A play of hopes and fears

The following

i put the dragon head on her.

we find our adventures waking to crusty skin and armor from the dragons blood of the previous days triumphant victory over the a source of evil. With the sun clad chest, bone mask, and small orb in hand they make their way back to Fairhollow to claim their prizes from Amarro, and inquire about the chest at the temple of pelor.

Duke Hellington with his severed dragons head in hand first makes for the black kraken inn to find illustrious ladies to share is spoils with. He also quaffs pint after pint of local brew like water, laughing at its child-like potency.

The two sons of Pelor, Smoky and Magni immediately head for the temple of their patron deity. There, they find the dwarf raised, human, priest of pelor, Hailz of clan Ironrot. When Smoky describes their recent findings and victories they receive a shower of praise from the priest who promptly offers them cheese, bread, and wine to ebb there hunger and thirst from battle. Harvey and Tink make an appearance to share in the refreshments. The priest reveals to them that the chest was in route to Harkenwold, meant for the High Priestess there whom alone has the power to open it. Its escort had been dispatched and the chest lost some time ago. The mention of a dragon seems to bring the pieces together for Hailz, for only a well orchestrated attack could have overcome the escorts of the chest.

With the chest recovered, Hailz offers the position of escort to the adventures, along with compensation. The sons of pelor graciously accept the quest, and reluctantly the 400g and 6 healing potions in payment.

Hailz tell that a rare artifact of pelor resides within the chest, along with other items of great importance. He theorizes that the forces of ill may be after it specifically. Seeing the potential danger Smoky suggests a diversion. a ceremony up the river. A brilliant idea the priest starts to make preparations immediately.

They then leave the temple to seek out the ranger Amarro to retrieve the reward he has promised. At the Black Kraken inn they find him sitting with a large dragonborn sipping ale cooly. When the dragonborn sees duke with the dragon head he looks at it hard, then gives a nod of approval to the minotaur, showing respect for the warrior.

After receiving the powerful necklace from Amarro, the adventures pleaded for further compensation. Empathizing with the party after smoky explains their hard adventures, Amarro gives them an additional 50 gold pieces to ease their pains.

Before the break of day they set off to the East towards Harkenwold, with the chest in tow. The sun has yes to raise before they depart. The day had barely begun, and so had their adventure.

After several days of travel over the grassy rolling hills they made it to the edge of a forest. They traveled for some time before they saw billowing smoke rising from the southeast. Recognizing the black pollution as more than a mere campfire they veered south in order to investigate. What they found was somewhat, unsettling. A small village, razed to the ground, and a burning stench thick in the air. It did not take them long to discern that the smoke and stench both arose from a pile of smoldering corpses.

After a quick search of the area the discovered two hollowed logs on the beach by the river nearby, and clawed humanoid tracks leading into the village, and then off to the west, towards Fairhollow. Concerned for the welfare of their hometown the adventurers picked up the trail and hunted down these seemingly malicious folk. However before they departed they buried the small orb out of site, fearing its unknown capabilities.

It did not take long to track the fire starting culprits, and the party confronted a Gnoll with a pack of hyenas. The danced the death dance and claimed victory easily, and upon searching the leading gnoll they found not only a map to fairhollow, but a very crud sketch of a small round object, and a short feathery animal. A quick deduction was made that the object was their orb, and the feathered friend, could only be the brave and virtuous Mumbles.

A decision had to be made. Follow the map which described the way back to the dwelling of this hunting gnoll, or continue on to Harkenwold to deliver the chest. Not wanting to leave the murderous band to their own deadly devices, they sought out their strong hold to politely ‘deal with’ the impending threat. However, what they found, may not have been what might be expected of their savage foes.

A great necrotic tree, surrounded by decaying shrubbery, marked an unnatural landmark south of the river; which they crossed within the hollowed trees. The black tree bore a large crack, just expansive enough to fit their largest minotaur friend through. Once inside they stood before a 12 foot onyx hydra poised to strike, but thankfully made of stone. they found an engraving upon a pedestal which read:

_From stone to flesh, with one misstep.

Fight to death, those whom cometh
With the word of code, large flesh turns small stone
And those may pass, without loss of blood or bone_

not wanting to call the hydra out of its petrified slumber the adventurers worked quickly to discover the code word which would deactivate the beast. In small cubby holes scattered near the ceiling of the room they found six tablets with inscriptions, after puzzling over them they were able to fit them in such a manner to form words, and then they spoke aloud: Cacodeamon
and the hydra shrunk magically to pocket size, allowing their safe passage.

The very next room met them with two doors, guarded by two statues. Again another carved inscription directed their actions:

One guard of truth, one guard of lies, one door to pass safely, and one door to die. Questions 1, win or lose, you may ask, and then must choose

The wilden with his superior natural intellect blew asked them one simple question outright and choose the left door, with little help or input from the others. and when the door opened. the statues responded simply with. ‘you have chosen, wisely’

Eager to slaughter the gnoll threat the party charged on down a spiral staircase, leading deep down into the earth. the found many passageways below. many corridors which they explored for many hours. they eventually found a room housing many barrels, some empty, some full to the brim with moldy rotting food. the room was dank and thick with musty smells. Under further investigation the found slime covering most of the floor. After Duke Hellington decided to bend down and poke it with his horn. It poked back.

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