Experience for the last game is 4,490 bringing the total to 28,973 and level to 8th.
Last month the party found itself departing from the Holy Oasis aboard an Aren flying ship bound for the Najai Empire. Their latest task was to escort and protect the Najai High Priestess Saressa on the last leg of her diplomatic journey. The first week or so of the voyage went peacefully though the crew toiled with limited success to make progress against the high winds produced when the Stormwall was breached. Somewhat off course and drawing close to the Azzian Empire the crew discovered the corpse of an enormous dragon lying upon the sands of the desert. The wyrm appeared to have been on the losing side of a powerful struggle with another creature of similar magnitude. Before the Aren could harvest the body of valuable parts however a contingent of Azzian troops descended from the skies and laid claim to it. Seeing the futility of contesting the prize and mindful of protecting his passengers the Aren Captain took his ship back to the skies with the party safely hidden in the hold. This however would not be the party’s only encounter with dragons…
Several nights later the ship, still in mid-flight, was ambushed by the dragon they had faced briefly in Zaradeen. Making several passes the dragon was able to begin crippling the sky ship with her fiery breath. The party valiantly stood against her as she flew by – raining ballistae bolts, magic and the occasional blow from a sword upon her. At one point the dragon (in humanoid form) seemed eager to engage Rilae’thee’a in single combat high on the spars of the ship, presumably to feed Rilae’thee’a to her soul consuming sword. Fortunately Cerulean was able to intervene and drive the dragon off the beam they were all standing on before the dragon landed a soul consuming blow on Rilae’thee’a. But the assault on the ship continued. While the Orgus and Samek did their best to preserve the lives of the crew it was only a matter of time before the airship was so damaged that a crash was inevitable. Seeing that her mission was largely completed, and after nearly being slain by Szolagar’s dragon-baned sword, the wyrm retreated to lick her wounds. The airship meanwhile was saved from destruction when Cerulean and Vad’in coordinated efforts to use the remaining crystal station’s lift to soften the ship’s landing. Samek was then able to channel the restorative power of his goddess to greatly speed repairs on the damaged vehicle. Thanks to the actions of the party the return of the High Priestess was only slowed slightly, not impaired or halted permanently.
Several days later and without further complications the airship arrived at the High Temple of Najara. There the party bid farewell to the Aren crew and was granted rooms in the High Temple. During that time Samek determined that the horrible temple in his recurring dream was likely the former High Temple of Najara, which had been largely abandoned some 500 years before. The temple, located a weeks journey to the South, near the Azzian border, had been manned by a skeleton crew of acolytes of Najara in the past. Samek, tired of reacting to the attacks of the enemy, resolved to move proactively to determine what had happened to the temple and the acolytes. After enlisting the aid of the party and with the help of a ranger hired by the High Priestess, Samek led the group south towards the temple. As the group progressed along the delta, stopping at several villages along the way, it became clear that something was amiss. A strange and highly addictive liquor called Kellik showed up with increasing frequency as the party progressed through the villages. Vad’in learned firsthand how addictive it could be when he tasted a small amount at the first village. Samek was able to remove the addiction by channeling Najara’s blessings but only with great effort and much sickness on the part of Vad’in. While the full implications of the Kellik addiction are not yet known, the ramifications on the subsequent two towns were pronounced, with the second town showing a near universal addiction from the liquor and the last town being fully abandoned. It was while exploring that third town that the party was attacked by a strange rune covered and physically altered pack of bestial hounds. Aided greatly by the illusionary magic of the Orgus, the party was able to frighten off the pack, with little injury but not without being disturbed by the unnatural and corrupted nature of the hounds. As darkness falls the ranger confirms the party is only a day or so away from the former high temple and if the prior weeks travel is any indication, the danger will only grow with each step forward.