After resting for the night, the adventurers discussed what their next move will be in the dwarven town. They agreed that they should visit the Blade Bazaar and visit Shattercock’s cousin the merchant to see if they could buy some new items.
The group made their way to the Blade Bazar and soon found themselves immersed in a sea of various races moving about the busy shopping area. Everywhere they looked they saw merchants selling things that ranged from the mundane to the exotic. The Bazaar was teeming with people so it was easy for the adventurers to blend in and avoid detection.
As they moved through the bustling streets, Jaragorn noticed out of the corner of his eye a small, humaniod rat dressed in gaudy clothing with a wide brimmed hat. As loudly as the rat was dressed, he strangely seemed to be acting like he did not want to be noticed. With quick, sudden movements the rat disappeared behind a corner and was gone from sight.
The group found Shattercock’s cousin’s store and went inside. As they opened the wooden door, they stepped into a small but well stocked store kept clean and tidy. An older dwarf was seated behind the counter and eyed them with suspicion as they walked in. “What do you lot want? Not from around here are you?” the old dawrf said with a slight edge of malice in his voice.
The group quickly explained that they had saved Shattercock from certain death during a depraved ritual and escorted him to Graklestugg. In appreciation of their efforts, Shattercock had told them to visit his cousin and ask for the “special merchandise”.
The old dwarf relaxed his guard a little and then moved over to a bookcase and pulled on a single book. An audible click rang out and the bookcase fell backwards to reveal another room. The old dwarf motioned for them to follow him in.
Once in the other room the adventurers laid their eyes on a wide assortment of magical weapons and items. The old dwarf explained some of the fantastical treasures he had for sale if the group wanted to buy any.
After much browsing, haggling, and decision making, the group left with an assortment of various magical weapons and items. Jaragorn and Gabriel had to sell their beloved death crab to afford some of the items and as they left the store, they cast one last look over the shoulders at Pinchy in his new home.
As the adventurers made their way back onto the street they heard a loud bang followed by an even louder roar. Spinning on their heels, the group turned and saw a massive two headed giant barge through a gate, swinging wildly at whatever was in its reach. A group of dawrven guards quickly encircled the raging behemoth and magically grew to twice their normal height. The giant lashed out at them, swatting them away.
Unsure of what to do, the adventurers paused for a moment and watched the carnage unfold. The giant appeared to be confused, almost frightened, but the havoc it was causing was considerable. Deciding that the destruction it was causing had to stop the group leaped into action. Gabriel charged at the giant and managed to land a blow with his new magical sword. From afar, Jaragron and Ian rained arrows down on the beast as it continued to swing wildly,.
As the fight wore on, the giant started to suffer terrible wounds that began to take its toll. As Gabriel dodged a blow from one of its massive fists, he saw the look of panic on the giants face, but there was no malice there. The giant would not last much longer with the onslaught from the adventurers and the guards.
Gabriel shouted to his comrades to not kill the beast, but try to stun it. Jaragorn rushed in to try to subdue the beast, but it managed to wildly swing and hit him with a massive blow, sending him to his knees.
Just as the giant was to about to be killed by the guards, Gabriel managed to deliver a mighty blow to its head with the flat of his sword. In its weakened state, the giant gave a loud groan and toppled to the ground, unconscious.
Before the guards could finish it off, a loud “NO!” rang out through the streets and a second giant appeared, more feminine that the first, and flung itself on the unconscious beast. The second giant looked up at the adventurers and told them that this was her son and that she was extremely grateful to them for sparing his life. The mother giant promised that they would be rewarded, and then turned to the guards saying that she would handle her son as per an agreement they had.
Before the adventurers could ask what happened, a group of Drow appeared from behind and claiming ownership over them. The adventurers assumed a fighting stance, ready to die on their feet before being dragged back to the Drow prison. More dwarven guards appeared and encircled both groups and told them all to lay down their weapons. With not much choice, the adventurers did so, as well as the Drow. For what felt like twentieth time in as many weeks, the adventurers were lead to a jail cell and confined there.
In the cell, the adventurers met a half elf named Mugwai who said that he had been thrown into the prison as well by the guards for reasons he did not know. Before much more information could be exchanged, guards showed up and escorted them all out to meet with their leader.
The adventures were marched into an office, flanked all around by the dwarven guards. Seated in a chair was their leader, Errde Blackskull. Blackskull eyed the group of adventures up and down and scowled at them. The Drow were claiming ownership over the group, but Blackskull was in no rush to give them over seeing as how she hated the dark elves herself. Blackskull saw an opportunity here, a way to use the adventures as pawns and just as the idea crossed her mind, a member of a religious order walked in and whispered something in her ear. The scowl on Blackskull’s face deepened as she was given the news. Blackskull turned to the adventurers and made them a deal: go with this priest, Gartokkar, and do what he commanded and she was see to it that they did not return with the Drow. With little choice in the matter, the group accepted and followed the priest out.
The priest explained that he needed the adventurers help with a dragon. The dragon was a integral part to maintaining the operation of the city, but it had become old and cantankerous. The priest was part of an order devoted to serving the dragon, the Order of the Flame.
After a long walk, the adventurers found themselves in front of a massive cave. The priest told them to enter while he waited outside. The group entered the cave and saw a faint orange glow at the end so they kept walking and soon came across a monstrous, giant red dragon perched on top of a pile of gold and treasure.
Instinctively, Jaragon’s hands went to his bow and were about to draw it to fire an arrow at the beast, his hatred of dragons strong enough to override any other thought in his mind. Gabriel saw the action and quickly laid a calming hand on Jaragorn’s shoulders and with a look in his eye, pleaded for him to not do anything right now. With visible effort, Jaragorn relaxed his grip on his bow but continued to stare at the dragon with hate and malice in his eyes.
Amazingly, the dragon did not seem to notice this subtle act of aggression,or maybe he did not care. After all, what could a band of adventurers to a being as great and powerful as him? The dragon eyed the group as one would eye vermin scattering across the floor and then spoke with a voice filled with age, arrogance, and power.
The dragon said its name was Themberchaud and that he had a mission for this pathetic group. The dragon knew that the order that served it had a plan to replace him with another younger dragon. Themberchaud wanted the adventurers to act as its agents and find the other dragon egg and report back to him. Deciding that he was down speaking, the ancient dragon turned in its spot and nestled down on its pile of riches to sleep peacefully while the adventures did its dirty work for it.
The group left the cave and encountered the priest. The priest wanted to know what the dragon had said and was suspicious of the group. Ian managed to deftly deceive the priest and palate him with his smooth words. The priest seemed to believe this lie and explained that they had devised a plan to install a new, younger dragon in its place; one that would be much more easier to control. Unfortunately, the dragon egg had been stolen and they needed the adventurers to find it, but first they must enter the dragon’s good graces and earn its trust.The priest begrudgingly gave the adventurers a lead on where to start looking for the egg and the seal of his order to show that they represented the priesthood and had its full authority,.
The group marched back to the city with their tasks in hand, hoping that what they had gotten themselves into was better than the dark dungeons of the Drow.