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No. 76993 edit

It's late evening now, and even in the Shadowfell, dusk brings a marked change in the environment. Though there is nothing resembling a sun in the sky, at least not one that you can see through the thick gloom, an orange glow seems to pierce the mists that seem to cling to the tops of the jagged mountainside that surrounds the fallen keep. It has been nearly an hour since the keep's collapse, and the dust has mostly settled to the ground, but the fierce elemental storm that has whipped itself up over the area where the tower stood shows no signs of subsiding anytime soon.

At this point, Halvangh, Elayne, and Thalwynn have departed to rendezvous with the coalition army, to make sure nothing too terrible is happening. This leaves just the six adventurers, Thelkra, and Valanor looking over the Fell Keep's ruin.

"I've been trying to hunt down Daragoth the Desolator for decades," the golden dragon explains, watching the elemental storm for any hint that Daragoth may have escaped. "It's been months since I uncovered clues that he may have been hiding out in the Sword Coast, and Baldur's Gate in particular. Though I had my suspicions, I did not imagine that he would take the position of Grand Duke--that is not usually the way of red dragons. They tend to not get involved in the political machinations of those they regard as 'inferior', that is more the fare of green dragons."

Nodding in the direction of the tower, he continues, "So this much was a surprise to me as well. Had I been not so blind, perhaps this could've been avoided... but at this point, I feel we may have him. Even if he was not slain and has somehow slipped away yet again, we can guess his next move."

He turns his head sideways to face the adventurers gathered there. "Daragoth the Desolator is an elder red dragon, as you may well know by now. He built such a mighty empire in Returned Abeir that even his fellow chromatic dragons--many of whom he enslaved or coerced into supporting him--turned on him, and put aside their petty squabbling to ally long enough to drive him from the continent. Many of we metallics who watch over Faerûn became very concerned when we began to suspect he had taken refuge here, and my task was to hunt him down and destroy him. This 'Duke Daval Prestor' guise must have been a way to lie low while simultaneously being in a position to exploit any opportunities that might present themselves." At this point, the dragon shakes his head slightly, and adds, "But again, this is well outside the realm of normal red dragon behavior, which I believe can mean only one thing. Red dragons are consummate conquerors, and one thing they delight in is destroying anything that you and yours might regard as important or precious. If he has put so much time and effort into building up Baldur's Gate, it is so that he can destroy it later, if just to show all of you how just how little these things mean to him, and how easy they are for him to destroy. He would delight in destroying in an instant what it took you humanoids years to build up. So if he has somehow survived this ordeal, and at this point I'm not even sure that is all that likely, he will eventually return to burn Baldur's Gate to the ground."

Thelkra looks on, sitting with her hands folded neatly atop her knees, gazing towards the elemental storm with a stony face that suggests a large amount of inner turmoil.
82 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 77081 edit
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The party makes the long trek back to the camp, then to the caverns behind it--a guarded route into the Underdark, and through it, out of the Shadowfell and into Mithral Hall. As Halvangh heads to his lab, the party is stopped by Gourmert Goldsmith. "Ah, lads and ladies! Ahve been lookin' fer ye. Our ambass'dor just gotta sendin' froom Djerad Thymar. He's gotta message fer a Torinn Tormine!"
>> No. 77082 edit
While discouraged by the failure to find Ragrim, Torinn perks up upon hearing he has a message from home. "I'd like to take that message," he says, adding, "privately, if possible."
>> No. 77083 edit
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Gourmert nods to Torinn and instructs him to follow. Halvangh has shifted to humanoid form at this point, as his dragon shape would not be able to navigate the interior of Mithral Hall. The rest of the party heads up a tunnel steadily winding up the mountain until reaching the site of Halvangh's lab, and Gourmert actually leads Torinn behind them for a time until they split off on a side tunnel.

