Dragonrealm

A Tearful Reunion
39th Session

Null was a harsh place. The cold, blowing wind was slowly freezing the Party, prompting them to press on. Nearby in the twilight they found some strange roots that had broken through the frozen land. After a quick investigation they found that the roots burned, bright, hot and long. But it was a false respite; The sound, heat or perhaps the glow attracted a huge, monstrous, searing hot centipede from beneath the snow. Without the mages’ spells nor their magical equipment, fighting the beast was a futile effort, so the Party ran. The beast was content to just devour the flaming piece of root, which was a mixed blessing.

Now aware of the frozen wilderness’ dangers, the Party began the long, cold and dark walk to the nearest shaft of light. As they approached, its nature became apparent: It was a beam of pleasant warm light, shining down from the skies, wide as a small town. Where it shone was a small settlement of stony buildings and curious deep holes with vegetation growing. Approaching the settlement, the Party noticed that the settlement was larger than the beam itself, as if the light had begun to shrink.

As for the people, two friendly guards approached, wary of the Party but welcoming them into their midst after Carric’s friendly greeting. The place was Arhok, one of the scattered dots of civilization and life on Null, and it was slowly dying. The shrinking light had squeezed the population together and fears had began to rise. Althaea, wanting to make an impression, performed several songs to alleviate the feeling of the people who were strange and varied. Rare were the dragonborn and humans among the bird-like people, tieflings, curious, glowy-eyed elves and other otherworldly folk.

While the bard played, the others talked with the guards about the surroundings. The guard spoke of Mox, the nearest other settlement. It would be the place where the people of Arhok would want to go, but it remained steadfast in its refusal to not take in refugees. But a more relevant tidbit was that one of the oldest Arhok citizens, an elf called Rizal, supposedly could know how to leave this plane. Luckily, Rizal was already enamored by Althaea’s songs and was more than willing to divulge his knowledge. The elf told them that without powerful magic, the only way to leave was by a gateway into Nexus, a plane that connected the other Outer planes together. But those gateways were jealously guarded information, and they had a habit of winking in and out of existence at their own will.

Rizal themselves had been torn from the Center Plane and after a long journey had ended up in Null. After expressing melancholic desire to be back home, Althaea asked if the elf would wish to join them on their journey. Fire returned to Rizal’s eyes and the elf agreed, although first they would march to Mox and persuade its chief to help Arhok. And to the great delight of the Party, Rizal had one more surprise: He had seen Edessa. The girl had appeared in Arhok several revolutions ago, along with a tiefling friend. The pair left as quickly as they arrived, as a group of Daemons were hot on their tail.

So the Party left with haste to Mox, with a new friend. Mox’s gates were closed and the walls were tall. After being introduced as the envoy of Arhok’s diplomat, the Party was let in, although they had to relinquish their weapons at the gates. Inside, Mox proved to be an impressive town, with several smaller towers and columns heavy with fruit-bearing vines and holes that contained growing greenery in the perpetual light. In the middle of the town was a pyramid, and according to the locals, the middle of the pyramid was the only place where magic existed.

Again, Althaea decided to make a good impression on the rather upscale locals with her music. In a small, humble bazaar she discovered a duo of musicians with whom she joined, filling the air with sounds of Dusk Coast. Her performance gathered a group of spectators, along with two surprises: A group of Daemonic hunters, and a curious, familiar face: Edessa! Soon confusion reigned as each member of the Party spread out, with Dulkan stalking the Daemons, Carric giving chase to Edessa and Lady Antinua remained with Althaea.

Dulkan, unaware of Edessa’s presence in the crowds, stayed hidden and sharpened his old trinket, a silver star, with deadly intent. After the Daemons spread out to search for Edessa, Dulkan followed. After the group consolidated, one of the hunters was missing. The Daemons discovered evidence of fighting in an alley, in a direction where their comrade had gone. There, Dulkan lured one of them to his reach and fearlessly attacked, slaying the Daemon with a swift, decisive attack. Another one noticed him, but never had time to charge, as a tiefling fell on him from the shadows, stabbing the Daemon with a silver knife. He called out to Dulkan by name and commanded him to follow before the rest of the Daemons could give chase.

In a secluded alley they stopped, and the tiefling gave a knock on a nondescript door. Inside was a small room, and a surprise that sent Dulkan’s heart pounding: Edessa. The two wound in a tight embrace, grateful of seeing each other once again. After the Tribute, after the unification of Dusk Coast, after all their adventures, Dulkan could once again meet his closest friend.

