Darkness in the Delimbiyr

A Dangerous Return

The heroes awoke with a start, and thanked the heavens for their rest, ably returning psychic powers, spells and prayers alike. The cleric used a few spells and healing items in order to fully return his allies back to fighting shape, restoring them mind and body. After a short meal, the exhausted heroes, after a few setbacks in the rocky hills of the Greypeak Mountains managed to find an old, unused path back to Zhedarak.

However, once they were barely an hour or so away from the dwarven mining city, they saw the tapered plumes of oily black smoke rising steadily from Zhedarak – these were not the signal fires they were accustomed to, but the burning fires of a seige! They began to double their stride toward their troubled base of operations, but just as they did, they heard an ear-shattering roar from above, as massive clouds of dust rose up all around them. The flapping of giant, leathery wings beat the air, as they looked up and saw a massive reptilian beast cresting through the retreating fog. It had a frilled crest and a mottled flesh that seemed to melt between jade and navy blue. It’s massive bat-like wings seemed to be like outstretched hands that tore at the air. The gnome, reacting quicker than most, correctly identified the beast as a chaos dragon, and also noted that the creature seemed to have several bolts embedded within its side, as well as some terrible scrapes from a very recent encounter.

Before anyone could react, the beast breathed a swirling, slashing cloud of unreality, causing the hexblade and psywarrior to become confused and ineffective. The gnome, quickly reacting, managed to psychically dispell the psywarrior’s confusion, and then took a defensive position. The mighty chaos dragon then landed and exhaled a blast of crackling lighting, seriously injuring the heroes. Acting fast, the cleric called upon his faith and healed his allies, in a burst of holy energy. The dragon tore into the psywarrior, who had wisely fortified his body against injury, but he found his mind being sapped by the heavy concentration. The drake leapt at the hexblade, as the warlock channeled baleful energies into a blazing spear that cut deeply into the beast. The gnome blasted the dragon with a ray of pyrokinetic might, searing it terribly. Snapping back to his senses at the last moment, the hexblade turned and swung his mace – that was now activated by the dragon’s inherent magic – and delivered a guttering blow to the weakened monster. In its death throes, the beast choked draconic ichor upon the hexblade, and then all but collapsed upon him. The psywarrior empowered his body and pulled the massive beast off of his fallen all; the hexblade, covered in gore and shifting chaos drake blood, seemed alright. The cleric applied his prayers dutifully, and they continued onwards toward Zhedarak.

Outside of town, they saw what appeared to have been a minor battle – massive cuts were ripped out of the thick wall surrounding the town, as if it were made of a child’s building blocks. Worse still, nearly two dozen stout dwarves and humans in shining plate, with sturdy shields stand vigilant around what appears to be the battered, and downed dragon! Several areas of the wall are badly damaged and caked in thick ice – much of the damaged areas are riddled with frost and ice that easily cracked through the rock like it was eggshells.

Several Dumathanians, well-armed men, cloaked figures and other nameless heroes, including their former companion, the duskblade Valdermaar. Sitting on a stump, being attended to by a Doomwarden, Valdemaar nurses vicious wounds, and his skin is the pale yellow as if he was covered in frostbite. Speaking with him was a purple-robed dwarf, as they discuss what happened. His blink dog companion, Arrow sat beside him, listening and deep in thought. Worse still, nearby there was a large wagon of the recently dead being carried off. Covered with a large and elaborate dwarven burial cloth and moved by hand by scores of dwarves and other Doomwardens. The heroes estimated that there was at least two dozen dead, and three times that were wounded by this attack.

Observing the fallen body, they note that a white dragon whelp had attacked the town, something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years. The body alone is nearly ten feet long and knotted with muscle – with its wiry tail and neck, it is perhaps twice that length. It displayed a large sweeping frill, and slender scales of a dirty-white snow and ivory colour. It was scored and chopped from dozens of scratches, arrows and blades, as well as a few marks where some of the defender’s particularly telling spells landed. Valdemaar told them that it easily ignored his scorching rays, even though they should’ve given it serious burns, although one of his many rays did strike it true – he was unsure what is at play here.

They spoke to a few witnesses, who claimed that the dragon flew over the walls, terrifying those guarding them, and then breathed along the defensive parapet. The purple-robed dwarven sorcerer, sitting beside Valdemaar, who joined the battle late claims that a white dragon of this age (young adult) probably wouldn’t have the mental capacity to actually cast any spells, so it remains a great mystery. The local clerical authorities were worried as the Zhedarakian guard is already stretched fairly thin, and the effective loss of 75+ men is a staggeringly frightening reality. A few other eye-witnesses claimed there were more than one dragon present, indeed a wing of drakes. With this revelation, they bade their old ally farewell and wearily headed back to Firewater’s Rest, to ponder the reality of wings of dragons flying over the small town.

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