Friday, 2 November 2012

The Drow of Xen'drik (part 3)

These posts are copies of the summary emails I write for our DnD group. The current mini-adventure is an Eberron tale, set in the jungles of Xen'drik, where the party are taking the roles of drow (and one dwarf). Whilst I take great effort to follow Eberron canon, there are undoubtedly bits where my story strays or contradicts stuff. I'm aware, this is my story, and we're not playing to create new canon, but to have fun. So, read on and enjoy!


The Downed Airship

The crashing, and subsequently burning, airship was of interest, but Curra was not eager to race ahead for it.  This area needed to be searched, and failing to do that was a failure of the mission.  Ultimately, it was decided that three of the party - Kami, who was not expected to be terribly helpful with their searching (and who was starting to grumble about not having any rum); along with Brenna, whose exact role in the team had not yet been decided, were both deemed 'expendable' to the current search parameters.  Though it made her feel uncomfortable, Curra agreed that Ryltar was the best option to head the side-trek.  His speed allowed for greater retreat should things go wrong, and his loyalty meant that the trio would return, should they still be alive.

The trek to the ship took another two days, but the trails of smoke (both from the burning ship and the surrounding trees) made it easy to navigate the unfamiliar forests.  When they arrived, the partially destroyed shipwreck was silent. There were bodies, some killed in the explosion, others dead from injuries suffered in the crash.  Some bodies were thrown clear, only to be impaled on trees, or broken against the ground...or savaged by wild animals.  Only later was it determined as to just what these animals were.

Kami noted that a number of the bodies wore clothes and jewellery familiar with her home province - the Lhazaar Principalities, though like all who hail from the far eastern coast of Khorvaire, they held no allegiance.  Others were clearly Valenar elves, vicious mercenaries for hire, who had annexed a large section of land from Cyre, the nation who had hired them during the Last War. 

The cargo instantly identified the ship as smugglers, even if Kami hadn't been there to offer the same information.  Various treasures, including tapestries, jewellery, and chests of rare (and quite old) coins sat alongside armour, weapons, and other trinkets.  Kami found a shield, whilst Brenna recovered three dragonshards, and pocketed them for further use.

Towards the back of the cargo area, two more disturbing crates of goods were found.  The first were dragon eggs, showing that the smugglers had little concern for their own lives (for stealing from dragons was always a foolish thing, but stealing their eggs was simple suicide).  The second were full suits of armour that, instead of being hollow and ready for wearing, had bodies within them made from wood, metal, stone, and leather.  Kami was again able to offer information the drow did not have - "warforged" was what they were called, a living construct created and used in the Last War.  These all were damaged, however, and none of them responded to anything...but for one. 

Whilst examining them, Kami touched, and felt the cold metal shudder.  It rose, and then seemed intent on following her.  It did not seem to have a mind of its own, like the ones used in the War, but instead was a much simpler construct, set to follow her orders and do as she commanded.  There was little time to test its capabilities out, as the owners of the stolen goods returned.

Angered Dragons

A thunderous earthquake dragon, along with a unit of savage Argonnessen-tribe-barbarians, approached the ship from the forest.  Without waiting, Brenna moved to the top of the ship, and sent gouts of flame to consume some of the barbarians, and the battle was on.  A second dragon, green in colour, circled around overhead with a dragonborn sorcerer on its back.  The two caused great destruction, almost collapsing the ship, and taking down Brenna whilst Ryltar and the brown dragon struggled with each other outside.  Their match ended with the scorrow strangling the dragon, crushing the creature's scaled neck enough to knock it out.  It would have died, too, had not the colossal form of a white dragon brought a swift end to the battle.  Demanding that everyone stop fighting, it berated the drow for their attack on the dragons, it reminded them that it was they, the dragons, that saved the drow civilisation.  Back when the giants were going to quell the slave uprising, when they were going to turn the terrible magics that had stopped the Dal Quor invaders, it was the dragons of Argonnessen who had swept in and ended things, and so saved Eberron from being ripped apart.

There were more pressing matters, too.  The ancient white dragon brought with it news of two more airships searching for their missing vessel, and they were closing in.  The dragon could take down one, but asked for the drow's help (along with the remnants of the Green and Brown dragon's tribesmen) to handle the second.  Agreeing to this, an uneasy truce was formed, and the group waited as the ships rolled in over the trees from the east. 

The Elves Attack

It was only a matter of time before the ancient white dragon defeated the third airship.  The green, along with its rider, flew to the second, leaving the rest to take on the ground troops.  A small skiff detached from the side of the vessel as it moved closer, depositing six Valenar soldiers on the ground.  Outnumbered 2-1, the elves moved in without fear, and set to work on evening those odds.

The remaining barbarians fell before the swift double-scimitars favoured by the Aerenal elven fighting style, and had it not been for Ryltar's fierce control of the battlefield, Kami and Brenna would surely have followed.  But the elves were not expecting fierce and powerful warriors - dragons, or tribesmen, they could have handled.  The drow, and Kami with her restocked rum bottles, proved far more ferocious.

As a second ship fell, its crew being picked off by the hungry dragons, the third tried to escape its inevitable fate and fled to the coast.  It would not get far - it had been badly damaged, and would not last another day in the air, let alone the week-long journey back to Khorvaire.

To the Tower

Once they had seen to their wounds, the party was ready to head out once again.  The white dragon had promised to take them towards a city that had a "tall tower", matching descriptions of the one they were searching, and the green dragon was going to find Curra and the others, and point them in the right direction.

Could their quest be nearing an end?  Had their searching finally brought them to the tower of Curra's dreams?

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