After recovering a badly damaged notebook from the body of a very unsavoury looking corpse, Thedan carefully identified a number of key passages. From his work, the group learned that this man had been looking for something very powerful and that perhaps he’d discovered something that even his master wasn’t aware of. A new fear struck the group as they imagined the power that destroyed cities in the hands of these evil minions who seemed to be in league with the dragon army. With a map to the location of Shrill on the Wendlewrithing and the belief that something of importance could be found there, the group quickly mustered forth.
The Food Train
On their journey, the party came across a travelling group of gnolls driving wagons full of dirty, wounded refugees that had the look of Balifor about them. Without pause, the group made plans to attack the gnolls and free the people. Placing brush and logs across their path, the gnolls were forced to stop as they were assaulted, Bryce and Aeruk Ironarm making the frontal assault while Iohalia and Hawkeye attacked from the trees with bow and arrow. After they were attacked, the gnolls suddenly turned to kill their captured prey, jabbing at the civilians with javelins and spears. Leaping down from his hiding place, Hawkeye flew into a rage at this cowardly move and charged. Not long after, the gnolls realized their situation, being attacked on all sides, and fled their places into the brackish forest of the moor.
After being freed from their cages, the refugees quickly spoke of being from Calinhad. After some questioning, the party learned that the Dragonarmy’s floating castle had departed Calinhad’s skies, heading south-west towards Silvanost! The people of Calinhad were either being used as slave labour in mines or being sent as cattle to the gnolls in exchange for their assistance in the war. A force of about 5,000 dragonmen remain in the city, however, and taking back Calinhad would not be an easy task. Soon the decision had to be made as to what to do with the refugees now and the group finally settled on sending them south to join the other refugees. Bryce and Arianna would go with them, but the group would return their upon dealing with what could be found at Shrill.
The Chasm of the Writhing
Upon arriving at the great rift of the Writhing river, Iohalia scouted ahead, determining that there were no fewer than fifteen dragonmen rotating a five man guard in and around the ruins of a guard post on the eastern side of the writhing river. Two bridges, a stone one and a lower strung rope one spanned the chasm. While investigating a ruined tower on the western side of the bridge, Iohalia and Aeruk Ironarm discovered the ancient remains of what appeared to be a white robed wizard. In his posession, a scroll allowing safe passage to a one of the wizard towers of old through the forest of Wayreth. A legendary find! With such powerful artifacts just lying about, the party got right to the task at hand. Thedan, using his powers, created an invisibility sphere around the companions allowing them to travel across the stone bridge undetected amongst the roar of the waters below. Upon reaching the other side, however, an unnoticed magical trap was triggered sounding alarm bells ringing in the air. Turning to look, the dragon men squinted at the lack of people there until a tiny cat ran into the courtyard and hissed at them. A cat triggered the alarm! Not quite. A magical cat phantasm as pulled by Iohalia from her bag of tricks! Unfortunately, another dragon man, bigger and of a type known to cast magical spells, entered the yard from a building to the left and sniffed at the explanation, turning his gaze to the bridge before yelling “You fools! They are invisible! Attack!”
The Battle of the Two Bridges
A great battle began involving no less than fifteen dragon men and their leaders. Quickly, the party overwhelmed the spell casting dragonman. So fierce was the attack, or so clever was the dragonman, that when he died he exploded, catching the unprepared with a fleck of stone as it flew outward. All of the dragonmen rushed the party and soon Aeruk Ironarm was nearly surrounded. The dwarf spun and ducked, attacking with glee until suddenly a ray of light pierced the evening, striking the dwarf and sapping his strength. Another spell caster had joined the fray, only this one was a man and casting his spells unlike any arcane caster the group had seen.
Bravely the group fought on, whittling down their opposition. Zamorra and his bow sought to disrupt the spell casting man and soon with help from Thedan, he was brought down leaving only the remaining dragonmen to fell. Iohalia, taking refuge behind a corner of a building whirled and smashed with a light hammer, chipping away at the dragonmen while Aeruk Ironarm and Hawkeye led the assault. At one point, Hawkeye seemed to gain a burst of inspiration, ducking the swing of a dragonmans arm before smashing his heavy mace hard into a knee, bringing the dragonman down before sweeping up with a devestating hit with his other mace square into the chin (TWO CRITS IN A ROW!).
As the battle wore on, a wall of dead dragonmen statues began to form as a testament to the skill and destruction of the group. Three dragonmen attempted to flank the party by gliding to the other side of the chasm, but Zamorra spun about to hit one with an arrow as it glided. And then a crack of thunder as a bolt of lightning slashed through the flying creatures, charring their scales. So wounded, finishing them off was no difficult task for Iohalia and Hawkeye. At the end of the battle, many piles of dust remained where the dragonmen’s statues had crumbled. Also remaining: the party, hardly wounded in the exchange.
Time to Rest
Collecting some spoils from the fallen, including a number of rare magical items from the fallen necromantic spell caster, the group searched a nearby keep building and found another laboratory. It would appear these agents lurk everywhere and have been active for some time in secret. Interested in a dagger found on the fallen spell caster, Thedan picked it up only to be scarred by its terrible power. A cursed and foul weapon! With great effort, the wizard hurled the deadly weapon into the raging waters below, casting its black power into obscurity.
To be cont.