Title: The Dragon's Bones
Date: Early Vor, 1332 Avard
Synopsis: The lead ME team finds the Dragon's Bones – and a living steel dragon.
Morning of the 3rd of Vor, 1332 Avard.
The ME team left Rustos with smiles on their faces. Meridian Explorations was well known and welcomed in the town of Rustos, and so leaving to face Mount Breakhammer was a bit bittersweet.
Corrin had talked with quite a few of the townsfolk during the team's stay, and managed to get a general idea of where the Dragon's Bones were. No one had been there themselves, though they all believed the bones were real, based off of the tales the few Warkore dwarves through the region had told. The weather up on the northeast face of the mountain would be cool, even in early summer, and so Corrin made sure she and the others packed appropriate cold-weather gear. The townsfolk gave most of the cold-weather gear to the ME team, along with food and supplies.
For three days, the team travelled along the eastern slopes of the mountain, slowly winding their way north and out of the tree line. There were times when they would have to backtrack, or go around, or do their best to climb. The silik Demon and the draestrier Bergeron had no troubles climbing, but the horse Buck and coyote Fleabit had to be handled differently. On at least one occasion, Buck had to be winched up a cliff or over a crevasse, using Demon's webs and Bergeron's muscle.
Someone had killed a megapede, and put the beast's skull on the remains of a spear. The megapede skull fit Dert's head well, and the kobold took it as a helm. There was no clue as to whom had killed the megapede, but it helped serve as a warning to the team that other such monsters were nearby.
What the villagers had thought was a roc-hawke up in the mountains turned out to be a large eagle, very similar to the one that had attacked Greff and Murdoch in Teras. The huge eagle flew off after allowing Greff to touch it.
On the morning of their fourth day on the mountain, they spied in the morning's thick fog the Dragon's Bones. A giant structure had once stood on the mountain, with columns forty feet thick and three hundred feet high. It reminded Arkhan of an acropolis he had once seen, but on a scale large even for giants. The pillars that remained of the massive structure defied imagination in figuring out how they had been crafted and moved.
The Dragon's Bones were a disappointment, in some ways. Dert had hoped to see a real dragon, and so had Arkhan. The reality was magestic and awe-inspiring, and yet in no way connected with dragons.
Dert spied someone watching them, and went to investigate. A blind man, his hair wild and his clothing dirty, was listening to the team's investigations of the ruined building. Dert had heard that few returned from the Dragon's Bones, and so something was dangerous in the ruins – and it had to be the human. Dert the kobold rarely interacted with lone humans, and they were all likely dangerous.
Those thoughts were reinforced when Dert tossed a stone at a location not too far from the blind man. The human's fingers gestered, and gravel and flakes of stone assumed a humanoid appearance to investigate the sound of the thrown stone.
Dert thought the man too dangerous, and called upon the spirits, hurling him down the side of the valley.
The rest of the ME team saw an avalanche take form. Stones and dust and gravel coalesced into humanoid figures, two of them twelve feet tall and menacing. Bits of red jasper made up their eyes, and stone men attacked the team.
The two biggest men of stone were the main focus of the team, while Dert tried to keep the blind man too busy to make things even worse or summon even more such rock men.
Greff's knuckles proved just as strong as stone, as the team slowly but surely tore through the men of rock. Some of the stones found it difficult to move past one another when they were gummed up by silik thread. Larger stones found that draestriers and veteran horses were just as massive.
The team finally managed to get through the humanoid rock piles, though not without a few dents and dings.
Evening of the 2nd of Vor, 1332 Avard.
Dinner was chimichangas, and they were good. Mrm…
Ross and Bill kept rolling low, and I don't think I've ever seen so many collective ones rolled in a night. No one rolled a critical loss (or double ones), but I kept waiting for it to happen. Hopefully it won't happen again any time soon.
RPG System: Dungeons and Dragons, 4th Edition.
All characters were 14th level.