Fallout is Dragons

Radio Crackle Tower
Session 13

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party left Slayer Base, found out Aurelia had stolen a Plasma Caster for herself, encountered a proxy of Death again, found Radio Crackle Tower, removed the ghouls and faulty defenses defending the place, found a group of defected raiders and chose not to kill them, opened up the vast vault-like entrance to the recording studio, listened to the last words of Gamble, Radio Crackle’s former DJ, got Smack Talk to earn his Cutie Mark by listening to a song by The Ink Spots, decided to bring the radio station back online, and brokered a deal with the Steel Rangers to keep the place stocked and protected.

(Basically, a lot happened, and this is the extremely condensed version.)

View
Slayer Base
Session 12

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party was taken in to Slayer Base as captive Wasteland Assets, forced to wait while the Steel Rangers deliberated over them and cataloged all the loot they’d found. As luck would have it, this would end up taking a while, because the current Elder of the base, one Stainless Steel, was recently dead. The Head Paladin and second-in-command, Razor Apple, was investigating the death and blocking any bureaucratic motion to elect a new Elder. The situation was revealed to be a cold war between the loyal Steel Rangers and a number of Applejack’s Rangers sympathizers and undercover agents. A Star Paladin visiting the base, a unicorn named Lilypad, agreed to let the party help in the investigation in order to bring about a swift conclusion. They learned that the Elder had really died months ago to the Raider known as War, but the Zombie Curse had been keeping him alive all this time. They also learned that Razor Apple pretty much knew this, but since the autopsy information was classified, he was using it as an excuse to go on a crusade against suspected Applejack’s Rangers. The party convinced Paladin Torque, a muscly earth pony obsessed awesomeness and explosions, to take Razor Apple head-on and reveal the autopsy details to the entire base. After a day’s worth of arguing, Razor Apple was suspended from his duties, and the base was free to elect a new Elder. At the party’s insistence, Lilypad helped sway public opinion towards Moonlight, an undercover Applejack’s Ranger, to be the new Elder. Moonlight immediately signed off the party as Wasteland Assets, and they were free to come and go as they pleased. As they prepared to leave, one of the scribes, a shy pony by the name of Gem, mentioned an abandoned radio tower to the south.

View
The Lost Session
Session 11

(The audio file for this session was lost. Thankfully, it’s the only lost session so far.)

Recap by Great Dinn

The party opens following Powder Keg’s date with Blinkie, the whole party staying up and generally chatting with one another while they wait for the raider killer with an explosive temper to get back from his night of romance(?). Despite harassment from the remainder of the party, and innocent sounding questions from Flotsam, the party gets no information on how the date went, other than “it was good.” The party acquiesces to Powder’s wish to not go into further detail, and goes to sleep, except for Flotsam who stays up an hour later than usual, finishing up the note she was working on for the Steel Rangers, and Firelight, who looks over the note and tucks it under the filly when she finally falls asleep.

The party wakes up and continues on their path to Slayer Base, each preparing in their own way for the oncoming encounter with the Steel Rangers, and everyone joining in on the general harassment of Powder Keg for the date, and his reaction to it. Our heroes also encounter Silver Wrench, an engineer travelling from Skyfall to Gold Rush. The party asks him about his reason for travelling, and he responds vaguely, stating that there was some “thing” found in Skyfall that he wanted to discuss with Nail. He was, regrettably, tight-lipped about anything specific, but he did recognize the reputation the group had begun to garner. Silver Wrench bids them farewell, and the party continues on. Before things get too relaxed, however, the party runs into a raider encampment. Powder Keg, naturally, decides to start a fight.

Well, fighting gives a little more credit to the Raiders than deserved. It was more ambushing and slaughtering them through the use of “bombies,” landmines (making use of Flotsam’s special Sparkle Cola Explosives), and a blinding by Firelight with fireworks. All the raiders who managed to survive those particular encounters were quickly torn apart by the rest of the party’s typical attacks, and as always, more explosives.Those few raiders fight back more readily than usual, the members of the Four Horses gang making use of various abilities and techniques that seem more advanced than previous encounters, but no less capable of being dealt with. By the end of the “fight”, one Raider per leader is left alive, and Tempered Steel sends them running, each with a message for their boss.

The group explores the Raider encampment, scouring the tents and buildings for supplies, stopping only when they encounter a colt locked up in a cell. They attempt to talk with him, but find that he’s had his tongue cut out, presumably by the Raiders. Tempered Steel and Firelight destroy the cell door and let the pony out, while Powder Keg preps some “Hydra” for the colt in an effort to heal his tongue. The attempt is, fortunately, successful, and the colt thanks them for their help. He then asks if they know where his mother might be, and it’s revealed that the nameless colt is the son of a Raider. While it’s uncertain, it seems likely that the Famine pony who ran off with the message was his mother, but he’s willing to travel with the party for a little while, and “join their gang” so to speak. He reveals some of his history, how he lost his tongue (calling Famine something horribly creative), and Tempered Steel suggests “Smack Talk” as a name for the colt, which he readily accepts. Powder Keg locates the largest of the tents, spreads it out in front of one of the buildings, writes “This is the fate of all Raiders” in blood, and blows the building sky high as a message to send a message, then the group begins their journey back to Slayer Base, with one more new pony in tow.

Because no session is complete without an argument of some kind, the party quickly tries to teach the son of a Raider ethics and morality as they walk, which proves to be an arduous task as the group is distinctly lacking in proper role models, and Smack Talk, while admiring some aspects of his new “gang” is still a teenager, and does not so readily accept the perceived “Lessons” from the somewhat hypocritical adults around him. Javolt proves to be both good with, and horrible with children at the exact same time, and Powder Keg, in an effort to keep the kid occupied and also potentially to relate to the colt on some level so he’ll shut up and listen when the inevitable alignment talk returns, attempts to teach Smack Talk about explosives. Smack Talk accepts, mostly because he wants to get away from Javolt.

Before too much more can occur, the party spies a small group of Tiamat Cultists heading down the same path they’re on, travelling in the opposite direction. There’s a small moment of panic, with Firelight attempting to help Aurelia come up with some advice to give the cultists should they go through the whole “begging, pleading, asking for guidance” shtick, but it fortunately does not come up. The two groups pass each other without much fanfare, only a sordid glare coming from a few of the cultists as the groups get further away. Powder Keg calls back to them to inform them that they’re idiots, which results in a scolding from the rest of the party sans Smack Talk, who heartily approves of calling anyone out, but the cultists don’t do much in response.

Flotsam brings up Smack Talk’s lack of cutie mark in the ensuing continuation of the aforementioned alignment argument, which results in Smack Talk asking how the party members who have them got theirs. Smack Talk, as he states, is fairly certain that he’ll get his cutie mark for killing so he’s curious as to who they murdered. Flotsam goes on a long tangent of potential cutie marks that Smack Talk could end up with that don’t come from killing, as if to dissuade him from a Raiding lifestyle, but Firelight points out that indeed, both Flotsam and Powder Keg got their cutie marks from events that involved killing, and that it’s a bit hypocritical of them to say otherwise, though quickly adding in that it totally doesn’t have to be that way for Smack Talk. However, they in turn prod Firelight until he informs them that he got his after killing some ponies as well. They attempt to press him for more information, especially given his reticence to talk about his past, but the efforts bear no fruit. Even Xencarn’s calming talk with him away from the party fails to dredge up more than that he’s sorry, he didn’t know who they were, and he regrets having done it. He does say they’ll talk about it later, when fewer ponies are around, though.

