Session 1 – How Hard Can it be to Track Down a Single Book?
Tasked by Donovan with finding a rare book, five book snatchers arrived at Oakhurst, a small lumber town close to the fallen Dragon Clan citadel where the book resided.
The group consisted of Tobin Nimblefingers, a Halfling who often found other people’s objects within his possession. Mr. L. Aloysius Belvedere, a charismatic paladin who fights just as hard to be clean as he does in bringing down evil doers. Count Reinhart, an Eladrin tactician who commands the battlefield. Nim, a mysterious magic user who kills without lifting a finger, and , a sorceress named Makaria with the power of the cosmos.
Mr. Belvedere quickly gained the admiration of the inn keeper’s son, Hogarth, while Count Reinhart gathered information on their upcoming quest. He learned the Oakhurst grew up due to the many adventurers and scholars who came to study the fallen citadel of the Dragon Cults, and being proficient in history, Count Reinhart filled in the history to his companions:
“Dragons have not been seen on Cyr-Myth since before the Exodus of the Dragons nearly 2000 years ago. Since the dragons provided the world with magic, their leaving meant that magic ceased to exist, though some, such as the Whites Flames, claim to have had it return shortly after. Nearly 600 years ago, magic began to spread throughout the land, leading many to believe that the dragons had returned. Many were adamant of the dragons return, and willingly gave over their lives to these beliefs, despite no other sign of their return. The Dragon Cults were born and wielded great power for over three hundred years before becoming so corrupt, that they fell apart within. Their citadels, once glorious homages to dragons, fell by the wayside.
Based off of old records, some groups, such as the White Flames, have some proof of the existence of magic much earlier than 600 years ago, but it is known that the demi-gods are the magical conduits now, rather than dragons. The first two demi-gods first ascended shortly after the Exodus, and as they are now the conduits through which magic flows, these followers greatly opposed the Dragon Cults.”
They also learned that goblins have been harassing the town and stealing livestock, and Kerowyn Hurkule’s two grown children, along with a gnome, went into the citadel to stop the goblins, but had not returned. She asked the group to save her children, or if they were dead, to bring back their valuable rings.
The next day, accompanied by Hogarth, the party traveled to the ravine where the Citadel used to be. Long destroyed by an earthquake, it was quickly discovered that beneath the citadel was a small labyrinth that the dragon cults used for their nefarious purposes. Descending into darkness, the group encountered recently killed goblins, most likely from the missing children.
When the group entered what was once a large, glorious cathedral, they spotted two goblins beating a defenseless kobold. After dispatching the goblins, they befriended the little creature, who introduced himself as Meepo. Wishing to help his saviors, he took them to his leader, the female mage Ysdriel.
Ysdriel was highly intelligent and well spoken, befitting a noble, not a lowly kobold. She claimed she did not know about the book, but had seen the children pass by earlier. She struck a deal, clean out the goblins so the kobolds could reclaim the citadel, what she believed to be their birthright. In exchange, she would give them a key with an odd red glow that she promised would prove beneficial.
Leading the way, Meepo took the adventurers deeper into the citadel until they found an odd room. On one side was a dried up fountain with a dragon’s head, which liquid must have once pour out from, atop the basin. On the other side was a large stone door, the first stone door they encountered. Tobin proved his worth and was able to pick the lock, revealing an untouched crypt. Five sarcophagi, adorned with the relief of Eladrin priest, encircled the room and an obsidian pedestal, which held an ever burning candle, which Tobin quickly pocketed. The pool proved trickier with an inscription in a language they have never encountered. Fortunately, Meepo was able to translate the draconic tongue, and the fountain sprang to life one last time, dripping a vials worth of red liquid. With curiosity, Tobin quickly drank the unknown fluid and immediately felt his insides burning. Fortunately, the years had lessoned the potency, and the alchemist fire did not kill him, though the group realized they were going to have to keep a better eye on Tobin.
After dispatching a goblin scouting party, and finding a magical battle harness and two rings baring the Hurkule crest, the group descended upon the goblins lair. Inside the large room of filth were fifty to sixty goblins and one large, mean hobgoblin whipping a gnome. Behind the hobgoblin and his makeshift throne was a small room, with a bright red glow seeping from the walls. Excited to finally have a challenge, the hobgoblin ordered the goblins against the wall, so he could dispatch the adventures himself. A long battle commenced, nearly killing three of the adventurers, but with the aid of Meepo, and his mysterious waves of heat, they were finally able to bring the brute down. The goblins, seeing their leader fall, fled into the waiting kobold army, who quickly dispatched their foes.
In one of the refuse piles, the group found two dead bodies, each missing a finger, the ones which most likely carried their rings. Ysdriel appeared and fulfilled her promise and gave the group the glowing key. They proceeded into the room behind the thrown and unlocked the wall. Inside they found an untouched room and a pedestal with a large leather bound book. The cover had seven small gems crafted into the leather, but much to their surprise, every page was blank. The mystery continued, as behind the pedestal was a glowing red orb. Ysdriel, seeing the book and orb, spoke directly to Count Reinhart, “Be wary elf, if you touch that orb, you will hold your life and death in your hand.”
The sorceress Makaria, being the only one brave enough to pick up the orb, brought it over to the book, and as she waved it over the pages, writing, the same as on the fountain, began to appear. Unfortunately, not only could the group not read draconic, but the words appeared scattered over the pages.
Count Reinhart, both daring and curious to Ysdriel’s warning, stepped toward the orb, which glowed brighter and began to heal his wounds. Stepping even closer, he felt all pain and exhaustion leave his body, but on the next step, the orb grew even brighter and started shocking Reinhart with lightning. The sorceress hid the orb in a pouch and for the moment, Reinhart seems safe.
After leaving behind Meepo and the citadel, the party saw that Hogarth was gone and black smoke billowed from the direction of Oakhurst. Traveling fast, they came upon a horrifying site. Oakhurst was completely burned down, and skeletons, most likely the residence, were scattered throughout the town. Nothing was left untouched and burned into the ground, the mark of a Dragon Cult.
Not knowing where else to go, the group decided to head toward Palanthas to meet up with Donovan.