Dangerous Charisma

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Istoria Mias Kalpikis Liras

During the party’s travels to the Ice Devil Mountains, Mitsuki was left unconscious and recovering at the Keep of the Kraken. As she slowly regains control of her bodily functions, Mitsuki began to take walks in and around the keep to stretch her legs and get used to using her muscles once more. On one such day, a woman, a visitor to the keep, met her in the dining hall, and asked Mitsuki to join her on an adventure.

Mitsuki, feeling miffed over being left behind, reluctantly agreed to join Lady Lyrissa. The two took a pair of horses and journeyed to Wintergarde, where they met the ship Lyrissa had booked passage on, and Mitsuki met Lyrissa’s other companion, a dragonborn warrior named Nariel. Lyrissa procured winter clothing for the both of them, then set her ship, the Odin’s Wrath, on a course to southern Iskander, then switched to a wagon to head into the Ice Devil Mountains. Eventually, Nariel and Mitsuki were led to a cave with a cart and horses left outside of it, and as they passed inside and crossed a melted ice wall and a sand pit, they encountered the rest of Kraken Knuckles at a fork in the tunnel.

While Bodi'ka remained at the fork and turned a wary eye on Nariel, Freeport and Naeris attempted to use magic to break into the library Pthalo had fled into, while Bolin began to swing his sword at the barrier. The dragonborn raised her hands to Bodi'ka and explained she arrived with Mitsuki to help, then demonstrated by charging at the barrier with her great axe. The damage caused to the gate was significant, and the party could see Pthalo fighting a robed creature with tentacles writhing from the top of its head, but the gate had not yet fallen. Il'an maneuvered his magical hand of force energy to lift the gate partway up, and Freeport quickly crawled through the gap, followed by Naeris teleporting into the room.

As Pthalo visibly calmed himself, shrugging off the influence of the orb he carried upon him, he gestured and nodded to the tentacled being and the pair seemed to be communicating nonverbally somehow. Finally, as Il'an managed to move the gate fully out of the way, Pthalo turned to his companions and said, “Nephiron here can tell us more about the orb.” Pthalo turned back to the robed figure and continued talking outloud, though Nephiron remained silent. Freeport and Naeris looked to the creatures with their many porcelain doll hands, then to each other when it appeared no one was becoming violent with one another, then made their way to the many bookshelves lining the room and began to investigate their contents.

Pthalo’s side of the conversation suggested the cave system was the lair of an ornery purple dragon, and Nephiron was waiting in the library to be called for an audience. Pthalo asked many questions about the orb he carried, referring to a master of the orb, and the masters of two other similar artifacts. Bolin walked into the room, sheathing his sword though eyeing those inside cautiously, before turning to Pthalo and loudly asking, “Who are you talking to? Are you reading outloud to yourself?”

Pthalo offered Nephiron a pained expression, while Freeport noticed the dragonborn idling nearby. Nariel explained she and Mitsuki were brought here by Lady Lyrissa, though the woman seemed to have disappeared once the pair reached the rest of the party. Freeport pointed out that Lady Lyrissa was a Storastan goddess of wealth, prosperity, and nobility, and asked Nariel if the two of them were brought here by a god. Nariel shrugged, “She didn’t portray herself as a god.”

Strangeness and Charm

Naeris, tired of browsing books she couldn’t read, pulled aside Astrid, Bodi'ka, Bolin, and Freeport, and suggested exploring the other forked path to see about parlaying with the dragon, and thus Assault Team Charisma was born. Pthalo and Il'an, being charismatically limited, deigned to remain in the library and continue chatting with Nephiron.

At the end of the other tunnel, Assault Team Charisma, along with new pledges Nariel and Mitsuki, find a large cavern holding a pile of gold and platinum coins. Wedged into the pile was a fanciful longsword and embroidered scabbard. Naeris inched her way towards the sword, and when Freeport noted the dragon-shaped rock formation on the opposite side of the pile, began playing a song on his lute to introduce Team Charisma. Once Naeris took hold of the sword and quickly backed away, the ancient amethyst dragon uncoiled itself with a roar, declaring Team Charisma to be thieves.