After the tearful moment passed, Dulkan realized that Carric had already found his way to Edessa. She introduced the tiefling to them: He was Khava, a planeswalker who apparently had saved Edessa and kept her safe on the planes. They were both hunted by the Daemons, who still needed Edessa to build their nefarious portal. While she wished to tell her tale, they were in an inhospitable plane, in a suspicious town and still chased by Daemons. But now, they were together.

Meanwhile, Althaea and Antinua were intercepted by a being calling himself Sbub, who wished to offer the sweet-singing bard a job among the court of chief Gorn. Eager to get their magics back, the elf women went with the finely-dressed gentleman into the pyramid. Inside they found a throne room, lavish with exotic goods, the smell of cooked meat and an impressive orc sitting on the throne. Despite his crude looks, Gorn proved clever and observant. He granted the mages access to the center of the shaft of light that shone to the middle of the pyramid in exchange for a favour he would yet disclose. The throne itself was moved from the way to allow for the ladies to tap into their own magical powers. Now, maybe, they had a way out of the plane…

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The Planes
38th Session

A moment of uneasiness passed between the Dragonslayer and the Party, as both sides assessed each other and their opinions. But eventually Dulkan stated that their goals didn’t align, although they neither crossed. Rescuing Edessa and stopping the daemonic invasion was more crucial than the Dragonslayer’s “ascension”. After a moment’s pondering, she agreed.

While Althaea and Antinua were both eager to plunder Karanox’s magical items, so was the Dragonslayer. She strode in and began perusing the mighty objects of power arrayed on display stands in the cave: A deck of cards, a black sphere, a ring large enough to be a headband, a pure crystal ball and a black morningstar. She unfolded a scarf and began to collect items that interested her. But Althaea was unwilling to let the so-called “Guardian” run unopposed. The bard took the crystal ball and the morningstar after seeing the Dragonslayer’s interest, defiantly ignoring her warnings to bring them to her. Frustrated at the meddlings of the party, the Dragonslayer allowed them to take the items, so long as they went far away, somewhere where they would not interfere with her plans.

And so the ended the first meeting of the Dragonslayer and the Heroes of Dusk Coast: An uneven parting, both to their own tasks. The Party returned to Kalrathia, and on the next day, 17th of Barren, they began gathering supplies for their upcoming journey to the Planes. They gathered everything they needed from the Huntress, which was still dry-docked as her hull was being repaired and bought a lucky pony to carry it all.

The moment of truth arrived. The Party traveled to a secluded rocky area further into the Drylands and activated the Cubic Gate. The powerful relic sprang to life and created a portal to another plane: A dark, shadowy land where specks of blue and purple light floated in the air. But as it weren’t Daemonis, they allowed the portal to close and tried another side. This one led to a stony balcony, overlooking a curious sky and distant, impossibly tall towers. As the Party realized that they could test out the cube, they decided to see where all the sides would take them. The next one led to a clearing in the middle of some sort of forest, illuminated by a red light.

But the next attempts produced nothing but soft clicks: The Cube had run out of power. So the Party returned, both disappointed at the slowing of progress, but grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the planes.

Althaea used the crystal ball, which was a powerful scrying tool, to contact her mother and tell her of their progress and ask if she or Yaris would know of the symbols etched on the sides of the cube. While Anthea could not help with their problem, she was surprised to learn of the Dragonslayer. Armed with the fact that she existed and that Karanox was dead, she could warn the Council of the upcoming storm.

The bard also contacted Sunder, who was teaching in Assarna. While he too was unfamiliar with the knowledge of planar travel, he did have something for Althaea: His drawings from the circular “book” from Gwyn’s forest. The drawings were maps of the the planes. Several of them had the same symbols as the cube. Althaea memorized the maps to the best of her ability.

Dulkan, emboldened about the spell he used to contact Edessa in the past, asked Antinua to create a sending scroll for him. Despite her doubts of Dulkan’s ability to harness the necessary knowledge to cast it, she began to write.

On the next days they investigated the view behind the rest of the portals. They saw a snowy wasteland, a windy hill with floating islands in the skies and a wet cave within a gargantuan spiderweb-like dome.

On the last day, 20th of Barren, Antinue finished the spell. Dulkan, with the wizard’s instructions, managed to cast the spell, sending his thoughts to Edessa:

“Coming for you,
Describe your location.
Have faith.
Dulkan and friends.”

She answered:

“I’m in Null. Demons are chasing me.
It’s cold but I made a friend.
I hope it’s really you.”

