The Heroes were aboard the Albatross sailing away from Astoras towards Egremont.
Captain Pollock, whom the companions had recently met, knew these seas well and knew that something was wrong. He knew that Egremont, a large island nation, should have been visible from the ship’s location. He guided his ship closer to where Egremont should be but found flotsam and jetsam instead of land. Livestock, small roofs and dead bodies littered the top of the water. The entire island of Egremont was gone.
Captain Pollack was stunned and tried his best to explain to the adventurers that the island is gone but that they didn’t have time to weep just yet because supplies – especially fresh water – were low. They needed to get to the nearest island, which was a small island named Ganyss about two days to the north.
On the way to Ganyss, the crew spotted a man floating in the outer edges of the debris field. Ever the saving type, the companions rushed to the side of the Albatross with poles and tried to pull the man to safety. Creed, consistent with his nature to care for others, was the first to react, but he didn’t quite manage to put the long pole within range of the drifting man. Luckily, Moradin reacted almost as quickly and managed to lift the man out of the water with a pole and gently put him on the deck of the ship next to Creed, who could then tend to his wounds.
The man was beyond thankful and told the companions that his name is Darrin. Darrin told the companions of his plight – of how Egremont was attacked by a huge beast whose 100’ tall tentacles shot up out of the ocean and pulled the island under.
As unbelievable as Darrin’s story sounded, Tudor recalled some stories from a book that he found when he was younger. Tudor had always believed the story from the book to me a myth, so he didn’t know if the man was confused, delusional or worse – right.
Tudor wondered if it could it actually be true. The story as Tudor remembers is that the Primordials, who are older than the gods and time, emerged in the midst of the chaos following the Dying of Time. One of the Primordials fit the description Darrin gave. It could only be Ny’azathaugrath the Devourer – the oldest and most feared of the Primordials. Tudor couldn’t remember any more at the time, but committed to himself that he’d research the stories at his first convenience.
Creed recognized the holy symbol that Darrin was wearing. The symbol was for something he couldn’t quite remember – The Holy Order of …something. He had a hard time remembering the name because it was an order that he didn’t believe existed any longer.
The adventurers arrived at the Ganyss town of Agon, which was completely dark. The Heroes’ first instinct was to get ashore and find out what happened, but luckily a survivor was able to signal the Albatross with a light from ashore and warn her that Agon’s survivors were infected with bloodlung. Creed recognized the name of the disease which was famous for having no known cure. Bloodlung drowns victims in their own blood…it’s a horrible way to go.
The signalers also plead for the Albatross to go speak to the Oracle, who resided on the west side of Ganyss. For Captain Pollock, the stone-determined set on the heroes’ faces sufficed as answer to the question of whether these Heroes needed a ride to the Oracle.
As the Albatross was arriving to the place that Captain Pollock dropped off other pilgrims who were seeking the Oracle, he paused to show off the beauty of the great white cliffs rising high from the shores. The companions were awed by the site – so much so that they didn’t notice the large group of stirges slowly circling the ship.
Once again, Creed reacted quickest of all the companions. He pulled out his hammer and gave a mighty swing at the nearest stirge. He missed. The stirge did not; it landed right on Creed’s chest. The two wrestled back and forth with neither gaining the upper hand until the stirge eventually stuck its proboscis into Creed and began sucking his blood. Creed managed to finally pull the bug off him but not before the stirge filled its stomach with his blood.
Rykson was in up in the crow’s nest, so he quickly pulled out his sling and fired a bullet at a nearby stirge. He missed. So he tried again, and he missed again. And again.
Tudor was quick to react to the stirge threat and he did so by bashing his 6’ long quarterstaff down atop the nearest stirge. The stirge crashed into the water with a satisfying SPLASH! Then Tudor quickly scanned the deck of the Albatross and saw Rykson struggling to see the deck clearly because the basket of the Crow’s Nest was too tall. Focusing on the connection of the solidly built Albatross between himself and Rykson, he conjured a minor warp in reality that switched the places in which Rykson and Tudor existed. It’s a harmless conjuration and is quite thrilling to experience. This move allowed Rykson to get down into the fray. Tudor preferred to stay safe and away from the fray.
