The Pakthryxl Proxy

Followed Footsteps!!! Attack on Destiny
Captain's log found on tiller

First thing first, we had to get the Deep Sea Current airborne if we were going to track Slate. I started praying to Apsu’s Golden Wings like a surly fucking pirate but the ship didn’t budge. Not sure why my prayer didn’t work, perhaps Apsu dislikes swearing, kobolds, or the combination. Goethe eventually figured out the right prayer, Lorenz the right cadence, and praying altogether the ship levitated out of the water. Backed by Apsu’s will our ship turned from sailing yacht to airship.

Flying the Deep Sea Current through the sky was incredibly thrilling and liberating. Sailing on the sea is for suckers!!! The whole crew including Deep Sea was nervous as hell for our maiden voyage because plummeting to our doom was a very real possibility. Slowly we got a feel for the wind, it was surprisingly easy to maneuver the ship after I realized the rudder was useless. We had to reconfigure the rigging and beam position slightly to better control the winds. While airborne we kept a constant prayer to Apsu to help control our pitch, height, and ability to stop. Once we mastered the basics we left the napping Great Hunter and took off to the sky in search of Slate. As we ascending, we got at a good look at the devastation in Midvale, it looked like hell in heaven. The brutal fighting between the scourges and petitioners hadn’t stopped, fires were spreading, and bodies were piling up in the streets. I am not sure if we could of saved Midvale but its a damn shame what happened to my favorite city.

Vilya led us to a small nearby island that she tracked Slate to days ago. The entire island was a magnificently sculpted mausoleum from all sides, it must of taken the skills of legendary craftsmen to accomplish such a feat. Inside the soaring catacomb, the ossuaries of many Great Wyrms were laid to rest along with their most prized possessions. “This makes Great Hunter’s hoard look like a piggy bank!”, I shouted. “Don’t get smited, this is all Apsu’s, leave the treasure alone”, responded Lorenz. We noticed immediately that each tomb was covered with a charcoal dusting most likely used to copy the inscriptions on each seal. Why would Slate need the names of the dead? We passed a mysterious mass of bones in a central chamber and more priceless treasure. “Dragon burial customs sure are weird”, I said in passing. Lorenz soon spotted a hidden passageway that led to a grisly altar erected to the evil God Dahak. “What is that doing here?”, questioned Lorenz.

Goethe read the plague on the altar out loud to everyone. A loud rattling and clattering of bones clashing could be heard from the central chamber. “Oh that’s why”, said a shaky Lorenz.

The guardian of the tomb had assembled from the bone pile, the dragon had a huge twisted skeletal form and, most alarming of all, were the great wyrm skulls for hands. It looked similar in form to the scrouges that leveled Midvale, but commanded a greater awesome presence. I saw the others getting ready for battle which I thought was crazy and screamed, “Let’s get the fuck out of here”, while fleeing to the exit. The gate was sealed shut with strong magic wards and wouldn’t open no matter how hard I yanked on it. I could hear my crew battling the guardian fiercely. I returned in time to see Lorenz, Aven, and Myrrh gang attack the creature back to bone rubble with their “stabby stabby chop chop” maneuver. The victory was hallow since dutiful Blatz was electrocuted to death. Goethe’s was seething, “My precious tool has been sundered” was all he would say on the matter. We began to hear more bone stirrings in the central chamber and escaped to the gate after toppling the dread altar. Another guardian had assembled and cornered us at the gate. We frantically tried to bypass the gate but all attempts mundane and magic failed. The monster closed in on us and aimed its three fire breathing heads at Goethe and Myrrh. Lorenz and I immediately began praying to Apsu, “We mean you no harm! We haven’t taken anything! We destroyed the blasphemous altar for you! We beg for mercy!!!”. The monster stopped in its place, settled onto its hind legs, and bowed to us. As its last action it opened the gate and gave us a look that seemed to say “SCRAM”.

We investigated several more of these flying monuments that Slate visited. We were much more careful and managed not to engage the tomb guardians. We found Dahak altars in each crypt and more charcoal dust. Why has Slate collected so many inscriptions?

“It is time I take you to Slate”, said Vilya. She took us to the intimidating island surrounded in lightning bolts and swirling winds. The raging tempest was concentrated above six jet black monoliths at the center of the island. Great Hunter had called these the Obelisks of Destiny which supposedly document the name of every metallic dragon ever born. The legendary obelisks are one of dragon-kinds most guarded secrets and greatest joys. It all makes me think, Slate is working with extremely powerful individuals possibly even the God Dahak. We breached the wild storm with Vilya’s help and arrived at the footsteps of the obelisks. We called out to Slate to show himself but he did not show.

Sure enough countless draconic names were beautifully written in the black marble confirming these were in fact the mythical Obelisks of Destiny. Shivers went down my spine, we may be the only mortals in history ever to touch the obelisks. It appeared the keepers of the obelisks, three silver Great Wyrms, were asleep near the central tower. Goethe surmised they had contracted the pakthryxl and could not be woke. I spotted an incredibly intricate key around the neck of one and removed it. If there is a key then there must be a lock somewhere! I lugged the giant key up the spiral staircase of the inner tower. It was quite heavy and it banged against each step. Within the obelisk, we found libraries of books on each floor, the books were filled with draconic names cover to cover. Someone found a thick log book on a table that had some mysterious numerology riddle written on the inside cover. We deciphered the riddle quickly, it read like a treasure map to a secret floor in the tower. On our way to the secret floor we could hear heavy footsteps and the grinding of gears echo. It was impossible to tell where the noise was coming from so we pushed on in high alert. We slowly crept into a large library at the same moment as “it”.

