DMingDad Campaign Diary (part 20?)
Okay, this is WAY out of order and a major spoiler alert. This campaign diary comes from when the characters were 10th level. We have been playing the same campaign for several years with the same characters.
Lilith, the gold dragon sorcerer, was originally a half-dragon, half-human that was played as a Tiefling because all the dragons in this realm were in hibernation. Everyone that met her assumed she was a Tieflinging because no one had seen a dragon for over 500 years, so half-dragons were not “a thing.” We leamed into this a lot for plot development.
Lilith’s parents, a human and a gold dragon, were trapped in Castel Amber, TSR X2 (9051) area 18. Yes, I know that was not exactly the pair in that section of the module, but roll with it. Lilith was able to enter the time bubble that held Castle Amber and facilitate the escape of her parents. There is a lot more to that story that we will save for a different campaign diary.
While saving her parents, Lilith was able to warn them about the attack on their home that resulted in the deaths of her brother and sister. Upon returning to her own timeline, she was reunited with her family, including her sister. Due to the confusion she suffered from the temporal paradox, Lilith didn’t remember her brother for several sessions. Only after comparing the journal, she carried with her through the adventure to the diary from her home did she realize her brother was never born.
In a later adventure, Lilith and the party ended up on one of the outer realms where they meet up with a demon who had a magic mirror. The demon used the mirror to split Lilith into three pieces, a shadow dragon, a human, and a gold dragon. The shadow dragon fled with the demon leaving Lilith split in two. In order to escape the mirror, Lilith had to decide which would be her dominant half a human or the dragon. She choose the dragon.
The Butterfly Effect
With the Inevitables already on her trail for altering the timeline once, Lilith worked with Bilgar, the Kobold wizard, to find a way to travel into the past that wouldn’t technically break the timeline and attract more unwanted attention. Brilgar discovered an ancient tomb that told the story of a sorcerer who was able to project himself back in time into the body of his younger self. Armed with the tomb, Brilgar and Lilith set out to find the mating grounds of the temporal butterfly, a unique place in space and time where the magical, time-traveling butterfly came to breed.
After a cross-country hex crawl which involved a run-in with some very angry werewolves and several nests of fire salamanders, the pair of adventurers finally found their way to the wooded glen of the temporal butterflies. Working together, they were able to collect 6 of the butterflies needed for the spell.
Lilith used the first butterfly to project herself back to the moments just before she saved her parents from Castel Amber. She warned them of the attack on their home but made sure to tell them about both her brother and sister. While there, her character noticed something she had missed before… Her mother was entirely human. When Lilith was growing up, she remembered that her mother was a Tefling, like her. This confused her greatly.
Lilith used the second butterfly to project herself back to a time shortly after the bandits invaded her home and killed her brother and sister. She remembered the magic mirror her father had kept hidden away. That was the last time she remembered seeing the magic mirror that could “answer and question.”
Upon arriving in her younger body, Lilith found herself staring at the mirror. She knew she only had a few minutes before her father arrived and chastised her.
Lilith addressed the mirror directly, “How can I save my brother.”
“You have no brother,” the mirror replied.
“Yes, I do. How can I save him?” She demanded.
The mirror thought for a moment. While it did, Lilith stared at her reflection, the reflection of a human girl. As she puzzled over this, the mirror replied, “The deal was not made.”
“What do you mean?” Lilith yelled at the mirror, but just then her father, the gold dragon in his human form came in and interrupted them. His long lecture on why it was important for her to never be in this room of their home or ever speak to the mirror droned on until she was, at last returned to her own body.
Thrid Time's a Charm
A clue… one single clue. Lilith racked her brain for any memory of a “deal.” When she couldn’t remember anything she thought back through her life to see if there was any other time when she had seen the magic mirror. And that was when she remembered the first time she saw it, about a year before her brother and sister were born.
Using last temporal butterfly to project herself back in time, she found herself in her three-year-old body, playing on the floor of her parent’s bedroom, the mirror sat in the corner with a sheet draped over it. She stood up and walked to the mirror and pulled the sheet down. She began her conversation as if it was just a continuation of the last time she spoke to the mirror.
“What deal?” She yelled at it. She stared at her reflection… the reflection of a perfectly normal human, not the Tiefling she remembered growing up as.
“I don’t understand the question” the mirror replied in a slick, deep voice.
“What deal? What deal saved my brother? How do I get my mother to make the deal that saves my brother?” Lilith asked, sound more than a little angry and desperate.
“Hmm, I have tried many times to get your parents to make a deal with me. I see that one day you will have a sister. Is that not acceptable to you? Would you prefer her to be a brother? That could be arranged,” the mirror replied.
“NO!” Leah shouted. “I want my brother and sister. How do I get my mother to make that deal?”
“A deal is only fair when both parties agree to it willingly. I can’t force your mother to make any deal. But, tell me more about this brother of yours.” In the mirror, Lilith could see images of many faces swirling.
“My brother and sister are twins,” She said.
“Hmmm, I see. So it’s a life you wish to bargain for,” the mirror replied. Lilith stared at the mirror for a moment trying to figure out exactly what was going on. The mirror pushed on, “You aren’t the Lilith I know. You’re too articulate, too steady on your feet. Tell me young one, who are you.”
“Don’t call me young one!” Lilith yelled at the mirror. Then she remembered that there were others in the house that might hear her. Her mother and father were somewhere nearby.
“Forgive me young one.” the mirror replied.
“What deal do I have to make to get my brother back?” Lilith asked the mirror.
“Hmmm… I have a need that only you could provide. If you carry a soul for me, I will give you back your brother.” The mirror flashed an image of Lilith’s brother and sister.
“What do you mean ‘carry a soul’ for you?”
It is very simple, I will place a soul inside you. You and your line will bare my mark until you return that sole to me.”
“What kind of sole?” Lilith asked suspiciously.
“You have the heart of a dragon. If you carry a sole for me until it matures, I will remove it and you will have your brother and sister.”
“You want a shadow dragon, don’t you?” Lilith remembered now. She finally saw it all, the big picture. It wasn’t her mother that made the deal with a demon that caused her to grow up a Tiefling, it was her, here, now. She remembered the demon coming for her and stealing away a piece of her. She remembered seeing the shadow dragon flying away into the darkness.
“Wise beyond your years.” The mirror quipped.
“Fine, I’ll do it. Just give me my brother back.”
A moment later, Lilith was back in her own body, her own time. She rummaged through her backpack to find her diary. Frantically she flipped through the pages until she found what she was looking for… a sketch of her brother and sister standing arm in arm. She read passage after passage until she cried. Memories came flooding back to her in waves. She had her brother and sister back.
Now she all she had to do was rebuild the trust she destroyed with her father, the king of dragons…The Resplendent One.