As Vicroar and Taksum walk back together towards town, the weariness of the previous battles begins to sink into their bones. Conversation turns to discussing the important details of the fight.
“That was one hell of a snake back there”, marvelled Vicroar.
Taksum replies, “Ya, but not as big as the one I showed your mother last night”
Meanwhile, in the city of Harkenvold, where the huge (5 stories tall) Colossus of Eothir towers from its centre, Sariel anxiously sits waiting in a cleric nunnery; hoping that the miner will recover and wondering if Taksum or Vicroar will ever find her. A pang of homesickness strikes her, as she reminiscences about the warm sun and gentle breeze of her native Feywild. Two weeks ago she was twirling and dancing among the almond grass, and now she finds herself in a hostile, dangerous, and harsh human world. The reality that she may not see the placid green meadows of her home for a long time, weighs on her mood. “How did I end up so far away from home?” Sariel frustratingly muses. One thing is certain, on this plane, Sariel is going to need to grow up fast.
By this time, Taksum and Vicroar have settled their dispute about size, with clear agreement that the snake could probably have been bigger if it wasn’t so darn cold outside – either way, not the snakes fault. Making their way into Harkenvold, the adventurers take in their surroundings. Harkenvold is a large trading town nestled in the valley close to the mountains. Situated in a lush area, it thrives from a traditional agricultural and market based economy, and enjoys its prosperity with relative peace – a neutral trading zone for disputing factions. The Colossus of Eothir dominates the city line, and is a testament to the craftsmanship of the artisans. Made from stone, the colossus seems poised for action, clad in its stone armour.
After a long and disheartening search through the local pubs (the Mermaid’s Legs and the Crimson’s Head), Vicroar and Taksum eventually find Sariel in the Sisters of Evandra nunnery, tending to the wounded miner by his bedside.
During their search for Sariel, a crag had persuaded Vicroar and Taksum to have their fortunes read. She foretold of Taksum falling out of space and time into a great white space, and then wind, scratching scales, and that he will bring great destruction onto the world. Vicroar’s fortune is clearer, he is to be… the Chosen One! Rhetoric or a prophetic statement? The adventurers knew not the truth.
During their search for Sariel and discussion with the miners, the adventurers discover that the ore dealer, Piter Teramith, was the most likely buyer of the caravan’s goods. The group knew that to get to the goods, they would need to find Piter. Slinking back to the Chimera’s Mane, for group pauses for a moment of well needed rest.
During the break, the magical Chalk and red Glass is identified as a secret marker system where the chalk markings can only be seen through the glass piece. Vicroar also hears a rumour about a horde of treasure that is cached away in an area south-east of town. The rumour carries a risk, as it also names the creature guarding the treasure – Karsh – and once you enter, you can never return the same way from Karsh’s Gauntlet.
Another rumour surfaced about a great flying beast that sometimes flies overhead casting a shadow of fear. Most likely a lie – or at least the party hopes so.
At the Chimera’s Mane, the party are tucked into their evening meal when lo! Morgana joins the table. Weapons remain sheathed, as she unravels her side of the story.
From Morgana’s tale, they learn that Garam is a sorcerer bent on power, and convinced that Dragon’s are the key to supreme power. His ambition is to find that well-spring of Draconic magic, and then harness it to become, what he hopes, will be a God. Garam also believes in the Draconic creation story, how the great Dragon Gods Bahamut and Tiamat where cleaved from the Great One IO, by a weapon that still exists in this plane. Garam searches for this weapon and wellspring.
Morgana believes that the Draconic ruins that the caravan carried help Garam find this wellspring. Specifically, she has heard a rumour that somewhere on this planet there is a location called IO’s breath, where the world is thin and the laws of nature and magic don’t apply. Perhaps the wellspring is there. After Garam is finished with the stones, which come from an old temple or dragon meeting place near the mines of Wyrum, he sells them to a brotherhood of evil Tieflings who worship Tiamat.
Morgana then goes on to explain her interest and the halflings.
The halflings from the previous battle come from a clan of fearsome warriors. Long before the dragonborn were created, there was a mortal dragon that was king of all dragons, known as the One. Morgana and the halflings wish to see the One return, for they fear that in this current age the good dragons are becoming sleepier than their evil counterparts, tipping the scale towards evil. For great justice, Morgana wishes to see the One return so that it can stop the tipping of the scale and restore the balance to good.
“So much for being home in time to pick this year’s bloom of lionflowers and buttercups” Sariel sadly thinks to herself. As the weight of Morgana’s words and gravity of the situation sink in, Sariel asks her if there’s anyway to return home to the Feywild. Unfortunately, Morgana is unable to reassure Sariel of an easy route, and can only point her to the far away City of Doors, Cygil, or the Neverglades, an area in the deep south with a fairly strong connection to the Feywilds.
With this, Sariel recognises that her responsibility is now here with her friends. She sighs, and exclaims, “trees grow with time, so if you need to move it, start at the beginning.”
i.e. let’s start looking for the stones tonight and stop Garam in his tracks.
Just as the party prepare to leave for this task, Pieter – the notorious ore miner – strolls in. Quick decisions were made, and it was decided that Taksum would take the guise of a ruin trader enter into conversation with Pieter, hoping to discover where the caravan stones are hidden.
The party wait nearby anxiously holding their breathe.