Halvangh's makeshift lab is rather small, and has spell components and books piled around the corners. The floor has a large ritual circle inscribed upon the center, and that is where Halvangh heads. "It will take some time to cast the various rituals needed. Bear with me." The party waits patiently while Halvangh begins to cast.

Meanwhile, Torinn is granted a private audience with the ambassador, sitting behind a desk in a small yet well-decorated chamber. When the stone door shuts behind the dragonborn, he is addressed by the dwarf, "We've received sum word froom Tymanther, as ahm shure ye heard. 'Parently a halfling detective said she had a lead on tha case ye was interest'd in, and 'nuff word o' yer deeds abroad has reached back that she says they're gonna look tha other way when ye return. Ta tha end, she wants ye ta come ta Tymanther as soon as ye can." Scratching his ear, the elderly, scraggly-bearded dwarf adds, "Ah heard yer business 'ere was fin'shed, so thaugt ye'd wanna know."
>> No. 77084 edit
"Be sure to meet us again once you're done" the ranger says "we still got some pending business, alright?"

Then once with Halvang, Sureiya will attempt to note down all of the loot the people found during their last travel.
>> No. 77085 edit
Torinn splits into a wide smile. Finally. Finally, he could return home and help his family. "I'm ready to leave immediately," he responds.

As much as he'd like to do as Sureiya asked, family comes first. He was never really the best at good-byes, anyway.

Last edited at 15/06/29(Mon)11:10:45
>> No. 77086 edit
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"Aye, well, issa long trip. But I 'eard tha, 'cause o' recent events an' some urg'n froom key dign'taries, Waterdeep's establish'd a tel'portat'n circle ta Djerad Thymar," the ambassador reports to Torinn, nodding. "Ye've made tha trek 'fore, aye? Figure ye'd save soom time tha way."

At this point, Halvangh is still casting away in his humanoid form, but hasn't seemed to have success so far. It's likely to be several hours before he has results to share, given the cast time of the rituals involved.
>> No. 77088 edit
During the loot split, when it happens, the shaman adds the 2000 gp of alchemical reagents from Batym to the total.
>> No. 77089 edit
Torinn nods along. It'd be good to get back...

"Could you show me the way? Or find me somebody who knows the way?"
>> No. 77090 edit
Once the loot is listed and accounted, the ranger tries to break the ice with the party, since he knows they will spend a long time in the lab.

"Well, this job has been definitely more exciting than other adventures I've had until now, a much more profitable as well" he says, glancing at the loot.

"I think it would be good to pay a visit home, since our families were threatened an all, so, what are you guys doing now?"
>> No. 77091 edit
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While waiting, the shaman has taken out her notes and started organizing and adding to them. She looks up to reply to Sureiya. "I have no immediate goals other than finding Mr. Ragrim."
>> No. 77092 edit

"I doubt my home would make for a friendly visit, unfortunately. Perhaps I shall assist the shaman for the time being."

"It may be worth it for a copy of his notes, anyways."
>> No. 77093 edit
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The ambassador offers, "Followin' tha Surbin River south an' east, ye'll run right inta Waterdeep. Failin' tha, ye can hire one o' our rangers ta aid ye along tha way."

Thelkra is not currently present with the party, but Sid is, and reiterates, "I think Waterdeep's a good spot to regroup, and observe what happens in Baldur's Gate from afar, so that's where I'll go!"

Last edited at 15/06/30(Tue)16:50:59
>> No. 77094 edit
Torinn thanks the dwarf for the information and heads off on Rutger. He'll follow the river back.
>> No. 77095 edit
"Well, I think I'll stay around until we know more about Ragrim. If there's nothing interesting to do then I guess I'll go take a good break in Amn."
>> No. 77096 edit
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As Torinn heads out, the remaining adventurers are called back a few hours later and informed that the dragonborn has already departed and will not be joining them.

