A Secret Passage!

Retrieve the dragon hide - Part 2

Here be dragons

Transformation

After having cleared out the tomb area and a short rest the heroes remember who and what they really are. Their figures transform into their true identities.

The half-elf cleric’s body becomes shorter and more rotund, his features turning into that of a dwarf cleric. He claims his name is Thoradin the Mighty.

The dragonborn paladin becomes a bit shorter and less broad, his scales are replaced by skin, and his head looks like the head of a human. All equipment is replaced by the stuff only a ranger would carry. He calls himself Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, but friends may call him Rodja.

The human wizard’s ears grow pointy and his body becomes more slender. Most people would say his features resemble that of an eladrin. He remembers that most people know him by the name of Paelias.

The halfling rogue grows to about twice his length, his skin color turns black and his hair white. The former friendly looking halfling now emanates a somewhat evil aura, as befitting for a drow. His name is Thrashtalking Tommy.

Out of nowhere a burly dragonborn fighter pops up, wearing heavy armor and equipped with a shield and a sword.

Skull-Skull!

The heroes enter another tomb with four coffins. In the middle is a pit about ten feet deep filled with green sludge. At the end of the room is a ledge about ten feet high, with a closed door in the middle. On top of it stand four kobolds, two of them armed with slings, the other two armed with spears and javelins. The two kobolds with the spears throw a stone tied to a rope on the ceiling around the room, trying to hit the piles of skulls on top of the coffins.

The wizard, rogue and ranger linger at the back of the room, trying to take out the kobolds with ranged attacks. The fighter and Thoradin move forward. As they come into range Thoradin is immediately hit by the stone and knocked back. The fighter manages to reach the wall and stays out of reach.

As the kobolds fall to the ranged attacks of the party in the back the fighter climbs the wall and sees there are more kobolds and two guard drakes hiding behind the walls. The kobolds prove no match for his onslaught, but the drakes manage to injure him severely. He retreats, climbing down the wall again.

In the meantime the other party members tried to bash down the door, but didn’t succeed.

The drakes quickly follow the fighter and deal massive damage, taking him down. Thoradin tries to assist him but is also taken down. The remaining three party members keep their distance and finally manage to eliminate the threat. They revive their friends and explore the room. At the top of the ledge they find one hundred gold pieces, a ruby and two garnets.

The Big Boss

As the party enters the next room they see a wall about ten foot tall that leaves passages open to both the right and left.

Suddenly, the sound of cracking timbers echoes through the hall. The floor shakes, dust falls down from the ceiling, and something big and heavy cascades toward the heroes. It appears a trap has been triggered and a large stone starts rolling around the chamber.

Standing on top of the wall are two kobolds armed with slings that attack the party, but those are quickly dealt with. However, one of them manages to glue the dragonborn fighter to the floor in the path of the stone with a sticky shot. This causes a slight panic, but luckily the fighter manages to break free before the stone can crush him.

At the back of the room, on top of a platform, stand two kobolds armed with shields and short swords and a kobold that looks like a priest of some sort. He murmurs some obscure incantation. This incites some faith in his allies, strengthening their resolve. After that he unleashes his powers on the encroaching party, that try their best to stay out of the way of the large boulder. Thoradin climbs the wall in the middle of the chamber and starts unleashing divine fury upon the kobolds. Paelias simply teleports next to the cleric and does the same with his arcane powers. Once again, even with the powers of the kobold priest, the enemies prove no match for the heroes and are eliminated after some time.

On the body of the priest they find a Staff of the Warmage, which the eladrin wizard eagerly takes up to replace his own mundane quarterstaff. The kobold also has a small silver key and a piece of parchment that describes the location of a secret door that can be opened with the key.

The True Threat

Well, not really

As they open the door the party enters a large cave which is freezing cold. Tommy stealthily moves forward and peeks around a corner. Thanks to his keen senses he spots a young white dragon hiding behind a large natural pillar, waiting for the adventurers to appear so he can slaughter them. In the middle of the cave is a large pool which is completely frozen. Due to the fact that the party is already aware of the lurking dragon they have a significant advantage. They decide on tactics and enter the cave. The dragon tries to surprise them, but utterly fails. It reacts way too late and the party completely slaughters it. The dragon only manages to make a few hits with its claws and breath weapon.

While exploring the cave the party finds a chest which contains a Lifedrinker Longsword, one hundred gold pieces and a pearl. Also in the chest is a letter from someone named Irontooth, offering an alliance to the dragon, that apparently goes by the name Szartharrax.

Ale!

Back in Fallcrest the party decides to celebrate their new found dragon slayer status by hoisting a tankard or ten of the finest ale they can find.

They head to the Blue Moon Alehouse, where, coincidentally, Teldorthan is having his own drinking spree. Glad to see the adventurers alive he offers them a round of ale. However, some of the party members want to conduct business before indulging themselves and they ask about their reward. Upon showing him the dragon hide he has asked them to retrieve he grins broadly and puts a large leather pouch that makes jingly sounds on the ale stained table.

‘It’s all there, two hundred gold coins, count ‘em if you don’t believe me.’

Since some of the party members don’t trust the good natured dwarf they do so, but the pouch really contains the promised amount of gold. When asked about a good place to spend the night he tells the party to go to the Silver Unicorn Inn and tell the owner, Wisara Osterman, that Teldorthan sent them. He promises them to cover any expenses made, and will make sure they get the best rooms.

Because Winterhaven is mentioned in the letter the party found in Szartharrax’ lair they ask Teldorthan about it, but he claims he knows nothing about the Winterhaven area, though he has heard some rumors that there is some trouble brewing in the region. He advices the party to talk to Faren Markelhay, the lord of Fallcrest, if they want to know more.

He has also heard rumors about a missing archaeologist named Douven Staul. Apparently Douven headed off to Winterhaven to dig up a dragon burial site, but the people in Fallcrest haven’t heard from him in three months. Teldorthan thinks Douven’s wife, who lives in Fallcrest, might know more.

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Herr_Doktor

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