Rise and Fall of the Heavenly Empire

The Ice Dragon

When last we left out heroic party, they were at the icy core of the pyramid trying to stop two Xaghash from obtaining a mysterious emerald gem. What was this gem? Why was it there? Was it dangerous? Was it making the ice? Would your tongue stick to it if you tried to lick it? Who cares! The bad guys were trying to get it so the heroes had to get it instead! Enter Kurt Wolfkrone … Jr.! By the luckiest chance (roll), he managed to dominate Xaghash 1 (gem stealing Xaghash) and get the beast to hand over the emerald. But! The moment Kurt touched the gem, both he and the monster were frozen and encased in a coating of ice! With this alarming turn of events, Hrist, Callimachus, Guo Jing, and Silver River ganged up on Xaghash 2. Despite Hrist getting thrown around like a rag doll [Author’s note: again … sigh], the monster seemed dazed the whole fight (failed every save since being dazed by Silver River on the first round) and went down without doing much damage. But just then, the party realized that Xaghash 1 was breaking free of the ice! So, Guo Jing had the brilliant idea of blasting it with a fire attack … which helped free the beast even quicker … doh. Giving off a malevolent laugh, the Xaghash teleported away to escape with the gem he still held (ha ha!) … only to find that the frozen Kurt came along with him (huh?) … and he couldn’t let go of the emerald (what the?) … and that the gem was, like, freezing his arm off (pain!)! With the rest of the party wailing on him, the monster’s arm exploded and down went Xaghash 1.

With the two lesser darklords dead, Callimachus, Guo Jing, & Silver River rushed back downstairs where the desperate clamor of battle could still be heard. Upon reaching the ground floor, they found several foes, including two of the winged creatures [“Huey choppers” from last episode … okay, okay, I think they were called Kraan], about to wipe out the last hobgoblin defender and a litter-less Boltdeta. The heroes managed to fell the Kraan and two more evil werewolf rangers and save the disabled elder. But what of Hrist and Kurt you might ask? Well, the dark-haired undead hunter stayed behind because she was concerned about Kurt … who was moving (teleporting actually) … while encased in ice … seemingly, still frozen … while holding a mysterious, obviously powerful, and dangerous gem. Would he explode too? Would he just wander off? Was he being controlled and just some sort of Ice Zondar now? Seriously, she wasn’t about to just leave him alone.

Ah, but he wasn’t alone was he? Kurt, and later, the rest of the party came to realize that the emerald could talk! Not only that, but it was a dragon! Ice Dragon to be exact. Over the next couple days, the party (and a curious goblin child) asked various questions of their new acquaintance and gained many answers. 1. Ice Dragon is one of several lost emerald gems from the (largely lost) kingdom of Marakata. 2. It was at The People’s capital until the Drakkar invaded and Boltdeta brought it to this city. 3. It was helping make the ice which melted into the water, which was supplying the city. 4. The big nasty monsters which tried to take it are called Xaghash, and they serve some evil god named Naar. 5. The Xaghash were trying to take and use it to reopen the portal to their world (which Hrist & Vilen half closed at adventure’s beginning)!

Back to the action! Soon after the last battle at the pyramid, the fighting died down throughout the city. The people had won and the last of the enemy were either killed (Drakkar, undead) or driven off (Giaks). Then ensued a three day period of rest and rebuilding (and probably lots of burials). During this time, the gem patiently answered many questions (see above), Vilen’s condition was attended to (to be figured out in future sessions), and Hrist revealed that Vilen was undead [but no one else seemed to care … including D’stas, apparently].

The main reason for staying in the city for three days was that Silver River was awaiting the arrival of the full moon. This is when he/she would embrace Salvas as his/her beloved goddess and join the ranks of Her devoted followers! [Note: previous sentence may be a Hrist fantasy / misinterpretation] During the night of the full moon, the beggars clan/guild would gather and choose a representative who would then go on to further competitions designed to choose a new leader for the clan (apparently, the previous leader is gone or dead). With a little help from a strategically situated half elf and a gracious moon goddess [Warning: Hrist PoV alert] Silver River bested his/her two competitors in verbal debate and then in physical, martial arts challenges. And that is where things ended for this session. [Author’s note: Whew, long one. But some important stuff.]

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mikelurker

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