The end of a campaign is always bittersweet – being able to reach a satisfying conclusion is always a great feeling, but it’s still sad to see it come to an end. This has been – by a pretty good margin – my favorite of the 5e campaigns from Wizards of the Coast so far, and I really am hopeful that they continue in this general direction. And while I won’t be running Tales from the Yawning Portal, there will be much more to come on this blog, with a new homebrew campaign starting up next week.
Iymrith’s Lair in the Anauroch Desert
The Sword Coast of Faerun
The Story So Far:
With their storm giant allies in tow – Hekaton, Serissa, and four of their personal guards – the party felt well-prepared for the fight ahead of them, especially after a Heroes Feast (with Goodberries for dessert) provided by Ulmo. The giants were eager to rush in and go for the head-on assault against Iymrith’s lair, and the party was hard-pressed to come up with a better strategy. They strode across the sand, creating trails through the dunes. The ancient blue dragon detected the disturbances above the ruined amphitheater of her lair – dragons work like the sandworms from Dune, right? – and she burst up through the sand to take flight above them.
The storm giants grabbed boulders from the ruins of the ancient structure and hurled them towards Iymrith, pummeling her with their excellent aim and strength. Roshi persuaded one of the giants to throw him up in the air as well, so he could land a flurry of blows against the dragon’s hide before gracefully coming back to the ground. Heskan cast Fly on himself and several of the giants, allowing them to reach Iymrith’s altitude and strike her with their greatswords. Madeline asked one of the giant guards to cast Levitate on her, and she rose into the air as well. Ulmo cast an enormous Sunbeam at the blue dragon, hitting her with the radiant light of the sun itself. Hugheorn Blessed his allies with the favor of the gods, while Wade strung his bow and fired his magical arrows at the dragon above him.
The storm giants were immune to Iymrith’s lightning breath weapon, and she knew that well, having lived amongst them for months – knowing they were up against a blue dragon, those members of the party who could also took measures to protect themselves from lightning. The dragon focused instead on attacking with her claws, wings, and fangs – things no one would be immune to. Despite the best efforts of the party, it was difficult to overcome Iymrith’s natural strength and constitution, her thick scaly hide protecting her from all but the worst of their attacks. However, she was slowly being worn down, little by little.
As Iymrith slowly weakened, everyone’s fear was renewed when another dragon emerged from the same hole that Iymrith had made in the dunes – this time, the ancient red dragon Klauth. He most certainly knew that they had earlier backed down from a confrontation with them, and now he wasn’t going to give them that chance again. With a massive burst of fire breath, he severely injured several party members and giants, knocking Hugheorn unconscious (he immediately popped back up, due to his previously chipmunked Goodberry).
Fortunately, the giant nearest Roshi – the one who’d previously tossed him into the air like it was nothing – managed to grapple the red dragon, ensnaring Klauth in her grip. She held him down while some of the group turned their attentions to him, allowing others to finish Iymrith’s fight. Heskan and his new giant friend flew up above Iymrith, and the giant struck down with her greatsword, driving it through Iymrith’s body, piercing it and forcing her down to the ground. It was a close call as those on the ground dodged the falling bulk of the ancient dragon (Madeline having sudden flashbacks to being trapped under a certain boulder, much smaller than a gargantuan dragon).
As Iymrith died – even as Klauth still struggled against his bonds – there was a moment of quiet stillness as a radiant beam of light shone down on Hekaton. There was an enormous thundering as the ordning was set to rights once more, and he smiled with grim satisfaction as his rightful leadership was restored. After Iymrith’s death, he hung back to protect Serissa, though he joined in all of the other giants in hitting Klauth with their lightning strikes – red dragons had no immunity to lightning damage, after all. The final blows from the melee fighters weakened Klauth even further, and one last punch from Roshi was the killing blow.
Two ancient chromatic dragons lay dead in the desert, the king of all giants standing tall above them, with his smallfolk allies at his side. Truly, he told them, their bravery and cunning in battle had proven to him the value of the smallfolk, even beyond their role in returning him to his throne. He believed now, more than ever, that giants could stand alongside smallfolk to forge their destinies and protect the world against the tyranny of dragons.