The Rise of the Dragon Queen

Victory!

Rian Nightshade reported to the party that her spies infiltrating the cult had found a backdoor into the Well of the Dragons. A formerly collapsed tunnel had recently been reopened by chance when a wandering umber hulk passed through the area and dug out the collapsed section. Given that it was still largely unknown by the cultists and not under any sort of guard, she told the party this would likely be their best chance of entering the temple unnoticed.

The party took Rian’s advice and was teleported to the entrance by Nyh Ilmichh. She gave Aramil a small orb made of red glass with the instructions to shatter it when they found the defector Red Wizards. When he did, it would act like a beacon to her and the loyalist Red Wizards to teleport to Aramil’s location.

The party steeled themselves as the sounds of battle broke out behind them and overhead, the Temple of Tiamat looming far above up the slopes of the Well of the Dragons. The tunnels ahead of them, old lava tubes from the looks of them, were massive and winding, leading to several side passages. It was surprisingly quiet inside, the majority of the cultists either out battling the army of The Council of Waterdeep or at the temple performing the ritual to summon Tiamat.

Chen sneaked ahead of the rest of the party, scouting the path ahead to see what may be waiting for them. He found a large room with several cultists training more guard drakes but decided to leave them be for now. Further ahead, he found two large rooms that were mostly empty except for the remains of some habitation – decaying food scraps, old piles of excrement, and a few recent humanoid corpses. He returned to the rest of the party with his findings and they decided to travel down another hallway to avoid the cultists and their pets.

The next room they found was rather luxuriously appointed for being in an old lava tube. Based on the clothing in the footlocker, the rooms apparently belonged to the Red Wizards aiding the cultists. Unfortunately, the wizards themselves were not here as they were likely at the temple performing the summoning ritual.

Continuing down the hall from the largely empty rooms Chen had found, they found the purpose of those rooms – prisons. The last room had nearly 30 humanoid prisoners and a dozen cultists ordering them to get up as it was their time to be “sacrificed for the glory of the Queen of Dragons.” This spurred the party into action.

Chen launched in the initial salvo, nearly finishing off two of the cultists with only a couple arrows. The rest of the party followed in, Azrael and Miyeon firing magic while Stone and Reynar waded into the fray. The party defeated the cultists and freed the prisoners, finding from one who was mostly coherent that the remaining prisoners were taken just up the path to the read entrance to the temple in order to be sacrificed as part of the ritual to summon Tiamat.

Wanting to waste as little time as possible, the party rushed ahead to the entrance to the temple, preparing to finally confront the cultists and end their machinations. The temple itself was a massive structure shaped like a five-pointed star, each point over a thousand feet from the next one and capped with a spire several hundred feet overhead. The temple was heady with thick incense smoke and the air rang with the chanting of the wizards and droning of the eldritch vortex swirling in the center of the room

The party had a momentary element of surprised and used it to dispatch the Red Wizard floating high above them. The one on the ground near where they entered the temple survived the initial onslaught and immediately cast an invisibility spell, escaping the party’s wrath. Aramil smashed the glass orb from Nyh and hoped for the best that their unusual allies would come through on their word.

Unfortunately for the party, the cult had many allies as well. Two assassins appeared seemingly from thin air, one nearly slaying Aramil in one stab, the other firing a bolt from his crossbow. Dropping from the ceiling, an adult red dragon joined the fray as well with an opening blast of its fiery breath. It was then that the party met an old friend, the lead Red Wizard Rath Modar, and the leader of the Cult of the Dragon himself, Severin.

The might of the two wizards and the dragons proved overwhelming, the party being simultaneously bombarded with claws and fangs, fire and ice, and meteors from the sky. Under the combined salvo, the party was not able to entirely withstand and Aramil was slain, Reynar nearly following behind. Fortunately for him, death was only an inconvenience as Miyeon called upon the powers of her goddess and returned Aramil to life.

Thankfully, the party’s Red Wizard allies did fulfill their side of the deal, Nyh and six others teleporting into the temple and immediately assaulting their former countrymen. Though the flames of Stone’s magical sword were useless against a red dragon, the blade itself was still powerful enough when swung by him and the dragon was felled. Aramil and Azrael’s combined death spells were enough to stop the casters Rath and Severin, but the party’s success came too slowly.

The ground shuddered and the magical vortext churned upwards before a massive white dragon head burst forth, it’s long neck the size of some fully grown dragons. Tiamat, the Mother of Evil Dragons, was entering the material world. The party focused their assault on her as the Red Wizards were all dealt with and the portal was not likely to open any wider. Her freezing breath was nearly enough to wipe out the party, but they persevered and were able to force her back through the portal. The magic energy shook as it snapped back in on itself before bursting outwards again, shattering the walls of the temple, and finally dispersing, no signs of the portal remaining. The ground trembled as not only the temple but the entire raised caldera began to collapse back into the volcano. Aramil gathered the party and magically whisked them back to Waterdeep and to safety, leaving the army to be led by their generals, confident they would be victorious with the cult leaders ultimately failing their goal.

Tiamat’s threat has ended as she was sent back to the Nine Hells, but the aftermath of victory can create challenges of its own. There are hundreds of prisoners remaining in the Well of the Dragons and the surrounding area. Severin’s fall also leaves hundreds of unrepentant cultists still loose in the world, hungering for power and revenge in light of their recent failure. Moreover, much of the wealth of the Sword Coast is sitting in the Well of Dragons. Along with dealing with vengeful cultists, the party will undoubtedly have a lead role in deciding the fate of region in the days to come, being the heroes of the day that uncovered the cult’s plot and ultimately put it to an end.

For generations, the common folk will look to the exploits and sacrifices of the heroes for inspiration as they rebuild and set their sights on better days. For now, the Sword Coast is safe from the machinations of vile cultists and evil dragons. But that does not mean the story is over for our heroes as there are many more adventures to be had for those with a stout heart, strong arm, and the will to fight.

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