Desperate Gambit

The Desperate Gambit is set in an alternative version of the Forgotten Realms, utilizing the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset.  This campaign was converted from a 3.5 campaign with characters that were made as a group.  It was decided that each character was from the same small village, Armbard’s Pass, and they had grown up together.  The original campaign ran about two years and went through the heavily modified modules The Sunless Citadel, The Forge of Fury, and Red Hand of Doom.  The first two modules established the characters as adventuring types and made them into local folk heroes.  The last adventure opened the door to the wider world a little more with the events of Red Hand of Doom, substituting Yartar for Brindol.

Our characters are quite the heroes in and around Waterdeep. It’s been almost two years (in-game) since we spent time with these characters. In the interim they’ve had to readjust to civilian life. They chose to put money into rebuilding a keep that they own, building a wall around the town center, and training the common folk of their town in the use of basic weaponry. Dask, the dual-scimitar-wielding dervish, is once again living in Armbard’s Pass with his pregnant barbarian wife, Takianet. Jahnas, the contemplative wizard, has been intent on researching the events and attempting to uncover the instigating forces behind what transpired, and to find a cure for his recurring migraines. Magda, the lovable cleric of Jannath, was enticed to travel a great distance to the grandest temple to her goddess in New Netheril. Fox, the plucky and faithful rogue, needing a break from making his own custom adventuring gear, decided to accompany Magda on her journey to keep her company and keep her safe. The heroes have been basking in the sun, metaphorically, because of their triumph. What they don’t know is that the dark is coming, and if they’re not careful, it will destroy everything they hold dear. Our story begins on the first day of the new year, by Dale reckoning, of 1499, in the year of The Desperate Gambit.


See below for a more detailed summary of their previous adventures, or visit Jahnas’ Journal.


  1. Sunless Citadel – A druid named Belak passed through every year selling apples with restorative properties.  In 1497 a wasting disease afflicted many in town, so the gaining the apple was all the more important.  The ante was raised when a group of small children was found eating a white apple from Belak, which caused them to become deathly ill.  The group sought out Belak by going to Oakhurst, then eventually were directed to a lost temple dedicated to a dragon named Ashardalon in Kryptgarden Forest.  The group encountered and allied with some kobolds who told them that the druid was setting up camp in the depths of the citadel with some goblins under his heel.  The PC’s fought their way through and found a captured compatriot in Erky Timbers, a gnomish Cleric of The Art.  In a room with the kobold’s dragon an old Dwarven scroll was found hinting at adventure beyond.  The group eventually dispatched the goblins, Belak, and the evil tree that was the source of the bad and good apples.  The group returned to find the children restored.  They traveled to Oakhurst to deliver the news of the fallen adventurers sent to find Belak.

  2. Forge of Fury – After discovering that the Dwarven scroll had a map on the back that was revealed by moonlight, it was too much of a draw not to investigate.  They snuck in through a hole in the roof.  It was infested with all manner of creatures that were dispatched as they went.  A pair of miners from the town of Blasingdell, Geradil & Courana, were slaves and they freed them.  The dungeon was definitely Dwarven in construction and constantly hinted at valuables just beyond the next bend.  They found and freed a succubus named Idalla from a wizard’s spell.  The final battle was against a juvenile black dragon who was sitting on quite the hoard.

  3. Padir is back in Armbard’s Pass and states that the sickness that gripped the older folks was dispersed by goblins.  He found a dark dwarf in Waterdeep who told him how to cure it, but the dwarf lied and his “cure” made them worse.  The PCs went down into the Underdark to find specific mushrooms that were supposed to help with the cure.  Adventuring down there they found Miconids who told them how to cure it and that the disease is a poison used by Drow.  The goblins must have procured some of the poison in their attack.  They go back and cure the elders.

  4. Dask gets a letter from Leda (delivered by Padir) stating that she needs help.  The group decides to go to Waterdeep to help her/sell loot.  Along the way they discover that The Art is having a magic competition to fill two vacancies left by departed gods and that there have been several assassinations in Waterdeep.  A mysterious thief broke into the PC’s room.  Askka, a drow, was freed from being burned at the stake in town.  They go to Lord Hulraven Irlingstar because he claims to have info on the assassinations.  He says his wife has been kidnapped and taken to the Shadow Plane.  The culprits appear to be drow with shadow dragon features known as the Jaezred Chaulssin.  They infiltrated the Jaezred Chaulssin base, discovering evidence of them gathering an army under the banner of Kiaransalee.  They save the wife, but discover that she was a Malaugrym shapechanger in disguise.  They come back, tell their story, and collect their reward.

  5. Varick, Jahnas’ mentor, gives the PC’s a task: collect the pieces of Sammaster’s phylactery in order to bind him and prevent him from winning The Art’s competition.  Varick gave them a device (GPS) that helps track the pieces.  Following the GPS they end up in Skullport, under Waterdeep.  They are tasked with stealing a powerful item from a temple to Bane in exchange for the phylactery piece, by an elf known as The Serpent.  After stealing the item and making the exchange they were attacked, knocked unconscious and held by the Shadow Thieves.  They were released by Leda and after a hard fought way out, they left the greater Waterdeep area.

  6. Red Hand of Doom – Upon returning to Armbard’s Pass it is discovered that River’s ceremonial scythe had been stolen.  Fox is given a family heirloom weapon that is very effective.  Shortly thereafter, the sun is eclipsed and the heroes follow the GPS to the next piece.  They go to Oakhurst where they find the scythe with a part missing and clues to some happenings at Vraath keep (in Kryptgarden Forest) from raiding parties.  They dispatch the baddies at Vraath Keep, get some sweet magic items (including the deed to Vraath Keep), and a map showing the way a large army would enter and destroy.  They send word/travel to several towns that could be impacted, and head for a pinch point with a guide; a bridge that spans The Laughingflow River.  They find the bridge being guarded by drow and a deep dragon and catch a glimpse of the approaching army.  Magda used a spell to weaken the supports of the bridge causing the whole thing to collapse.

  7. They send the guide back to warn of what they’ve seen.  They opt to go to the place labeled “super secret weapon factory” in Olostin’s Hold.  They travel through the Evermoors and encounter a tribe of elves called the Tiri Kitor.  Mostly because of Magda’s efforts, they befriend the tribe who guides them to the ruins of Olostin’s Hold.  They dispatch the monsters there and discover a hatchery of dragonspawn guarded by a black dragon.  After destroying the dragon and the hatchery, they discover a sizeable horde which includes an odd phylactery.  Returning to the Tiri Kitor having saved their lands, the elves offer their assistance in Yartar in the coming battle, and use of their owls for fast travel.

  8. They travel to Yartar and discover that Erky Timbers is running the temple to The Art there.  From there they travel to several other places slowing down the impending army.  Along the way they discover that the GPS technology isn’t unique to them, the holy symbol held by several high ranking members is a circle diagonally cut in half, one side black and one white, a blighter druid/lich is destroyed, dragon drow (who have the holy symbol of a female drow hand wearing silver rings) have allied with devils, destroyed a device that was mind-controlling the goblins, recruited some barbaric dwarves to help, stop/killed several dragons, were attacked by a powerful sniper who managed to get away, saved the town of Yartar from a large scale invasion and became their heroes.

  9. The final threat was in an abandoned city in the Underdark called Dolblunde.  They go there to stop the ritual that seems to be aimed at bringing a devil army through and to resurrect an ancient dragon.  They stop the devil army from coming through, but they they could not stop the dracolich from being resurrected.  They fight for a bit, piss it off, then it flies away.