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Beyond “Rise of Tiamat” – A Request for Encounters and Ideas (Possible Spoilers for Tyranny of Dragons)

First of all: Endrue, Urakash, Silovee, Shadow and Nim… close this post now.

Are they gone…? Ok we can speak freely.

I am currently at the tail end stretch of Rise of Tiamat with level 16 PC's. I have run mostly the same group through the entirety of Tyranny of Dragons from level one for the last three years. I'm a very lucky DM to have a group willing to play 3-4 hours every week!

That being said, I'd like to continue the story to let the heroes grow to their full power of level 20 by taking the fight directly to Tiamat in Avernus. Presumably, they will disrupt the ritual at the Well of Dragon but that doesn't stop Tiamat; it merely delays her. They want to end her for good.

What I am asking for is any encounter suggestions or plot lines they can follow when entering into Avernus. I have the Descent into Avernus book to get me started but that's for low-mid level characters and these PC's are BEEFY (I made the newbie DM mistake of overloading magic items early on).

A few notes on changes to the traditional campaign I have made that they will need to resolve:

1) The Dracorage Mythal has been found to be a major influence over the chromatic dragons. It was created millennia ago by a cabal of chromatic dragons (one of each flavor) and High Elves with the intent of joining forces and ruling the world as they saw fit. The elves did not know that this was a ruse and the spell fused the dragons together to create Tiamat and extend her influence across Faerun. With the creation Dracorage Mythal came two spells: Aggravate Dracorage and Abate Dracorage. Aggravate is cast on chromatic dragon to drive them into evil and make them easier to influence. Generally used by the cult however adult chromatics are also compelled to cast it on their young as they hatch, perpetuating the cycle. Abate Dracorage removed this affect and brings the dragon back to a neutral alignment. The Mythal is rumored to be in Avernus somewhere.

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2) The Pit Fiend, Bel, has reached out to the party trying to create a pact to help them stop Tiamat's return (since he wants her to remain in Avernus and be a thorn in Zariel's side). They denied his pact. When going to Avernus to kill Tiamat, I imagine the sides will swap: Zariel will now want to help them and Bel will want to thwart their efforts.

My current thoughts on how this will proceed are as follows:

They will travel to Avernus somehow (Plane shift after acquiring tuning fork to Avernus (might make them plane shift to Mechanus to have one made), locked hell gate they found in high forest, etc.), Travel through Avernus with various encounters such as the War Machines, Wandering Emporium. Meet either Bel or Zariel depending which way they travel, get info on the Dracorage and attempt to dispel/destroy it. Get info on Tiamat and attempt a final showdown to kill her. (For my game's sake and a true hero wrap-up, she would be well and truly dead should they succeed since they destroyed/dispelled the source of her creation. None of this multi-spheric nonsense.)

My questions for you all more are these: Do you have any suggestion for how to flesh this story out further? I am also looking for cool high-level encounters or ways to mess with the party further while they are in Avernus. Any and all ideas are encouraged and welcome. I appreciate all help!

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TL;DR: High Level Party of 5 (17-20) are going to Avernus to try to destroy an artifact and kill Tiamat. Do you have any suggestions for encounters or fun plot points I can add?

Source: reddit.com

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