**Caution this post contains spoilers for STK!**

When I was a child, I had no one to play Dungeons and Dragons with, it being the 80’s and the game not being popular here in the United Kingdom. Now as a father in my 40’s, I have been finally able to play as a dungeon master myself, directing the campaigns of my own children. There is something truly magical in playing DND with kids. Their wide eyes, their laughs, their emotions upon a hero in danger – it really brings the story to life.

There follows the campaign we have played all through the 2020 lockdown. It has helped us all resist the mental anguish of the COVID virus, recover from the infection itself and be a beacon of bright enjoyment for all. Truly the great value of this magical game cannot be overstated when played with attentive and imaginative children.

So, I present the chronicle of my son, my daughter and my wife playing their first campaign after the starter set, Storm King’s Thunder!

The piplins!

“Hey, you. You’re finally awake.”

The forests of the north

Deep within the forests, who’s depth and tremendous growth is born of ages, and who’s tops obscure the base of the mountain, a single rough trail winds around and up towards a tower perched on an outcrop high to one side.

Making their way slowly up this slim thread are three horse-drawn carts, each full of colourful characters of various classes and races, and each making the pilgrimage up to Dragon’s Bane tower. The call has gone out for adventurers and the taverns and flophouses of Waterdeep, Neverwinter, and seemingly every town along the route, have answered.

The journey is a long one.

The second cart bumps heavily against a fallen log, and you wake with a yawn. The sun is breaking between the trees, dappling light across the cart, and creating some spots of warmth against the increasing cold of the mountainside. Opposite you sits a man sporting a beard that speaks of many summers. He notices your waking movement and speaks,

“Hey, you. You’re finally awake.”

You nod and take out your water skin to take a draft. The man watches you, and you notice him attending the water cascade into your mouth.

“Do you want some?” You say. He nods eagerly, and you pass the skin, which he takes quaffs from thirstily.

“Thank you,” he says, passing it back, “I’m Ralof”.

“Your welcome,” you say in response.

He relaxes back and rests his arm on the cart’s side. “Tell me, why are you going to join the Dragon’s Bane?”

“Oh, I er, I need to speak to them,” you say not wanting to explain your true purpose, “I don’t know I’m for joining. We’ll see. I don’t know that much about them”. You pause, “how about you?”

He raises an eyebrow, smiles and takes out a pipe, which he lights with a small series of puffs. “I met them once in a bar”, he says. The pipe catches alight and he places it in his mouth. I’m a bard by trade, a humble storyteller for some tossed coin, and I’ve chronicled their entire story”. The cart bumps along for a few seconds.

“Well, it is a long journey,” you eventually volunteer, “Pray, tell me the tale”.

He smiles with the pipe in his mouth and sits up excitedly.

“Great!” he said, “Now, to start – you know who the Dragon’s Bane is, right?”

“Not really.”

Basho, the humble Dungeon Master

Diamond Adventure, High elf wizard

“Three they are, although others join them in battle as required. First is the lady Diamond Adventure of the Elven realm. Tall and imperious, she was the chief librarian to the elven court and spent an innumerable number of years with her head in books. Eventually, she grew bored.”

“Boredom doesn’t come easy to elves,” you comment.

“Indeed, but that is the story she tells. Having gained the knowledge of countless magical books she fashioned herself as a wizard and left looking for the adventure her chosen human name suggests”.

“An elven female of high birth,” you say, “sounds like a real handful”.

He nods,

“She has a sharp tongue and imperious attitude, yes. As well as a penchant for fireballs”.

“Who’s next?”

“The bear man. Bearsuo. A magical human child from some dark forest village, taken from his parents by a Druid circle of moon worshipers. He was raised to take advantage of his dual animal and human nature. Through their rituals, he eventually found the ability to transform himself into a great beast at will. The druids for their part, and recognising his incredible connection to the spirits of nature, believed he was destined for greatness, and so they sent him out to find it”.

“He turns into a bear?”

“Into many things, and as his power has grown his favourite form is an ancient giant lizard called a Tyrannosaurus”.

“That sounds truly terrifying.”

“Indeed; but, he remains a child of the forest and has a hearty friendliness that puts all good people at ease”.

“Quite a duo”.

“I have not finished, for their ranger comes last, and she is not to be trifled with”.

Bearsuo, Human Druid