It was all the clue they needed. Instructing the Huntress to return to Dusk Coast, they opened a portal to the snowy desolation and headed in.

Beyond, in the plane of Null, they fell victim to its most malignant feature: Magic ceased to work. The mages’ spells evaporated from their minds, but the most worrying reaction was their portable hole: All the water it had taken when the Party was saving the Huntress exploded out. The entire Party was drenched, and the cold air began slowly but surely biting their skin.

Despite the desolation and endless piles of snow, there was a ray of hope: Several shafts of light were visible in the horizon. What they were, the Party could not say. In the planes, they had to rely on their own wits, courage and hope.

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Karanox's Death
37th Session

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.

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Thivaraxia's Reward
36th Session

With the Sending Stone, the Party shared most of their findings with Thivaraxia, leaving some details off for Umura’s safety. The dragon, or her underling, replied back to invite the Party to Bowmeet for their reward. With this knowledge, they headed south, towards the forest of Maelida.

After a day of travel underground, the Party emerged from a cave that another Hydra had made its home. The creature was no problem, as Khiss transformed it into a harmless squirrel and tossed it deeper into the cave, where it could not climb back. The existence of the creature in Maelida was a somber reminder that this was a wild forest, where the Party would do good to keep their guard up. However, their journey to the coast was blissfully uneventful. After several days of travel, they arrived in a small coastal fishing town and a sight for sore eyes: The Huntress anchored off the coast.

The date was 21st of Descent, and the air was getting colder. The Huntress left westward, and after two days of travel, made a stop at the Devil’s Needle in the Broken Coast at the behest of Dulkan. He wished to see the place of his childhood again. The imposing black tower, built on the broken and slanted archipelago, held only faint memories, smells and a taste of a familiar cooking. Althaea took this opportunity to purchase new clothes for Khiss, who was clearly unfamiliar with such an unexpected kindness. The Huntress pushed off soon.

The second stop was at 25th of Descent in Duskport. Althaea wished to see her father and exchanged words about their endeavors. After the warm meeting they went to see Alexha again. The dragonborn noble’s plight stirred a memory of a story in Althaea’s mind… The story of Emeralda, a woman who gave her heart away.

Emeralda, a beautiful and warm dragonborn, had two suitors, Karthan and Vix. Both were handsome, brave and strong dragonborn who both loved her but hated each other. The suitors left to fight in a war, and she bid them farewell and gave them a gift symbolizing her love. But soon after they had left, Emeralda started feeling low. She couldn’t summon the energy nor warmth that once flowed through her. Not long after she caught a disease that even priests couldn’t hold at bay.

When the suitors returned, they were aghast at her fate: Emeralda had died, but her spirit had split into two ghosts, both of which began haunting the pair. Soon they too started to waste away by the grief and fatigue, blaming each other for their love’s death. But after months of sleeplessness and constant reminder of her, Karthan let go. He gave the ghost back her parting gift, telling her that she was free to do as she chose. The rift between Emeralda’s desires was healed and her clarity was restored. Her spirit approached the Vix, inviting him to join her in the afterlife. And he did.

The rumours were that Alexha had two suitors of her own: Kerach and Timothy. WIth this realization, the Party left towards Arry. On the 27th of Descent, the Huntress anchored in the Assarna Workshop, where Antinua was introduced to the craftwizards and most importantly, Adalrik’s spellbook. The diviner eagerly dived into the book, marveling at the powerful and complex spells inked within. While she learned what she could, the rest visited Arry, where they talked with Kerach. Althaea relayed her story, observing how Kerach was clearly crestfallen by the news. They also managed to investigate Timothy’s belongings, finding out that apparently her mother had a long time ago left the deed of her domain to the adviser. She gave Kerach her findings and suggested they resolve the matter themselves…

As the air continued to cool down and snows started to blanket the coast, the Huntress left the Dusk Coast to Bowmeet. On 29th of Descent they landed in the cold and windy island group and in the dead of night took a boat to Thivaraxia’s lair. Finding some amusement from the winter gear of her servants, the Party met with the Dragon of Bowmeet. Thivaraxia listened to the details of their findings and was clearly pleased. She gave her the location of Karanox: Near Trisan, the lake in the middle of the Drylands. Darthrul, a city in the middle of the area contained an informant of Thivaraxia, who would give the Party Karanox’s exact location.

Thivaraxia had one more surprise for the Party: She would join them for this task. As she doubted Karanox would part with any part of his hoard for any of the lesser races, Thivaraxia would barter with the information she had on the Dragonslayer.

