Umbral Tide

The hidden lair of Hishtag
Except from the journal of Dava

I awoke , spewing blood, in agonizing pain. I pulled at my tight silver collar, gasping for breath that would not come.

To my side, Veera struggled to sit upright, her ankle clearly broken. A large bruise swelling on her cheek, and blood made her lustrous dark brown hair glisten in the dim light.

My master Baal held me in his arms, in obvious pain himself. I could see his eyes blazing with a golden light, and a scowl upon his face. I could always tell when he was furious, my heart fluttered at the realization this was anger was due to my mistreatment.

He gently handed me off to Veera, and rose unsteadily to his feet. I could see him the magical energy he summoned race Down his arm and set the sunblade he wielded ablaze. He played at being a warrior, but I knew better.

The last moments before losing consciousness had been a blur, but I remember one of the wyverns grab me and throw me from the ledge to the cavern floor where I lay now. A large stain of blood dribbled Down the cavern wall into a pool on the rough stone floor. Above us in the air, was another wyvern, dead… held aloft by four gargoyles dragging it ponderously through the air to the healing pool and draconic shrine some one hundred from myself.

I’m sure the blood stains are all that remains of one of the wyvern after whirlon slew it with his accursed blade. Anything brought down by it always dissolved into blood.

Above me, I glimpsed ohimlin standing upon my masters magic carpet, where I stood only moments before plunging to the depths below, loosing arrows relentlessly into the gargoyles, trying to Down them before they returned their cruel master to life inside the pool.

Krom clung to the wall below the ledge like some sort of spider, braced himself and kicked off, flyingthrough thr air, cleaving one of the gargoyles in half,

My master Baal crouched Down and jumped from the ground impossibly high in the air, launching himself into another gargoyle, the blazing blade seemingly electrified with his magic ripped through another, it’s wounds searing shut before any blood could Spray from a now wingless stump.

But suddenly a shadow eclipsed me as a the massive winged form of whirlon soared over Veera and I, to land upon the back of the wyvern, ripping it from the scaly grasp of the gargoyles. And splitting the skull of another gargoyle.

The ensuing blood bath was brutal efficient , and utterly hopeless for the defenders as my companions ripped them to pieces.

It had been a tough day, I was surprised by their sudden flurry of destruction , first with a massive wyvern nearly killing my beloved master outside, and shortly after these other smaller children poisoning krom and flinging him from a ledge , in a fate not dissimilar to my own earlier in the day.

Master Baal had expended much of his magic and alchemical supplies curing the poisons coursing through all our veins and the devastating stab wounds from their stingers and claws.

The last of his healing lay in a wineskin, expended besides Veera. Clearly both she and Baal had jumped over he ledge to heal me before my soul left my body to die.

I’m now certain this was the large wyverns lair, with these others her children. Nestled behind a beautiful waterfall, this nest was seemingly the home of some other more sophisticated dragon, unless these primitive wyverns had somehow grown opposable thumbs and the brain to sculpt and write.

Earlier in the day, we had traveled down the valley, avoiding the jungle, heading towards the water fall when a massive wyvern glided silently behind us, it had attempted to skewer krom first, but upon Baal sending an arcing magical blast into the sky in an attempt to bring him down, the beast instead focused on him, skewering him and injecting a deadly poison into his system. Only an expert shot by Ohimlin into its eye saves his life. Shortly after Krom bellowed and lept upon his back severing his tendons and preventing any retaliation.

Now, we lay broken upon the floor over a massive cavern, a massive sculpture of a dragon snarling menacingly above us, and below it a glistening blue water pool.

When we first entered the chamber fifty feet above, the two surviving wyverns waded in the water, their wounds nearly healed.

A heap of glistening treasure lay at the bottom of the pool. Ohimlin quickly waded into the pool , intent upon using the dragon kins pool for himself and his flesh began to quickly rot away. He happily swam deeper , seemingly unaware of his predicament, until Baal jump in and blinked out of the pool with his now horribly scarred brother.

As Ohimlin soon came to the realization his flesh had rotted away, his screams filled the ominous chamber. Now he too weighed on the ground. Only kroms healing aura keeping alive, furiously knitting together molten flesh as it sloughed off.

Baal carefully approached the pool , confident his servant krom would tend to his brother. He dipped his finger in the substance, disgusted by it, pondering why Ohimlin would recklessly wade so deep into the toxic liquid.

Eventually he declared it to be safe for dragonkin and convinced whirlon to enter the pool and retrieve the horde.

In the bottom of the pool, he found a small cache of hidden wands, in addition to the other assorted items resting carefully preserved in the water .

Over the next few days as we healed and identified the magical dwemers on the treasure and the nature of the pool, we explored the rest of the cave system.

It would appear this place was once the study of a far larger dragon, who scribed several lineages upon gigantic stone tablets numbering near a thousand.

Sadly these tablets were too large to be easily handled, and we were pressed for time.

