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Faerin's Twenty sixth

Dearest Father,

I am sorry to say that my brother and I will be leaving the Beinnhall Hills for a while. At least until we are confident that we do not bring danger if we should return. A large and powerful dragon has sworn vengeance upon us and she has shown to be merciless to anyone we care about.

As I mentioned in my previous letter, we left Trollbane Keep a few days ago to go search for Atraya in the Trollbarrens. Thanks to Nissa’s magic, we had owls at our disposal so we could quickly search the region from the sky. Soon after we left, we saw an airship in the distance. But when we approached, we were ambushed by trolls and troll-kin manning magical ballistae. It was a tough battle, but eventually we sent the trolls running. We did manage to capture one, who revealed that thy had bought the magical ballistae from giants in the airship. He also knew of some scaly folk to the northeast, which may be the camp of Atraya.

We headed up the mountain to meet the airship and found it to be run by rock giants who knew Aola, the giant we had met before. We shared their meal and discussed possible trade deals between the giants and the hill dwarfs. They said that they would travel on to Trollbane Keep and offer their magical weapons there. The rock giants also spoke of wyverns to the northeast, again a suspected location of Atraya.

We bid the giants farewell and travelled to the end of the canyon, where we found a valley with an encampment. The camp was under close watch by circling wyverns overhead, so we sent our stealthiest member, Cedric, ahead to scout. He found trolls hung up on crosses as warning and a ramshackle camp with various scalekin. In a log cabin engraved with draconic symbols, he found Atraya. But he also found Anzo, the brother of Zora, whom we thought had perished in Arcarost. However he was now heavily scarred and wore a bright blue robe.

The next morning, Cedric went on a second scouting expedition, but was less lucky this time. He triggered a trap and become stuck in a crystal ball on Anzo’s staff. While Cedric was at first successful in convincing Anzo to not kill him by negotiating an apprenticeship, we intervened soon after. We were let into the camp and soon found ourselves in an audience with Atraya and Anzo. Although we soon learned that Anzo was possessed by Alterion Arcarost, former Mage Lord of Arcarost. Following the destruction of Arcarost, Alterion had become a spectral lich and had recently taken control of the cult of Sevalaxos. He was intent on completing his original plan of stealing the body of Sevalaxos. Alterion shared his plan of using a Colubra to dig out the rampaging soulless body and wanted our help. We agreed to consider his proposal and managed to arrange the release of Cedric.

After a discussion on how to handle the situation, we agreed that this was not our fight alone. We therefore teleported back to the dragon empire and told Allidra, Sevalaxos’ mate, about Alterion’s location and plans. She and her son left immediately, but instead of confronting Alterion, they first went to Arcarost itself. They confronted Grainne, ancient sire of Sevalaxos and defeated him. In this manner, they secured the gem that contained the soul of Sevalaxos. On the next day, they attacked the camp of the cult of Sevalaxos. The cultist scattered soon after seeing the two fearsome dragons and Alterion was swiftly defeated and consumed. However Atraya escaped. The dragons seemed content for now that their vengeance had been achieved and set about contemplating the restoration of Sevalaxos.

We scryed on Atraya and found her running through the valleys of Trollbarrens. We chased her down with dire wolves and warhorses. We confronted her and when she didn’t surrender, we fought her. We trapped her and her companions in walls of magic and before long, she was defeated. At long last, we had the one who was responsible for what happened in Woodsong and Arcarost seemingly so long ago. Furthermore she still had Alterion’s spell book for Sevento to study.

When she woke, we questioned her. Her motives were in the protection of scalekind, whom had been denied a homeland. She had hoped by freeing Sevalaxos that he would grant the Arcarost valley to them to live. Atraya had been working with another follower of Sevalaxos to bring Xeras and his army to free the ancient dragon. This turned out to be Amelut Nebarum, the same archlich who had captured Nissa’s family. He had gotten the gem and given it to the band of Welby to bring to Arcarost. They had told Xerax of what they thought was the right place for the release of Sevalaxos, where we confronted and defeated him. Soon after Alterion has infiltrated their ranks and had managed to charm Atraya and her followers into doing his bidding. Now that we had learned far more than we knew before, we contacted Acquira from the dragon riders and arranged for them to pick up Atraya for judgement.

