Dragonlance: Dragons of Desolation
From the journal of Socrates
The day after rhe celebrations Azun examines the spellbook and finds and disarms a trap. Karanon then then looks at the book and a green snake materialises and tries to bite him. Mordred goes out for a walk with Laurana.
Elastan is falls into a trance and starts to talk strangely "You are our only hope and must get passage thru Thorbardin". He takes a drink and callapses in a heap on the floor. We cannot revive him.
That night we have a dream and in that dream is a door. Elistan says he has passed beyond the door and cannot find his way back. He askes us to bring him that which he left behind. We open the door and float in a dream landscape. Ahead is a crystal tower that seems to decay as we get closer. Pilgrims turn into draconians. Inside the tower are seven hallways, six are brightly lit and one is dim. Elistan says he is stuck behind a door at the end of the dim hallway. We wake in a cold sweat.
The next day Verminaard appears on a giant red dragon that looks a bit worse for wear. He talks about the Mind of Evil and memories from last nights dream return.
- The kender try to open a simple lock and fail, setting off trap which kills them..
- Socrates attacks a horde of draconians and is nearly overwhelmed. In desperation he smashes the cage that holds Elistan. Elistans white robes turn to scarlet and he reqches out and kills Socrates.
- Windrush fights the draconians but things seem to go wrong. She trips up everyone and fails to do anything right. Morded dies as a result of her clumsiness. In horror Windrush stops fighting and is cut down by the draconians.
- Karonon seems more powerful than normal. He turns his back on his comrades and his robes turn to black.
- Modred sees a blue dragon and cowers. He is quickly killed.
Verminaard offers us power and money. I cast a spell and. Windrush shoots Verminaard in the back. Verminaard speaks "Fools! I could destroy you as you stand. But I have other uses for you ...and there are things worse than death". He flies away.
We set off for Thorbardin and the refugees set to follow in 2 days. Another ranger, Trevor, accompanies us. After a days travel we reach the vicinity of the gate to Thorbardin. Azun puts on helm and finds a mechanism for opening the door which plunges to it's doom. This means the dwarfs haven't used the front door in over 300 years. Signs of an old battle remain.
A party of dwarfs steps out looking confident. A Hylar dwarf, Arman Kharas he is here to liberate his brother from the Theiwar dwarves. We offer to help in return for Arman taking us before the Court of Thanes. We go down a level in complete darkness. Karanon casts daylight I cast Holy smite and the dwarfs slaughter their enemy.
Arman escorts us back to the life tree of the Hylar - a large stalagtight with an entire city within !!!!
From the journal of Mordred Straightlance
We ascend to the city in a cable boat and are received as honored guests.
The Kenders sell their gems and then buys Trevor some equipment. Azun and Kerith go drinking while I get down to some praying. Windrush is telling the dwarves about everything except the bit about the door and the pursuing army. The ale flows for some and everybody retires.
During the night the someone steals the helm from Azun. Karanon starts ranting again. blaming the Kender. The main problem is that we have to meet with the council soon and they would expect us to deliver the helmet. We split up to ask several friendly dwarves. I find very little out but more than anybody else. I go to find a dwarf called Rumbleguts.
He confirms that some Theiwar dwarves were talking ammongst themselves. We then argue about how we are going to get it back. I decided that we should go to the authorities and report the possible theft of this helmet. We the descend to the lower levels of the Life Tree where most of the Theiwar congregate. We go to a seedy bar. We make a real good impression and then Karanon opens his mouth, his real big mouth! He buys everyone a drink and then asks about meeting a magic user. He gets fleeced for this information. Then we leave. Karanon talks with the magic user and then we go to meet the Council of Thanes.
We meet the Thanes but their great and important names, I no not know how to spell. Karanon explains our story and what we need. He apologises for the gate and the losing of the helm. There are several rants and Karanon tries once more to win them over. After a hour we are allowed back in and we are asked to find the hammer of Kharas. If we do so the dwarves will grant passage through Thorbardin to the refugees. The dwarves then sing a song. It would seem that the hammer is somewhere in the Valley of theThanes, where the dwarves bury their dead. Hornfel's son is to come with us. We stop for the night before entering the valley and start out the next day....