Bolin called out to the dragon, implying that the group was present to trade knowledge for the sword. The dragon laughed at him, asking what knowledge the group has to trade, and when Bolin took too long to respond, the dragon roared once more and arcane sigils lit up along the walls and rifts opened up among the group, depositing floating globules of light amongst them. Bodi'ka went on the offensive, sending a torrent of magical missiles flying into the dragon’s rocky hide, but when the missiles reached the dragon, discordant sounds rang out from the dragon, crashing like a wave over Naeris as her ears began to bleed from the noise.

Mitsuki raised her bow in the air in surrender and backed up to the entrance of the cavern. Bolin gestured at the dragon and told his companions, “Look what we’re up against! We should leave!”

“Then leave, coward!” Bodi'ka yelled, drawing her sword and charging forward along with Astrid.

As the dragon advanced, Naeris noticed a small alcove it had been blocking, and quickly cast a spell that appeared to freeze the dragon in place. The globules of light quickly responded, firing javelins made of light at Naeris, breaking her concentration. Astrid called out a challenge to the dragon and began swinging her blade at its hide. Mitsuki turned her attention on the floating orbs, firing lightning arrows at them, while Nariel attacked them with her great axe. Bolin slashed at one of the orbs, then raised his shield, backing up into a protective stance near Naeris. Naeris let loose a blast of eldritch force upon one orb, causing it to discorporate, but the other orb continued to shoot bolts of light at the warlock. Freeport began to play a song on his lute and raised his voice to reverberate around the room, laying down an enchantment suggesting the dragon and the remaining orb lay down and take a long rest.

Back in the library, the robed being and the porcelain manglers took advantage of Pthalo and Il'an being on their own and launched an attack. The many doll-like hands raked at Pthalo with their razor sharp fingers, while the robed figure struck him, quickly knocking Pthalo unconscious. Il'an raised his bony old hands and began chanting loudly, calling upon the Oaths, then with a snap of his wrist channeled a corruscating crackle of lightning at all three aggressors before kneeling near Pthalo and resuscitating him with his medicine kit.

Pthalo leapt up to attack, holding off the robed figure as Il'an loosed a spell that released a small mote of energy at one of the porcelain manglers. When the mote reached it, the energy exploded in a cold snap, freezing the creature solid. Pthalo blocked the tentacled being’s staff attacks with his arms, pushing the being back and downing a healing potion in one smooth motion. As Il'an snapped his fingers, releasing a wave of thunderous sound, the manglers finally fell, but the robed figure snatched the amber sphere from Pthalo and retreated up a set of stairs, then called forth a rift and disappeared.

Ballad of the Goddess

In the cavern, Astrid raised her sword to strike at the dragon. Freeport yelled for her to hold off, but the paladin continued, lost in the flow of battle. The first strike woke the dragon from the enchantment that was just beginning to take hold, but Astrid followed up with a series of slashes that cut away at the rock and gems, leaving the dragon bloodied and struggling. The smell of urine wafted over those nearest the entrance as Bolin once again peed himself as he watched Astrid in awe. The blows, however, each resulted in waves of cacophonous sound ringing out upon those nearest to the dragon, rending them with psychic energy.

Mitsuki nocked an arrow seemingly made of pure shadow, releasing the string and sending the dark arrow sailing into the dragon’s neck, causing it to howl in pain. As the remaining floating orb conjured forth more lights to fire upon Naeris, Freeport struck a discordant note with his lute, sending an exploding burst of psychic energy upon the dragon. The tone proved too much for the beast, and its brain burst from its skull, knocking the dragon to the ground, dead. As the dragon fell, the remaining orb, too, discorporated, and the arcane sigils faded away.

As Team Charisma began to tend their wounds, Bodi'ka and Astrid noticed the alcove the dragon was hiding held a sword lodged hilt-deep into a stone boulder. The two women raced to the alcove, clambering over the pile of coins, but as they reached the sword, neither could pull it forth from the rock. They both turned despondently toward the pile of coins and began shoveling their participation prizes into bags. As the rest of the group noticed the apparent legendary sword, they all queued up in a line to make an attempt on the blade, including Daikitsu, once she healed Naeris. None could pull the blade from the stone, but as Naeris placed her hand on the hilt, it pulled free easily, revealing the hilt appeared to have no blade attached to it. She swung the arm with the hilt towards the nearest wall experimentally, and a gash appeared in the wall as though cut by an invisible blade.

See Also