So now the Party would just need to plan out how they would head over to Trisan, which would still probably be the least dangerous part of their journey…

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Umura
35th Session

Undaunted, the Party continued their trek through the underground tunnels. They faced many troubles both mundane and fantastic: A collapsed passageway, a gravity-reversing stone bridge and an oasis, guarded by rock-like tentacle-worms. But through magic and determination they persevered.

Eventually the list of turns ended and the Party found themselves in a hot cavern with a bell rope and a lift. With Antinua’s divinations they could safely scout out the lift’s end, discovering an impressive forge complex with many dwarves working away, all behind a huge stone door with a single sigil: Umura.

Opting for subterfuge, the Party used their considerable magical powers to infiltrate the forge. This ultimately proved futile: Inside the forge proper, the dwarves turned to look at the newcomers in eerie unison, as if operated by a single mind. Althaea, realizing that they were compromised, greeted the smiths of the forge with open arms. The reply came as a thought into their minds: They had found what they seeked. Umura was none of the dwarves gathered. Umura was the forge itself.

After the initial shock of the discovery, the Party questioned Umura of its involvement with the Dragonslayer. With surprising indifference, the forge divulged. Several years ago a human woman came to it, beseeching it to create a weapon strong enough to cut dragon scales and a suit to both protect her and transform her into a symbol of some kind. Umura agreed on the condition that she returns to pay for the equipment later.

With those words, Umura crafted the Guardian’s suit: A plate of titangold armour strong enough to withstand a Dragon’s claws, a titangold glaive sharp enough to slice into a dragon’s heart, a cloak that hides her from sight and an amulet that hides her from divinations. Thus equipped, the Guardian left and later on returned with dragon’s gold in hand. After her second departure, a group of dwarves arrived, paying in the same gold for masks of titangold. It was a good source of funds, so Umura agreed.

Time passed, and now, merely a highmonth ago, the Guardian returned, battered and with her weapon broken. Umura replaced the weapon with a new one, and again the Guardian left, this time with less bombastic confidence and more silent determination.

There was nothing else the forge either could or wanted to tell about the Guardian. Disappointed at the scarcity of details but satisfied at the confirmation of the existence of the Dragonslayer, the Party now had something to report back to Thivaraxia. But Umura had two gifts for the Party: The Arrow of Murder, a powerful yet troublesome magical arrow, and a black rod that something enigmatic had ordered for them. The rod apparently contained a message that would reveal itself when it so deemed. Dulkan also presented the forge with the vial of Khariss’ blood, asking it to be forged into a weapon that could cut through the hide of even the most strangest beast.

While Umura set to work, the Party took stock and made their plans…

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An Assassination Attempt
34th Session

It was the 7th of Descent when Khiss first met Riedan. The dragonborn sorcerer had heard of one of the most lethal assassins of Shahrazhad, and now that he had seen him, his preconceptions were right. Riedan was a focused, smart and terrifying person. Or at least would have been, if Khiss were a mere normal person and not Shahrazhad’s favourite sorcerer.

Riedan had spotted a target of opportunity: The so-called Heroes of Dusk Coast, the group responsible for the unification of Dusk Coast, had returned to Duskport. Shahrazhad had placed a bounty on them, and Khiss could see why: Their demise would deal a serious blow to the morale of the frustratingly tenacious defenders of the coastal nation. Riedan had contacted Khiss to provide backup, as the group was rumoured to be resourceful and fierce. After some deliberation, the pair of Shahrazhad’s servants agreed to take the opportunity.

It was quite trivial for Khiss to find out that the group was planning to travel to Kolmhaag, with his appearance-altering spells and his highly honed skill of subtle spellcasting. To his surprise, the human fighting champion had disappeared somewhere, followed by some dragonborn that had apparently travelled with them. The Nailo offspring was also not present, so the core group had dwindled to just the sorcerer and the Kiln scion. This bode well.

Khiss discussed with Riedan the possibility of ambush during the journey, but the group’s ship was a tough nut to crack, with its crew and difficulties on getting aboard after it set sail. So the assassins decided to travel to Kolmhaag and recruit someone local to track them, should they leave for the wilderness. The only candidate that they could find was a human who called himself Draxus: He knew how to hunt and track, took gold as payment and did not ask further questions.

The trio made a hasty journey to Kolmhaag, nearly killing their horses in the process. The Huntress had already arrived and the city gates were carefully guarded. While Khiss could easily step over the walls with his spells, Riedan was slowed down by the checkpoints. But the assassin was a professional and his merchant identity held water. Inside the city Khiss found out that some elf noble had joined the group, and that they were heading to the dwarven subterranean settlement. This also slowed their pursuit, as they had to procure travel documents for the dwarven elevator.