From the journal of Karanon
A freezing rain soaks us all, as we move through the desolate valley, towards a green grassy knoll. A large tomb rests in the middle on a patch of grass. We examine several tombs as we approach the centre.
The center of the valley is surrounded by a magical field which seems to have a different climate to the surrounding area. As we enter the zone we see a large floating rock which has a large castle upon it. This castle was not visible from the surrounding valley! An open tomb lies in front of us and a large ruin lies on the other side of the lake. A 15ft obelisk stands before the tomb and behind that an armoured dwarf statue. The dwarven statue states here lies Prince Grallen (the helmet owner), woops.
After several arguments where Karanon refuses to fly to the castle until the ground has been fully explored. We explore the (empty) tomb and proceed to walk around the lake to the ruin.
Karanon determines that a gateway that lies in the middle of the ruins is magical. We reassemble the gateway and it reforms into a complete gateway. Upon walking through it nothing happens!
We speak the words from the gateway and I am transported to a circular room which contains a matching gateway and door.
We walk down a curved and darkened corridor entering a room on the right. Kereth enters a room with many weapons and armour spread across the floor. The weapons animate and he retreats very quickly back into the corridor. We decide to forego the exploration of the room until a later date...
Proceeding up the stairs we nearly reach the top when the stairs turn greasy. All of the party except Griff fall to the bottom of the 30 ft stairs. Karanon falls gracefully under the effects of a featherfall spell. I finally stop everyone from attempting to go up the stairs and transport them all to the top with Tensers Disk and Fly. We enter a room to see the legendary Kharas asleep in a room!
We wake him and explain to him the current situation, he fell asleep after drinking from a magical fountain. He does not know where the hammer is, but he knows where he left the body of Durkin. The kender enters the doorway leading from the room, on one side of the room is a giant wall of fire blocking a corridor. The kender also finds an illusionary wall. We pass through illusionary wall and move down a hallway with several large statues, at the end lies a set of stairs (again).
Kereth starts walking up the stairs on his own... he makes it to the top and finds hisself on the top of the large rock. When Kharas stops on the stairs to rest and Griff carries on Kharas disappears. Finding no trace of him we carry on with heavy hearts. It is one thing to lose a helmet, quite another to lose a hero. Ahead of the exit to the plateau is a shrine to Reorx, we leave the shrine in peace and depart.
Upwards we find a plateaued area with three towers and a stone building lies in the middle. Entering we find a corpse and a large pair of double doors lying behind the body. Finally after entering through the double doors we find the tomb, the hammer lies at the foot of a golden suit of armour and a bier lies in the middle of the tomb. Modred picks up the hammer, when we turn around to Durkin we see a ghostly form blessing him and pointing towards the armour.
We leave the shrine only to see Ember the red dragon hovering above and Kharas stood in front of us. Kharas after a short conversation with Ember and turns into a golden dragon. He states that he is unable to assist. Ember breathes. Karanon dies outright (fair) and Griff falls to the ground close to death. Karanons ghost decides that this sucks and decides to go and visit Durkin as a ghost while he waits around for the combat to finish. Trevor mounts the flag pole and Modred tries to distract Ember. Kereth attempts to stabilise Griff, the dragon fails to notice the lance and pierces herself upon it!
Karanon is having a very interesting conversation with Durkin... Modred charges the downed dragon with Wrymslayer brandished upon high. While we the remainders of the party stabilise Griff and attack the dragon the dwarf Scuff proceeds to rob the tomb... hmmmm.
The dragon finally frees herself from the spear, Scuff realising that it is noisy outside starts breaking open the chests. The dragon faces off against the remaining heroes freed from the clutches of the lance. Trevors attacks appear to do little but irritate Ember but Wyrmslayer is proving a very efficient Lizard Pie Maker. Mordred falls under the attacks of the dragon, who will fall next? Trevor the Stupid and Kereth the Brave face off against the dragon trying to look as mean as possible. They fail miserably, I expect at least one to die in the next couple of minutes. Kereth gets hit and somehow manages to survive. Trevor lives up to his name and manages to hit thin air again. Kereth falls and fails to stabilise, dying most horribly. Trevor finally falls. That does it - Karanon, Kereth and Trevor are dead, Mordred and Griff unconcious but stable. Ember picks up the Hammer of Kharas and flies away. Scuff returns as does the gold dragon masquerading as Kharas.
