After our heroes finish looting the temple, they speak with Vrak. They are welcome to stay in the valley, but he is not keen on having other living invading the area. Davingnon, convinced that Torinn is blood kin to the the most recent Baron, brings up Torinn’s family name to Vrak. Torinn proceeds to argue with him and explain that no, the family name means very little in this case. Vejik explains that there were not many dragonborn and very few trained drakes. All the untrained Warwing drakes left the area as Vejik slaughtered the sheep population. According to the flight path map that was found, Vejik had been raiding nearby caravans with his drakes for some reason.
On a whim, Tomis returns to the floating tower and looks around. He finds a letter from Bejik. “We have seen our first Warwing Drake today. From a distance,true, but it can be nothing else.” He makes it clear he wanted to reform the Wing of Zehir.. It appears that perhaps the other followers of Zehir thought he was loony and did not follow him. There may be more to this group of Zehir followers…
Sunarias took a handful of books from the tower – “The Dragonborn Empire of Arcozia”, one on herbs, one on the philosophical nature of magic, and a small tome on Zehir. From the tome on Zehir it is discovered that he is the god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favorite creation, and he wants his followers to use poison and kill at night.
They return to the town of Elkridge and speak with the elders. The Elders wish to know if the heroes havesolved the problem they set out to solve: the drake “attacks” on the village. Sunarias explains that the lack of sheep is the cause of the drake displacement, and the elders agree to send a number of sheep to begin to repopulate the Summit and centralize the drake population again.
The heroes set out again for Althor. Three days later, they arrive at the city. It is a metropolitan area bigger than Fallcrest, and is known as a somewhat scholarly town. Sunarias has a letter of introduction to a mage named Magden from Nimozaran the Green. The group also intends to speak with a sage named Yvette about the possible location of the dragon Sythyx and his apparent master, Mynemeth.
Asking a random stranger about inns, they learn about the Busty Furkin, Cask and Pipe, Blue Horse, and White Lion inns (from lowest class to highest). They visit the Cask and Pipe, where they eat Liver & Potato Hash, and order some mead and ale. They are approached by a mercenary named Beran. A merc group called the Blood Legion is, apparently, recruiting for a job to the east involving a dispute between two earls, including the Earl of Galesworth. The heroes tell him they probably are not interested.
After asking around, they find the tower of the mage Magden. Red roof, colored glass windows, runes inscribed at various intervals, and a big oak door. An eyeball in the door greets them and lets them in. They venture upstairs – no door, just a landing on the second floor – and enter a large cluttered room on the third floor with the mage – an older greying man with a long beard. His cat, Max is laying on a rug near the fire, and a grey humonculous named Perkins is stirring a pot of something. After informing Magden that they are going to see the sage Yvette, he responds, “Dressed like that?” Apparently our heroes are somewhat dirty after their adventures. Everyone except Sunarias is sent downstairs (following the cat, Max, to the second floor landing where there is now a door) to eat sandwiches while Sunarias receives his familiar, a lynx-like cat named Sithara, which is Eladrin for “cat friend”. Downstairs, the cook, an older halfling woman named Tilly, talks Tomis’s ears off.
Max returns and unexpectedly transforms into Madgen. He asks the heroes about retrieving an artifact. Willemot the Wizened, it seems, might be on the trail of this artifact, and Madgen certainly doesn’t want to let him find it. The artifact has something to do with Nithawyn, the Elvish sword-mage. Its qualities may have something to do with aberrent creatures. It may be in an old temple to the southeast of Althor. Realizing he has an appointment, Madgen disappears before giving any more information, telling the heroes to return the next day.
They head to the nearby market and purchase silk merchant clothes with the intent of impressing the Sage. Yvette’s butler answers at her small cottage and the heroes make an appointment to return the next morning. Returning to the Cask and Pipe, they are greeted once again by the Blood Legion merc during a dinner of spicy boar parcels (followed by strawberry custard). “I know you’re not going to join us.” He instead tells of a smalelr job involving a Lord Blackheath at Billingson’s Ford to the Northwest, who is apparently having trouble with Orcs. Pays 350g. Sunarias makes it clear he wants to go after the artifact for Magden.
After waiting in her anteroom for about 30 minutes, Yvette finally ushers our heroes into a cozy room full of bookshelves and floored with a exquisite thick carpet. Mynemeth is a red dragon and a he, although referred to as having a “black heart”, so possibly a black dragon, or somehow related to the blacks. Red dragons breathe fire, while blacks breathe acid. On some occasions a dragon will mentor another if the arrangement proves useful – this is apparently what is occuring with Mynemeth and Sythyx. It is very unusual for one to be offering another trinkets from their hoard. Yvette’s resources say, however, that Mynemeth was vanquished by a tiefling warlock named Ilrayhir by unknown means a very long time ago. Dragons seldom live beyond 2500ish years, so even if Mynemeth survived that encounter he should be dead by now.
Concerning Sythyx: There is probable draconic activity several days to the Northeast involving a white dragon. An agreement is made to give 10% of the dragon horde if Yvette gives the heroes all the information on this draconic activity. A group of contacts in the town of Cheswick has sent the information to Yvette – apparently there are indications of draconic activity but no one has actually seen the dragon. Yvette agrees to send any further information to the heroes’ room at the Cask and Pipe.
They head to the Blue Horse to see if there are any more leads. Broiled mutton and rice or steak and vegetable stew are cooking. An elf approaches, dressed like a merchant. Sunarias apparently saw him on the street earlier, watching the heroes. His name is Dervas, and he works for a merchant house. He is looking for people who can help with a small problem with a rival merchant guild. The discussion sounds very shady, and the heroes are defensive about accepting such a job, even for the offered 1000g. Not willing to discuss any further details, he tells the heroes to venture to Shalespring if interested, 2 days to the south, and speak with Lorvell the merchant. A decision must be made this very night.
The heroes discover nothing of interest at the White Lion. Very stuffy atmosphere.
It is finally time for our heroes to return to Magden’s, where they enthusiastically eat more of Tilly’s sandwiches. The heroes are pressed into making a decision whether they will help Madgen or not. Tomis wants to either find the artifact or go after dragons, Davingnon believes dragons or orcs are the only noble causes, and Torinn and Sunarias are keenly interested in finding the artifact. After a lengthy discussion, it is decided that they will indeed help Magden find the artifact.