A huge dragon form marched up the steps on the opposite end of the room. With each step the sound of winding gears, jerking pulleys, and vibrating screws echoed. It didn’t look alive or undead, it looked like it was crafted and it noticed us instantly. The dragon was covered with gleaming metal and countless complex cogs and gears. It moved with mechanical precision and had the presence of a dangerous killing machine. “Apsu help us!”, was the only thing I could say after watching my bullets bounce off its metallic shell. I heard pressure building within the metal dragon’s throat before it sprayed us with a stream of sleeping gas. I fell asleep.

When I woke up next, it was to the tune of Goethe and Myrrh delicately folding the clockwork dragon into a more portable size. My crews’ bodies were tore up pretty good but their faces were smiling. How in the hell did my crew defeat that invincible metal dragon? Those bastards still won’t tell me what happened. “Shouldn’t of fell asleep Reskafar you missed one hell of a show”, was all they would say. And for some mysterious reason Aven, Myrrh, and Goethe kept calling Lorenz the “Techno Game Master”. It is all very infuriating, plus I can’t find my giant metal key.

I am sure once they are done teasing me for falling asleep they will give up the goods. We continued on our journey to the secret floor using the numerology riddle. We went up floors than down floors until the sequence was complete. Goethe believed powerful magic was at work since the tower’s physical structure could not hold so many floors. “Were here!”, shouted Aven. We all peered into the small room, an ominous pulsating blue portal was at the heart of the room, beckoning to us to come hither. “Dragons are fucking crazy” is all we could say before jumping in the portal.

I can’t even imagine what comes next. Where are we going? Will we come face to face with Slate? If so what will we do?

Invasion!!! Destruction of Midvale
Captain's log found on bilge

Things fell into a blurry rhythm in Midvale. Days full of dock building or whatever insane command Great Hunter could think of. Nights full of drinking, partying, and vomiting. Mornings spent waking up in the gutter with a titanic hangover. We did manage to open the newest hole-in-the-wall pub in Midvale, on Hole-In-The-Wall street in the tavern district. Great Hunter hasn’t named his bar yet (Reskafar’s Roost?), but it has been a bright spot so far due to Goethe brewing a 99.99% proof drink called Big Sting. I bet you can’t guess what the 0.01% super secret ingredient is that gives it that little extra (pssst…don’t tell the Wyvern babies). Life was good until it wasn’t.

We were settling down for the 15th grand opening day in a row when we heard deafening thunder claps nearby. Apsu’s Dragon Heaven hasn’t stormed at all during our stay because we fly over the weather so a storm was unnatural. The thunderstorm was mystery enough to lure the drunkards out of the taverns including us. Great Hunter wanted to take a closer look and offered to give us a lift to observe the phenomenon. We flew high in the air towards the lightning flashes, as we neared, it looked like the lightning was searching for something on a distant island. “That island is new”, proclaimed Goethe, “It is not on any of my maps”. Another mystery.

“Huh…Goethe is that on your maps”, my voice trembled with fear while pointing at a huge swirling vortex that was opening above us. The vortex’s intense wind shear hit us first, bolts of lightning flashed all around us, and thunder drowned out all other noise. The vortex wasn’t pulling us in but opening a portal to another world. From the center of the vortex emerged hundreds of stitched-together skeletal dragons that were power diving at high speed towards Midvale. Between thunder claps you could hear them screaming, “Father you keep such weak petitioners!”. They flew past us like a swarm of locust to feast upon Midvale. Not many fortifications or defenders in place like Midvale the carnage would be absolute.

After the undead dragon army passed us Great Hunter began to fall. His mysterious sleep had returned. His slumber was so deep my musket nor Myrrh’ blades could rouse him. He crashed like a cannonball in a building below causing total destruction and a deep crater. Luckily I fell safely to the ground while maneuvering with my wings to the site of the crash. After joining the others around the unconscious Great Hunter, five of the skeletal dragons attacked. The evil dragons were held together by bones of various good dragons and wore glowing amulets around their necks. They attacked savagely with breath weapons of all kinds. They were close to overwhelming us and would have succeeded if it wasn’t for Myrrh’s quick thinking. He deftly swiped the amulets from their necks before we all died. The skeletons collapsed like dominoes without the magic amulets binding them together. “I should of done that sooner”, Myrrh cheerfully said while casually twirling the necklaces in his hands.

Fortunately, Great Hunter woke just enough from the pakthryxl to change his shape and ask to be taken to his hoard island. Vilya Sul was waiting for us. “I have found the bastard Slate”, Vilya declared, “I have tracked him to many different islands up here, but he has found one he likes best”.
“Don’t tell me, we going to the lightning island”, said a weary Lorenz.
“Yes, he is there at the island with six black monoliths. He must be searching for something. We must hurry to save Balijin”, she ordered frantically.
“Go my friends…Stop…Slate….you are the only ones who can…”, said Great Hunter before drifting off to sleep again.

What is Slate up too? Why would he attack Midvale? How has the pakthryxl penetrated heaven? If we truly are heavens last hope then our names will echo through eternity if we succeed!!! Plus I like Great Hunter.

