Even something as powerful as a dragon is eventually reduced to nothing but bones in the dirt. Lesser beings grubbing in your old bones, looking for magic and treasure. Though I suppose a more obscure death is no better, unmourned and forgotten in some tomb of stone? Bah, never a good day to be dead. Good days to fight, kill, but not be dead.
The wilderness SE of Winterhaven
- Pry out Fire Glow Gem
- Ransack room, open chest w/ silver key 420gp (105 each), +1 Dwarven chainmail (Rhogar)
- Desecrate alter to Orcus
- Talk to Druidic ghost. Blights on land to North and West. Asks us to do something about it.
- Etherenye takes seeds to plant
- XP: 100
- Kill group of cultists(?) holding Douven Stahl captive
- Find statue of Orcus, destroy it
- Shadowfell Gate to the North, old cult activity (200 years ago)
- Escort Douven back to town
- Douven gives Amulet of Health +1 as reward
- XP: 462 (1390 total… Lvl 2)
Waking from our rest nothing of note happened. The caves were silent throughout the night, and the reddish glow allowed sufficient light to ensure nothing lurked in the shadows. The first order of business was prying the glowing gem from the old throne… Fallance stepped forward to do so with no ill effects.
After that we moved on to explore the rest of the cave complex. The first room turned out to be an old library, though nothing useful remained of the books… they had been shredded into bedding that was piled into a corner. An iron chest rested in the corner, locked but the silver key we had found opened it easily. It was not trapped and we recovered a set of magic chain mail as well as small horde of coins the creatures had gathered.
The other direction opened first into a small room that contained a shrine to Orcus. Further proof that he is active in these lands… death cult indeed. I kicked over the shrine and Fallance picked up the idol to melt down and remove it’s taint. The mosaics on the wall tell a story of occupation by worshipers of Tiamat before the Orcusites… seems a druids temple is a great place for a cult no matter their focus of worship. At least, that’s what I’m told… I don’t know much about this sort of thing. Past that a tunnel led into what I guess is the final resting place of the druids that once worshiped here. Broken urns and dust were scattered about the room, and the center was taken up by a huge mound of roots. As Etheryene approached they came to life, writhing away to form what seemed to be a cage of wood containing a spirit of some sort. The last sentience of the servants of the Verdant Lord that once resided here.
It spoke to us with hostility at first, but the rest of the group were able to calm it’s emotions and it granted us some small amount of aid. It spoke of wounds to land to the north and west, blighs upon the land. With information we got later these seem to be indicating the dragon’s burial site as well as something called the “Shadowfell”, or a gate there to. I was somewhat confused by the talk of planes but… regardless it seems tied to Orcus and we must put a stop to it.
After speaking to the spirit we decided to head west as that tied into what we knew of Douven Stall’s location. The trip took a few hours, though I don’t think we necessarily went hat far. Hard to tell to be honest… and here is the more interesting part of the day for me.
The dragon’s burial site was currently a rather large hole dug into the ground. It appears workers have been hard at work excavating the location. A hand full of people still populated the site, along with a couple of guard lizard things. We initially called out to them in greeting, though the situation seemed a bit suspect. It’s tempting to go in swinging, I admit, but really in situations like this it’s to easy to progress from hero is bandit if you don’t assess the situation. Besides the lizards there were 4 humans, a gnome and a halfling loitering about the place. The gnome did the talking, saying we had to see what they’d found and saying he was an associate of Douven. He said his name Agrid, but I admit I didn’t catch it… was to busy watching the others for signs of aggression.
Ultimately, a fight ensued. I quickly charged into the fray drawing the lizards attentions, as well as becoming a focus for the human thugs. The gnome and Halfling hung back, using ranged weapons upon the rest of the group. Fallance’s magical ice and my frost breath quickly winnowed down the humans, leaving the lizards and the quicker small folk alive. Glorala’s bolstering magics and summons kept me active despite the bites of the lizards and Ethereyne’s arrows bit their hides. And the beasts fell. I attempted to close on the gnome, calling out for the others to deal with the Halfling that attempted to take refuse up slope from me but the damn gnome vanished from sight so I changed targets and charged the halfing. A few blows of my sword laid him down, as Fallance and Ethereyne’s superior sense rooted out the hidden gnome and killed him.
After the battle we found Douven tied up under a tarp. Freeing him he informed us about his time here, that they’d found some artifact buried with the dragon. A statue of Orcus that after a brief examination we promptly destroyed. He told us of the Shadowfell, and of the cult activity from 200 years ago and their efforts to open up gates between the realms. We agreed to escort him back to town and in gratitude he gave us a protective amulet which we determined Glorala should wear.