Legends and Lore

Dead or Alive?! (Episode 14)

As the lizardfolk tribe continued to surround several of the companions, in particular Mongo and Altain, Wolven continued to fire a continuous barrage of arrows from afar. Robyn, badly wounded, then saw his opportunity for escape and dropped below the waters surface in an attempt to swim to safety.

Last seen near the shoreline, Fin was now noticeably absent as the throngs of lizardfolk continued swarm the companions.

Then Altain finally managed to remove himself from the bloody mass, and quickly moved to a safer location a short distance away. But as he turned around he saw his dwarven companion surrounded by nearly a dozen lizardmen. Somehow Mongo had managed to remain standing, and even more impressive was the fact that it was beginning to look as though the dwarf might prevail! But then another wave of lizardfolk warriors began moving into the murky waters from the shoreline, and hope began to fade. Guilt began to overwhelm Altain, and it wasn’t long before he found himself wading back into the conflict. But the eladrin was too badly wounded, and soon found himself flanked by two lizardmen. Then a blow struck him from behind. Altain collapsed into the murky waters face first, and slowly his body sank below its dark surface.

Now all alone, Mongo was nearly surrounded, yet he continued to stand his ground. But soon the dwarf noticed that he was all that remained of the five companions, and all hope began to fade. Mongo was badly injured, and it was a wonder that the dwarf had managed to remain standing as blow after blow continued to rain down upon the massively outnumbered dwarf. He was proving to be a credit to the dwarven race, a stout people who refuse to quit even in the bleakest of times, but even a proud dwarf has his limits. Finally, battered and bloodied, the dwarf began to stumble before finally throwing down his axe in defeat. His head hung low as he attempted to raise his hands – wondering if the death blow would soon follow?

Death wasn’t to be however, as Mongo soon found himself stumbling through the misty marsh with his hands tied behind his back. Blood trickled into his eyes as he attempted to figure out where the lizardmen might be taking him, but he couldn’t be sure. Desperately he scanned the area for others, but none could be found. Then he spotted Altain, but the prospect didn’t look good, as the Eladrin’s lifeless body could be seen slumped over the shoulder of a large, ten-foot tall, blackscale lizardman. Where the others might be Mongo couldn’t be certain, and he was left to hope that some might have escaped.

An hour later Fin and Wolven unexpectedly met at the Queen’s Stone, both somehow had managed to avoid being captured and killed. Each was now hoping to find anything of interest left behind by the lizardfolk tribe. There was little of interest however, with the exception of the triangular horned symbol etched into the sides of the sacrificial stone. The symbol confirmed Robyn’s theory and both companions now had little doubt that the symbol represented a black dragon. Atop the stone Fin soon discovered yet another symbol – one which he often referred to as a setting sun. Nothing else was found however, so the two companion began making their way east in hopes of catching up to the lizardfolk tribe that was last seen with two of their companions.

Later that night a bit of luck was finally had as Altain and Wolven discovered Robyn sneaking around the dark tower amongst the lizardfolk ruins. The chance meeting was a welcomed one, as the group now knew that their final two companions were the only ones missing. They were being held prisoner inside the Dark Tower, and the three companions began contemplating just how to go about getting them out. Rocks were thrown in an attempt to draw the two lizardmen guards away from their post at the front doors, but only one left. It seemed too risky to attack though, and the plot was aborted. There were eight lizardmen guards around the perimeter of the tower and the three comrads hoped to avoid any unnecessary conflicts. Other lizardmen could also be seen in the distance standing guard in various locations of the swamp. Sounding any sort of alarm could end in the capture or death of them all, and caution seemed the wise choice. It was then decided that the group would wait out the changing of the guard, but this too provided no opportunities throughout the night, as all eight guards changed every four hours.

Finally as dawn began to approach Fin overheard the guards discussing the apparent schedule for the upcoming evening. The companions were to be sacrificed together at the Queen’s Stone that night! It was to be a rare double-sacrifice that seemed to excite the lizardmen. They then continued their discussion with mention of their undying devotion to “The Great Lizard King”, then breaking into a deep laughter at the irony of it all, and the all too fitting name of the black dragon – Nightmare! It was with this new information that the three companions began to hatch a plan for an attempted rescue. They then hurried off towards the Queen’s Stone to prepare.

Once again headed west the three remaining companions decided to sneak up on a group of heavily cloaked monks that had been spotted numerous times in the past amongst the lizardfolk ruins. They had seen the monks head west earlier that morning and speculated that they were most likely returning to the sacrificial Queen’s Stone. Nearly an hour into their travel west they noted the cloaked monks not far off in the fog-ridden swamp. It was there that the companions surprised the cloaked group which allowed them to quickly kill several before the enemy was able to react. Although slow to react, the cloaked monks seemed ready for battle as each pulled a longsword from inside its cloak as they broke rank. It quickly became obvious as the cloaked figures closed that they were in fact not human at all, but their cloaks made it difficult to discern their true identities. Robyn then delivered a deadly strike with his enchanted dagger, but it was what happened next that shocked him, as the creature turned to stone immediately – nearly trapping the half-orcs dagger inside the strange creature! The battle continued, as one after another of the cloaked figures was killed before suddenly turning to stone. Then as the battle neared its conclusion the true identity of the hooded figures was finally revealed when they pulled back their hoods, and then spread their wings previously tucked beneath their cloaks. But what were they? The creatures resembled dragon-men with wings, and their existence seemed nothing short of unnatural. Savagely the remaining few rushed to attack their ambushers. Fin wondered if he dared strike any of the attackers with his hands or fists, but their was little time to ponder. He swung quickly at the next enemy to close in, and struck the dragon-man dead before hurridly removing his hand just in time to witness the creature turning to stone. It was a close call, and Fin could only imagine what might have happened if his reaction time was insufficient? The battle had ended nearly as quickly as it had begun. The companions, surprised at the unexpected revalation of winged dragon-men, then moved in carefully to inspect the stone statues of their enemy, but there was little time as each suddenly crumbled to dust!

The companions contemplated the question of why dragon-men would apparently ally themselves with the lizardfolk? It was with questions such as these that the group continued their travel westward towards the Queen’s Stone. They had begun to form a rescue to plan, and if it failed… well it just simply couldn’t because if it did… Once again the thought was left unfinished – failure was not an option.

