Despite waking up refreshed thanks to the secure shelter spell, the party was soon to learn that the dungeon would only become more treacherous from here on out. Several party members had disappeared in the night, split off from the others.
The kobolds had made their lair well, as both parties soon learned. At every wrong turn lay a trap, and every room held kobolds ready to attack and then disappear down their traveling wells, but the cave-like dungeon held just as many treasures and wonders as it did traps and pitfalls, and now that there were two traveling parties, they were bound to find twice the treasure… and twice the trouble.
Each party eventually found themselves in large rooms of swirling water adorned with three large sapphires on the wall. One party chose to sack their room and steal the sapphires, and the other chose to experiment. The latter party soon found they could use temperature to activate the sapphires and travel through the swirling vortexes to other locations in the cave. By and large they decided this was too useful a mechanic for the kobolds, and proceded to remove the gems. Both parties ran into some nearly impassable traps, but thanks to a little musical intervention one party was able to circumvent theirs with a little fiery fluting. The other, well, left pinned to a wall but otherwise unharmed.
The party, battered and bruised after a hard second day of dungeoneering, for some reason decided it would be an excellent idea to take refuge in a secure shelter on top of a slippery landing in front of a long staircase which ended in a long drop into a spike pit, and decided to do a bit of light reading before going to sleep.
What they found in the book they had recovered was more than just rituals of dragon raising, it was the history of the kobolds, dragons, and humans in Sanguinous Imperium. Within the pages, they discovered that long ago, an object of great power had been fought over by all the races of the realm, above and below ground. The fighting became so bad that the Outsiders, aliens to the realm and with no stake in the outcome, retreated to the Valley of Nox where they walled themselves up in magic to avoid fallout. In their rabid quest to take control of the object, the drow had summoned the wrath of an ancient evil to wipe all life off of the surface of the earth. They thought that with all of the upper races dealt with, it would be easier to fight their meager opposition in the underdark and take the object for themselves. The dragons, having sensed the oncoming storm, took the kobolds who served them and retreated deep underground, but all other sentient life above ground was lost. All that was left of humanity, elves, and any other sentient above ground species, lay hidden in cellars or entrapped in dungeons. A young wizard by the name of Wolfschild survived the onslaught by chance, and worked together with the dragons to reunite the savage remnants of his country under his banner. Together, they constructed a throne of power which would grant unrivaled power to the man who sat in it, and used it along with a blessing from the deity Pelor to destroy the object of power, returning a semblance of order to the world. Wolfschild became DePelorgras, and cogs that worked to wheel together the events of today fell into place and were set in motion.
Luckily for them, large boulders are very loud objects, because as soon as the group left the shelter to investigate the sound which had woken them, the large boulder originally designed to chase them down the hallway, onto the slippery landing, and into the spike pit smashed into their shelter, and crushed it down into the spike pit under it’s massive weight. Having succeeded at surviving their flattening fate, the party investigated the top of the staircase and found two ravens in gilded cages atop a hill of gold and gems. The Ravens, a speaking duo of telepathically connected trash talking cowards, swore themselves to Mike and Andrew for a year and a day should they release them, and so they did.
The party moved onward to fight through several more obstacles, labyrinths of murder holes, trapped boxes, crushing columns, and even the ghost of a once powerful kobold paladin, when they finally appeared in a large, well lit cave where Andrew’s Vrok waited, traumatizing a score of kobold younglings while their keepers endeavored to fight the beast back. The reunited parties were able to retake control of the Vrok and allow the younglings to escape, whereafter they disposed of their caretakers quickly and moved on into the charred black sanctum of the dragon.
The dragon they found in the poorly lit chamber was larger than they’d hoped for, bright red with intelligent eyes, and very angry. The small gouts of flame that escaped its maw as it breathed flickered light across the room behind, and hinted at piles and piles of gold, gems, and other precious items, but the team just didn’t have the time to focus on anything but the dragon. Ben’s quick thinking may have saved everyone, because as the dragon was able to fire off a massive cone of flame, Ben was able to blast the dragon with an extra powerful dose of magically produced liquid nitrogen that effectively prevented it from moving or doing much more than its cursory attacks. Once that took effect, the team was able to wail on the dragon with little fear of reproach, and the dragon which had possibly been the greatest enemy they faced so far was laid low in a matter of minutes by the careful precision of the group.
Having gathered a hoard of gold and a plethora of magical items, the group searched around and found a secret door leading out of the base, but were dismayed to find that some kobolds had escaped, and the local constabulary were more than displeased to find they had broken the peace between men and dragons in the area. As the group stepped up to fight this army of new foes, an even larger dragon stepped out from the shadows of the forest, demanding to know who had destroyed her lair.
Rather than risk an all out firefight on open ground with a dragon, Ethan used his newfound powers to summon a Portal to the Shadow Realm, and the party, yes, they turned about, and gallantly, they chickened out. Swiftly taking to their feet, they beat a very brave retreat. Brave, brave, brave, brave team skullFUUUUUUCK. But seriously, it was probably for the best because they would have likely died or have been captured had they stayed.