The giant automaton called Molokotu raged over the dead city of Tosasth. It’s serpentine limbs flailed, knocking down already-crumbling buildings. It moved aimlessly, crushing ancient structures beneath mechanical feet. Blasts of thunderous energy from the gruesome grin added to the mayhem and destruction.
Tienarth and the others fled south, beyond the city boundary and then stopped to watch the uncontrolled destruction. Presently, they spied an airborne shape. Atop an avian shape rode the figure of an elf. The golden plumage matched that of the Roc that once stole Ghevont’s horse. The rider seemed to steer it towards Molokotu, harassing him. Though fearsomely large compared to people, the Roc seemed frail compared to the towering golem.
As the giant monster continued to wander around the city, crushing old stone to dust, it occurred to them a map found in the Ebril Estate pointed to a secret cache elsewhere in the city. They rushed back into the city to find it, and when they had, the monster was a mere 200 yards away. Fortunately, it turned away while they furiously freed an iron chest from its hiding spot. Inside, they found the described treasure: a girdle of giant strength, a healing staff, a potion and many coins. They gathered up the goods and made haste out of the city once again.
The Destruction of Doukreg
Meanwhile, Molokotu landed several blows on the distracting bird. Gravely injured after the third blow, the bird turned away and disappeared again to the south. The golem wandered more, destroying more old buildings and eventually reaching the Petfaren compound. It flattened that place and then moved directly Northeast.
Urgesh made to follow the lumbering giant as it climbed into the hills. The rest of the party prepared to march over the mountain pass to camp at the ruined tower. Picking over furrows in the terrain, Urgesh followed for three miles. He watched the mechanical monster approach a city of unusual architecture, built partly below ground level and integrated with a deep canyon. The rumbling earthquakes of every step called forth the denizens, grubby gnolls. No doubt this is where the larger army camped.
The gnolls streamed from the city in three groups, each taking a different direction. Molokotu systematically demolished the city and the fleeing gnolls. Blasts of pure energy incinerated the warriors. Urgesh hid in bushes as a few made slipped away and past him. After hours of utter destruction, the city was in ruins and no gnolls remained. Though his metallic visage remained fixed, Molokotu seemed satisfied. His great limbs ceased movement, and seemed to revert to an inert statue.
Urgesh watched for some time, well past when the sun gave up its duties and sank below the horizon. Molokotu remained motionless. In the morning, Urgesh made his way southward to pick up the road over the mountains.
Terror at the Tower
Aside from a giant hawk that momentarily gave the party pause, Tienarth and the others had little trouble arriving at the ruined tower by dark. They settled in a for an overnight stay inside the shell of the former guardhouse with Aderian taking first watch. Soon after stars shown in the sky, he spotted three fearsome shapes diving from on high. The white scales of a dragons sparkled in the moonlight. Aderian cried out to his companions to wake and grab arms.
They had but moments to rise from bedrolls, all still inside the old tower with gaping entrance where a door long ago rotted away. The dragons screeched, and two flew past the tower then curved around. The third landed with a thud at the tower door and belched forth an icy blast.
Instantly, deadly cold filled the tower and puffed up the top of the open roof. The paladin Stoyk was frozen in place, as were Bedanas and Jonas. Looks of terror were frozen on the faces of the two retainers. The rest of the party managed to endure the cold.
Tienarth, always ready for a quick escape, opened a dimension door and dashed through it, pulling longstream along. They appeared more than a hundred yards away and immediately began running down the road toward St. Orlan. They ran through the night, aided by the old elf’s nightvision and an invisibility spell. They arrived at the homestead by morning.
Azrak gulped a potion and began rising up. He gulped another and immediately tumbled to the ground, apparently negating the first effect with the second quaffing. He grumbled to himself and gods over his foiled scheme.
Aderian stepped forward to strike at the dragon, but the curse put upon him by the vampiric priest Penelo Elixidor flared up, pulling his attention to worms crawling beneath his skin. From moment to moment, he struggled with the curse and a few times making strikes at the dragon.
Jerker, wearing the girdle of giant strength, hurled loose stones at the dragon, tearing a gash on its thick skull. Azrak followed with two heavy hammer strikes that felled the beast. This was a fight for which his hammer was forged, and he made good use of its enchantment.
Jerker drew and swung his crystalline sword, Ithush, at one of the other dragons which had circled and now landed outside the tower. Ducking clawstrikes and bites, Jerker cut the head from the dragon in a sweeping arc of his blade. He leaped atop the carcass, raised his sword high and shouted, “Tienarth’s Raiders!”
The remaining dragon turned its attention from Aderian, enraged by the death of its kin and blasted Jerker with icy breath. The young warrior froze in place, his skin turning black. Perhaps distracted by its momentary success, the dragon then took two heavy blows from Azrak’s hammer. The skull was crushed and the dragon was clearly dead, but Azrak went on, delivering blow after blow until the monster was nothing but gore.
A telepathic cry rang out in Aderian’s mind. Jerker’s sword commanded him to seize the blade and stab it through the fallen warrior’s heart. He obeyed. Confused and still seething with battle rage, Azrak swung his hammer at Aderian. Aderian countered with a fist blow and announced he’d produce his potion of dwarf control. Azrak dropped hammer ans shield to grapple the former pirate and rip the potion from his hand.
Cooling off a bit, Aderian explained the swords power to preserve life. Azrak kept the potion for himself.
With little else to do, they settled down again for a rest through the night. They arrayed the decapitated dragon heads as a warning against any enemy that might come to disturb them, but no such interrupted occurred.
When the dimension door had closed, and he and Longstream had departed, Tienarth became sad.
“The sun hath been long set,” said he at last, “the meadow is damp, and from the forest cometh coolness. An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully. What! Thou livest still, Tienarth? Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly still to live?—Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me. Forgive me my sadness! Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!”
Thus sang Tienarth.
In the morning they marched back to St. Orlan, joined by Urgesh. Jonas and Bedanas were buried near the tower. Azrak carried Jerker and Urgesh carried the lifeless body of Stoyk. After a restful night at the homestead, they made for Lah’s Retreat where they all gave news of the final cleansing of Tosasth.
Lah rewarded their heroism with a removal of the curse upon Aderian and a regenerative spell over Jerker which allowed the removal of the sword.
Awaking from a dreamless sleep, Jerker heard the holy chants of the elder priest, chants of praising the power of the Anointed One. He gasped, drawing in fresh air and shivered from the retreating chill he’d never forget. Then he spoke, “Aderian, LaH, Itush… I owe you all a great debt…” Lah nodded in an acknowledgement.
Finally standing, Jerker announced “Itush you, you saw me as a worthy vessel? That… Is something… I pledge to plant you into the heart of greatest foe in all the land! That is my only offer of payment for the gift of life Itush. And Aderian, I shall not let you die so long as I live, I pledge this, no matter whatever idiotic wild goosechase for gold we find ourselves on, I shall be there besides you.”
- 1,300 cp
- 1,900 sp
- 3,700 gp
- 100 pp
- Girdle of Giant Strength
- Potion of Gaseous Form
- Staff of Healing
- 3 White Dragons 1,830 xp
- Aderian (fight) 813 xp
- Azrak (as npc) 366 xp
- Bedanas died by dragon breath
- Bottoms fled the city and went home
- Ferris was at home
- Jerker (fight) 813 xp
- Jonas died by dragon breath
- Longstream escaped battle with Tienarth
- Stoyk died by dragon breath
- Urgesh watched Molokotu destroy an old city
- Tienarth escaped battle