re-learning to play dungeons and dragons

Toronto, 2014.11.04

So, in our D&D game, my son and his party are on the run from a dragon after they killed its little brother. One of their members is a "Chaotic Neutral" (natural trouble-maker) illusionist I mentioned, who's led them into a series of terrible problems. E.g. accidentally resurrecting a lich; accidentally freeing a T-rex from its cave prison; accidentally getting himself briefly killed by a naga, causing the party to have to resurrect him; stealing a vast fortune in (secretly magical) gems for a mindflayer. He's made my son's character liberate the surviving members of his own party, who my son's party is now running around with, but my son doesn't know that this fellow also let my son's own dwarven clansmen get captured by some drow. My son thinks those dwarves are all dead, and that he is being led to a spot that the illusionist thinks is a way out.

Instead, as usual, the illusionist will lead them - via teleport this time - right into the thick of things. The dragon brothers' mama, under the control of the lich, and supported by two manticores and several dozen lizardfolk archers, are fighting three aboleth, two dozen gnoll archers, and the aforementioned mindflayer, who is using the gems my son gave him to summon monsters. The two warring factions are fighting over the increasingly ruined castle that controls a pass and not only a surface human highway but a dwarven underground highway. Whichever party wins will use the enormous cache of gems being mined under the castle to effectively launch a zerg-rush against the dwarven citadel at the east terminus of the dwarf highway; my son's character's home.

I've already embroiled four neighboring kingdoms in this mess; The Boy has done a remarkable job of trying to plan what's most expedient when it comes to keeping various kings happy. Now he just has to go down into the courtyard underneath a hail of arrows, manticore barbs, dragon's breath, and magic spells to scoop up the nine-day old corpse of a young human who'd joined him on his first adventure to this retrograde hell-hole (when he wound up setting fire to the place and leaving behind all the dead in that party, only to be betrayed by the rest). The young human is important because he's the son of the king of the human allies of his own king.

After that, I reckon it'll be smooth sailing. The kid's character has already reached 8th level on all of the treasure, combat, tricks, traps, and problem solving he's done. And we've only been playing since Thanksgiving. It's been more than 20 years since I've played this game, but it's starting to come back.

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