A Dirty Joke!!! Meeting in Midvale
Captain's log found on mizzen mast

We probably should of bought a boat to float south down the River of Holding to Lake Verdigris and eventually to Midvale it would have saved us a lot of time, blood, and dignity. Dragon Heaven was infested with crazy amounts of dire animals and infinite monstrous dinosaurs. I guess dragons don’t fear foot slogging monsters much since they can just fly away if attacked or just crush face. Reminds me I need to start working out my wings if I intend to fly down to the surface. We for the most part hid in Goethe’s rope trick until threats passed, it was safer for everyone especially Kaledith, who was still badly shaken from being devoured by a Tyrannosaurus. She ordered all of us to be her meat shields if we crossed paths with more hungry predators. We all owed her money and generally felt bad she was eaten so we obeyed. It was quite humorous watching her cling to Goethe and beg him to cast his magic whenever she heard a strange noise, smelled an odor, or felt a stiff wind. So travel was slow to say the least.

We took an old ferry across the lake to Midvale. Kaledith never looked so happy leaving the dire wilderness. As we approached the city it was easy to tell we were about to enter a city unlike any on the ground below. The city looked as if it had been rebuilt numerous times by a mad architect who didn’t like straight edges. There were many crooked towers pointed in random directions, streets that didn’t seem to go anywhere, and crude dragon perches jutting out of every wall. The best thing was there were freaking dragons everywhere! Metallic wyrms of all ages and assorted lesser dragon kin made up the hustle and bustle. The petitioners were all lively, loud, and enjoying heaven to the max. My kind of town, it reminded me of the pirate port cities in the Eye, where anything could happen. Waiting at the port was an wide awake Great Hunter. He gave us a frightening thousand yard stare as we neared.

“Fuck he doesn’t look happy to see us”, I told everyone.
“He will be happy to see his treasure again”, responded Lorenz. I noticed the faintest signs of sweat around his collar.

Once we stepped on the dock, Great Hunter rose to his colossal height and bellowed, “Welcome dirty hoard thieves, let’s have a drink to get to know one another”. After we were all seated and flagons full inside the dragon sized tavern, he told a hilarious joke to break the ice about huge dragon dicks that had us all rolling in laughter,some of us more than others. We presented his stolen treasure and tried to leave. Great Hunter didn’t allow us to leave and things got pretty tense as he asserted his dominance over us. When he started bullying poor Kaledith to drink, Lorenz found the courage to stand up to him. I was pretty sure Lorenz was going to be punched through a load bearing wall, but surprisingly Aven interjected with an exceptional dirty joke to ease the tension. I didn’t quite get the punchline of the joke because it involved munthrek sex which is gross. Great Hunter was overjoyed and forgot about Kaledith. He roared in tremendous laughter. “You got style puny fish man! It has been decades since I heard a good joke. Let us drink through to sunrise in celebration of being awake in the land of the dead”.

Great Hunter challenged us to an epic drinking contest that captured the attention of the whole pub and others from the street. The first drunkard to fall was Myrrh after downing a potent elvish elixir that made him vomit violently and blast diarrhea all over himself. The crowd cheered wildly. The war between dwarf fire ale and elf absinthe raged in my belly, but I managed to kept the battle from spilling over onto the table. Aven and Great Hunter were also struggling with the same war. “I won’t lose to you, Big Copper”, was the last thing I said before taking another shot and blacking out. When I woke up some time later I heard Aven and Great Hunter tied. The last drink pushed them both past their limits and rivers of vomit flowed. I wish I could of saw it! Imagine how many buckets of punk a colossal Copper Wyrm can spew.

Great Hunter had one more surprise for us in the morning, the Deep Sea Current was docked on the other side of the city! We arrived, extremely hungover, to find a jittery but unmolested crew. “Old friend it is nice to see you again”, I telepathically greeted the ship after stepping on the gangplank. The whole ship shook, a warm greeting.

“How in the hell did you get 10 miles in the sky?”, I asked the ship. “The Golden Plaque”, Deep Sea Current gurgled. Before I could examine the mysterious golden plaque, Great Hunter ordered us to take him to his new lair on a island in the lake.

He was honest with us and said he was commanded to keep us occupied while the Elders dealt with State, Gray Scale, and pakthryxl which could take years. He then gave each of us new titles for our future roles. Goethe was assigned “Chief Wyvern Excrement Engineer”, Lorenz “Hoard Accountant”, Aven “Chief Drinking Buddy”, Myrrh “Wyvern Babysitter”, Kaledith “Head Maid”, and myself “Dock Builder”.

How long will be prisoners here?

Impossible Trial!!! The Elder Dragons' Verdict
Captain's log found on quarterdeck

We were led into a stupendous grand hall to await trial by the Elder Dragon Council. Strangely we were allowed to keep our weapons which made me think we were either gonna be hunted for sport or we were so insignificant it didn’t matter. Lorenz advised against violence, “No need to tie our own nooses”. None of us had any idea what would happen next, no clue about draconic law, only vague speculation, and bellies full of fear. I told my crew in jest a few times, “I should be safe since I am dragon, but you guys are probably boned”. I only got dagger stares in return. My view point of the predicament was simple, we were pawns following orders from other pawns in a scheme shrouded in so much mystery it makes your head spin. We were hired for a job, took what we were told to take, and didn’t leave a tidal wave of corpses in our wake only a little wave of corpses. If we were honest and humble maybe they would show us the kindness of a quick death.

Stoically the five metallic Elder Dragons made their entrance, some in dragon form others in munthrek form. Elder Brilliant Matron a gold dragon, Elder Storm Born a silver dragon, Elder Ocean King a bronze dragon, Elder Mountain a copper dragon, and Elder Voice of the Desert a brass dragon. Their combined majesty was too much for my kobold heart to take and my emotions ran wild. Coming in, I was prepared to fight tooth and nail for my life, but my heart swooned as I gazed upon them, such power, such grace, and such prestige, then terror sweep over me like a blanket. I realized instantly, I was nothing compared to them, lower than low, a flea upon a mole. My desperation subsided when I remembered my crew, their faces reminded me of the hell we had gone through and the faith we had in one another. Even in the presence of godlike dragons there was still hope. I trusted my crew to save my life since I knew I couldn’t save anyone.

