Might of the Inquisition

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad dragon

Adventure 6

Recap

Emerging from The Tower of Talon Pass, the party is shocked to discover that Istarmani’s horses are gone! Some quick tracking work indicates that they have been stolen by some heavily armored humanoids, and headed west. So the party gives chase! They cross one of the trade roads into one of the open areas, then the sun seems to be going down… until they look up. A massive dragon figure flies in close, and threatens them for killing his little brother. At first, the thought is entertained of fighting the black dragon, until they realize just how big he is! Many take this opportunity to flee into the forest, but Light decides to stand his ground and say he had nothing to do with killing the dragon. The bluff is somewhat successful, with the dragon saying he’ll kill him last. Quickly, the warlock also flees into the forest. Reschard tells everyone to split up, and signals that they head towards Portalis, with the message being carried down the line. Some chose to try to fake out the dragon with what direction they’re going, with others finding a good hiding place. [[Image:7-1.jpg]] After a few minutes, they believe they’ve temporarily lost the dragon, and they meet up in the direction of Portalis. Along the way there they come across some caves that could be handy for hiding from the dragon. Darian sneaks in, and finds the caves infested with kobolds! He sneak attacks one, and the rest of the party move up to deal with the others coming out of the caves. A battle ensues against the kobold hordes in the caves. As the wyrmpriest leader is on his last legs, he lets out a shrill shriek, which echos through the caves… and into the chasing dragon’s ears. It will be upon them soon! More kobolds are dispatched, but everyone retreats into the caves to find proper hiding places (including the two surviving kobolds.) The dragon arrives and begins investigating the caves, sniffing around outside (because they are too small for him to enter fully.) The party is able to be well hidden (with Nohrik choosing the perfect disguise behind a statue of Tiamat), but the kobolds are not. The dragon decides they aren’t worth his time, so he growls at them with all his draconic scariness, literally terrifying the piss out of them. With a chuckle, the dragon takes off. The party has a discussion about what to do with the remaining kobolds, and ultimately decides that even though they are evil, they won’t kill them. They settle on destroying all their weapons, and Nohrik makes them promise to do good from now on. With that (and grabbing all the kobolds’ ill-gotten loot) they head back into the forest to try to pick up the trail of the horses. Along the way, they encounter a strange settlement in the middle of the woods, seemingly civilized but without the protection of the Etherium. A party vote has to be taken to enter or not, with a slim majority voting to investigate. They are greeted by Barl Stonedown, who asks if they are members of the Inquisition. There’s a brief moment of confusion as Light answers “Yes” and others answer “No” and they are forced to hint at their strange situation, but Barl ends up trusting the party and letting them in. He explains that this is the location of The Enclave, which is further elaborated on by Teclis Ro, the defacto leader of this place. The party is given the opportunity to rest, and served a fine ale (in exchange for keeping mum about this place.) During the course of the conversation, it is revealed that Barl saw the horses come through on his scouting mission earlier (ridden by Hobgoblins), and can point the party in the direction. In fact, they can even head off the hobgoblins by taking a short cut… straight through an Owlbear nest. Having heard of these legendary creatures, they jump at the chance to fight them. [[Image:7-3.jpg]] They find the owlbear nest, with several owlbear young lapping at a small pond and others eating from a mushroom field. An owlbear mother keeps watch, and spots the party as they approach. The party avoids the brush in front of them, some noticing the briars and strange mushrooms within. As they move to engage the owlbear family, Gurias decides to use Mage Hand to pick up some of the strange mushrooms, and toss them at the owlbear mother, and the mushrooms explode in a cloud of spores! Coughing and struggling to stay focused, the owlbear mother nonetheless sees Darian cut down one of her young, so she disengages from Glandrin and charges the halfling, striking him with a series of brutal strikes. Nohrik too strikes down one of her young, earning the ire of the mother. She lays into both of them, hacking away and trying to rip their skin right off with her powerful beak. Behind her, Light blasts away the remaining two young, but uses his warlock powers to remain hidden from the mother. [[Image:7-4.jpg]] Despite her fury, the owlbear mother is surrounded, and as she becomes wounded, lets out a deadly “HONK” that stuns nearly everyone around it. [[Image:7-5.jpg]] It’s still not enough, as the party beats her into submission. Darian takes her head as a trophy. [[Image:7-6.jpg]] The party presses on through to intercept the hobgoblins on stolen horses. They set up an ambush at a crossroads, which is successful for some, but the martial types are not very good at stealth. Arcane energy blasts off the riders of some of the horses, and the party moves to jump aboard and calm the horses. Gurias uses his fey step to teleport another horse. In the process, Nohrik is trampled a few times. The hobgoblins are dropped, all except for the commander. The commander offers a deal: if they let him go, he will return to Lord McNuggety and tell him to be lenient for sparing his life. If they cut him down, the entirety of the Nightfist Mercenaries will come after them. Everyone agrees, except for Darian, who swears to kill the hobgoblin. Alice and Reschard move to stop the halfling, but he is too small and slippery. He lunges at the commander, but the commander was ready and parries the blow. The commander slips off his horse and withdraws, leaving the horse (and his equipment) behind. However, just as the horses are mounted, a now familiar sound starts… the sound of a fast-flying enraged black dragon. Portalis is in sight, with the horses running at top speed (past a few confused merchants), into the range of the Etherium. The dragon hits something in mid-air, and is racked with pain, before he has to retreat. In disgust, he spits acid at a few of the trees nearby before taking flight away in disgust. They take a more leisurely journey back to Alexandren. The first stop is the house of Istarmani to receive their reward. They question him about why a mural in the Tower of Talon Pass looked so much like him, to which he responds that it was probably an ancestor. The PCs don’t buy this answer, but they are happy to receive their reward for returning the Jade Chalice and his horses. The last stop for the evening is back to the Stone Pony Inn, where a letter waits from the Inquisition. The next prophecy is waiting for them and it reads: “When the Queen of Spiders and the Lord of the Prime grasp the Cup of Green, the transformation can commence.” And they begin to wonder…

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