A little late, because at this point we’ve played a session where I was player and one another where I was DM, but two weeks ago I ran D&D. It was… under whelming.
I probably should have anticipated that given what the players had done so far. The players had their long rest, and throughout it I gave them opportunities to engage in the machination around them but they didn’t. First the Elf Rouge had a perception check to notice two Kobolds scurrying across the raised walkway above them. (A recap, the players were resting in a large pit in the cave secured and purposed to contain Guard Drakes in training, and had locked themselves into it). I think he failed that, or maybe he got close so I said he heard some noise off in the darkness, either way he made no follow up.
The two Kobolds scouted their way to the secret tunnel the adventurers had previously blocked up and removed that blockage allowing the rest of the cultists from below easier access to the cave system.
Next watch, the Death Cleric (not sure he should be taking a watch being a spell caster but whatever) barely succeed on a perception check to see the two cult fanatic spell casters casting darkness at the edge of the room they were in. I described how he saw tendrils of black energy that seemed to disappear into the dark at the far end of the chamber they were in by the stairs they had locked behind them. Again he didn’t do anything further and the two cult fanatics who cast the spell were able to survey the the party resting.
Third watch and the Paladin heard voices over in the distance where the darkness spell had been cast, and then I described how she had one of those moment where you just fall asleep for a second then catch yourself. In reality I had rolled the dice for a 2nd level sleep spell before the session so knew it would take her out. In the minute of sleep the Cultists put an additional lock on the iron gate into the pit. and then sat and waited for the party to wake.
When the party awoke from their long rest, they were greeted by Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, the blue half dragon who had called the party out at Greenest and a hoard of Kobolds and Cultists along with a couple of Guard Drakes. Lording over them, he offered to spare their lives if the Fighter would face him again in solo combat.The dragon claws manned the gate to let the Fighter through and the Rouge made a try to steal the key to the Cultist’s lock with mage hand but fails the sleight of hand check and the guard takes back the key.
The Fighter and Langdedrosa fight, the Fighter rolls terribly and the half dragon takes him down to 0 HP in no time, I described how he Sparta kicks the Fighter back into the pit. The Life Cleric rushed over to heal the Fighter and the players submitted to their enslavement by the cult. To be honest I was hoping for more of a fight, even at this point it would have been difficult but I think possible, or at least make a daring escape possibly losing someone on the way.
So the cultists strip the party of weapons and armour, shackle them and hold them under guard for a few hours while they load up a cart with what valuables they have left in the caves. The party are tied behind the cart and a group of cultists take them as slaves to join the rest of the wagons north.
After a few hours, the wagon is moving along a road through a forest as some screeches are heard off into the forest. Those screeches get louder and suddenly a wild Owlbear (that I’d been alluding to being in the area mainly because I painted a mini of one and wanted an excuse to use it) thundered straight through a few cultists and into the horse pulling the cart.
The cultists defend themselves from the Owlbear and the group guarding the party move forwards to assist. The fighter offers to a Kobold to help them fend off the Owlbear and manages to convince it to free him. He calls his blades to his hand and moves forwards to help but arrives just as the Owlbear is deciding to move off, picking up what meat it can carry. He doesn’t attack and lets the Owlbear leave and the Cultists suddenly notice their prisoner, armed and free, and demand he relinquishes his weapons, which he does and returns to the back of the cart.
In the mean time, the Kobold had dropped the keys to the prisoners and the Rouge had used mage hand to retrieve them and started unlocking the rest of the party. As the Fighter returned, seeing the party getting themselves free, called his weapons back to his hands triggering the Cultist who had taken them to call for the prisoners to be killed. A short battle ensued, the Rogue again using Sleep to take out several of the Kobolds, the handful of remaining Cultists and Kobolds not being much of a match for the party quickly only the lead Cult Fanatic was left, stuck within the Druids Spike Growth AOE, as he made his way to escape, just making it out of the area, the Druid cast the same spell on him again which dropped him. I realise writing this that this was a mistake as the Druid wouldn’t have had the material components, something to remember in future.
Having been bested in the dragon hatchery, enslaved, and freed, the party headed in the opposite direction to the Owlbear and made camp for the night, and that ended the session.