“We are here to discuss your role as dirty hoard thieves”, Brilliant Matron began. “Fuck we’re dead!”, I thought as I slide a finger on to my musket trigger, “We were caught red handed!”.
“If you are found guilty you will be executed immediately. How do you plea?”, she finished. I looked wistfully at Lorenz and Myrrh for help. Lorenz was about to speak, but was rudely cut off by Goethe, “May I please address the court”.

The “Fuck we’re dead!”, thoughts intensified. Goethe began by clearing his throat with ear-piercing devil noises that reminded me of claws on a grindstone. Everyone including the Elder dragons looked uncomfortable. He then removed a scroll from his robe, unrolled it delicately, and then stared at it silently for near eternity. The room was eerily quiet. Right as Brilliant Matron was about to interject, Goethe started to read our defense out loud in a dry droning voice like we were all students at one his lectures in Magnimar. The Elders looked unmoved by the speech but not angry except for Elder Mountain who looked at us maliciously.

“See guilty, they are hoard plunderers. The white one admitted it!”, Elder Mountain barked. “Please Elder Mountain, reserve your judgement until the end. We have more questions”, Matron turned to me and calmly said, “Captain Reskafar, What say you?”.
“Umm…um..Finders keepers…um…um…umm…we saw a platinum dragon”, I nervously mumbled much to the others dismay. The Elders ears pinned back slightly at the mention of platinum.

“What my companions are trying to say in their own way is that the Great Hunter’s treasure was collected in a lawless land and it was unprotected. Did you care how the Great Hunter amassed his treasure from the ruins of Azlant? Why would you care if he lost it?”, Lorenz elegantly stated with his noble voice. The dragons looked perplexed for a split second. Lorenz continued, “We did see a Platinum Great Wyrm. Our collaborator, Yigorin Slate and his benefactor Grayscale, made the entire operation possible through unknown means. It was State who transformed into the Platinum Dragon and vanished moments before the arrival of your kin. It appears to me all of us have been betrayed in someway by the actions of these two men”. Elder Storm Born rose instantly from his seat when he heard the name Grayscale, he shot a look to Brilliant Matron, and exited. “By the Gods, Lorenz was magnificent”, I thought.

“I am ready to declare my judgement”, announced Brilliant Matron, “You must seek justice from Great Hunter. It was his hoard you stole. Let him decide your fate”. With that, the other Elders nodded in agreement and vacated, except for Elder Mountain who stormed out. We were happy as clams with the ruling. Hopefully, Great Hunter will be merciful if we returned his hoard.

After the trial, Brilliant Matron gave us an audience. She explained where to find Great Hunter and cleared the confusion behind many mysteries. Holy shit we were in dragon heaven, Apsu’s Ambulatory, and all the inhabitants were petitioners! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in such a sacred place. She explained that the pakthryxl state we found Great Hunter in, was unnerving and unnatural. Lastly before she excused herself, she told us the fairy tale of the last Platinum Great Wyrm and her gray eggs. I could of listened to Brilliant Matron talk forever and was disappointed when she took leave. We made a few preparations and took in a few sights before we departed the Opalescence Palace.

We decided to walk to Midvale which was the designated meeting place with Great Hunter. Many petitioners warned us of the dangers of journey, especially when walking, but we were already on borrowed time so there was no rush. The walk along the river was refreshing and it made us forget we were actually flying on a island many miles above Azlant. Aven took point and scouted ahead since he is good in the jungle or so I thought. Suddenly, Goethe got a SOS from Blatz who was with Aven, then we heard the screams. Lorenz enchanted my legs with powerful magic and I was able to effortlessly follow Myrrh through the thick foliage. We found Aven with a gigantic anaconda constricted around him, his head had swollen bright purple from the blood being squeezed away from his heart. I unloaded many bullets into the snake and Myrrh slashed its vitals. I didn’t notice the enormous eggs next to me, but I did notice the ginormous Tyrannosaurus Rex trampling through the jungle on its way to protect the eggs. We could hear Aven’s bones breaking from the crushing, the T-Rex would have to wait, saving Aven came first. The serpent took a heavy beating from Myrrh and me, but it was Aven stabbing wildly with a dagger that killed it. What about the T-Rex?

“HOLY LIVING SHIT! THE TYRANNOSAURUS JUST ATE KALEDITH”, I heard Lorenz shriek. Sure enough I turned around to see Kaledith’s legs kicking from outside the jaws of the dinosaur. Things would be very bad for us if she died in such a gruesome encore.

“Stop the T-Rex Lorenz! We will be there to help in a second”, I shouted. I watched as Lorenz pointed his finger at the creature, drew his sword, boldly slashed the air a few times, and then with all his might thrust his sword into the beast’s leg. The sword bent like a wet noodle against the monstrous leg. Lorenz looked up at the reptile with futility in his eyes and watched the monster swallow Kaledith, legs and all. I took aim and fired many deadly shots thanks to Goethe’s magic, and severely wounded the tyrant lizard. Myrrh landed some hard strikes but ended up in its maw, next in line to be eaten. Lorenz continued his anemic wet noodle onslaught. Just as the Tyrannosaurus was about to eat Myrrh, I shot a bullet through the back of its head and it fell dead to the ground. Aven surgically extracted Kaledith from its stomach with his great sword. She was covered in gore from head to toe, burned by reflex acid, but was breathing. Again we heard another scream.

