It had been some time since the fledgling trio of heroes had made their way into the castle, and Norfire had grown nervous. Had he made the wrong choice in asking them to handle a few kobolds? He waited a little longer before deciding that time had in fact gone on long enough that someone should go down and check on them. Four of the heroes that were tasked with guarding on the surface went down into the tunnel and soon had their eyes met with horror: in a room full of old sarcophagi, they found a pair of scorpions who had already half-eaten two of the unfortunate party. Luckily, however, one of the heroes was alive, albeit barely. The cleric quickly took to action muttering prayers and practicing hands-on healing while the rest took care of the scorpions. After they had done so, the heroes returned to the surface with their fallen comrades and offered them a proper burial. It was a very sullen night that evening, and everyone could tell that it affected Norfire a great deal, but no one really said much. They also returned to the surface carrying with them supplies that bore the trademark NG, indicative that they were taken from this very same convoy some time in the past.
The next day, the group decided that enough was enough and that it was time to deal with the kobolds once and for all. Traveling down into the castle once more, the adventurers came across a laboratory filled with various books, equipment, and of course, kobolds that were hard at work filling vials of acid that this group was known for using. The group took to action going after the wyrmpriests and failed to notice the slingers hiding within the bookshelves until they were ambushed by them. Despite the ambush, the adventurers were able to take control of the room, kill the lizards, and cease their operations. But, one question still lingered: where were they getting all this acid?
The adventurers continued along in the castle halls, when they came across a room that was being used for worship. The door opened and an old tapestry was hanging on the wall in front of them while two gargoyles were in the corners on each side of the room. There were two narrow hallways leading around the tapestry-covered wall which led into a room whereupon the players found three of the wyrmpriests and four slingers all participating in some dark ritual. One wyrmpriest was bowed over an altar reciting out of a tome facing an old statue that appeared to have been crudely reshaped into the form of a dragon while two other wyrmpriests took acid from a vat and poured it over the heads of two of the slingers, which through the process of the ritual, caused them to become undead kobold skeletons.
The adventurers had seen enough and decided to take action on the obviously surprised kobolds. The kobold wyrmpriests who were performing the ritual quickly took to action, taking advantage of the tight hallways and bottlenecking that gave them the advantage of the open room to make their ranged attacks while the skeletons rushed forward on either side to attack the PCs head-on. Throughout the battle, the main wyrmpriest under stress and duress had attempted to complete the ritual on the remaining two slingers as they continued their ranged attacks as well, but failed and killed them in the process. Eventually, the PCs came through. They took the tome that the original party had found pieces of during the first battle, in hopes that no one would ever again attempt to complete the dark ritual.
With what seemed to be the last remaining room, the adventurers made their way down the hallway to an ornate set of double doors which any layperson would be able to tell was the entrance to what was the former throne room. As they continued their journey, they noticed the air getting more and more humid and there was dew formed upon the walls as they continued. They tried the door. Locked. They broke the lock, and acid shot out of a trap at them. Thankfully however, all dodged it and they were left for the most part unscathed by the trap.
They entered into the throne room, in the far right corner was a large pool of water and sitting on the throne in front of them was a young black dragon who claimed to call himself The Mighty Szarrtharax. A short conversation ensued, where the dragon debated on whether or not he was going to kill them after taking care of his “rodent” problem or let them go. Eventually, the adventurers decided that they were going to go, but not before taking care of a dragon first. A battle ensued, and while the dragon nearly took out everyone, it fell slain. The group however, did not come out without a casualty of their own. Their cleric fell at the dragon’s feet and despite attempts to save his life, it was too late; he was gone.
The adventurers took whatever loot they could find, scales from the dragon, and the cleric’s body to the surface satisfied at a job well done, but once again in a state of mourning.
To be continued on November 20, 2011.