Tabletop Tales #2: Bloody Archaeology

So there we sat in the boss’s office. He’d heard rumors circulating around about a particular thing known as a Dragon’s Cache… a hoard of dragon’s treasure. As some of his prime operatives, myself, Illdur Blackbane and my companion, Vath’ra, were tasked with scouting the location, discovering the existence of the cache, and if possible, bringing back a sample of the treasure for evaluation. Simple enough, right?

The destination was a small farming town about a week’s travel on horseback away from our base of operations. We made the journey quickly and easily, and shortly arrived in the farming town. Asking around the locals, we learned of a very old farmhouse situated a few miles outside the town, where a family had held the land for generations. We decided to pay it a visit, acting as archaeologists exploring the old architecture.

Well… turns out that the dragons never left. They’d been inhabiting the land in human form for centuries, protecting their treasure from prying eyes. A family of 4 awaited us there; Father and mother, and older son and a younger daughter. Vath’ra, the poor sap, got hit by a powerful charm aura, cowering in fear before the father dragon… but he fell in love with the daughter.

My bluff checks went pretty well, but the feeling of danger continued to mount as I realized who these people were thanks to good perception, and Illdur forcibly excused them from the situation, practically dragging the lovesick Vath’ra back to town by his pointy ear.

The trouble didn’t end there, though. The young daughter dragon made a late-night visit to Vath’ra, to invite him to a ‘tea party’ at their home the next day. Unable to persuade him otherwise, and not wanting to incur the wrath of the boss by abandoning a comrade, Illdur begrudgingly tagged along. Surprise surprise… the tea was drugged, Vath’ra fell asleep, and Illdur was knocked out by a blow to the skull shortly afterwards. Great.

When they awoke, things were not looking good. Upside down, hung 10 feet in the air in the farmhouse barn and tightly tied, the interrogation began. The male dragons beat them, torturing them for information. Neither of them cracked, Illdur sending them on a false trail with a beautiful bluff… and they got a respite from the torture, left alone in the barn, though the door was barred shut.

THE FOOLS!!!

Out came a knife from Illdur’s sleeve, severing the ropes that bound his hands, quickly freeing himself. He cut Vath’ra’s ropes as well, and they were both free. Finding a usable piece of metal, Vath’ra tied the ropes together to make a makeshift grappling hook, allowing them to scale the 30 feet to the hayloft window of the barn, and more importantly, get back down, too.

Knowing they had limited time to operate, but enthused at the oncoming dusk, they hid in the cornfields waiting for a chance. And their chance came, when the male dragons returned to the barn, and discovered their escape. Illdur fires off a spell, illusion magic showing two figures running off in the opposite direction.

SUCCESS!!

Illdur and Vath’ra rushed into the farmhouse, searching for the mysterious dragon cache. They discover the table they’d had tea at removed from the room, a massive trapdoor open leading down a set of stone stairs. Suddenly, the daughter entered the house. With nowhere to run, they charged down the steps. At the bottom, they found a large stone room with a massive granite chest, that the mother dragon was in the process of rooting through.

Illdur drew his blade, pouring most of his magic into a single strike, and hit her from behind, nearly severing her head in a single blow. She grabbed her neck, magic beginning to heal the wound, when an arrow from Vath’ra’s bow plunged into her eye, ripping her head the rest of the way from her neck and pinning it to the wall.

They explored the chest, a plethora of magic items in view. They pocketed what they could, until they heard the daughter coming down the stairs. Vath’ra froze, but Illdur was able to drag him down behind the chest, and began to coat an arrowhead with a vile blend of poisons and venoms. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, seeing her dead mother, she froze… and Illdur took his shot in the moment of vulnerability. The arrow struck true, piercing directly into her heart, the paralyzing toxins freezing her body in place, her lungs struggling for air.

Vath’ra was grief stricken, but was at least able to keep quiet as Illdur finished off the girl, removing her head in a clean slice. Their mission fulfilled, all they needed to do now, was escape. Their horses were still there, miraculously, and Illdur fired off a blast of magic, setting their house on fire as a distraction.

They rode through the night, taking a moment to wash the blood off their clothing in a river, before catching a ferry to a farming village downstream. Taking a roundabout route home, they ended up in a port town, and took a ship back to their base of operations… having made a clean escape, with no pursuers.


That was a super fun session, really just a oneshot, but the intensity of that escape kept us enthralled until almost 3 a.m. It’s a perfect example of why I love D&D so much. What do you guys think of this story? I tried to condense it down as much as possible, from about 6 hours of play… but it’s still a dang good story. Anyways, let me know your thoughts, and i’ll see you guys in the next post~!

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7 thoughts on “Tabletop Tales #2: Bloody Archaeology

    1. It was pretty dang brutal. That’s kind of part of the reason I enjoy playing evil campaigns sometimes… you get a whole different experience with character choices and what they are willing to do to get their way.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was a fun story, I really like planning those escape scenarios. I’ve never played D&D but I’m always the game master so I plan everything out (with no regard for the rules of the game at all) and it’s really fun seeing how people think around the situations you’ve created.

    BTW I get no problems with rules at all because my friends know even less than I do, they often just ask to do something and I pretty much always say yes or “You can try” because it’s more fun that way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! This was a crazy oneshot with a lot of homebrew mechanics at play, and we went through some seriously ridiculous things to accomplish what we did.

      I run a game myself, and I always try to let the rules be as open as possible to give the players their freedom. It’s always a good strategy to keep things running smoothly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I believe it.

        For that I just think about it as if I wanted to do the ridiculous thing the player would want to do. I wouldn’t want that to be stopped so I don’t stop my friends!

        Liked by 1 person

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