You awaken to remember a meeting you attended during the night, although you do not recall waking, dressing, or traveling to it. You simply remember discovering yourself in a round, well-appointed room with vaulted ceilings and stone wall. Interestingly enough, you could see no doors or windows on the outer wall. The room was dominated by the large round table in its center, where you found yourself seated along with your companions, and several other people, some of who seemed to recognize some of your companions, who returned the looks of familiarity.
Seated along one arc of the table with you were: King Strensip Talisker, dressed in good quality but otherwise unremarkable clothing. A figure dressed entirely in black clothing, so dark it is difficult to see any body or facial contours. A strapping man of obvious years with white hair and elaborate priest-like apparel and trappings. A very tall, tanned woman dressed in flowing robes with angular features and eyes with yellowish brown, almost gold irises. A half-elven man, dressed in leather armor, wearing a medallion with a green background and a gold oak tree. An elven woman, dressed in dark blue robes and a light blue glove glittering with small diamonds on her left hand.
King Strensip stood and said “Excellent, everyone is here! To my adventuring friends, please accept my apologies for the method of your conveyance to this council. The recent infiltration of my Kingsguard and the attempted abduction have forced us to take drastic measures. “First, introductions. For those of you whom I have not met, I am King Strensip Talisker. Yes, there are other titles that follow, but we will forego that…nonsense tonight.”
Gesturing to his left, he continued “May I introduce The Upright Man, Leader or O.R.C.A.” The dark figure rises, resembling a silhouette or shadow of a humanoid figure, and bowed deeply. “Next to The Upright Man, His Holiness, High Archbishop Townshend of the Temple of Pelor.” The Archbishop stood, smiled at everyone around the table while greeting you with a voice smoother than a warm breeze: “Greetings and welcome, friends. It is my honor and privilege to meet you all. May Pelor’s light be upon you.”
The King nodded to the Archbishop, and motioned to the woman seated next to him. As she rose, he said “It is my great honor to present Keldazekiora of the Gold Dragons.” She looked each of you directly in the eyes and said “Please, call me Gleamstrike, as I know the Dragon tongue can be difficult for many, and thank you for coming to the aid of my cousin.” “Continuing on,” said Strensip, “Clay Clearbranch, Guildmaster of the Guardians of Gaia.” The ranger rose quickly and silently, smiled and nodded curtly.
“And last, but certainly not least, Archmage Orchaela Glavroleth of the Supreme Leader of Order of the Blue Hand.” She says nothing, but looks around the table at everyone, wearing a sincere, but guarded, smile. She fixes her gaze on Brittles for a few seconds longer.
The Monarch then turned toward all of you. “And of course, our brave adventurers! Trefethen and Rhogar of the Temple of Pelor, Brittles of the Order of the Blue Hand, Prince Rauthelion of Ilyndra and the Guardians of Gaia, Raven of O.R.C.A., Woad, a veteran warrior and caravan guard, Zanan the Warlock, and Kalar of Krete, leader of this band of Warriors.
“We also are fortunate to have the siblings Modax Winterheart, Balderdash, and Rashanae from the Lands of Ice; Megan of the Guardians of Gaia; and Drayfala of the Temple of Pelor. Again, welcome friends!”
He motioned for everyone to be seated, and his face seemed to darken as he began to speak with a more serious tone.
“As you all know, each of your groups is charged with acquiring the components of Wyrmshadow – The Starlight Crown, The Radiant Chalice, and the Kaleidoscopic Staff, along with the necessary components, those being the fluids from the breath weapon sacs of each of the five chromatic dragons.
“Megan’s band has acquired The Starlight Crown from the Elves and soon after our council adjourns, will be embarking on their quest for the Kaleidoscopic Staff. What you should all know, if you have not already deducted, is that our adversaries know of the acquisition of the Crown. This will undoubtedly create additional challenges as you will very likely encounter opposition from our adversaries during the remainder of your quests. The organizations represented here have all agreed to help yo-”
“Ahem,” interjected The Upright Man.
“Excuse me – they have all agreed, if not to help, at least to not hinder your efforts.” He paused briefly and glanced at The Upright Man, who nodded ever-so-slightly in agreement. “That being said, our primary focus is to prepare for the battles with whatever minions the Chromatics convince to come along with them. Hence, our selection of your groups to carry out these quests. If Wyrmshadow does everything we believe it will, we will be able to fight the minions without worrying about the Dragons themselves…at least until we see how that battle is going.”
“So, a few conditions, if you will, that have been negotiated prior to your arrival at this Council: O.R.C.A will refrain from any activities against you, and will provide intelligence services. The Guardians of Gaia will provide guide and messenger services, but do not excuse you from any trespasses or violations in the wild. The Metallic Dragons will grant you save access to and through their domains, but no hoards are to be disturbed. The Church of Pelor will provide accommodations and healing to the best of the ability of any Temple or Shrine. The Order of the Blue Hand will provide components, identification, and if possible, arcane enchantments in the form of potions or scrolls. “This is agreed by all parties represented here. Seeing your reactions earlier, the question on everyone’s mind regards the presence of Orchaela in a land where Mages and Wizards are outlawed. Well, understand that those restrictions have been forced upon us by the Chromatics for generations and I…” The King seemed suddenly overcome with grief, unable to continue.
