Aversten

#8 Druids & Dragons

The group awaits anxiously outside the Druids home, hearing a rustling inside. Moments later Reidoth appears though the now ajar doorway, ushering everyone inside. He is sure to double check no one followed them before securing the doorway behind them. “I was to believe you would be leaving tonight?” he questioned. Gribendr stepped forward, “we have more to do in this town it seems, we were hoping to take you up on your offer of a safe resting place for the night.” The druid nods his head, “I will be leaving early, at first light, but you will have a safe place to rest for tonight.” Alyriia walked to the far end of the room, where there was now a vined wall where the back door once stood. He took a scan of the group before saying, “ah yes, apparently after you left me the last time, my doorway was left, how should you say, broken, I took the liberty to fix it before any real damage could come my way.” He took a long look at Rahm before answering, “You all have a safe place to stay for the night, make yourselves comfortable.”

After everyone found a spot in the cozy cabin, one by one they all drifted to sleep. Reidoth approached Rahm as he spoke in an ancient language in a hushed voice. The conversation lasted through a lot of the night, no one except the Druids able to hear much of anything.
Morning came faster than expected, The Druid left as the sun rose, only Rahm and Alyriia awake to see him out. Everyone else began waking up slowly, knowing they would have a long day ahead of them. Cassie rolled over, as a loud monstrous sound emerged from her stomach. Realizing she has not eaten anything in awhile, she searched for something to cure her appetite.

A short time later, the group began to vacate the cabin. Upon walking outside, they saw large mangled spiders, along side splintered bushes all around them. The night before began to set in, if this was from only a few hours of wandering around the town, what would a whole day hold?

With that thought on everyone’s mind, they slowly, and carefully began walking east, once again trying to find the Herb shop for the Woodkeepers wife’s heirloom. They only made it a few yards when a loud booming voice vanquished the silence, calling out, “Adventurers! I know you’re out there. Talking to that druid, I presume. I can smell your foul odor. I know that druid wants me to leave. Coveting my treasure. Undoubtedly I’m sure you do, too. So if it’s a battle you want, I will provide it, but I hope to parley. If you value your lives you should hear me out. I come carrying, as the human custom goes, the white banner of peace. Step into my lair and no harm should come to you.”

They pause for a moment, Alyriia and Meushi continue on their path towards the Herbalist shop, Threx and Rahm begin north Towards the voice, and Cassie with Gribendrr thinking over this not really heading much of anywhere.

Meushi stumbles into the old worn out building that was once a Herbalist shop, looking around she found many worn down bookcases. Alyriia followed her in, immediately seeing what she was searching for. Meushi followed closely, peering over Alyriias shoulder as she opened the old rotten case. Inside lay the Emerald necklace heriloom they were searching for. They quickly exited the building, walking toward Gribendr as he called out to everyone, asking for a group decision as the voice continued, “The truth is that this fight is more evenly matched than I prefer. I will destroy you, but I will be forced to lick my wounds and in that time, be a prime target for my half-sister’s inevitable attack! I may be inclined to be evil, by your own standards, but I’m not stupid. I would much prefer fights I can overwhelmingly win.

I’m quite full, right now. Another party tried to kill me recently, you see. They didn’t take to negotiating. Thought I was a liar. Oh…..The druid didn’t tell you about them?

Let us put aside our weapons. To be welcomed into a lair of a dragon is a trust and honor no dragon dare go against! I’m issuing the draconic guest rite. May Tiamat strike those that defy this rite down!”

Gribendr voices his opinion, there was to be no way about sneaking around this dragon, we should go and meet him, see what he has to offer, get a safe passage through this town.
Threx already on his way up the hill, calls back, I will not be talked down to, I will look this beast in the eyes as he proposes his plans to us. Ignoring Gribendr’s pleas, as Threx began marching up the hill. Gribendr was forced to cast Hold person, holding Threx back momentarily for them to have a chance to discuss further.

Threx continued walking, in place of course, talking as he walked. This dragon is not all he is made out to be, you heard him, he is wounded, we are ready, lets take him! He is not so mighty that he can talk at us as though we are merely travelers caught in his trap!

Gribendr tried to sound as reasonable as he could, following draconic tradition, it would be best if we face the Dragon, see what he wants, and maybe end up helping him and us along the way. I’m not sure we can trust him, but a parlay seems reasonable!

Rahm stayed closed to Threx, trying to figure out how he was walking without going anywhere. Not joining the debate too much, but clearly with Threx every step of the way.
Alyriia looking at Threx as though she could kill him with her eyes, did not in any way want to approach the Dragon. Seeing they already found the necklace they came for she was ready to leave this town as quickly as necessary.