Before anything else can be pulled from the well of characterization, a pony in a black hood is spotted walking towards the group, away from the perceived location of Slayer Base. The pony happens to match the description given by Smack Talk of the gang leader Death. The groups have various internal freak outs of appropriate levels, Flotsam with a fear of what’s become of Slayer base, Powder and his general Raider Hatred, Smack Talk with his admiration, etc. Before the group can really make a well thought out decision about what to do, however, Xencarn approaches the hooded pony and asks if he’s Death.

What follows is a very calm, and well-mannered discussion of what Death is doing there, how Xencarn can improve his necromancy, how much the Four Horses Gang knows of the Dragon Mawlers, how the two groups can work together or against each other in relation to Mr. E, and the revelation that the body they’re talking to is nothing more than an illusion of sorts. He assures Flotsam that he’s directly done nothing to Slayer base, and that he was just checking up on things, before leaving the party to their own devices, easily ignoring Powder Keg’s numerous threats against family and loved ones.

Once Death has made his way out of sight, the party quickens their pace towards Slayer base, stopping only when they encounter the secret Steel Ranger base marked on the map given to the party by Sarge as classified. The group decides to approach it, and attempt to enter it. The only visible entrance is a door with a small box, marked with the letters M.A.S. Flotsam pushes the button, and makes an attempt to open the door using the codes given to her by Trip and Sarge, but they prove ineffective. Unhampered, the party discusses potential options for a code, trying multiple things before realizing that the key to the code was within the last Ministry of Arcane Sciences building they were in. Tempered Steel brings out the 300-word manifesto that he totally didn’t leave back in Gold Rush (Xencarn used some magic to draw from the magic space like unto a Minecraft Ender Chest), and the group make use of it, and the numbered code with it, to determine the password.

The numbers: 106, 141, 9, 185, 195, 140, 102, 86, 97, 148, 134, 18, 13, 54, 69, 61, 83, 1

The code: Recall the most important lesson. Know you’re not alone. Realize you have friends. Remember that Friendship is Magic.

Flotsam says the code into the box.

A few seconds later, an iron clanking and rumbling can be heard and felt, and the door to the base opens. The group enters and explores, finding a trove of advanced Steel Ranger technology, and all sorts of loot that the party could most certainly take advantage of, even if not at the moment.

Unfortunately, before they can even properly explore the entirety of the secret base, a voice from behind them tells them to freeze, and drop their weapons. A platoon of Steel Rangers stands at the ready, poised to strike the group however necessary. “Keep your hooves, wings, and horns where we can see them!”

View
The Dragon Wasteland
Session 10

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party departed from Gold Rush and traveled south along the road, armed with passcodes from both Sarge and Trip for dealing with Slayer Base, home of the Steel Rangers in the Maw. They stopped at the Dine ‘n’ Dash Trading Post to buy supplies and get some food. At that time, Powder Keg met a pony named Blinkie who worked there, and inexplicably became attracted to her calm, blunt personality. While they were waiting, they heard about the Forever Sleep Clinic nearby, and heard about how nopony who’d ever investigated ever came back. The party decided checking it out would be a great idea. The clinic was filled with a toxin and inhabited by some kind of blind, semi-psychic, radioactive entity wielding medical knives as weapons. The party dealt with it by blowing up a good half of the building, and sending in another bomb-zombie to finish the job. Afterwards, they raided the building, and discovered some supplies, a stamp for Blinkie’s collection, and just two shell-shocked survivors. They returned to the Dine ‘n’ Dash to deliver the good news, along with sending the survivors on their way and giving the stamp to Blinkie. Blinkie was impressed enough to go on a date with Powder Keg that evening, while the rest of the party continued south to Shiny’s Rest Stop – a ruined rest area that nonetheless seemed to be a decent and often-used shelter for wastelanders. The party made camp there and got their rest.

View
Therapy in Gold Rush
Session 9

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

Once the party was back in Gold Rush, they took a bit of a break to restock, rest, and plan their next move. Aurelia, worried about the party’s mental health after what they’d all experienced with Nidhogg, used up almost her entire hoard of caps to buy them a session with Sharper, the town’s group therapist. Several of the group’s interpersonal problems were at least addressed, and some uncomfortable questions were asked, along with some strange hypotheticals. The party left more or less satisfied, though everyone knew that they were far from getting along perfectly, but all were agreed that there was at least progress. After that, the party made a general plan to travel to the southwest towards Slayer Base, a Steel Ranger outpost, on their way to Skyfall and the next dragon’s territory. They asked Sarge for help and advice, who reluctantly agreed to give them a passcode into the base – at least, once everyone in Gold Rush was done celebrating the passing of two dragons. The party waited until the right moment to head out into the wasteland.

View
Scorched Boneyard
Session 8

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party waited for the cover of night in the tunnel leading under the Church of Tiamat’s graveyard. Then they made their way to the northeast to the Dragonstone, avoiding the roaming zombies scattered throughout the area.

Beneath an outcropping near the Dragonstone, the party ran across a couple of travelers, one of which was a sobbing mare. They were initially suspicious and thought it a trap, but eventually went over to see what was wrong. The mare was Lookout, bearing multiple lethal wounds but still upright and speaking. The second traveler was Stronghoof, whom Firelight managed to bring back from the brink of death. After some depressing conversation, the party promised to do what they could once they dealt with Nidhogg, the dragon in charge of the Zombie Curse.

They went up to the Dragonstone, used Graham as a conduit to find Nidhogg, and found themselves pointed towards the north towards the Scorched Boneyard. A massive horde of zombies blocked their path into a cave. Xencarn, realizing that the zombies in this location likely had a direct link to the dragon, persuaded Nidhogg to let them through, though probably not for the reasons he thought.

The cave led to a group of sarcophagi, which the party reluctantly entered one by one. Inside each sarcophagus, the party members died, and their souls were brought to Nidhogg directly. In that abstract soul-space, Nidhogg had a long discussion about the experience of death and its meaning in the wasteland. His idea had changed over the last two centuries, and he wanted the party’s input based on their experiences. Just about each member of the party had something dark to say, some element of their past cropping up, until Flotsam finally broke into tears and demanded that they all stop.

Eventually, Nidhogg was satisfied with their understanding of the subject, and returned their souls to their bodies. The party woke up in a deeper cave containing Nidhogg’s skeleton, soul, and hoard. Blue Moon, the murderer of Gold Rush’s mayor, revived by the curse, had gotten their ahead of them, but the party neutralized him before he could take advantage with the artifacts in the hoard. Nidhogg’s skeleton was destroyed shortly after, Blue Moon’s skull was crushed in so he DEFINITELY wouldn’t be coming back, the loot was divvied up, and the party left.