“Please, Strensip, allow me to continue,” Archbishop Townshend insisted while coming to the King’s side. “Allow yourself to sit for a moment.”
After helping the head of the Talisker family to his seat, he continued, “What the King was trying to say is that the Chromatics, due to the vile darkness in their hearts, have held the noble families hostage, forcing them to outlaw Wizards and Mages. The firstborn of every noble family in the realm has been taken by the Chromatics and turned into Draconians. You must understand the risk that every family has taken by aiding the Order of the Blue Hand and resisting the Chromatics.”
“Now, we are short on time, and must finish quickly. We have been advised of a green dragon sighting in Sonam, and that you know of the location of a white dragon in the Sunless Citadel. We can provide you with transport to the local area of your choice.”
From either Tillyndor (Elven capitol) or Portent Downs, they can get passage on a deepwater ship that will take them to Glimmergrind, the Gnomish capitol on the continent of Khazam-Gul. The Dwarven capital is the great underground city stronghold of Randugam, in the Ul’hym Peaks. From Glimmergrind, it’s horseback, hiking, or coach ride to Randugam. The Dwarven King will not be in residence at the time they get there, but Prince Regent Azun will be.
As for the artifact, the Elves tell them this: “The artifact’s name is Wyrmshadow. It consists of three components – The Starlight Crown, The Radiant Chalice, and the Kaleidoscopic Staff. The three items join together to form Wyrmshadow. Oh yes… one more thing… It needs one more component – an elixir made up from the breath weapon fluids of either the 5 chromatic dragons or 5 metallic dragons.”
Kelly’s Plan: I will get them back to Portent Downs. After the boat ride they will be side tracked into the adventure and then you can run the encounter with the prince – by then they will have done deeds he has heard of to warrant getting the item.
From earliest to latest, top to bottom
You are told to seek out Thol Wohrum in the Resonance Rhenclave of the people under the earth, at a lonely valley in the Step Stone hills. You are given a key which is a key of stone and sound – you are forced to memorize the sound to make over the key – this will get you past the guardian. You travel to the forlorn spot on your map – a place out of the way and with few features or qualities to interest anyone. A jagged gash is cut deep into a hillside, cutting into the face about 200 feet to a cave mouth. The small paved path runs in the center of the gash – nothing but some moss and fungus grows along the edges. A faint whistling sound is heard as you march down the path. Every sound echoes, and each step creates a jarring sound. As you approach the cave mouth, you can see it is wide and short – but tall enough for a human – just barely. The light seems to be pulled in around its edges, and so do the sounds you make. You halt to examine it and see nothing beyond a few feet. Getting what lights you need, you enter into a deep cut path. There is but one way to go, a passage that winds down. But the time you reach the bottom, you estimate its over 200 feet deep. A vast chasm opens up, and a thin trail leads along the left edge as you face it. The air is getting heavy and uncomfortable to breathe. You walk along the perilous edge for hundreds of feet – the darkness all around you and your lights dimmer than they should be. Ahead, a figure can be made out seemingly carved into the crevasse side where the path ends. A massive stone troll – perhaps the largest you have ever seen – is carved into relief on the wall ahead – there may be a passage between its legs from what you can see. As you draw close, the troll begins to move – it is no statute as you thought! You bring the stone key out and make the sounds. Your fear gets the better of you as the troll unfurls its long claws, and begins to claw its way toward you over the stone. Just as you fear the worst, you hit the right note. The creature returns to its position as you nervously shuffle forward. The only way is between its massive legs – beneath the uplifted massive claws that could cut through stone and metal. Hoping for the best, you go one at a time into the chamber beyond. The chamber is plain, with scenes of battle carved into the walls. You get the idea they are battles that took place here – the guardian and its victims. To emphasize the point, massive claw gouges have been dug out of the wall, alcoves so to speak. Into these are cast broken armor, weapons, and equipment. Nothing is useful – all is broken – there are no bones. It speaks to the futility of attempting to enter without the right permissions. In your exploring, you see an area on the floor at the center, an area with an indentation fitting the key you have been given. The key is still vibrating slightly as you drop it into the slot. Instantly a passage is revealed between the alcoves – stone is lifted on some unseen mechanism. The passage is human height (about 8’), and wider than normal. There are runes carved on the walls everywhere, every 10 feet precisely – about 1 foot above the floor level. Ahead, dozens of long strides ahead, the passage forks. From one of them comes a strange sound – or perhaps both, it is impossible to tell. It is as though stone grated on stone, and if stone could cry, that is the sound it would make. Your senses go into overdrive, waiting for something horrible to happen…