Rykson immediately called Kongo to his side but However, Kongo had eaten a piece of rotten fish earlier that day and had diarrhea right at that moment on the deck of the ship.
More stirges attacked. One latched onto Captain Pollock’s back and another onto Kongo. Moradin saw that Kongo and the captain were in trouble and immediately ran over and killed the stirge that was latched onto Kongo with one swipe of his axe. The rest of the stirges were just a bit out of range of Moradin’s mighty axe, so he quickly gathered his focus and killed the stirge on the captain with a psychic blast. He cut the stirge in half with the psychic blast…the long way. He expertly blended his axe attacks with his psychic attacks and killed stirges with his every move. He was feeling it. The dwarf beamed in self-satsifaction. He finished with another mind thrust at the stirge that was on the Captain. He missed but he managed to get close enough to finish the stirge off with his axe.
After the stirge attack, Captain Pollock continued on to the site where he would drop off the heroes. On the way there, Darrin, the man that the heroes pulled to safety, gave Creed a pendant. It was an uncomfortable emotional moment between the two men. But Creed would not stop wearing the White Flame Pendant and insisted that he’d need to use it in his darkest hour. Tudor briefly wondered what Eli would say about that.
The heroes disembarked the Albatross and quickly found themselves at the entrance to a dark cave where Tudor, Creed and Rykson realized that they each made the rookie mistake of believing that someone else in the party would have a torch. Moradin just laughed at their inferior vision and continued into the cave unbothered by the lack of light. Creed said a little prayer which lit his hammer with light bright enough to act as a torch. And with that light, the 3 followed Moradin into the cave and down the path that many pilgrims had taken before on the way to the Oracle.
After walking a couple hundred feet, they came across a large underground pool. A somewhat worn-down bridge crossed the pool and led to an island on which a large fire burned. The heroes crossed the bridge one-by-one so just to be safe. On the way across the bridge, Tudor noticed a hole in the bottom of the pool. They didn’t do anything about the pool immediately and instead decided to cross over to the island.
As the heroes crossed the bridge to the island, they noticed a lady in a red cape. Their eyes all lit up in eager anticipation believing that they had found the Oracle. However it was not the Oracle. When the lady in the red cloak stood and turned to face the companions, they saw that she was a disgusting hag. She was so disgusting that Creed, who was already sick from the stirge attack, literally went weak in the knees. He nearly buckled under from the weight of his armor!
As soon as the Hag revealed herself and Creed went limp, Tudor began conjuring forth another minor warp in reality – one that would conjure a creature from nothingness into reality. Tudor called this being Moe. The hag reacted quickly to Tudor’s spell casting and immediately attacked him. Luckily the nasty old hag missed him, for this would most certainly have ruined his spell.
Rykson, meanwhile, quickly circled around and pierced the hag with his lance from atop Kongo while Moradin sank his axe into the thigh of the nasty hag. Creed called upon the might of the Sky Father, Iynmar to doom the terrible hag, but he didn’t use the correct inflections and his spell did not bother the hag.
Before the hag could react further, Moe, who looked just like a Kongo from the Heavens, lunged at the hag’s ankles. He missed. Tudor knew that the hag would go down soon. It was hurt, so instead of using one of his spells, he swung at the hag with his 6’ long quarterstaff. He missed.
The nasty hag turned an evil eye on Tudor focusing a gaze attack on him, but Tudor simply returned the hag’s gaze with power burning in his eyes, brightening them to an almost green color.
Rykson circled around the hag and shot 2 sling stones at the hag. He had to completely spin around in his saddle to get his first shot off and it was perfect – hitting the hag squarely in the forehead.
Moradin continued to hack at the hag’s leg and took another large chunk of flesh of its thigh.
Creed, who was in severely weakened state still managed to deliver the blow that killed the hag. His swing was mighty…it just didn’t have the punch that it normally had. Creed killed the Hag with a glancing blow. Tudor thought to himself that maybe Creed’s craziness is just a sign that he’s touched by the gods.
After the battle, the Companions set up camp on the island so that they could catch their breath and recover. Creed was able to magically restore his strength and health and he also found a Ring of Protection +2 on the hag’s body.
