Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nine from Neverwinter, part four

Cast of Characters:

  • Azun – A Moon Elf Archer hailing originally from Deepingdale, but fletching his arrows in Neverwinter for at least the past 30 years. He lead many of Neverwinter to safety during the Cataclysm of Mount Hotenow, and is regarded as a local folk hero.

  • Rungalor – A rough and tumble Barbarian Minotaur from parts unknown ...

  • Rollo Rutterkin – A Halfling Thief and long time companion of Rungalor.

  • Kirok – An Uthgardt Barbarian Shaman on a visionquest, serving as our guide.

  • Gizig – A Silver Dragonborn Warrior with official connections to Neverwinter's militia.

  • Hanzo – A Kozokuran Swordsman who journeyed to Neverwinter with Adrix of Highmoon.

  • Arcandius – A Thayvian Wizard who escaped his homeland with a mysterious tome of power.

  • Adrix – The Wandering Sage and Chronicler of this tale who brought this ragtag group of misfits together. He has traveled extensively as a Bardic Storyteller throughout The Realms, including The Unapproachable East, and is seeking to know more about The North.

  • The Storm Caller – A Calishite Gensia, powerful in the ways of Elemental Sorcery.

  • Grubb – A Goblin prisoner captured on The Triboar Trail, now leading the group to his hidden lair …

30th of Tarsakh, Year of the Ageless One; 447 North Reckoning

About mid-day we came upon a deserted hamlet, weathered with much foliage and overgrowth. I had no knowledge of this place, save for the warning sign posted among the briars reading in Olde Thorass, “Danger! Plant Monsters and Zombies! Turn back now!”

My colleague, Arcandius, ignored the sign with a huff and marched straight to the crumbling tower near the center of the ruins. There was an extended structure, much like a cottage, attached to the tower, where there was a door that he promptly entered, perhaps seeking wizardly treasure inside. The rest of us, rather dumbfounded by his action, followed him in kind. There were two rather large spider husks, each the size of a riding horse, with strange wounds to there chitinous bodies – as if they were festering from within after being mauled by some large animal. Arcandius either did not notice the husks or paid them no mind, but both Kirok and Azun seemed unnerved by the sight, sprawled on the path near the tower.

The interior of the cottage was laid heavily in spider webs and dust. The webs were old and relatively unencumbering. The party ensued searching through the webs to get to the rooms furnishings, which might reveal treasure of some sort. There was a doorway in the cottage which lead to the tower adjacent … which seemed blocked by something rather large on the other side. After a short while rummaging through the dusty webs, a great yellow eye of reptilian origin blinked at us from the doorway.

Well, well, well,” said a great and rough voice from the doorway, “What have we here? Looters and thieves? Tsk, tsk … This will not do at all; no, it shall not!”

Instantly, the party froze in their tracks. Now more visible with light, the great green scales around the eye were more visible and it dawned on us all almost immediately that we were in a Green Dragon's lair …

Arcandius issued forth a challenge to subdue the Dragon, a charge that was met with laughter …

Gizig decided to speak to the Dragon in it's own tongue, an act that had quite unforeseen results. In a much louder and angrier voice, the offended Dragon bellowed, nearly deafening us in the process.

How dare you speak to me in that tongue! You, an impure Silver; yes! I can smell it about you now! What Silver whore spawned you, abomination?! Answer me, Damn you, or I shall dine on your friend flesh while you watch!”

Rollo stole outside the cottage as the Dragon raged, and began climbing the tower …

How are you called, Great Green Calamity?” Gizig inquired, disregarding the slurs about his matron.

The Dragon chuckled, calmer now, as he seemed amused. “Men have called me Venomfang, and that's all you shall need to know, worm. I shall make a deal with you thieves … leave me the Silver mongrel, and I shall spare your short and pitiful lives ...” 

We naturally were not going to give up the Dragonborn to this creature. In the silence, the Dragon sneered and reared back from the doorway; his gaping maw was now clearly visible to us. 

The entire party sprung into action, anticipating a breath weapon attack of poisonous gas. Rollo had made it to the top of the tower and peered down through the roofless lair upon the Dragons full size; some thirty feet long or more coiled around the perimeter of the tower. Kirok, Rungalor, Hanzo and Gizig all rushed through the doorway to meet the beast head on, but the creature was in the process of taking flight – its thunderous wings beat against the air with a gale force in the confined area. Azun rushed outside the cottage and took a shot at the airborne monstrosity, but failed to meet arrow to flesh. The rest of the party scattered outside the cottage and took cover against areal assault.

That is, all else but Storm Caller. In deep concentration, he summoned the gathering clouds into a great nimbus and released hell in the form of a fantastic lightening strike upon the great beast. Venomfang tumbled slightly, but recovering quickly, he fell into a dive toward his crumbling lair. Kirok ran up the stairs that lead to the open sky; Rungalor, Hanzo, and Gizig all shadowed his intent. As the Dragon soared down into range, the Uthgardt leaped from the stairs that ended at the towers top and drove his great axe into scaled flesh.

But the Dragon anticipated such attacks and delivered a flurry of claw and bite attacks against all four who leaped at him, even as their attack drew blood. Their crumpled bodies hit the ground with sickening thuds, which I could hear over the Dragon's mocking laughter as I ran. Rungalor hurled one of his long-swords in desperation, an act which struck true in the dragon's armored hide.

Storm Called struck again with a second great thunderbolt and the Dragon winced in great pain … He bellowed, “What is your name, SILVER?”

Gizig, drawing himself up from the ground shouted back, “I am Gizig, Green Filth – He and his comrades have defeated you!!”

The Dragon roared, turned tail and fled, this much I could see from my hiding place. We delivered great wounds upon his body and his pride … I fear we've not seen the last of him.

That's when there was a burning sensation in my back, and all went black.