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Nightmare!!! (Episode 13)

After tending to their badly injured and unconscious companion, Altain, it was decided that one of the groups valuable potions should be used to revive him. Wolven carefully poured the strange concoction down the eladrin’s throat, and then sat by with the others and patiently waited. Finally Altain began to moan and cough before his eyes slowly opened. After he was alert and ready the group prepared to continue west from the dark tower. The information they had gathered had once again given them a direction in which to pursue, and something known as the “Queen’s Stone” apparently stood somewhere to the west, so westward they went.

It was raining heavily in the misty, fog filled swamp. Visibility was down to a mere fifty feet. Then within the hour a small shrine was spotted up ahead, little more than a small and dark silhouette in the thick fog. The group pressed ahead wondering if it might be the “Queen’s Stone”? Soon they were met near the small shrines entry by two dragonmen guards carrying swords, and their shields were emblazoned with the now all too familiar symbol of what the companions were now referring to as a rising sun. After a short exchange of questions, and sarcastic remarks, conflict broke out. The companions had little trouble dispatching of the two dragonmen guards, as they quickly overwhelmed them with their superior numbers. A note was discovered on one of the guards and it was in the draconic script. Fin stepped up to decode the strange symbols. It said the following:

“The preparations have been completed and the ceremony will go ahead as planned.” -Exemplar Koltue

What the note meant none could be sure but it was another clue, and a possible connection to the paper work found in the dark tower earlier.

Once inside the small shrine the group found a water basin that magically refilled with fresh water, and Fin discovered a black obsidian symbol inset into the top of an alter. The symbol reminded Fin of a starfish with five legs, but was not certain on what it might represent. Then he discovered that each one could be pressed down until a small click could be heard. As he pressed each of the five segments down, the alter began to slide forward revealing a descending spiral staircase. With a torch now lit the group descended into the darkness below. There they discovered a large chamber with runes engraved in its stone floor, but it was a ten-foot pyramid of bones and skulls that really got the groups attention. Fin began making a rub of the engraved runes, while Mongo inspected the morbid pyramid of skulls and bones. Mongo’s inspection turned out to be anything but subtle however, as the carefully placed bones and skulls of the pyramid suddenly came crashing down. But with this mess came the ability to carefully inspect many of the bones. Many of them revealed bite marks on the long bones, and many of the skulls contained large holes. Whatever had made the marks must have been larger than anything the group had ever seen!

Later that afternoon the group had once again taken to the swamp and headed west. Wolven and Altain seemed sluggish as the cold and wet conditions took hold, but they pressed on. Nearly two hours later the group spotted human silhouettes in the distant fog. Altain moved ahead hoping to get a better look. Twelve heavily cloaked monks walked in two rows. They were headed westward too, and it was decided that they should be followed. The strange cloaked figures said not a word over the next several hours, they just continued to walk silently straight ahead without even a glance toward their right or left flank. With this, the companions felt comfortable following the apparently unsuspecting monks at a relatively close range of fifty-feet.

Finally as dusk began to fall on the cold and wet marshlands a series of large ruins could be seen jutting out of the distant fog. Large groups of lizardmen and hooded figures could be seen moving about the ruins. The group decided it would be safest to remain about fifty-feet offshore to just observe. The lizardmen were beginning to kneel and pray before a large stone pillar, paying homage to what the companions could only assume was some sort of unseen god-like figure. Then the hooded men also began to take a knee and bow their heads. Silence fell upon the area as a lizard-priest began to lead a human captive up to the top of the towering stone pillar. The captive was chained in place before a short ritual was begun. Then the lizard-priest stepped down and took his place for the religious ceremony. Thoughts of attempting to rescue the man rushed through the minds of many of the companions, but the number of lizardmen attending the ceremony were just too numerous. Not to mention the fact that whatever was being worshipped by these countless throngs had yet to appear, and none wanted to get caught in the middle of whatever was about to take place.

Then suddenly something exploded from the murky waters. It was massive, and as the water rushed from its body the creature’s form became obvious – a huge black dragon! Having never seen such a mythical creature before, many in the group felt a pit in their stomach, and an urge to flee as fear washed over them. But the moment was too mesmerizing, and many were quite frankly too scared to move! The huge dragon moved towards his sacrificial meal, and its long neck lunged forward to feast. It opened its gaping maw and moved for what was sure to be the killing blow – then suddenly the dragon vanished! Then reappeared a short twenty-five feet back, and mistakingly tore into one of the lizardfolk!! Panic filled the area as confusion flooded the minds of the reptilian men. Then the bloody corpse of the hapless lizardman was carelessly tossed to the ground below. Altain continued to watch from afar, safely standing over fifty-feet away and hiding out in the swamp waters, satisfied by the results of his handiwork. But the nightmare was not over for the now terrified man, as the dragon moved towards the “Queen’s Stone” once again, and then ripped the poor victim to shreds with its piercing teeth, before swallowing the shredded remains. Blood rushed over the elevated stone platform and poured over its edges as the huge black dragon took flight, hovered for a few short seconds, and then dove into the marshes murky waters to the north.
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Fear and panic were prevalent throughout the ruins. The lizard-priest and his assistant then moved to the top of the “Queen’s Stone” to get a better view. Wolven watched carefully from a distance, hoping that that the mayhem below might provide him with the opportunity to take a shot at the priest. Drawing back his bowstring he released an arrow, and it proved to be straight and true. The lizard-priest roared in pain, the arrow protruding from its chest. But the decision would soon prove to be an unwise one, as countless lizardmen began massing on the shoreline as they tried to locate the shooter. Soon many began to point in Wolven’s direction, and then took to the water. Only twenty-five feet away from the shore, and much closer to the ruins than his companions, Fin sensed the impending danger of the situation and quickly decided to submerge, disappearing from sight. It didn’t take long before the companions found themselves surrounded by throngs of lizardmen, and the situation began to look dire indeed. The companions fought valiantly, but as the group continued to cut down one enemy after another, the realization began to set in that there were simply too many! Wave after wave, the lizardmen continued to wade into the marsh to attack their once hidden foes, often taunting the group with the threat of “The Great Lizard King” in a broken attempt to speak in the common tongue. The dark swamp water had begun to turn crimson-red as the situation grew more and more dire. It was becoming clear that Wolven’s final shot may have been a mistake, and it had more than one companion wondering if this in fact might be the end?…

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Sacrifice! (Episode 12)

After a short rest the companions entered the mysterious dark tower. Inside two lizard-men guards stood flanking the doors, and quickly reacted with their spears. Soon many of the companions made their way inside, where nearly a dozen other lizardfolk massed for defense. It was during this heated conflict that the dwarf, Mongo, found himself ensnared in one of the lizardman’s nets, and then was dragged over a cracked and unstable area of the tower floor. The weight of the dwarf’s stocky body was too much to bare, and with a sudden crack the floor gave way! Mongo had vanished from sight. Then a loud splash soon followed with screams of horrible agony. A cauldron of acid had been strategically placed below! Above, on the main floor, the struggle against the lizardfolk guards continued while some of the companions attempted to make their way towards the hole in the floor to hopefully help the dwarf.