After resting, the heroes decided to check out the hole in the pool. Rykson tied a rope around his waist and bravely swam down into the hole. Nearly 100’ down the hole, he found a smaller cavern. The cavern was littered with the chewed up body parts of the unfortunate pilgrims that did not make it to the Oracle. There was also a man in there whose hands had been chewed down to bloody stumps. Rykson went back up to the rest where they worked out a plan to rescue the man and explore the cavern.
Before they were able to fully develop their plan, they made an intelligent guess as to the nature of a ring that Tudor had been carrying around. They were able to correctly guess that the ring would provide wearer with the ability to breathe underwater. This proved to be vitally important to getting the entire party into the cavern.
After the Heroes made it into the cavern, they quickly turned their attention to whatever spoils there may be and to the handless man. Tudor noticed that the man’s gaze was transfixed on a candle, so he tried to blow out the candle. It didn’t go out so he stuck it in the water to put it out. It didn’t go out and worse, the handless man’s gaze followed the candle directly into the water. He fell in and little Rykson pulled him up as soon as he could but not before the man drowned. Tudor felt a huge pang of guilt that the man had died. He just hoped that the man was better off in death than in the state he was in when they found him.
Also in the lair was a large rusted-out cauldron. Under the lip of the cauldron, written in Infernal were the words: “Behold and _____ unholy____the Kur’dul_____unlife_____Prince_______Souls for All Eternity”. Rust filled the spaces between the words that Tudor was able to make out.
Rykson jumped into the cauldron and dug out 800 GP, a moonstone, an extremely rare and valuable prayer mat, a cracked vial filled with a smoky potion, a very nice pair of boots (acrobatic boots) and a light hammer. Rykson was able to determine the nature of the boots while Tudor was able to determine that the potion would remove paralysis. Tudor took the boots and Creed took the potion.
Eventually, the figured out that the cavern was just the hag’s lair. So after all their hard work in getting into the cavern, they had to get back out. One by one, the heroes would put on the ring of underwater breathing, tie themselves to a rope, go back through the channel of water and then tie the ring into a small pouch to send it back down the tunnel.
Creed, Tudor and Moradin made it back to the safety of land but when Moradin was trying to put the ring back into the pouch, his chubby little fingers proved to be a little too clumsy. The ring fell down into the depths of the water. The three of them sat there in dismay. There was no way for the Halfling to escape the cave.
Kongo seemed to understand that sudden change in mood and he howled. Creed went over to pet the dog – just as Rykson had asked him to do in case the worse happened. The other’s just remained motionless and sat in shocked silence.
Meanwhile, the empty end of the rope had floated down to Rykson. Anger, anguish and understanding all rushed through his head. He was trapped in a hag’s lair and his friends would not be able to save him.
After coming to terms with his predicament, Rykson decided to pray to Iynmar: “Iynmar, I know that I am not of your flock and that I have not prayed to you before, but if you hold Creed in any regard, please hear me now. I need your help, or I fear that I will not make it out of this place. Please hear me. Please.”
He waited for some kind of sign from the god. He saw none. “I am not under the sky. He cannot hear my prayer in this place. Father, I do not know what to do!”
At that moment, Rykson closed his eyes and began to sink beneath the dark, icy waters. Suddenly he felt something small and hard brush against his hand. His eyes flew open and he held the candle in front of eyes. There, tumbling in the water’s current was the gold ring. He watched, stupefied, as the ring slipped neatly onto his finger, as if with a mind of its own.
While still below the surface, he could feel air fill his lungs and he knew that he was saved. With a rush of relief and monumental elation, he made his back to his companions. “Thank you, Iynmar.”
The heroes stood at the shoreline at the base of the bridge but didn’t know where to go. Tudor recalled something about the Oracle…and remembered a mention about the Bridge of Believers and the Stairs of Penitence. The heroes naturally figured that the bridge they were staring at was the bridge, so they crossed again towards the island and did some stupid things on the steps in the hopes that they were figuring out some riddle. Tudor even stuck his hand in fire believing that it wouldn’t hurt. It hurt and it set his robes on fire.
Finally Moradin found a set of stairs leading up. The stairs were broken about 20 feet up, maybe by the hag. The Heroes managed to get up to the stairs, over the broken stairs and closer to the Oracle.
