Dungeon Master Assistance

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Tag Archives: Ranger

D&D 5E – Player’s Handbook Errata

Wizards of the Coast released an official errata to the Player’s Handbook a few days ago. You can get your copy here (Errata_PH.pdf). It has a couple of entries that directly address the issue of PC hiding rules.

BehindATree

Another look at Hiding in combat

The items in the errata that pertain specifically to hiding are these:

Hiding (p. 177). The DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding. Also, the question isn’t whether a creature can see you when you’re hiding. The question is whether it can see you clearly.

Vision and Light (p. 183). A heavily obscured area doesn’t blind you, but you are effectively blinded when you try to see something obscured by it.

Comments on my post on stealth and hiding (here) almost always boil down to one point of contention. The rules for hiding outside of combat are fairly easily understood. The biggest debate always seems to be about hiding during combat. We all agree that surprise can only be on the first round of combat, but what about hiding during combat? Of course a PC can attempt to hide (if he can move to where he can’t be seen clearly) and sneak away with some item, but the main question is this; Can a 2nd level rouge attack and then hide on his turn and then attack with advantage the next round and do it again. OR, more simply, can he use the hide rules to get advantage on tis attack every round?

There are two completely different points of view on this and they can both be easily defended by quoting the rules. The two sides can be expressed thus:

1) Yes, of course the rogue can attack with advantage every round (assuming he has something to hide behind and succeeds in his hide attempt). That is why the rules are written the way they are. That is the whole reason I am playing a rogue. Especially at lower levels, the rogue can deliver more damage, on average, than the fighter. This makes playing him so much fun.

2) No, it makes no logical sense that a character can hide behind a barrel and the opponents not know that he is there. Even if he does succeed in hiding, the moment he sticks his head out to make an attack, he can now be seen so he is no longer hidden and he cannot attack with advantage.

There is no right or wrong here. It all depends on how the group wants to play. Ultimately, it is up to the DM. Even though it has always been the case, the new errata makes it very clear that the DM decides when you can or cannot hide.

I personally prefer to the second option. The rogue can still get advantage anytime an opponent is distracted. Most often this will be because he is being attacked by someone else on the rogue’s team, but I can think of a lot of other things that might distract an opponent. Or, if you are attacking from the shadows I could be persuaded to allow advantage on the attack.

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Iconic Ranger

Thinking of playing a Ranger? Here is an excellent article regarding the pros and cons of playing a Ranger: Rangers with Class By Skip Williams.

Here is the information for playing an iconic Ranger character. Start with my post on Iconic Characters, then add this specific information.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: Climb, Handle  Animal, Move Silently, Track, Search, Spot and Survival

Class Knowledge: Geography

Special abilities: The following are the special abilities available to Rangers.  The abilities are listed under the level that they are acquired. By the time your character reaches second level he must specialize in one of two different combat styles.  He can choose between the archery combat style and the two-weapon combat style. As indicated in the table below – some of the special abilities he receives as he advances in level will depend on the combat style he pursues. Where an ability is described as (ref PHB), you should refer to that ability’s description in the players handbook.

