On the 12th day of Snake, Tienarth’s Raiders, united once more with Ghevont, made preparations for a journey on horseback over the pass to Tosasth. From amongst the vagrants camping in the field, they selected two volunteers to attend to portage. The first was Grubb, who’s name reflected his general lack of cleanliness. The second was Bayaya, a sturdy woman warrior decorated with many piercings, including a holy symbol dangling from a chain attached to her ear.
A Ruined Tower on the Road to Tosasth
They rode out past St. Orlan to the cutoff across the river that skirted the northern swamp. Nearing the former estate of the zombraire, they stopped at the approach of bandits on the path. A polite exchange resulted in the bandits professing admiration for the well-known portal closers lead by an ancient elf. Asked, they accepted an offer to join up for the chance of some treasure, for they had been searching the swamps and found a temple already looted. Their leader was Durwin the Maniac, obviously a veteran of some experience. His sergeant was Todd, who looked after the other 14 rabble.
The group fell in behind the horses as they moved on towards Dacha’s place. The dwarf was not seen, and they avoided a meeting given his grumpy attitude and possible culpability in collapsing the entrance to his mine. They detoured to examine the barrier from the top side and judged the job of clearing to be extensive. They returned to the old road which began to climb up into the mountains.
In the late afternoon as the sun sunk into the orange of dusk, they came upon an ruined tower. Out from the doorless entrance spilled ghost shrooms, which Aderian spotted well before being surprised. Two well-placed flasks of burning oil destroyed the menace and allowed a search. The lower 30 feet of the tower remained as an empty shell open to the sky. No secrets turned up after a lengthy search, so they set up camp.
On the morning of the 13th, they resumed progress up the road, rising high in elevation until patches of snow dotted the rocky terrain. Presently a pack of wolves approached, blocking progress. The largest of the six wolves snarled, eyes passing from face to face. Without warning, it leaped past the those on horses onto one of the bandits. Crimson blood arced as the wolf tore out his throat.
Aderian dismounted and charged at the wolf, followed by Ferris. Ghevont produced a scroll which he began reading. Tienarth invokes his oft-used spell of haste. The bandits panicked, fleeing back down the road with wolves chasing them. A glowing sphere expanded from Ghevont’s scroll as he spurred his horse after the wolves. Tienarth followed.
Ghevont howled, “Stop this wickedness! Gather close to me!” Tienarth let loose magic missiles, injuring a wolf. Aderian and slashed at a wolf with his dagger beside Ferris, swinging his two-handed sword. One wolf tumbled, gurgling as it breathed its last.
Ghevont blessed Aderian with holy striking. Sparks shot from the pirate’s dagger as it tore into wolf flesh. Around them, wolves pounced on one bandit after another, leaving the dying to bite those still standing. Ferris and Aderian also suffered wounds from gnashing teeth but continued to cut down wolves, too.
Some bandits rushed close to Ghevont, protected inside the glowing globe that was proof against lycanthropes. It was proven these were no ordinary wolves, but werewolves! As the weak huddled, Aderian and Ferris destroyed the foul beasts. In the end, they counted nine dead bandits.
Durwin scolded his mean for cowardice. Ghevont offered mercy and prepared a ritual for the dead. Their bodies were burned as he sang the song Come On Up For The Rising. The werewolves were burned separately, their judgement to be administered in the halls of eternity.
Attack of the White Dragon
With religious matters settled, they moved on up the road which narrowed to allow only two per rank. In front were Ghevont and Aderian, followed by Tienarth and Ferris side-by-side. Behind them were Grubb and Beyaya, and finally the Durwin and his bandits. The snow piled higher here, and down a steep slope they saw a placid lake, perhaps two miles in length. Vegetation was only low scrubs.
Suddenly a screech tore down from above. They stood frozen as the largest monster ever seen dove at them on white, leathery wings. As it closed on the group it opened its jaws to display innumerable teeth shining like icicles. Then a jet of fog burst out in a cone shape that enveloped the back half of the troop. Instantly, flesh iced over and men stopped dead, crashing to the road with thunks. It was a white dragon, and it had surprised them!
But Tienarth’s Raiders quickly recovered their senses and took to action. Ghevont to turned to Aderian, blessing him with protection from cold, even as an icy fear crept up his spine. How deadly would this battle be? Would it be their last?
The dragon passed over them and out over the lake. Tienarth let loose a lightning bolt that slammed into the dragon’s tail, sending a wave of blue sparks along its body.
“Drink the potion!” exclaimed Ferris, meaning the potion of giant strength the thief had handed the fighter not long before. “Hit that thing with a rock!” he added.
Aderian gulped down the salty liquid and scanned the surroundings, noticing several melon-sized stones. Jumping from his horse, he scooped up a boulder and hurled it at the dragon, now even farther away. The stone arced up and then crashed down on the dragon’s head, causing the monster to shudder and tilt in the sky. It heaved a mighty surge of its wings, extending the distance from them, perhaps seeking escape. Yet it remained still close enough for another stone-toss. Aderian hurled another boulder with his giant strength, once again landing a solid blow. Unconscious, the dragon tumbled down to splash into the lake near the shore.
Aderian rushed down the steep slope, waded into the lake and hauled the dragon out onto the beach. It was dead. Ghevont knelt over it, producing a scroll that allowed speaking with the dead, though no sensible questions were answered by a creature of unsuitable intelligence. Ghevont only came away with a name for the fallen foe. “I name you Frostbreath.”
The Question of Dragon Armor
Once again, they had the bodies of fallen comrades to burn. And then conversation turned to finding the lair of the dragon. Two hours of walking around the lake led to a small cave. Inside was a nest of platinum and gems. Ghevont scooped them up into his magic bag.
Next, they considered how to treat the body of the dragon, which they assumed could be used in the creation of special armor. It was a recurring topic, a favorite of Azrak: dragon armor. It was a pity, they noted, that the dwarf remained home, fascinated by other amusements. The agreed on the best plan being for Aderian to rush home to fetch their wagon and to bring the dragon in whole back to town. They expected this to spark a remarkable event.
The rest of the party remained with the dragon, camping at the lake shore. They spent a quiet night. The only animal seen was a hawk hunting at dusk. The next day, Aderian returned with two horses pulling the wagon, filled with stout men. With much effort, they managed to pull the dragon corpse onto the wagon, tying it down with ropes. On the evening of the 16th, they rode through St. Orlan where a crowd gawked at the sight of a slain dragon, eventually pulling the wagon through the gates the Jonamor Estate.
The next morning, Ghevont left for Lah’s Retreat, inspired by an idea for another holy spell. Ferris rode into St. Orlan to hire an armorsmith who instructed him on the possibilities of producing armor from the dragon hide.
- 4, 000 pp
- Many, many gems worth 17,583 gp
- Ghost Shroom: 240 xp
- 6 Werewolves: 1,680 xp
- White Dragon: 610 xp
- Tienarth/Tre — wilderness adventure — 639 xp
- Ferris/Henry — 696 xp
- Aderian/Jason — fight, use strength — 709 xp
- Ghevont/Jeff — tenet of faith, offer help — 709 xp
- Grubb — 317 xp
- Beyaya — 317 xp