While Khiss was forging deals, another complication arrived: The Nailo elf arrived, riding a griffin, of all things. While he resolved not to, Khiss was impressed with this. The group had apparently been doing something significant abroad. Riedan, however, saw this as an opportunity: The elf would lead them to the group.

After the elf had descended to the dwarven settlement, the assassins followed. The dwarven industriousness was impressive to behold, but Khiss had lived in the shadow of Shahrazhad and had been accustomed to remarkable architecture. Immediately they set to work, attempting to find out where the group was going, which was apparently into the Depths proper. Wasting no time, the trio gathered provisions and headed out the gates, where they began trusting on Draxus’ tracking skills.

For three days the assassins tracked the Party in the subterranean tunnels, remaining silent and focusing on their task. The lack of light was oppressive and weighed on Khiss, but he pushed the Melancholy away with pure dedication, as did his partner. The sorcerer’s invisibility was a great boon, but the places where the party rest were not opportune for an ambush. But after the third day, in 13th of Descent, they finally had their opportunity. The group had decided to rest in a larger cavern that provided lots of cover, shadows, and a higher ground from where Draxus could suppress the group with spells.

The plan was set. Under Khiss’ invisibility, Riedan sneaked to the group while they were eating and poison their rations, while Draxus had climbed to a vantage point, poised to pierce their prey with arrows. The foreign elven noble fell for the poison, but the sorcerer proved resilient. Riedan remedied that with a lethal thrust from his sword. When the commotion was audible to his hiding place, Khiss arrived and flung a fireball at the group who had fortuitously entrapped Riedan in some sort of force field, protecting him from harm.

Everything would have gone well, if it weren’t for the Nailo elf, who countered Khiss’ teleportation spell, trapping him next to the human swordsman and saved the group’s sorcerer. Draxus managed to fell the elf, but it was too late: As Khiss was busy with the swordsman, the half-elf blasted him with lightning, and unconsciousness awaited. Although the dragonborn did not witness it, after seeing the group’s fierce spirit, Riedan and Draxus decided to retreat, only taking an attack of opportunity at the human swordsman and leaving him for dead.

After what felt like an eternity, Khiss regained consciousness, only to find himself in a force bubble and looking at the battered group holding him captive. They cut his wand, depriving him of his important magical focus and made certain that his life was in their hand. Admitting defeat, he submitted. But as they dispelled the cage, the half-elf sorcerer cast another spell, which the wild magics of the cavern transformed into a fireball.

This time it was only Khiss’ draconic blood that saved him. As he again regained consciousness, pain followed. The group interrogated him about his agenda and Khiss was too much in pain to resist, admitting that they were Shahrazhad’s assassins. After the initial frustration at this difficulty on their journey, the group asked why Khiss didn’t stop serving the dragon. Khiss entertained this thought for a while, but the reason was always the same: A visit from one of Shahrazhad’s assassins in the dead of night.

With his secrets out, Khiss waited for a sword blow to end his life. But it did not come. Instead, the party offered their hand. The sorcerer, Carric, painted a picture of a future where no-one would need to fear in the shadow of a dragon and invited Khiss, a dragonborn who just attempted to assassinate him, to join them. Everyone in the group seemed to agree. The elven bard, Althaea smiled and accompanied Carric’s descriptions. The human swordsman, Dulkan, nodded along. And the foreign elf who had revealed herself to be a wizard, also did not seem to hold any grudge. Khiss was cynical, distrusting and self-centered, and he knew this. But the group’s sincerity and optimism was infectious and the dragonborn agreed. Maybe he signed his own death warrant in the process, but that was then. Soon after he fell asleep.

On the following morning, or at least when he woke up, Khiss led the Party to the spot where the assassins had left their supplies, only to find them gone. Without food and a magical focus, Khiss felt vulnerable, even with his decision to trust this group of people, off to change the world.

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Intrigue Under the Sun
33rd Session

After confirming the existence of Titangold, the Party decided to spend the rest of the day poring over the books in the library and following Armen, the Master of Pen on the chance she would attempt something. But all of her time went to organizing the remaining work of the evening’s mighty event: The 200-year anniversary of the artificial sun of Weisohl. The books told very little, except for the metals that Titangold was an alloy of: A hard yet brittle metal called titanbone and gold.