Graham, now peacefully dead, was burned in a funeral pyre in front of the Scorched Boneyard to prove to the Cult that he was well and truly dead. The Cultist scouts approved them as paragons of the Cult, and they went their separate ways. The party found Lookout and Stronghoof again, their situations now reversed, and used some magical powder kept in Nidhogg’s hoard to bring Lookout back to life. And with that, the whole group went back to Gold Rush. They gave Scarlet Shawl the rest of the powder to revitalize the soil and improve the crop situation, and the group finally got to rest.

View
Ministry of Image Intelligence Office
Session 7

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party entered the Ministry of Image Intelligence Office, or at least what was left of it. They met the Burned Pony, otherwise known as Graham Cracker, who was a dragon-pony hybrid created by an experiment being run by the Cult of Tiamat. He tentatively agreed to help them with the dragon Nidhogg and the Zombie Curse, but their conversation was cut short by a raider attack on the building. They fended off the intruders and the zombies they’d summoned, but somepony hacked into the security and turned the mechs and turrets against them. That somepony turned out to be a mysterious unicorn known as the Executive, and Powder Keg seemed especially pissed off by his presence. The Executive offered them a head start escape in exchange for Graham, but the party refused. They escaped through a tunnel that Javolt had found earlier, and rigged the building to explode when the Four Horses raiders’ next group entered the building. The tunnel led them to the north, exiting into a graveyard just behind the Church of Tiamat, in the northwest section of the Maw. They decided to wait, and Xencarn took some time to use his knowledge of necromancy to try and find Nidhogg through the curse’s connection to Graham. He wasn’t totally successful, but he did sense that the Dragonstone to the northwest might be an effective conduit. The party decided to wait for the cover of darkness.

View
Ministry of Magic Library
Session 6

Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…

The party explored the Ministry of Arcane Sciences Library very thoroughly, while trying to solve Scarlet Shawl’s food problem and figuring out where they stand with the Cult of Tiamat. They found secret documents, a slide whistle, and a guitar, amongst other things, Javolt learned some basic nutritional science, and the Cult instantly formed a schism of opinions on what to do about Aurelia. Some wanted to let her be, some wanted to take her away. A third option presented itself, which was to find the Cult’s legendary traitor, the Burned Pony, and kill him, thus proving themselves paragons of the Cult. They were led to the Radigator Swamp to the south, and passed by a basically pointless campground on the way, but Xencarn’s Thattaway power pointed them further on, towards the Ministry of Image Intelligence Office to the west. They found the complex, a gated ornate building guarded by a high-tech security system, and blew it away with a combination of weather control and bomb-zombies. The Cultist scouts waited at the edge, while the party planned to head inside.

View
Enter Aurelia
Session 5

Recap by Great Dinn

The party seems confused by the sudden growth of the dragon from baby to drake sized, and curious about the dragon’s hatching to begin with. Concerned that the sudden growth may have done damage to the drake, Doctor Javolt approaches and begins to examine her, unfortunately not revealing his intentions and as a result looking like either an idiot or a pervert. The dragoness asks for a mirror before anything else, and Tempered Steel manages to find a large piece of reflective metal that he holds up for the dragoness to examine herself in. After looking herself over, the dragoness groans, complaining that she was woken up too early. She was supposed to be a full grown, fire-breathing dragon, not a drake.

After that little outburst, Tempered Steel begins introductions, getting through himself, Powder Keg, Flotsam, Xencarn, and Firelight, to which she responds that she’s not going to remember those names, to the relative lack of concern from the party. However, the entire ordeal is quickly left unfinished as Javolt gets a little too close while attempting to determine the dragon’s gender, only to result in him getting punched in the face and launched across the room. He states that she did just hatch, so she needs a medical examination, and the idea is very, very, very, quickly shot down. In an attempt to change the conversation, Powder Keg asks if the dragon has a name.

She doesn’t, and states that, since Firelight hatched her, he’s the one who gets to name her, she guesses. A small, strange argument ensues concerning Firelight’s fur color for some strange reason, and it’s discovered that Javolt is apparently colorblind. Regardless, Firelight gets the group together in a huddle, and attempts to discuss what she should be named. An incredibly long, annoying, and repetitive discussion occurs concerning the name, and it’s finally agreed upon Aurelia. By the time they’ve finished, they find Aurelia lounging on the remains of Glaurung’s horde, munching on a bunch of gems, asking if they’re done yet.

Javolt makes another attempt to examine Aurelia, which naturally results in yet another refusal, specifically stating “You can examine me from way, way over there you creepy donkey.” Powder Keg asks how she knows so much despite just being born, and Aurelia explains that the life energy drained from the various ponies and the container her egg was in served to grow her magically, storing her energy and allowing her to mature without actually hatching, giving her plenty of knowledge. Javolt makes yet another attempt to examine Aurelia, which results in yet another shove back. Xencarn then asks politely if he can examine Aurelia non-invasively for lingering necrotic magic, and she agrees, noting to Javolt that this is how you examine someone, but Xencarn’s examination results in the discovery that her magic is entirely natural. All of the magic in her body is hers.

Powder Keg asks about Glaurung’s plan for Aurelia, and she explains what she knows, namely that she’s supposed to be one of the new dragons designed to serve as a rebirth for the race. They discuss a potential death to all other races as a result to the ensuing dragon fire and vengeance, but Aurelia responds that it wouldn’t be quite like that because that would result in a lack of prey.

Powder Keg asks another question about the other six dragons, but is cut off by Javolt, who berates Powder Keg for interrogating such a young dragon. Another argument follows, and Aurelia asks if Javolt was honestly just trying to examine her medically, not in a pervy way, and he states that she’s too young for him, and yes it was only medical, and everything gets a bit complicated conversationally, resulting in one more argument before Aurelia finally answers the question, coming to the realization that this group is not the most functional. She states that, at least they’re better than Glaurung.

Aurelia finally gets around to stating that Glaurung only cared about the nearest dragons, Nidhogg and Vasuki. Powder Keg and Aurelia note that Nidhogg is some sort of Ghost Zombie thing, and that he’s responsible for the Zombie curse. The discussion of the dragon’s current state of existence continues, and the relationship between them is strained at best, even if they did stick together. Specifically, Glaurung despised Nidhogg. The topic of treasure and splitting it among the party, including Aurelia, comes up, as well as Aurelia’s dietary habits, as there likely isn’t enough gems for Aurelia to maintain a steady diet. Aurelia notes that she’ll gladly eat meat, so long as it’s cooked, and then tests her fire breath, which makes her choke at first, but she’ll likely get used to it. Powder Keg asks if there’s an alternate exit, due to the incited wrath of the nearby raider encampment, but Aurelia states that there’s only the one. Javolt asks to leave some of the treasure for the raiders as a distraction, but the idea is very quickly shot down, for understandable reasons.

