Monday, April 02, 2007

Running for Their Lives

The characters are pursued through the forest and run across Yoster, a human druid who has found himself in the same mess. They rescue him but not before he takes near-fatal wounds. They engage in a furious battle with a flock of harpies, but one harpy escapes, cursing them at the top of its lungs and promising to bring "Egar" down on their heads.

As the last dead harpy slides down Shara's sword, thunder and lightning overhead announce the arrival of something far more frightening. Lucas, sensing the nearing danger, climbs atop a rock and prepares to draw the enemy's attention away from the rest of the party, who have wisely decided to make themselves scarce and look for an angle of surprise.

A blinding blast temporarily stuns everyone and sets some trees alight, and then Egar Geza, a huge blue dragon, crashes through the tree canopy in the pre-dawn gray and confronts Lucas. Lucas' taunts pay off as he is able to get the drop on the creature and leap onto its neck. It is so startled, it takes off again immediately, the paladin wailing away at it.

In a blind barbarian rage, Crom Grumdalsen pursues and makes the leap onto the dragon himself. Thunderfoot makes his own, magically enhanced leap, and the dragon begins to drag them on the ride of their lives, banking and trying to throw them off. Thunderfoot, clinging to the Egar's tail, is whipped away into the treetops. He turns out to be the lucky one. Crom and Lucas disappear, still riding the monster. Screams and lightning are heard not long afterward.

The party faces a crisis of will, but Shara prays for guidance from her god, and they decide to continue the quest to retrieve the archives in Olemcorro. As dawn breaks, they reach the base of the tree, and then witness an explosive battle between the eagle guardians of Olemcorro and the harpy invaders. The eagles prevail, and the party begins the climb up into the orulin.