Dining on Ashes

An Appointment with Danger!

It's not my Dad!

Our Heroes recover from the battle at the Mountaintop and sift through the wreckage. Grimloc finds the charred remains of the airship’s logbook and Kothar finds a dragonstone crystal similar to the one owned by Nashton Stitch When touched to Stitch’s crystal the two merge, because it’s cool. They are escorted down the mountain by Gharrnhevaarr’s pack, who promise to return to their hunting grounds and not bother the townsfolk.

Signs of life in Hulgar’s Pass are already starting to perk up. There is a grand celebration at the Jolly Moose. Grimloc and Chaska try to keep Billfrom hurting himself. Henry studies the logbook and Kothar the crystal. Henry finds that the airship’s last stop was a logging camp about a week’s journey to the northwest. It’s off-season, so the camp would be deserted. Activating the crystal gives Kothar several images, some of familiar places, one of a stone circle in a forest clearing. Once again a dark presence notices the sorcerer and reaches for him.

The next morning the party decides to set out to the logging camp to investigate. Much speculation is made on the identity of the mysterious stranger. After an uneventful trip, they arrive at the camp. As thought, it is closed for the season, but there are signs a ship stopped at the docking tower and a party of nine traveled into the woods.

That night, six figures shamble out of the forest. Some are wearing the blue and red robes of the Ulhar and others are wearing black. They appear undead, but one attacks with a whip-like blood-drinking tongue. After the battle, Henry examines one and finds a weird creature gestating in the corpse.

In the light of day, the party backtracks the zombies. It’s the same direction the mystery travelers took. It leads to a clearing at the top of a hill overlooking the Danutin Forest with an ancient stone circle. It’s the same circle from Kothar’s vision. Investigating, Chaska knows circles like this are not unheard of in the area, evidence of one of the World’s many ancient civilizations. Grimloc notices signs of a fight here recently. Kothar and Henry examine marks and sigils on the stone, some in draconic similar to dialects of the Desert of the Burning Sands. On the other side of the circle, three skulls have been placed on sharpened sticks, the faces pointed up and the skin scraped off with a blade. The one in the middle has a crude symbol, like a crown gouged in the forehead. Then several strange, blue, tentacled lion-things attack! It’s clear these are grown-up versions of the things in the zombies. A vicious fight occurs and the beasts are defeated. Chaska and Kothar are bitten, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.

In the aftermath, Chaska hears the roar of an approaching airship. Our Heroes take cover in the woods. The sleek scout vessel drops anchor. A dragon-winged serpent, six black robed gnolls, and a half-dragon gnoll begin searching the area. The serpent notices he party and he next big fight starts. The gnoll leader blames the party for the deaths here earlier. The serpent, a half-dragon giant constrictor snake, battles Grimloc and Bill to the death. Chaska toasts the leader and everyone makes short work of the gnolls. The last two surrender to Henry.

Our Heroes are now in possession of an airship and more questions…

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TomK

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