407 AD – 2nd of Highsun – Saintsday
[Eris – Fiona – Dalvannan – Lilith]
Near the base of Mt. Yogan is a clearing in a forest. A female halfling, Fiona Redwyn, enters the clearing and sees a silver sword protruding from a desiccated corpse in the middle of the grassy field. Going over to it she immediately withdrew it from the body before another figure emerged from within the thicket. He was very tall Had blond hair, And wore leather armor. Fiona the halfling saw him first and readied her blade. Then the figure, Eris Silverfort, saw her and called out asking if she was friendly. She responded that indeed she was friendly and the two of them began to speak—sharing their names and swapping information before Eris leads her onto the path headed to Dragonforge that he was on.
Meanwhile in New Graaten, Lilith and Narfen were making their way across a snowy landscape on their way back to Splinterfang to meet up with their friends. Lilith cursing Narfen under her breath and through chattering teeth. Narfen trotted happily behind her a canteen of Smouth to his lips. Lilith gave him an icy stare under frozen lashes. Then she continued trudging unaware of the looming figures in the distance. Narfen noticed the shapes in the distance and caught up to Lilith and shouted for her to run. three caustic and volumous roars drew nearer and Lilith became increasingly aware of the sound of scraping knuckles on ice coming ever closer.
In a bit of panic Narfen reached behind his head and grabbed the Staff of Dazing before leaping onto Lilith’s back and casting a large wavering rune in the snow. Soon the world had fell away and Lilith and Narfen were drifting down a tumbling shaft of mixing green light.
on a large obsidian overgang protruding from Mt. Yogan rests an odd city with a foundation of black stone and embers-Dragonforge-it is a place reknowed for its magic and fantastically crafted metal work and weapons. a local dive, The Gnarled Paw, is crawling with drunken idiots and intoxicated swindlers being loose with their coinpurses in hopes of a never ending flow of ale and a bedding with someone beautiful enough to have come from Twilight. one of these swindlers however is not so drunk, Dalvannan watches distantly from a stool a glass of Nectar held crisply between his thumb and forefinger as his eyes dart from mark to mark. He stands and takes a few lithe steps forward—a heavy set Drow man has a blood red decanter in his hands a flame unfurling from within. the Drow drunkenly slurs to one of his compatriots and downs the entire tankard, streaks of liquid silver fire streak across his jaw and he closes his mouth briefly before releasing a black ring of smoke from within his maw and laughing boisterously.
Dalvannan is already back at his stool, fingers wrapped around his steaming glass of Nectar once more—a lavender coin purse with the initials of M.O. already adding weight to the back of his belt and hidden underneath his red cloak, a fuse and pin trap already attached to the stolen coinprse in case the pickpocket should ever become the pickpocketed. Dalvannan is about to snatch his last bit of coin before heading to The Stubborn Stone when a burst of green light explodes inside the tavern.
Eris and Fiona have just gotten two glasses of water when the bards song stops and the sound of wood splintering tears into The Gnarled Paw’s night time ambiance. an emerald glow flashing brightly before fading just as abruptly. The two turn around and see a half-elf woman with her silver hair draped on her shoulders a Kobold riding her as though she were his jocky.
Standing nearby is an adorable Weasel the size of a Dragonborn who seeing the crowd stands closer to the woman and lowers his brow become instantly as frightening as a bear. The Kobold dismounts the half-elf and climbs atop the weasel’s back before awkwardly waving at everyone. The Half-Elf walks over.
“Where am I?”
Fiona replies “You’re in the Gnarled Paw in Dragonforge”
Fiona sees that the silver haired ladies’ hair and clothes are dusted in snowflakes which makes her mind reel.
they must be at the very least from the Everfrost if not even farther
Eris must notice it too because he asks the two figures their names and where they are coming from.
“My names Lilith, this here is Cody and this——is Narfen and up until about three minutes ago we were all trekking across the snowy ice fields until Narfen here saved us from a herd of Ice Trolls by sending us about a hundred miles past our target!”
“Well excuse me for trying to keep us alive” The Kobold piped
“You forget that I have this” Lilith held her left pinky finger up so that an metallic, ivory ring could shine through the heavy smoke and in the dingy tavern light. “Trolls—especially the ones in the north are more animal than human—I would’ve been able to hold them back for at least a few minutes simply by telling them to which would’ve been plenty of time for me to have dispatched them with my sling or if need be my sickle.”