Once that is settled, Halvangh dispenses his findings, his human face appearing somewhat pained--"Th-this is very strange, my friends. My findings are thus--Ragrim Dragonsworn is alive, and on this plane. Strangely, I recognized the locale in which he is present... but it is not a place you can go. It is... well, the Well of Dragons." He pauses for a moment, looks away nervously, as if checking over his shoulder, then turns back and explains, "Mor--non-dragons are not permitted to enter, it is a sacred place to dragons. If you still wish to pursue him... I would recommend you petition Valanor for special permission."

Adopting a thoughtful pose, Halvangh adds, "I... for centuries, dying dragons have journeyed to the Well of Dragons to live out their final days. In more recent times, chromatic and metallic dragons have waged a war over control of the area, and it remains divided to this day, with constant battle shifting the line of control from day to day. Dragons of both sides will attack non-dragons that enter indiscriminately. How Ragrim came to end up there, I cannot begin to fathom."

OOC: History may tell you more about the Well of Dragons.
>> No. 77097 edit
"...What did he look like he was doing there? And can we contact him from outside?"

Last edited at 15/06/30(Tue)18:31:15
>> No. 77098 edit
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Halvangh shakes his head slowly. "When I scried upon him, he was in a place that can only be the very center of the well. I have seen the location from a distance, but never up close. He appeared to be lying on the ground, and I'm not certain he was conscious. But he was certainly alive. As for contacting him, you can certainly attempt it. The Well is not too distant from Baldur's Gate--it is a caldera nestled in the Sunset Mountains. For a very long time, the Cult of the Dragon held a fortress there and resurrected deceased dragons as dracoliches, but last I had heard they had been driven from the area."
>> No. 77099 edit
History for Well. (21) http://orokos.com/roll/305069
History for Well + Speak with Spirits. (20) http://orokos.com/roll/305077

Last edited at 15/06/30(Tue)19:13:35
>> No. 77100 edit
Well lore:http://orokos.com/roll/305074
>> No. 77101 edit
"Hmm, I should go look for Thelkra later."
"So that bastard made it out alive, huh? Then Daragoth's probably around somewhere."
History (19) http://orokos.com/roll/305085
>> No. 77102 edit
"Maybe the metallic dragon spirits got him out," suggests the shaman. "Will we be eaten by dragons if we visit?"
>> No. 77103 edit
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Halvangh pauses, then suggests, "If you wish, tomorrow I can attempt to locate Daragoth as well." Nodding to the shaman, he says, "I would be extremely dangerous... if you're lucky, and discovered by a metallic, you'd probably just be turned back, but some may assume you're there for nefarious purposes and attack you on the spot. Chromatics will certainly attack you on sight."

History: None of you have heard much about the Well of Dragons, but the shaman and ranger can confirm it is a sacred place where dragons were said to journey to die in the past.
>> No. 77104 edit
"...I think, for now, we should inform Mr. Valanor and hear his decision."
>> No. 77105 edit
"Alright, you guys go inform Mr. Dragonslayer, I'll go look for Thelkra in the meanwhile" the ranger says.
>> No. 77106 edit
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As if on cue, Valanor shows up in his humanoid form in the laboratory. "I do not believe keeping watch on the area will yield any further results," he states, as Halvangh watches him nervously. "Have you found anything?"

Sureiya finds Thelka with some other wounded Flaming Fist members in what appears to be a makeshift medical area. Dwarven healers are tending to the wounds of most of the soldiers, and Thelkra appears to be watching over it from the edge. She nods to Sureiya as he approaches, but does not say anything.
>> No. 77107 edit
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Fast. "Mr. Ragrim seems to be alive, but at the center of the Well of Dragons."
>> No. 77108 edit
"Thelkra, I got news" the ranger says.
"Can we go somewhere else to talk?"
>> No. 77109 edit
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That seems to cause Valanor to stiffen. "That certainly... complicates matters." The red-and-gold wearing humanoid moves further into the laboratory, and places a hand on his chin thoughtfully. "The exact center, you say? Even dragons rarely approach that spot. The remains there are said to be ancient, and strange. My kin needs be informed."

