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Several events have transpired since I last set my pen to this journal. After our excursion into the plane of ash in search of Samkin's wife and daughter, Gwynnion hesitantly approached me in the hopes of having a companion to journey to what was once one of Galen Dracos's laboratories and compounds. I say hesitantly because, at first, she had planned on going alone.

The compound was located in the Erstwilde Mountains. On the surface one could easily see the dilapidated manor house built by previous mages that had used the site for research purposes, including renegades. We noted that apparently Dragonarmy forces had been present in the not too distant past, although how long ago we could not determine (lacking any real ability in reading tracks between the two of us). After discovering some cached materials, including a book written by what Gwynn's brother called "illithids" (strange and fell squid-faced creatures from another world) that detailed their observations of the formation of Krynn (it was a very very old book, written in an allusive script designed to help evoke series of associations in the reader's mind, which would aid in discerning the telepathic and psychic energies the book possessed).

I should note that the entire area radiated a strong sense of Law and Pattern. Something old and powerful within was generating this effect by its presence, although what it was, we could not know yet. We also encountered a basilisk, easily defeated, but possessing a curious token: a pale green gem glowing on its body. Our initial findings discerned that the gem was some kind of immortality stone. If affixed to one's body, it would prevent age from claiming the bearer. Otherwise, it could be broken and the soul essence within could be inhaled to rejuvenate oneself, removing years of aging from one's body.

We descended finally into the complex, at which point Gwynnion was attacked by one of the ghosts that haunt the place, pulled in by some curse attached to the location. Gwynnion recovered quickly, thanks to the graces of Solinari, and the spirit was dispatched for a time, at least, thanks to Ilrethil's touch. After this incident, we came, via the luck of the draw, to a large cavern where we exchanged words with one of the other ghosts, a renegade mage during his life, who chose to remain in the shadows out of our line of sight. After this spectre fell silent, we continued down, coming to an outrageous sight.

We found several halls in which metallic and chromatic dragons were held in some form of stasis, placed there by Galen Dracos and his dragons. A gigantic operating theatre, scaled for human-sized creatures and dragons, was just beyond the first hall of entombed dragons. The wyrms were in various stages of dissection and other diabolic forms of tortuous experimentation. One of the gold dragons we found had had half of his face removed, and the brain was visible.

Gwynn noticed a smaller office nearby, in which we found various research notes left by the black dragon Sable (one of Galen Dracos's, and "sister" to Cyan Bloodbane, and also the wyrm we had encountered in Zeloth's stronghold on the plane of ash). Nearby, five black dragon eggs were incubating, bearing the taint of Galen Dracos's particular brand of Chaos. It seems that Sable and her icy sister, although born sterile through Dracos's paranoid processes, were seeking the means to reproduce. One of the eggs began to fracture, as if it were near hatching, but a small orb-like metallic construct (magical assistants of some kind) patched the dented area of the shell and watered it down.

I had the idea that perhaps the dragons in stasis might be awakened via one of the draconic hunting horns we had found in Huma's tomb. Although Gwynnion was ready to try this, I thought that perhaps we should wait until we had explored further, since awakening dragons would likely occupy our full attention when the time came.

As we continued our exploration, we came across several strange dragon-men in robes. We easily defeated them and captured one. The creature spoke no language, and Gwynnion was forced to resort to magicks to plumb its thoughts. Apparently, we found some of the proto-draconians Dracos had engineered during the last Dragonwar (the research had been used by those in the present age in the original creation of the draconians). Apparently, these dragon-men were of two sexes and were loyal to Sable and her sister, serving as assistants, guards, and laborers.

After a point, we approached the source of the strong presence of Law in the area. Once, thousands of years ago, illithids had come to our plane from elsewhere, flying through the stars in a flying ship of some kind. An accident occurred and they crashed nearby, eventually founding an underground city of refugees and survivors. Eventually, the bakali came, decimating most of the population, and the remains of their strange and alien city lay in a deep cavern below us.