We turned to see a dire bear tearing Goethe apart, I thought he was dead for sure, because I could literally see chunks of his flesh floating in the water. “The Zoo is closed today”, I shouted and savagely blasted the bear. Thankfully, Goethe was still alive and shifted his bloody remains out of the bear’s clutches. The bear fled empty-handed.

This place is scary as hell and we still need to see the Great Wyrm who knows we stole his hoard. Go us!!!

Contract Complete!!! Ascension
Captain's log found on bowspirt

I write this now as my crew and I are awaiting trial and likely execution by the Elder Wyrm Dragon Council for mysterious crimes we may have committed. It’s all bullshit and Slate’s fault. Not a soul has spoken to us since our capture. We are imprisoned in the deepest dungeon of the mighty Dragon Fortress City on an island floating above Azlant. This place makes the Mordant Spire look like a slum after a hurricane. It all started a week ago after we stormed the shores of Azlant with treasure on the brain. Please allow me to start at the beginning of a long and tragic story…

The conflict between the Wyverns and the Sea Drakes over the Great Hunter’s territory had tipped in the Wyvern’s favor. The bigger brains on the crew surmised Big Sting was the Wyvern king and possessed the other half of Slate’s treasure map. I was supremely confident, in my ability to track down Big Sting since he and I have dragon blood coursing through our veins. It took us three days exploring the Wyvern stomping grounds to track Big Sting. Wyvern attacks were commonplace. In the end, we prevailed in finding Big Sting’s lair after a particularly dangerous battle with Lord Sting’s royal guard. They came at us while we were scaling cliffs, I thought we were doomed, but Lorenz saved the day by summoning his awkward griffon and single-handedly defeating them in an outrageous aerial combat the likes of which will never be seen again. He effortlessly mopped them up like we never even encountered them in the first place. Lorenz the wily bastard even managed to extract the location of Big Sting’s lair from a falling Wyvern in midair. It was insane! We got to the lair in no time.

Myrrh and I crept into Big Sting’s salt encrusted lair just to get the lay of the land, I swear we didn’t make a sound, but Big Sting detected us and roared a malevolent challenge. I roared my musket right back into his nasty face to answer the challenge. It was time to see who was packing the bigger stinger! His mate emerged from the darkness ready to sting the shit out of us while the rest of my crew piled into the cave. Goethe channeled his powers, Aven swung his great sword, Myrrh aimed for organs, and I stood my ground musket barrel blazing. The kill shot shattered his scales and shredded his bones but not before Aven and I got stung, poisoned, beaten, and slammed. I was willing to spare Big Sting’s mate due to the hatch-lings so I merely grazed her and told her to flee with her babies. Aven and Myrrh had other plans and used the opportunity to try out a new tactic I like to call “stabby stabby chop chop” because the poor lady was turned to mince meat in a blink of an eye in front of her hatch-lings.
I turned to the newborns and calmly said in an even tone, “It was not our intention to do this in front of you. For that we’re sorry. But you can take our word for it, your parents had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, We’ll be waiting”.

We were fortunate sons and found the missing map in the hatch-ling nest along with Azlanti artifacts, coinage, and a weapons cache. Aven and Goethe examined the map and declared we were in the Great Hunter’s lair. Hot-Damn we truly were fortunate sons!!!

“We did it, the dragon hoard is ours”, Aven triumphantly declared.
“I will start looking for traps”, Myrrh said pulling out his tools.
“What about the Great Wyrm? It is unlawful to take what is not ours”, Goethe questioned.
“Pirate law clearly states FINDERS KEEPERS!, I excitedly responded.
“It is written in holy triplicate that possession is nine tenths of the law, my friends”, Lorenz answered with a wide grin. Goethe relented, he was too curious about the lair to press the issue. A treasure larger than life was waiting for us.

Around the next corner we got the thrill of a lifetime, we came face to face, with a massive horn-crowned head with bright copper scales. The coppery Great Wyrm had a ridged tail and long wings but was still as a mountain. Not gonna lie we all peed a little because if the dragon woke and found us in his hoard not even Lorenz mercurial words could save us. I thought my best bet at survival would be to trip Goethe and make a run for it. Luckily I didn’t need to do that since the Great Wyrm mysteriously did not stir and peacefully slumbered. Coppers are tricky but I had doubts one would go so far as to let Wyverns settle in his den. Fuck it, before the others could stop me I gave the dragon a hard pat on the nose. I almost fainted with fear and those watching faces were paralyzed in comedic shock. Still no reaction from the dragon. “I will rouse the dragon”, I told my comrades while I pointed my musket at it’s coppery eye. Just kidding I am not so dumb to shoot a Great Wyrm in the face. We quietly backed away to gather ourselves.

We had reached the goal of the contract and a snoozing Great Wyrm was not gonna stop us now. We quickly found another wing in the cave that led into the ruins of an ancient Azlanti temple. Myrrh easily disabled every trap and opened every locked door. We had hit pay dirt like never before because behind every door was unimaginable lost treasure. The first room contained Azlanti antiques galore, the second room contained weapons of peerless quality including a set of five daggers of great beauty, and the last vault held several mysterious objects including the Dragon-hide Armor Slate was after. We all did our happy dances. We separated into two groups. Aven and I fetched Slate and Kaledith due to contractual obligation (Lorenz insisted). Goethe, Lorenz, and Myrrh documented the treasure in holy triplicate.