The great bronze dragon flew over in the middle of the night and we waved them down to deliver Atraya. As Acquira left, we noticed that they were being followed by two red dragons. And before long, sounds of battle could be heard a hill over. Allidra and her son were not done with their vengeance and were now taking it out on the ancient gatekeepers of Sevalaxos. Despite being still weakened from our fight with Atraya, we set out to stop the red dragons from killing Acquira. We arrived to witness a great combat in the sky of flames and lightning, fangs and claws. We told Allidra to stand down, but she ignored us. So Fierna banished Allidra to another realm. Only her son remained and he also did not stand down. Instead he incinerated the bats that we were using to fly and we soon found ourselves plummeting towards the ground.

We barely managed to survive and also keep Atraya from being smashed into a pulp before she can stand trial. We then only had one minute before Allidra returned to secure our escape. We were soon beset by her son though and were engulfed in waves of fire. Luckily we were able to convince Atraya to help us take down the great red dragon. She saved our lives, just as we saved hers, showing that there might be hope for peace between our peoples. The dragon was however relentless and it is a miracle from Lugh that we all survived. It was thanks to the help of Acquira that we managed to bring the dragon down. Fierna and Cedric made the final call to slay the dragon. However we had about 30 seconds left before his mother returned to our plane, so we quickly scattered.

Thorin teleported us back to Woodsong. Nissa and Acquira both escaped using their transformation magic. Later that night, Nissa tried to return to our portable tower that we had left behind but found it guarded by Allidra. We went to bed in Woodsong, exhausted from our many battles. We wore woken the next morning by Thora on the sending stone, calling out an attack by a red dragon on Trollsbane Keep. We wanted to go help, but were stuck without teleportation magic in Woodsong. So if we could not go to Allidra, she would have to come to us.

So we sent a sending directly to the great ancient red dragon and told her that we killed her son and that we would be waiting to the north of Woodsong. We then headed out as far from the town as possible, hoping to spare it from the carnage. We contemplated contacting our allies, but Acquira had already departed once more and all others were too distant. So we stood in the field and waited.

Before long, the shadow of the dragon loomed ahead. I confessed to be responsible for killing her son and convinced her to land on the ground. She struck out against me and that is when my allies jumped into action. They stopped the dragon from consuming me whole, however she used her magic to cast darkness across the entire field. We were soon lost and tormented by the spirits that lived within. Both Nissa and Sevento tried to use their magic to counter it, but Allidra proved far too powerful. Fierna lured the dragon away, claiming that it was she who made the call to execute her son. Allidra took the bait as her attacks had already knocked me out. Thorin did manage to restore me and we could hit the dragon with a few lucky blows but saw that we were not doing much damage to it. However Sevento was also able to stop the dragon from using its fire breath with quick use of a magical barrier. Fierna managed to remain out of reach of the creature by teleporting around the battlefield with loud thunderclaps. But we knew that we were doomed against a creature of such power. However it was Nissa who saved the day and managed to polymorph the dragon into a small rabbit. In this form it was harmless but furious. But any attempts to kill it would release the dragon immediately. So Fierna placed the rabbit in her bag of holding, which promptly broke when the rabbit suffocated and placed the dragon on the astral plane.

We limped back to Woodsong and informed everyone of what had transpired. We celebrated our survival but were gloom to the prospects of what loomed ahead should Allidra escape her prison. That night, Sevento had a terrible dream of darkness in ice and a dragon stirring. The next day, we teleported to Trollbane Keep to survey the damage done, which was extensive. At least 60 good dwarfs had lost their lives in the attack by Allidra, all in the search for us. It was then that we decided we could not stay in the Arcarost Valley as long as Allidra lay in wait. We would travel to Raven in the hopes that a dragon attack could be stopped by the powerful mages of the city. Furthermore, we have unfinished business there.

So we head out once more. But we will return when we have taken care of the devious creature that hunts us. Should the need arise, know that we are but a spell away. In the meantime, I suspect I will have many tales to tell and letters to write.

Love to mother.

Your son,

Faerin Khan

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