Across a bridge, high above this ancient city of the telepathic illithids (also called, from what Ke'Lanthinel said, "mind flayers"), was a stone structure hanging from the ceiling, surrounded by a wall of hurricane-force winds with lightning coursing through it. Gwynnion called upon one of the special magical weaves she had discovered (and she has taught me some of the simpler forms in the past), allowing the wall of winds to part for a time. Whatever dwelled inside the structure was the source of the Law in this place, and it was rather angry (since the emotion could be felt from quite a distance away).

Once inside, we noted that we were standing inside a gigantic summoning and binding circle, most likely used by Galen Dracos to summon and bind the entity in question. I counselled caution, and perhaps withdrawal from the immediate area, but Gwynnion wanted to go forward and find the source of her inquiry -- a strange glass-orb that had been calling to her for quite some time. I was fairly sure that I could not dissuade her from this course, and so I accompanied her as she ascended the structure's depths towards the source of the problem.

Galen Dracos's ambition and delusions of god-hood were greater than even I gave him credit for. The renegade mage had summoned part of the Tobril from its celestial realm and bound it to serve two functions: firstly, the presence of the spirit (which seemed to manifest as a crystalline dragon) eliminated most chaos in the area, aside from what one brought inside (i.e., this site served as a place where Dracos could insure that only his flavor of Chaos would be present; and secondly, to guard the glass orb Gwynnion had felt calling to her.

The spirit was mad, and the glass orb hovered between its crystal hands in mid-air. After some work, Gwynnion managed to get close enough to try to heal the spirit's mind, allowing her to converse with it. Dracos had summoned the spirit, and he had placed the magical weaves (magic of the Tobril) that guarded this place. The spirit longed to return to its place in the celestial order, but was barred from doing so, and it also felt obligated to protect the glass-orb -- an arcane device that contained millions of souls...created by Galen Dracos. Literally, the glass-orb was an unborn star, filled with the potential of millions of souls that had never known incarnation, and which had been used by Dracos for his own experiments, schemes, and activities.

The spirit was partly bound by a magic emanating from below, in the ruined illithid city. Descending a short time later, we came across a disturbing sight: a giant, flaming, undead brain tainted by Chaos. Apparently, while the bakali had been unable to penetrate the last of the illithid defenses, Galen Dracos had done so by corrupting the city's "brain" with Chaos.

We easily defeated the undead brain and set the spirit free. Apparently Gwynnion was entrusted with protecting the glass-orb in this bargain, otherwise, I suspect the spirit would have gone mad trying to return to the celestial pattern with the orb under its protection, for the orb was warded to be grounded in this world.

This completed, we then prepared to sound the dragonhorn to awaken the dragons. Sounded, we soon heard the sounds of draconic battle as the few chromatic dragons were destroyed by the surviving metallic dragons. The good dragons then began to shuffle out, many of them lacking one or both wings, limbs, and so forth. I performed the Song of Approach and, much as I did with the bakali, I told the dragons what had happened during their sleep -- for they had been captured from their charge of protecting the Dragon Isles in the time of Galen Dracos. While once they had numbered some one thousand total, only a little over 100 survived awakening from the stasis because of the atrocities Dracos and his "childer" had committed.

When I finally came to the point of telling them of the draconians, and of how the Dark Queen had betrayed them by corrupting their unborn children with the spirits of abishai to create draconians, they roared in rage for a good ten minutes. Gwynnion and I finished our tale, before I departed to the Conclave so that the wizards could arrange for clerics to arrive and aid the dragons and their wounds. The dragons are eager to return to the Dragon Isles, and they have offered to escort us so that we might relate what we told them to the others.

In the meantime, I think we should distance ourselves as far as possible from this place before Sable or any of her siblings arrives to "check in." Even with 100 dragons, they have suffered so much at the hands of Dracos's childer that it would be highly dangerous for them.

-- early 362 AC

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keleren

August 2006

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