They followed the stairs to another cave which had neat tablet-shaped marks in the wall from pilgrims supposedly carving out tablets. The cave also had a ceiling writhing with dark mantles –creatures that liked to drop down on their prey and suffocate them.
As soon as the companions noticed that the ceiling was moving with dark shapes, Tudor quickly reacted and shot the nearest dark mantle with a magical missile of force that sprang forth from his fingertips and unerringly hit the creature.
One of the dark mantles timed its drop perfectly and landed squarely onto Creed’s head. Creed began his stirge dance all over again, with neither getting the upper hand. Another dark mantle dropped down on Moradin.
Rykson had since taken care of Kongo’s indigestion and had him back in action. Kongo attacked one of the dark mantles and ripped it apart with his powerful jaws. Rykson missed tried to follow suit, but he missed.
Creed grappled with the dark mantle that was on his head, but couldn’t rip it off. In fact, it tightened its squeeze on Creed.
The heroes eventually ran out of the dark mantle cave even though one of the creatures created an extra dark zone in the middle of battle that managed to cause some confusion.
They hurried out of the cave and along to the Bridge of Believers. At the foot of the bridge were two pedestals with small bowls on top. One pedestal had a carving that read, “of flesh you given faith” while the other pedestal had a carving that read, “of wealth you given piety”.
Rykson walked up to the faith pedestal and made a small cut on his finger and let some of the blood drop into the bowl. He then dropped a gold coin into the bowl on top of the piety pedestal. He crossed the bridge with full confidence. The rest of the heroes followed suit.
Halfway across the bridge, a sickly yellow cloud washed over the heroes. The cloud smelled of sulfur and curdled milk, the smell was so bad that Creed doubled over and started puking. Creed puked all the way across the bridge and when he didn’t have anything else left to throw up, he dry heaved.
The companions made it across the Bridge of Believers and to the foot of the Stairs of Penitence. At the base of the stairs, were the words “On Bended Knee, the Penitent Ascend”. The Heroes, including the very sick Creed crawled up the stairs on their knees.
At the top of the stairs, they found several 10’ tall obsidian stones and 4 humans draped in deep robes. Behind the men rose a huge black stone talon. It was very impressive especially since the place still smelled of sulfur and curdled milk. Creed puked again.
The robed men had no eyes, no ears and horrifically scarred faces. They turned and walked away from Heroes without a word and returned with the Oracle, whom they carried on a cot. The Oracle looked like she was a young girl – a very gross, unwashed little girl. Her eyes gave her away though because they were completely black.
The Oracle announced to the Heroes that she would give each of them one answer. So the Heroes asked the following questions:
Tudor asked of the Oracle: “How do we cure the disease, Bloodlung?” In response, she told the companions to bring her the bone of Orik, Fabled Silver Knight, who rests within Taarghin Moor. “Seek the raft man”, she said, “he knows the way. The sound will summon him.”
Tudor recognized the name Orik. Orik and the Silver Knights were part of the Silver Legion. They were the last remaining knights of Falador.
Creed asked of the Oracle, “Where is Taarghin Moor?” To which she replied that it was on the west side of this island and can be found by sea.
Rykson’s question was, “What sound will call the raft man?” The Oracle said that a ring of the bell at the spring would call the raft man.
Finally Moradin stepped up and asked his question: “Where is the gift Leviticus gave to Silverkiln?” The rest of the Heroes were immediately jealous that they didn’t get to ask such a personal question, which just shows that it was a great question. The Oracle answered Moradin by telling him that the gift was carried by Thorakk Lightforge who lost it at Rhuul. It was taken by the Nergin and place upon their highest altar.
The Oracle signaled that the conversation was at its end and made the slightest of gestures to have the robed men carry her away. So the Heroes went back to the Albatross.
The journey to find the bell was fairly simple. Creed walked up to the bell and rang it. After he rang it, it began thundering and raining and the sky became ominously dark.
A quiet man approached out of the fog of the Moor on a raft. He nodded his head in affirmation at the question of whether or not he was the rafts man. He then wrote his name in the mud with a stick: Khirgil.
