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Having secured a vial of the healing waters from the "lost" city of the Bakali in the Gap of Ruin, as well as an elixir said to be potent in combatting the influence of Chaos, I returned to Kyrnesti with my finds after having insured cooperation between the bakali, Qualinesti, and Thorbardin. Several of my previous companions joined me. Samkin, Knight of the Crown, and his cousin Dame Alexis, Knight of the Sword, brought several Solamnic troops for phase one of our plan. Additionally, Gwynnion was already present, and the nascent King of Ergoth, Oskerr, also arrived to lend his personal assistance.

Our first task was to liberate the Towers of E'li from the Green Dragonarmy forces that were using them to safeguard the river mouth leading into Silvenesti. The mouth stretched some four miles wide, with one of the two towers on either side. On the west bank stood the ruined tower, which was being used by three of the green dragons as a roost and lair. Observation revealed that there were two relatively young dragons and one older dragon using the tower as a roost. Several of us assaulted the younger dragons while the older was out on patrol, while at the same time a Solamnic and Silvenesti force took the other tower from a force of draconians.

After this, several of us waited in the vicinity of the roost over the course of two days, waiting for the other dragon to return. I spotted it easily an hour out, and our dragonslayers prepared themselves for the assault. Our plan was to wait until the dragon had entered the roost again, at which time sevearl of us would attack it with the aid of dragonlances and so forth. This phase went well, with the fighting over in under a minute: the dragon was slain and the dragon-rider captured.

We spent another day recovering before beginning to head up the river on my personal frigate, Kethnirin-tiral. Once we approached the wild, overgrown shore, Ke'Lanthinel and Samkin prepared themselves for providing the distraction that would draw Cyan Bloodbane out of the city so that we could enter unmolested (unmolested by an ancient spell-casting dragon, of course). The Master of Goodlund conjured two flying, phantom steeds, but not before establishing a magical telepathic link between himself, Gwynnion, Samkin, myself, and Kai'Alhana.

Once the good White Robed wizard had gone 10 miles out of the city, he prepared a magical conveyance that would grant him and Sam the speed to hopefully stay ahead of Bloodbane. When they were ready, Ke'Lanthinel produced the Red Dragonorb and called to Cyan with the spirit of the first red dragon on Krynn, Malystryx. We waited, and shortly I spied Cyan departing the city by wing under cover of a powerful illusion known as a screen. However, Cyan was accompanied by three other green dragons that seemed to have been placed under his thrall and Chaos marked.

After alerting Lanthinel of what I had seen, my force entered the city from the overgrown shore. Soon, we found ourselves running down the ancient streets of the Silvenesti capital, heading towards the Tower of the Speaker of the Stars. We encountered some resistance as we made our way forward, from insane revelers to more diabolic creatures. Finally, we came to the gate to the palace. Our clerics had warned us that the emerald guardians were illusions, so when we encountered several emerald dracolisks, my band succeeded in piercing the illusion and passing them by. However, the guardians at the gate were more persistent. Two shadow demons, two of the tanar'ric warrior-demons known as vrock, and four half-demons (alu-fiends and cambions) barred our way. Alhana and I fought side-by-side, taking advantage of the magic circle against evil I had prepared, as well as coordinating our movements so that she would not be caught alone.

These summoned demons were quickly dispatched, but a large mob was approaching. Gwynnion and Lil'Athriel conjured walls of ice, fire, and iron to hedge out the mob, but several of our party stayed behind to guard our back since the walls would not hold forever. After the two wizards had bought us some time briefly, I examined the palace from the outside, attempting to penetrate any illusions or magical facades Bloodbane may have left behind. Apparently, he had glamoured the palace, hiding several ghastly sights -- the worst of which were those who had not escaped when the city fell originally and who had resisted Bloodbane's will; they had been hung from various columns and left to die...even as powerful necromancy prevented them from truly dying, so the poor souls continued to live their deaths over and over again. At the same time, Cyan Bloodbane had warded the entrance with a powerful spell, known to the Conclave as the prismatic wall. Fortunately, between the various wizards and clerics in our party, we were able to destroy this deadly barrier.

Girding our hearts against such atrocities, we moved into the palace, coming quickly to the Great Hall. It seems Bloodbane had preferred to keep a non-Chaos-tainted court, for several elves, draconians, and Green Dragonarmy officers were present but under Bloodbane's enchanted dominion. At the far end of the court, we spied Ke'Lorac and the Green Dragonorb. With my sorcerous senses, I noted the presence of the first green dragon, Beryl, who had possessed Ke'Lorac. The Speaker of the Stars, meanwhile, sat emaciated and gaunt upon his throne on the royal dais, his hand placed leisurely upon the dragonorb. Bloodbane had warded the orb, however, with one of the most powerful magicks known: a variant on the prismatic barrier at the entrance, the so-called prismatic sphere. Beyond this, there were several auraks and bozaks, as well as several dominated elven wizards -- and curiously, three Chaos-tainted dryads that stood behind Ke'Lorac, giving us dangerous glances.

The Court began to act against us, as dominated elven wizards, auraks, and bozaks began to advance upon us. At this point, only six of us had entered the Great Hall, the rest were outside dealing with other threats. Kai'Alhana, Gwynnion, Lil'Athriel, myself, Ke'Lessien, and Isil Elensar strode forward into the Great Hall.

