Campaign of the Month: December 2014
The destruction of Symzynzalak
Thirteenth of Thaumont
We finally sit down after running about uncovering wizard plots and trying to be on our best behavior for noble visitors, but before the day can get much further Thaljun comes in and brings up the much anticipated topics.
He has his proposal to the parliament to bring fourth, and then there is the matter of the lich’s dragon. We decide to call over another slew of noble house guests (it seems so much easier now that we’ve been victorious in battle, and hold some of their secrets in our clutches) and while waiting for them, go out and grab some of what we could imagine we might want when fighting a full grown dragon.
First we contact the would-be noble. Ryad Varion. I still don’t know what to think about him, He almost killed Elias and stole from Salhadin, but he did make amends and Thaljun is convinced that we should burry our hatchet. Before I think about it too hard we send Luigi over to fetch the Wizard. What more insult could we do? I don’t like the man, but I have to admit that we acted with dishonor in the capture and subsequent murder of his wife Estelle. And he knew with more certainty than with the rest of us that Luigi was an instigator of the whole debacle. But oh well, my mind was to slow in the moment.
Ryad joins us, impatient but curious. Thaljun greets him and starts to mention how he would like to be more friendly since we had “gotten off on the wrong foot,” but Ryad doesn’t wait for him to finish his polite trifles. We instead hand him over our draft of the Charter.
We had discussed this charter for some time now. Since Thaljun had decided to move on to a bigger title, we would be away from the war with the Ethengar. The Castle would be taxing on our resources and we thought we could make a benificial situation for everyone. Sell the castle to Parliament, the war is their problem, and propose a new Barony be created with the grasslands we acquired. And suggest Ryad be the new Baron.
Ryad was surprised. He was pleased but suspicious. With good reason, he questioned why we use our influence to aid him. Thaljun told him that he hoped to see better people, trustworthy people, in the Glantri nobility. We also pointed out that it would be benificial for us were he to join House Sylaire. He scoffed at some of our rhetoric, but admitted that since the discovery and destruction of the Lich, he rather wanted to leave House Crownguard. He accepted and curtly left our company.
The next morning, on the Fourteenth, Thaljun brings our proposal to the floor of the Council. He said that the Princes liked the idea, but everyone else did too, and a multitude of similar proposals for expanding other people’s lands were presented as well.
While the council sorted out their thoughts, we decided to go and remove ourselves from the picture, hopefully for a short period of time. The morning of the 15th arrived and ready or not we were going to fight a dragon. I had some misgivings, Salhadin had gone off when Turgon a mighty pegasus arrived to speak with him. We would be missing a comrade, but at least we had Elias the dragon slayer with us.
I remembered how I fared the last time I saw a dragon. Aganziscorr, the Black dragon of Karameikos. I had not been there long, and it was one of the first time meeting some of my comrades. I had not fought well or bravely. But I had grown from then, we all had. We had been through war together, we had survived even a curse from the immortals. My fear was real, but this time I would face it with honor, and strength.
We took an airship to a ring of peaks in the colossus mountains to the place the party previously encountered Symzynzalak. He was a great blue dragon, originally from the deserts of Ylaruam, he had wreaked death upon some emirate. In the last century he had visited Darokin spreading his destruction until moving to the Colossus mountains. There in the mountains he was found by Prince Brannart McGregor, either before or after he had become a prince.
I imagine the battle between them being of a scale worthy to be in the Nahmeh. The wizard, perhaps in desperation, perhaps in overconfidence, called upon some power of the Radiance, one of these wizard secrets that everyone wants to kill us over. Well the great Radiance and Rad or who ever controls it did not favor the Prince that day, for in some explosion of arcane power it left three things ruined. The mountain was leveled, destroying almost half of it. The dragon suffered festering horrible wounds across his face, removing his tail, and leaving him crazed and full of anger. The prince lost the most if you ask me, he lost his humanity. Cursed by the necromancy he practiced to be a lich, a hateful, rotting horror of the undead. I suppose if could have been his contingency, to create a phylactery incase he was killed, and killed he was.
We had met some people just before coming here. There was a Pale the Dragonfoe, who was about as much a dragonfoe a I was at this point. Luigi clarified for us that he was a known thief and con artist, good to have on the team. Elias was approached by some claymore wielding bagpipers lead by Deeb, an honor guard of sorts. I like the men, but their music…
We took pale with us, along with Syndra, Zakaya and Kvor. The airship was cramped and I wondered if this flying basket would be the end of us all. Luckily if it came to falling I would be prepared, Thaljun had given me a ring into wich he added some spells including Fly. I would not be grounded, puking my guts out this time.