Khirgil held out his hand to the Heroes asking for payment. They put some gold coins in his hand, but he just dropped them. So they decided to give him a piece of amber and a dagger which seemed to satisfy him.
Feeling like the amber and dagger were sufficient compensation, Khirgil to guide the companions across the Moor in 2 rafts. Moradin and Creed were in the front boat with Khirgil and Rykson, Kongo and Tudor were in the following raft. As they were making their way through the moor, the companions noticed 2 very large ripples in the water following what seemed to be a pale white shadow beneath the water. Whatever they were, they were headed straight for the boats.
The two large white crocodiles had been waiting for the rafts to get close. As the front raft floated past, one of the crocodiles lunged forward and tried to pull Moradin out of the boat and into the water. Luckily, dwarves have a very low center of gravity and thus the dwarf was able to fend off the crocodile’s attack. The other crocodile submerged out of view. Tudor hated the feeling the fear he experienced for being out of his element and in this predator’s element, so he began casting a summoning spell.
Moradin responded to the croc’s attack by hitting it with his axe. The axe cut deeply into one of the crocodile’s eyes, but the attack cost Moradin his balance and he fell out of the raft landing in the dark water with a loud splash. As soon as he fell into the water, the croc grabbed him, meaning to pull him under and drown him.
Before the croc established enough of a hold to pull Moradin to the murky depths of the moor, Rykson shot it with his bow and Creed called upon the Sky Father’s vengeance to fill the croc with a feeling of complete doom and hopelessness.
The other croc that had submerged crashed into the raft from which Rykson was firing and Tudor was casting. The croc hit with such force that it knocked both Rykson and Tudor into the water. Tudor was so focused on his spell, that he barely realized that he was falling and managed to finish his spell the moment he landed in the water. Tudor conjured forth a minor warp in reality that brought forth 2 celestial dolphins, which immediately attacked the croc that had a death grip on Moradin. Their attack was swift and brutal and killed the croc quickly. They then turned their attention to the croc that knocked Rykson and Tudor into the water.
Creed had remained very sure-footed in his raft throughout. He used Iynmar’s blessing and power to physically absorb some of the wounds that Rykson was taking, which kept the tiny little Halfling from being torn apart by the croc. After casting his protective spell on Rykson, Creed took careful aim with his new throwing hammer and launched it at the crocodile attacking Rykson. Tudor’s quick eyes saw the weapon change into several types of weapons, but when it landed in the water at the croc’s side, it landed as a hammer.
Moradin took a quick moment to pull himself up into the raft just as a third croc appeared from the depths, surprising the companions and smashing into the raft. The collision knocked Moradin to his feet and Creed into the water. Moradin bounced back up easily avoiding the croc’s bite in the process and then scored a vicious hit on the side of the alligator’s chest.
Rykson and Kongo fought another croc from their raft and managed to steady the raft long enough to let Tudor pull himself up into the boat. From there, Tudor blasted the croc with 2 missiles of pure arcane force, killing the croc.
Moradin finished off the last crocodile by splitting its skull in half with his heavy axe.
After the battle, Creed offered to trade for the Ring of Underwater Breathing that Tudor had been wearing. Tudor gave him the ring and didn’t take anything in return; he just asked that at some point in the future his favor be returned. Tudor was glad to see that the fear which had been splayed across the crazy chaplain’s face moments before disappeared once Creed put on the ring.
Khirgil took the companions to a little island in the middle of the moor where they could rest and prepare for the next day. The next morning, everyone woke up at the same time. They were so completely refreshed that they were almost thankful to Moradin for falling asleep on his watch. Again.
It didn’t take long to get to the landing where Khirgil would leave them. He made a hand signal that Rykson quickly picked up on as meaning that they had only one day.
The Heroes began climbing a steep hill that was muddy and slick. Some kind of light shone from the top the hill. Being very curious, the adventurers advanced towards the light. As they neared the source of the light, it rose up to about chest-height and revealed itself to be a lit-up, bodiless head.
Just as the companions began to realize what they faced, the body-less skull launched a magical ball of fire at the group that caught the entire group in its explosion. Before the group could recover and put out the fires, the skull fired a ray of dark matter out of one of its eye sockets that hit Moradin right in the forehead. The evil magic in the ray caused Moradin to become severely fatigued, as if he had just run all day. In fact, Moradin was so fatigued and the terrain so muddy and steep that he could run no more. Further, he was fully armored, so needless to say, he wasn’t going anywhere. So he pulled out his crossbow.
