Through the Emeralds and the Jewels

With the respirators assembled, a very tired Lukham talks with Kayda about acquiring the sueyasem stimulant to keep the fighters awake during an attack. Together, they head to the mushroom caves and meet a shady-looking dwarf who provides some drugs as thanks for saving his life from the dragon’s foul toxin. Lukham dons a mask to crush the shrooms and distributes it into the other masks before sealing them and finishing them. By noon, the assembly line shuts down with 30 complete masks ready for service.

At the lunch table, in what was once the poison ward, Lukham and Vret disagree on assaulting the dragon. Vret does not want to be associated with this fight, and sees it as a waste of life and resources when the dwarves should be relocating and rebuilding their lives. He leaves, and Lukham and Marukh go to talk with Prince Thori about the attack. They come to a decision on a night attack, when they hear the sound of warhorns in the distance announcing the arrival of hundreds of dwarves eager to reclaim their home. Soldiers in shining bronze armor lead a column of civilians into Kirun Kingdom, back into their home. Thori brings them all into the now-crowded underground complex and they rest for the night’s assault.

In the afternoon, Kayda tells Thori of the old mining tunnels within Mt. Kamek, as well as the stories she dug up from the archives. Kuori finds a friend among the dwarves who teaches her the technique of the giant, two-handed, triple-headed flail.

At twilight, Prince Thori rallies the troops once more, and Lukham distributes the safety masks (Marukh demos). Lukham makes the decision to keep one mask back in reserve just in case Vret changes his mind. As the dwarves charge toward the mountain, Vret does – his priorities realigned with his focus on the Raven Queen’s will.

Thori leads 2/3rd of the dwarves into the old mining tunnels and sends two squads on their own toward the main dragon entrance. The party catches up to those ten brave dwarves (including the one with the flail) and helps them into the tunnels. Nobody can make the jump to catch the ledge to the upper tunnel, so they are forced into a downward sloping tunnel leading the the pits of emeralds, deep below Mt. Kamek. A lake of Molten Emerald spans between the heroes and a tunnel leading back up. A few stumbles here and there on the rocks threaten to burn the party to molten slag, but only Kuori is seared, while emeralds rise from the liquid and begin to whizz toward the good guys. Two huge emeralds sprout limbs and charge at the dwarves. The dwarf with the big flail, the de facto squadleader, tells the party to go on without them, that they can handle these if the group will face the dragon. A dwarf takes a crystalline claw across the face just then. Marukh tells the group they don’t have forever on the filter masks, and they move on up the tunnel, leading to Ergodoth’s lair.

Ergodoth rests in a huge chamber lined floor to ceiling with emeralds of many sizes and shapes. He sleeps on a 30-foot emerald dais, and has a cage behind him of pure emerald containing two dwarves. Lukham steps up and shouts, “Hey Ergodoth – remember me?”

The dragon sleepily banters for a moment, but an arcane probe from Lukham which bathes the area in purple light which flies down the other exit, startles him. He talks of how he likes his home and wants to not be disturbed. He sings in a low rumble, and the emerald crystals resonate in harmony with his deep baritone (baritone for a dragon).

“You make me hungry again, you should probably leave now.”

“No, We are going to kill you now.”

As Ergodoth rises to face the group, Prince Thori leaps from the opposite tunnel opening with his great warhammer, Gardain, and flies toward the ancient green dragon…



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