After defeating the dragon and putting Lucious’s insides back where they belonged the party looked to the dragon. A rather gruesome bit of hacking and slashing occurs and they extracted it’s heart. Morel managed to salvage a few dragon scales.
At this point the party turned it attention to the Horde.
Rex attempted to count the approximately 1300 gp and reached the limit of his math skills
“1,2, many, many 1, many 2, lots ….oh”.
They also found a Bag of Tricks, Boots of the Fencing Master, Burning Gauntlets, and a Throwing Hammer of Lightning.
Washing themselves off the party began the long trek back through the swamps too Mendarthis
After a long (and wet) trek, the party returned to the temple of the dragons.
Morel waited at the bottom of the stairs as the party climbed and presented the Heart to Mendarthis.
In his hands the heart started to beat on it’s own. Placing it on the Altar he then stabbed it with a dagger causing a blue light to explode from it. After the light faded he looked much longer.
Thanking the party he explains that the dragons heart rejuvenated him and added several thousand more years to his lifespan. He goes on to explain the any extra-planar creature will provide similar results (some more then others). He also says that the heart the party provided did not taste like a black dragon so that they did not destroy the dragon he’d requested. Thalin explains that the heart he had asked for had a large number of Kobolds in the way where as this one only had a few secretaries.
Mendarthis says that 2 dragons means that the barrier between dimensions must be weakening and that this could cause problems. First it was the divine beings, now there are infernal and dragon, maybe even primordial. He asks the party to check the other dragon spires as they may have more information on the situation. He admits that he’s bound to the temple and unable to leave. He says it has been a very long time since he’s had communication from them.
When pressed for there location he explains they he does not have a map. He says the closest place to go for something like that would probably be Aranmoor. He gives the party a magic Gem that can be used to communicate with him. Lucious determines that it has 12 charges before it will need to be refreshed.
The party decides to go straight south to get out of the swamps as fast possible before branching east towards Aranmoor.
After traveling east for a couple of days the party came to an area that was very smoky. It smelled heavily of Pine and meat. As they approach visibility becomes limited to about 10 feet and the party starts to hear the sound of revelry.
In an effort to be stealthy Rexs screams at everyone to “Shut up”.
Morel, who had gotten momentarily lost, screams “What?”
The sounds stop.
After a brief introduction and inquiry as to the party’s business the bandits decide to forgo further negotiations and get it into their heads to attack the party.
After the fight the party notices that one of the bandits has died with a smile on his face. He’s also heavily tattooed and ritually scared. Lucious and Morel conclude that the this must be something mystical/religious in nature. Alem nods and quickly pulls the dead guys skin clean off.
The area used to be a small hamlet, but all of the inhabitants have been burned alive. Some strapped to their beds, others nailed to trees or on poles. Morel find a book one of the fallen called “The book of the Traveller”. Reading it shows that some sections are in a magical script, while the rest appear to be history and ramblings that date form before The sundering.
Continuing towards Aranmoor the party passes through many such towns and villages. All have had the same treatment.
Entering the city the party sees that there a great deal of refugees and that the entrance area is very crowded. Both Morel and Alem appear disgusted.
Thalin inquires to the city guard if there’s anyone they can talk to regarding the attacks. Non-plused the guard directs them to a building to the north. As they approach the honour guard there commands that they halt and identify themselves. Thalin assures them they are honoured dignitaries and the guard ushers them in to see the Captain.
They present the skin, book and a description of what they saw. The guard is interested in the book and skin and the description of the dead fellow and provided them with a receipt. He says that the items will be investigated by a Magus and they will be contacted if they are deserving of a reward. Thalin immediately announces they will be staying at “The Happy Hobbit”, close by and they leave.
VERY early the next morning there is a pounding on their room door. Thalin opens the door to find a servant saying that “The Master” is waiting for the them and demanding that they rise and dress.
Before Rexs can rise from his sleep and consume the servant, Thalin’s gives a verbal response that would have stopped an army in it’s tracks. The oral assault continues for about 30 seconds, reducing the servant to a quivery mass before the door slams in the servants face. Several hours later there is a light tapping and the servant comes with a cage of Hamsters and requests that they come with him.
The servant leads them back to the building they had been in the day before. The captain is there along with a very scholarly looking gentleman. The fellow asks a few questions and then explains that the skin came from a being of Shadowfell and these people must be followers of the Raven Queen.
When they ask about a reward he tasks the party with taking these items to the “Hall of knowledge” in the central area of town to be examined categorised and their value properly determined.
The party marched through Aranmoor heading towards the HoK. The party elects to take the most direct route, which leads them through the warehouse district.
They hear the scream of a woman and both Rexs and Thalin have an acute attack of conscience. Running down an ally they find 2 guys dicing, they claim not to have heard anything and Thalin responds with a right hook to one of them.
At this point about a dozen humans drop from the rooftops in a flurry of black feathers. Every time on of them dies there is a big of a puff of black feathers.