Tudor recognized the Moradin and his deadly axe were stuck, so he focused on the space between Rykson, who was next to Moradin, and the flying skull and conjured a warp in reality to transpose their positions; thereby, putting the skull right next to Moradin and his axe. Unfortunately, the skull was able to resist his spell.
Rykson, who was riding atop Kongo was having issues closing in on the skull, so he shot the skull with a sling bullet sending small chips of bone flying. Then he positioned himself on even ground with the skull to set himself up for a charging attack.
Creed called forth the might of Iynmar to turn the foul undead creature, but he did not channel enough of the power to turn the thing. Moradin could not get close enough to hit the skull with his axe, so he sent a pulse of psychic energy at the skull, but it had no effect.
The skull turned its attention back to Tudor and hurled two missiles that struck him in the chest. The pain nearly made Tudor collapse but he stood firm and called out for Creed’s help then began summoning more allies.
Rykson fired another bullet at the skull, but he missed.
Creed ran over to Tudor and sent waves of healing energy through him. Just one more reason the party loves our crazy Chaplain.
Moradin tried his psychic attack again, but the skull resisted his attack again.
The skull turned its attention to Moradin and shot the slowed dwarf with two bolts of force. It hurt, but Moradin shrugged it off.
Tudor finally completed his summoning and Diesel stepped out of the rip in reality Tudor had created when he finally finished his spell. Diesel appeared as celestial giant fire beetle this time and skittered forth to attack the skull from its flank, but the skull was too quick. Tudor continued into the next summons.
Moradin tried his psychic ability again, but he just couldn’t get into the skull’s psyche.
Feeling less threatened by the beleaguered dwarf, the skull turned its attention on Rykson and hit him with a ray that fatigued the Halfling.
Then Moesser, another fire beetle appeared and attacked the skull from a flank. Moesser missed, but Diesel didn’t. Tudor ran back to the safety of the trees before deciding on his next course of action, which was to come up the other side of the hill in a flanking position to the skull.
Rykson managed to get within charging range of the skull and he charged the skull from atop Kongo. He thought he hit the skull squarely, but it didn’t do as much damage as he would have thought.
Creed moved up to Moradin and laid a healing hand on his shoulder. The healing boosted Moradin’s morale, so he began moving up the muddy hill ever closer to the skull. The skull lashed back out at the dwarf with two fiery rays that burnt some of the thick beard off his face.
The companions fought the skull for a long while on that muddy hillside and nearly lost Creed, who went unconscious. This battle may be the moment that they truly became one unit. They became the Seekers of Isle. Had they not worked so well together as a team, they probably would have all perished.
Rykson finished the battle by skewering the skull with a lance that Creed had imbued with the power of Iynmar. Moradin, Rykson and Tudor tried unsuccessfully to bandage the crazy healer and keep him from bleeding to death, but they failed. However, Creed was blessed by Iynmar himself and stabilized on his own.
Eventually, The Seekers found Orik’s tomb but couldn’t figure out how to enter it at first, but they eventually found an opening in the cliff face that led into the tomb. They got into the covered entrance to the tomb and set up a rest area to get Creed back up on his feet.
After quite some time, they kicked in the rotten door that led into the tomb. Inside the tomb, they found a hallway that had 6 alcoves. A black stone sarcophagus sat in each of the alcoves. Rykson ventured into the room which was full of water up to his neck and bravely investigated each of the sarcophagi.
On the first sarcophagus was written, “Here lies Cedric – 1st Son of Orik”. Rykson managed to pull the sarcophagus open with his bare hands, but found only rusted adventuring gear and the skeletal remains of Cedric.
On the next sarcophagi were the words:
“Here lies Pormus – 2nd Son of Orik”
“Here lies Triton – 3rd Son of Orik”
“Here lies Morrik – 4th Son of Orik”
“Here lies Hurus – 5th Son of Orik”
“Here lies Woden – 6th Son of Orik”
Finally, a silver door at the end of the room had the words, “Here lies Orik the Just”. After some searching, Tudor managed to find a release for the silver door.