Thelkra nods to Sureiya, and leads the ranger out into the tunnels. When they find a secluded enough locale, she turns and asks, "What's the news?"
>> No. 77110 edit
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"Is there anything we can do to help with the situation?"
>> No. 77111 edit
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Valanor tilts his head as he replies, "For you to even enter the Well of Dragons would be a great challenge. It is a dangerous place, and more importantly, even my own kind forbid yours from entry. It is not impossible for mortals who have good reason to receive permission to enter, however. I could bring up such a suggestion when I inform the council of the Draakhorn. But keep in mind that it may take months for a decision to be reached."
>> No. 77112 edit
The ranger looks around carefully, and once he determines no one is around he continues, in a lower voice.
"He's alive. We don't know how or why, but Halvang found him in a dangerous place."

Sureiya keeps nerviously looking around "we should go back to Halvang's laboratory. The rest is deciding what to do with Valanor in there."
>> No. 77113 edit
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"...Will he be fine for all that time?" the shaman asks to both dragons.
>> No. 77114 edit
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"He is the Fell King. I cannot imagine he would simply die there," Valanor points out. "More importantly, I think it would be prudent to delve into the mystery purely to discover how and why he is there."

"He was there, and seemingly unconscious... beyond that, I do not know what he could possibly be doing," Halvangh confirms.

Thelkra nods, and moves to follow Sureiya. "Arrite. I'm ready to go, then."
>> No. 77115 edit
"I'll lead the way" the ranger says.
>> No. 77116 edit
"We met Mr. Ragrim's old metallic dragon spirit guides in the Fell Keep. They were probably formed from dead dragons, so I thought maybe they brought Mr. Ragrim to their gravesite... But how would the investigation work?"
>> No. 77117 edit
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Halvangh seems to consider this for a few moments, then says, "...I do not think the dragon spirits would have the power to teleport him to the Well of Dragons, but stranger things have happened. It is certainly possible that... perhaps it is part of his pact? I believe you are on the right track..."

"As I said before, nobody really knows what is at the heart of the Well of Dragons," Valanor states bluntly, as Thelkra and Sureiya enter the room. "Perhaps a more thorough examination of the area will reveal more. Halvangh, what did you see?"

Halvangh hesitates for a moment, as if at once taken aback and trying to search his memory, then says, "I saw... something like, a great coiling form, around a partially collapsed stone passage leading upwards. My point of view was too narrow to see very much, but it appeared to be vaguely serpentine."

"Then we need to see it up close," the humanoid form of the golden dragon replies.
>> No. 77118 edit
"And... that's the place, Well of Dragons. Some sort of important dragon battlefield graveyard which is closely secured" Sureiya attempts to explain.

Then, he looks up to Valanor, who seems to be the lead of the expedition "What's our best bet, then?"
>> No. 77119 edit

"A serpentine form? Perhaps we may next find that the third count of Baldur's Gate has been lurking there as a giant python."

"Unknown places tend to have unknown treasures."
>> No. 77120 edit
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Neither of the dragons present seem to know how to reply to Myn's comment, so Valanor answers Sureiya, "I would suggest... allowing me to petition that the council of metallic dragons send someone to investigate. Normally the council would not meet for decades hence, but the news that the Draakhorn may soon sound is reason enough to call them to council, and I can raise the matter therein. However, should you wish to investigate the matter yourselves, I can certainly petition for that at that time. It is your choice."
>> No. 77121 edit
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At the taller spirit's urging, the shaman speaks up. "I would like to contribute to the investigation, if possible, though not if it will slow it down."

Last edited at 15/07/02(Thu)02:31:57
>> No. 77122 edit
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"Then I will petition such to the council," Valanor says firmly, turning to leave. "I suggest you go somewhere where it is easy to keep in touch--I would suggest Baldur's Gate, but it is likely to be in a tumultuous situation for some time, so perhaps Waterdeep would be preferable. I will keep you updated with Sendings."