Cassie seemed deep in thought as they stood around debating on what the next move was. She appeared to be concerned, looking from herself to the hill, something was clearly on her mind.

Meushi voiced her opinion, leave the Dragon and head to the rest of the town, we wouldn’t want to leave any stones unturned before venturing into a Dragon’s lair!

In the end, everyone follows Threx, seeing he will not give up this fight, and they would not leave him to fight a Dragon alone, they all venture up the hill, Threx in the lead, with Rahm and Gribendr right beside him. Meushi walked up to Cassie, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder before following behind. Alyriia vanished into the undergrowth.

As they make it to the top of the Hill, Gribendr called out, “we are here to parlay, where are you?” Threx already had his axe drawn and at the ready.

A glimmer of green flashed a few times before appearing atop the Tower in front of them. The Travelers had their first look at this Dragon. She was a deep forest green, and her bold golden eyes fixed on them. Her wings spread consuming the sun behind her, as her head turned sharply to the east.

Yes, to Parlay, are you coming inside or not? Her spies are all about, and can hear us speaking.

Meushi yells from behind the group, whose spies?

She replies, my half-sisters’ spies.

Gribendr calls out, we have come as close to your layer as we will, we shall parlay at your convenience.

Looking about she replies, very well, if this is as close as you dare to come, I must whisper for fear of her spies overhearing.

Gribendr sidesteps as he says, if you come slightly closer to us, perhaps the magic of my druid friend will shield your voices from the spies.

She snakes her way down the building onto the ground and slithers closer to the group.
Her eyes fixated on Threx. On the battleaxe resting on his shoulder. She starts, there’s another nearby dragon who has a better lair. You see- I need a favor. I’m offering you a deal. Her name is Verslexia and those spiders outside were once her spies. If you’d slay her I’d gladly leave this place at once with all my treasure. No problem at all. I will rid myself of this place and vow never to return.

Threx asked for her skin color, and where her lair would be.

My half sister is green like myself. I wished you to come inside because that is where the map is.

Gribendr interrupts, that he could retrieve the map from inside.

Venomfang turns to the dragon born, very well its inside to your right, inside a chest is a map to Verslexias lair.

Gribendr wandered inside the tower.

As the dragon continued, "that Druid you spoke to earlier, well you see, we have an arrangement me and him. I help him keep my sisters influence at bay. He saves me time from going out and hunting for treasure and food. He sends groups like you to me to deal, in hopes I leave here. I either get treasure, or an attempt at a new lair! He can’t defeat me so he gets the stupid ones killed and the smart ones to help me leave his domain! Oh.. he didn’t tell you that? That’s too bad… It appears those druids love nature more than their fellow man. I suppose he cares less about you than you of him! Reminds me of dealings with my own kin. It appears the only square deals that exist can only be between different races.

Listen to me. I would rather not risk my life for such a mission nor leave my treasure unguarded. I knew this site would draw attention by adventurers.. It was all planned! I swear it on your gods and my own, that she lives in the woods deep in a cairn about 10 miles from here…her name is Verslexia. She’s my half-sister. Your friend is retrieving the map.

Threx asked if his sister was the same size, bigger or older?

She replied, “about the same size, not much bigger or older.”

Gribendr, noticed a chest in the room, exactly where the dragon said it would be, but he continued upstairs looking around to find several other chests overflowing with coins and treasure.

Back outside the dragon asked if any of them were from this town?

Meushi steps forward, why do you ask?

Venomfang sidesteps to look Meushi in the eyes, "Ahh! You were from here. I see. I take it my lair here is insulting to your tastes. To your sense of cultural pride. For that I’m sorry. You could not have been bigger than a hatchling at that time! It appears I underestimate human memory and ambition. You and I share similar motivations! Well you may reclaim your town! You can even pretend to have “drove me off with heroics” should any adventurer find me in my new lair.. I’d gladly play along… what is your name again, fleshling?

Meushi asked when she came to these lands

Deal with my sister and then we can talk about how I should retell your story of how your drove me off from Thundertree!

Meushi again, what drove you here in the first place?

Glancing around at the group Venomfang grinned, “stupid adventures like you! Thank you for trusting me, meal!”

She leaned forwards and lets loose a cacophonous cloud of gas, raining forward toward Threx, Rahm, Cassie and Meushi. Nearly killing Cassie, causing her unconscious body to collapse on the ground. Threx was able to throw up his shield just in time, completely avoiding the ghastly poison she released on the group. Alyriia watching from the brush, took her chance firing an arrow, as Rahm morphed into a Brown Bear. Meushi rushed over to Cassie, giving her a GoodBerry, and pulling her out of the way. The fight was on!

