The adventurers had followed the dragonrider’s trail to its end to find a leafy blue glade, where a pristine waterfall tumbled down a high cliff before emptying into a large pool, its surface obscured by an emerald haze. The sight was quite beautiful to behold, although Bensvelkeargix reminded the group that the emerald haze was a clear sign that this place was lair to a green dragon. Although no obvious signs pointed to anyone or anything residing here, the group were highly suspicious that this was where the green dragon was hiding with its Cult of the Dragon allies.
The five companions spent some time thoroughly investigating the area, most specifically where the water supplying the waterfall was coming from, and where that water went. Eventually, Lucky climbed up the cliffside to look behind the waterfall, and discovered a large cave some thirty feet above the emerald pool below. The half-elf sent his familiar, Boo Barry to scout the entrance, discovering a steep slope descended immediately from the entrance into complete darkness. Lucky thus beckoned for his companions to follow, and before long they all sat in the cave entrance.
The slope down was wet from the billowing mist. Lucky and Groβ decided to go ahead to scout, so the half-elf put on his crampons and descended slowly while the half-orc climbed across the rocky walls with care, after dumping his caltrops at the entrance in case the dragon had not yet returned. At the bottom the slope levelled out into a larger cavern, descending off to the limits of their darkvision. However, only thirty feet away stood four wood elves, dressed in simple cloth garments and carrying longswords by their sides. They would be discovered any second, so Lucky quickly weaved an invisibility spell and made himself still in the darkness.
Groβ however, favoured a more direct approach. He used Hazirawn to cast a detect good and evil, and sensed no strong feeling of alignment from the elves. Having taken no time to hide himself, the elves immediately spotted the half-orc. One of them shouted out “Who goes there?”, as they readied their longswords. Groβ spoke simply and truly: that he was Groβ Panzer, sent by the Council of Waterdeep, and here with the approval of King Melandrach. The elves looked at each other, alarmed, before screaming out the alarm – an intruder had arrived. Groβ, events having not gone the way he anticipated, climbed back up the wet slope towards the cave entrance in a flurry.
Lucky, still invisible, remained behind to follow what was happening. The elves ran back further into the cavern, and before long cultists, started pouring out of a side chamber in response to their alarm. Fourteen of them in total soon stood by the elves, demanding to know what had happened. The elves revealed that they had seen a half-orc claiming to be sent by the Council of Waterdeep, and King Melandrach himself. Meanwhile, three ettins pushed and shoved their way through a small tunnel to the large chamber, massive weapons by their sides, their two heads arguing with each other all the while. Having seen enough, Lucky retreated to the cave entrance to discuss the matter with his friends.
Reunited, the group discussed strategy while the cultists discussed theirs. On the urging of Groβ, Bensvelkeargix yelled out a few phrases to try and convince the ettins that the cultists planned to kill them, but they garnered no response. Upon further ponderance, a question came up of whether or not the group could divert the fiercely flowing waterfall into the cave – though the group knew they had little time, and such an effort would surely take hours at a minimum. Glinda however had a lightbulb moment, and informed them she could use Eldath’s power to redirect the flow of water and achieve such a feat. Thus the companions headed outside the cave to stand around the emerald pool, to prepare for the tiefling cleric to work her spell.
Groβ meanwhile was working on a new plan of his own. He opened the cage door in his lantern, and stuffed Glinda’s tiny vole Vulva inside it. He then wrapped the lantern up in fishing tackle, and attached it to his rod. Glinda subsequently cast water walk on the group, including the vole – in preparation for it to be forcefully thrown down into the cave. Glinda also left a small portable battering ram at the cave entrance, so that it too would be thrown down, along with Groβ’s caltrops which were already there.
Then Glinda weaved her spell, and through the power of the goddess of waterfalls herself, redirected the flow of that water to fill the cave. Vulva, strapped inside the lantern, sped off in front of the flow with alarming speed. For ten minutes, Glinda held the spell, and water kept pouring into the cave at an incredible rate. Once the spell had reached an end, the cleric cast clairvoyance, so that she could view the chaos the water had created inside the cave. What she saw was cultists and ettins swimming around madly – then spotting the vole. Listening in on them, she quickly learned that they planned to capture the vole, and so she ended her spell and commanded Groβ to quickly reel the line up so that Vulva would be safe.