The Party watched the preparations for the anniversary celebrations unfolding while they planned their next move. After most of the speeches had been made and the mirror lowered into the light cup, creating an ultraviolet-laden dusk. Before they could make their move though, they were presented with a surprising yet joyful sight: Althaea arrived from the elevator!

The elven bard told them her tale: Soon after the Party had left Adalrik’s Paradise, the people from Trodgaf valley began arriving. Althaea helped and instructed them to take care of the gardens and the buildings. But then came a different arrival: An injured griffin, brandishing several orc scalps. With Althaea’s help, the griffin was healed, and with no other contenders, the chieftain of Kjus gave him the crown. With its power the griffin king could communicate by thought, telling Althaea a worrisome story: The white Dragon Alahkoralithis had attacked the pride, scattering the griffins to the four winds while looking for the Party. Farpounce, which the had been called, was a loyal, brave and somewhat simple-minded creature, so he had continued doing what he thought was important: Kill orcs and become King.

Althaea, figuring that the Paradise was safer if she left for somewhere else, asked Farpounce to take her back home to Melenne. With nothing else to do, the griffin agreed and the pair took to the skies. After a cold and windy journey, with only stops for resting and feasting on a deer, they arrived in the Nailo Estate. Bade gave them a warm welcome, and a letter from Anthea, instructing Althaea to go to Kolmhaag if she wanted to rejoin the Party. Despite the inviting rest and recuperation that the Moon on the Rise promised, Althaea continued to Kolmhaag, where she was further instructed by Vulcan to take to the Depths, where the Party had gone. She did and her search was over.

Now again reunited, the Party began working. With Althaea’s dancing and pleasant discourse, they managed to make an impression on Karl, the Master of the Anvil. They invited him to their quarters and asked him about Titangold, showing the Dragonslayer’s glaive tip. Seeing the material roused his suspicions which Carric obfuscated by insinuating that they were rogue wizards. Apparently satisfied by the answer, Karl explained that while he knew about Titangold, they couldn’t forge it in Weisohl. Based on his sincere outlook, the Party decided that he probably didn’t know anything about the clandestine veil surrounding Umura.

Their next plan was to use Antinua’s divinations and try to locate any outgoing Titanbone crates. The wizard’s trail led them to a warehouse which she infiltrated by transforming into mist. From there, she found a guarded wagon belonging to a dwarf named Rhuben Ariman, containing gold coins with Avarothul’s visage and masks worn by the Followers of the Guardian. After delivering the information to the Party, she learned that Avarothul was the second dragon who had fallen to the Dragonslayer.

With this information the Party joined a group of rowdy traders who were enjoying the evening. With clever banter they managed to find and talk with Rhuben, who attempted to oust the Party by a code phrase. With an incredibly insightful, not to mention lucky, guess by Dulkan, aided by Althaea, they managed to slip past Rhuben’s guard. Soon after he left for his office, where Antinua followed. An intense discussion followed where Rhuben slipped that he was taking orders from Umura and at least co-operated with the Followers of the Guardian, but unfortunately Antinua’s careful approach was rebutted and Rhuben directed her to talk to her superiors.

Despite this setback, now they had their target. After Rhuben had left for his home, the Party investigated his office, aided by the mages’ magics. From inside they found several hidden work agreements and a permanent, confidential reservation of a steam room and a suite in The Melting Sorrow, a public bath.

As midnight was rapidly approaching, the Party infiltrated the bathhouse, eventually finding a room with a drunk dwarf named Dolmyr inside. Antinua changed her appearance and talked with him, expecting again a battle of wits. But Dolmyr was not a subtle person. Drunk as he was, he bragged about being the caravan leader who brings supplies to Umura. With a clever usage of cards and her wits, Antinua managed to easily gain the location and the directions to the workshop of the legendary dwarven smith.

Finally, the way to their goal was clear.

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The Weeping Cavern
32nd Session

The 7th of Descent dawned cold and rainy. After having spent the night at the Nailo Estate, the Party prepared for their journey to Kolmhaag and the dwarf territories below. Dulkan left to find Borel and Glinish, while Lady Antinua and Carric delved into Duskport’s library to find any accounts with similarities to Lady Alexha’s condition. Both endeavors ended in failure.

Both books and a bard dancer called Whirl being unable to shed light on Alexha’s situation, and the two mages returned to the Huntress, where Dulkan had found a worrisome fact: Borel had apparently knocked two sailors unconscious and left with the Assassin’s Boots and Ixthoth’s Ring. Glinish had given chase. Despite Dulkan’s efforts, neither was to be found.

