Night Reign: Revelations
Noir Entry 4
“Beneath the candle bed
Two saddened angels – in heaven, in death”
“Two For Tragedy”
Ruins of Iso’Farsh
55 Summer, 2979 (Concluded)
With the dragon slain, Vincent left the others to sort through its hoard while he scouted the area outside where the beast had smashed through the tower wall. He found no immediate threats but noted the nearby cliff side, where the cave purported to house the second dragon was supposed to be located. He returned through the rain to report his findings and to discuss the group’s next steps.
Chaus’ magical bag was filled to capacity by just the coins found in the dragon’s hoard. The others had distributed the remaining recovered loot and decided to seek out another dragon before returning to the shore to await their boat. The assassin informed them of their options – climb down the cliff face or circle around and seek the cave’s entrance from the bottom. Everyone agreed on the latter course, and so they made their way down the winding path Vincent had found during his brief reconnaissance.
The assassin was the only one to spot the cave through the rain, when a fortuitous flash of lightning briefly illuminated it. Getting everyone oriented, the party took its time scaling the slippery rock face with only a couple of mishaps. Where the tunnel opened up into a larger cavern, they discovered the bodies of four cambions, which had apparently had their wings sliced off with some manner of blade. Even so, based on the lack of wounds and only a slight discoloration of their flesh in a couple of places, the cause of death seemed to be a vortex similar to the one encountered in the dragon fight. The party proceeded more cautiously, but there proved to be no need.
They found the corpse of a decapitated silver dragon lying in the cavern, but nothing rose to threaten their exploration of the cavern. It seemed that someone had beaten them to this hoard, killing the dragon and corrupting the symbol of the Spring Wyrm found on its neck with the brand of the Wyrm of Winter. Its blood trickled beneath a stone blocking a secret passage coated with – if Pentifex could be believed – the slime excreted by slaadi, some manner of planar chaos frogs. A conversation struck up about whether to pursue the tunnel they found behind the stones.
Vincent had begun to believe that the key to discovering the fate of the wizards was keyed to the planes, particularly after the testimony of the magical mimir. However, he argued briefly that following the new path would probably not lead to any great treasure since, as Pentifex confirmed, slaadi were not known to care about treasures. In truth, the assassin had no desire to attempt the slippery cliff face again, and only argued long enough to reinforce his cover story of an interest in looting the fallen city. He allowed himself to be convinced to follow the tunnel to see what the treasure hunters could find.
Before they’d gone too much farther, they encountered a pack of slaadi along with a man in black plate armor, bearing a draconic helm with horns that swept backward. Vincent withheld a curse as Shan was noticed and the man set the obscene creatures on the adventurers before exiting out a back tunnel. Chaos frogs, as it turned out, do not fight fair. Some of them could reach through reality with their vicious claws and drag their victims through the tear to toss them elsewhere. Vincent, no stranger to stepping between worlds, managed to escape through the shadows and not end up where the damned slaad had deposited him – at the foot of one of the larger brutes.
The combat was long, though not as difficult as had been their encounter with the foulspawn, denizens of yet another realm outside of Falamar. Yes, the nature of the creatures inhabiting the wizards’ former sanctums certainly suggested that outside forces had taken charge of Iso’Latarin since the former occupants were evicted. Perhaps these were powers with whom Vincent could parlay. He considered this possibility as the last slaad fell dead to the stone floor. The party shook off their wounds and rested only as long as was strictly necessary before giving chase.
They caught up to the armored humanoid in another chamber occupied by slaadi and a creature with snakes for hair. Once more, he left his minions to stop the group, and they grimly entered combat with the other monsters. The slaadi proved just as difficult to hurt as before, but the medusa proved to be the true threat, subjecting the party to her poisonous killing gaze. Vincent did what he could to harm their enemies, but when one of the slaadi diverted a blow from Kang into the assassin’s head, he found it difficult to think straight.
The medusa’s gaze started hardening his extremities as well, but Vincent countered the effect with the magic of his periapt. Still, he remained dazed and when he was knocked from his feet by one of the chaos frogs, survival instincts he hadn’t known existed kicked in. He retreated from the world, becoming little more than a shadow himself and his only thoughts were of self preservation. By the time the combat ended, Chaus had been turned to the stone and The Pentifex Monolith truly lived up to the title.
Bereft of the two members most capable of keeping him alive during combat, Vincent wondered what exactly in the hells he was supposed to do now.
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