"I had to go through an entire montage to get here!"
—Briv, Heroes of the Vale
Watch Heroes of the Vale – Chapter 2, Episode 7: Bag World 2
You can also listen to our show as a podcast!
Our heroes are 8th-level characters:
- Todd Kenreck as the Dungeon Master
- Keen, Eladrin Eldritch Knight Fighter played by TJ Storm
- Briv, Half-Orc Cavalier Fighter/Barbarian played by Adam Bradford
- Penelope, Halfling Circle of Land Druid played by Hope LaVelle
- Alyndra Alexandria Garanahil Sarrbarand, Lorekeeper of Rime Spiro, Kinscribe of Clan Monkeymouse, High Elf Cleric/Wizard played by Jen Kretchmer
- Orkira, Dragonborn Light Domain Cleric played by Lauren Urban
Keen Dayapreth sits in his room in the Feywild, redecorating for the oncoming spring. Surrounded by the bright colors and greenery of the season, he has finished polishing one of his dragon skulls and is in the middle of polishing the second, when he hears a barely perceptible whisper upon the wind. He focuses on the elusive sound and hears the voice of Alyndra, pleading for help. She's trapped—inside a bag? From under Keen's door wriggles that very same bag, with glowing eyes and gnashing teeth. It leaps at Keen, and clamps its fangs down upon his skull, and Keen allows himself to slide straight into the bag's gullet.
Now travel back in time with the Heroes of the Vale to four friends trapped in a world inside of a bag. But instead of finding their own escape, in this timeline Keen joins them on their adventures! For Keen he remembers everything that has happened in Chapters 1 + 2, but the rest of his companions are five years in the past...
It’s the morning after being eaten by the bag, and Briv, Alyndra, Penelope and Orkira are wakened by the sound of Keen screaming as he falls from the sky. Before he can come to any harm, Alyndra casts feather fall, and Keen lands gracefully upon the grass. Keen looks about his companions in confusion; he remembers seeing them just yesterday, but in that short time their appearance has changed dramatically. Penelope looks younger, Briv is wearing armor again, and Orkira is several inches shorter. Since she is in naught but a nightgown, Keen offers the dragonborn his cape, and she uses it to fashion a skirt as they all fill him in on what has transpired. They are headed to an obsidian tower to talk to a wizard who might have the power to teleport them out of the bag.
After traveling across a blasted wasteland the group arrive at the tower. Vordrid, an ancient wizard with a chiseled physique which would make a bodybuilder weep tears of amazement, asks why they have returned. Despite his attempts to disguise his intentions, Vordird lets slip several times that this is not the first meeting he has had with the Heroes of the Vale, much to their confusion. In exchange for his services to help them escape the bag, Vordrid urges the group head to the Enchanted Wood and defeat a black dragon that has been menacing the creatures who reside inside. At first everyone is reluctant; Briv threatens to fight Vordrid instead, and when the wizard crows that he is safe atop his high wall. Orkira flies up to be face to face. He attacks the dragonborn, but his "attack" is merely arcane silly string. They all trade insults until Briv suddenly asks if Vordrid lives alone. Sensing the wizard might actually be lonely Penelope asks if he has thought about making the dragon a friend. The talk about friendship and feelings puts Vordrid off guard, and he offers Penelope the chance to cast the spell wish. The sweet, friendly halfling immediately wishes that she and the grumpy wizard were friends.
Everyone can feel a strange shift in the universe as the wish becomes reality and—against all odds—Penelope and Vordrid become friends.
A few more details are gathered; the black dragon is named Korthis, it has an army of orcs under its control, and the creatures in the Enchanted Forest might be able to offer help in their battle. Vordrid says the trip is a half day's ride from his tower, and when the group ask for something to ride on he summons a talking donkey pulling a cart to carry them. Orkira presses the wizard for any further information that will help them, and Alyndra uses detect thoughts to read his mind. She finds that Vordrid is having the time of his life, is deliriously happy with this day, and is filled with love and joy that this is happening. When she probes deeper she can feel there are multiple different memories of this day in his head, as if he has encountered the Heroes of the Vale many times before under similar—but distinct—circumstances.
Excited to get going on the adventure, Penelope introduces herself to the donkey and insists they go as quickly as possible. In an attempt to help with his speed Alyndra casts haste on the donkey, and before Briv can get into the cart it rockets across the landscape leaving the half-orc in the dust! Only when camp is set up for the night does Briv finally catch up, angry at being left behind but accepting the apology from the donkey. He mentions how dragons are sometimes, apparently, attracted to donkeys, but fails to convince anyone to allow them to be used as a distraction. Before they bed down for the night Penelope uses vines and twigs to set up a “friendship trap” to try and catch a unicorn, hoping she can meet one and then learn to Wild Shape into that form.
