The Walking Dead has finally found the Orrery of Vortuum.
After Trebaz Sinara the group sailed south aboard the Dying Son to the Dragon Reach Sea. Our ship was overtaken by Dura Il’Matellin and a new crew of Elvish Emerald Claw mercenaries. Knyana finally got a chance to square off with Dura woman to woman, and this time undead to undead as Dura had been granted unlife after we killed her weeks ago. Knyana overpowered Dura with ease this time and she was destroyed utterly with nowhere to run. On Dura’s boat, we found a babbling and mentally unstable Erky Timbers (was this so much different than when we last saw him with a touch of Malphous?). One Emerald Claw pirate was taken alive and he was interrogated and awaiting punishment. Before Captain Drislock could mete out the infidel’s judgment, White Recluse pierced his eye at the end of Cold Spinner’s Pincer. It seems Capt. Drislock agreed with the fate and sentenced the EC pirate to death. But WR was guilty of breaking captain’s law and was sentenced to lashes for disobeying the order not to harm the prisoner. It was a right punishment, but a hard one to receive.
We soon reached the volcanic island and found that other branches of the Emerald Claw were already here before us. We found many boats burned to the ground and the villagers in an uproar swarming toward a tower buttressed into the edge of a volcano— just like we had seen in Jhemast’s dreams. While attempting to avoid the villagers, we flew directly from the ship to the tower. BAD MISTAKE! On top of the tower were 4 stone guardians— always a weary subject to be sure, and this is why: They came to life and careened through the air to keep us out. One of the stone dragons breathed a terrible gas that turned Flash, Slag’s Nightmare, completely to stone in the blink of an eye. Slag plummets… hundreds of feet to the side of the mountain. I caught him before the ground and lowered him like a feather. Once we were on the ground his face exploded into a terrible light and force that dug up earth in front of him as he collapsed in a heap. The curse has reached its peak and was wreaking havoc on his body. WR tried to help him recover.
Meanwhile, Knyana was on recon as a bat swarm to the top of the tower to find an entrance and this was the last we saw of her for too long. Breetaw was flying in via chain from Flash and when we met the stone dragons, he transformed and floated down to the mountain. Breetaw took time to find his companions firing signal arrows down the mountainside and getting return signals of light from WR. With quite an effort WR and Slag climbed the mountain side to join Breetaw in “storming the castle”.
Floor 1 held a camp of EC mercs, a terribly bloated puss-ogre, and 3 incompetent mages that hurled fireballs into melee and then one of them finally suicided himself. Flying into the second floor invisibly, WR found Knyana beaten, tied, gagged, hooded, and captive ready to hang out a window. Though she looked different now. No time for questions, WR got into position for rescue and waited for the cavalry which arrived at just the right time. Among the leaders here were Malik and Thirst. Finally a chance for Slag to destroy his nemesis Thirst, but Breetaw swooped in for the kill with an expertly threaded arrow. WR and Knyana took down Malik which seemed to be some alien full of guts of worms- disgusting! Undead? Vampire? We’re unsure, but the maggots have definitely been dispersed. We bypassed one door believing that another would get us to the top of the tower and to the orb that would heal two of our squad.
Up the spiraling stairs we found one more floor with a few EC mercs and then another door that progressed into darkness. We were that much closer to the goal so into the darkness we went. Then we found ourselves alone in strange environs. Slag in a half-circle room divided into odd winding passage ways and dead ends. Here he fought and killed two minotaurs. Knyana found herself in half-circle room full of chain curtains and a creature made up of chains which she dispatched with holy fire. It seems our mettle was being tested. Breetaw faced some warriors that animated from mirrors that were destroyed only when he destroyed the mirrors themselves. White Recluse faced a terrifying cloud of mental energy and nearly succumbed to its power, but pulling on the strength of his warforged body elements was able to repair himself and overcome the creature with the Cold Spider’s Spinner. When each of us killed the creature, we found a key and a door which put us back into a spiral staircase going up to an ornate door. This must be where the orb is hidden.
