Umalli, Blaine, Grafton, Darnis (absent) and Thud regroup in the warehouse under the guise of obtaining buckets to put out the fire. Umalli has been in a state of reverie at this point and when he snaps out, tells the group that Femrish has directed him to speak to the dragon underground. The others are on board with the idea, particularly Thud, but decide they need a further distraction to ensure their “safe” travel back and forth across the encampment. Fire always works, so Umalli quickly sets up another blaze and as yet another building burns to ash, the PCs make a break for the main receiving hall.
Upon entering the dragon’s cave through the space twist in the war room, they find the beast in a state of light sleep, sniffing loudly. The smell of smoke from the buildings is slightly evident to the humanoids in the cavern and moreso to the dragon. Grafton, Blaine and Umalli discuss the best approach to encountering the dragon while Thud just goes ahead and takes his – straight down onto the monster’s neck. Though he can’t quite see where he’s going completely – forcing him to bounce off of a rock outcropping – Thud manages to pull into a whirling dive and deliver a vicious cut to the dragon’s neck, awakening it fully. Apologies from Grafton and Umalli have no effect.
The dragon absorbs some shrapnel and lightning from the two controllers as Blaine lowers a rope so the group can get closer. They land on the rock outcropping Thud bounced from. The dragon then binds Thud with its breath weapon, perches on a ridge and summons a mass of vines, nettles, stinging plants, large flytraps and other sundry flora into the cavern, making any sudden movement painful for the party. Thud engages the dragon nearly by himself (though he has artillery support) and backs it into a corner. His support is cut short by the animation of some of the summoned bushes into vine-whipping razorweeds that draw every one else’s attention. Thud is nearly dropped by the weeds but a timely heal from Darnis allows him to fight the dragon toe-to-toe. The monster eventually gets away from him and charges Umalli – the only PC still on the rock outcropping at this point. Umalli looks to be in trouble until Thud makes a bizarrely improvised ranged attack with his longsword which sets Grafton up to broadside the dragon mid-air in wolf form and drag the beast to the ground injured – for the moment.
Umalli and the dragon, who calls himself Q’Riyr, trade insults and Umalli brands him with the Hand of Femrish. Q’Riyr tells the group that he is the guardian of the henge, given the honor by the she-demon Morgana des Ilrosa. The group decides that Morgana must be the entity responsible for Gaelen’s Timeless Curse, but leaves quickly when they see that Q’Riyr has the same “benefit” as the dwarves. The party leaves through some tunnels and comes out under a hill south of town.. except for Thud who goes out a different way completely.
While resting in Respite, the group attempts to convince Arlen to give them the support of the dwarves in freeing them from their current state, but Arlen is unhappy with the destruction of the Redoran supply depot and will make no such alliance. The rest of the town is less harsh, but not entirely accomodating save for Dwarina who puts the party up for the night once again. Hoerig arrives on a horse from Varuna and catches up with the events surrounding Respite. The PCs choose to being researching how to summon a demon so that they can renegotiate the terms of Respite’s bargain.. or maybe just kill the demoness, who knows. They leave in the morning to find Thud who is on his way back to Respite. He tells them of a halfling caravan he ran into some few kilometers north and a story he learned from them about a wandering preacher in Haumea who claims to be on the path to becoming a god. This does not change the party’s plans though and they head towards Hyloneme in the hopes of finding information on demon summoning.
Along the way, they encounter a secret research facility in the side of a cliff. The White Lotus Academy has been trying to create Living Spells with minimal success. After raiding the library of important notes and textbooks, Umalli goes into the laboratory to try to animate one of the Spells himself. He channels both his arcane might and the very will of Femrish to give life to the Spell – the essence of a Fire Warrior. The event is surrounded (literally!) in glory and fire, after which the Warrior gains instinct, desire and (to Umalli’s minor disappointment) a bent towards distance and observation instead of anger and passion. The Warrior names itself Prime since “I am the first.”
many, many ritual books
arcane textbooks worth about 400 gp