In order to not be shot down, we set down at the base of a ring of peaks and made our way over the pass by foot. Pale and our flier took the airship around, and would look to the dragon’s cave as we fought. We got down to the cleared area in the center of that ring of mountains, and waited.
It was a cold and nerve racking wait. Do we activate Thaljun’s spells now? Do we move around? Will we hear him over the howling wind? Should we stay together or spread out? Finally we caught a glimpse of blue, and then the Roar. I thought I knew what to expect, I had even told some of the tales regarding blue wyrms in Ylaruam, but the beast was, gargantuan. I steeled myself and readied for the worst. He soared through the air, majestic despite his crippling scars. I could see the purple rotted stump of a tail, the marred face and eye. His scales clanked oddly and his wings were weathered beyond a generation of elves. The air about him crackled with electricity. The wind from his wings was a buffeting torrent.
He breathes a breath and yells at the heavens. A bolt of lightning, deafening in its might, illuminated the sky. Above us a dark and oppressive storm blanketed the sky. Thaljun gave the command to gather around him. Kvor did not heed and was running. Poor fool, we should not have brought him along. Thaljun was barely able to cast his spell in time, some scroll to protect from the most feared ability of a dragon. Light surrounded us in a dome, as a bolt from the sky was blocked by our wizard’s magic.
There is little for us to do while the dragon is flying. We have to wait for it to attack us closer, for this battle of spells will not go in our wizard’s favor. The dragon disappears from view, I crane my neck looking for the tricky beast, Thaljun spots him with magic, giving us just enough time to prepare for its dive. I brace for its attack only to to see it appear crashing into Elias, lifting him into the air. I take off, flying after it, but I am too slow compared to the great winged wyrm.
After some time chasing in vain, he drops Elias and I dive to catch my falling friend, but I have to swerve away as the dragon dives after me. Thaljun catches Elias with a spell, and we all flee back to the area protected by Thaljun’s spell as another lightning cloud is breathed into the sky.
This time the dragon grounds itself in front of us. He nearly knocks us down with a gust from his wings, and we get a strange compulsion to drop our weapons. While Elias givens in I charge at the beast. Something in my heart gives to the nerves or the magic, as I fumble my blow, and the dragon steps down upon Saif Husam. A lesser pole would have snapped in half right there, but luckily Saif Husam lives on.
The dragon uses his magic to flee after this. Thaljun blasts it with some spells as it goes, but we cannot stop it. Symzynzalak returns to his cave to hide, and we are left shaken but having won a minor victory… Perhaps? We gather ourselves up and Thaljun Elias and I decide to press the attack ourselves. Thaljun empowers us with Fly again and we make for the cave entrance.
Walking into the Maw of the Beast. As we approach, Pale hails us, I check to make sure it is really him. He tells us that the dragon has just returned, we have him follow us and enter the layer to fight the dragon in his very home. The first thing I notice is not the dragon sitting on the massive pile of gold speaking to some unseen figure, but rather it is the heaping pile of gold and treasure of such wealth unknown to me ever before. Then I remember the dragon, which looks unharmed now beyond the radiance scars.
Symzynzalak flies up to the cave roof, some hundreds of feet above and splits himself calling upon mirages to confuse us and drops darkness about us. Thaljun and the dragon both attempt to dispel each other’s magic, leaving Thaljun and Eilas grounded, and only two images of the dragon. One dragon on the ceiling and one flying in the air, casting the spells. I go towards the pile of gold, if the tales of dragons are true, this may tease out which dragon is real and get him down to the ground.
Symzynzalak uses his desert dragon mastery of water to bind elias in frozen mud down at the cave floor. I toss him my hammer to free himself and again go towards the treasure pile. Thaljun teleports up there with more lightning streaking after him. Thaljun discerns that the real dragon is the one further from harm. He and the dragon sling spells back and fourth until Thaljun touches ground on his gold coins. Then the dragon is mad, picking thaljun up with some force like a doll, Symzynzalak flies down to strike.
The melee is short but fearsome. Elias launches an enchanted javelin, striking the wyrm but not spelling it with Hold. I go in for several lunges, I make my mark, but with limited effect, and the beast is protected with some fiery shield. Lightning blasts me, and I narrowly survive, I may not be able to do much more.
But Thaljun, having finally gotten the dragon close enough pulls out the Lich’s scroll. He hits the beast with a ray of Negative Energy. The enraged and drained the dragon struck out, flailing his claws into the stone just inches from Thaljun. Thaljun did not waste the moment, calling upon another lich spell, wishing for the dragon to be disintegrated. A green beam leapt from the scroll and before my eyes this monster of a dragon was eaten away as though a thousand years were drying its desiccated corpse away to nothing.
And there we were, in a cave with nothing but us and our new earned wealth. Symzynzalak, the terror of Ylaruam was destroyed.