Below Mongo was struggling to remove himself from the pot of acid, but it proved difficult as he was suddenly attacked by some sort of half-dragon man! Luckily Robyn and Altain had finally made their way below to assist their dwarven companion, but soon found themselves in danger as well, as the dragonborn suddenly released from his mouth a stream of acid at all three companions. The sound of sizzling flesh as well, as the smell, was almost too much to bare but the group continued to keep it together.

The situation grew more intense when the elevator began to rise. Wolven quickly jumped off to avoid being taken up, and joined the fray below. Then as quickly as the elevator had risen it began to descend. Robyn moved quickly to stick his dagger between the chains that operated the lifts simple pulley system, and Altain quickly assisted. They managed to stop the lifts descent, which they knew would buy them more time to finish off the dragon-like man attacking them in the lower chamber. With reinforcements nowhere to be found the strange creature finally met its end, and amazingly Mongo somehow survived his horrific acid bath.

Rest was badly needed, and the group could only hope that the belt Robyn had used to help hold the elevator lift in place might hold while the group was on the mend. Unfortunately the quiet would soon be broken however, as four small green dragon-like men suddenly dropped ropes into the elevator shaft above, breaking the silence. Two of the creatures quickly moved to release the pulley chains while the others attacked. Robyn reacted nearly as quickly and secured the chains once again, but not before the lift had lowered to the floor just above the lower lever. The battle was quick and decisive, but once again the companions were on edge wondering what else might still be lying in wait up above?

Once again the group attempted to get some rest, but was once again interrupted when Altain spotted Robyn’s belt floating from the pulley chains of the elevator lift! Then a small bodiless giggle could be heard as the lift once again began to lower! This time ten lizardmen stormed the lower chamber and the companions once again were forced to fight for their lives. Exhaustion was beginning to set in, along with injuries too numerous to count, yet once again the party managed to prevail. Finally a good nights rest would be had, as the attacks finally fell silent through the remainder of the night. It was during this much needed rest that the companions finally had the opportunity to inspect the strange chamber they now inhabited. Devices of torture and sacrifice were situated throughout, and a rope bridge was strung across a large crevice leading to a pit of human bodies. Cells for prisoners also filled the disturbing chamber, and each of the companions was left to wonder what horrors had been inflicted upon the poor victims that had tragically died there.

The next day they prepared to move towards the upper chambers of the tower using the lift, and on the second floor discovered three dragonmen guards. But as the battle was engaged they quickly discovered that a small imp was also hiding inside the lab along with an Dragonman Wizard! The battle was hotly contested, but the companions disposed of their enemies one by one, until only the wizard remained. Unfortunately it was not without a heavy price however, as Altain was knock unconscious as he pressed the attack while worrying little about his own self preservation. During the fight short negotiations for surrender with the wizard were discussed, but nothing was agreed upon as the battle raged on. The companions were unwilling to allow the dragonman to escape, and his unwillingness to surrender finally ended in his demise. Quickly Altain was tended to, and stabilized, and there was hope that he might survive. It was soon noticed that each of the dragonborn killed carried a shield emblazoned with the strange symbol of a semicircle with five rays rising upward, with the exception of the wizard, who instead wore the unfamiliar symbol around its neck.

Once again bloodied, battered, and bruised the companions tended to their wounds as they began to investigate the premises. What was this strange lab and who were these strange dragonmen? What were they doing in this dark tower in the middle of a swamp? Where had they come from? There were many questions that needed answering, and the group hoped to find some answers amongst the many papers and books contained in the strange lab they now stood. There the companions discovered several thick tomes. One covered the history of an ancient empire known as Arkhosia, and the other a history of the legendary empire of Bael Turath. Also amongst the many documents and papers the group discovered several writings which contained a number of recent dates. But one of the dates had yet to occur, and was apparently set for the following evening when it appeared that something involving a “Nightmare” was suppose to take place. It also appeared that all the events were scheduled for a sacred location known as the “Queen’s Stone”, which was apparently located somewhere to the west. Another scroll mentioned the “Great Lizard King” which the lizardfolk apparently worshiped as a god-like figure. The lab had proven to be a treasure trove of information, but it was going to take time before any of the companions could possibly make sense of it all.

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Ruins of Darkness (Episode 11)

During the groups rest in the ruined temple a number of the companions decided to inspect the numerous statues more closely. It was during this inspection that many of the statues were noted to posses shields emblazoned with the symbols of the ancient gods. Many were believed to be gods of good, including Sehanine’s symbol of the crescent moon, but one in particular was vandalized heavily. This defaced statue instead bore an unrecognizable symbol which was engraved over the previous symbol. This new symbol resembled a rising sun over the horizon with five rays projecting outward from the half-circle.

Finally after resting, it was time to delve deeper into the dark swamplands. It was only a short time later that a ruined tower was spotting through the thick fog. Robyn and Wolven quickly moved ahead quietly before overhearing what sounded like the draconic tongue? Then Robyn spotted a small lizard-like reptile guarding a hole in the wall, where there once undoubtedly stood doors. Robyn skillfully tumbled past the unsuspecting creature before ambushing two lizardfolk guards. But Wolven was less fortunate as the reptile guarding the entrance apparently picked up on his scent and quickly attacked. It didn’t take long for the remainder of the companions to catch up before entering the fray. Skillfully the group made quick work of the enemy outpost before taking up a search of the ruined tower. Humanoid bones littered the area inside, and the floors above had long since rotted away, but it was a dark stairwell that spiraled into the darkness below that caught the groups attention.

Slowly the group descended, with torch light guiding the way, before suddenly coming to an abrupt stop near the bottom. It was there that they came to what appeared to be a small ten by ten antechamber with draconic symbols etched into the stone floor. A stone door stood opposite about ten feet away. Unwilling to step upon the runes which none could decipher the group decided to return to the ruined temple for a good nights rest. Hopefully with a new day, and a much needed rest, would come a better understanding of the mysterious runes.

