As they opened the doors, they found...
|Who didn't see this coming?|
Realizing that the keep was several stories tall, the party started looking around for some clue as to where the dragonlance might be located. And where the mysterious entity known as Myrtani could be located. He seemed to be the one behind all the recent troubles, so the party was definitely interested in finding him.
During their search, the party came across a group of humans who were practicing their fighting skills against each other.
|I don't think you'll find it as enjoyable as you think...but, go for it.|
"I wouldn't be laughing too hard, with a face like that," Wil Dhargon shouted at them. "Besides, I've seen one-armed goblin children who had better fighting skills than you."
Angered by the kender's taunt, the humans rushed at the party. The irritation from his words bothered them so much, they failed to notice the other members of the party surrounding them when they attempted to strangle the kender to death. The fight was over in a heartbeat.
"They were awfully rude," Wil said, as the party left the room.
Minutes passed, as the party continued to try to find their way through the massive keep. Eventually, they spotted a stairway going up and headed toward it.
As they reached it, they noticed a man huddled in the corner. When they approached him, they noticed that he bore the symbols of Gargath upon his tattered clothing. He claimed to be the Castellian of the keep.
"Thank Paladine you're here. They've taken everything! My poor family, my friends and retainers. Gone. There's an Aurak who seems to be in charge. They call him Myrtani. He's had his minions scouring the keep. He's looking for my dragonlance!"
So, Myrtani was an Aurak Draconian? Perhaps the same one the party had encountered near Throtl, who disappeared in a flash of light?
Hearing this, the party directed the Castellian toward the exit, urging him to get to safety. Once he headed down the hallway, they bounded up the stairs.
Up the stairs, the party found themselves in a large staging area where Baaz and Kapak Draconians were packing up Copper Dragon eggs into boxes and preparing them for transport. Near the back of the room, an Aurak Draconian stood marveling at a large glowing lance.
The party had found Myrtani and the dragonlance!
Drawing weapons, the party headed in to attack. But Myrtani spotted them. He shouted at the other draconians to stop the party and headed up another flight of stairs. The draconians turned and pushed aside the eggs to follow their leaders' order.
|No one ever wants to discuss things peacefully.|
The draconians fought with everything they had, but the party eventually came out victorious. As the last of the Kapak Draconians melted into a pool of acid, Tamera Beldon shouted for everyone to give chase after Myrtani.
Making a note to return for the dragon eggs, the members of the party rushed up a spiraling stairwell, heading toward the roof of the keep.
The party didn't have time to feel sorry for themselves, though. Myrtani had left them a gift...
|I wish I had dragons following my orders.|
As he flew away, he shouted into the air. Large shadows fell over the party as three black dragons descended from the clouds and crashed down upon the roof of the keep. With a roar, they spread their wings and charged the party.
Thaddeus Durin tried to meet the dragons during their charge, but one of the creatures stopped short and spit acid on him. He moved aside as the acid started to eat through his armor and burn his skin. The dragons rushed straight at the party.
Not willing to succumb to their fear, the party stood their ground and met the dragons in combat. Perhaps it was determination or just sheer luck, but the party took two of the dragons down almost immediately. The third stopped his charge, trying not to overestimate the party's power.
Thaddeus, who had moved during the dragon's charge, came up behind the creature and stuck a sword in it's neck. The creature roared once, tried to shake Thaddeus off, and fell over dead.
Despite the victory, the party knew that ultimately they had lost the true battle. Myrtani had escaped, taking the dragonlance with him. They needed to let Sir Karl know as soon as possible.
The party headed out of the keep, grabbing the dragon eggs the draconians had left behind. They headed south toward the outpost.
Once there, they found Sir Karl awaiting them with even more bad news...
|Just once, I would like Sir Karl to greet us, tell us everything is fine, and invite us to tea.|
Sir Karl gave the party instructions on how to reach the tomb and urged them to go and check it out. The party, still licking their wounds over the defeat handed to them by Myrtani, said they would do their best.
Sir Karl responded by telling them: "You will be happy to know that Caramon has contacted our elite units in Solamnia. The Council of Knights themselves will lead them into the coming battles. I will be certain to mention your impressive record to them when they arrive."
The party felt a little better, knowing that Sir Karl had faith in them, at least...
UP NEXT: The party travels to the tomb of Sir Dargaard.