15 Longday 508
The group is staying at The Topaz Dagger in Asdari after a fruitful expedition to the Monastery of Punari. Tavayne takes the companions over the more posh Wand of Fire inn for drinks.
When they enter the Wand of Fire, Tavayne is recognized by another man in the tavern. He is a handsome Acheran accompanied by a beautiful Acheran woman. The man is Ali Abidali, an adventurer whom Tavayne has encountered in his travels before. The woman is introduced as Amira, Ali’s traveling companion.
Tavayne invites Ali and Amira to come to his table for drinks. Ali and Amira graciously accept the invitation and are introduced to the rest of the group. Rhain, as usual, seems unimpressed and put-upon, though is fascinated by Amira’s beauty. Tag is eager to meet the new people and impress them. Lenoria is cautiously friendly while Regna is her usually sour self.
Throughout their stay in the common room, Tag ostentatiously “clumps” his new staff on the floor, hoping to get the attention of a wizard who will be impressed by his new find.
When asked what brings Ali to Asdari, he replies that he is on a quest and was doing research in the University here. When pressed, he gives them more details—obviously hoping to entice the group into helping him.
He has been hired by Samil Halimasi of the city of Qualera in the Jirran Freeholds. Samil is a wealthy merchant in that city and he has hired Ali to rescue his daughter, Azuna.
About a month ago, 15-year-old Azuna was kidnapped by kobolds on the docks of Qualera. Azuna was in the docks district, running an errand for her father. She was taking signed papers for to the captain of the Blue Gull to sign. As she made her way through the throng, she didn’t notice as she was being surrounded by heavily cloaked figures. When the opportunity struck, they closed in, herded the protesting girl out of the crowd, and toward their waiting boat.
Witnesses spotted reptilian features beneath the cloaks. A couple of dockhands tried to intervene but the figures breathed fire and burned them, driving them back. The Harbor Watch was notified and craft were dispatched to attempt to intercept the small boat before it left the harbor.
That’s when Moedrig made an appearance.
A huge, adult, red dragon swooped down from the skies above Qualera. The force of her wings sent the Harbor Watch ships bobbing in the waves. The dragon essentially covered the small craft’s escape and then flew off toward the west, toward the [[Et’tir Mountains]] in Tarsas.
Samil did not sit idle. As soon as he heard what had happened, he started putting wheels into motion to get his daughter back. He put out feelers among the local adventuring community to find some help. He used his local information network to try and figure out what happened. He even commissioned a small craft, The Crestrider, to cross the sea to the western shore of Tarsas and investigate Moedrig’s mountain. The craft never returned. Its charred remains were found on the beach, but no trace of the crew was inside.
He has hired Ali to bring Azuna back. He will pay him for his service. On top of that, if he manages to defeat this dragon, there is its hoard to think of.
He knew that he could not take on this task alone. Further, he thought that if he could find some magical tools to have at his disposal to help even the odds, that would be even better.
He found a band of these kobolds operating in Jirra and managed to subdue one long enough to get some information out of it. The kobolds, cultists devoted to “The Divine Moedrig,” are seeking virgins with Draconic bloodlines to sacrifice for some dark ritual culminating later in the year—possibly Growth of next year—but they may not be able wait that long and go ahead and do it in the month of Hearth. It depends on the will of Moedrig and the astrological signs at the time.
Next, he managed to secure some information from a bard he met in Kalimsport about the elves of Almathriel, who have fashioned a weapon against dragonkind to defend themselves against that particular threat. Perhaps if he could get a hold of that weapon, then he could even the odds considerably.
In his information gathering, he also came across the story of Lord Jalten Dragonsbane, a Boraelan baronet who is said to have slain a dragon with the help of a mystical greatsword. Lord Jalten settled in Sarra, in Borael, some 80 years ago. His heir, Farkus Dragonsbane, resides there now.
“The Cowards,” the dwarves who fled Moedrig’s mountain when the dragon came, have never forgotten their shame. Some say that they crafted a weapon with which to take their revenge on the fell dragon. “The Hammer of Vengeance” is a powerful artifact that could also be used to his advantage—if he can find this lost colony of dwarves.
Finally, the last potent weapon against the great dragon that he has gotten wind of is the True Name of the dragon. Used against her, it could turn the tide of battle—if it doesn’t burn the mind of its holder. This weapon can be found in Jossia, of all places. It is possessed by a woman called, alternately, the Witch of the Teeth, or Grundr’s Mother.