1st Level
Skill Focus (Survival): You get a +3 bonus on all Survival checks.
Favored Enemy: Select a type of creature from Table 3–14: Ranger Favored Enemies. You get a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks against creatures of this type, and a +2 bonus on weapon damage
Wild  Empathy:  Can improve the attitude of an animal with a successful Cha check.
2nd Level
Combat Style: Select one of two combat styles to pursue: archery or two-weapon combat. You lose all benefits of your combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.
Rapid Shot:  [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] You can get one extra attack per round with a ranged weapon. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but each attack you make in that round (the extra one and the normal ones) takes a -2 penalty. You must use the full attack action to use this ability.
-or-
Two-Weapon Fighting: [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.
3rd Level
Endurance: You gain a +4 bonus on the following checks and saves: Swim checks made to resist damage, Constitution checks made to continue running, Constitution checks made to avoid damage from a forced march, Constitution checks made to hold your breath, Constitution checks made to avoid damage from starvation or thirst, Fortitude saves made to avoid damage from hot or cold environments, and Fortitude saves made to resist damage from suffocation. Also, you may sleep in light or medium armor without becoming fatigued.
Point Blank Shot: [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.
-or-
Two-Weapon Defense: [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] When wielding a double weapon or two weapons (not including natural weapons or unarmed strikes), you gain a +1 shield bonus to your AC. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack. When you are fighting defensively or using the total defense action, this shield bonus increases to +2.
4th Level
Ability Score Adjustment: Add 1 to any ability score.
Animal Companion: (ref PHB)
Spells: You gain the ability to cast a small number of divine spells (ref PHB)
5th Level
Favored Enemy: Like Favored Enemy above but now you can select a second creature type from the table and the bonus against one of your favored enemies is increased by 2.
6th Level
Far Shot: [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] When you use a projectile weapon, such as a bow, its range increment increases by one-half (multiply by 1½). When you use a thrown weapon, its range increment is doubled.
-or-
Animal Affinity:  [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] You get a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks and Ride checks.
Manyshot:  [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at a single opponent within 30 feet. Both arrows use the same attack roll (with a -4 penalty) to determine success and deal damage normally (but see Special). For every five points of base attack bonus you have above +6, you may add one additional arrow to this attack, to a maximum of four arrows at a base attack bonus of +16. However, each arrow after the second adds a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack roll (for a total penalty of -6 for three arrows and -8 for four). Damage reduction and other resistances apply separately against each arrow fired. Special –  Regardless of the number of arrows you fire, you apply precision-based damage only once. If you score a critical hit, only the first arrow fired deals critical damage; all others deal regular damage.
-or-
Improved TwoWeapon Fighting: [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] In addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon, you get a second attack with it, albeit at a -5 penalty. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.
7th Level
Woodland Stride: Can move through any normal undergrowth at normal speed and without taking damage.
8th Level
Ability Score Adjustment: Add 1 to any ability score.
Swift Tracker: Can move at normal speed while following tracks without the normal –5 penalty. Take only a –10 penalty when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
9th Level
Precise Shot: [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] You can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard -4 penalty on your attack roll.
-or-
Lightning Reflexes:  [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] You get a +2 bonus on all Reflex saving throws.
Evasion:  Take no damage on a successful Ref saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a save, only if wearing light or no armor.
10th Level
Favored Enemy: Like Favored Enemy above but now you can select a second creature type from the table and the bonus against one of your favored enemies is increased by 2.
11th Level
Improved Precise Shot: [If you are pursuing the archery combat style] Your ranged attacks ignore the AC bonus granted to targets by anything less than total cover, and the miss chance granted to targets by anything less than total concealment. Total cover and total concealment provide their normal benefits against your ranged attacks. In addition, when you shoot or throw ranged weapons at a grappling opponent, you automatically strike at the opponent you have chosen.
-or-
Greater TwoWeapon Fighting: [If you are pursuing the two-weapon combat style] You get a third attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a -10 penalty. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.
12th Level
Ability Score Adjustment: Add 1 to any ability score.
Skill Focus (Hide): You get a +3 bonus on all Hide checks.
13th Level
Camouflage: Can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain.
14th Level
No special abilities added at this level.
15th Level
Favored Enemy: Like Favored Enemy above but now you can select a second creature type from the table and the bonus against one of your favored enemies is increased by 2.
Skill Focus (Listen): You get a +3 bonus on all Listen checks.
16th Level
Ability Score Adjustment: Add 1 to any ability score.
17th Level
Hide in Plain Sight: Can use the Hide skill even while being observed – while in any natural terrain
18th Level
Skill Focus (Spot): You get a +3 bonus on all Spot checks.
19th Level
No special abilities added at this level.
20th Level
Ability Score Adjustment: Add 1 to any ability score.
Favored Enemy: Like Favored Enemy above but now you can select a second creature type from the table and the bonus against one of your favored enemies is increased by 2.

