The Stockwood Scrolls

The Battle of the Well

Winter, 26th of Hammer - 19th of Alturiak (Session 2-31)

As the companions ready to finally leave Xonthal’s Tower, with Iskander’s body in the bag of holding, and the Blue Dragon Mask in hand, they find that the remaining cultists in the tower have assembled outside it, ready to ambush them. To ensure their quick and easy exit, the companions snipe at the cultists with their magic and ranged weapons from the top of the tower, killing all their enemies with ease. They then move to exit the maze of Xonthal.

However, when making their way out through the maze, they discover an ancient blue dragon ravaging the town outside. The beast challenges them to hand over the mask or watch the town of Xonthal’s Tower burn under her lightning. After consideration, the companions decide the greater good is to leave the town to burn, so that the Mask may be kept from the Cult, and more lives will ultimately be saved.

In Waterdeep, the companions head to the Lords’ Palace to meet with Leosin, but in the halls outside they are approached by Rian Nightshade of the Zhentarim. Before asking for their aid in negotiating favourable terms for the Zhentarim’s assistance in the battle to come, the tiefling offers them first 50,000 gold, and ultimately 100,000 gold pieces in addition to a few scrolls and potions for their claim on Xonthal’s Tower. The heroes seem disinclined to do so, but ask for more time to consider it.

Moving towards Laeral Silverhand’s chambers, where they are to meet Leosin, the companions see Ulder Ravengard of Baldur’s Gate exchanging stern words with an Amnian woman before he storms off. The woman reveals herself to be Shiran Dannihyr, an emissary of Amn’s Council of Five, who offered a force of 5,000 soldiers to the Marshal in return for his acknowledgement of Amn’s claim on some of the Moonshae Isles – an offer he refused. She offers the same to the companions, but they too turn her down.

Finally entering Laeral’s chambers, the companions discuss war preparations with Laeral, Leosin, and Marshall Ravengard. It is agreed that the heroes will make the final decision, due to their superior knowledge of the Cult and the current situation. They decide to reconvene a final Council three days before the Cult are expected to be ready to summon Tiamat, the location to be revealed in secret closer to the date. With that, the companions each leave to attend to their own separate agendas, knowing that this may be their final chance before they face a god.

When the Council finally reconvenes, the heroes all meet up again, each looking as if a weight has come off their shoulders. Groβ in particular has a totally different demeanour, with a smile on his face, and wearing a white cloak with the symbol of Selûne on it. Hazirawn is the most changed however – no longer a cruel looking greatsword, the half-orc had had it purged of its evil influence by the moon goddess, and now called it Selûne’s Moonshard.

Each of the others also looked a bit lighter, but were hesitant to discuss their business with the final Council before the final battle just about to be underway. For the location, the group had decided on Greenest, and had only informed the top leaders, as well as a few petitioners from Waterdeep who wished to plead their case to the Council. Chief amongst these is Escobert the Red, the Castellan of Greenest’s Keep, who informs the companions that the smaller towns of the Sword Coast are worried that they will receive little back from what was stolen from them, after the larger cities divvy up the loot taken from the Well of Dragons after the battle. The companions sympathise, and promise to see that they are recompensed.

As they ready to enter the Keep’s rooms where the Council is to be held, they are approached by Nyh Ilmicch, the Red Wizard who took them to Thay. “We have prepared the means for you to break the infernal ward guarding the Well of Dragons. The field is created from an energy source in the Nine Hells called the Shard of Azharul. To create the field, we believe that a piece of this shard must be in Vengal Nahumon’s possession. Thus, it cannot be undone without either destroying the source on Avernus or destroying Nahumon’s shard of it. However, the zulkir of conjuration herself, under Szass Tam’s watchful eye, has taught us a how to create individual wards which can protect you from the effects of the field. It borrows of the an energy similar to that which powers the Ward protecting the Well of Dragons, and should shield you from its effects. It is a ritual that will take an hour to perform, and once complete it will last twenty four hours.” Acknowledging this, the companions enter the final Council.

Inside the hall are all the figures present from the previous Councils in Waterdeep, but it has been joined by a few figures not seen before – including a frost giant. Leosin, the silvery dragon Otaaryliakkarnos in her human form, and Cylanestriel, the elven ranger of the Gray Hands rescued from Neronvain in the Misty Forest, are also here. Laeral speaks up: Heroes, you have arrived. May I also introduce to you her highness, Queen Raedra Obarskyr of Cormyr, High Lord Methrammar of Silverymoon, Lady Shadowmoon, High Druid of the Emerald Enclave, and Bergelmir, frost giant and the cloud giant Blagothkus’s emissary. When you are ready, we shall begin." Seemingly all the imporant folk are here, with the notable exception of the dwarven Kings and Queens (save for the former King Connerad Brawnanvil).