After waiting one more day, the Party had to set sail, having now lost three members, although providence had brought Lady Antinua to them. By 9th of Descent they arrived to find Kolmhaag under siege by the greenskins to the east of the Weeping Mountain. The citizenry was united under Lord Uratha’s leadership to face their ancient enemy. But the Party had no time to spare for the battles of Kolmhaag, they needed to get deeper into the Depths. Dulkan’s mentor and friend Vulkan gave him a letter that would allow him access to the dwarven elevator that took them deep underground. Before boarding, they spent a lot of their fortune preparing for the trials and tribulations of the Depths and to arrange magical goods to be shipped to their wizard lair of Assarna.

The next day, 10th of Descent, they indeed descended. The elevator took them to a tunnel where strange fungus growing on the walls shed ultraviolet light, casting the Party in a strange glow. A short walk forward took them to the heart of Weisohl, a dwarf name for “The Weeping Cavern”. A humongous, egg-shaped cavern where a ball of reflective metal illuminated the entire room with warm light reminiscent of the Sun. The edges of the cave were circled by walkways and doors, and every surface was covered by either green plantings, rich tapestries or colourful paints. From two cave mouths, streams of water flowed down to the bottom, where a water reservoir lay, covered in lilies.

As they took the sights in, the Party planned their next move. They knew from Dulkan’s experience that the dwarven community was ruled by four Masters: Masters of Coin, Anvil, Pick and Pen, responsible for Trade, Smithing, Mining and Culture, respectively; The lifeblood of dwarven underground existence. Guided by a greeter, they headed first to Armen, the Master of Pen, figuring that the keeper of culture would know of dwarven myths. But as they approached the tattooed lady and asked their questions, she rebuffed them, evading their questions and challenging their motivations. Lady Antinua’s keen eye saw that she was concerned, but for what they could not find out. Eventually, she just left them with a dwarven guidance: Follow the money.

Puzzled by this, the Party retreated to their room in the expensive inn of Highsun. Finally, they had hit some sort of knowledge. Now that they knew that something was afoot, they decided to try Lady Antinua’s divinations. With a bit of on-the-fly-tweaking to her spells, she attempted to locate the same substance that the glaive tip was made from. They did: A small sliver, somewhere in the underground city. Without wasting time, Carric turned them invisible and the Party headed to find that sliver. It was found in an obscure museum of materials in the crafts district, a knife made from the golden silvery metal, with a name attached: Titangold. After a harrowing close call involving a scribe of some sort, the Party returned, just in time before the spell ended.

Now they were close. The truth of the Dragonslayer’s weapon was very, very close…

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A Wizard's Arrival
31st Session

Noon sun was warming the otherwise windy day as Dulkan and Carric arrived in the Nailo manor to see Lady Alexha Rivan. The dragonborn noble was still comatose, even after visits from several doctors and priests, all giving different, yet equally unsatisfying diagnoses. Carric was unconvinced and performed a rite of magic detection, yielding a faint trace of some sort of enchantment or a curse, or a similar effect.

Pondering on this they left the Lady’s room, only to meet Lady Anthea Nailo and another elven woman, this one clad in pure white silken clothes and a curious headdress, commenting “I’ve seen you before”. After initial confusion, Carric realized that the comment was addressed to her staff, Adalrik’s Protector.

Lady Anthea introduced the Party to the newcomer, Antinua Xilosient, a noble from far away and gave them a room to discuss. Quite quickly it became apparent that Antinua was a wizard. She listened to the Party’s adventures and their main objective: To find Edessa, lost in the dimension of Demonis. Not only was Antinua a student of divination, she apparently had some experience in breaching the void between the planes. And, most importantly, she was interested in helping the Party.

With a shake of hands, Antinua joined the Party. No longer did the lack of wizarding experience hinder their efforts. Now they could plan their next move…

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Borel's Descent
30th Session

The first dawn of Descent came down with cold drizzle. While the Huntress was loaded with supplies and the crew prepared to sail again, the Party decided to ask the local dwarves if they knew about Umura. They found Kessic, the weaponsmith of the only forge on Bowmeet, who told them that Umura was a myth: A dwarven smith legend whose weapons apparently changed the world. Kessic argued that it takes more skill and craftsmanship to forge a hundred hammers than one sword.

With this knowledge in hand the Huntress departed for Assarn for a meeting with the Party’s investments. On the way Sunder had been listening to the ring that Borel had found from the Murder Grass’ battlegrounds. Along with a recipe for a dreadful poison and many dark plans for death, the ring had an even more worrisome whispers: The ritual necessary to transform one’s soul to a phylactery and become a Lich. Borel, who had been ensuring that the ring wouldn’t affect the elven sage, listened to Sunder’s concerns regarding the knowledge with curious intensity.