Dragon Hunt – Chapter 2, Part 2 – The Chapel of Heironeous

When Trevan finished eating, he decided to walk around a bit, to see the town. The sun was shining brightly and the snow was beginning to melt. It seamed to Trevan that a person would be able to buy anything here. He saw shops selling everything from weapons and armor, to magic items. He saw sellers of cloth that looked like it was made of gold and silver. There was fruit of sorts he had never seen. There were people selling jewelry and gems. There were money changers and traders in furs. There were spice dealers. He walked past windows where the smell of exotic foods spread into the street.

At the far side of town were the docks. There were several ships there and the whole area was busy with sailors and workers going here and there. There were ships being loaded with boxes of supplies and ships where trade items and passengers were getting off. He had to step over and around ropes, sails, boxes, barrels and crates. He passed the warehouse with the sign of Heironeous painted on its side. The warehouse doors were closed and bolted.

He walked past the city governor’s residence. It was a large building with landscaped grounds all around. Around the grounds was a six foot tall iron fence with guards posted at the gate.

He walked down the part of town where there were gambling halls and drinking establishments. There were drunks passed out and sleeping in the streets. There were prostitutes waving from the doorways. A man in rags asked him for money. Another asked Trevan to buy him a drink. There was a man in front of a gambling house trying to persuade passers-by to come in. “Five will get you ten,” he called out as Trevan passed by. “Everyone is a winner.”

Everywhere in town there were men and women dressed in many different ways. Most were bundled against the cold, but some were wearing the finest furs while others were in cotton and rags. Some were in black cloaks and pointed hats. Some were wearing banded or metal armor and carrying shields. Many were dressed as you would expect farmers or laborers to be dressed. Some were young. Some were old. Most were human, but there were several other races here as well. There were Dwarves and Halflings and Gnomes and Elves as well as Half-Elves and Half-Orcs.

As he walked down a street in the chapel district he saw oddly shaped and decorated buildings dedicated to several different gods. It was quiet on this street. Most of the buildings appeared empty. Many of the chapels had an attendant or two sweeping, reading or meditating near the doorway. As he walked on he came to one heavily fortified building where there were several people inside. As he walked up he saw the silver symbol of a hand holding a lightning bolt above the door. There were two priests in white and pale blue robes standing at the door. Each had smaller versions of the holy symbol hanging on chains around their necks. Chain mail armor and swords could be seen beneath their robes. “Welcome to the chapel of Heironeous,” they said as he approached.

Trevan was never religious and didn’t worship any god, but he was curious about the church that was funding the dragon hunt so he cautiously entered the chapel.

The large room was bright from the flames of a hundred candles burning in small holders along every wall. Between the candles were metal shields painted with the symbol of Heironeous. A large sword was hung beside each shield. These all appeared to be loosely mounted for quick removal. There were about twenty worshipers there. Most of them appeared to be soldiers or city guards. They were all sitting on benches facing the front. Many had their sword in their lap, or resting against the bench beside them. They appeared to be waiting for someone to step up to the podium on the dais. Trevan slipped onto the bench at the back of the room. The walls and floor were white marble. The ceiling seemed to be a polished pale blue marble. The podium was draped in white and pale blue. A priest that had been standing to one side walked up to the podium and all the quiet murmurings stopped. This priest was dressed in full plate armor with a white and blue tunic and a large silver hand holding a lightning bolt hanging around his neck. When all was quiet, the priest removed his helmet and spoke, “Welcome my friends to the chapel of Heironeous.” He looked around at those in attendance while he removed his gauntlets. Trevan felt out of place and he was sure that the priest was staring straight at him as he continued, “As I am sure all of you know, the church of Heironeous is conducting an expedition to rid the land of the evil that lives in the Black Mountains and goes by the name Abraxas.” Everyone cheered. The priest continued, “I am pleased to announce that preparations will be finished tomorrow and the expedition will leave the following morning.” The room erupted in cheers and applause.