As the group divvies up the treasure, each netting two hundred caps, and a small pile of gems, Tempered Steel goes to get the Book of Marks, and Javolt and Flotsam go to examine a pile of guns and energy weapons, all broken, but potentially repairable. The last item of significance the party finds is a small golden bauble, some sort of tiny machine that Flotsam, Powder Keg, Xencarn, and Javolt examine. Tempered Steel waves his hammer over it, getting no reaction, and then Javolt explains in simple terms that it’s a “Magical Metal Detector” with relative disgust. Powder Keg puts it into his bag, and it begins to spin and whir, generating something, which results in the party locating an additional twenty caps a piece. Powder Keg ponders that the device might be useful in locating the treasure hordes of the other dragons, leading the party to them.

Aurelia picks up one of the laser rifles, and looks it over, asking if it’s one of those things that doesn’t work here. As she attempts to remember the dragon responsible for the Gunsmith Curse, she accidentally hits the trigger, and launches a blast of energy into the ceiling. Tempered Steel attempts to do the same with another one of the laser rifles, but it begins to sputter and spark, and he quickly tosses it away where it explodes. In an attempt to scientifically analyze the situation, Javolt takes the energy weapon from Aurelia, and attempts to use it. It powers down, and proves completely ineffectual. He then hooves the weapon back to Aurelia, and it proceeds to fire again correctly after she presses a few buttons.

Aurelia, Tempered Steel, and Flotsam scavenge the remains of the other energy weapons for useable parts, and put them away for future use. Aurelia places hers in her new messenger bag, made by Doctor Javolt who apparently has freaky sewing skills, and based on the bags that Tempered Steel picked up from Rager back before the party even met.

By this point, the party has a pretty good idea of what Aurelia is like.

The group then turns to examine the enormous tapestries that remain, each depicting a dragon and lined with Draconic that is translated by Aurelia.

One tapestry is golden, and depicts Glaurung.
One tapestry is black and depicts Nidhogg.
One tapestry is blue and depicts Vasuki.
One tapestry is red and depicts Smaug
One tapestry is steel gray and depicts Ormarr
One tapestry is green and depicts Tanis
And the last is a multitude of colors, reds, and golds, and greens, and depicts Astaroth.

Judging from what is known so far, Glaurung is responsible for the Fool’s Gold curse, Nidhogg is responsible for the Zombie curse, Vasuki is responsible for the Voodoo curse, Smaug is responsible for the Blood curse, Ormarr is responsible for the Machine curse, Tanis is responsible for the Backstab curse, and Astaroth is responsible for the Gunsmith’s curse. These are the guesses placed by the group.

Powder Keg asks if having Aurelia along would help dissuade the dragons from genocide, but she explains that the dragons spent the last year of their life plotting their vengeance, and that they likely won’t be budging from that particular path. The tapestries done being examined, the party rolls them up, and places them in the egg chamber, holding them later for storage.
The rest of the party attempts to look for alternate exits, but fails, and so everyone returns to the elevator. Aurelia and Flotsam fly to the top floor of the tower, without turning the key, and attempt to get a better look out of the tower, Flotsam giving Craggy to Firelight for safety. The rest of the group, gets on the elevator and begins to go up, and as Flotsam gets further and further away, Craggy begins to cry.

Flotsam peeks over the edge of the platform to see if any raiders followed them in, while Aurelia simply lands on the platform, stretching and contemplating her wings and flight in general. Flotsam and Aurelia look around the top of the shaft for windows, and manage to locate some areas of the wall that seem to shift, and open to reveal windows for the tower, which Javolt immediately associates with a Bunsen burner, leading to his attempt to find an opening at the top. The group sees that the windows are transparent only from the inside, so that no one outside knows that the group is watching.

Down at the base of the tower, the group can hear the voices of several different ponies conversing. One says in a gruff voice that this is their territory, and everything found on it belongs to them, while another with a posh voice states that they have an agreement with the Four Horses gang, and that since this is clearly Dragon related, this is their responsibility to look into it, and the raiders can’t get in their way. One member of the party sticks their head out the window and looks down, to see that the group consists of Raiders and members of the Cult of Tiamat. Gold Rush is also visible from the windows, as is the Library of Arcane Sciences. Javolt tugs out part of his mane, and tosses it out the window on the opposite side of the tower from the raiders below and attempts to see if the windows can be passed through. It manages to catch the wind, circle around the tower, and lands near the group.

Tempered Steel attempts to pull the key from the elevator, but fails, only serving to bend the key further into place. After a long discussion on methods of escape, Javolt comes up with the idea that they can disguise themselves as members of the Cult of Tiamat using Javolt’s spare Hazmat Cloaks. Javolt recolors the cloaks to match the red color of the Cult of Tiamat, and everyone covers themselves, walking down the steps and approaching the entrance. The group makes attempts to blend in, and manages to hide well enough to pass by, chanting…something. Not a single raider even notices the dragon hiding within the group.

Once out of sight and earshot of the other groups, the party discusses their next destination, and initially attempt to make their way to the Library of Arcane Science, but notice the setting sun and decide it would be better to rest back at Gold Rush. They manage to sneak past any of the scouting raiders, and make it back into town, returning to their home. Realizing that Aurelia doesn’t have a bed, the remaining party swings by Sooty’s general store, and Tempered Steel purchases a bed for Aurelia, using fifteen of his caps. Powder Keg buys some Rad-Safe, and a Healing Potion (spending one hundred and fifty caps), Xencarn purchases a packet of Party Time Mint-Als, and Rad-Away (spending one hundred and fifty caps), Firelight purchases two Healing potions and replenishes his adventuring kit (spending a hundred and fifty caps), Javolt purchases some Rad-Safe and some Rad-Away (spending one hundred and fifty caps). Flotsam and Tempered Steel save the rest of their caps.

The party, save Javolt who gathers the hazmat cloaks and returns to his lab, return to their home, and Tempered Steel attempts to bargain with Aurelia. In exchange for teaching Tempered some of the basics of Draconic, she can take his bed instead of the sleeping bag. She decides that she’d rather just sleep in the bag, because it sounds like too much work to teach Tempered Steel. She says “maybe tomorrow.” Xencarn decides to look through more of Blue Moon’s possessions, specifically any more information about the Ministry Mares, Twilight, or the Ministry of Arcane Sciences, and finds a scrapbook journal of pages glued together by Blue Moon. One pages in particular catches Xencarn’s eye.

It’s a very carefully preserved page of notes, written a long time ago. Above them, Blue Moon writes, “Found this over at the library. Apparently the M.A.S. tried to examine dragon magic.”
The note itself says,

Entry 1
I’d say, overall, that our attempts to learn more about the magic of dragons isn’t going well. The few ponies that have settled in the area have plenty of hearsay to offer about draconic magic, language, and culture, but the burden of proof on them remains unsatisfied. Any hope of this kind of magic turning the tide in the war – if it even exists at all – seems very unlikely.

Everyone goes to sleep, and the night proceeds as normal (though, Javolt does various “science” experiments that apparently involved spiders). Everyone proceeds to wake up at their own pace, preparing for the morning. Javolt meanwhile buries the corpse of a giant mutated spider outside of town, writing in his notes, “I know what I did wrong.” Flotsam gathers the energy weapons from the cave, and places them into the locker at the foot of Blue Moon’s bed, which serves as an almost infinite storage space for the party thanks to the enchantment left by Blue Moon.