From the journal of Kereth
The Dragon in the form of Kharas speaks with Scuff. Kharas says he had made an oath which prevented him from intervening in the fight. Griff and Mordred are given healing potions and get back on their feet. Kharas uses raise dead spells on Kereth, Trevor and Karanon.
Kereth after falling dead had felt himself floating towards a light. Before he reached it he felt himself being pulled back into his body. He feels lousy. We follow Kharas into the tomb carrying the body of Arman. He opened a compartment on the plinth pulling a hammer out. It looks similar to the hammer Ember flew off with. He hands it to Mordred and advises us to rush back to the dwarven city.
We head back throught the portal. Karanon and Scuff run ahead. Half way there we hear the roar of the dragon. We decide to split up and hide in tombs. After eating and resting Kereth is feeling bored and decides to have a look in the caskets. An insubstantial figure comes out of a casket. It attacks Kereth while Mordred fights it. It reaches out, touching Kereth who feels drained. Mordred slays it. We head out in the dark. Arriving at the ninth road and head for the South Hall of Audience. A Dwarf voice is heard telling us to halt. A group of Durgar and Draconians appear! Karanon cast a web at them. A burning torch is thrown in setting it alight. A scintilating sphere and some missiles softens up the group before we charge in. Scuff heroically leads the charge. Mordred, Scuff and Trevor fight in the melee while the rest of us shoot missiles and spells at them. We finish them off and head on. We find somewhere to rest up for the night.
In the morning Griff cast a restoration spell on Kereth who feel smuch better. Kereth scouts ahead. He spots some Dwarf/Draconian patrols. There is a group of dwarves and draconians guarding the entrance to the South Hall of Audience. We use invisibility and silence spells to sneak past. Approaching the far side of the cavern we have a strange sense of deja vu. It's like the nightmares we had before. The face of Verminard appears in the air. We hear a voice in our minds. It says "Finally you are mine." A group of four draconians, an Ettin and Verminard approach. Verminard speaks "I was in control all along, you have got what I could not - give me the Hammer of Kharas."
Mordred holds up the hammer and makes stirring speach to the dwarves, persuading them to stay out of the fight. Verminard tears something from his neck and throws it down the pit. "Come oh mighty queen send me your servent." he shouts.
Out from the pit comes a wraith-like draconic form wreathed in flames.
From the journal of Mordred Straightlance
I attack the spirit dragon which then hits me, Scuff attacks the Ettin and misses, which then misses scuff. A magical darkness is cast which seems to make Trevor sick. Kereth hits the Ettin. Then everything slows down Griff heals me. Scuff strikes out at the Ettin again and actually managesto hit it. The ettin hits Scuff. Yet again I am learing the meaning of true pain. Then I feel really quite good again. I smile and make a silent prayer to Kiri Jolith. Karanon and Trevor are attacked by magic and look the worse for it. In fact Trevor keels over as Kereth attacks and hits the Ettin. Karanon casts his black tenticles on the Draconians and Verminard and they are all entangled. Griff prays.
Windrush arrives on the scene just as I despatch the spirit dragon. Scuff hits the Ettin which then falls over. The entangled group are still stuck and Windrush shoots Verminard while Karanon cast a spell. I walk over to the edge of the tenticals with Trevor as Verminard escapes from them. I hit him with the hammer but he still manages to jump down the chasm in the chamber. The draconians don't cause us to much trouble. Although one does take on the appearance of Karanon when it dies. We are escorted back to the dwarven city where I present the hammer to Hornfel. After 300+ years Thorbardin has a king again!
We return to the refugees and escort them through Thorbardin. Arman is raised from the dead. We spend a few days celebrating and resting.