Big brother Slate was the happiest I had ever seen him. Kaledith was also beaming brightly. We made great haste to the hoard, during the journey Slate was not shy about using his powers to move us along. Big Bro easily removed every inconvenience blocking our path including menacing Wyverns. I thought to myself, “Why did he need us? He’s got power to spare!”. We made it to the hoard in record time and Slate wasted no time getting to the armor. He was possessed, only fixated on the armor, and didn’t give a shit about any of the other priceless treasure. Lorenz talked a mile a minute to slow Slate’s roll. Slate divulged that he wanted the armor for his self (not his benefactor) because of the one of a kind platinum scales the armor was made from.

“I never heard of a platinum dragon”, I said. “No one has”, replied Slate with a toothy smile. I don’t think we could of but we never tried to stop him since the armor was his under the terms of the contract. We all really wanted to know was Slate’s plan for the armor and kept pressing him.
“How about a demonstration?”, Slate ominously offered, “With this know that you held up your end of the bargain!”. Huh….

Slate laid the platinum dragon-hide armor before him and pulled out his magic lamp. He rubbed the lamp while uttering loudly, “Balijan! Grant me my second wish now!!!”. Tendrils of blue smoke emanated from the lamp spout and grabbed the pieces of armor whirling them high in the air. Slowly each piece of armor began fusing with Slate’s flesh, he cackled like a demon, to push through the agony of the melding. The cave walls shook, cracks of thunder echoed, and the wind howled. A blinding light flashed during the crescendo of magical energy. Once Slate’s metamorphosis was complete things calmed down. The blue smoke dissipated revealing Slate new form as a graceful Platinum Great Wyrm of extraordinary size and shimmering scales. I felt like I was going to be crushed by his overwhelming beautiful presence. Slate looked pleased as hell.

“Me next”, I cried.
Slate stopped laughing, stretched out his his wings, and roared to the heavens. Slate smiled to us and said, “I must be going now my friends. Sorry to leave you after you have given me so much but I have things to do. Know that nothing will be the same anymore”, he then disappeared leaving his last words hanging in the air, “Until we meet again my friends”.

“Me next”, I cried again desperately, the words echoed through the cave. We all dumbfounded stared at each other.
“What in the hell was that?”, a shocked Aven spoke.
“Was that good for us or bad?”, questioned a shaken Myrrh.
“Very interesting he used a wish to become one with the platinum scales”, Goethe said.
“Let’s pack up the treasure before something else happens”, commanded a nervous Lorenz. At that moment the tremors began again and loud flapping noises rolled in from the outside.
“What now?”, said a worried Kaledith.

Then we saw a man with a powerful build adored with flawless silver full plate armor enter the lair. “Everyone out!!!”, he shouted and to emphasize his point he pierced his sword a foot deep into the stone floor in a dazzling display. We all obeyed. Outside of the cave he were surrounded by monstrous Great Wyrm dragons. My emotions were in shambles I was one part awed, one part happy, and seven parts scared shitless. Goethe demanded, “What is the meaning of this?”. The Gold dragon picked him up and squeezed him unconscious and told the rest of us, “You will be judged”. She then spread her wings and took off with Goethe towards a flying island that was slowly eclipsing the sun. The other dragons each grabbed one us and did the same.

Now we await our fate. Will this be a fair trial? What are the charges? Can we escape?

Dealing with Dragons!!! Yigorin’s Confession
Captain's log found on main masthead

Myrrh had us worried for nothing, that bastard casually appeared out of nowhere on the top deck as if he had never left. He couldn’t stop yapping about the Nereid, “She is so gorgeous and trustworthy She deserves more treasure, not just Goethe’s ioun stones!”. Goethe shot a pissy glare at him and grumbled, “You are under her influence it will wear off in due time”. After questioning Myrrh for some time he finally remembered that he met the Dragon Turtle who is allied with his aquatic crush.

We sent in the negotiator to deal with the Turtle and the Nereid. The Dragon Turtle wanted copious amounts of poisonous jellyfish and the Nereid wanted Myrrh for safe passage. Sounded fair to me since Myrrh didn’t object (He may have been holding hands with the Nereid). Aven immediately formed a plan to ensnare the great lightning jelly with fishing nets and hooks. He bravely dove into the water and swiftly wrapped the jelly up tight like a rolled joint. I then butchered the trapped fish. Lorenz and Goethe worked together to create new “treasures” to present to the Nereid at a banquet in her honor on board the ship. They grabbed all sorts of crap items and painted them blue like the ocean including midnight milk, fish hooks, apples, and a battered frying pan. I wasn’t convinced we could trade a blue frying pan for Myrrh but what do I know. bluefryingpan.jpg We all dressed in our best for the banquet, Helig and Kaledith prepared a grand meal with all the fixings, Goethe and I made firecrackers, Aven caught some nice fish, and Tebrilith along with the rest of the crew sang sweet ballads. During the middle of the feast, Lorenz ceremoniously presented each “treasure’ to the Nereid along with the amazing and riveting history of each treasure. I never knew that frying pan belonged to the dissenting Korvosan Prince who founded Magnimar. The Nereid happily took the new spectacular “treasures” in exchange for Myrrh’s freedom. During the banquet, the Dragon Turtle was back stroking around the ship happily gorging on toxic jellyfish. All in all not a bad way to spend a night.