Over the course of the Council, the help of the Zhentarim is purchased, along with an agreement that the Zhentarim and other organizations will attempt to work together, for a minimum trial period of a year. The distribution of wealth following its liberation from the Cult is also discussed, and rules are put in place for the fair treatment of smaller communities, as well as equal shares between the larger parties, as determined by how badly they were affected, and how many troops they are to contribute. Finally, the battle plan is discussed. After Ulder Ravengard lays out the current situation, the companions inform the Council that they plan to infiltrate the Well of Dragons in secret, while the larger attacking force draws the Cult’s troops and their allies away. In the volcano, the companions plan to prevent Tiamat from ever being summoned. WIth them, they will take a force of 10 Zhentarim assassins to assist them. They also lay out which forces will attack which of the Cult’s resources, to try and ensure the most clean victory possible. Meanwhile, citizens magically disguised to look like the Heroes of Skyreach will lead the battle, in order to strike fear into the heart of the Cult, raise morale, and ensure their ruse is not realized.

Finally ready to move, Laeral informs the group that the Council have arrayed gifts for them, to ensure their safe return. Dagult Neverember gifts to Fluffypants a shirt of mithral links once worn by an elven hero. Ravengard, in return for Lucky saving his life, gifts him a cloak of displacement. Laeral gifts Glinda a bronze griffon figurine, able to summon her own griffon at will, in recognition of her bond with animals. To Groβ, King Melandrach gifts a suit of magical half-plate armour made from the finest mithral, in recognition of his service to the elven people, both in reuniting him and Corran, and bringing them the head of Chuth. Although Bensvelkeargix, as usual, refuses to come to the Council, Leosin gifts him a wand from Silverymoon, fashioned by a powerful mage and ally to the Harpers centuries ago, a gift the proud gold dragon eventually accepts to help him defeat Tiamat.

Before closing the Council, Laeral makes room for one final speech. “Heroes of Skyreach, you have united a disparate land against the greatest threat any of us have ever seen. Your tales will become legend, and your names will ring out in song across the world. Bensvelkeargix, Glinda, GroB, Mr. Smith, Princess Fluffypants – we honour you.” Each of the leaders in turn takes a deep bow – with the exception of the Frost Giant and the Red Wizard, who both nevertheless nod in your direction.

Following that, the heroes, together with the Zhentarim assassins, have the Red Wizard’s protective ward cast on them, and teleport to the main force near the Well of Dragons, ready for the assault. As the companions sneak off through a magical mist created on a mysterious flute in the possession of Princess Fluffypants, they witness the beginning of the greater Battle of the Well. It begins with the High Druids of the Emerald Enclave chanting as the sky above the armies of the Cult begins to darken. The earth shakes and thunder roars, and simultaneously lightning strikes down from the sky as the earth beneath the Cult’s army is rent asunder by multiple earthquakes.

As the ground beneath them is ripped apart, the cloud giant Blagothkus drives his flying iceberg castle straight in the direction of the biggest congregation of chromatic dragons, and in response they scream into the air towards him. With an earth-shaking cry of “For a New Ostoria!” the giants leap from their castle at the dragons, variously crashing into them with the enormous weapons and hanging on, pelting the dragons from the side, or crashing into the ground and laying into the Cult’s armies, sending them flying. Giants on the other side wade into the battle against them, with a horde of devils by their side, some of which spread their wings and fly into battle alongside the chromatic dragons.

As the earthquakes settle, the armies of the Sword Coast advance on the Cult’s forces, as the metallic dragons scream into battle overhead. Armies of humans, dwarves, and elves, fight alongside for the first time in centuries, as the treants of the Enclave wade into battle alongside them, picking up cultists and sending them flying in the air. The mages of the Arcane Brotherhood, bolstered by the mages of each army, furiously defend against the spells of the rebel Red Wizards, as mageduels break out across the battlefield. Small groups of Thayan Red Wizards, backed by their undead death knights, make their way directly to rebel Red Wizards as soon as they’re spotted, and incinerate them.

In the sky above, metallic dragon clashes with chromatic dragon, as giants on both sides also lay into them, and each other. Bursts of fire and lightning rocket across the sky, lighting it up as you’ve never seen before. It is truly a sight the Sword Coast has never seen. The Battle of the Well has well and truly begun.

Meanwhile, the heroes spend the next four hours travelling under cover of mist towards the Well of Dragons, aiming for the entrance on the rear side of the volcano. They make their way there with ease, and very tentatively slip through the forcefield protecting the Cult’s domain, trusting in the Red Wizards’s magic – which proves true. Then, with the help of their assassin allies, the companions easily dispatch the guards by the gate. The group then prepares for their final assault and entrance into the volcano, which will either save the Sword Coast or doom it…

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