The next day they returned to the single story tower, and descended the dark spiral staircase. One of the companions thought they might recognize the third rune as the draconic rune of death, but couldn’t be certain. Each of the companions carefully made their way around this particular symbol as they moved towards the stone doorway. The stone door proved difficult to open due to its immense weight, but eventually Mongo and Altain managed to force it open. Inside was a large cavern with sheer cliffs on the entrance side, and opposite, with a cavern floor twenty feet below. It was on this lower floor that a grisly sight was discovered, as nearly a dozen bloody and maimed bodies lay on the ground below! Slowly the group made their way down the sheer twenty-foot cliffs to inspect the disturbing scene. Several of the bodies showed some sort of burns, but the group could only guess at what the culprit might have been. Meanwhile Fin had taken note of a large crevasse on the opposite plateau twenty-feet above, and quickly began to make his way to the opposite side of the cavern to inspect the crack. As he pulled himself to the top however curiosity quickly gave way to terror, as he suddenly found himself face to face with a one eyed floating orb covered with numerous eye stalks! With a quick yell for help the battle quickly escalated as the floating eye blasted rays from it’s numerous eye-stalks faster than many could react. Some of the rays slowed movement, while others blasted scorching rays of fire! The cavern echoed with the sounds of combat until the gauth finally fell due to a massive blow by the half-orc Robyn. The group had been wounded, but fortunately no one met their end in the brutal encounter.

At the bottom of the rift, where the gauth had apparently risen from, several old books were discovered. One broke the draconic script down into the more simple to understand common tongue. Another of the books spoke of the past three-hundred years of the history in the region, but just whose perspective it was written from seemed uncertain. After fully inspecting the area the group made its way back to the surface.

The group continued to make their way westward, trudging through the knee deep swamp waters, when they suddenly spotted another tower up ahead. This tower was different however, as it stood several stories high and seemed in somewhat good condition. Gargoyles adorned the corners of the towers roof as if watching anyone who dared approach. Quietly the group made their way towards the large structure, undoubtedly anxious to find another bit of dry ground. Then as they approached the door something suddenly swooped down from above! Shocked the group quickly mobilized against the attack. It seemed like nothing short of a children’s bed time story – the gargoyles had literally come to life! There was little time to ponder the reality of it all as several of the gargoyles suddenly landed amongst the group, their stone claws and fists wreaking havoc. Then just when it appeared the companions had gained the upper hand the gargoyle would suddenly turn to solid stone that was nearly impossible to destroy. Then just as suddenly the creature would quickly transform back to flesh and deliver a massive blow. Yet through this adversity the group once again fought valiantly side by side, and eventually disposed of all four of their foes.

Several of the companions had been badly injured in the fray, and it was decided that they should take a short rest in order to tend to their wounds. None were anxious to limp beyond the stone tower doors in fear of what might be lurking beyond – possibly waiting hungrily for its next meal…

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The Lost Caravan (Episode 10)

It was time to move onward with heavy hearts. The groups lost companion, Dirk, would surely be missed in the dark and dangerous swamplands of the Misty Marshes. A few hours into their wet and miserable journey the group came across a pile of what appeared to be human skulls, with long bones standing at the center of the pile on end, and topped by one final skull. It was a disturbing sight that many in the group concluded must certainly be some sort of territorial marker. None could be sure but the companions felt they were most likely entering the lizard-mens territory. These markers continued to be seen in increasing frequency as they moved further ahead, and many were on edge pondering if these skulls might be the remains of any number of the vanishing caravans of the past? Some seemed older than others, but none could be sure of the affects the swamp might have on the skulls.

It was nearing noon when the group came upon another wreckage of wagons along the sunken road. Much older than their previous discovery it was yet another clue speaking to them about the past. Could it possibly be as simple as a lizardfolk tribe jumping the unsuspecting caravans, and if so how did several others successfully make the trip? With these thoughts flooding their collective memories the group once again began to press ahead.

Shorty after the tension suddenly broke, as poisoned darts once again whistled from the marshy mists. Then oversized bat-like mesquitos assailed the group. The group quickly found themselves in trouble. The number of lizardfolk attackers couldn’t be discerned, but the group was certain they killed a few before the others fled. But the stirges were another matter, as the blood sucking critters nearly drained the life from more than one member. Thankfully the six flying bat-like creatures were finally put down but it was a close call. Robyn, realizing his good fortune, was certain he wanted nothing to do with the likes of them ever again.

It was during this conflict that a dwarven straggler came out of nowhere to assist the companions. His name was Mongo, and he was apparently lost in this very deadly land. He told the party of the lizardfolk tribe that littered the area, and of strange hooded folk he had spotted several days earlier walking in the distant foggy mist. After a short conversation it was decided that the dwarven warden should join the group. After a short trek dusk began to fall and the group decided to set camp, and although the night was full of strange noises, the group woke well rested the next morning.

The next day as afternoon approached ruins were spotted in the distant fog. Robyn and Fin decided to approach stealthily as Wolven followed a short distance back. Inside the temple ruins the two spotted several lizard-men guards. The took up a position in the shadows flanking the ruins entrance. It didn’t take long before the guards made their way outside, apparently spotting the other group members approaching in the distance. After a short skirmish the lizardfolk guards were defeated, and a short rest was in order. But Fin was unwilling to let down his guard fearing further attack by other lizardfolk holed up inside the unwelcoming ruins. His fears were soon realized as he suddenly came under attack as he entered the premises. Quickly others raced to help their accosted team member, but just when it appeared all was under control a draconic order suddenly echoed through the ruins. Then a giant lizard-man suddenly appeared from around a nearby corner. It was a blackscale, and the power behind his blows was evident by the creatures immense size! Fortunately the companions proved the better once again, killing all advesaries, with the exception of one lizard shaman. This one they trapped in a corner before attempting to parlay, but unfortunately the draconic tongue was no easy task to decipher. Finally several in the group decided to do away with the lesser creature of the swamp, as they beat it to death as it crouched helplessly in the corner. Others feeling disturbed by the sudden course of events merely walked away, choosing not to witness what they felt was nothing short of cold blooded murder.

Little talk took place during the rest inside the ruins, as many thoughts turned towards the bloody corner nearby. What had just happened and why? The sheer brutality of the moment shocked more than a few in the group. Relationships now seemed strained amongst several in the group, and many wondered what the long term implications might be? The two killers, Robyn and Altain however had other thoughts, as they focused on something the lizard mystic had said as the final blows fell – Drathmar, Drathmar, Drathmar.

