D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 4 Recap

We find survivors at the Nightstone Keep, then help them defend the town from an army of Zhentarim. Then a dragon shows up.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

Programming Note: This episode was streamed and recorded on Sunday, May 7.

There were too many of them, too damn many. The guards, glorified royal servants really, were busy cowering behind us. They refused to even draw their bows.

We had taken a few successful shots at Captain Xellan, but his small army of Zhentarim soldiers advanced, each full armored and hefting heavy crossbows. We had the wall, but they had the numbers. It was only a matter of time.

“Look out, coming through!” A massive shadow descended upon us, followed by the rush of wind and splinter of wood as the drawbridge exploded from the inside. A fully grown bronze dragon crashed right in front of the army and laid waste to half the standing army with a single blast of its lightning breath.

It was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. The surviving Zhents screamed and scattered, the Captain turning on his horse and fleeing. The dragon seemed to vibrate and blur for a moment, then assume the shape of a friendly halfling with golden hair.

He turned and waved. “Hey, how you guys doin’?”

Nightstone is quite the bustle of activity. The keep was not the mini-dungeon I was expecting. Instead we found the last townsfolk holed up inside. A few guards mourning their dead leader of the town.

They didn’t know much more than what we’d already figured out between the goblins and the Zhentarim we fought off previously.

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We did learn what happened to the rest of the townsfolk. The innkeeper Morak lead a fleeing group of maybe 30 of them to the nearby bat caves within the Ardeep Forest. That’s apparently the emergency exit plan since they couldn’t get to the keep during the Cloud Giant rock-attack. But that was three days ago, and no one’s returned.

So we finally have our first official quest of the adventure – go to the caves and find the missing townsfolk. But we’re not finished with Nightstone yet.

While busy looting the deceased Lady of the Keep’s bedroom, Bryseis escaped a Flying Sword trap and went to the roof. There she and a guard spotted a line of approaching soldiers. We figured this was the bulk of the Zhentarim forces, lead by Captain Xellan, who planned on taking over the town.

This poor town! First attacked by giants, then looted by goblins, and now invaded by Zhentarim.

We tried to convince the guards to get the hell out of there but they wanted to stay and defend the town. Nightstone is impressively fortified with a moat and walls. They didn’t want such a prize to go to the Zhentarim. Plus, the townsfolk wouldn’t have a town to go back to.

We gave the guards bows from the goblins and Zhentarim we’d previously slain (the town definitely looks like a war-zone now), pulled up the drawbridge and assumed positions inside the guard towers.

The enemy arrived. Over a dozen Thugs – not Bandits, and their leader. All were armed with crossbows. We had height advantage and cover, but they had a buttload of HP and we were only level 2. After two full rounds we hadn’t taken down a single one, and we starting to get hit. Things were looking bleak.

That’s when the dragon showed up.

d&dThis was a fun moment even if it meant the entire exercise was moot. After a few rounds a bronze dragon crashed into the front gate and melted half the army with his lightning breath. The army scattered and we were left dumb-founded.

Apparently the dragon, Felgolos, had been hunting the Zhentarim. He was pleased that we had stopped them from holing up in the town and making his job a lot more difficult. I loved his care-free personality. Dragons are often stoic or menacing or haughty. Felgolos was just goofy and friendly.

It was a fun little deus ex machina as the dragon flew off to continue his pursuit. We collectively shrugged, told the guards to hold the fort, and set off to Ardeep Forest.

The journey was not uneventful. Despite the short jaunt we ran afoul of a pair of goblin hunters, mounted on their annoyingly powerful worgs. We’d taken down a pair of them in our very first session thanks to surprise and range. We had neither here, and one of them ripped into T.I.M. after we slew its goblin rider.

Things might have gone real nasty but Bryseis used her Tides of Chaos, and the DM had her roll on her very first Wild Magic Surge table. The result was turning everyone invisible!

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This brought us some precious time to try and stabilize T.I.M. and avoid the nasty attacks of the worgs. Halfred downed one worg, but the other tore into Korinn. Two down! Thankfully we had back-to-back crits on the last goblin and worg to turn things back to our favor.

The caves lay just beyond but pretty sure we’ll need to rest up here and tend to our wounds. Plus we’ve conveniently gained enough experience to reach level 3. This has been a very fast leveling curve and I couldn’t be happier since low level D&D kind of sucks. Next week – bat caves!

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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