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"Death on Red Wings"

 

Session date: 3-24

DM: Chris

Characters participating: Aescer, Shera, Arya, Alark, Qillathe, Fletcher, and Raethe

Synopsis:

The portion of this synopsis in brackets is taken from the IC thread "Riordan says..."

The Fellowship heads out the morning of New Year's Eve to investigate the tunnel and cavern they found during the last adventure with the assumption that it was tied to the Cult cell somehow.  Reaching the alley, the enter the tunnels and proceed carefully.  Several traps are found and disarmed as the group moves forward.  An illusionary floor trap almost proves deadly for Qillathe and Arya, but quick thinking and a web spell keep them from death.  Farther along a spinning blade trap catches several party members.  

After an hour, branching passages are found and Alark is sent to investigate one.  Proceeding quietly, he hears two guttural voices whispering around a corner from him.  Thinking to speed back to warn the party, he inadvertently makes too much noise and alerts the enemy.  Two dragon-kin run around the corner and chase Alark back toward the party.  The battle is joined.  The dragon-kin prove to be tough opponents and are soon reinforced by four others from an adjoining passage.  The Fellowship succeeds in killing four and driving two away.

The next branching passage is searched by Arya and Aescer.  It opens into a larger cavern that is covered in inky magical darkness.  The rest of the party is called forward and a small argument ensues as Aescer tries to convince Fletcher to cast the spell Daylight to try and counter the darkness.

Turning back, you see the darkness dissapate as the spell is completed. A large cylindrical room is now in view and a stone catwalk circles a pit encompassing most of it. You see the Fellowship leap into action as a large red dragon is also revealed. It is in the process of inhaling as the light reveals it. A gout of flame shoots out into the corridor the Fellowship is standing in. The picture is filled with roaring fire. When it stops, you see where Raethe stood is a black scorch mark and little else. Arya and Shera are burned badly, but still standing. Asher seems to have tumbled to the side and avoided the blast. The rest of the Fellowship was far enough back into the corridor the fiery breath couldn't reach them. Arya fires an arrow at the dragon. Asher prepares to attack, but the dragon closes the distance and in a flurry of snapping jaws, deadly claws, and two wing buffets send his blood flying against the wall and the nearest companions. A slap from the dragons tail finishes him off and he slides to the floor, dead.

"Oh, that's got to hurt," laughs Riordan behind you.

You see Qillathe sprint out of sight farther back in the tunnel. Shera runs forward to pick up Asher's body, but the dragon's jaws clamp around her and his two front claws follow with a devastating strike that rips her almost in two. She falls on top of Asher's body as the lifeblood flows from her. Arya turns and runs down the corridor, followed quickly by Alark. Fletcher stands firm and launches several magic missile attacks against the dragon. You see him turn suddenly and his eyes narrow. Behind him, the Cult hunter Arsember stands, arms thrown wide at the completion of a spell. Fletcher shrugs its affects off. Before he can strike back at Arsember, the man opens a glowing doorway and vanishes. The dragon stops Fletcher's escape with a gout of dragon fire into the hallway.

"Ah, I see that Talostyn has played his part well," says Arlon.

"Agreed. Those fools didn't realize that he was against them until it was too late."

You hear Riordan chuckle again as the scene switches to another corridor. Qillathe and Arya stand talking to Alark. Within seconds, Alark is gone, flying down another hallway. As he flies away, Arsember appears from a glowing doorway. He is bloodied and burned. You see him speak to both of the women. He then begins casting a spell, but you notice that his gestures are very exaggerated. The women don't seem worried until a shimmering ray erupts from one hand at Arya. It hits her and you see frost form around the impact point. Both women spring into action, attacking Arsember. He manages to dodge their blows and casts another spell, this time at Qillathe. You see her jaw go slack and she drops her sword. Her eyes become dull and then full of fear and she runs down the corridor away from the battle. Arya swings again but misses. Arsember casts another spell and touches her. You see his wounds heal as wounds appear on her body. After dodging another swordstrike, he sends five glowing darts into her. She slumps to the ground, smoke coming from the dart wounds. He kicks the body once and it falls over lifeless. Nodding, he casts a spell and it rises as if on an invisible cart and follows him down the hall. The image then fades.

The adventure concludes as Alark brings Quintus, Kobort and a sizeable contingent of the city watch back to the alley door.  The three, along with the watch, begin searching the passages to see if any of the Fellowship survived.  Qillathe is found wandering through a nearby tunnel, the Feeblemind spell cast by Arsember having taken a deadly toll on her intelligence.  Quintus takes her to the Temple of Tymora, where the priests there reverse the condition.  Nothing else is found in the tunnels.  Retracing his steps, Alark finds a solid wall blocking the tunnel leading to where the dragon was encountered.  A wizard from the watch concludes that some sort of magical gateway connected these tunnels with the area the dragon was in and the gateways must have been closed. 

Quintus, Alark, Qillathe, and Kobort have a quiet ceremony honoring their fallen comrades the next day.   Lady Fleetwood is there, along with several other people that you don't recognize nor know how they knew about the event.  Lord Hestean is brought magically from Thall for the ceremony and speaks eloquently of the group's bravery and deeds.   He then vows to do everything in his power to avenge their deaths and bring the Cult low in the Vast.  Guilder Kailen lays a rose on the empty grave of Shera.   After Hestean speaks, the aldermen of Thall step forward and each give a story about one of the fallen.   As the ceremony ends and people start to walk away, Hestean can be seen kneeling near one of the graves, tears falling to the ground.