Up and ready to face the day, Tempered Steel and Firelight decide to go through the town and locate the pony formerly known as Guts. Or at least, attempted to be formerly known as Guts. The two ask around, and finally manage to locate a pony that looks like Guts in one of the shanty shacks at the edge of town. He’s lost the paint and raider clothing, but he’s still recognizable. The two party members attempt to converse with Guts, trying to see if he’s doing better, if the town is treating him well, but he doesn’t take kindly to their talk. Outside, Javolt drags around another giant spider, which goes unquestioned by the trio. Firelight and Tempered Steel offer him a hundred caps total, but Firelight makes a joking comment that goes very, very unappreciated by Guts, and results in their need to leave.

Tempered Steel attempts to locate the mayor, Thunder Spear, who has just had a very interesting, very short conversation with Doctor Javolt concerning the “Dragon Infestation” in the spire. Powder Keg and Firelight meet with them, and interrupt what appears to be a very serious discussion with Sarge. Powder Keg opens the conversation and explains the general events pertaining to the Spire, and the raiders and cult members that surrounded the tower. He continues to explain that the dragons are dead, but undead, and quite spiteful, and that they killed Glaurung. Multiple ponies freak out about this particular fact, both excited, disturbed, confused, and awed. The group is bombarded with questions that go largely unanswered by Powder Keg, who goes on to explain the ultimate plan of the dragons, and their kin. They also point out they got rid of the Fool’s Gold Curse.

Powder eventually gets around to the subject of hatching Aurelia, and the fact that she’s currently in the town. They explain that she’s friendly, and make attempts to prevent panic, and swarming of the born only yesterday dragon. Tempered Steel even goes so far as to say that they’re raising her as a good dragon, not an evil dragon, which results in Sarge walking away with a heavy sigh. They make it known that they’re going to hide Aurelia from the cult as long as possible, and Short Circuit points out that the cult is crazy, but not deadly, so far as anyone knows. Thunder Spear points out that they likely will try to take her, so they best plan for it, regardless of how long they intend to try and keep her hidden.

The conversation dies down, and Tempered Steel brings up the Book of Marks to Thunder Spear, and points out his own particular entries. Thunder Spear sighs, and resigns himself to the fact that he was tricked, but decides not to look into the book. He excuses himself to continue talking with Sarge, as there’s trouble heading for the town. They ask what’s wrong, and Thunder Spear states that the town still has a deal with Famine’s gang, but they want a larger amount of food. Not enough to sustain themselves for much longer. Tempered Steel states that the town probably needs to find something to defend itself. And Thunder Spear reveals that his son, Scarlet Shawl, left for the M.A.S. library in order to find any knowledge about growing crops faster. The trio offer to locate him, and Thunder Spear says that it would be a personal favor to him.

Meanwhile, Flotsam gets bitten while playing with Craggy, Javolt deals with a very intense and amazing series of events that happened off screen, most definitely involving spiders, and no one pony can agree on exactly what took place. Except of course that it was very eventful, and very off screen.

The party heads towards the M.A.S. passing by the Boneyard Cave, and not seeing anything much on the outside. However, outside the library, there seems to be a plethora of cultists. Aurelia hides herself among the party, while the rest try simply to sneak past the cultists. Aurelia manages to hide, but Firelight gets noticed, and a few of the cultists come over to say hi and chat. Specifically, they ask him if he’s heard of the Book of Tiamat. Flotsam manages to convince the cultists that Firelight is her dad, and that she was promised they’d go to the library. The cultists nod and hoof Firelight some pamphlets about the Cult of Tiamat to Firelight, before letting them both go. As they leave, all they notice is the cultists saying something about dragons.

The group finally arrives at the library, and enters through the front door. As the doors open, they see a very, very large amount of red-robed ponies, as well as a few normal looking ponies. Aurelia is not very well hidden this time. Everything goes silent, ponies pointing out the dragon. She weakly raises a claw and says “Hi,” and the cultists immediately drop to their knees, and prostrate themselves, chanting and praising Aurelia.

Aurelia whispers to the group that they’re praying in really bad Draconic, and that they’re saying a nursery rhyme that involves silly ponies, with a few honorifics. Mostly it’s too terribly said to be translated, and Aurelia asks for it to stop because of how awful it is. Firelight steps forward, getting the attention of the crowd (just barely), and says that the chanting is creeping the dragon out, and somewhat angering her. Tempered Steel steps forward and says to the group, “Aurelia the dragon demands that you go about your business.” The ponies are confused, but continue to do that, occasionally stealing glances at Aurelia as they do that.

Javolt rants about the state of “Science” in the library, since it’s using magic and stating that it’s science, calling it a disturbing, deviant, twisted, decadent insult to science. Many, many ponies face-hoof as Javolt rants and raves, ignoring the previous events, and generally being a confusing mess. Javolt heads off to look for any science books unrelated to magic, Xencarn looks for a computer to locate more books, and the rest of the party splits up, spreading through the library to find the missing pony, Scarlet Shawl.

Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that DMs are not in fact immortal beings, and can in fact fall prey to hard times and physical pains. And I learned that despite those hard times, and physical pains, they can still pull through and create amazing sessions and games. And they can do things that can make a person smile from ear to ear for over an hour straight. Thank you, Newbiespud. I hope things get better for you.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn

View
Glaurung's City of Gold
Session 4

Recap by Great Dinn

As Powder Keg picks up the gold coins leftover from the elevator, a strange feeling envelops him, and suddenly, in his mind, the gold, all of the gold in the cave, is as precious to him as his brother is. He seems to make a slight mention of it, merely stating “huh” before sliding the gold pieces into his saddle bags.

Tempered Steel, interested himself in the gold reaches down to pick up a few pieces, and very quickly, the same feeling washes over him. The gold is all. The gold is everything. The gold is…quickly swiped by Powder Keg and shoved into his bag and the two begin to argue. It doesn’t take long before Powder Keg threatens to simply kill Tempered Steel if he should try to take the gold again.

Noticing the strange behavior of his teammates, Xencarn decides to see if he can investigate the potentially magical nature of the gold…by poking it with a hoof. Despite the direct contact, and the seemingly fast acting effects of the curse, Xencarn does not find himself enamored with the gold, and a few minutes later, Tempered Steel’s own adoration has been significantly reduced.

Having realized that there is some sort of curse or curse like effect going on, Firelight attempts to strip the magical taint from the one ally still obsessing over the coin. However, the pulse of magic that flows through Powder Keg doesn’t do quite enough good for the pony, only making him aware that he is in fact cursed. It unfortunately does not make parting with the gold any easier, despite a very, very, very difficult attempt to get rid of it. Just before he can toss the coins away, the desire comes back with full force, and he hugs the gold tightly to his body, as laughter begins to echo throughout the cave.

