Crim emerged from the ninja master’s hut just as many ninjas appeared from the dome’s ceiling. The rest of the heroes gathered up just outside the hut.
One ninja approached and began to speak with Crim in that strange language they had used when they first came in contact with the ninjas. Shadowtongue, Al’ev had heard Crim call it.
They exchanged words for a couple minutes before Crim took out a bag that he had taken from the hut. He handed it to the ninja who seemed to be in charge while saying more words in the strange tongue. Crim didn’t bother to translate any of what was being said. Aware of what the ninja’s had planned to do to his friend for leaving the village the last time, he kept a wary eye on as much as he could, hand on the hilt of his sword.
The ninja in charge seemed to be a little more pleased when Crim handed over the pouch but he still talked with Crim a bit more. Eventually Crim nodded and went up to Eremes asking him what he had taken from the Ninja Master’s corpse. Eremes reluctantly handed Crim the object. Crim seemed to recognize it.
He took the item back to the ninja who he had been conversing with and seemed to explain something.
Nodding, the ninja allowed Crim to keep whatever it was and the heroes were allowed to leave, but only because they had assisted in defending their home. Crim let the others know that they would never be allowed to come back.
Happy to be out of there, they asked Crim a few questions but didn’t get much information from him. There seemed to be much he wasn’t wanting to share. The heroes then decided to try and talk with the blue dragons and see if they were willing to uphold their bargain.
Reaching the base of the cliff, they could see a few of the dragons circling overhead. Al’ev got their attention with a signal flare.
A larger dragon descended and began to converse with Sindri Stribog. The heroes learned that, though the enemy appeared to have gotten what they wanted, they did manage to hold up their end of the bargain. The ninja village was mostly spared the destruction the blue dragons had feared would be visited upon it. As such, the blue dragons were prepared to uphold their end of the bargain. It was decided that the blue dragons would send their ambassador, Sshiris, to Trinity where he would be able to speak with Groatal.
The adult blue went for the ambassador and the heroes discussed what they would do next. The ambassador arrived a short time into their discussion. When he did so, he took his humanoid form. Caramel immediately asked to braid his hair, which he allowed much to everyone’s surprise. With the Ambassador their, they decided to hike out into the woods a bit, make a camp and rest. Sindri needed his strength back before the halfling would be able to make another portal. And there was much to think about before they returned to the massive city. Al’ev took this time to write a letter informing Goat that they should be returning within the next 12 hours with the ambassador. The note was placed in the golden orb and into the bag of sharing.
The next few hours went on without any problems. The heroes got a much needed rest after the battle. When they awoke, they and Sshiris stepped through the portal Sindri had created…
Right back into a familiar sewer.
Grumbling about Sindri’s dirty mind affecting his aim with portals, they continued on through the sewers. A few minutes into their walk they saw a headless dwarven body go floating by them. Crim was curious and decided to fish it out with a grappling hook. He took a closer look and determined that this dwarf had been killed recently. Beyond that he wasn’t able to determine much. The heroes didn’t have much more to go on so they continued on to the streets of Trinity. Their destination was the Guild of Arbiters where Goat awaited their return.
They were halfway their when a peculiar event took place.
The group spotted a beggar. In of it self that wasn’t something out of the ordinary for the streets of Trinity. This one, and older human man, was doing something rather odd though. He was dancing around an empty mug flapping his arms about and roaring, stopping every so often to claim “I’m a Dragon!”
Amused, Crim gave the beggar a gold coin. The old man told Crim he would read his fortune as a thanks for the gold coin.
“You…..will grow older.” Crim stared blankly as Al’ev heard this and couldn’t help but laugh. The old man then began to go back to his dragon routine.
The group was just turning away from this strange man when they noticed he had suddenly stopped. He appeared to be having a seizure while standing upright. His head was tossed back, staring at the blue sky above.
When it came back down to stare at the heroes, the beggar’s eyes had gone white. That wasn’t the only change, his once old raspy voice had become much deeper, almost booming.
“Of dragon and wild mother,
is born a child like none other,
filled to the brim with wit and wonder,
he’ll grow to learn through trial and blunder,
led down his path by those who care,
for only they know what’s in his stare,
In his hands all who are mighty or small
All relying on how well he will fall
and in the Goddess he’ll see what’s at stake
and make the decision of whose lives to take.
This prophecy I once told
set you off down your road
now stay a moment and lend an ear
I have some advice for you to hear
In the forest of crystal and stone
will lurk creatures of dwarven blood and bone
in this place of beauty and scorn
those you failed are being reborn
fear not, you won’t be alone
you’ll find an old friend who must atone"
Al’ev was no longer laughing. He wasn’t too sure what to make of what had just happened. Sindri, however, was very intrigued. The halfling ran up to the old man and put a gold coin into his cup. The old man appeared to come to himself and looked down at the halfling with his own eyes again.
