Journal Entry: War of the Lance
Entry Date: 12/1/2001
Day 12 - November 21, 351AC
Time was hard to judge in the cavern, but the party rested most of another day. Finally, Flint and Sturm were ready to fight. It was decided to stop this sneaking around. It was time to fight the dragon once and for all. As a group the entire party moved quietly down the south road. Reaching the avenue, they crossed the stream and made their way west to the great plaza. They search the nearby walls, hoping to find a secret way, but found nothing and finally ventured up the great steps to the palace.
Two ways offered entrance, a great hall, and a set of huge steel doors. Tanis examined the ground and concluded the dragon was most likely through the doors, hence they should go the other way in hopes of finding a way to catch the dragon by surprise.
Tanis and Tas went in to investigate this idea, but when they spotted two Bozaks standing guard who would have to be taken out quietly, they thought better of it and retreated. Debate over the best way to proceed ensued. Tanis still wanted to find a back way, and most agreed that would be best, but silently taking out two Bozaks before they could sound an alarm, plus the fact that they explode when killed...
Raistlin argued that the dragon didn't know they were coming and an attack through the front door would be just as surprising. Given the difficulties in Tanis' plan, Raistlin won out. Tasslehoff searched the doors for any sign of traps or other devices. Finding none, they proceeded to open them, pushing them in. Tasslehoff led the way. The ornate tiled floor looked suspicious, so Tas continued searching for danger ahead of the party. About forty feet in he found some.
A slight imperfection in the floor marked the edge of a pressure plate. This is what Tas found. The party pondered over what it might be; a pit? a trigger? Settling from the palace falling into the ground? Flint tried prying it up, but the imperfection was too small to find purchase with his crow bar. He pushed on it and concluded it was not solid, it gave a little and was about ten feet across. A roped tied to his waste, Tasslehoff jumped over. How to make use of this? While the party tried to figure out how to cross, Raistlin decided to jump across. He landed squarely in the middle of the pressure plate and the alarm was sounded.
Sturm ran forward, drawing the Brightblade and shouting his Solamnic battle cry. Tanis and Caramon ran up with him. Flint and Tasslehoff charged ahead, right up to the doors, ready to strike whatever emerged. Riverwind readied himself to charge and Raistlin prepared a spell. Goldmoon began to sing, stepping forward and praying for guidance from the staff held before her.
The doors burst open, but out, not in. Flint was pinned between the door and the wall. Tasslehoff nimbly jumped clear. The head of the dragon thrust forward. Raistlin's magic missiles splashed harmlessly off this huge creature. Riverwind charged forward, bellowing in rage and landing a solid blow to the neck of the beast, but it shrugged it off.
With a convulsion and a strong exhalation, acid sprayed in a stream down the hall, striking Sturm, Tanis and Goldmoon, finally reaching the far doors, 90 feet away. Sturm was badly burned, but charged forward, his sword bouncing harmlessly off the creature's hide. Tanis fell, convulsing in agony only briefly before mercifully loosing consciousness. The staff protected Goldmoon, and though burned, the brunt of the attack was deflected. In her head a soothing voice spoke, "Get the disks of Mishakal and strike the dragon with your staff. All shall be well."
Caramon charged up, even though the dragon clawed at him as he passed, and struck a telling blow. The party had finally drawn blood. Flint, struggling from behind the door, also attacked, but to no effect. Goldmoon ran forward, and touched the staff to the dragon. The staff shattered and both Goldmoon and the dragon, writhing in pain, were engulfed in blue light. When it finally faded, both were gone. The cavern began to shake and collapse.
Most of the party dashed into the lair to find the disks while Flint ran to Tanis. Riverwind found the disks and a cloak. Tasslehoff filled his pockets as did Raistlin, though he searched for magic and found a ring. Caramon grabbed anything that looked like a weapon, hoping for magic. Sturm snatched up a dagger and some coins. They all ran out, except Raistlin who lingered, hoping to find something more. Finally, the roof coming down, he too retreated.
Outside, gully dwarves and draconians alike fled the city. Most of the party headed out, Sturm now carrying Tanis. Flint and Caramon, however, turned back down the great hall, hoping to rescue the imprisoned Raven-Eye.
With the whole city fleeing, no one paid them any mind. They split up to search. Caramon found a treasure room full of worthless clay coins, but he searched and found several items of value before going back to meet Flint. Flint found a row of cells and the captive plainsman. Freeing him by hacking at the chains with his magic axe, Flint half carried the man out.
Everyone just followed the gully dwarves, figuring they knew the way out. The flight led north then east, back to the sideways room. Most made it across no problem, though Flint and Caramon had been struck by falling debris. River wind fell, however, and getting Tanis across was a challenge. They managed. A slippery climb up the sewer pie and a run across unstable ground finally brought them back to the temple where all was peaceful.
Goldmoon was here, fully healed and wearing a medallion of faith dedicated to Mishakal. She rose, stepping to Tanis. She laid her hand upon him and prayed. He was miraculously healed and revived immediately. He divine touch was welcomed by the party and most were healed. They spent the night in this holy place.
Day 13 - November 22, 351AC
Well rested and healed, the party set out from the temple. They traveled across the swamp, taking their time this time and coming out in the woods to the west. Sturm and Goldmoon studied the disks, learning the ways of the gods. As Goldmoon learned her role as a true cleric of Mishakal, Sturm found himself drawn to the calling of the gods as well. Honoring the god Paladine, Sturm took up the blessing and duty of a Paladin.
Day 14 - November 23, 351AC
Another day's easy travel brought them to the coast and south near the old Sageway highway.
Day 15 - November 24, 351AC
Finally they came up into the Forsaken mountains and along the Sageway. Looking west towards the setting sun, they could see storm clouds building, but also the great plumes of smoke from the fires that burned still in the great Vallenwood forest.
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