Before any more attempts can be made to separate Powder from the gold, he gathers enough of it to magically form a giant bust of a pony, which none of the party members recognize as Powder’s brother. Not that Flotsam has been paying much attention to the matter, as she’s been dealing with Craggy, who has found himself eagerly chomping away at various piles of gold and enjoying it quite a lot. When Flotsam does manage to put Craggy back into her saddlebags and returns to the group, she is disconcerted by the strange events occurring, and asks “Why is Powder Keg making arts and crafts?”

With the gold in a more centralized location, and thus not as easy to hide away in a bag, Powder Keg is more easily forced away from the object of his desires by the combined efforts of Tempered Steel and Firelight, whom Powder Keg continues to make numerous horrible threats towards. The group agrees to move forwards, further into the cave, but is stopped by Powder who refuses to leave the bust behind. Xencarn decides to solve the problem by using his previously summoned Zombie to pick up the bust and carry it with them. The Zombie doesn’t seem to be effected, so things appear to be in order to proceed.

Firelight examines the entirety of the events that occurred and realizes that the curse only seems to affect creatures that have picked up the gold and kept it within their possession. The revelation is accompanied by more of the echoing laughter from earlier and a voice that says, “So, one of you idiots figured it out.”

One of the nearby piles of gold loses its shimmer, fading from a lustrous gold to a pallid and cold gray, as the image of a young golden dragon appears on the reflection of the coins. Knowing magic when he sees it, Xencarn analyzes the image and realizes very quickly that it’s a mental projection from the dragon, Glaurung. A small interrogation occurs, as the group attempts to figure out what the hoarder’s scheme is, how he’s interacting with the group, etc, only to receive answers like, Glaurung is “only slightly dead,” various insults towards the parties proclivity towards craftsmanship (specifically the bust), yet more insults directed towards the fact that a filly is with the adventuring group, and ignoring a few questions entirely by stating that that would be “telling.” Glaurung’s image shifts from pile to pile before he finally introduces them to his City of Gold, explaining that it’s only sort of a death trap. But they definitely won’t be leaving.

Tempered Steel attempts to find the source of the projection by shuffling the gold piles with his hammer, but all it serves to do is shift the dragon’s image around slightly, before the image finally disappears, Glaurung finished with his harassment. The group decides to investigate the cave, following Xencarn’s magical tracking to the source of the projection within a palace on the opposite side of the city. Xencarn attempts to have his Zombie follow the group, but the undead monster fails to budge, not even as Tempered Steel attempts to knock it over. Fortunately, the hold on Powder Keg has lessened to the point where he can leave the bust behind, though every flash of glimmering gold draws his focus.

As they proceed down to the heart of the city, Xencarn explains to the group some of the information he’d discovered in Blue Moon’s notes. Namely, that Glaurung was one of the youngest dragons, but incredibly proud, with the most to prove, and that he was a trickster, who loved to deceive others. As they walk, the stone underneath their hooves shifts and changes, beginning to pave itself with gold. Between buildings, and lining the plaza are statues of Glaurung himself, a dragon in his prime, looking “adventurous” and “bold.” Flotsam notices with her keen senses that the statues have pressure plates in front of them, and Firelight is asked to press one with his telekinesis. The maw of the statue opens up, and a cornucopia of gold coins fall from the maw, pelting the area below with more of the cursed golden coins. After about twenty seconds, the flow of coins ceases, and the maw closes, no more gold to drop on whatever unsuspecting passerby triggered the trap.

Tempered Steel questions the quality of this trap, claiming not to get it, as Powder explains that the “joke” is simply killing the ponies that enter the cave with the gold they intended to get. Glaurung’s image appears on the gold beneath their hooves, and grins, confirming “You gotta admit, it’s a hoot.” Tempered Steel approaches the statue, keen to poke something else he doesn’t understand with his hammer, while Glaurung goes on to say that it’s a shame that they aren’t going to take the time to explore the city, since he worked so hard on it, and that it’d be a shame if they missed the real treasure that lay in wait. After all, not all that glitters is gold.

Powder counters the claim by stating that the “secret real treasure” Glaurung’s referring to is just a bunch of dead ponies. Glaurung laughs, and says that since the curse took the worst hold of Powder Keg, he must be on Glaurung’s wavelength, to which Xencarn responds “So, you’re both stupid then?” Glaurung laughs, and admits he walked right into that one. Before the group can begin another round of forty questions, Glaurung feigns boredom, and disappears. Powder Keg tells the group to continue, but the idea of a bluff is brought up for exploring the city, then a double bluff, and a triple bluff, but before the conversation can get any more ridiculous, they continue their progress. They have to get through the city anyhow to reach the palace.

The group arrives in the Main Plaza, where even more statues of Glaurung sit, even more daring in appearance, and looking like the dragon equivalent of a hero or adventurer. There are four buildings that line the Plaza, each distinct from the houses and buildings previously passed, and etched with Draconic writing. Xencarn reads them with his arcane knowledge of Draconic, and notes that they are the Hall of Marks, the Hall of Magical Knowledge, the Hall of Artifacts, and the Money Pit. Within a half-second of reading it, Xencarn enters the Hall of Magical Knowledge, eager to get his hooves on some necromantic tomes. Flotsam, Powder Keg, Firelight, and Doctor Javolt all follow closely behind, some eager to stop Xencarn, others just going along for the ride.

Xencarn is not disappointed when he enters, finding an enormous library, with shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books. Anything that could be named could be found here. Xencarn immediately looks for books on Necromancy, and is immediately rewarded with the first book that comes to his mind, “The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy.” Before he can reach it, Powder Keg tackles the zebra, eager to prevent yet another party member from being cursed. Javolt sees the book that Xencarn was going for, and picks it up from the shelf, effortlessly dodging Firelight’s similar attempt to tackle him. The donkey scientist opens the books, and skims through it, and as he reads, he finds himself understand the entirety of it. He gets the fundamental concepts of necromancy, to the point that he feels he himself could cast spells. Fortunately, the good doctor doesn’t care for magic, and puts the book back on the shelf. Xencarn, still trapped underneath Powder Keg’s body, asks for the book from Javolt, but before he can hoof the book over, Powder Keg takes it with his magic, and “fixes” it into a useless ball of paper, ink, and binding. Naturally, this leads to yet another argument.

Tempered Steel, meanwhile, has entered the Hall of Marks, curious what the name could mean. As he enters the building, he finds stained glass windows lining the walls. Images of Celestia, Luna, dragons, ponies, a young Discord, a blue dragoness, and many other things beyond the minotaur’s understanding. At the end of the hall is an open book, being written in by a quill with no hand to guide it. Being the only thing of notable importance, Tempered Steel approaches the book, then turns to one of the golden walls, asking Glaurung what it is. Despite a fuzzy connection at first, Glaurung explains that it’s a book of marks, a book listing all of the creatures he’s conned in life and in death. The open page has two very, very recent additions, one of which is still being filled out. The first is Powder Keg, the day’s date, and the note “Formed a bust of a pony out of fake gold.” The second reads Xencarn, the day’s date, and the note “Tricked into fighting with his allies over a bunch of fake books.” Tempered Steel attempts to flip through the book, but is knocked away by the pen, which is still trying to finish the last entry.