Dalvannan watched this exchange with interest—his interest becoming more focused when he saw both the apparently enchanted Mythril ring on her pinky, and another silver ring in the shape of a lizard set with a purple gemstone. However to lift the pair would be tricky, he began walking to the bar where he came up behind the half-elf and cocked his stance and changed his face to match of the dozen or more sleazeballs shuffling within the tavern and then made his move draping a loose arm over her right shoulder and letting it hang dangerously close to her chest.
“Heeeyy…thsar…pretty lady—how much for a quick bedding. I ain’t lookin’ for romance or nutin’ just the touch of a gorgeous woman and maybe some gyratin’” Dalvannan’s hand fell on Lilith’s ringed hand as his other began sliding up the small of her back.
Lilith turned about however instead of what he thought would be a face of disgust was instead one of lust and true interest.
“I’d love to” Lilith slid her hand to Dalvannan’s chin and deftly smoothed across his angular chin. her ringed hand squeezed his own slightly. “I’d love to gyrate you right here, right now—it seems this bartop is free”
the next couple of events happened in rapid succession; first Dalvannan’s eyebrows went up in suprise and confusion, then Lilith’s hand fell from his chin and locked itself around his neck, followed by her ringed hand tightening its grip on his hand and twisting his wrist, and lastly she spun his entire body around and clapped him down hard on the bartop the left side of his face making an audible clap on the uneven obsidian.
“next time try to remember that drunks don’t use bigger words—-if they want to fuck, they’ll be more blunt about it and also you should know that pickpockets don’t steal—from me!”
Lilith released Dalvannan and let his body slide away from her before she stormed out the door followed closely by a clearly intoxicated Narfen with his canteen to his lips riding atop Cody yelling “Mush! Mush! Mush!” and then burping loudly as they exited.
The night came and went with Lilith, Narfen, and Cody finding refuge in one of the rooms for rent at The Stubborn Stone, Eris had given Fiona a small satchel of coin in order to find a place to stay but she instead pocketed the gold pieces and crafted a very comfortable bed for herself from an empty wooden barrel, and an empty flour bag stuffed with crushed straw. Eris however walked down the street and met with a man at his manor before sleeping in one of the man’s spare rooms for the night.
Dalvannan awoke to a crisp black sky, in a small pile of filth and decay mounded on the sidewall of The Gnarled Paw. He stood and swept a rather large pile of rat droppings from his shoulders before striding back to his hovel and washing his face in a dented tin bucket. Before he noticed a dark figure crouched atop a rooftop his white eyes and smile still visible on his shadowed face.
Meanwhile, Fiona was following her nose headed to the local Rowdy Rooster to order herself some bacon and steak using her gold pieces when she too saw a strange figure perched atop the roof, she stepped closer in order to investigate further. Soon Narfen, Lilith, Fiona, Eris, and Dalvannan were gathered together below the figure. Narfen recognized the figure.
“How do you know this elf!” Eris shouted drawing a single silver blade
Lilith remembered the last time they had come across Anber—aboard the prisoner ship which she helped mutiny. In fact it was Narfen who released the wicked mage from his Vedalken shackles in the first place. Lilith quickly summarized the events.
They watched as Anber lept from his perch on high, landed next to everyone and smiled wide. He stooped down near Narfen and scraped an untrimmed yellow nail under his scaly chin, “Hello my friend” Narfen recoiled. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your mates?” Anber flashed his four pointed fangs. Lilith stepped in front of Narfen and pressed the top of her quarterstaff under Anber’s chin who raised his palms and smiled weakly as glowing druidic magic began collecting and sparking on the staff’s tip under his chin. “Listen I didn’t mean harm. I only want—“ Lilith didn’t let him finish “I have what you want” she said and pressed her staff deep into his veiny throat. “I sense a dark presence in this group” Anber said stressing his words his eyes growing darker with fury “perhaps a manipulative force” Anber’s hateful eyes burrowed into Lilith’s grey eyes “You, Blood-elf, come closer aid me and I will grant you with powers spoken of only in Undercommon and written in the ichor of Umbra himself.” Dalvannan stepped closer as the others took a step back confused and dumbfounded. Dalvannan nodded his head in Lilith’s direction then made motion towards her staff. Lilith pulled out her sling and caught Dalvannan’s wrist in the fork and pressed his own open palm into his own neck. She averted her boiling gaze from Anber and looked at Dalvannan seriously. Eris spoke up “Knock it off you two. Dalvannan trust me—you don’t want to do that, I have heard of this Anber before and until now believed he was already rotting in Gaol Prison—his corpse alone is worth a lot more than your own if you try to aid him—and if you do that’s all you’ll become. So think carefully!” Lilith removed the sling and Dalvannan grasped at his throat and sucked in several large breaths and the color returned to his face. Dalvannan regained his composure and smirked “How much exactly?” Eris spoke his eyes locked on the red splotch growing under Anber’s chin from the heat of the pulsing magic “from what I saw he’s worth about 50,000 gold pieces, even if we share it we could get 10,000 gold each. If you help us Dalvannan I will gift you my portion of the reward.” everyone moved in and grabbed Anber’s limbs Eris tying his hands behind his back as Fiona wrapped up his legs. Dalvannan’s mind was already made up even before Eris offered further gold and so hastily tried to help adding knots to the ropes as Anber’s voice began to cackle loudly-growing louder.