When a couple of cultists made their way to the top of the cave, then once again summoned the power of Eldath to control water, redirecting the flow of the waterfall to smash into the cultists and push them back into the cave. For another full ten minutes the cleric held the spell, filling the cave up with enormous amounts of water. When she finished, she prepared herself for a third, assuming that it would be enough to fill the cavern fully, at least to the height that Lucky had described and she had seen in her divination spell.
This time however, Princess Fluffypants had a plan of her own. Using her most powerful magic, the warlock planned to summon a powerful fey spirit into the world that would take the form of a giant shark. And so she did – and thus a giant shark was conjured into existence amidst the third torrent of water that Glinda directed into the cave. The shark was a little over thirty feet long, a monster of a creature that almost had to be forced down the tunnel by the pounding flow of the water behind it. The half-elven warlock had only one command for the fey spirit as it descended into the waters of the cave – “kill”.
The cave now fully flooded, and with an aggressive fey spirit swimming around in the form of a giant shark killing all it came across, the companions simply waited outside for someone to come fleeing out. It was not long before the first cultist burst out of the cave, jumping through the waterfall – and Lucky buried a crossbow bolt in his head before he could even hit the emerald pool below. The second cultist to jump out made it to the water – only to be knocked unconscious by Groβ whacking him in the side of the head with Hazirawn.
The next to jump out from behind the watefall was a pretty wood wood elf girl, screaming for help – unarmed and soon deemed harmless. She was questioned quickly, revealing her name to be Delweth, and that she had been taken prisoner when the Cult attacked her village of Xandelil. The attack had been led by a moon elf named Neronvain, who had ridden into battle on the back of a green dragon – confirming the suspicion of Leosin Erlanthar that it had been a wyrmspeaker leading the attacks. The moon elf had decided to keep her as his prize, and had kept her prisoner in the dragon’s lair ever since, along with at least eleven others he had captured from across the Misty Forest. Many of those same elves she had just seen ripped apart by a giant shark, or drowned. The wood elf wept for her fallen brethren, and it began to dawn on the companions that in their haste to clear the tunnel, they had taken almost as many elven lives as they had of the cultists. Groβ muttered that the elves had taken their side when they yelled the alarm, but the others knew realized that they had likely done so under the threat of death. Princess Fluffypants was the only one amongst them to show no remorse for what they had done – though the warlock did not take pleasure in it, she recognized it as an acceptable loss.
The half-orc had buried climbing spikes into the cultist’s hands, pinning him to the walls of the emerald pool that was no slowly rising as the waterfall refilled it. He questioned the cultist quickly and directly about the layout of the cave, making sure to get every detail. The cultist, a human named Alreth, a clear believer in Tiamat’s return but still eager to be around to see it, revealed much, giving the half-orc a clear insight into the caves layout. Glinda also had questions for the man, which he answered quickly in response to her threats. When the half-orc was satisfied he knew enough, Groβ Panzer spared no mercy for the man, and buried Hazirawn in his chest.
The next body to drift out was that of an ettin, if not dead heavily unconscious and riddled with shark wounds. Lucky buried a few crossbow bolts in it to be sure it was dead, and the companions took one of its heads as a trophy. As the half-orc and the tiefling turned to the treeline where their other companions were, the waterfall suddenly seemed to burst as a huge invisible figure burst through it, the water beating off its back revealing the outline of a dragon. A solitary moon elf dressed in the (very wet) purple robes of a Wearer of Purple of the Cult of the Dragon rode on its back, his blade gleaming in the light. The dragon let out a mighty roar, that would send a chill into the hearts of any that saw it, and send any sane mortal fleeing – though the companions stood strong, their hearts bolstered by the garlands around their necks that filled them with a warm sense of hope.
The dragon however, wasted no time. “YOU DARE TO SULLY MY LAIR? I. AM. CHUTH!” With that, the dragon poured its poisonous breath down upon Groβ, Glinda, Bob, and Delweth, before they could get out of the way. The skin and flesh was instantly melted off Delweth’s bones, and the once pretty wood elf fell to the ground in a heap. Glinda had been partly protected by her ring of poison resistance, but nevertheless the three were heavily wounded already. To make matters worse, a wall of thorns sprung out from the ground below, encircling the half-orc and the tiefling. Though the half-orc managed to avoid the worst of the barbs, they thickened around Glinda, wounding her across her body and forcing her out of the wall.
