13 Spring, 2979
With the saint defeated, the group headed out from the mountain top temple via the portal back to the Prime. Once again within the crypt, they made their way through the maze of skeletal remains and back to the temple proper where they unbarred the door and entered the front hall. To their surprise, four winkar were in the hall as well, inspecting the blood stains along the ground. The two groups stared at one another for several tense moments. One of the priests spoke first, “Who are you and why are you here?”
“Well, you see, we were just taking in the sights…for academic pursuits…” stammered Laxmi before she was cut off by Thumper. “We are just as surpri…” he began before he was in turn cut off by Hedge. The cushani drew his dusk blade and gave a bone rattling roar before charging the two priests and two reapers. The rest of the group sighed collectively and prepared for battle.
The priests, however, were ready for a fight, having seen the evidence of previous battles and readied their weapons. They quickly shifted into flanking positions and called down the Moon’s judgment, evoking multiple explosions of radiant and necrotic energy. The adventurers staggered under the sudden assault. Hedge, Thumper, and Feloryn all moved forwards to engage one of the priests and the reapers while Tolim, Laxmi, and Jarett focused on ranged support with their spells and Laxmi’s savage horror.
The battle was intense, with the priests continually hammering the ranged group with their judgement prayers, while the melee group slowly but steadily dispatched the reapers. When the dust settled, the group was severly injured but alive. They decided to leave the temple to rest and then come back in the morning to search for clues of winkar involvement with Masshiro.
14 Spring 2979
The group arrived back at the temple and began their search. They were unable to find any information, though they did locate two secrets doors. The first was one that led into a room filled with gold coins shoved into several sacks, as well as some other items that appeared to have been taken from somewhere or someone and then hastily thrown into the room.
The second room led into another portal room, similar to the one in the crypt, although this one contained more runes or different styles. After studying it, Jarett and Laxmi determined that the runes represented different saints of the Church of the Moon and that by selecting a particular order of runes with the saints’ names would allow for portal travel between the different temples. Not willing to tempt fate on another temple, the group decided to leave the temple and head to the grove of the nymph to complete their quest.
After several hours of travel, the adventurers finally arrived at the dying grove. The area had grown worse since they’d last been there, and the nymph appeared to be barely alive as she stood next to the brackish water of the pond. Her now gray skin was cracked with open wounds and sores. When she spoke through her parched lips, her voice was harsh. “Have you brought the chalice?” she asked hopefully.
Hedge produced the chalice from his satchel and handed it over to the little fey. The nymph quickly took the chalice and went to the pond where she dipped the golden chalice into the water and began to drink. Several moments later, her body began to change. Her skin tone returned to normal, and the wounds upon her body began to heal. Starting at her feet the grass began to return to life, and the pond water became blue and clear. Rejuvenated, the nymph looked to the group and thanked them for helping her and her grove.
Thumper and Feloryn then asked for the Chalice back, but the nymph replied that she would hold onto the chalice to ensure that the grove would stay healthy. Feloryn knew this was not part of the deal, and with backing from Thumper asserted that it would not be safe in the hands of one fey creature in the middle of winkar-controlled territory. The two sides talked over the conflict, with Thumper and Feloryn offering to return occasionally to the grove to ensure its safety. The nymph finally agreed to this promise and gave the group an oak leaf, which she said would turn brown should the grove be in danger. With both sides satisfied, the group of heroes finally set off to return to Masshiro.
15 Spring, 2979
With the swamps finally behind them, the adventurers looked forward to finally arriving in Masshiro, which Hedge said they should reach within the day. As they traveled along the coastline of Lake Yoshiro, Feloryn and Hedge both spotted something moving across the night sky. It was hard to see at first, but when the creature crossed the field of the full moon, a shiver ran down each of their spines. Both called out “Dragon!” and Laxmi reflexively began to recite from memory her knowledge of dragons. She stopped when the spotters’ shouts that the dragon was diving at them set everyone into motion.
The young blue dragon roared down at the group, its mere presence shaking the group’s confidence before its reared its head back and breathed a lightning bolt into their midst. The bolt hit Hedge squarely and then arced to Thumper, the next nearest target, before bouncing once more to hit Laxmi. The melee support of the group quickly took to the trees for cover while Jarett and Tolim brought their full power to bear, blasting the dragon with a hail of acid and fire.
Enraged, the dragon fired off another lightning bolt, focusing its attacks on Jarett and Tolim. It then shifted its flight and moved farther along to gain a better tactical position, where fewer of the adventurers could benefit from the cover of the trees. The adventurers continued to fire off attacks at the dragon with acute accuracy. Annoyed, the dragon then decided to land to finish off Tolim personally. It rushed forward, bringing its massive horn to bear, hitting Tolim full force and sending him stumbling backwards into a bush. Surprised, the dragon lost sight of the little gnome and decided instead to focus its claw attacks on Hedge, who had moved up onto its flank.
Landing proved to be a fatal mistake, because once engaged with the adventurers in close combat, the dragon couldn’t get away from the sudden and massive surge of melee attacks by Hedge, Thumper, and Feloryn. The fight only lasted a few moments later before the group stood exhausted but victorious. They looked to the east, the direction of Masshiro, and wondered what would happen when they arrived with their hands empty of proof.
XP per Player: 496 (Tolim & Hedge receive 396)
Treasure Found: Boots of Free Movement, potion of healing, ruby ring (250gp), opal (100gp), 830gp