We prepared ourselves with our most powerful spells and stormed out into the wide open air on the top of the tower. We saw the stone dragons perched on their spires and in the center of the roof was a 10’ tall orb of shimmering metallic colors. The orb that healed Jhemast! On the north spire, a couatl was crucified to the stone. Friend or foe, we didn’t know. Slag and Kynana moved in immediately to touch the orb, the Demon’s Eye, to lift the curses plaguing them. No time for the couatl as a HUGE lava dragon came screaming out of the volcano dropping pools of lava on the roof. The ROAR, the SPEED, and the HEAT swayed Breetaw, White Recluse, and Kyana SHAKEN. Then it roared into the sky and we lost it in the clouds. It was lost for some moments. White Recluse used the moments to try to read the mind of the couatl to find if it could aid us. It blocked his projections, so it would have to wait. And then it wasn’t lost anymore. It bulleted to land on the roof with us and bided its time to engage us.
We attempted to parley, though knowing our position was not one for bargaining, thought at least to barter for a few extra moments to heal our friends so they might be up for a bigger fight. It questioned us as if we were servants of Vol and strangely seemed okay with that result. Had it seen Thirst or Malik on the rooftop and scared them off easily enough? Would we be as easy to strike fear and flee? As soon as Knyana heard “Vol” escape the forked tongue of the huge bronze dragon, she rebuffed any alliance the creature perceived. The draco examined and perceived… Qual’baran— MORTAL ENEMIES! Hope of extra moments in parley now dashed, we strike first with spells and arrows.
Knyana and Slag hugged the orb with as much gusto as could be managed dodging and weaving all the while strategizing for their best action to cause the beast harm. The dragon breathed and caught Kynana, Slag, and Breetaw in a torrent of hellfire. Our company is stout in resolve. Breetaw continued a hail of arrows, and Knyana lobbed spells, White Recluse switched his helm for the psionic crown. Then Slag moved in closer to deal with the dragon and the dragon dealt with Slag by quickly clamping its jaws around our friend. Never counted out, Slag attacked from the inside wrenching Dolour’s Gate at the softer tissues inside draco’s mouth. And an extra something the dragon did not expect— Spikes of Wounding all over Slag’s body! PTEW! Draco spat Slag south still on the roof of the tower. Arrows fly and Slag mounts up for battle again. Draco hits Slag with every thing it had claw, claw, wing buffet, wing buffet, tail swipe, and bite. Slag battles from the inside again and the spikes are bringing the dragon low. White Recluse speeds time to repair his friend and the dragon tried to spit the wounding-one again, but fails to get him over the edge of the tower. WR takes some spear shots and just barely misses with three hits. The dragon goes for Knyana and snatches her up in one of its talons. Breetaw hit the dragon critically in the eye and then Slag was back on his feet for the death blow. The creature shuddered, lurched, moaned, flapped its wings, then quivered and died. The Walking Dead lept on its back with stabs, slashes, and chops splaying the creature’s armored flesh open to ensure its demise. And it gave one final ghostly exhale. Knyana, with her intimacy of the dead, confirmed that its soul had departed.
Feeling confident the crew decided to free the couatl. WR removed a spike on its neck and healed the wound. Having earlier removed a slave collar, the creature finally revived to slur some words, “Sachmo?” How did it know his name? It said it was Sur’kil. How can our former employer be this winged serpent nailed to the spire before us? After removing the other spikes and healing again, we understand that couatls can change shape… and they are also natural enemies of dragons which makes sense for Sur’kils claims that he has hunted dragons for a long time.
- this dragon was Ureave
- this dragon was a mature adult, possibly hundreds of years old
- Ureave has been serving Vol
With all that true, we have defeated every named person or creature that hunted us in the name of Vol: Dura- dead and destroyed, Thirst- rendered inert and dismembered, Malik- dispatched and dispersed, Ureave- wounded, chopped, and skinned.
White Recluse and Slag chop large sections of dragon faceplate, wing, and teeth for use in armor and weapon creation for sale or personal use.
4x large faceplate sections enough for one suit of full plate or 2 breastplates
2x large sections of wing enough for 2 full suits of leather armor
4x incisors for use in swords, daggers, or other wondrous items
In the chopping of dragon armor, Knyana spotted a dismembered horn that seemed oddly loose. She found it hollow and within unrolled a large black blanket, once unfurled gave way to an extradimensional space hosting gleaming treasure— the DRAGON’S HOARD!
We have many questions for Sur’Kil.
We have many items of magic needing distinction.
We have much treasure needing accounting.
We have a room in the tower due investigation.