We sailed across the great lake the next morning after saying goodbyes to our new friends. The boat barely made it up the narrow tributary feeding the lake but we managed with my excellent command. From the impossibly high cliffs, several gaunt Sea Drakes swooped down and angrily shouted for Slate to show himself. Well that was certainly unexpected. Once Slate made it on deck, he casually smiled at the raging Sea Drakes. The Sea Drakes went mad calling him a liar, a coward, and insinuated that the map he gave them was a trap. Goethe pressed Slate for explanation. What in the hell have we got ourselves into? What else is Yigorin hiding? Is Big Sting going to kill us? Is the Great Hunter for real? That crap doesn’t matter because my treasure sense is tingling!!!

Navigating the Wild Line!!! Nereids are Fascinating
Captain's log found on beam

The Mayor sure took a shine to Lorenz and Myrrh because as we were departing he appointed two female undine guides to help us navigate through the maze of treacherous reefs and endless rocky islands. With our guides we winded our way through the steep cliff faces and towering crags with ease, and we didn’t stop until a collapsed stone pillar barred our way. As we prepared to move the pillar with our piton grappling cannon, two humongous Merrows popped out of the water and charged the boat. We must of fell victim to their ingenious trap and raised the ship alarm.

These ugly monsters must of stood 20ft high and weighed as much as a whale. I started uploading my musket into their faces but they did not stop. One effortlessly snatched Myrrh off the top deck and dove back into the water. The other soon was cut down by the coordinated attacks of Goethe, Lorenz, and myself. We all moved off the boat, careful of falling in the water, onto the outcropping of rocky islands to help Myrrh. Falling in to the water looked like certain death due to the monstrous lightning charged jellyfish that were swarming. The fleeing Merrow still grasping Myrhh attracted the largest lightning breathing jellyfish and it zapped them big time. I tried to finish off the Merrow for Myrrh, but my musket jammed at the wrong time. I watched helplessly than excitedly, as Myrrh deftly sliced the Merrow’s throat and jetted out of the water just in time to escape the jellyfish tentacles. He looked drowned. exhausted, burned, and clawed but he still gave me the thumbs up.

I called to Lorenz and Goethe for help but something else had their attention. I gave Myrrh the thumbs up and left him to check on the others. As I got near them, my attention was drawn to a strikingly beautiful woman in the water who was completely naked except for a tiny shawl. She beckoned to Goethe and me to follow her into the water, which we did without hesitation, and she led us to a secluded grotto. I jealously watched as she used her formidable assets to soften or stiffen up Goethe. Her charms must of cracked his shields because the old devil soon gleefully gave her the fanciest ioun stone orbiting his head. She freaking loved the bauble and snuggled up to him even closer. “I don’t have any floating stones”, I meekly called to her, “Do you want some gunpowder?”. She quickly told me to get lost since she and Goethe needed some alone time. “Lucky bastard, I am going to have to get me some floating stones!”, I thought as I swam back to the boat. A very concerned Lorenz picked me up in a rowboat, but by the time we got to Goethe he was alone and quite blue.

The undine lady scouts called us fools to be tricked by a Nereid. We searched for her but Nereids are impossible to track in the water. After giving up on our search we returned to the boat only to find Myrrh had gone missing. We couldn’t find a trace of him. Was he taken by the Nereid? Did he fall into the water and get eaten by jellyfish? Did he have to go kill somebody? Did his invisible trick malfunction? We looked like mad for him, but eventually our operation was stalled by a giant boulder blocking the entrance to a vast lake. “Crap in my Captain’s hat! Is this where the Dragon Turtle lives?”, I thought. What in the hell happened to Myrrh?

Sahuagin and Undines!!! Azlant is Inhabited?
Captain's log found on main mast

Goethe and Aven expertly explained the creatures on the shore were Sahuagin, probably a raiding party. I asked Aven if he knew any of the fish monsters. Almost all of the Sahaugin had extra limbs and tridents which made them look pretty scary. “Watch out they frenzy at the sight of blood”, Goethe academically recalled. I was more surprised by the fact Azlant was freaking inhabited! I thought the Mordant Spire Elves were going to be crawling around like cockroaches having killed everything else. The existence of Sahaugin makes me think there might be a Kobold community hidden deep in the mountains with some fine ladies!!!

We butchered the Sahuagin like lambs to the slaughter. They even had an extra 15 men hidden in the cliffs that charged in, but we still tore them limb from limb. My musket barrel was hot as dragon fire from the continuous stream of fired bullets. Goethe summoned the hounds of hell and flew above the battlefield like a vulture. Myrrh danced through the frenzied mob untouched while filleting them one after another. Aven fought under the water and hacked apart many including their leader. Lorenz…hmmm…I don’t remember what he did.

When we searched the cliffs for more enemies several undine scouts approached us and marveled at the carnage on the beach. They were friendly and took us back to their village, Nylgune, which was safely nestled among the narrow reefs. By all accounts, Nylgune, was a peaceful settlement almost completely isolated from the rest of the world. The village-folk held a triumphant parade in our honor since we coincidentally saved the village from the Sahaugin raiders. Again, I couldn’t believe so many people lived on Azlant. Were we really on Azlanti shores? Maybe those Kobold maidens do exist?

We met the mayor of Nylgune, who Lorenz and Myrrh stuck to like sucklings to a teat. I felt disgusted at the level of ass-kissing on display during the victory banquet at the palace. The mayor’s head was so swollen by Lorenz and Myrrh’s flattery, he gave them the shark-tooth necklace he wore around his neck. A just shook my head in disbelief. I may not have taken part of the noble pageantry but I kept my ears open and eyes peeled. A few things I learned, a great Dragon Turtle guards the last lake leading to the mainland, the Sea Drakes have migrated away from the shores, and Sahuagin war-bands were on the rise. Lastly, the mayor told us the Mordant Spire Elves don’t come around much to these secluded parts and have no ill-will towards his people.

