang to the attack, maneuvering to engage the two goblins closest to him.  The sounds of battle assured him that whatever else was going on, his allies were still in the fight.  He was not going to take this lying down!


He lashed out with his shield, trying to trip his target up, in the hopes that his sword could strike deep and strike true.


{{ Move:  Try to move to where he is engaging both of the goblins near him }}

{{ Bonus Action:  Shove with shield, attempting to knock a goblin prone }}

{{ Action:  Attack same goblin as shoved, prone or not }}

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Party's Actions

1. Perrin:

Healing Word: [1d4+3] = 1+3 = 4 HP 
3. Arjan: Sleep: [5d8] = 24 HP worth.  Goblins C & D asleep.


Garanth looses a bolt at the goblin that stole Erwin's coin pouch.  He wounds it severely, but it is still alive.


Arjan utters an arcane word, and both goblins he targeted with the spell fall asleep, their shortbows clattering to the ground.


With a shout, Morganor calls upon radiant flame to burn the coin-stealing goblin to ashes, but with the last amount of dexterity it has, it dodged the flames.


Perrin's arcane words breathed new life to the fallen fighter.  With great difficulty, Erwin stands up and immediately shoves the goblin that stole his rations with its shield.  The goblin topples to the ground, allowing Erwin to deliver a coup de grace to the pitiful creature.  It dies with a gurgle as the warrior's sword pierces its throat.

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The coin stealing goblin's eyes widen in fear as the fighter dispatches its fellow thief with relative ease.  With a sqeak, it drops its scimitar in fright, and runs away from the scary-looking human, elf, and dwarf glowering at it.  In moments, it completely disappears from view as it ducks behind the underbrush.
Apparently realizing who was the true threat, the concealed goblin unleashes a volley against the Bard who dropped its companions with but a word.  The arrow is right on its mark, and the Sorcerer is bloodied.  The goblin quickly relocates behind another tree, and tries its best to blend into the foliage.
The poorly-concealed goblin stomps next to the sleeping goblins, and knocks their heads together.  "Wakes up!  Wakes up!" it screeches.  Satisfied that they are beginning to stir, the goblin moves deeper into the brush, and ducks out of sight.
Two sleepy goblins wipe their eyes, pick up their shortbows, and looses a couple of snap shots at the first targets they can see.  Not surprisingly, they miss horribly.
Round 2

Goblin E: Disengage, then move away from melee.

Goblin B: Shortbow: [1d20+5] = 11+5 = 16 [1d20+5] = 12+5 = 17 vs Arjan (AC 15). On crit, extra [1d6] = 6 damage. HIT. 5 damage to Arjan.
Goblin C: Shortbow (disadvantage) [1d20+5] = 9+5 = 14 [1d20+5] = 3+5 = 8 vs. Morganor (AC 17). Extra [1d6] = 3 crit. MISS.
Goblin D: Shortbow (disadvantage) [1d20+5] = 11+5 = 16 [1d20+5] = 9+5 = 14 vs. Garanth (AC 16). Extra [1d6] = 5 crit. MISS.
Goblin A uses its action to wake the other goblins.
Goblins A, B, and E use their Nimble Escape action to Hide.
Hiding: Stealth: Goblin A [1d20+6] = 17+6 = 23 Goblin B [1d20+6] = 10+6 = 16 Goblin E [1d20+6] = 13+6 = 19

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Seeing the goblins begin their retreat, , Perrin angrily begins to insult them.  Weaving his magic into it, he focuses the insult on one of the bow casters in particular.


{{ Action:  Vicious Mockery (Wis Saving throw vs 1D4 damage + disadvantage on next attack roll)}}

{{ Move:  Continue to move forward, not into melee range but making sure to keep as many enemy as possible within range as they run }}




Ignoring the pain from his wound, Arjan reached into himself and pulled forward a favorite spell from hot summer nights.  Only instead of releasing it slowly and gradually into the ground, he slammed raw frost into a goblin.


{{ Action:  Frostbite (Con saving throw vs 1D6 damage + disadvantage on next attack roll)}}

{{ Move:  Also moving forward, not into melee range but trying to keep as many enemy as possible within range even if they run)}}




Erwin lets the goblin who dropped his scimitar go, charging after the archers who were busy waking up.  He reached deep into himself to find the strength to continue despite his wounds, then attacked one of the still prone goblins.


{{ Move action:  approach the arrow-firing goblins who just woke up. }}

{{ Bonus action:  Use second wind, assuming the goblins are still prone from being asleep (you didn't explicitly have them stand up, only wake up, so I assume they're still prone).  Otherwise, shove to make prone.  }}

{{ Attack action:  Attack a prone goblin!  (or an injured one, whatever) }}

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Party's Actions

Perrin: Vicious Mockery: [1d4] = 1 psychic unless [1d20-1] = 10-1 = 9 save vs. DC 13 HIT - 1 damage plus disadvantage
Garanth: Longbow vs. Goblin C: [1d20+5] = 3+5 = 8, damage [1d8+3] = 5+3 = 8 crit [1d8] = 7 MISS
Arjan: Frostbite vs. Goblin D: [1d6] = 1 cold unless [1d20] = 4 save vs. DC 13 HIT - 1 damage plus disadvantage
Morganor: Sacred Flame vs. Goblin C: [1d8] = 1 radiant unless [1d20+2] = 11+2 = 13 save vs. DC 13 MISS
Erwin: Second Wind: [1d10+1] = 7+1 = 8 healing BACK TO FULL
Erwin: Shove: Erwin's Athletics [1d20+5] = 14+5 = 19 vs. Goblin Acrobatics [1d20+2] = 18+2 = 20 FAIL
Erwin: Attack [1d20+5] = 15+5 = 20. Damage: [1d8+3] = 5+3 = 8 Crit: [1d8] = 8 HIT. Goblin dies


Perrin unleashes a string of insults about the goblin's mother against it.  It looks slightly insulted.  


Garanth drops his sword {{OOC: 1 item interaction per turn}} and takes advantage of the goblin's distraction to fire a round of arrows at it.  He's a bit off the mark, as the indignant goblin dodges out of the way.


Arjan's enchantment causes a thin layer of frost to form around the other visible Goblin's body.  It shakes off the cold rather easily, but anyone could see it is still visibly affected.


Morganor channels another gout of fire from the heavens against the goblin Perrin insulted, but the indignant goblin dodges right out of the way.


A wave of vitality surges through Erwin's body, as he is back to fighting fit.  he charges the insulted goblin, but yet again its anger enabled it to dodge.   its luck ran out, unfortunately, when the fighter's sword came slashing down, and cleaves it right  in half - vertically!

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