I like when worlds have days of the week, holidays and other information to make the place seem old and real. For the ending of my campaign in the Nentir Vale I needed to have my heroes do more than just fight the big dragon and save the city. Hammerfast comes built in with some history to use as your backstory if you want to create an epic showdown with Calastryx.
What is Dragon’s Day?
Every year in late summer, the people of Hammerfast celebrate the defeat of the red dragon Calastryx by the wizard Starris in a battle that took place nearly 300 years ago. The Trade Guild constructs an elaborate puppet of the dragon, 30 feet tall. The puppet is paraded trough Hammerfast and the people gather along the street to throw rocks at it. The parade finishes at temple of Moradin, where the puppet is cast into a giant pool of fire.
Good clean family fun!
Here are some notes on the history of Dragon’s Day I used for my campaign. Some of this information is from the Hammerfast book, but I stretched and added a bunch to this for my campaign.
- Before the dwarves settled the area of the Dawnforge Mountains where Hammerfast is located, a commune of dragons lived in the mountains. These young dragons considered themselves rulers of the Vale and constantly raided the nomadic people who had settled the regions to the west.
- The scattered people of the Vale could not mount any defense and endured under the dragons reign for hundreds of years
- Eventually help arrived from the east as dwarves moved into the area, expanding from Mithralfast.
- Their Thane, Vondal Dragonbane sent a battalion of heavily armored dwarves to establish a forward operating fortress near the Dawnforge Mountains (present day Hammerfast) and they were able to defeat the dragons, ogres and other menaces in the region and the area enjoyed years of peace.
- But they didn’t kill all the dragons. The real threat slumbered away on her hoard.
- 300 years ago when Calastryx awoke not to the land she silently ruled, but a land filled with dwarves.
- Hammerfast was attacked as if by fire itself coming down from the sky
- But a great human wizard named Starris and a fierce eladrin warrior Lyrane led the brave dwarves against Calastryx.
were able to weaken the dragon enough that she retreated to her lair, leaving Hammerfast burning
- Starris and Lyrane chased Calastryx to her lair in the mountains on a griffon to face the dragon one more time. Lyrane died and Starris was nearly killed… but the wizard was able to lock the weakened Calastryx into a slumber using a powerful enchantment and then sealed and hid the lair with his love Lyrane inside.
- The griffon carried a bleeding and burnt Starris back to Hammerfast.
- He would not reveal the location of the lair to the dwarven warriors, fearing that to disturb the lair could upset his spells.
- Before he died he did call for 3 clerics he had met during his long stay in Hammerfast. Known now as the collective.
- The clerics begged Starris to let them heal him, but he only said that his ability to defeat the dragon has come with too heavy a cost and he died from his injuries.
How to Run This
- Heroes should be level 10 at least.
- Get the Hammerfast book or at a minimum threats to the Nentir Vale for dragon stats.
- Calastryx was hurt and has been healed using hydra blood, so she is now a three headed dragon abomination controlled by an Dragonborn named Thar (or any humanoid villain of your choosing).
- Have your heroes look for Starris’ staff, it is good in a fight against dragons.
- It might be a good idea to have them encounter a griffon in trouble and help it
- The heroes should be aided by the decedents of the three clerics from 300 years ago – who each hold one part of the secret location of Starris’ staff close.
- I put the staff in a tomb and my heroes were visited by the gods of each cleric. I also threw Bahamut (crazy old man) in as a guide of sorts.
- With the staff in hand, they rode on Griffons to the lair of Calastryx
- The heroes face off against Calastrx and some optional kolbold priests (pure fodder)
- Once they get the dragon down to 50%, have the lair start to collapse (burying her giant treasure hoard)
- Calastyx flies off to the city and the heroes chase on griffonback
- Interrupt the chase with Thar and some henchmen on griffons that were not saved yet (or swap for an evil flier). Here is a link to D&D 5e Aerial Combat.
- Final battle for the dwarven city against Calystryx. Really destroy the place, dwarves are great and fixing stuff