Keen agrees to stay up and watch as the rest of his friends get a long rest, meditating on seeing them looking younger and more innocent then he remembers. He is lulled into his trance by the sounds of the forest, but the night passes without issue. The next morning they all wake up to find a unicorn standing in Penelope’s friendship trap, licking her face to rouse her. The halfling is beside herself with glee, and immediately uses her Wild Shape to transform into a unicorn! Noticing that the donkey is looking a bit insecure, Briv quickly fashions a horn out of some leather straps and a stick and attaches it to the donkey’s head.
As Penelope returns to her normal form the unicorn asks, “How may I help you, child of the forest?” Upon hearing they are looking for allies in the fight against the black dragon, it promises all the unicorns will come to their aid. However, an army of hundreds of orcs fights at the dragon's side, and there are only five unicorns to aid the heroes. So the unicorn recommends beseeching help from a powerful old creature named Valarian, who lives upon the cliffside. The group head up to the cliff to find an ancient treant who recognizes Alyndra, claiming she is not what she thinks she is and that there is something dryad in her veins. Valarian says she was planted there hundreds of years ago by Vordrid to be here to aid Alyndra, and is happy to help them.
From the edge of the forest a legion of battle-ready orcs dragging loaded catapults arrive. These creatures have strange pig heads and their commander, a ten-foot-tall orc sporting a mohawk, leads the charge. Alyndra takes a position at the top of the cliff overlooking the battlefield and casting haste on Briv, who uses his new speed to jump into the cart ride it down the hillside into the fray. Keen switches into his fiery summer form, conjuring a cloud of daggers around himself, and leaping onto the back of a unicorn. Penelope rides nearby on her own unicorn, Avren’s pistol in hand, as Orkira soars overhead aiming to attack the catapults.
It’s an epic sight.
The black dragon appears as his roar rattles the armor of all the creatures below, flying high over the battle, but Penelope adroitly casts earthbind and pulls it down to the ground. Seeing it being brought low, Briv leaps off the cart, using his skill and momentum to meet the beast in the air and deliver a flurry of devastating blows. Intent on engaging the leader of this army, Keen uses his Fey Step to teleport directly behind the orc commander and begins his own assault on the pig-headed creature. Alyndra sends a fireball deep into the army, aiming it perfectly so it includes the Commander but does not touch her friends, and decimating their ranks. Inspired by all of the fire from her friends, Orkira casts her own fireball at the catapults, causing them to explode into cinder and ash.
Broken and defeated, the remnants of the orc army turns to run as the dragon finally lands on the ground. It tries to breath and claw at Briv, but the half-orc cavalier raises his shield and creates his impervious force field to protect himself. Penelope approaches the dragon and uses charm monster to try and make friends, and despite her worries the spell works and the massive creature calms down. With a sudden flash Vordrid appears, and Penelope convinces him to chat with the dragon about why each of them are so angry and to settle their differences.
Alyndra takes a moment to ask the treant about the information it wanted to share. Quietly the treant tells her that she is not an elf, and that great sacrifices will have to be made. Vordrid agrees to honor his part of the bargain to return the Heroes back to their world, but first he hands Alyndra a box and says it was left as a gift for her from her mother. Inside is the egg of a blue dragon! Despite her delight Alyndra has misgivings about how dangerous chromatic dragons are, though Briv and Penelope think it’s a wonderful gift. Orkira exclaims that all dragons are nasty and horrible, no matter the color of their scales, but she trusts Alyndra to be able to raise one to be kind.
As they continue to bicker over the egg Vordrid suddenly reveals that he was Avren all along, and in a flash banishes them back out of the bag! They appear in a strange silver and gold vault with magic items along the wall, and an alarm starts to blare! Briv and Keen immediately start grabbing anything of value they can find, but are interrupted by huge iron statues who’s eyes erupt with fire and move towards them menacingly. Everyone flees out a set of double doors onto a walkway overlooking the city they are in, but it’s a strange sight filled with flying ships and buildings taller than anyone has ever seen. Below them are five ancient golden statues, each one depicting one of the friends, as a tiefling woman nearby says“Those are the Heroes of the Vale, they died over 100 years ago fighting the mind flayers.”
How will this timeline merge with the other one? Can our heroes avoid dying while saving the world from mind flayers? And where is the Bag now? Our next episode airs Wednesday, August 7th at 2pm PT, join us then to find out!
Lauren "OboeCrazy" Urban is the Community Manager for D&D Beyond, as well as a professional classical musician on oboe and English Horn. When she's not playing a Bard in real life she's a prolific Dungeon Master and player on a variety of livestreams and podcasts. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband Luke where they spend their free time playing video games and drinking tea. The best way to keep up with Lauren's busy schedule is to follow her on Twitter at @OboeCrazy.