The priest motioned for everyone to sit back down and be quiet. “My friends, I normally talk to you about Heironeous’s continuing battle against evil and his evil half-brother Hextor. Because of the upcoming battle against the great red dragon Abraxas, I thought that this would be a good time to review the fight of good versus evil that is represented in the tale of Heironeous and Tiamat.”

“For those who may not know,” at this point he looked directly at Trevan, “Heironeous the Invincible is a god of chivalry, justice, war, daring, and valor. In his corporal form, he appears as a human man. He wears a full robe of chainmail that is so fine it appears to be cloth and moves as he moves. He is tall for a human. His hair is auburn and his skin is the color of burnished copper.  Heironeous is impervious to all but the mightiest weapons due to a solution known only as meersalm. He wields his magical longsword Justicebringer.” He pauses. He had given many sermons on each of these aspects of their God. Most of those in attendance knew them well.

Now addressing the entire congregation he continued, “Tiamat, the god of evil dragons, was larger than any dragon that ever lived. She had five heads, one for each color of evil dragon. She could produce, from each head, a blast of elemental energy. Her black head had deep set eyes and broad nasal openings, bone colored horns and the general appearance of a skull. This head continually drooled acid and from it she could produce a line of acid. She had dramatic frilled ears and a single, massive horn atop her short, blunt blue head. From it she could produce electricity to slay her foes. Her green head had no external ears. It was a narrow head with a long forked tongue. The odor of chlorine surrounded this head and with it she could blow a cone of acid. The head that was red had two massive horns that swept back and small horns on its cheeks and lower jaw. It smelled of sulfur. Flames and smoke came from its nostrils. She produced a cone of fire from this mouth. The white head was sleek with a pointed chin and small pointed beak at its nose. From this head she could lay down a cone of cold. Each of these heads functioned independently and was attached to her thick, multicolored body with a long neck. In addition to all of this and of course her great spell casting ability, she also had a long thick tail tipped with a poisonous stinger.”

“In the time before time – Tiamat lived on the Earth. She seeded the Earth with evil dragons and dark magic. To counter her spreading of evil, her brother – the good dragon god Bahamut – created the good metallic dragons. Heironeous fought Tiamat for many years, until finally, with the aid of Bahamut, she was defeated. The details of this final battle are lost to us, but I can envision the brave Heironeous, with Justicebringer in hand, standing over her slain body as Bahamut cast the final spell that forever banished her to the Nine Hells where she still reigns to this day.”

The priest then proceeded to tell how Heironeous must have felt as he defeated each head in tern. He spoke of how he was prepared to sacrifice himself if necessary. He compared his god’s battle against Tiamat with every man’s battle against the evil forces in this world and against the evil tendencies that exist in every man’s heart. He then went on to talk about the upcoming battle against the red dragon Abraxas. “For centuries uncounted he has watched us from the mountains. We live in fear of his next un-provoked attack. Our parents tell of a time when he was only known from tales passed down through the generations. Many came to believe that our dragon was nothing more than a legend. Some fifty years ago he began a series of attacks, cumulating in the burning of Rockport. After that he became quiet. Then, a few years ago, something caused him to become active again. Our greatest clerics, using powerful divination spells, have determined that his current activity was caused by a theft. Someone took a single item from his great hoard. We weren’t able to determine exactly what was taken, or who took it. All we know is that he has been searching for a gem of some type. Evidently this gem has some magical protection against detection. What other magical abilities it possesses can only be guessed at. The church sent emissaries to the far corners of the world searching for this gem. Needless to say, we never found it. If it had been found, we would have returned it to the dragon in exchange for his good will. Being unsuccessful in that, the church decided to fund an expedition to rid us from Abraxas for good.”