When it finishes, Tempered Steel flips through the book, going back a few pages to see recent entries that include a group of ponies wasting away in Boneyard Cave, a pony having his treasure fade to dust as he tries to sell it, and Sharp Edge, who’s “magical weapon” broke as he tried to use it against a Steel Ranger. Tempered Steel flips to the “end” of the book, or attempts to, only to find it continues endlessly. With that knowledge in mind, he begins to flip back, aiming for the front, for the first cons the dragon committed.

Back in the Hall of Magical Knowledge, the group attempts to prove to Xencarn that the books are clearly fake. They first manage to convince Xencarn to look at them magically, and he notes that there is something strange about them, but it could be anything. Then Flotsam pulls out a book that she immediately asked for “How to Care for Cragodiles.” Xencarn is only somewhat convinced, citing a very, very advanced organizing system. Then Powder Keg says that the next book he pulls out will be “How to Prove to Xencarn That He’s a Fucking Idiot.” Xencarn is, reluctantly, convinced. Meanwhile, Javolt has left the room, with nopony actually aware of the fact.

Javolt has moved to the Hall of Artifacts, attempting to examine them for anything “scientific.” None of the amazing inventions in front of his eyes seem to fit the bill, only resulting in a scoff from the good doctor, and the appearance of Glaurung on the side who states that “he needs something to work with.” Javolt speaks with Glaurung on the difference between “Science” and “Technology,” and delves into a multitude of non-sequiturs that only serve to piss Glaurung off, and make him disappear, leaving Javolt alone as he yet again wanders out of the room, looking for something else to examine.

Tempered Steel reaches the initial entries seeing only a long list of them in Draconic, which the minotaur cannot understand or read in any way. He continues to flip to later and later entries, looking for something he can read, but as he approaches the ones in Common tongue, he finds that there’s nothing worth looking at. He continues ever forwards, approaching more and more recent dates, until he finds a name he recognizes. Thunder Spear is in the book. And he shows up many, many times, along with a group of ponies that must have been his travelling companions. The final entry for Thunder Spear is recent, and merely states “Broke his will for finding treasure twenty years after dedicating his life to it.” Tempered Steel closes the book, and returns to the Main Plaza.

The whole of the party reconvene in the center of the Plaza, excepting Javolt, who is found only a few moments later, with Glaurung screaming “Hey! Hooves off!” as Javolt flies out of the Hall of Marks riding Glaurung’s Book of Marks. The group watches as Javolt flies high into the air, overlooking the entirety of the city as the book struggles to throw off its unintended passenger. Javolt takes this opportunity to look around, seeing anything they might have missed, only to stumble across a hidden cove not visible from the city proper, underneath the palace. Before he can look closer, the book teleports out from under him, dropping him into the city below as Firelight runs to catch up with the doctor, and slow his fall with magic.

Mostly unharmed, the group discusses what to do next, only to be marched towards the alcove that Javolt noticed during his flight by the heedless ignorance of discussion by the mad donkey scientist. Tempered Steel takes a moment to look into one of the houses while the group nears the alcove, and notices a pony skeleton resting at the bottom of a large pile of gold. The similarity to the other houses indicate that they all have similar contents. As they approach, they find the alcove is covered in a giant golden gear-like door, akin to a S.T.A.B.L.E. Nearby is a golden computer, which Javolt examines, eager to do some science. It asks for a password, and Javolt puts in Glaurung for kicks. It beeps, and states that only four attempts remain to open the terminal. Flotsam, and Xencarn offer their services to help Javolt hack it, each familiar with either mechanics or the magic that powers the device. Javolt makes a small adjustment to the terminal, and it responds that there are now six attempts remaining as the screen loads a series of potential passwords.

REPRIMANDING
CIVILIZATION
APPRECIATION
CONVERSATION
CIRCUMSTANCE
PURIFICATION
SECLUSIONIST
CONSTRUCTION
DISAPPEARING
TRANSMISSION

The group discusses what to put in at first, and decide on Construction, which responds that five of twelve characters are correct. Before the next decision can be fully agreed upon, Javolt punches in Civilization, and the terminal opens, listing one available command.

Open S.T.A.B.L.E. Door.

The enormous gear releases steam and pressure, grinding and crushing stone as it rotates and slides open. Behind the door is an unexpected treasure. A small room, lit by a single hanging light, which rests over a container containing a large gold and black egg. A dragon’s egg.

The group enter the small room, examining it from as many angles as possible, only to find it simply contains the container, the lamp that Flotsam identifies as a heat lamp, and a wall etched with more Draconic writing. Tempered Steel leaves the room and approaches the golden door, the only golden reflective source nearby, and attempts to converse with Glaurung. The dragon does not respond. The group discuss what this egg could be, some thinking it may be Glaurung himself, others thinking that it’s a new dragon entirely that Glaurung is helping to hatch. Before the group can look any closer, Glaurung’s image appears and he tells them, with simple fury to Get. Out. Of. That. Room.

The group says that they won’t, and Xencarn asks Glaurung to translate what’s on the wall. Glaurung scoffs, and says that Xencarn can do it himself. Xencarn does just that, reading:

“Here we protect our next generation for the fated day,
When the dragons rise again.”

The group asks for the origins of the egg, and Glaurung answers, after a few moments of silence, that it’s been there since just after the war, and goes on to explain exactly how this dragon egg will hatch. Glaurung is feeding the egg the enormous amount of magical energy, and life energy of all the ponies that have entered his cave, or fallen prey to his tricks. The question is asked if he plans to make zombie ponies, to which Glaurung responds that it isn’t his style, that’s more Nidhogg’s thing. Firelight attempts to hatch the egg, only to find his magic being absorbed and dissipated by the container. This attempt, and the examination of the container that follows pisses Glaurung off, and Tempered Steel leaves the alcove, going to examine the palace quickly.

The floor begins to rumble, and a growl echoes throughout the cave, bits of stone and dirt falling from the ceiling. The group manages to make Glaurung even angrier, as Tempered Steel approaches the gates of the palace. Before Xencarn and Javolt can examine the container further, it disappears as another rumbling echoes throughout the cave. The palace gates burst open as an enormous dragon, teeth of swords, scales of gold, wings of silken tapestry, burning rubies for eyes, and riches beyond imagination littering its flesh, comes out, getting close to Tempered Steel. The others leave the alcove, now certain that they won’t be safe as the egg is gone, and arrive in time to watch Tempered Steel dodge a bullet-like spray of golden coins from the dragon’s maw, impacting the ground and leaving impressions in the rock where they land. Glaurung grins wickedly as Tempered Steel tries in vain to convince him that they don’t have to fight, but the dragon is long past reasoning. The group prepares themselves, and the fight with Glaurung begins.