With these resources, and a band of adventurers to help, he thinks he just might be able to pull this off.
The group seems interested in Ali’s quest. There is potentially much glory—and much treasure—involved in such a quest. Ali offers them a share of what Samil is paying. After much discussion, they eventually decide to start with seeking out the weapon in Almathriel—after they settle up with the monk in Crownport. They also determine that the ritual must have to do with the astrological signs prevalent in months of Growth and Hearth—The Sorcerer and The Wheel, respectively. The Sorcerer is associated with “mutable fire,” while The Wheel is associated with “cardinal fire”—fitting for a ritual associated with a red dragon.
With Tavayne buying drinks, Tag orders baijiu all around, which most of the group respectfully declines. In the course of their conversation, Ali claims to be the greatest swordsman of all time. Tag decides to put this to the test and finds him a challenger to a duel. A half-elf by the name of Trevis takes him up on the challenge. The innkeep demands that they take the fight outside, so they all head out.
A circle is drawn and terms are decided upon—three touches. Tag discovers that Trevis is a duellist by trade. The two men face off and the bout begins—and is over in a heartbeat. Ali handily beats the half-elf before he even knew what hit him, touching him three times in a dazzling display of swordplay.
Trevis takes it in stride and shakes the Acheran’s hand afterwards and has a drink with him.
Eventually, everyone wanders back the Topaz Dagger to sleep off their baijiu.
21 Longday 508
After waiting six days for various magic accoutrements to be completed, the party finally leaves Asdari, with Ali and Amira in tow.
Late in the day, they pass through the city of Zyend. As they make their way to the Trickster and Wench, a modest inn, the street suddenly clears as a pair of creatures descend from the sky—harpies! Savaric shoots one down and the rest of the party manages to dispatch the other. In a matter of seconds, the threat is handled. A member of the watch appears and asks to escort them to the garrison house. There, they are given a reward of 150 gold.
22 Longday 508
The party leaves Zyend and trudges through a hot summer day along the road. Amira wilts in the heat, becoming fatigued.
23 Longday 508
As the troupe travels along the road, Amira and Rhain disturb some treacherous plants, bullhorn acacia, whose hollow stems are full of ants. Rhain manages to handle his ant problem, but Amira is stung repeatedly by hers before the swarm is finally dealt with.
26 Longday 508
The party finally arrives in Crownport in the afternoon. They take up rooms in Charon’s Faire, where Tavayne manages to secure work as a player. As per usual, Tag makes an ostentatious display of his staff—but this time it pays off. He manages to get he attention of a man named Koldrin Brevarrow. He offers to take the staff off his hands and indicates that he can be found at the University in Wolvington College. This gives Tag pause—as he is not sure he wants to part with his relic.
27 Longday 508
The party heads to the University to settle up with the monk, Braden Varrow. They head to the department of Artifacts and Antiquities, to the office of Mistress Londra Walera. She sends for her colleague, the monk. When he arrives, he is pleased that the party has not only returned with the manual but has also cleaned out the monastery. He pays them the agreed upon price happily.
After their arrangements are completed at the University, the party leaves Crownport for Almathriel.
29 Longday 508
The party skirts the city of Osandar.
30 Longday 508
The party happens upon what appears to be a battle site of some sort. The battle, Rhain determines, occurred some 12 days ago.
1 Starfall 508
The party finds a shrine to the god Hathras. Ali leaves some rations behind, while Tag leaves some flint and steel.
2 Starfall 508
That morning, the party skirts the city of Edeva and crosses the mountains into the elven lands. In the late afternoon, they enter the elven settlement of Orielle. Regna is not pleased to be there. They acquire rooms in an inn called The Silver Stag.
5 Starfall 508
After crossing an old-growth forest for a few days, the party arrives in the elven capital of Almathriel. Upon entry, they acquire rooms at the appropriately-named Red Dragon Inn. From the barkeep, they get the name of a sage, Phildreniel Stormwing.
The sage lives in a modest home in a nice part of the city. The sage agrees to see them and, after making their inquiries, they learn the following. An elven ranger and sorceress by the name of Sonina Mooncrest has been working on the weapon for over a hundred years. The weapon is nearly complete. She can be found at the Red Dragon Inn.