“The church is quiet fortunate that Heironeous has provided us with a paladin of the caliber of Sir Gleamheart to lead this great expedition,” he said. “We can rest easy with the knowledge that Sir Gleamheart, the greatest paladin in the land, will return to us victorious. He has given his life in just and honorable battle no less than three times! Each time a cleric of the church has guided his soul back from the underworld to reunite with his body so that he could continue his service to Heironeous. He, along with our own cleric Pitchlight, has spent the last several weeks assembling a group of adventurers and equipping them for the task. They will march under the banner of Heironeous into the Black Mountains. There they will locate Abraxas’s lair and kill him. They will then bring his treasure back for the glory of Heironeous.”

He continued for some time praising Heironeous and asking for him to watch over his servants as they entered glorious combat in his name. He finished with a reminder of the churches need for funds that will allow it to participate in activities such as the upcoming expedition as well as the churches support of the ever needy orphans and widows. He reminded everyone that the offering box was located near the door on their way out.

It was getting dark when Trevan left the chapel. He made sure the priests at the door could hear his coins fall into the offering box as he passed.

The lampposts on every corner provided dim illumination on the streets below. Lights were lit on the top of each of the towers. When he got to his room, his roommate was still not there. He climbed into bed, placed his dagger under his pillow and was soon asleep.

Dragon Hunt – Chapter 2, Part 1 – City of Rockport

The man walking along the forest path had his dark cloak pulled tight around neck with his hood pulled over his head. He had been walking this path for several days now and the snow was just beginning to let up. The path was getting broader and more heavily traveled the closer he got to Rockport. He passed several men on horseback, some going to and some leaving the city. Most had passed without noticing him. He stayed to the side of the trail and blended into the shadows. He topped a hill just at the edge of the pine forest and got his first look at the city some called the ‘City at the End of the World’. The city wall was half a mile away and fresh snow caused it to sparkle as the sun broke through the clouds. As he knelt down on one knee to take in the view, a hawk appeared over the trees. It circled and landed softly on his shoulder.

“Well, Rep, ol’ buddy,” he said, as he shared a small piece of dried venison, “It looks like we will be leaving the forest for a while.” The hawk shook his piece of meat, tossed it up, grabbed it and gulped it down. He adjusted his grip and turned his head to the side as he closely watched the man eat the other piece. The leather armor under the cloak kept the raptor’s sharp talons from sinking into his skin. The hawk had been his companion for several months now. One day he just showed up. Trevan named him Rep and they had been together ever since.

It had been five years since he left his cabin. Trevan had grown a lot during this time. He was six inches taller and forty pounds heaver. He had become a hansom young man, a masterful woodsman, excellent tracker, talented hunter and skillful fighter. He had grown to love the forest and understand its creatures. He had fought owlbears, displacer beasts, ogers, orcs and other forest monsters. He was even learning to harness the magic of nature to talk to animals and walk without leaving any trace. Like his father before him, he had become what many call a ranger.

About four weeks ago, in a little village named Comesh, he had met a man who told him of an expedition that was being organized in Rockport. They were going on a great dragon hunt. A dragon that had been quiet for centuries was again causing trouble. From the description that the stranger had given him, Trevan was convinced that it was Abraxas. It took him a while to get here but he was determined to join them. He was hoping that he would not be too late, that they would wait until after the last snowfall before starting. It was early spring now, this snow should be the last and his destination was in sight.

He had been to many cities and towns but had never seen one this big. He could see where the path joined a major road just before it came to a stone bridge over a river. The Blood River it was called because of the color of the water. The road went straight to a large entrance gate in the wall. The wall was made of dark stone and was about 15 feet tall. Looking down on it from the hill, he could see that it was about ten feet thick with a walkway on the top. He could see armored guards milling around at the gate and on the wall. Watchtowers were placed along the wall. These rose ten feet above the wall and were pierced with arrow slits. The top of each watchtower had a huge ballista. These looked very much like Trevan’s crossbows, but were huge weapons fixed to the floor in a way that permitted them to swivel. They were tended by two or three armored guards each. These guards on the towers were all watching the sky, as if a dragon might appear at any moment. Beyond the wall he could see the snow covered roofs of countless buildings and smoke rising from a hundred chimneys. He could see the streets that sliced the city into many irregular pieces. There were towers, like the ones on the walls, at many locations within the city, and they all had ballista mounted on their roofs. These towers were close enough to each other that if a dragon were to land on one, it could be shot by at least two others. Beyond the city he could see water extending to the horizon. This was the Great Inland Sea. It extended back to his left as far as he could see. To his right, where the city wall curved back to the sea, there was another entrance gate and a road that went up to a gap in the mountains. These were called the Black Mountains and somewhere within them was Abraxas.