Groβ reacted quickly, using his cloak to teleport out of the thorns next to the moon elf, and grab him from behind. While the others prepared to take on the dragon, the moon elf simply let go from the dragon, falling back towards the emerald pool, with Groβ still grabbing on, as the dragon flew past. The moon elf reached for his blade, and stabbed it into the half-orc twice before they crashed into the water below. As the two scrambled, Glinda dove in after them to try and make sure Groβ could benefit from her healing powers.
Meanwhile, as Lucky, Bob, and Princess Fluffypants hid against the blue leafed trees of the forest, the dragon tried to cast a spell against Fluffypants – though Bob managed to counterspell it easily, and the dragon subsequently circled away over the tall trees, out of sight. The three readied their next attacks, loosing them as soon as it reappeared. They did not slow it however, and the dragon unleashed its poisonous breath a second time before retreating once more. At the same time, Gro&b finally managed to knock the moon elf out, and was dragging him to the side of the emerald pool.
Before the dragon circled back, the five companions readied themselves. Groβ readied an arrow of dragon slaying, while Bensvelkeargix, Glinda, and Princess Fluffypants readied their spells. Lucky meanwhile, using his magic, created a silent illusion mimicking Bob, standing in the middle of the leafy glade awaiting the dragon. When it finally returned, the dragon swooped upon the illusion, clearly readying itself to unleash its poisonous breath upon it. It was only when it got within the low range of its blindsight that the dragon realised the truth – and then it was too late. The companions loosed their attacks. Though Eldath’s flames and a fire bolt from Bob both missed their targets, the warlocks eldritch blasts both landed, as did Groβ’s dragon slaying arrow. The dragon screamed in pain, and flew back towards the treetops, this time clearly fleeing the scene for good.
Groβ quickly scrambled up towards the cave entrance, and leapt out through the waterfall before loosing his last arrow of dragon slaying that he had received from the Council of Wyrms at the green dragon. However, the arrow missed and landed somewhere in the surrounding trees in the distance. Lucky, while having no line of sight to the dragon, using his sharpshooter skills and Boo Barry in the air as a spotter, fired a desperate crossbow bolt into the air after the dragon. The bolt found its mark, but it did not stop the dragon, who fled across the tree tops until it was completely out of range – and gone. The Emerald Assassin, Chuth, had fled to fight another day.
The dragon’s fate out of their hands for now, the group’s attention turned to the unconscious Neronvain the Green. groβ stripped him of his clothes and carefully examined his blade, which although not magical was enscribed in elven: “Prince Neronvain”. Pooling their knowledge of history, the group realised that this elf must be the exiled son of King Melandrach himself, who was thought to have died many years ago. Neronvain had been exiled from the courts of the Misty Forest after he took insults against his father into his own hands, and murdered an entire elven noble family. Realizing that the discovery that his son was alive and had joined the Cult would likely be of great distress to the elven king, Lucky informed Leosin Erlanthar via his sending stone that Neronvain would soon be teleported back to Waterdeep, and to keep him from sight and harm until the King could be informed – and that the elves should send warriors to the cave.
Their attackers now dealt with, the companions now wished to explore the cave – which remained flooded with water. Glinda could clear it, but she would need to rest before she could summon enough of Eldath’s power to do so again, so they slept that night in the glade. In the morning, the cleric drained the pool with the assistance of her goddess, and she and her companions headed in to assess the damage. The central chamber found many dead – either drowned or by shark wound. Ten cultists lay dead, as well as ten elves, and two ettins. The impact of their actions began to sink in, as they realised the cost of drowning out their enemies. One of the ettins was wearing a belt of hill giant strength, dressed around it inappropriately like a tiny sash, which Lucky took and put on, feeling immensely strong immediately after.