As we made our way down the Hall, advancing towards the approaching line of bozaks, wizards, and auraks, we finally charged forward when it became obvious that the bozaks planned most likely to use lightning spells against our small party. We cut into their ranks, as Gwynnion and Lil'Athriel cast spells from our rear. The auraks began casting spells, as well, and the death throes of the bozaks would have hurt more had I not possessed the blessing of Sirrion, gained after aiding his Daughters lost under Augustgrad years ago.

Finally, the bozaks were finished, and I looked ahead at the wizards. Technically, these were no renegades -- there were ensorcelled by the ancient power of Bloodbane. Unfortunately, after completing my Test of High Sorcery, the Masters of the Conclave laid a geas upon me that I may never kill a Conclave wizard save by spells and magic. Thinking, I charged forward and cast a similar magic circle against evil upon one of the center wizards. The spell would prevent Cyan's domination from afflicting them while they were within its influence. However, they had so long been under the dragon's spell that those within the circle's influence passed out.

The auraks and remaining wizards cast fire spells at me, causing me little damage (thanks to Sirrion and the dragonmetal shield I bore, recovered from Huma's Tomb), but the explosion doomed the wizards I had caused to faint. At this point, I backed up (so that the magic circle was between the auraks and myself), and I invoked one of the spell-weaves I had found in my father's Enochian text. I grew to a great statue (or so I seemed), as green eldritch mists surrounded me. This had the effect I desired, causing the remaining auraks and wizards to flee.

We finally made our way to the Royal Dais (even the dryads had fled), and Gwynnion disrupted a magical dome of force that had protected the dais. We took stock of the situation. Beryl, the spirit of the dragonorb, under the thrall of Bloodbane, had possessed Ke'Lorac, who was similarly enthralled. Our hope was to cause the ancient spirit to return to the orb, after which we would attempt to save Lorac, take the orb, and escape.

We timed ourselves to do what was needed as simultaneous as possible. Lil'Athriel and Gwynnion disrupted the prismatic sphere surrounding the Orb, while Alhana removed her father's hand from the orb and forced the healing elixir into him. Meanwhile, at the right time, I would sound the bronze dragonhorn that we had recovered in Huma's tomb. As the prismatic sphere began to go down, Beryl's spirit retreated within the orb. However, I sensed a magical teleportation effect behind me, but a quick glance revealed nothing. That could only mean that Bloodbane had sensed our threat to the Orb and his plans, and he and his other dragons had teleported back to the palace, still under cover of the magical screen.

I sounded the horn and turned around to regard the invisible dragons. Suddenly, multiple cones of corrosive green dragon breath scoured the area around the dais. Fortunately, we had prepared for such threats before setting out on this venture, and the dragons' breath weapons were wasted. They were, however, quite visible now.

Gwynnion and Lil'Athriel destroyed the wall nearby, opening the palace to the outside so that we might escape that way (while also bypassing the palace's wards). Oskerr and Alexis attacked two of the green dragons, while I cast my eyes about for Bloodbane. Suddenly, I noted a lone thrush flying as quickly as possible towards the Dragonorb. Without thinking, I flung myself towards the Orb and brought Ilrethil up to block the shapechanged Bloodbane. The ancient dragon was flung in bird form to the ground, but he instantly assumed his draconic form.

Having a clear target finally, I leapt at Bloodbane with Ilrethil blazing against the wyrm's Chaos taint. Isil tried to aid me, although Bloodbane's magicks blocked most of her weapon's blows. Meanwhile, Ke'Alhana was busy dealing with her father and some commotion on the dais, while Samkin arrived through the open wall, joining the melee against the other dragons. For some reason, one of the green dragons merely looked about confused, but I recall now that Alexis had blown her own horn, and its magicks had temporarily negated Bloodbane's thrall upon his subjects. Finally, the Master of Goodlund had arrived and was upon his phantom steed at the destroyed section of wall.

Bloodbane quickly assumed a smaller "elven" form and attempted to cast spells, but he was thwarted at first by Ke'Lanthinel's tactics. I continued to press the attack against the wyrm, who finally managed to erect another prismatic sphere around the Dragonorb, Ke'Lorac, and Ke'Alhana. Suddenly, the wyrm's defensive spells activated because of my continued assault, and he teleported within the sphere and placed his hands upon the Dragonorb. A moment later, Cyan Bloodbane teleported away with the Green Dragonorb.

I must admit that I was furious that Bloodbane had escaped -- especially with the Orb. However, the Nightmare was broken and Ke'Lorac was alive (if broken). The other wyrms retreated or were slain, and we tended to our wounded.

Although he lived, Ke'Lorac had gone 15 years without water, food, or other sustenance other than the corrupt sorceries of Bloodbane and the Dragonorb. However, the bakali elixir had worked, and Ke'Lorac was free of the Chaos taint. He quickly abdicated and retired, making Alhana the new Speaker of the Stars. Old Lorac would survive another two years before his death.

Since that day, we have continued to ferret out the remaining Chaos cultists and agents of Bloodbane in the forest, and we have also begun to retake our other lands from the Green Dragonarmy's forces. At least we are fighting for our land again, fighting to restore our dreams.

--358 AC

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keleren

August 2006

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