Trevan walked down to the road. Just before he crossed the bridge Rep flew up, circled twice and headed back towards the forest. Rep often flew away for days at a time, but always managed to find Trevan wherever he might be.

There was very little traffic in and out of the city at the moment. Rockport was an open city. Anyone who behaved himself was permitted entrance. The heavy wooden gate stood open. The guards at the gate appeared to be bored and only gave Trevan a passing glance as he passed through the gate and under the portcullis. This was made from heavy iron bars, and was currently in its raised position. There was an identical raised portcullis at the inner side of the wall. Between them, in the ceiling above, were murder holes. Any unfortunate invader that managed to get caught between the portcullises could expect to get a boiling oil bath. Outside the gateway was a large open courtyard with streets going off in several directions. The courtyard and most of the streets were paved with cobblestones. There were several merchants with their carts parked haphazardly about. Most were just trying to stay warm. They had very few customers. All of the buildings surrounding the courtyard were two stories tall and made of stone, the same black stone as the city wall. Against the wall to the right was a stable and a blacksmith. He could see a couple of inns, a furrier and candlestick maker shop. Most of the shops had a wooden sign suspended above the door proclaiming with a drawing and sometimes in words the name of the establishment. Most of these signs could not be read because they were still wearing a coat of snow. As the sun was growing warmer, many of the shops shutters were beginning to open. Most of the tracks in the snow led to the door of the largest inn facing the courtyard. This seamed a good spot to inquire about the dragon hunt. He went in, dusted the snow from his cloak and lowered his hood.

The door opened into a large room filled with tables. There was a wooden stairway at the far side of the room that went up to a balcony that wrapped around the room. Under the balcony and all along the wall to the right was a bar. In the far left corner was a large fireplace. There were several wooden tables and benches. The place was filled with patrons. Most were sitting at the tables in small groups of two or four. Some were eating, many were drinking. There was a group of five dwarves sitting around the fireplace. They had obviously been there for a while, drinking and being loud. It was much darker in here than it had been outside. The shutters were still closed against the weather. The only light came from the fireplace and three oil lamp chandeliers that were suspended by ropes from the high ceiling. A young dark haired woman carrying a tray filed with drinks was moving between the tables. There were several men standing at the bar, each with a drink on the bar or in his hand. On the other side of the bar was a seven foot tall half-orc engaged in some kind of contest with a man at the far end involving a dagger and stabbing the top of the bar between their fingers. Trevan walked up to an empty space along the bar and waited.

Behind the bar, between shelves of bottles, was a large painting. It was a view from the water of what must have been Rockport with the mountains rising behind it. The city was in flames as a huge red dragon was breathing fire down on the ships at sea. The half-orc noticed Trevan and walked over. He had small tuffs of stiff red hair at random spots all over his body except for his hairless head. His nose was definitely pig-like in appearance and he had a pair of 3 inch tusks protruding from his lower lip. His muscular arms were bare and were covered with many old scars. Trevan jumped when the half-orc slammed his ham-sized fist down on the bar in front of him and snarled loudly, “What?”

The inn became silent for a few seconds before everyone returned to their plates and their conversations. Trevan replied, “I’ve just arrived in town. I am here to join in the dragon hunt if it hasn’t left yet. Do you know anything about it?”

“Food, drink or room?” the half-orc said with a stare.