"I have things to do in Baldur's Gate," Thelkra states in a matter-of-fact tone. "I don't think I'm interested in chasin' Ragrim again. I'd... rather be done with that."
>> No. 77123 edit
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"How long will it be until the council meets?"
>> No. 77124 edit
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"As I said before, it was scheduled to meet in a few decades. But I will call them to meet as soon as they are able," Valanor replies.
>> No. 77125 edit
The ranger throws a glance to Thelkra, looking somewhat worried.
"Maybe if we weren't so cold with Ragrim before she wouldn't feel like this now."

"Well, I believe I should make a short trip to Amn and check some stuff at home. Once I'm done with that I believe I should be able to return to Waterdeep" he explains.
>> No. 77126 edit
The shaman nods to affirm her understanding.
>> No. 77127 edit
"Alright, then let's see if we can find the griffons we used in our trip to the earthmotes" the Ranger suggests to Thelkra.
>> No. 77128 edit
And so the adventurers went their separate ways, at least for now. While Sureiya, Torinn, Bernkastel, Sid, Thelkra and Myn all head for Waterdeep, they have differing goals that will split them when they arrive, and Ramuh has departed for the Luruar region. However, their combined strength has put an end to the threat of the Fell King--again, at least for now.

However, lingering threats loom on the horizon. Ragrim Dragonsworn still lives, and his mysterious appearance at the Well of Dragons has raised more questions than answers. And though Daragoth the Desolator's plan to seize the leyline convergence for his own purposes was foiled, the dragon himself is unaccounted for, and the mysterious words relating to the Draakhorn that Ragrim spoke linger in the minds of all who heard him. Nevertheless, a grave threat to the Sword Coast and neighboring parts of Faerûn has been defeated by the heroic deeds of a party of adventurers, yet again.

And perhaps, one day, fate will see fit to bring them together again, to answer some of the lingering questions from the Fell King's fall, and to explore the other countless mysteries that lay buried across Faerûn...
>> No. 77129 edit
Somewhere over the ocean, a sleek-looking black vessel drifts slowly, far above the water, hidden in the clouds. This sky-going vessel is, strangely enough forged entirely of metal. It possesses no sails, and no other obvious means of propulsion, though along the sides are elongated cylinders set horizontal that have red lights that form rings around each end. Portions of the ship are painted red, in an obvious sort of symbol that stretches across the entire belly of the ship. Nobody stands aboard the deck of the ship, but visible through a window on the upper forward portion stand several figures, and panels colored with what appear to be all sorts of blue, glowing arcane sigils.


This voice belongs to the figure standing furthest forward. He wears a strange sort of armor, something like half-plate, comprised of hardened reddish-brown leather with white plate sabatons and gauntlets, as well as a chest piece that includes shoulder armor as well as a heavily stylized helmet that covers the entire face and head. The helmet is ornamented by wing-like protrusions from the sides that jut straight back, and a beak-like design that curves down between the eye slits which are covered with a non-reflective black glass, and a circular breathing apparatus covering his nose and mouth. His build suggests a male humanoid, perhaps a human or orc.

"A land ruled by false idols. Gods. Dragons. Primordials. Fiends."

