The Court and the Play
After the commotion of the Dragonman attack died down, King Oberon granted the heroes rest and respite in the comfort of his palace. Food, drink, and entertainment were had by all during what could only be described as an orgy of earthly delights. After discussing the dragonmen with Robin Goodfellow, who seemed to have no knowledge of their origin but was aware of dragons, King Oberon returned and bid that his actors present a short play.
The play was an exciting one full of action and peril, describing Huma’s great battle with Takhisis and the power of the dragonlance he wielded. All who watched and heard the story were awed and left with wonderous thoughts: could a dragonlance be wielded against the new terrors? If so, where might one be found? These ideas were kept silent, however, as a newcome to the party caused quite a stir.
The Queen and her Council
Queen Titania arrived at the party instantly becoming the center of all attention for her beauty and grace and strange commanding presence. Introductions were made and great compliments given to everyone in the group. Through conversation the queen revealed that the Necromancer described by Jerek Greenkin was not working alone and that many had helped him and were sent searching through the Beast Run for…something, and the queen knew where one had gone.
The group made ready for the journey, deciding that to better understand what was happening in Balifor finding this necromancer’s assistant might have reveal clues. Certainly undertaking such a mission would help them keep their minds off the wholesale destruction of their old lives. Horses were made ready, including the magnificent Halan – a horse of great size and bearing with a pointed horn upon its brow. Halan was presented to Hawkeye who had lost his companion, Mequa the warhorse, during the exodus from Calinhand. In addition, each member of the group was presented with a gift from Queen Titania to aid them on their travels.
The Camp and the Wolves
On their way to the ruins where the necromancer’s assistant was last known to be travelling, the camp on the first night was interrupted during the witching hour by a number of massive wolves, biting and snapping at flesh. Aeruk Ironarm was on watch when he spotted them in the darkness, calling out to Bryce and the others to make ready to defend themselves. It wouldn’t take long to put down the dogs and be ready to continue on their way in the morning.
The Ruin and the Tomb
Having arrived at the ruin, the group cautiously made their way in to discover the sarcophagus of a long dead warrior and strange written words carved into the walls. Iohalia used her talent for deciphering to pick out the meaning of the story and found a tale of terror and might from the time before the Cataclysm. The warrior, one of the Kingpriest of Istar’s men, had attempted to disrupt the actions of a mage’s circle and in so doing brought about the destruction of an entire city. Pushing open the sarcophagus, the group discovered a lost magical weapon, a hammer, that was given to Aeruk Ironarm to use against his foes.
The Passage and the Gnolls
Seemingly a dead end with nothing but a tomb, the group searched and puzzled over the walls near the sarcophagus to find a buried passageway leading deeper into the hill. Clearing away the rock and dirt, the decision was made to delve deeper into the ruin. Suddenly, stone and earth caved in upon the heads of some of the group, injuring them. The heroes discovered that they must be careful beneath the surface here. Despite their care, however, another trap was unwittingly discovered and triggered bringing down a great blade. Someone or something desired to keep this place safe. It wouldn’t be long before the snarling and growling sounds of gnolls could be heard in the darkness. Battle ensued!
The Temple and the Pool
After dispatching the gnolls and discovering their entry point via a burrowed tunnel, the group discovered a room that seemed to be lacking the Gnoll’s filth and within it a strange pool of water that bore no moss or stench. In fact, the water seemed as pure as pure can be! It didn’t take Zamorra long to identify the room as an ancient temple to Mishikal! Tentatively, the group tasted the clean water and discovered it refreshed and vitalized the body. Immediately, all manner of objects that could possibly hold water were emptied and refilled with the restorative liquid, inadvertantly covering the floor of the holy temple with oil, ink, ale, and all manner of things.
Moving further into the ruin, the group encountered a stairway with a broken section in the middle that dropped away in a great pit. One by one the group leapt across to the other side. The last to jump was the cautious Zamorra, worried that he wouldn’t make it. The group, eager to continue and confident that Zamorra could make the jump, coaxed and encouraged the priest to jump. Unfortunately, Zamorra had already forseen his fate and missed the jump only to fall deep into the pit and injure himself badly on the bottom. After many attempts, he was recovered but only time will tell how the experience truly affected him.
More Gnolls and a Discovery
Creeping down the rest of the stairs, the party ambushed a group of gnolls otherwise occupied, taking them all down quickly. Certainly the stink of gnolls was powerful this deep into the ruin. Moving forward, it quickly became apparent that the ruin in this section actually appeared to be the exterior of an old city street with alcoves and broken cobblestone. Interestingly, a body also was found – that of the necromancer’s assistant! Using one of his gifts from Queen Titania, Zamorra attempted to get the dead body to speak, to answer a single question – what was his purpose in the ruin! But no response could be illicited. On the corpse, however, was discovered many an interesting item. First, a map to another ruin. It seems the assistant was killed mid-mission! Perhaps there are things at the next ruin that remain unfound by these foul necromancers and could be used against them! Second, a journal. Quickly, the wizard Thedan seized upon this spellbook of sorts filled with notes and he stands ready to learn its secrets. What will it tell the group of the evil deeds afoot?