Rykson stayed in the room to open the door, but the rest bravely went back to the front room…just in case. Before they opened the door, Creed tied off with Rykson, which very may have saved Rykson’s life because when he opened the door, all the water in the room quickly rushed into the next chamber. The rushing water was enough to knock Rykson onto his back. Creed stood amazingly strong through the rush and did not let go of the rope…but he usually comes through when his friends really need him.
As soon as the water had drained from the room, Rykson found himself engulfed in a cloud of acidic vapors.
A mean-tempered young black dragon watched in silence as the Seekers opened the door. It knew that whatever had opened that door must have been knocked senseless by the rushing water. The young but naturally-talented predator remained motionless and focused and after two of the intruders stepped into its lair, it reared its head breath forward a line of acid that would get them both.
It was Rykson that entered the room first and took the brunt of the acid breath and it burnt gashes though his clothes and into his skin. Rykson screamed out in surprise and pain but managed to keep his head out of the dragon’s mouth.
Moradin moved into the room and fired a bolt that sank into the dragon’s side with a satisfactory thump. The other Seekers could tell that the stout dwarf actually appeared to be afraid of the dragon. Moradin truly worried that they were outmatched and may have actually cried out something not so tough. Nevertheless, his friends needed him so he steeled his nerves and moved forward into melee combat.
Rykson scrambled to his feet, but in the process, he let his guard down and the dragon took advantage by delivering a fierce chomp. It was not enough to take the tiny Halfling down though, and he hurried out of reach of the dragon and moved to mount Kongo. The dragon tried to follow Rykson, but it slipped on the wet floor of the burial chamber and landed on its side.
Creed moved ahead with Moradin and blessed him with incredible strength – strength enough to pwoer Moradin’s axe through the tough hide of the dragon.
Tudor stepped out from the shadows where he had been casting a spell. He was followed by Moe, Moesser and Moessie, who had come to Tudor’s summoning in the form of celestial dogs. Moe and Moesser immediately rushed the prone dragon and smote him with their celestial fangs. Moessie hung back because the burial chamber was just too narrow to fit them all. Tudor also sent two missiles of arcane force unerringly into the dragon’s skull.
After blessing Moradin, Creed turned his attention to the dragon and targeted him with a doom spell. However, the spell failed.
The dragon was lying on the ground and was surrounded on all sides by gnashing teeth, an axe and a lance. Instead of standing, it struck out from its prone position with claws, teeth and wings. Its attack was so vicious, that it killed Moesser and nearly killed Moe.
Since the dragon had turned its attention towards the dogs, Moradin found an opening in its defenses and chopped into the dragon’s chest with his psionically-charge axe.
Tudor once again unerringly blasted the dragon with 2 more bolts of force while Moessie took the place of the fallen Moesser. Moessie bit into the dragon with a celestial smite, but Moe missed.
Rykson charged the dragon from atop Kongo and did a significant amount of damage. However, he was still injured and dangerously close to the dragon. Creed put himself in harm’s way to protect the little outrider by magically creating a link between himself and Rykson, thereby absorbing half the damage Rykson was taking. Rykson then moved back into position for another charge at the dragon. Only such a small person could manage to navigate that room well enough to even attempt a charge.
The dragon lashed out at Moradin, hitting him with both claws and nearly pulling his arm out of socket with its bite. Moradin took the damaging blows and delivered a swift and successful counter strike, while Moe and Moessie bit at the dragon. Moessie missed then disappeared back through Tudor’s tear in reality. Moe got one last bite on the dragon before disappearing back through the reality warp.
Tudor sensed that the dragon’s end was near, so he conjured forth a ball of acid at the dragon to finish the beast off, but he missed. In the back of his mind, Tudor realized too late that the dragon was immune to acid. Rookie lesson learned.
Creed stepped back away from the dance of death that Moradin and the dragon were dancing. Creed knew that the dragon was a natural born killer and didn’t expect it go to down so easily, so he hid in a nearby alcove, out of the dragon’s line of sight. This proved to be smart move because the dragon breathed another line of acid directly into Moradin’s face, nearly disintegrating the stout dwarf. Creed quickly stepped out from the shadows and healed Moradin before he collapsed in agony.
