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Mannix, level 6 Human Inquisitive Rogue/Wizard
Khaless, level 6 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 6 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 6 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 6 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
Having finally reached the end of their mine cart ride to the bottom of Wyrmheart Mine, there was nothing left between the PCs and their goal: the young red dragon, Tinder.
The PCs spent some time exploring the bottom of Wyrmheart Mine, noting the water area filled with Quippers, the charred dwarven skeletons littering the ground, and the elevated mine track that continued into a dark tunnel to the north.
The only other paths lie to the south, and a Perception check told them the roaring of a dragon was definitely coming from that direction.
I was curious to see how the PCs would handle the whole dragon situation. Ham-fisted would be the best way to describe it. Tinder initially believed the racket was caused by kobolds, but was on high alert and trying to call out in draconic.
Khaless missed a stealth roll on the ledge to the southwest. At the same time, Gillian and Mannix had cast very obvious glowing light spells, turning themselves into glowing beacons in the darkness as they approached the dragon’s inner lair from the south east.
The dragon stirred and began to approach these increasingly not-kobold figures. Mannix tried to distract her by using the Silent Image of a dancing kobold, which was a silly ruse that she instantly saw through. The party quickly gathered in the southeastern tunnel as she approached, and I let Gillian through up a water wall before we rolled initiative.
Unfortunately for Tinder, I rolled a bloody 2, going dead last. That stung, as every PC was able to unleash a volley of attacks and abilities, including Khaless who crit for 40+ damage! Something like half the dragon’s health was gone in the opening round.
I unleashed her signature fire breath next, but the water wall proved very effective, as well as everyone making the DC 17 save, further halving the damage. Suddenly a 50-damage fire attack was reduced to around 10. I had the dragon take flight afterward, though mobility was limited inside the cave.
At the end of the first round, Hew Hackinstone joined the fight in hilariously dramatic fashion, tumbling down in a mine cart. Seeing a too-crowded tunnel (and the power of a dragon), George had moved to go the long away around, climbing back up onto the mine cart track to reach the ledge. That put him directly in the path of the crashing mine carts as Hew’s cart rolled down, crashing into George. Worse still, Hew brought the Kobold chieftain and scale sorcerer down with him, creating a secondary battle with Hew, George, and the kobolds.
In the second round, the Therin allosaurus jumped up and clamped down on the dragon’s foot with a crit (another big crit for the PCs!), though the dragon made the save to stay aloft. It did lead to an awesome Monster Hunter-style moment as Khaless ran up Therin’s body to be able to melee attack the flying dragon. Both PCs earned inspiration for these wildly fun moves. At this point the CR 10 dragon was down to about 20% of its 179 hit points, and I’ve had one round with it.
Tinder escaped from Therin-dino’s jaws, bit Khaless (with her uncanny dodge saving her life), and flew the hell out and up the mine shaft to escape. Mannix was having none of that however, and used his Wand of Magic Mints to unleash several magic missiles at the retreating dragon. The volley of magic finally took it down, sending it plummeting to the ground.
Technically the dragon had a bit of HP left to survive the missiles and I could’ve continued the retreat and fought another day. But at this point I was dismayed with her performance, and very impressed with the PCs (particularly Therin and Khaless), and thought it was a good time to put her down for good.
Just as the others were finally reaching George and the kobolds, he killed the sorcerer and was working on the chieftain. But with the dragon dead, the chieftain quickly surrendered, turning over control of the mine and getting the hell out of there.
Hew cheered and thanked everyone for helping wrest control of the mine and slaying the dragon. He gave the PCs full share of the dragon’s hoard, wanting nothing but the mine itself. The hoard was a huge payout, the largest this party has seen yet in this campaign, including thousands of gold, several fancy gold items, and a magical +1 rapier named Bob that Khaless eagerly claimed.
They retrieved Musharib, who confirmed that the mine cart tunnel in the north extends all the way to the dwarven forge Hrakhamar, his people’s former home. The tunnel extends for several days and many miles, however, and is probably not entirely safe. The PCs will get a chance to long rest here in the cleared mine before making their way toward the forge next week.
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