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The Misty Marshes (Episode 9)

Upon waking, the group quickly packed up camp and continued their trek northward. There still had been no sign of a road, or anything remotely resembling the remains of any such man made structures up to this point. Many in the group began to openly question the decision to press onward deeper into the mysterious swamp. Wet, cold, miserable, and tired many felt it was time to head back to the Deadwood Forest to the south. After a short discussion it was finally agreed that the group would press northward for the time being. It was often during these heated discussions that Fin LaVie began to notice that Dirk was often following his lead, and agreeing with Fin on what might be the best course of action. It seemed a bit odd, but then again Fin couldn’t argue with such sound judgement.

Later that day the companions began to notice a presence nearby, as though the group was being watched. Then late that night their fears were realized when Altain was hit with a poison dart while the remainder of the camp was asleep. Luckily others woke due to Altains words of warning before the surprised Eladrin fell unconscious. However not much else came from the short lived attack, as several shots into the marshes were believed to have hit their mark, but no bodies were ever found? The group did manage to catch a quick glimpse of their attackers however, lizard-men, before they managed to vanished into the dark waters of the surrounding swamp.

The next day a submerged road was finally discovered as the group continued pressing northward. It was then decided that the caravan in which they sought had most likely already passed. This lead to the decision to head west in the hopes of catching up to the caravan. It wasn’t long before ruts in the mud below the waters surface would lead the group directly to the wagons. But what they discovered was not a pleasing sight as wagons stood nearly wheel deep in the mud and water, their skeletal horses still strapped into their harnesses! It appeared to be some sort of ambush, but the supplies of the caravan were strangely intact? Arrows and a few small darts providing the only little evidence to what might have happened. It was then decided that the hours were growing late, and the group decided to set camp nearby the wreckage. It was during this late hour that someone took note of four parallel tears in one of the covered wagons. Each was spaced approximately ten inches apart, they appeared to be the large claw marks of an unnamed creature.

Then during that nights rest Altain heard something moving in the water somewhere out in the darkness. Nervously he awoke his companions while the sounds of snapping wood broke the silence of the night. Soon the large creature came into sight, it’s large green body covered with numerous large warts – a troll. The massive creature stood atleast twelve foot, and it’s heavy breathing could now be heard sniffing the night air. Then it picked up on the parties scent and the first volleys were quickly released towards the massive enemy as it approached. But to the groups dismay they soon witnessed the creatures wounds healing nearly as fast as they were inflicted. The troll was regenerating before their eyes! Then the creature landed a massive blow with its fist, and Altain collapsed unconscious!! Luckily one of the companions retrieved the unconscious man from the water before his lungs fatally filled with the putrid waters of the swamp. The battle continued for nearly a minute until finally the large troll fell. Relief rushed over the group as they contemplated their good fortune. Then suddenly the creature burst up from the dark waters and fatally struck Dirk with a massive blow to the head, killing the unfortunate rogue instantly! Quickly the others rushed to fell the beast once again, but it was too late for Dirk. His lifeless body was beyond repair, his head crushed in on the left side from the powerful blow.

This time a burning arrow fired by Wolven dropped the regenerating troll once and for all. It was from this fortunate shot, and the need for a light source, that the companions discovered the power of fire over their now fallen enemy. Shortly after the group witnessed an incredible sight the like of which none had ever witnessed before. The unconscious Altain was given one of the mysterious liquids the group had discovered earlier in their journey, and the Eladrin’s wounds began to mend before their very eyes, and then swordmage’s eyes slowly began to open! It was an elixer of healing from ancient times long forgotten, and the group found themselves marveling at its divine power. Unfortunately such gifts were nothing short of a miracle during these dark times, and all quickly came to the realization that each should be used only under the most dire of circumstances.

The remaining companions took to the nearby trees for protection for the remainder of the night. With heavy hearts over the loss of yet another companion each began to ponder their own mortality. It would prove to be yet another difficult night, as another emotional loss wore on many of the companions. Then as the gray-dawn of the Misty Marshes approached, the group listened as nearly a dozen crocodiles tore the final pieces of flesh from the nearby troll carcass. Never had each been more thankful for trees than on this night.

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A Hero's Welcome (Episode 8)

After departing Kiris Dahn the group headed towards Treona’s Tower on the outskirts of the Deadwood Forest. On the first night the group prepared to rest after finding what looked to be a good spot to make camp. The early part of the night passed uneventfully until Dirk’s watch. It was then that a dark panther-like cat suddenly sprang from behind the unsuspecting rogue! Luckily, Altain was already well rested and quickly reacted in an attempt to protect his travel companion. It was during this attempt to drive off the large feline that large tentacles were noticed protruding from behind the strange creatures front shoulders! There was no time to contemplate however, as the Eladrin swordmage moved to strike but somehow missed? Struggling to focus, Altain noticed the cats uncanny ability to displace its location – seemingly appearing in one spot and then actually being in another! The remainder of camp quickly awoke following the sudden attack. Soon each of the companions engaged the beast, each in the group fighting to their strengths. Finally the displacer beast was put down after a difficult battle. Thankfully none of the group had fallen, and it was becoming evident that their combat prowess was growing through their numerous experiences together.

A day and a half later the group finally arrived at the old stone tower. There they were warmly welcomed by Treona, who excitedly ushered them inside before calling Kiris Alkirk down to join them. Soon the group shared their experiences, and then presented Treona with the remnants of the slaying stone. Treona seemed relieved at the success of the project, and showed little disappointment in the fact that the companions had found it necessary to use the stone. She also seemed elated at the return of her five requested books retrieved from the ruins. As the night grew late and the talk of adventure died down the group was once again invited to spend the evening. The next morning a hearty breakfast was served while Treona disappeared upstairs to fetch something important in order to show the group her appreciation. Soon she returned with a strange reddish tinted set of leather armor called Crimson. Her eyes gleamed as she presented the ancient armor to the companions while explaining its importance in history to the Kiris family. Shockingly the group soon learned that the armor was in fact over four-hundred years old! The group was stunned at Treona’s generosity. All agreed that Altain would dawn the enchanted leather armor. After all he often found himself deep amongst the enemy and would make the best use of the amazing gift.

Not long after, the group departed north towards the swamp lands. The companions made the decision to avoid the deep interior of the Deadwood Forest in order to avoid the undead spirits of those forsaken woods. They had decided that they were too late to catch the departure of the merchant caravan from New Haven anyway, and instead made the fateful decision to head the caravan off somewhere to the north in the Misty Marshes. Quickly they moved northward realizing that their plan might prove to be a long shot, but still willing to take the chance. None of the companions had ever been in the mysterious marshes before, but many in the group had heard its legendary tales. Stories of strange lizard-men were often bantered about in local taverns, as well as mysterious lights off in the distance. It was well known that more than one hapless explorer had vanished out in the deep and forboding mists.