“RARW.” He yelled as he started his routine again.
Shaking his head at the old man, Al’ev turned in the direction of the guild hall once more and led the heroes back to Goat.
They arrived to find the guild hall a little….in disorder. While it appeared to be intact for the most part, a few things were slightly out of place. There was also a hole in one of the walls that appeared to have been left by a blade. That hadn’t been there when they had all left only two mornings ago.
They found Goat, behind the front desk as usual, though he appeared to be acting not quite like his usual self. They made their presence known and he seemed to snap out of whatever had him entranced.
The heroes asked if all was well. Goat didn’t answer for a few moments.
“Sure, if you count assassination attempts as ‘well.’” He replied.
Having exchanged the events from the past two days, the Heroes introduced Sshiris to Goat. Goat invited the Blue Dragon to stay in the guild hall for the time being while the heroes were out trying to gather the other dragons.
The heroes cleaned themselves up while Goat showed the Ambassador around. When they all reconvened in the main hall, it was decided they’d be going to the Green Dragons next.
Saying their goodbye to Goat once more, they set off. The journey took several weeks on foot, but they all made it to Orleon with no incident. Arriving in the town, it didn’t take long for them to notice a few things.
First, it appeared that much of the town still hadn’t recovered from the somewhat recent attack it had suffered at the hands of the Sahuagin. Many buildings still hadn’t been cleared and many more still bore the markings caused by the lick of flames.
The second thing they all noticed was that the elves who lived there all seemed to be whispering as they passed by.
“It’s the Heroes of ”/campaign/flames-and-steel-the-chromatic-war/wikis/kassadin" class=“wiki-page-link”> Kassadin." One whispered.
“The heroes of Kassadin!” Another said.
The whispers were becoming full blown cries by the time an elf approached the group from the now gathering crowd.
“You’re the heroes of Kassadin!” He said with a bit of awe.
They confirmed that this was true and the elven man revealed himself to be the owner of an inn within the town. He offered to have the famous heroes stay at his inn free of charge, on the condition that they let it be known they had once stayed there.
“You could even sign a posting or two saying something like, ’We’re the Heroes of Kassadin and this is our favorite inn in Orleon.’”
The heroes agreed and the man led them to the inn where Sindri quickly made himself at home. The remainder of the group decided to settle in for the night.
Velius and the girl from Varalon decided the rooms weren’t for them and decided to sleep on the roof. Crim and Al’ev took one of the rooms and Desira, Caramel and Eremes took the other room that had been offered to them.
Most of the heroes passed out asleep shortly after settling in. It had been a long journey. Eremes and the devil girl decided to stay awake for some time and Sindri remained in the bar drinking. He was with three fairly attractive elven women who were more than happy to keep his mug full.
Sindri was well into his drinks by the time the first signs of trouble became apparent to everyone.
Eremes was the first to notice it. It started as a ping of evil at the back of his mind. He had enough time to grab his crossbow before he watched as some strange looking smoke filtered into the room from the window. The smoke resolved itself into four figures, all of which, he realized, were the cause of the evil he was sensing. He fired his first two shots before he even uttered a word. One landed square in the shoulder of his intended target. The other went straight into the window, breaking the glass.
This is what alerted the rest of the heroes to the trouble.
The intruders were fast however, the one who had been shot pulled out a pair of swords and started after Eremes. Two more went to Caramel and began to drag her out of her bed. The last one went to Desira and did what creatures like him tended to do.
He bent down over her and took a bite into her neck and began to drink.
Caramel and Desira struggled to free themselves of the intruders, who Desira recognized instantly as vampires, but they had no success. The rest of the heroes were arriving in the room now. Crim, Al’ev and Sindri came in from the hall and Velius and the devil girl from the roof and onto the balcony just outside the room.
Eremes continued to fire arrows and managed to drop the first of the vampires before he could take any more swings.
Surveying the situation quickly, it appeared that the vampires were trying to carry Caramel off somewhere. The one over Desira seemed to be content with sucking more blood out of the pinned cleric. Sindri fired a pair of scorching rays, hitting one of the vampires now dragging a terrified Caramel as well as the one who remained over Desira.
Crim charged into the room and brought his katana to bear on one of the vampires dragging Caramel. Velius and the devil girl as well as Eremes began to focus on these two as well.
Al’ev rushed into the room and slammed into the one who had remained on Desira, succeeding in freeing the cleric from the undead creature’s mouth.
The two men stood face to face just long enough for Al’ev to see his friends down another vampire with a combination of their efforts. This one had stopped to stall the heroes while the other had made it to the balcony, Caramel still in tow.
Al’ev saw the one who still held on to Caramel pull out a wand and tap himself with it. Then he watched as he began to fly away.
Looking quickly to Desira and seeing her nod as she repaired some of the damage the vampire had caused her, he cursed then cast his own spell on himself and took flight after the vampire. His had to trust that his friends would make short work of the last one in the room.
