Clash of Fire and Darkness
There is a sudden deep rumbling sound from the volcano, a reverberation that causes the ground beneath your feet to tremble. A flaming spume explodes violently from the mouth of the peak and a noxious black cloud billows upwards, blanketing the sky in cinder and ash. Trails of molten light streak through the clouds, fragments of rock hurtle through the sky and strike the ground with concussive force. Unfortunately, the strength of the explosion is strong enough that some of those fragments are heading directly towards you.
The Peak erupts, sending an ash cloud 50 miles around the mountain and blotting out the sun for nearly a week. Immediate dangers include falling rocks along with toxic fumes 10 miles from the Peak’s epicenter, with chocking soot and ash 20-40 miles away. The toxic gas is slow-acting, doing small amounts of nonlethal damage over a course of several hours to those who fail a Con save and the kender are also a handful. Spade Spadestomper stepped up as well as Parrick Whistlewalk who gave a good showing of himself.
When the group reached the 20 mile radius zone they were set upon by the enraged former lover of the dragonspawn creature the party slew in the Peak of Malys. He arrived with 6 of his best warriors and attacked the party. Bloodmane, singled out the Solamnic Knight as the cause of his troubles.
The group had a rough fight, but they were able to drive off the pack of dragonspawn. Bloodmane escaped swearing revenge at a later time…
The group tried to head for Port Balifor, but turned northward after saving a darknight from a strange cougar creature that was attempting to capture members of the party. After a couple days the group then ran into a group of Ogres and killed them all save one, who ended up following the party. The group endured the negative effects of the environment for days, but managed to come out as they reached the 50 mile edge of the radius blast from the Volcano. There they met up with two sets up darknight patrols, the first they were able to easily talk their way past, but the later insisted the follow them to the city of Darkhaven. They were led by a stern Captain Velaria Grimstone.
Tyric took a liking to the Commander and attempted to enter negotiations with her, but was quickly rebuffed. It may have been his timing as he was playing poker with some other soldiers while camped out when he “made his move”.
That night the group was quietly lead away by some newcomers who reached out to Skywarden. They promised to lead them away from the darknights to a safe place. The group followed them into a ravine deep in the mountains. The village is located in an enclosed encampment with stone ramparts. The phaethons live in stone buildings surrounding a central open square with goat pens and gardens. After the PCs are gifted with clean water from the spring and goat meat and cheeses, the 3 village elders will come out to meet with them.
Three phaethons, two men and one woman, approach from one of the buildings. All three resemble bronze statues, noble and exquisite, their features serenely beautiful.
When they speak, their voices are melodious. “Welcome, fated ones, to our camp,” says the woman, who wears the medallion of Habbakuk around her neck. “Please, partake of our hospitality and rest, for your destiny weighs heavy upon you and the road ahead is long. There is much that you must know.”
They tell them that the Key of Quinari’s magic is not in the music box, but the melody contained therein, which can open a portal to the ancient burial grounds of the dragons of Light, located somewhere in Nordmaar, a nation to the north. To aid them in their quest, they will give the PCs a precious relic, one of the Tears of Mishakal…
…which will be needed once they pass through the portal to the Dragon’s Graveyard and in future endeavors. The other Tear has been corrupted by Chemosh millennia ago, and is now being held in the dungeons of Darkhaven. Once they have both, the knowledge required to purify the Tear can be found in the town of Flotsam to the north of Darkhaven, “your next stop on the journey to Nordmaar and the Dragons’ Graveyard.”
Priceless Artifact Count is now at 4?
The Tear of Mishakal is a Major Artifact glowing with a blue radiance, acting much like a charged item. It has 20 charges which can be used by a non-evil wielder to cast spells of restorative nature (the more powerful the spell, the more charges it consumes). Its most powerful spells (heal, raise dead, heroes’ feast) can only be used in conjunction with the other Tear, which must be uncorrupted. The Tear regains 1 charge per day at daybreak. Additionally, the Tear can convert a gallon of normal water to holy water after 24 hours, and bestows a continual Shield of Faith (armor class bonus) and Dimensional Anchor spell, the latter of which prevents the use of teleportation magic and dimensional travel as long as the wielder carries it (and even if overcome the Tear is left behind and dropped). The only exception is the Dragon’s Graveyard, to which it is attuned. The corrupted Tear is similar, except that it casts death and evil magic, glows with a sickly green light, regains charges at night, and can only be used by non-good characters.
The PCs now have a new mission: infiltrate Darkhaven. Before that is some good news: the Phaethon can safely escort all the Kender to Port Balifor, accompanied by Elijayess (whose path is different from the PCs now), and Parrick Whistlewalk tells the PCs that they can make use of the underground goblin tunnels if they want to get into the fortress without being spotted.
To make a long story short the Stronghold was infiltrated from the Goblin Tunnels. The party fought a variety of undead and easily handled the undead, the guards inside, freed some prisoners, defeated a Greater Shade, and acquired the corrupted Tear of Mishakal.
The party then made their way to the coast, ran into Lord Garth
who took exception to a Knight of Solamnia traveling with Kender, Bull-men, Bird-men, and Mages. Unable to stifle his irritation he insulted members of the Tyric’s party, ignoring some all together, and generally was an obnoxious ass. However, that is his prerogative as a NOBLE. He also "technically’ holds the title of a Knight of the Rose. Unable to come to any kind of middle ground on the traveling arrangements, Jak the Minotaur threatened and assault Lord Garth, slew his horse, and the group did leave him to die just North of an enemy Stronghold with no transportation.
For the second time in a ten day, a powerful enemy promised retribution on the Solamnic Knight Tyric.
The group continued on the Coast and met up with a whaler ship, and on a different night a crew of Privateers. Eventually, they reached Flotsam.