There are three other figures standing behind him wearing similar suits of armor, though with varying colors and designs. One is short and stocky, with a build that suggests a male dwarf, though his armor plating is red in color, and the helmet lacks the bird-themed design--instead, the helmet comes forward to a single elongated horn that protrudes from the forehead a few inches, and sweeps back into two spike-like protrusions above where his ears would be. On his gauntlets are grooved protrusions that make it look like heavy plates of some sort are meant to be attached to the back of the forearm. Another possesses a lithe and feminine build, perhaps a female fey humanoid such as an elf or eladrin, and wears silver armor, with the helmet boasting no forehead design, but featuring two large curved horns that seem to loop around where her ears would be, with the pointed ends on the bottom. Unlike the others, the leather portions of her armor are white rather than reddish-black. The final figure is armored in blue, and is much smaller than the others, with a build that suggests a goblin or perhaps gnome. His helmet possess no spikes or horn-like features, and instead is bulky and nearly circular, with a gray metallic breathing apparatus at the mouth, and black lenses covering the eyes. Its gauntlets are somewhat comically over-sized, but oddly, the fingers look very flexible and dexterous. There are a few other humanoids running about, wearing outfits of much simpler design, tending to the panels boasting the arcane sigils. Their armor is of black and red cloth, and with only a metal helmet that only covers the top of the head, leaving the rest of the head and face exposed, and leather gauntlets, boots, and a belt completing the ensemble.

"In Abeir we have worked tirelessly to wrest control of the world from these outside forces," the white-armored figure continues. "This is the so-called world of mortals. But the people of Faerûn are weak. They turn to these false idols for succor and strength."

He turns to face the three other armored figures, who as if on cue, kneel before him. "For the 'world of mortals' to carry any meaning, mortals must rule the world. It falls upon us to bring order to the chaos that is Faerûn."

"Bluehand gearworks are notmatched! Sturmgust's contraptions now pastthings. Bluehand is the future!" the smaller humanoid says, his voice sounding very goblin-like.

"As you will, it will be done, my lord," comes the melodious voice of the fey figure.

"Yah, zee might ought zee Empire icht unrivaled." confirms the red-clad dwarf.

The figure wearing white armor raise a fist and clenches it. "While our forces in Returned Abeir continue their battle against the dragons, we have been charged to champion our cause on the mainland. By the word or by the sword, we will spread the Imperium through Faerûn until the devotion to the false idols is naught but memory!" He whirls back towards the window, and gazes upon the coast rising in the distance--the Sword Coast. "And we have you and yours in alliance... correct, outsider?"

Another figure seems to materialize behind the three kneeling figures--an orange-robed eladrin male that seems to unnerve all others on deck aside from the white-armored leader. "Indeed. Your goals and ours coincide," Hemah says. "All shall be as the Master... as Dalamud wills. Faerûn will be yours."
>> No. 77130 edit
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"How the hell did I end up here?!" Magplok cries incredulously, making his way up the unnerving, twisting path. It wouldn't have been his first choice, but the entire area seemed to be littered with what appeared to be dragon bones jutting out of a contorted, bizarre landscape. He couldn't figure out a way down, so he keeps going up.

The strangest thing about his current location was what appeared to be an enormous, serpentine, coiling form that encircled the path at a great distance, amidst jagged spires of rock and what appeared to be crystal. It was almost like the petrified body of some humungous serpent, hundreds of feet in length and perhaps thirty feet in circumference.

As he approaches a platform at the top of the twisting path, he sees that overlooking a jagged cliff, raised above the trail's end was what appeared to be the head of a dragon sitting at the end of the serpentine coil. It, too, seems petrified and inert, but for a moment Magplok thought he saw one of the eyes glowing red--but that glow quickly fades.

"What in the..." his voice trails off as he looks down and spies a humanoid form collapsed upon the platform in front of him. "Hey... hey, are you okay?" he cries out, rushing over to the fallen form.
>> No. 77131 edit
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And now I just want to take a moment to thank the players for my heroic tier campaign! We've had a -lot- of rough spots, and I thank you for your patience in putting up with me for all this time. I think I have learned a lot. I hope to see most or all of you back for the paragon-tier adventure, where I hope to put the lessons I've learned to use and provide a fun and enjoyable game for everyone involved!

This goes for everyone who stuck through to the end, and even those who only joined briefly. Thank you so very much! I do enjoy playing with you guys and hope to keep doing so!
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