The rest of the chambers revealed that the water had done much damage. The cultists’ possessions were in disarray or ruined, although a few coins were scattered across the floor and able to be salvaged. A large supply of food and alcohol, some it including the incredibly rare elven drink Evermead, was entirely smashed and ruined. Neronvain’s chambers were similarly destroyed, with many rich, fine tapestries and artworks ripped apart by the force of the water which had flowed through – a collection that would once have been worht quite a bit. Only a trunk appeared to possibly hold anything of value now, and Lucky was sure to pick its lock at a distance using his mage hand. A poison needle trap indeed was in the lock, but it of course had no effect on the hand. Inside was a large amount of gold, and on top of it was a journal, the name Neronvain inscribed on its leather cover. Its pages however had been rendered entirely unreadable by the water.
A secret door revealed by the ruin lay at the back of the chamber, leading to a small shrine resembling a pair of white eyes looking out over a basin. Detecting no magic present, the group simply advanced through to find another secret door, that led through into an enormous cavern that must have been the dragons lair. A couple more bodies of cultists that must have swum through to here lay on the ground amidst a small pile of wealth and an acrid smell. In the corner of the room lay a metal cage, with the body of a bloodied, bruised, and drowned sun elven woman inside.
Realizing the woman was likely of some importance if she had been kept in a private cage in the dragon’s lair, Glinda raised her from the dead using the power of her goddess, and the elf spluttered to life. She revealed herself to be Cylanestriel, a member of the powerful group of adventurers from Waterdeep known as the Gray Hands, who worked under contract from the Open Lord of Waterdeep him or herself. She and her party had been on a mission given to them by Dagult Neverember when he was still the Open Lord – the mission of infiltrating the Well of Dragons and assassinating Severin. However, it had been a disaster. The huge amount of warriors and mercenaries the Cult had summoned to the Well was truly immense, numbering well over twenty thousand at the well alone.
Even so, the accomplished adventuring group had mostly managed to avoid these and approach the volcano. Cylanestriel and two others kept watch from below while the others began to ascend – and suddenly found themselves trapped inside a magical forcefield protecting the volcano, which instantly rendered them helpless. The army was alerted, and hordes of warriors descended upon them. The helpless warriors, however powerful, had been rendered totally helpless, and were killed easily. Cylanestriel and the others fled, but as the army closed around them she was the only one to escape their grasp, as she saw her friends cut down in front of her eyes. The elven ranger managed to escape all the way to the Misty Forest, though there by pure bad luck she had fallen across the path of Neronvain and Chuth. Since then she had been her prisoner, being tortured by the two sadistic beings and being allowed to overhear snippets of plans to assassinate elven royals before being beaten to the edge of death once more.
With the elven ranger rescued, the group decided to explore the rest of the cavern. Not much was found, except for a small shrine to Eldath. Glinda however had decided to rest for a moment in the cavern below, so the group decided they would tell her about it later. The rest of the cavern revealed nothing more that had not been destroyed by the torrential flows of water, so the companions left the cave for the glade outside to ponder their next move. Bob began to drag out the bodies of the drowned and shark-slain elves, preparing them for burial.
It was decided that as the sending stone had already been used, Princess Fluffypants would contact Leosin that night via a dream spell. So the group waited for nightfall for the warlock to weave her spell, and she did so, sending Lucky into it as a messenger. The half-elf told Leosin of what had happened, and asked for instruction of what they should do next. The monk responded, first thanking him for ensuring Neronvain was returned alive – a measure the Harpers would surely be thankful for. In fact, Leosin had been arguing for Lucky to move up the ranks of the Harpers from behind the scenes. The capture of Neronvain had been enough that Leosin was now allowed to award Lucky a Harper Pin – a magic pin that would protect him from divination magic as well as a few other effects once he returned to Waterdeep.
However, Leosin revealed that he had no new strong leads for them to investigate as yet – it had, after all, only been five days since they met last after the last Council of Waterdeep. Waterdeep had nevertheless already suffered a dragon attack since, although Neverwinter had suffered a greater one. It appeared the Cult was ramping up their attacks, making a move to take as much wealth for themselves as they could. The metallic dragons were already being put to good use by the dwarves, elves, Elturgard, the Emerald Enclave, and Luruar, in fighting back. The monk nevertheless promised to look further into other leads, and that he would continue to contact them with new information. With that, the dream came to a close, and the companions slept through the rest of the night, pondering what to do next while they awaited King Melandrach’s warriors to arrive – and what they would say when they found not only fourteen cultists and three ettins dead, but twelve elven lives taken as well.