The next day the group began to sense the approaching marshes as the ground below their feet took on a spongy consistency, before finally giving way to ankle deep water several hours later. The damp and putrid smell of rotting foliage and stagnant water filled the senses as the group pressed deeper still. Sounds of insects and frogs filled the air making it difficult to hear much else. Soon the group was soaked from head to toe as they pressed onward, slowly making their way north to what they hoped would be some semblance of a washed out road. The marshes waters were now knee deep as the group struggled ahead until they finally came upon a small piece of dry land with several trees. It was there that they agreed to set camp for the night, unwilling to press their luck in finding another dry campsite.

It was this first night surrounded in the deep darkness of the swamp that the fog began to roll in as air temperatures began to noticably drop. Then the first of the legendary lights suddenly appeared in the distant darkness. At first the group tried to ignore the mysterious lights, but finally fell into temptation as some decided to investigate. Little did they expect the hypnotic effect that soon overcame several of the companions, as the lights began to pull them farther out into the fog filled darkness. Thankfully the affected companions soon broke the trance however, and returned to the safety of the campfire, but only after attempting to attack the strange floating lights. A passionate discussion ensued amongst the group leading many to agree that the lights were best left alone. Finally it was decided that guard duty would be continued throughout the night, while the strange lights continued their vigilant watch in the distance.

Several hours later the camp was awoken by a sudden flurry of activity as Robyn was nearly eaten by a large crocodile! Thankfully the half-orc managed to scrample away with limbs intact. It was at this moment that the strange lights began to close in on the camp as well, apparently looking to take advantage of the sudden panick! But once again the group fought bravely as one, and the hungry reptile finally met its end. Then the strange lights returned to hover in the distance, ever watchful. It had only been a half a night in the dark and misty swampland, and many were already wondering what they had gotten themselves into? As dawn broke the next morning most in the group were suffering from exhaustion from a long and difficult night. The fear of attack, plus the mysterious watchful lights in the distance had proven too much to bare, and a good nights rest was had by none.

Exhausted, the group prepared to press on…

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The Slaying Stone (Episode 7)

The companions prepared to move out of the kobold slums in the dead of night feeling it would be safer to move about the ruins of Kiris Dahn under the cover of darkness. But before they managed to make their way out of the slums they spotted two goblins pinned against the wall of a nearby house. Five orcs surrounded the goblins as two of the orcs held their heads still, while another heated up a red-hot branding iron. It didn’t take Robyn long to react as he quickly knocked an arrow, and his shot was deadly accurate, as the arrow shot between two of the orcs and struck one of the goblins square between the eyes killing it instantly. Quickly four of the orcs charged. In the ensuing melee much of the party became seperated before Altain found himself suddenly attacked from behind. It was the wererat Kiris Hoyt who had suddenly dropped from a nearby rooftop. Altain now found himself flanked by his orc adversary on one side and the wererat on the other, while his companions continued their battles in other nearby streets. Finally after several exchanges Altain began to prevail as he dropped his orc enemy, and the wererat began to flee towards the rooftops. But the chase was short lived as Altain quickly gave chase and delivered the death blow on the roof of a nearby structure, sending the lifeless body of the wererat crashing to the cold dark street below. The silvered-steel dagger known as Triflik’s blade sent clattering upon the cobblestone street as it flew from Kiris Hoyt’s lifeless hand.

Altain made his way down from the rooftops above to inspect the body. After collecting the enchanted dagger Altain noticed that the body of the wererat had transformed back to his human form of Kiris Hoyt. Not long after, other members of the group began to appear at the scene, but not Robyn. The rogue had been cut badly and had fallen unconscious a few blocks away. Fortunately the bleeding had been stopped by one of his companions, but he was now unconscious. It was another close call in the dark ruins of Kiris Dahn.

After a short rest on top of a nearby tower. The group prepared to make their way to the hot springs, but not before Altain gave the dagger known as Triflik’s Blade to Dirk. The rogue eyed the dagger with a sparkle in his eyes, as he had feared the wererat had once again escaped with his coveted prize. Thankfully it had turned out that this was in fact not the case.

Steam filled the air as the group made their way through the acropolis and the hot spring baths of Kiris Dahn. Carefully Fin led the way through the steam-ridden location before discovering the dragon’s lair. It was there that he began to negotiate with the irritable dragon known as Tyristys. Fin LaVie proved to be much more skilled in the art of negotiation, as he soon won the dragon’s confidence. They promised to protect the stone from the evil inhabitants of Kiris Dahn with the hope of destroying the slaying stone once and for all. The dragon was more than happy to rid itself of the troublesome stone.

The companions then returned to the slums in hopes of finding information that might lead them to the last book Treona had requested. It was supposedly a black book which seemed little to go on, but they hoped one of the kobolds might be able to help? While walking these slums they soon discovered a littany of traps down a small alley with a group of kobolds hiding in a building nearby. Thankfully they mananged to once again gain the trust of the little dog-like creatures, but they were of little help in locating the black book. However they did manage to negotiate two small vials containing liquid which the kobolds had apparently recently discovered. Unfortunately the kobold could only tell the companions that the liquid could “make feel good.” Altain inspected the liquid before the companions agreed to pay 75 gold pieces for the two rare vials. Altain believed them to be legendary potions of healing, but couldn’t be certain. If this proved true the significant price would prove well worth their investment.

Once again the companions headed north hoping to secure the final text before leaving the ruined city. This time they hoped to secretly make their way through the goblin neighborhoods of the northern portion of the city, an area they had previously avoided due to the large number of goblins living there. It was just outside this goblin infested district that the group was ambushed by another group of orcs. It quickly became obvious that these orcs were different though, as they seemed to have a well thought out plan. The companions found themselves assaulted from numerous locations forcing them to spread out in several directions. Luckily Robyn had begun regaining consciousness just as the battle began, and soon proved able to join the fray. But things quickly became dangerous when Fin discovered an orc wolf-shaman hiding around a nearby corned while another orc was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Altain. Soon a phantom wolf attacked the group from behind before vanishing. Then the next thing the companions knew blue streaks of lightening filled the air around them. It wasn’t long before Fin dropped to the cobblestone street unconscious. Altain was also in dire straits but somehow had managed to stay on his feet. Then another streak of lightening filled the air, this time striking Robyn before suddenly jumping to Wolven!