Sindri watched in awe as he saw Al’ev take flight. He had ALWAYS wanted to do that. As though the mere thought of this held power, the halfling was briefly startled to find that he too was now in the air.
Sindri chased the vampire into the night sky and fired more scorching rays at this vampire. He connected, but the evil creature didn’t seem done yet.
Al’ev saw the halfling take flight and briefly wondered at when he learned to fly as well. The magus was just catching up to his target when a crossbow bolt from below raced past him and found its target.
Eremes smirked as the vampire began to drop. But so did Caramel. Al’ev slowed her fall using another spell and caught her just as the vampire said hello to the ground below in a rather violent fashion.
Back in the room, Al’ev’s faith in his friend’s proved well placed. Velius finished the last vampire off. The group then made absolutely sure they were dead. Eremes emptied another crossbow bolt into one vampire’s head, another hero beheaded the second vampire and Sindri brought his staff to bear on the one who had assaulted Desira. It was a bit messy.
Outside, Al’ev took the head of the one who had hit the ground. He was a little upset to find that the vampire no longer had the wand on his person. He had feared, briefly, that this was another of the soul powered wands he had seen the Sahuagin use back in Crustakin Hold. But as far as he knew, neither Sindri or himself had the chance to sense the magic that powered the device this time. He thought this as he flew back into the room and found that all of his friends were still alive and were victorious.
Sindri ran downstairs to see if all was okay there. After all, he had left the inn’s owner, the owner’s decent looking daughter, and three hot elf women completely unprotected. He reached the base of the stairs and jumped back just in time. An arrow planted itself in the wall next to where his head had been moments before.
“Oh…Sindri? If that was you I’m sorry. If not, then I hope whoever you are rots in hell!” The inn keeper said from just out of sight.
“What were you aiming for, someone’s crotch?” The halfling replied as he slowly came around the corner.
The halfling confirmed that everything was okay in the bar before he asked for a bath to be drawn up for him. He was a bit messy after smashing that vampire’s head in.
Back in the room Al’ev checked on Desira’s bite marks and found them to be nearly gone already. He silently marveled at the healer’s power as he smiled at Desira.
“Okay, who knows what that was about?” he asked as he turned to look at his friends.
Caramel answered a bit shakily, appearing to still be terrified from being dragged out of bed and unwillingly flown into the air. The rest of the heroes had good questions of their own as well for it was obvious that the vampires had intended Caramel as the target.
Exactly why, though, none of them were able to get the full answer about. But Caramel did believe that she was no longer safe being in this place. She voiced concern about staying there and then voiced another concern before they could even say a word.
“I don’t want to involve all of you. Maybe I should just go.” She started to leave the room but was stopped by Crim, and Eremes.
“Caramel, we’re kinda already involved.” Al’ev replied, chuckling a little.
Convincing her that they would be fine as long as they stuck together, they were able to stay the remainder of the night. The rest of the night went by without incident, except for when Sindri, obviously still a bit under the influence of the ale he had consumed, barged into the room naked. This got a bit of laughter, especially when he decided to sleep in the same bed as Caramel to make her feel safer.
The heroes were able to get some sleep after that and awoke in the morning completely refreshed. They headed to the town’s port to find passage to the island of the green dragons.
Sindri took over the search as this was fairly familiar territory to him. He lead the group straight to the dock master’s building. While there, the heroes asked if there were any boats available for charter. The elven man there pointed out the window to three large ships that appeared to be the only working vessels still intact in the port.
“You could try one of those.” He told them.
The group picked one of the ships and caught a deckhand who had just come down the gangway onto the dock. After hearing what they wanted, the deck hand told them he would get his captain.
The ship’s captain came down the gangway and announced himself to be none other than “The Captain Frampton Crunch.”
Some of the heroes muttered under their breath about not having heard of him. Unfortunately he appeared to hear this and maybe because of this he became very difficult to negotiate with. Sindri did his best to get the price lowered from the obscene 2000 gold pieces the captain asked for, pointing out that the group did comprise of a bard and a courtesan who were very capable of providing entertainment on their journey and that they’d cover the cost of provisions for the trip.
The captain finally agreed to a fee of 800 and the group split up to prepare for the journey ahead. Captain Crunch anticipated upwards of a month long journey while they searched for an island that was “sometimes there and sometimes not.”
Al’ev sighed to himself as he considered being stuck on another boat for a full month. Was this time they could afford to waste? Would he be able to work out his own issues while they waited for the ship to find the island?
With a war already started and their mad scramble for allies just barely underway, what choice did they have but to search though?
“Well I suppose it all comes down to us having to do this eventually.” He muttered under his breath. He looked up and watched as the sails on the large ocean fairing vessel caught the first wind of its journey.
“I just hope now just happens to be the most opportune time.” He continued as his thoughts drifted to what they’d all be returning to in one month’s time…