You move a short distance from the building, watching as glowing plumes of acrid smoke rise into the air, lit from within by burning embers. The ancient wood, the papers, books and the broken furniture all made good kindling for the fire, and the house is burning exceptionally fast now. The ghost is on his knees, his body sobbing as he watches his mansion burn down.
“I thought they had left, I thought they were running when you came, I thought I could be left alone. I didn’t do anything to them!”
The Torrian urgently asks, “Did you kill them? Kill them all?”
“Oh no… no no no no no no… you only killed one of them? Ones that were setting fires? He knows then, he must know!”
“WHO?” shouts the team over the roar of the fire.
A glowing creature high in the sky circles above the charred team, and as they watch it pitches violently down toward the ground, wheeling into a path that takes it low over their heads. As it gets closer, they can clearly see that it’s a dragon, a terrible thing seemingly made of fire and brimstone instead of flesh and bone. It sails overhead, scanning the destruction, and lets out a terrible roar before continuing over the house. The ground splits and erupts, lava and fire belching forth. The stench of sulfur stings the nose as ash and fumes wash over them in its wake.
Orden cocks his head… he can hear the Dragon from the distance, screaming at his followers in Primordial. Orden translates..
“COWARDLY, SCUTTLING, WORTHLESS, CAVE MAGGOTS!” The dragon, an absolutely enormous thing, paces and lunges within a small group of humanoids. The dragon seems to be doing what it can to herd the two smallest creatures into the center. The larger creatures, some bulky and huge, others wreathed in flame back away slowly as the dragon continues to berate and taunt the smallest two. Finally, tired of playing, it pounces and pins both beneath flaming feet, and in quick succession rips the blue-skinned creatures in two. “THAT SHOULD STOP THEM FROM BEING SO CLEVER!”
The dragon turns to the rest of the followers, shrieking. They visibly shake and shrink in the dragon’s presence… “THE TORRIAN AND HIS ALLIES STILL LIVE!” pointing with one flaming wing to the house and beyond… “DESTROY HIM! DESTROY THEM ALL! OR FACE ME INSTEAD YOU INSIPID COWARDS!”
A hard battle comes next. Two enormous creatures made of stone and fury pummel the team as fiery things launch blasts of fire into the heroes. Sparking, flaming things dart in and out of the melee, going straight for the Torrian, though he is protected now. One by one, the elemental monsters fall to the swords and spells of the party, until all that is left is one of the stony things. He turns and runs, weathering some final blows from the party…
… but finds himself crushed until the massive claws of our the Volcanic Dragon, returned to finish the job. Waves of acidic fumes roll off the terrible creature, choking all those that surround it. He immediately sets his sights on the Torrian, and laughs off inquiries from the tiny humans.
However, the relentless taunting of the Fighter and the Paladin are able to open a window of opportunity for the others. Aluven and Ashoril run with the Torrian away from the fight, across the fields, searching desperately for anywhere to hide.
Back at the house, Dow and Zorian’s attacks clang uselessly off the dragon’s stony body, and the dragon makes quick work of them both. Though, even in the middle of the fight, Dow manages to enshroud Zorian’s dying body with a magical cloth to save his life.
Ashoril finds a rocky outcropping large enough to hold the three of them, and sends down a bolt of lightning to mark the spot for his allies, before diving in and attempting to hide from the awful beast.
As Dow draws the attention of the dragon, Zorian returns to the living. Soon, however, both Zorian and Dow lie dying in the grass next to the burning building, bleeding profusely from many bite and claw marks. The dragon looks around and cannot find the Torrian. With a roar of anger, he flies back to where he had dismembered the Drow, picks up something off the ground, and disappears into the distance.
Orden runs back as quickly as he can across the battlefield, and reaches Zorian first. Dow has not stabilized; the wounds too deep, he is bleeding out just a short distance away. As Zorian takes in his first breath again, Dow takes his last.
The Torrian, Rrowthar is safe, however… he explains to the team that Heroes such as them are needed, for a grave threat is returning to the world. Argent needs them. A steely-eyed Ashoril insists that no such help with be given unless the most stalwart champion, Dow, be raised from the dead. After some negotiation, the Torrian agrees to refer the matter to his master, Obanar, the Last Guardian of Argent.
Around Dow’s dead body, Rrowthar begins inscribing the runes for the portal ritual that will take them all to the lost city of Argent…