A white light bursts from Firelight’s horn and an aura of white energy surrounds himself and his teammates, giving them some additional protection from what’s sure to be a nasty fight. Javolt grins madly, and the cape around him discharges, shocking the donkey and sparking enormous, dangerous ideas in his brain. The discharge from the cape bursts and strikes Glaurung’s head and wings, but nothing seems to happen. Flotsam rises to the air, and pelts Glaurung’s face with one of her patented Nail Bombs, which causes the riches on the dragon’s face to shift, ever so slightly. Powder Keg attempts to strike at the dragon, but his attack doesn’t even phase the golden scales, and Glaurung takes the opportunity to make his move. The fanged beast lowers his head, and rushes towards Javolt, who manages to just barely dodge the assuredly lethal blow, and then follows up by spinning around, swinging his enormous tail at the group, who manage to duck or jump over the vicious attack. While Glaurung attempts to regain his footing, Xencarn unleashes a burst of necromantic magic that drains some of the energy from Glaurung’s head, at minor cost to the Zebra, and Tempered Steel follows up with a strike to the head which doesn’t budge the golden shell, but fractures whatever lay underneath.

Firelight, seeing the damage done to Javolt by his own attempt at idea invigoration, attempts to heal the Doctor, which assists with the Doctor’s own devices to bring him back up to a more steady state. That, in turn, allows Doctor Javolt to unleash the full capabilities of his electro-cape and all of its associated devices, which arc in an enormous beam of light and electricity towards Glaurung’s face, peeling back the layers of gold and jewels to reveal a skull, animated by unknown forces. Flotsam lays a bottle cap mine in front of Javolt, hoping to prevent her ally from taking any more damage should Glaurung focus on him for the horrible blow, and Powder uses his explosives, directed towards the place Tempered Steel earlier shattered, to splinter the skull and send it tumbling to the ground, leaving Glaurung headless. Despite the missing head, Glaurung manages to roar in pain, and strike at the group, flapping his enormous wings and raining bits of golden hail that brush past the party, before striking once again with his tail. Unfortunately, this time Tempered Steel and Xencarn are not so lucky, and find themselves struck by the whip-like appendage, but fortunately for them, the disorientation caused by the loss of his head makes Glaurung’s blow weaker, and even more fortunately, Flotsam and Doctor Javolt find an opportunity within the attack to strike back, Javolt letting off another arc of electricity that causes the gold to drop from the tail while Flotsam plants another Nail Bomb that breaks the appendage off at its point of connection. Xencarn takes a moment to focus his energy, and then attempts to drain Glaurung’s soul from his body parts, focusing on the right wing. The dark energy eases past Glaurung’s golden armor, but doesn’t manage to strip everything away from the wing. Tempered Steel follows up with another blow to the wing, which manages to do significant damage to the bone structure, and gives Steel a better idea of the dragon’s weight in attacks.

Firelight uses his magic to once again patch up some of Javolt’s wounds, then pulls out his sword, focusing the sharpened edge and magic within it to strike through the Dragon’s scales. Flotsam lets loose another collection of explosives that rock the dragon’s wings, and Powder Keg tosses a well-aimed grenade into the hole where Glaurung’s skull once was, and the resulting explosion blows off what’s left of the right wing. Glaurung swipes blindly at the party members, unintentionally aiming at Powder Keg and Xencarn, but failing to hit the two, and then following up with another beat of his remaining wing, which launches debris towards Xencarn and Tempered Steel. Xencarn flees before he can even be caught in the strong gust, but Tempered Steel merely stands his ground, planting his hooves and defiantly staring down the headless dragon. Glaurung takes a few moments to recover himself, bringing his mind out of pure bloodlust and back into calculated thought. Xencarn once again uses his necromantic abilities to drain some of the energy from Glaurung’s left wing, and Tempered Steel follows it up by bringing out his Thunder Hammer, and striking the wing at close range. The impact causes Glaurung’s entire body to shake, shifting the gold, and loosening the armor.

Firelight takes advantage of Tempered Steel’s attack to set his sword alight, and focuses his blow at the wing. The molten sword tears through the golden covering, and severs the armor from the wing and chars the bone underneath. Javolt smiles madly, and once again shocks himself to encourage new ideas, only nearly killing himself in the process, as Flotsam launches one last grenade to the left wing, which completely annihilates the ashen bone, leaving Glaurung as a set of claws. Powder Keg attempts to strike but Glaurung retreats, or seems to for a brief moment, before the gold constructing his body melts, and reshapes, forming into an enormous version of Glaurung’s skull that rushes towards the group, roaring in pain and fury. The party strikes back, using all of their combined might, and the gold bursts apart, scattering across the floor and landing at the party’s hooves, Glaurung’s bones jutting from the piles, his roar gone.

Xencarn takes a moment to analyze the bones, and discovers a deep, hidden magical energy, that feels very familiar. It takes a moment, but he realizes that Glaurung’s bones, and the soul within them, are responsible for the Fool’s Gold curse. Still, ever the schemer, Xencarn attempts to bind that soul to the tome of Magic that he brought with him, but despite his best efforts, it fails. The group agree to get rid of the bones the only way they know how, blowing them up.

As one group gathers the bones into a pile, the other approaches the palace, eager to see what lay in wait behind the closed doors. As the explosion that destroys Glaurung’s bones rocks the cave, a reptilian scream echoes through the halls, and a pulse of golden energy spreads from the site of Glaurung’s demise. The pulse passes through the party with no harm, but as it passes through the golden city, and the palace, and all of the riches that lay in sight, it turns them into a fine gold powder, before disappearing into dust. All that remains in the cave are the party, torches, bones, and a small horde just behind the palace. The group nears the treasure, the reward for their hard work in the cave, and notice that the container and the egg lay on top. Tempered Steel opens the container up, and the group decide to try hatching it one more time. Firelight pours all of his energy into his magic, and all of that magic into the egg, each member of the party providing what they can to assist the unicorn with his task. The egg glows with Firelight’s aura, then the glowing stops, absorbed in the same way as before.

And then the egg cracks.

Small claws reach through the crack in the egg, opening it ever wider, breaking more and more of the shell, until a baby dragon pops out, and lands in the golden pile underneath it. It has dark scales, almost black in color, with golden highlights, spines and fins. But before the group’s eyes, the baby dragon grows, and shifts, getting larger, and maturing to drake size, before it opens its golden eyes, and looks at the group for the first time. They narrow, and a gruff female voice speaks to the group.

“Oh great.”

The effects of this particular adventure has leveled up our adventurers, and they have received a boon for their efforts! The choices were

Travelling Merchant – Merchant can appear anywhere in Dragon’s Maw to help.
Team Pet – New NPC gets skills that can be used as a partner for the whole party.
Dragon’s Maw Radio – Keeps everyone up to date on things in the maw + music, interviews
Instant Reputation – Reputation spreads and the party can influence
Forced March – When travelling between location, fast travel (sort of)

And the group has chosen “Team Pet.” We welcome to the party Aurelia, who is honestly not much of a “Pet.” But that doesn’t mean the other boons are out of reach, or mutually exclusive…

Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that this campaign is going to have some pretty awesome bosses. I mean, I expected it, what with the dragons and all, but I wasn’t expecting a golden golem, and man that was awesome. Also, I learned that Tempered Steel is likely going to be found in the dictionary next to Technical Pacifist. His efforts at Diplomacy are to be respected, even if they seem super inappropriate when fighting aforementioned awesome bosses.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.