With the complex flooded the last task that remained in Rhest (well, other than looting, and finding the teleportation room…) was dealing with Regiarix. From interrogating various goblins the party knew that Regiarix laired in a tunnel system underneath the arena complex itself. After catching their (underwater) breaths the party headed down the central shaft in search of this mysterious dragon.
They made their way down into a natural series of tunnels. As they went the tunnels became studded with immature eggs and overlaid with a sticky organic goo. The party forged on and soon came to the larger cavern that housed Regiarix. Stan noticed that the dragon seemed immobile, and as the party approached it became obvious that it was attached to some sort of immense egg sac.
Although the party was prepared for combat, the dragon seemed more interested in discussion. It was curious about the party, particularly that they were not goblins. Hafren was more than happy to begin negotiations, and soon discovered that the dragon was assisting the goblins only because it had been trapped on this plane when Rhestilor was flooded.
The party offered to return the dragon to the Elemental Chaos, an offer which it eagerly accepted. Hafren, Sly, Stan, and Verrick put their heads together and came up with a ritual that they were putting into effect when the razorfiends, drawn by the commotion, returned. Since the dragon was unwilling to assist either side, there was a brief but bloody battle that culminated in the adult razorfiends being slain and the dragon being returned to the Chaos from whence it came. Unfortunately, doing so caused the cavern, already significantly weakened, to collapse.
Victory points: 12
The party woke on top of an immense pile of bones in an air-filled cavern. As they explored, they learned that they had found the ruins of a city that lay beneath Rhestilor. From what they could divine, the city had been the capital of a kingdom before it had sunk deep beneath the earth. As the party investigated, they found the remnants of a removed teleportation circle. More interestingly, Stan discovered a hastily hidden body. While it had been there for some time, it was the only sign of inhabitation they had seen. Near the body they found the remnants of a journal. Sly was able to restore the writing to legibility, and the last entry was of some interest:
The heroes quickly found the frieze mentioned in the journal and Sly was likewise able to return it to its original form. They discovered the “adviser” mentioned in the journal was the Eternal Emperor; this was odd, as he had failed to mention any connection between the Emperor and the kingdom of Rhest.
With more questions than answers the party made their way to the surface. They cleaned up at the Looter’s Rest and decided to head south to rejoin the rest of their forces.
Victory points: 14
On the way, they came across a band of hobgoblins who appeared to have camped just south of the city. More interestingly, Verrick determined that the majority of the band was keeping a single hobgoblin prisoner. After a quick combat (party: 10, hobgoblins: 0) the party began interrogating their new prisoner.
The hobgoblin introduced himself as Thaknor, an elderly chief of a tribe that lived in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. He had sought out the party in the hope of preventing the wholesale slaughter of both the Red Hand Horde. Combining their knowledge, the party was able to verify that there was no way that the Horde would be able to conquer the kingdom; the probable result was instead the destruction of both sides. However, Thaknor did not know what the Wyrmlords were planning.The party also questioned Thaknor about the frieze they had found beneath Rhest. He related the myths of his people, how they had lived in peace with the civilized peoples until an unprovoked sneak attack destroyed the Wyrmsmoke tribes. Specifically, they discovered that:
- Several thousand years ago, there was a kingdom that predated Rhestilor. It lived in peace with the tribes of the Wyrmsmokes, although there were occasional border raids.
- A thousand years ago the kingdom launched a sneak attack on the Wyrmsmoke tribes. It was started by murdering a diplomatic mission and concluded with an attack into the breeding caves that nearly depopulated the region.
- The final attack was led by a military unit of the Church of Erathis.
- This attack was forgotten by the time the kingdom of Rhestilor was founded.
- The invasion two hundred years ago was claimed as revenge by the hobgoblins.
At about this time, the party received two Sendings:
To Stan: “Servant of our Mistress arrived at gates. Mighty warrior. Claims told to find, assist you. Slaying undead until you arrive. M”
To Sly: “Lady N lead diplomatic envoy to horde under flag of truce. Has not returned. Still alive per divinations. Please advise.”