Bork’s bomb explodes on contact with Saharin’s throat. Shah sneaks forward, clanks his daggers together and turns invisible. Gfed flings a scorching ray, Zinn makes a fleet charge with a critical spell strike and Fraas unloads a giant fireball. Aven shoots the beast with his pepperbox and sends blade drones to attack. Rand, maul in hand, swiftly crushes the dragoness’ skull.
There is a moment of stunned silence.
The surrounding townsfolk erupt with vigorous cheers. Archibald shouts “drinks on me!” (He promptly puts everything on Lord Garland’s tab).
The adventurers search the dragon’s body finding her scales delicately polished and she only possesses fresh wounds implying a life of ease. She has a mithral ring on her claws with a large green stone and Draugarland sigil. The ring has 3 auras: moderate transmutation, faint aura of abjuration and faint transmutation. The group is unsure of the rituals of ring exchange in dragon life, but finds the ring enhances diplomacy with elves, and allows the wearer to alter self. Sentinel tries on the ring and suddenly is able to take the form of Lord Garland.
Using her sword, Zinn speaks with the dead wyrm. What is your relationship to Draugarland? I am his widow. How did he die? My brothers challenged and slew him. Why did they challenge him? He refused to grant me the heir to which I was entitled.
The group task the town’s skilled workers to begin processing the dragon’s body, collecting acid sacs, skin, skeleton, skull, scales and gut, perhaps for some new bardic instruments. They talk to Arvelen about remaining magistrate, to which she replies “I’ll think about it.”
The group begins to make preparations to head North now that it appears Draugarland’s mandate cannot be enforced. Rand says goodbye to his mother and the group spend their evening partying and taking watch. During the revelry, Archibald sadly grumbles to himself about Lord Garland’s tab. On third watch, Sentinel notices the magistrate whispering to Shah and they leave together.
As dawn arrives, Fraas begins switching to swigs of water. Shah rejoins everyone at the tavern and tells that Arvelen has suggested him as new magistrate in her stead. Shah doesn’t like this idea, so the group gathers the town together to ask for a volunteer. Durri shoves Beck out for the sole nomination. All the town votes Yea for the appointment, with one exception: Beck’s curmudgeonly uncle, who is immediately chastised by Rand.
With Griffton’s leadership settled, the group heads down into the pit, and into the tomb of the protectors. Fraas makes a failed attempt to scry Elin after which they head to the Northern passage. The hewn stone path continues until the bricks dwindle and eventually they are in a dirt tunnel. Chirps of katydids, and pleasant, floral smells bloom in. It is unnaturally lit up ahead and the path opens up between trunks of trees.
Outside it is night sky with an abundance of stars. It seems clearer and brighter than a usual night. They emerge into the forest, making sure to shoot an arrow as marker for a return. Fraas peers through the spyglass, and the glowing portals have adjusted logically as if they are now far North on the mote.
Sentinel begins tracking what are presumably Zidane’s tracks. They move for a while until they hear a horde of beings, moving, walking. Shah and Fraas go invisible. Aven goes up to check while everyone else hides. Bork notices a female elf wearing torn up clothing. A group of about 200 humanoids follow, looking ragged as if they’ve been in the forest for a while. Bork approaches. “There is not much left of Belheim.” Saharin had just arrived and said Lord Garland was dead. Immediately after she left, the White Wyrm and his forces had rushed the town. The Belheim army bought the people time to flee. The White Wyrm only wanted “to kill all in town.” Jackmerius had stayed behind with Belheim’s council. Fraas hurriedly escorts the refugees into the tunnel Southward. The White Wyrm’s forces are not far behind.
Into the clearing, they see five bright white winter wolves, bounding forward, breathing cold. They are joined by large, barnacled rock men, that upon inspection appear to by earth-attuned hill giants. Bork bombs one of the bigger wolves twice. The giants lumber up. Sentinel rushes forward, sparking the ground, hitting a giant who deftly absorbs most of the hit. Sentinel misses with a second swipe, but his third is a critical blow.
Zinn slays a smaller wolf with a fleet strike and makes her way to hit one of the larger. Fraas sends a fireball to three wolves, now aflame. Shah sends out burning hands and goes invisible. One of the Winter wolves shoots a cold blast at Rand and Bork, while Shah fully evades the icy breath. The wolves continue to sizzle afire.
Bork bombs with fire, Gfed uses scorching ray, finishing off one of the larger wolves. Rand smites a giant who returns attack by swings at the tree Rand was using a cover. The tree bows into Rand, knocking him prone. Another giant moves in, between Sentinel & Rand, and pounds the ground. Sentinel evades, but Rand is trampolined and further hurt. He casts lay hands on himself, barely hanging on.
Sentinel rushes forward, not making any damage with his blows. Aven’s pepperbox fells the other large wolf. Zinn rushes in, swiftly bolstering Rand with her sword’s magic, and strikes with her sword and shocking grasp. Fraas fireballs, rendering the final wolf to ashes and hitting two of the hill giants. Shah invisibly approaches a giant preparing a sneak attack. Bork bombs the giant next to Zinn. Rand again lays hands on himself, tossing his javelin at the nearest giant, which plinks right off. Gfed scorches one, the creatures who are still on fire sizzle on. A giant knocks the ground between Zinn and Rand. They get hit, but keep their feet. The giant in front of sentinel strikes the ground. Sentinel evades, but Rand is knocked to the ground and unconscious. Sentinel lets loose a flurry of blows, Aven shoots the giant looming over Zinn to its death. Zinn cures Rand back to consciousness…again…and charges between the two remaining giants, slaying one and cleaving the other with a solid hit. From near the tunnel entrance, Fraas sends a lightning bolt and electrocutes the final giant, who spasms to death.
Rand gathers injured to heal, while Sentinel rushes to notify the refugees.
The haul of loot is impressive. 2200 gold-pieces worth of gems and coins, a Masterwork heavy steel shield adorned with green dragon crest, +1 halfplate, +1 light mace. The items are all stained with blood. There are oils of magic vestiment and remove curse, potions of eagle’s splendor and good hope, wands of animal aspect, bane, scorching ray, true strike, and lesser confusion, and scrolls of resist energy, ray of enfeeblement, heat metal, feeble mind, prismatic spray, anti magic field, clashing rocks and miracle.
Meanwhile, Zinn queries the lead dire wolf corpse with her sword. What were the plans for belheim? We retook the town from our ancient enemy. What are your plans for the rest of the mote? We take what we want; everything belongs to us. What are your plans for griffton? Who is griffton?
The adventurers use the lyre to clean up their tracks and obfuscate the entry to the tunnel leaving a small opening for Fraas to send through an arcane eye to scout upon their return. The begin conversing with the refugees on the way back to town.