D&D Starter Campaign (4) – Second Dragon Encounter (Same Dragon!)

Last time, in Part (3) of the story, we saw how a group of misfit adventurers were able to rid an entire town of bad-guys and monsters before moving to their final goal, which was to chase off or kill the dragon in the tower.

Unfortunately, they chose their resting place poorly and were nearly all killed in their sleep!

This tale completes the encounter, but does it go as expected?

D&D Starter Campaign (4) - Second Dragon Encounter (Same Dragon!)

Doc describes the aftermath of the first dragon encounter.

The five of us suffered the worst defeat of our short adventuring careers last week when we went up against the green dragon in the ruins of the village of Thundertree.  Mostly what I remember about that fight was the constant call of “Doc, Doc!” 

I did my best to keep them alive using all of the power granted to me as a cleric.

This was nothing like the battles during my youth growing up as a hill dwarf.  Back then I would just swing my hammer until the bad guys stopped moving, and usually I was the one calling for a medic.

Reminder of our poor choice of where to take a long rest…

Recovering and remembering why we were attacking a dragon.

I don’t want to rehash that disastrous day, but a week of healing, granted from my deity, resting up and repairing armor, gave us enough time to also make a plan for a second crack at that dragon.

If we could kill it or at least make it abandon that tower, the old druid Reidoth swore he would guide us to the Wave Echo Caverns personally.

We had to succeed so I could find my missing cousins.

Doc describes the battle plan.

This is what we came up with.  We would approach the tower under cover of darkness.  The dragon had only been seen during the day, probably because there were more people and animals out at that time to eat.

Our battle formation:

  • Greggory would use his rogue skills to sneak through the trees, gain entrance to the cottage, where we almost died last week, and listen at the door to hear if the dragon is sleeping.
  • Jane would follow close behind with her greatsword and longbow ready if needed.
  • I (Doc)was going to walk in the middle of the party and keep an eye on Oz, our wizard.
  • Emma would cover the rear of the party with her javelins and great ax.

Approaching the tower and final preparations.

Our approach to the tower went as planned.

Normally our disasters start when Oz flings the wrong spell, or Emma falls off her horse, or when Jane misses her target and hits one of us, but we had no more enemies in this town besides the dragon and it seemed like it was sleeping as we had hoped.  

Before opening the door, we all did our final preparations.

I blessed Jane, Greggory, and Emma, which should help them avoid some of their normal disasters in combat.  Since Jane would go head to head with her greatsword if necessary, I protected her from poison.   

Oz put on Mage Armor using the Staff of Defense he took from the evil mage Glastaff, who we ambushed two weeks ago.

The party catches a break!

Greggory approached the door with his trademark stealth.  This was the same door that the dragon poked its head through and filled the entire cottage with poisonous gas the week before.

This time, the door was shut, and Greggory’s sharp ears could hear snoring on the other side.  Greggory slowly opened the door, which was silent thanks to the oil he applied first to the hinges.

Jane did have to hold the halfling up to reach the top hinge, but he didn’t complain when she winked at him.

Once the door was open we saw exactly what we hoped for!  There curled up at the foot of the stone staircase that wound around the edges of the tower, slept the dragon.  We could see stars through the hole in the top of the tower above us and a breeze from the cool night air wafted down.

Final action plan or a recipe for disaster?

The plan would require speed, because even a young dragon could overcome us as we had seen last week.

Everyone got into position.  Greggory would attempt an assassination strike on the dragon’s eye, and hopefully pierce its brain.  Jane had her greatsword out and Emma was on the other side of the huge dragon head, near the stairs, with her great ax, ready to swing.  

Oz would…well, he told us a number of things he was considering doing.

I know he mentioned fire.  What wizard doesn’t?  I am sure we told him that the size of the tower was small enough to cook us all if he decided to set it on fire.  He said he could shoot magic missiles at the dragon’s eyes.  He could cast “enlarge” on the dragon so that it was too heavy to fly.  Maybe cover it in fog so that it couldn’t see to hit us.

There were probably more, but frankly Oz never sticks to the plan anyway, so we stopped listening to his crazy wizard ramblings.

Everyone’s in position, here’s hoping everyone rolls well… looking at you wizard.

The battle in the tower, or how not to make friends with dragons!

Getting stabbed in the eye woke the dragon of course, but we weren’t lucky enough to do anything but blind it on its left side and really piss him off!  Simultaneously, Jane and Emma attacked with their large weapons and Oz cast a spell.  I was ready to heal, but threw sacred flame, targeting the head along like everyone else.  

Jane’s sword did not pierce the dragon scales.  Emma drew some blood with her ax, but it penetrated just enough to look like a paper cut.  My flames struck, but didn’t do much damage, and Oz…did he really cast anything?

Was it dragon fear?

He looked like he was just standing there waving his hands and throwing bits of powdered iron.  The old elf swears that he was trying to enlarge the dragon, which we all thought was stupid in the first place, and it didn’t work anyway.  Apparently, the dragon was pretty resistant to magic.  

The dragon was in a rage and we were in close quarters.  It turned to get its right eye on the tiny halfling who managed to stab him twice in the left eye, and unleashed a blast of poison gas that knocked Greggory over like a domino hit by a sledge hammer.  He went flying and was gagging in the noxious air.  

We rallied and used all of our magic and abilities.  Oz flung out his trusty magic missiles, since it seems to be the only thing that hits every time.  He went for the eyes, but only managed to damage the dragon’s head.

Greggory was fading fast, but was able to dive behind Jane and somehow still sneak up on the dragon and penetrate his scales for some massive damage!  Of course he choked out shortly after his hit and dropped to the ground.  I thought he was dead and that our plan was going south quickly!  

Jane’s greatsword was knocked from her hands when the dragon swiped his front claws at her and she took some damage, but managed to switch to her longbow.  Emma hit again with her ax, but aside from the wounds on its head, the dragon looked just as mean and deadly!

I wanted to help Greggory, but was not in a good position to heal him, so I attacked first with my war hammer this time and felt a satisfying crunch, but it looked like I only cracked a few scales.

Oz summoned a ball of fire, probably because I asked him not to.  He managed to move it around without burning any of us and smashed it repeatedly into the dragon’s side to some effect.

The battle ends, but did everyone survive and did we win?

Right when I was trying to decide if I should try to get close to Greggory to heal him, we were all buffeted by the blast of wind, mixed with poisonous gas from the attack on Greggory.

The dragon had leapt into the air and was making for the hole in the roof of the tower.  We must have done a lot more damage than we thought.  We should have felt relieved that he was fleeing, but at that point we just wanted to kill it.

Jane already had an arrow nocked and when she regained her footing after the blast of air, she let it fly.  She was able to stick at least two arrows in it before it made it to the opening, and Oz connected with three magic missiles, but the dragon still got away.  

I was just in time to save Greggory, and healed up the wounds of the others.

Although it felt like we lost that day, we still succeeded in our mission and walked away with the dragon’s small hoard!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. What would you have done differently?  
  2. Do you think we could have trapped the dragon and killed it, or would even a young green dragon have been too much for adventurers of our skill level?

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