On the 3rd of Descent the Huntress found herself docked on the rocky southern coast of Assarna. The Party took a longboat to the partly submerged dock and were greeted by an unknown dragonborn. After a confused greeting, the dragonborn was revealed to be a villager from nearby that Kenkirk and Pivot had hired to restore the Wizard lair to a working condition. The previously dark and foreboding dungeon was bustling with repairs and organisation. The wizards themselves were happy to see the Party and to present their efforts. While the current magical object they were working with wasn’t ready, the place itself was starting to become a proper magical nexus.

The duo knew about Umura more than Kessic: Many tomes of magical knowledge had mentioned methods of enchantment and forging that were attributed to Umura. How to find the dwarf clan or person they had no idea.

What made the wizards extremely giddy was the spellbook of Adalrik. Finally the Party had someone that could read the arcane texts and translate their content. Some of the spells were too complex for the pair of wizards, but they could start copying the spells into scrolls that Carric could use. Another gift that the Party had was the Extrapolator and its extrapolation of the flying machine. A moment’s examination revealed that the wizards could with relative simplicity reconstruct it, assuming they had the raw materials for the frame.

The last thing the Party required was a gift for Karanox, something to trade for the Cubic Gate. The wizards had an appropriate design in mind: A cube that could manipulate fields of pure force. But it would take considerable time to construct, at least a couple of highmonths. This long construction time was worrisome, and Dulkan had a more pressing concern in mind: His silvered rapier had been useless against the golem guardians of Adalrik, and he desired a weapon to wield against more formidable foes. The wizards stated that arcane construction, accurate as it was, required a lot of careful work to weave the strands of magic in the item. But there was a more rapid method of producing magical artifacts: Divine blessings. Their theory, based solely on their own speculation, was that the Divines tend to bless only items in circumstance great enough to warrant their attention. They gave Dulkan back the vial of Khariss’ blood, as it might be useful in such a situation.

The supplies for the flying machine and the necessity of asking dwarves about Umura gave the Party their next destination: Kolmhaag. Seeing as their gift would take time to become reality, the Party decided not to hurry and first spend the rest of the night in Arry, which was just a couple of hours eastward.

In the relaxed town of Arry the Party headed to the Golden Goat where they learned the news from Dusk Coast. The situation in their pride and joy was cloudy and stormy: The greenskins from the Steel Plains were attacking the Long Wall to the north, Kolmhaag was apparently under siege by their ancient nemeses from the Drylands, and Shahrazhad’s people were attacking the provinces south. The neighboring dragons were finally making their move on the carcass of Khariss’ domain. But the spirit of unified Dusk Coast was high and the people were fighting back. In Arry, as Alexha had not arisen from her coma, Agent Kerach had taken her place. Curiously, Timothy had not risen to control the region and had left to paths unknown.

The following day, 4th of Descent, the Party met shortly with Kerach before leaving towards Duskport. The dragonborn felt tired and haggard, obviously struggling with the political responsibility and keeping up Alexha’s optimistic legacy. Two days later, on 6th of Descent the Party landed on Duskport, the familiar city rendered strangely alien by the flags of Unified Dusk Coast flying proudly in flagpoles, and the Palace’s balcony demolished to create space for a large banner of the new order. The Dragon Knights had gone through a name change into the Winden Knights, and recruitment posters hang in many street corners.

After a tour in the city, provided by the harbormaster, the Party arrived at the Palace. A large group of people and children had gathered behind their carriage as word of the Heroes of Dusk Coast’s return spread. Carric spent a moment bringing a smile to their faces with a display of magic before heading to meet the Council. The same faces waited them in the council chamber and everyone were eager to exchange news. Dusk Coast was fighting the dragons’ first pawns while trying to keep everything working. The Followers of the Guardian had attempted to get a foothold on the coast, but had failed, which was somewhat of a relief to the Party. The Council took the news from the outside without greater comment, although at least Ser Morgath Kuon expressed interest in the Dragonslayer to keep the neighboring dragons in check.

After the meeting, the Party left to see Alexha and speak with Lady Yagasha, who had created a lodge of Sorcerers, apart from Borel who said that he would go enjoy the city’s hospitality. While they did not know it, that moment when they parted ways in the entrance hall of the Palace of Duskport would be the last time they saw Borel for a long, long time…

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