In a nearby alley Dirk was facing off against another orc, who he would soon realize was Vohx. The orc leader had the rogue in trouble, yet somehow Dirk managed to move about skillfully to avoid what might have proved to be a number of deadly attacks from the orc swordsmen. Then Dirk heard his companions approaching from behind. It was the reinforcement he needed. The orc, Vohx, quickly took cover behind a nearby building as he shouted an angry challenge towards whoever currently possessed the fabled slaying stone. Vohx hoped his challenge would be accepted by one companion foolish enough to challenge him one on one. He knew it was his only hope of escape as he was significantly outnumbered, his orc companions bodies now laying lifeless in nearby streets. It was then that Vohx noticed one companion stepping forward. Vohx leaned out to measure up this foolish advisary, now thinking his opponent had taken the bait! But it was Vohx that soon discovered he had been duped, as Altain removed a glossy black stone from his cloak and began to chant a series of arcane commands. Red ruins began to glow upon the glossy black stone and then a blue beam shot forth striking Vohx. Rage suddenly filled the orc leader as he recklessly charged ahead. Altain had no time to react and he quickly braced himself for the sudden assault. The powerful orc struck visciously knocking the swordmage unconscious, before suddenly expoding himself! The bloody remains of the orc leader rained down as the companions scrambled to Altain’s unconscious body in an attempt to treat his wounds. They quickly stopped the bleeding and stabilized their fallen comrad, before inspecting the other dead orcs nearby.

As the companions returned to the wolf-shaman’s body they were surprised to see Fin standing nearby. Many had thought their guide had fallen in combat, but now questioned what they previously witnessed? They then moved to the orc wolf-shaman where they discovered what they were looking for – a black book. But it was obvious to all it was not just any black book, this book was the deepest black imaginable, so black it in fact that its edges were nearly indiscernable. Even more strange was the fact that it seemed to ooze whisps of black energy?! Fin LaVie stepped forward to take possession of the strange book, as others in the group strongly suggested that he not to open it. Tension filled the suddenly quiet street, as many wondered about the strange fascination Fin seemed to show towards the mysterious tomb. Thankfully Fin followed the numerous requests and kept the book shut, and each of the companions was left wondering whether the groups newest memeber could be trusted?

Exhausted the group returned to the kobold slums for one final nights rest before heading out from the ruins of Kiris Dahn the next day. But before turning in Robyn pulled out a scroll he had discovered in the wolf-shamans backpack. He began reading about the severed-eye orcs of the northlands, and their history in the Ironwall Mountains. It was one of many lost history’s of Sarsis, and one the rogue hoped might prove useful someday in the future.

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Triflik's Blade (Episode 6)

Refreshed the group of companions decided to make their way north toward’s the old Kiris Mansion. Thankfully both Dirk and Robyn’s fever began to subside as the early morning progressed. Both feared the possiblility of contracting a filthy disease from the rat-man, Kiris Hoyt, and were thankful to have escaped the encounter with their health intact. Dirk now hoped that he might get another chance at the rat-man, and the enchanted dagger Triflik’s Blade, which the rogue believed should rightfully be his.

It didn’t take long before the group encountered their first morning watch, as a group of nearly a dozen goblins was spotted up the street. But this group was apparently in a hurry, as they jogged past the hidden companions. The guards were heading south towards the neighborhood the companions had previously spent the night, the stable district. The five companions knew it was time to make haste, wishing to be nowhere near the vacinity when the goblin bodies were discovered. It was during this moment of realization that Altain attempted to divert the goblin’s attention by chucking a large rock across the street. He did this after noticing that kobolds were hiding in the early morning shadows of the ruined buildings on the other side of the street, and knowing that the companions presence inside the goblin infested city might soon be discovered he hoped to create a diversion, but the attempt failed as the goblins continued south without as much as a glimpse to their right.

After sneaking inside the mansion the group encountered numerous goblin guards. But these seemed trivial in comparison to the hobgoblin mounted upon a large drake! The beast seemed to be a cross between a great cat but with numerous features reminicent of a dragon. Muscles rippled under the drakes reddish hide as its hobgoblin master thrusted his spear at the surrounding invaders. The stone floor just inside the mansions front doors was soon slick with fresh blood as the battle for control of the premises continued. Soon Altain was struck with a significant blow, but refusing to fall he continued to fight until finally succumbing to his wounds. Shortly after Altain fell, so did his companion Coren, as he was flanked by several goblins, reminding all of the companions that goblins are often a weak race but in greater numbers can prove to be extremely dangerous. Finally after a hard fought victory the group tended to their fallen comrads, but for one fallen hereo it was too late. Coren could not be revived, the wound in his chest was significant enough that Dirk had little doubt that the half-orc had most likely died instantly.

With heavy hearts the companions began to search the mansion before finally deciding to utilize their final scroll of detection, but once again with no success. Finally Dirk decided to bury his half-orc companion Coren before moving on. He began to pile stones using nearby rubble from collapsed portions of the Kiris mansion, while Robyn Graves watched nearby, until Coren’s remains were completely covered. Dirk was left to wonder why the other half-orc, Robyn, refused to assist?

Once again the group headed out, and once again carrying their unconscious companion Altain. This time they decided to head east toward the mysterious steam they had spotted earlier that morning. There they discovered hot springs undoubtedly used for bathing at one time in Kiris Dahn’s past, but probably rarely used now by the dirty goblin population. It was in this steam covered acropolis that the companions suddenly heard a booming voice. After several questions, and nervous answers by the companions, a large brass dragon suddenly appeared from the clouds of surrounding mist. The powerful dragon seemed less than amused by those seeking a powerful item known as the slaying stone. Finally after a short exchange the irritable dragon told the small group of would be heroes to be gone, and then slipped into the curtain of mist and vanished.

Unsure what to do next, and convinced that the powerful brass dragon guarded the slaying stone, the group decided to head south towards the kobold slums. It was there that the group ran into several goblins. But as the goblins attempted to arrest the rag-tag group, and then tried to elicit a bribe to release them, violence suddenly broke out. Then one goblin attempted to flee as his companions quickly collapsed around him, but he didn’t get far, as he sped around a corner and into the waiting arms of a heavily cloaked figure.

The companions began to give chase when they suddenly heard the goblin squeal, and then his lifeless body came flying out from behind a nearby building. Out stepped a heavily cloaked man who introduced himself as Fin LaVie. He carried no weapon, yet carried himself with what could only be described as a quiet confidence. He explained to the group that he had lived in Kiris Dahn before the city was over run with goblins eight long years ago, and offered to assist the companions through the now dangerous city streets. The group politely accepted his offer.

