The Party reviewed their options and decided against the long trek through the Drylands, opting to sail through the Haag river. So they headed back along the coast, making a stop at Assarna on the 1st of Barren. The wizards there had finally received their supplies and began crafting the Force Cube and the flying machine. Khiss, being accustomed to the splendor of a sorcerer, was clearly feeling uncomfortable, although this was a place of safety.
On the 3rd of Barren the Party stopped at Duskport to learn news, and for Dulkan, perform a service for the Temple of Nissha, who could help him heal from his injury, sustained from the guardians of Adalrik’s Paradise. The Temple wished to acquire one of the everburning braziers from Khariss’ lair. Dulkan contacted the Lodge of Sorcery, created by Lady Yagasha to find out their fate. Yagasha wasn’t in control of them, instead redirecting his inquiries to Lady Ashinka. Dulkan, remembering Khiss’ plight, asked if the Lodge would accept the problematic sorcerer in their ranks. Lady Yagasha was intrigued and accepted, granting Dulkan a boon with which he was ultimately able to acquire the brazier and get his cure.
On the 6th of Barren the Huntress docked on Kolmhaag. The Party met with Lord Uratha Kiln to plan how they were going to get through the Orc-infested canyons, where catapults and bowmen were lying in wait. Meanwhile, Althaea was saddened to find that Farpounce was nowhere to be found, even though she had presented one of the balconies as a place where the griffin could rest. Fortunately, Dulkan knew of a woman who was wise in the ways of the winds. Althaea met with the woman and pleaded her to help. Trusting in the elf’s sincere worry, the woman sent a bird to take a message to Farpounce. And some time later, the griffin arrived, informing Althaea that he had found a pack to lead. With eloquent flattery, Althaea managed to convince the griffin king to grant her a favour: Help with getting over the mountains.
The next day, 7th of Barren granted the Party an unexpected boon: Strong winds and heavy sleet. The winds would grant them speed to crash through the greenskin’s defenses and the sleet would cover their approach. The party installed a ballista on the Huntress, a gift from Lord Uratha and prepared to sail the gauntlet while Althaea covered them from the air with burning oil.
When the gates were discreetly opened, the Huntress sped through the canyons, too fast for the orcs to react… and too fast for the helmsman to keep up. The first steep bank took the edges of their port booms and scraped their hull. The second they crashed full on. The hull was breached and the ship started taking in water. With a combined effort by the mages they managed to jury-rig a fix that allowed for emergency repairs. The very dust of dryness that the Followers of the Guardian’s assassin attempted to sink the Huntress with was their savior, as they cleared the hold of water with a pinch of.
The rest of the journey to Kalrathia was relatively uneventful. The greenskins were unprepared for a fast sailboat to sail eastward from the mountains, so the Huntress was unmolested through their journey. After nearly a week of traveling, on the 15th of Barren, the Wessar-river the Party reached Kalrathia, a city in the shores of Trisan: The only inhabitable area in the Drylands. The city was inside the territory of Karanox.
In the Lucky Pony, the Party made themselves welcome by telling stories and in Althaea’s case, performing musical feats. Quite soon Thivaraxia’s agent, a dragonborn guard called Noxis, contacted the Party and offered his knowledge on Karanox’s lair. With the sending stones the Party had summoned Thivaraxia, who would arrive on the following night. So the Party prepared as best as they could.
The night of 16th of Barren, the Party met Thivaraxia on the edges of Karanox’s lair. They followed her lead as Thivaraxia met with the older, more powerful dragon. Karanox was fearsome and prideful, and even though he clearly held the green dragon in very low regard, Thivaraxia managed to intrigue him of the importance of her message. She revealed the existence of the Dragonslayer and offered to join forces with Karanox to defeat the threat, the Party backing her claims. But soon as the tense negotiations were underway, a fateful coincidence interrupted them. A group of masked people, led by a figure in a golden armour arrived, brandishing weapons.
The Dragonslayer had arrived.
Karanox was furious of this interruption, but his confidence was shaken by Thivaraxia, who exhibited a rare emotion for a dragon: She was wary. Carric jumped to the opportunity, heading over to the Dragonslayer to plead with her. The Guardian stopped and cast a spell of divination, scanning over the Party. She took her mask off, showing the features of a rather pretty, and a very human face. The Guardian marveled at the Party of some property only she could see and offered them a chance to join her as she intended to kill Karanox. Even though Carric put all his efforts and Althaea’s assistance in convincing the woman to step down, she refused, stating that she needed to kill the dragon. Karanox’s patience ran out and he attacked the woman, confident in his victory. The fight between the Dragonslayer and two dragons had begun.
Reluctant to allow neither side to kill each other, Carric could only use Adalrik’s Staff to encase the Dragonslayer in a field of force to offer a temporary reprieve. It did nothing to slow down Karanox, however, and the dragon tore into her retinue, littering the cold ground with bodies. As the Party figured out what to do, Althaea used the diversion to head into the lair. Inside were multiple artifacts, tomes and objects of power, displayed as trophies. One of these was a little cube with six buttons, hanging from a chain. She took the the Cubic Gate, as it was now a way out of the situation, should they need it.
Outside the group was in a tense standoff. Karanox was furious, impatiently waiting for Carric’s spell to run out. Thivaraxia was asking the Party to join in the fight, as this was her chance to kill the Dragonslayer. The Party was unsure on what to do. Antinua sent messages to the Guardian, demanding to know what she was doing and that they stop the conflict. But the Dragonslayer was adamant in her desire to kill Karanox, as it was instrumental to her plan to replace the Divines.
Eventually the spell ran out and the battle continued. With nearly inhuman strength, grace and endurance the Dragonslayer fought, cutting, somersaulting, dodging and casting spells. She held her own against two dragons. Carric, desperate to stop the fight, sprayed all the participants with frost. But the best she could do was to wear them both down even faster. After sustaining grievous injuries Thivaraxia pleaded with the Party to contribute, but after receiving no aid, she took to the sky and fled into the night.
Her flight was the point where the battle was decided. Karanox, battered and bloody, froze for a moment and allowed fear to take root in his heart. This was all the Dragonslayer needed, and she rolled under the dragon’s guard and pierced his chest with her glaive. The force of her thrust threw Karanox on his back, prompting his final word: “Impossible!” As the Dragonslayer tore her weapon out of his chest, she retorted: “Not anymore.” The mighty dragon Karanox was dead.
Battered and leaning on her blood-soaked glaive, the Guardian took her mask off and headed towards the Party. Again she marveled on their “power” and extended her hand, asking for them to join her cause. She would replace the Divines with herself, finally granting the world a reprieve from the dragonic rule. With them joining her she could finally challenge the Divines.
The Party looked at each other.