Here There Be Science; Here There Be Dragons!

Chapter 1: Fire-Breathing Reptiles

We begin the campaign in the modest village of Wozington, which sits at the foot of Capitol Mountain and acts as the gateway town to the Capitol on the mountain’s peak. The players, our adventurers, each wander into the village and relax in the village tavern, The Emerald Ape. They each stick out in a crowd of otherwise commonly-dressed humans and halflings.

BetterBorn, a transmutation alchemist, sits at the bar. His contorted face and hunchbacked figure is the result of a powerful potion that bolstered his pride and his vigor. A genius alumnus of the Horrington Academy of Alchemy, he seeks to use his superior intellect to become a master of alchemy and metalwork.

Slade, a warforged slayer, also sits at the bar to enjoy a drink or two, not to nourish his metal construction, but to gain respite from a long day of travel. As a young human boy, his home village was destroyed by orcs. Saved and newly constructed by a group of wizards and metalworkers, Slade has made it his life’s focus to hunt and destroy the tribe of orcs that forever scarred his life.

Sitting at a table by himself is Booth, a human gunslinger with cybernetic limbs and parts all along the left side of his body. While out to earn his way in life, he has a personal vendetta against Reem, a vicious red dragon that burned his town to ashes. Booth was but a lad when Reem’s fire consumed half of his body. Though grateful for the extra power afforded to him by his cyborg half, the machinery is a constant reminder of Reem’s destructive raid.

Javert’s colorful outfit and feather-plumed hat catch the eyes of the commonly-dressed villagers. Javert is a human swashbuckler, whose style and panache is easily read in his deportment, as well as his smirk atop a smashing black goatee. Despite his demeanor, he also has a tale of revenge, in his case for the murderer of his beloved brother.

Such is the scene, which doesn’t change until a belligerent halfling storms into The Emerald Ape and demands a drink from the first person he sees. Everyone notices the ruckus, and the bartender gives a resigned sigh at this familiar sight. As the halfling yells and curses his former employers (“The teffin’ Sweetmeat Guild fired me!”), Booth and Javert approach the halfling, who introduces himself as Jawbreaker the Glossy. Jawbreaker brandishes a comically menacing lollipop mace until he sees a familiar face: BetterBorn.

BetterBorn was once hired a few villages back by a group of thugs to free some of their members from the jail in the town of Frenick. He is ashamed to have been a part of such clandestine activity with such low-minded humanoids. Jawbreaker was one of the thugs set free, and BetterBorn tried to avoid eye contact. It was to no avail when Jawbreaker noticed the hunchback and greeted him enthusiastically. BetterBorn, though embarrassed, appreciated the ego boost (“That jailbreak explosion was teffin’ sweet!”), though gets annoyed at Jawbreaker butchering his name (“All hail BornBetter!”).

The halfling’s riot subdued, everyone hears screams outside, accompanied by a loud roar. The four adventurers walk out onto the street to find several houses on fire. They rescue villagers trapped inside a printing press, and then follow the sound of the beastly roar, with Jawbreaker tagging along. They eventually find the source of the commotion: a single allosaurus. Jawbreaker brandishes his lollipop mace, but is persuaded to leave the scene to contact an authority. The adventurers easily kill the allosaurus, and discover that it was somehow able to breathe fire.

Someone notices two small figures escaping down a side street, and the heroes end up cornering and intimidating two reptillas (known in the D&D world as kobolds; for this campaign, the word “reptillas” was created to go along with the dinosaur theme, they are also known here a lizardmen). The reptillas reveal that they’re working with an alchemist, who gave the fire breath to the allosaurus, but refuse to reveal where he is. The heroes knock out one reptilla, and allow the other to escape. Jawbreaker returns, disappointed that he missed all the action, and tells the players that Leo the Younger Elder wanted to see them. Javert decides to track the reptilla to its home base while the others visit with the Younger. As the reptilla drags its unconscious partner out of Wozington, Javert makes mental note of the landmarks they pass in the nearby woods, including the Sweetmeat Factory that towers above the trees off to the south. The reptilla enters a cave some ways out of town, and Javert retraces his footsteps to tell the others.

BetterBorn, Booth, and Slade find Leo’s modest mansion near the middle of the village, and a butler lets them into the main office. Leo the Younger Elder, one of the three guardians of Wozington, expressed gratitude to the heroes for saving his village from the sudden attack. The players tell Leo what they discovered from the reptillas, and Leo suspects that the allosaurus came from Reptilla Cave, which is outside the village and past the Sweetmeat Factory. He promises a reward for bringing back the mysterious alchemist for questioning, and directs them to Boqqle the Smith to collect a monetary reward for destroying the dinosaur. Boqqle gives the players their reward in gold pieces and is especially happy to meet Slade, a fellow warforged. Boqqle sells weapons and repair kits for discounted prices.

Javert returns to the party to discover that Leo told them about Reptilla Cave. Sure enough, it was the same cave Javert found. With Slade in front, the poison dart traps set up in the cave had minimal effect. However, a short way into the dark cave, the party encounters ten reptillas. Although they were weak, the reptillas were altered with the same alchemy that had altered the allosaurus. This became clear when five of them simultaneously targeted Slade with fire breath attacks.

The cave tunnel came to two branches, one more heavily trapped than the other. The players went right first, where there were no traps. They enter a large room at the end of the tunnel and find an anklyosaurus! It was inside a cage, but the door was kept open. The creature’s natural armor was hard to penetrate, and the struggle was made more difficult when the anklyosaurus breathed fire. Eventually, another dangerous dinosaur was killed, and the adventurers decide to tread carefully to the other branch of the cave.

They were able to avoid the rest of the traps as they made their way to the room at the end of the left tunnel. The players found tables covered with alchemy instruments, cabinets of potions and ingredients, and a desk that was recently emptied except for one piece of paper. It was a map of the wilderness out to the west of Wozington, and there was a circle drawn around a fortress in the middle of the map. BetterBorn pockets the potions and the players decide that the next step is to return to Leo with their new found information.



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