Nylgune seemed like a safe place to make preparation for the expedition inland. We took the opportunity to sell treasure and buy gear. The journey ahead will be a mystery filled with danger and excitement. I can’t wait for the Dragon Turtle!

Land Ahoy!!! Azlant, The Shattered Continent
Captain's log found amidships

Myrrh, Aven, and myself caught our breath on the shining shoal while enjoying the afterglow of an epic victory. “You crazy-eyed fucking Kobold, you blew up the ship while we were still on board!”, both men exclaimed. “Well just a little”, I snickered. I turned to the smoke bubbles of the wreckage and shouted, “That’s what you get when you piss me off, holes in your goddamn boat!”. Lorenz and Goethe soon found us, they had two dejected looking munthrek females in bonds with them. Wow those two sure can parley! Winning sure felt good.

I oversaw the repairs to my boat. Lorenz and Myrrh interrogated the remaining pirates looking for good eggs. Aven and Goethe salvaged everything of use from the Never Enough including six magically cannons. Within four days we were ready to set sail for Azlant. On that last night, we held a magnificent victory banquet to offer Volla’s corpse to Goddess Besmara in explosive fashion. I was astonished Lorenz and Myrrh could convince the surviving pirates to join the party, gotta love a pirate’s loyalty. During the middle of the party, we placed Volla’s gutted body on a rowboat with lots of powder kegs, the first one to explode the wench wins. Lorenz won by cheating with a cannon. As the halfling’s bloody body was blown into itty bitty bits, a mysterious voice whispered “They will be another the Pirate King wills it”. I cheered even louder. Besmara approved of our offering and she made it rain gold coins sending the banquet into a frenzy.

We sailed off in the morning, but left the cockatrice charmer chic on the atoll, Lorenz thought she was too dangerous to keep around. We zipped through the waves without a hitch for many days until Azlant was right before our eyes. We chose the less traveled waterway through the wild forest to penetrate the continent in order to find the treasure. All was calm until it wasn’t. Our ship, the Deep Sea Current, decided to disobey my commands and attempted to attack a village of natives. The Current could not be settled due to the presence of it’s natural enemy. I thought it only fair to route the monsters on the ship’s behalf since it has done the same for us. Cruel death to the Deep Sea Current’s enemies!

Conclusion!!! The Pirate Queen’s Demise
Captain's log found in pantry

Lorenz was none too happy when he learned that he missed the parley with the False Pirate Queen and even more pissed when he learned the details. “Amateurs, I am surrounded by fucking amateurs”, he repeated under his breath when he heard each depressing detail of the parley. We worked fast to put together a daring plan to seize what little opportunity remained. Lorenz and Goethe would parley with the enemy casters at the tower, and the rest of us would assassinate the false queen after sneaking on board the Never Enough.

We hid underwater in the reefs waiting for the Never Enough to approach for a long time. I wondered how Goethe and Lorenz were keeping the enemy casters busy. Were they fighting for their lives while we were soaking in the waves? It was not my concern anymore, getting Myrrh back and the Pirate Queen dead was the focus. Once the Never Enough was in sight we gave Vilya Suul the signal to kill the wind. The Never Enough slowed and Aven expertly latched on to the hull with me in tow. While climbing up, I got a brilliant idea inspired by Tebrilith, on how to cause true havoc so I gave Aven a wink and snuck onto the cannon bay.

The munthrek females were anxiously waiting for their captain’s signal to start shelling the Shredder and Deep Sea Current to take notice of little old me. I took out an alchemist fire and tossed it at stacked pile of powder kegs. “Fire”, I heard the munthreks scream, “The powder kegs are on fire!”. I trained my musket on the the fiery kegs and pulled the trigger. The explosion was much bigger that I expected and caused a chain reaction of exploding powder kegs like popcorn. Splinters of wood and people were blown into the air, and I barely managed to keep my scales. The destructive force of the explosion almost completely blew the nose of the ship off. It was not enough!!! I wanted total destruction, I wanted revenge for my boat. I swiftly shot holes into several more powder kegs and tossed another alchemist fire. As the second explosion rocked the ship I quickly took the ladder up to the top deck. This ship was a time bomb now!

It was quite the circus on the top deck. Vaghol was being worshiped by peons. Aven was bloodied about to be attacked by a teary eyed Captain Gifford. Myrrh was flickering in and out of sight, fencing with a halfling. Plus everything was on fire. My plan had worked masterfully, I calmly aimed my musket at Gifford and blew her away. The Never Enough began submerging under the waves the bubble layer kept the sea out but the smoke in. The ship was buckling under the pressure of the water and the gunpowder explosions were tearing through it’s belly. It was time to abandon ship before the munitions bay caught fire.

Suddenly I heard Myrrh shout, “She is escaping!”. Aven locked on to Volla like a charging shark and climbed on board her escape craft much to her shock. I took a few pot shots at the queen but the distance was too great and she too crafty for any to land. All of our hopes rested on Aven, if he failed, we would lose her to the currents and she would swear revenge. Aven was covered in blood from gill to toe from hard fights, but he was still swinging his sword. I thought he was a goner when the Pirate Queen’s hand axe sank critically deep into his chest. He gurgled up a gallon of blood and clenched his teeth for one last attack, the attack met flesh and bisected the False Pirate Queen. We won!

Before the celebration to start we must find out the terms of the parley. All eyes to the tower…


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