The barmaid hurried over, placed her tray on the bar and said to the half-orc, “I’ll handle this, Buxter.” The half-orc turned with a grunt and returned to the other end of the bar. “He’s not much of a talker,” she said. “My name is Heather. I heard you asking about the dragon hunt. You may be too late I’m afraid. I heard that Sir Gleamheart finished signing up everyone yesterday. They will be leaving in a couple of days.” She was thin, about 5’-7” and had silver-grey eyes. She looked up at Trevan and gave him her friendliest smile.

Trevan asked, “Who is Sir Gleamheart?”

“You have never heard of Sir Gleamheart? I thought everyone knew him. It seams like I’ve been listening to stories about him all my life. He is a paladin of Heironeous, the god of valor. He’s leading the expedition.” Heather continued, “The church of Heironeous is funding it. They say that this entire hunt was the church’s idea. They say Sir Gleamheart told some cleric that he was planning to take a small party into the mountains to find and kill the dragon. He has been causing a lot trouble you know. And the church convinced him to take a large party to be sure of success but I think it was to be sure he returned with Abraxas’s hoard.”

At the dragon’s name, Trevan interrupted her and said, “So it is Abraxas!”

“Yea, that’s the one all right. You’re lucky you aren’t going,” said Heather. “That’s him there,” she said as she pointed to the painting. “Everyone in the expedition will probably be killed.”

Looking at the painting Trevan asked, “What city is that?”

“That is Rockport. They say that Abraxas has burned it to the ground three times. This is a picture of the last time. It was about 50 years ago. He can’t burn it again. All of our buildings are fire proof now. They are all made of stone with clay or slate roofs. And we have the dragon towers.” Trevan looked like he didn’t know what she was talking about so she continued, “I’m sure you saw them. None of the buildings can be over two stories tall and the towers throughout the city are taller than that. If a dragon lands he will be killed by the ballista on the towers. But that hasn’t kept him from burning nearly every other town or village. He has been attacking everybody and everything he sees. He seems to be very upset about something. They say someone stole something from him. I hear a lot of stories here. I heard that it was magic gem called the Dragon’s Eye. No one knows what it does, but it must be very powerful for it to have upset him so much. No one has been able to use their magic to find it. The church has tried several times.”

“Where can I find Sir Gleamheart?”

“I just told you, they are all going to get themselves killed. If you insist on taking to them, they are using an old warehouse on the waterfront. It’s easy to find because they painted a huge symbol of Heironeous on the side. You know, a silver hand holding a silver lighting bolt. But it won’t do you any good to go there today. This is Sun’s Day, a holy day for them. They won’t talk business until tomorrow. Why don’t you get a room for the night, have a drink, a warm meal and get a good night’s sleep. That way you will be fresh for tomorrow.”

Trevan got the impression that she had made that same pitch to sell room, drink and food many times before. He pulled a gold coin from his money pouch and tossed it on the counter. “How much will this get?”

Heather smiled broadly as she quickly grabbed the coin. “This will get you our best room. Wait here just a minute.” She took the coin to the other end of the bar. She quickly returned after a brief conversation with Buxter. “I am afraid the only room we have available is a communal room with two beds and one of the beds is already rented. If you don’t mind sharing a room, I’ll vouch for him. He won’t be any problem. The good news is that you will get the room for two nights and that includes food and drink today and tomorrow,” she said with a smile.

Trevan replied, “Throw in a hot bath and you have a deal.”

She handed him a key and said, “It is the first room at the top of the stairs. When will you want your bath?”

He took the key and told her that he would take his bath right away, before eating. He went straight to his room. His roommate wasn’t there. The room was small and cold. The small window was shuttered. There were two small beds and a chest at the foot of each. They were both open and empty. There was a small table with a water picture and bowl. There was a single candle on the table. In a few minutes, a couple of elderly halflings carried a bathing tub half full of warm water into the room along with soap and towels. After cleaning up, Trevan left his backpack in one of the chests and left his weapons, except for one dagger, on the bed most distant from the window.