The five individual continued south into what seemed to be the poorest of poor neighborhoods, the kobold slums. It was there that the group noticed a parculiar sight near one of the south western city walls. Two mechanical dogs appeared to be keeping watch as their owner, a kobold, looted a nearby abandoned building. Reacting quickly the group moved to apprehend the small kobold, but not before falling under attack by his mechanical canines. But as the companions fought off the enchanted mechanical canines it was Dirk who delivered a deadly blow to the kobold, only to discover that the small creature was wanted alive for questioning?!

Thankfully the remaining enchanted canine soon stood down with the expiration of his owner, and the sudden appearance of another kobold named Spolis. Spolis agreed to talk, and explained that Speelock was merely trying to survive in the harsh slums of Gorizbadd (Kiris Dahn’s new name under its goblin conquerers). The companions wishing to befriend Spolis explained that the goblins had shot the innocent Speelock with an arrow. They offered their heartfelt condolences as the small kobold cursed the goblins. The unsuspecting Spolis seemed to buy into the companions story, after all it made sense, as the goblins were always picking on Spolis and his kobold kin.

The guilt ridden companions decided they needed to rest, and the ruined building in which they met Spolis seemed as good a location as any. Meanwhile Spolis excused himself and took a few minutes to attend to the enchanted dog sitting outside. Saddened Spolis soon returned, and promised the companions to keep their secret, as long as they promised to kill as many of the cruel goblins as possible.

Realizing their was little for them to investigate in this area of town the group decided they need to return to the hot springs on the northeast end of town. They felt more comfortable negotiating with the large dragon with their new partner, especially with his knowledge of Kiris Dahn and its past. Armed with this new hope, albeit a mysterious one, the group began to make its was back to meet with the dragon.

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The Guardian (Episode 5)

As the companions followed Robyn further into the temple of Sehanine several in the group noticed movement from behind an elevated water basin at the center of the square forty-foot wide room. Approaching carefully, the group managed to coax a disheveled man dressed in worn leather armor out from hiding, and they soon learned his name was Kiris Hoyt, a possible heir to the ruling Kiris family bloodline. The group began asking Kiris Hoyt about why he stayed after the fall of Kiris Dahn eight long years ago, and how he managed to survive without being discovered by the town’s conquerers? The man began to explain how his family had abandoned him here as a power play. It was a clear attempt to cut him from the distribution of family wealth in his eyes.

It was during this conversation that Hoyt suddenly snapped to attention, as the thunder of dozens of little feet could be heard approaching from the temple’s northern and southern entrances. Soon nearly a dozen goblins blocked the groups escape route, their leader waving about a silver dagger while yelling “kill the rat man!, them too!, kill all rat mans!!” Kiris Hoyt began to stumble backwards, as a look of shock filled his eyes. Then he began to transform. Bone and sinew began to snap and pop, while Hoyt’s fingernails and nose began to elongate. He was quickly transforming into a humanoid rat! Within seconds Hoyt bit Robyn and Dirk as arrows began to fly from the goblins at the southern portcullis. From the northern exit more goblins approached with worn short swords in hand. Coren moved to the northern stairs to block their entrance, and quickly disposed of the ragtag group with a series of impressive flying leaps and spins. By this time Hoyt was on the move, making his way towards a metal door on the eastern wall. It was obvious that the rat-man was badly wounded, but those wounds were slowly mending before the companions eyes! Unable to stop Hoyt’s escape Robyn quickly moved to lock the wererat inside the hallway. Both Coren and Dirk apparently disagreed however with Robyn’s strategy, as they knocked him unconscious in order to prevent him from blocking the door. It appeared to be playing out just as they had hoped as Altain had the opposite end of the hall blocked as well. Then an unexpected turn took place as Altain was struck with one final blow knocking him unconscious, which allowed Hoyt to escape through the southern passage! But not before the wererat picked up a silver dagger near the now dead goblin leader Triflik.

Coren, Dirk, and Wolven quickly gave chase as they climbed rooftops and scrambled down alleyways. Luckily a blood trail left by the wounded rat-man allowed the group to track Hoyt back to the ruined library several blocks away. But it was there that the pursuit stopped, as the trail of blood abruptly ended. Most likely the result of the creatures unusual ability to heal. Meanwhile Dirk was left wondering about the silver dagger, with the hilt exquisitely crafted to resemble intertwining serpents, and whether it might have been enchanted?

It was during this disappointing chase that the group of three discovered another abandoned wing of the massive library. Bookcases had been pushed aside as though a large beast had moved through the area, and three large brassy scales lay upon the floor nearby. On the other side of the bookshelves a stone wall panel had been tossed to the ground, revealing an empty alcove. There the companions discovered gouges from giant claws all around the corners of the alcove and on the wall panel. Coren began to wonder if perhaps a large dragon had beaten them to the last remaining slaying stone? If true, the guardian of the stone would most likely be more dangerous than anything they could have ever imagined.

Unable to pick up on Hoyt’s trail, the three companions returned to the temple district where they found Robyn (now conscious) watching over Altain near the water basin. Thankfully both were still safe, although Altain was still unconscious. They then decided to use their second ritual scroll of detection in an attempt to detect the lost slaying stone. Unfortunately the slaying stone was not detected however, and the group decided they needed to press onward. Now the group only had one scroll of detection remaining and they knew they needed to make it count.

Altain was now being carried by Coren as the group made their way to the Kiris Mansion. But as the group neared the towns stables growls could be heard emanating from inside, and a small voiced yelled out in what sounded like the goblin tongue. Deciding to check the stables, the group discovered two goblins watching over a half dozen wolves. Fortunately the companions were able to take the two goblins by surprise, giving them no time to release the viciously trained animals. It didn’t take long before the enemy was silenced permanently. It was then decided that everyone was in need of a good nights rest, and this temple seemed as good a spot as any, so the group holed up there for the remainder of the night.

The next morning Altain had once again regained consciousness so the companions began to make their way northward towards the mansion. The city seemed different in the light of day, and the companions couldn’t help but notice an area to the east of the Kiris mansion where steam seemed to be filling the morning air. But with little time to contemplate what it might be the group quickly press on, but both Robyn and Dirk complained of an unusual sensitivity to the morning light. Each was running a slight fever, and both were now left to hope that it would disipate over the next day. But Dirk had other things on his mind as well, as he constantly kept one eye open for Hoyt, or more importantly Triflik’s blade in which Hoyt had so conveniently walked away with.

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