journal of Ekro Karrnava
Why were we there? Bumbling through the ruins of an ancient temple, once a bustling place but now occupied only by scaly monsters. Standing in front of a closed door, about to knock for trouble. Dim light and musty air and a clammy sense of doom.
One week ago, outside the city walls, living in the slums there, things were so much clearer. Back then, good times. There was the endless march of needy people, work for able hands to aid the suffering, afflictions burning to be eased. Sort of a best-case scenario for a devout volunteer healer.
But all good things . . . Some friends were not so clear of mind nor steady of heart.
There was a guild house of the poor, seedy and under-funded, but close to the slum-dwellers. It was the strength and the weakness of the whole thing, how integrated it all was to the impoverished place.
So close, there was no separation from the desperate needs of the forgotten slum-dwellers. So connected, the very homeless and orphaned folk found there an organization they themselves could grow into, run and expand, reaching out a helping hand to those who had not yet found the way.
Maybe too close, as the reformed unfortunate volunteers would often fall back into old ways, and often but not always fall back into the streets. Were the purest of the guild too focused on helping those outside its doors, too focused on helping to notice the growing dissent within the guild walls, too caring to take care and protect the foundation within?
The pure way is a narrow way, and those not learned of the laws of fealty ‘oft fall from the path. The house of generosity soon fell prey to baser instincts, to treachery and destruction, and even close friends became drawn into trouble. Until at last the only way was out, leaving the poor unfortunate behind, searching first as for a cure for poisons that afflicted his closest friends.
They were lizard-men, worshipers of the sun-devourer. Several were bloodthirsty fighters, but one was a reluctant follower, Wrecan, concerned more for freeing his tribe from “Vathga” who had recently usurped their traditional ways. Vathga spoke that Thoss-farunn (a black dragon) was the chosen of Telonna (lizard deity of illness), but Wrecan knew better!
The adventuring group includes:
Keiran Wiz Human
Kahr Fighter Half-orc
Ryne Ranger Elf
Alton Rogue Halfling
Ekro Pally Half-elf
Grimgus Jester Gnome
Meechion Cleric (Human NPC guide)
Farther into the darkness of the sub-basement, vile magics are placed in start contrast to the more blessed fixtures of the original solar temple. Ominous drums beat, shrieking statuary alarum, creeping acid splashes, shadow dragon lurks.
Rule: Fighting style = protection, reaction impose disadvantage for attack vs adjacent ally
Loot: “Dragon thumper” paladin’s magical mace (+1d6 vs dragons)
Follows: Ilmater, resides with Torm, works to ease suffering.
Diseased mutated lizard-folk emerge from a subterranean stream to swarm across the heroes. After they are defeated, Wrecan sadly recognizes some of his own tribal brothers. It seems that the pestilence that Vathga represents has wrought its havoc upon many previously sound hearted lizard-folk.
Large iron dwarven coin – sundered orc skull on one side, runic numeral 1 on the other side.
Secret door leads to a clay brick passageway, leads to the dragon master. Dragon master is another fevered and diseased lizard-folk, with giant snake familiars. After a heat armor attack, the heroes find loot, in a surprising large amount.
Here comes a black dragon bursting out of the underground pool. Ryne’s pet dragon seems to recognize its parent, who is pleased to be re-united with his offspring. Meechion offers to leave the dragon in peace if he returns the sea-altar that we were sent to retrieve.
The dragon explains that Avaric Zaltos (red wizard affiliated with the orcs) had offered the exchange for the stolen egg. The egg he had stolen by orcs. The same Avaric who was slain earlier by the hero’s, when they reclaimed the egg. Wrecan is very excited to see the dragon. It is a happy ending.