Fortunately they had been here for eons. They weren’t going anywhere.

Baal and Ohimlins parents were not here, nor did we find any indication of their presence.

Deeper we must press into the valley for our answers.

The Mysterious package

While in Sidon, Tunaster Dart , the priest of ixion who raised Dava from the dead for me, informed us that our family friend Kroon was looking for us.

As usual, Kroon was nowhere to be found… It was a good enough reason as any to return home. With our brothers dead, and our parents missing, seeing some familiar faces might do us good.

So it was that we set our sites on home. I informed Tunaster to keep an eye out for skilled labor (and it appeared that he was already looking or the Temple), and off we went.

An hour outside of town found us beset by brigands…potentially useful tools, however brother shot them dead before I could weave well my barbed words to convince them to travel to the lost refuge… Such a waste.

a few days later found us in high water. Familiar sites abound. Familiar faces smile and said hi! The days I spent at home will always make me smile. I would see no violence come to this place, no matter the violence that would follow me in my later life.

I spent a few days with my lovers, and convinced Manseba to travel to the Lost Refuge, and consider protecting those lands, since she was hated here for supposedly kidnapping children and aging Ser Tor.

I also convinced Jarvis the Town Smithy to train an apprentice for me. it will take a couple years, but should be worth it.

The final leg home to Falcons roost is a brief one. All is peaceful. until my large breasted, nosey, brat of a sister greets me at the door. “where have you been,” “who’s with you?”, “where are you brothers”, “who are they? (pointing at my new companions)”, and after grudingly telling parts of the story , and her sleeping with xxxx, she got most of the rest. What a harlot my sister is… I should employ her in one of my seedier venues!

Later on, Laraniel gave me a package, in which contained a small magical compass. After having Dava use her magic to identify it and do a little research, we discovered this compass purpose was to find the closest floating citidels of old. (Presumably for use by the prior adventurers of this floating kingdom.

As it pointed north, and thinking it could be quite the journey, I sent my companions to purchase a large amount of supplies and winter gear, as it would turn out… this ‘floating’ city was hidden in plain site, and not terribly far away, although it was guarded by an invisible stalker!

not 4 days away, and in another mountain valley , not dissimilar to the one where falcons roost lay was this city. just loafing about in a lush valley!

I suppose the invisible stalkers did a great job keeping the place hidden after all!

Recovery of Despayr's Library and rebuilding the lost Refuge

After our first foray back to the prime Material plane, I convinced Kessessek, the High Priest of the lizard men, to serve me. He agreed to preserve our dead, while I ventured back into the deep Shadow to retrieve Despayrs library.

I know this library must seem like useless trash for my companions. They are imbeciles. The value of this library is incalculable. Within it lies the key to understanding what Despayr was constructing, but also so much more. There are nearly 2000 books relating to the planes.

Possessing these books gives me an advantage, and takes something dear away from Nix. Clearly Despayr was a valuable researcher in addition to powerful force on the battlefield.

The Bookshelves and tables are also of a value. protecting anything set on them from fire.

After a dangerous journey to the Rift and back to the Shadow Citidel, We crossed back to the Material plane and I proceeded to store the books in a sealed chamber with no entrance or exits.

Now it was time to rest. The journey into the dark was harrowing. and we traversed it twice. Little did my last surviving brother know, it would be the first two of many journeys into the shadow. we had to prepare for our trip back to civilization for supplies and magic to revive our brothers and other companions.

Of course I had other reasons to dally. I had decided to spend some time with these primitive lizard men. I can see why the followers of Nix decided to convince them of their cause. They are as blank slates, with so much potential. But what interests me the most is their inhuman nature. They are loyal, and they are not susceptible to the wiles of women, and the fineries of man.

With the portal to the realm of shadow, a fortress on both sides of the planar gate, and a large library, and moldable lizard men, I see the beginnings of an empire that I can hide within the Swamp and in the plane of shadow.

Before that of course, I must see to my raising my companions from the dead, and that meant returning to Sidon.

I have only enough money to raise one person, and so I decided to revive my newest servant Dava. She is young and eager please. and I do not wish to show favoritism to either of my brothers by raising one first. I’ll never hear the end of it!…and I will need Davas skills as a researcher along the way.

The Reckoning

The battle Royale that has left Despayr, his dark knight and several of his dark priests dead, came at great cost for the heroes.

2 more brothers lay dead.

Only Ba’al , his servant veera, and his brother Ohimlin stand alive.

his blood brother Resl Ken, Battle brothers Krom, Gathon, Dava and halish all lay dead.

Now the test to escape the pits of darkness begins…

Reaching the Black Rift
NIce doggies...
Clearing the Shadowscale Warren
The warchief does not hold
Attacking the Shadow Citadel
A quick assault stirs up trouble
Subterfuge and then assuault within the Last Refuge
Baelstra is not fooled, but she is now dead
Jorney to the Last Refuge
Dark Creepers in the shodows

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