“Hahahaha. You believe these bonds will hold one such as me….you are mistaken” a furling violet cloud formed a cocoon around Anber and then fell away to the blackened earth. The ropes lay on the stone still tied together and knotted. Anber was only a few feet away. Eris shouted at him and called for everyone to follow.
The chase was relatively short as Anber drifted through the streets before disappearing into a dismantled mineshaft dug into Mt. Yogan itself. Everyone followed but found only darkness Narfen set his left hand ablaze with emerald witchfire lighting the cavern for everyone to see. they walked through the ceaseless tunnels aimlessly until a quake ruptured their passage and cracked open a long forgotten tunnel. everyone headed inside only to discover a band of three Gnolls sitting by a crackling fire sharpening their wicked blades. Eris snuck behind and stabbed one between the shoulder-blades before lopping off its drooling head. Dalvannan struck and sliced one bwtween the ribs but he wasn’t going down Fiona snuck up from behind and stabbed the beast in its heel which distracted t long enough for Dalvannan to stab through his thick furry neck killing the creature before he slid the corpse off him. Eris cracked the last remaining Gnoll’s jaw with a punch from his iron gauntlet before Lilith sicced Cody on the Gnoll who had no chance to defend himself. The battle was quick and only ended when the screams of howling agony ended as Cody’s claws worked through the Gnoll.
Having no other option but to continue forward they stepped over the corpse’s looted their supplies and headed forth into yet another dark cave. Until they came across a slugma-a horrifying beast of sliding fire and magma. fire pooled around his body causing everyone to stand back as Narfen and Lilith defeated the beast through painstaking long distance attacks and a well placed Eldritch Blast. The volcano quaked once more and the pathway back into the mineshaft opened once more. they followed the path and only stopped when they arrived in a large pentagon-shaped room with five doors each with a torch of a different color glowing outside of it; Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Orange. each member took turns entering the various doors with each returning with a different item or artifact; Dalvannan received a large sum of gold, Narfen came back with a Staff of Decay, Eris returned brandishing two swords-one sapphire the other a bright crimson, Fiona found a well crafted runic dagger, and Lilith found a wooden box containing alexandrite sling bullets. they retruned from the treasure troves and headed forth until they came upon a staircase headed straight down.
“We can only hope we find Anber soon” Eris spoke
a wide chamber room with red lanterns was at the bottom of the stairs, inside was a blonde succubus with striped white-and-black skin and what appeared to be a blue-skinned tiefling getting quite romantic atop a large plush zebra pillow. However they soon saw the group standing in the doorway. The tiefling stopped and was about to speak when the succubus simply placed a slim finger to his lips and crawled onto his lap with her back to the party and stripped her lacy tunic from her torso reveling her curvy striped nubile form “I like it when others watch” she said smoothly. The plush pillow beneath the couple began moving and a face began to appear and what at first seemed simply furniture was in fact a large bearded creature with a mess of hair and horns sighed loudly and shook his monstrous head before pulling a curtain to sequester their carnal endeavors away from the prying eyes.
The group recovered as much as they could but they could not un-see what they had just seen. they stepped further into the room and noticed seven runes carved into the marble floors. Seven torches flickered each a different color above seven black chest carved of bone.no other doorways existed in the room.
“while we’re here we might as well get what we can—it seems Anber has escaped us this day.” Lilith said Eris crouched down and shook his head then stood and nodded in agreement before stepping over to the blue torch and opening the chest-inside was a silver ring inset with a sapphire an array of talons holding the stone in place. Narfen retrieved his ring a single circle of orange crystal. Fiona an obsidian ring set with an amethyst, Dalvannan a black metal ring with a violet stone, and Lilith finding a ring carved entirely from a large emerald.
As Lilith placed the green ring to her finger the room filled with crackling energy as Anber swooped down from the ceiling and dark purple thunderclouds began to swirl and clatter. the room went dark and everyone felt as though they were falling down a set of stairs.