Gribendr, busy in the top of the tower, heard the dragon’s roar among all of the commotion outside and rushed to a hole in the wall, seeing his companions dropping before Venomfang. He took a leap of faith, and jumped from the tower, 60 feet down, landing on his back as gracefully as possible. Not before sending his spiritual weapon out to help defend the party.

Threx runs around the dragon, slashing him with his axe. Cassie, now barely conscious, slowly gets up, trying to get as far from Venomfang as possible. The Dragon, clearly upset, took a swipe at Rahm, almost knocking him down. Gribendrs spiritual weapon was able to blast lightning straight into her chest. Meushi crawled through the bushes, doing her best to get far from the dragon, she sent three scorching rays into the maw of the Dragon. Rahm was able to catch her off guard and swipe and bite at her, getting a good grip of her scales. Threx, from behind hacks at her with his axe, yelling at her while swinging. Cassie, feeling slightly stronger, was able to let out three Magic Missiles, slamming into the side of Venomfang, causing her to get very aggravated. She expanded her wings, lifted herself high into the air, and took off, but not before letting loose another roar with another horrendous cloud of poison raining down on Threx and Rahm, leaving north to not return.

Alyriia crawled out from the bushes, looking at everyone with a very disappointed look on her face, almost as if saying “I told you so”

Rahm jumps up, yelling, “how do I almost die EVERY time we fight something!”

Gribendr goes up to Alyriia and knelt down, Alyriia, i apologize i knew this was a dangerous situation, but perhaps we would have been better off just leaving, but to assuade your anger, there is massive amounts of loot atop the tower!

Alyriia stood in silence, still upset, but clearly trying not to laugh, put her hand on Gribendr’s shoulder, “Next time, we don’t fight the dragon!” and she walked toward the Tower.

Everyone ran upstairs to see what the Dragon left behind.

Rahm is in the back of the room, Gribendr, please help me, as he is withering on the floor, clearly playing up his wounds. Threx knelt beside him, crying out, Why my friend, why!
Gribendr rushed over and smacked Rahm across the face.

Gribendr walked over to Cassie and Healed her wounds.

The Group walked downstairs to search the first chest, that everyone has passed by now. Carefully opening it, wary of traps, but find an empty chest. No map in it. This is when the group began to question whether or not the Dragon had been lying about everything. They made their way down the hill once again.

Awaiting at the bottom of the hill, Droop greeted everyone with open arms, weeping openly as he runs around to see everyone still alive.

I would like to add here, there is a Cobbler Dance on the Feed ;)

As Ben Ate his cobbler, the Group took a short rest.

Meushi seeming very anxious, began heading further east, clearly with a destination in mind.

Approaching the Town square they notice several structures all surrounding a large statue of a warrior. The statue very weathered by the elements over the years it had started to crack and crumble. Difficult to read what was originally carved in the statue’s plaque, there was a last name still readable. “Zanarei.”

Rahm, with Threx following behind, goes north, entering what appears to be an old Garrison. Seeing the door to be unlocked, Rahm enters the building to find several ashen figures rise up inside. Rahm steps inside and morphs into a Direwolf. Threx follows silently behind able to surprise a Ash Zombies with an axe to the head.

Alyriia, Meushi, and Droop are further from the group, and almost don’t even hear the commotion above them. But Gribendr hearing some noises, turned around, realizing what was going on, and shouted, “Zombies!”

Cassie being right in between the split up group, acted quickly, attempting to burn the Ash Zombies where they stood. Meushi, very frustrated with the distraction of having to deal with zombies once again, reluctantly joined the rest in the fight.

After several maneuvers, fighting, and severing limbs, the zombies were lifeless once again.

There was a moment of relief as everyone took a second to gather their thoughts. Then Meushi left the group once again. She headed south, to a burned down house, Alyriia close behind.

Meushi was able to pull together a small bouquet of flowers she collected along the journey. Stepping inside, she took a deep breath of realization. As she took another step, she tripped over something, sending the flowers flying across the room, as she fell on her face. After standing up and brushing herself off, she looks to where her feet were, picking up what she tripped over. In her hands was a small shard of Obsidian Glass with an unknown symbol:
Symbol_of_the_Eternal_Flame.jpg

She lost consciousness, as a vision played in her mind.

Alyriia was barely able to catch Meushi as she fell unconscious, dropping the shard of obsidian that shattered as it struck the ground.

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