The Book of Deeds, Earth dreamers. Fifteenth Entry
These last few chapters of their journeys have taken the longest to put to pen. The decisions they took changed the outcome in this part of Arastia and my analysis of the impact made by these dreamers is still ongoing. As is what awaits them if they return in days hence. But this chapter of our story awaits and it is time to tell it.
They begin where they left off. In the third tower between LongShadow and the Dwarven mountain hold Selthannad (Silverslag). Below the ruins of the tower lay curled the sleeping green dragon they had seen before. Lyra was not with them on this sojourn.
They discussed various options including lowering someone down to place the greater ward into the plinth and then leaving the dragon alone. But as the dragon was curled about the plinth and a small but useful hoard was in evidence they determined a coordinated surprise attack would be the best bet.
The spell casters set up around the trap door directly above the dragon. The remainder of the party circled around to the ruined stables and lowered themselves down from there. The ruins below had two distinct rooms amidst the rubble; the area under the stables and the area under the tower. The ruins under the stable were partially collapsed leaving bad footing and a large obstruction in the middle of the space they had to maneuver around to get to the dragon. They got in place and made their surprise engagements. Most simply used their surprise to get into a favorable position. Jaythier, Tinnyen and Darkel got off early damaging volleys while Corik and Reille directly attacked the young adult Green Dragon. Sammael created useful areas of fiery damage and then healing. The Dragon awoke immediately, breathing its green poisonous breath out into a fog hitting Corik, Reille and Sammael while Darkel stayed behind cover.
The dragon taunted them and moved about getting free tail attacks on any within range while biting, clawing and chewing his way through the party below. Soon Jaythier and Tinnyen could no longer see the dragon from the vantage of the trap door as she had moved entirely into the rooms below the stables. They lost precious time maneuvering around. The dragon knocked down Reille who promptly stood up with her magical boots. Corik continued to strike at the dragon, cutting deep gashes in her side. The Dragon decided to defeat them in detail and flew up out of the ruins to find the irritating spell-casters who had been casting freely at it. She didn’t see them immediately and turned to attack Sammael. It successfully breathed on him twice. Sammael was feeling the pain of the poison seep into him. But his sacrifice did not go unrewarded as Corik and Reille climbed up from below and attacked the dragon from behind. Darkel continued to attack when she could while retaining safe cover. Jaythier and Tinnyen got around the side of the ruined stable and continued blasting away.
The dragon was bloodied and breathed on the all but Sammael, Tinnyen and Darkel. The dragon once again showed it’s cowardice by jumping back down into the ruins below after Sammael. Sammael backed into the room below the tower and Jaythier and Tinnyen returned to their vantage at the trap door. Corik and Reille climbed down again while this time Darkel elected to fight from the Trapdoor above. All of the dreamers now concentrated their attacks and magics upon the dragon. Bringing to bear their strongest abilities knowing that they would likely be exhausted and unable to draw upon their strengths again that day. Tinnyen obscured those fighting below in a purple haze confusing the dragon and making it miss many times. Jaythier placed a watchful floating eye that allowed all to see the best targets on the now bloodied dragon. Reille and Jaythier rallied the party with their healing so that not even once did they succumb to the battering of the dragons teeth and claws. And it was Darkel casting the final spell that ended the wounded dragon’s life but not before it uttered its name and a warning.
“Antharosk will be missed. She will not abide my death mortals. Your death will follow quickly enough. May Tiamat grant me your souls to torture…”
Then the one remaining eye closed and she spoke no more.
In her hoard the group found items from a previous adventuring party. This proved difficult to divide because some of the items were from magical sets. Such as the Gadgeteer Googles and Deep Pocket Cloak. They found a compromise as some were willing to pass this time and split the items between them. Corik, who had fallen too often in previous battles had taken potions and a potion bandolier to both heal himself and be a third healer. They placed the greater ward in its rightful place on the plinth and slept the night safely protected in the ruins of the 3rd tower.
At sun’s first light they started out with a lively pace. They ate as they walked and didn’t slow down for anything. Ahead was their goal, the mountain hold. Before the sun dipped too close to the horizon they saw ahead of them that which they sought.
“As they curved ever right around the mountain the foothills grow ever higher until finally they saw an end. The path stopped at a ruined gatehouse with two Dwarven statues still guarding the intact door. The ground around them stank of some long saturated toxin that had killed every living thing and stained the ground and low hills a greenish-black. As they got closer to the keep they see the statues are not the only thing guarding the entrance. Two green ogre sized creatures with wiry black hair, long noses and sharp claws and teeth keep watch on either side of the doorway.”
“Trolls” said Corik. “Figures.”
The party girded itself for another fight, rapidly closing on the trolls. As they grew close the trolls banged heavily on the door and then attacked. Jaythier placed his watchful eye. Sammael placed fiery runes that burned the trolls, stopping their regeneration for a time. Tinnyen obscured his friends with his cloud of purple haze. Reille charged amidst them and heaved her weapon against their unctuous skin. Corik and his bear charged the other and soon the battle was in full swing. Darkel stayed a safe distance, blasting whatever part of the trolls he could see behind his friends attacking. Jaythier through down a magical blade and it began animating attacking the trolls. Sammael directed the power of holy light into the creatures again and again. The Troll fighting Reille became bloodied from all the damage while not being able to get at Reille through her new Armor of Sacrifice she had acquired from Antharosk’s Hoard. But then the door to the ruined keep burst open. A larger Troll obviously in charge with acid dripping from its slobbering mouth joined the Fray. It began to damage Corik who was having difficulty taking on two opponents at once.
The rest of the party concentrated attacks and magics on Reille’s Troll until it fell. Luckily Tinnyen’s orb had been acid based, keeping the Troll from rising again. Reille shifted to the Spitting Troll. Corik was finally bloodied but because of his Dwarfish nature he refused to succumb and shrugged it off. Jaythier infused him with healing from one of his many artifices and it was as if Corik had never been hurt. Reille battled bravely against a the leader almost twice her size. Sammael, Tinnyen, and Darkel now concentrated on Corik’s Troll and soon it was lying twitching at his feet. Tinnyen gave it an acid orb for good measure and then the entire group fell upon the Spitting Troll leader.
It never stood a chance. Concerned acid may not end it, they burned it down. The Trolls carried nothing of value on their odiferous bodies. They were unceremoniously placed in a heap and both melted and burned until nothing so much as twitched.
The party stepped into the ruined gatehouse.
“The gatehouse roof had collapsed but it still led to another large doorway against the rock of the mountain. The handle of the door has long been broken off.”
Weary and battle worn the dreamers elected this moment to release their avatars and return to their beds. Not knowing that a much larger threat faced them in the mountain itself.