For all the work and damage that Moradin had done, it was Rykson who got the killing blow by charging in and impaling the small dragon on his spear-sized lance. Even though Moradin wanted the glory of the kill, he was still grateful that Rykson killed it before it could kill him.
The Seekers erupted into a celebration after they slayed the dragon, giving each other high-fives all around. They each took a dragon’s tooth or a claw as a trophy of their kill. Rykson even pondered the idea of skinning the dragon in the hopes that he could use the hide, but he didn’t know what he would do with it, so he left it.
They quickly regained their composure and went back to the task of collecting Orik’s bone.
Orik’s burial chamber was still flooded, so Rykson swam over to Orik the Just’s silver sarcophagus. On the sarcophagus was engraved, “31 BE – 28 AE”. He took a moment to study the silver sarcophagus and in the process realized that this room had a large dome to it. The dome had were depictions of legendary heroes. The same heroes they had all heard stories of when they were young.
The Seekers spent some time trying to figure out how to open the sarcophagus, while Rykson followed an underwater passage leading out of the burial chamber. Rykson found the dragon’s lair through the tunnel and was able to gather a considerable amount of loot. He found 1,800 gold coins, a small box of perfumes, a chalice lined with sapphires, a Cord, a metal wand, an iron lamp, a small red amulet and a cloak. He also found a rather large tapestry, but decided to leave it since they had already found a very valuable rug in the hag lair.
Creed and Tudor teamed up to study the items from the dragon’s hoard. They were able to determine that the cord, amulet and cloak each gave off a faint aura of abjuration magic (magic that generally is used to protect, block or banish); the metal wand had an aura of illusion and the iron lamp caught Tudor’s eye because it had a faint aura of conjuration.
After digging through their new treasure, the Heroes refocused on opening Orik’s silver sarcophagus. In order to get the lid off, they had to tie a rope to it and then they all pulled on the rope.
Inside the silver sarcophagus were the remains of Orik the Just along and his falchion. Strangely, the skull of Orik was still intact. This fact did not pass over Creed. He eyed the skull curiously, wondering why it would still be intact. So he asked Eli, the skull hanging from his belt, why Orik’s skull would still be intact. As far as the rest of the Seekers were concerned, Eli didn’t answer.
Moradin eyed the very nice looking falchion. The curved sword was taller than he was but it looked so much nicer than the axe that he was using. Rykson and Tudor tried to convince him to leave the sword with Orik, but he did not. He took the sword and also took Orik’s skull, which made Creed (and Eli?) very happy.
The Seekers made their way back to Khirgil and gave him the shiny cup with sapphires on it as payment for guiding them through the swamp. Before they were able to get out of the swamp, a very large dark shape flew overhead and chilling anger-filled roar. It was a huge black dragon and was very upset that its baby had been killed and hoard looted. Khirgil was skilled enough to keep them out of sight of the dragon, a fact that was worth much more than all the trinkets they had given him as payment.
The Seekers made their way back to the Oracle, who crushed Orik’s bone into dust and used it to create a cure for bloodlung. The Oracle seemed happy with the Seekers for going out of their way to save Agon so as a gift, she gave each Hero a revelation.
Tudor’s revelation: “Only the wizard’s ring can open the iron doors of Astoras. Seek it in the tower beneath the sea”
Creed’s revelation: “Return to the Tabernacle. He awaits you there.”
Rykson’s revelation: “Evil comes in many forms and wears many masks. But the heart is always true and vulnerable.”
Moradin’s revelation: “The lost clan can still be found. Seek them where the ice meets fire.”
Viktor didn’t get a revelation, but he did get a nice tan aboard the Albatross.
They took the bloodlung cure back to Agon and emptied it into the town’s well, as the Oracle instructed them to do. The cure worked, and the Seekers, with the help of Captain Pollock, Khirgil and the Oracle saved hundreds of lives.
As they set said from Agon, Captain Pollock said with a somber tone: “You all are heroes and what you did here was very important. You saved hundreds of lives. I am very proud to have helped you and know that I have earned my place in history just by helping you. As an offer of thanks, I will take you any place that you want to go – for free.”