It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, you can read the earlier chapters of the saga using this tag search. Read them in chronological order!)
The Hag was bearing down upon Danaeryzard and Alaria with her gruesomely long nails and tattered rags. She smelled as though she was centuries old. The duo wasn’t sure the best way to attack this crazy old woman, and exchanged confused looks as they cautiously separated to either side of the ancient stone basement chamber.
Alaria had recently remembered in a dream that her Tiefling horns contained a bit of magic power, and thought this was as good a time as any to give it a try. Waving her head in a circle, a magic aura emanated from the tips of her horns and a Hideous Laughter spell quickly was cast in the Hag’s direction. Dany and Alaria had to cover their ears as the Hag released an ear-splitting cackle that sounded as hideous as she looked. The spell put the Hag in a fit of laughter, and she was unable to do anything else but buckle over and cackle uncontrollably. Not sure what to do next, Dany used her crystal orb to cast a Fire Bolt cantrip, but it whizzed by the Hag’s head, missing her just barely. To make things worse, the heat and light of the fire seemed to snap the Hag out of her crazed state.
The Hag sneered in Dany’s direction and was caught off-guard by the crossbow bolt that Alaria embedded in her bony arm. Dany focused her energy on a True Strike spell to learn more about the Hag, and her crystal orb revealed that the Hag had an exceedingly high armor class, despite the rags she was wearing. While Dany was busy with her magic, the Hag turned to Alaria and ran at her, screaming loudly and with her arms clawing out. Alaria backed away and aimed her crossbow once again, landing another shot but not doing much damage.
They needed to step it up. Dany’s second attempt at a Fire Bolt cantrip wasn’t strong enough to affect the Hag’s armor class. Since Alaria was the only one managing to do any damage to the old Hag, she continued to receive the retaliatory attacks, and hollered at her partner to attack again.
After a third Fire Bolt cantrip miss, the Hag ran at Dany and promptly turned invisible. Dany froze with fear. How could she attack what she could not see? Luckily, Alaria whipped out her magic wand and cast her Magic Detection spell. An illuminated outline of the horrible Hag was now visible, so they had a fighting chance!
Alaria’s newfound magic powers reminded Dany that she too had a magical accessory – a Circlet of Blasting. She clasped her talons around it while it hid safely under her robes, but she wanted to save it for the right moment. Her Fire Bolt cantrips, despite missing their targets, were filling her with fiery rage that she needed to expel – the best way she knew how! Dany inhaled deeply and unleashed her Breath Weapon in a massive funnel of fire directly at the Hag, who screamed out in pain. Seeing an opening, Dany ran over to Alaria so she could better support her partner.
The Hag was still invisible, but the duo could see her shimmering outline through the remaining smoke that was thinning out from Dany’s Breath Weapon. The Hag was charging at them, this time targeting her clawed fingers at Danaeryzard, but her mangled nails were no match for Dany’s tough lizard scale skin. She nudged the Hag off with her elbow, while Alaria raised her crossbow and made an excellent shot into the Hag’s side. The damage was starting to add up!
This was the right moment. Dany pulled the Circlet of Blasting out from her robes. Holding the amulet outward with her talons, Dany used her magic power to harness 3 powerful rays of fire that all blast at the Hag. Her hideous cackling laugh echoed through the stone chamber, but she was starting to buckle over and became visible once again. As she backed away, Dany was able to use her dagger and jab at her, but the Hag was up to something. She walked backwards and her aura began to shimmer. She was casting a spell!
In a flash, the Hag turned into the recently deceased, and extremely innocent Bengie. Dany and Alaria looked at each other with dismay.
“I can’t shoot Bengie! This is insane!” Alaria cried. But she knew that it wasn’t really the sweet teenager who had tried to help his town – it was the awful Hag. Alaria knew she had to be strong. She took a deep breath and drew her arrow, using her ever-improving skill to shoot Bengie in the chest. Before he could react, Dany lifted her orb and summoned three Magic Missile bolts at him in powerful succession.
Bengie tried to run at the duo and scratch back but he missed and fell face first into the ground, burying Alaria’s arrows even deeper inside him. She almost couldn’t look, but Alaria lifted her crossbow to shoot one more time and end this Bengie impersonator once and for all. After the final blow, Bengie wailed out with the Hag’s grating voice, and the dying body morphed back into the Hag’s form. The Hag stopped moving and the battle was over.
Dany and Alaria collapsed on the ground. Killing Bengie in such a way was psychologically tormenting and they needed a short rest to recover. They barely wanted to get close to the Hag, but Alaria searched the body anyway – discovering some gold and another building map. The map contained the same ancient language written on it that was on the schematic that they found on Sullen. She also found a Necklace of Adaptation, and put it around her neck. Looking down at her necklaces, Alaria noticed that their crystal trinket necklaces were still glowing. There was still magic down here.
Alaria began to clear the dust and dirty from the floor to better examine the stone flooring. There were a few inches of grime but eventually cleared enough dirt to reveal that the stones were actually made of the same crystal slabs that were from Lake Constant. The entire basement was made out of these crystal stones! They continued to excavate the space and found that the crystal was everywhere.
Alaria pulled out the two building maps that she was now carrying and examined them. She realized that the first building was actually an ancient drawing of the library itself! The other building might be in town too – or maybe it was their next destination. They needed to learn more! But they had killed the librarian, so it was now up to Dany and Alaria to do research on this ancient writing. The partners went back upstairs to the archives room with the ancient scrolls which they had passed on the way down to the basement chamber. They searched and studied many ancient tomes and finally matched the writing to Orc language.
But how could they read the words on these building schematics? They needed to get some outside assistance. They made their way out of the library and into the afternoon sun. Dany and Alaria could see fishing boats were on the beach and that the fishermen were back at the Guild. They walked over to the large Fishing Guild building and found Crest inside, looking serious and tired. Alaria asked how he was, and Crest sighed deeply… saying that he was hanging in there.
“We must ask you Crest, have you seen anything strange around town in the past few months? Have you ever seen an Orc in this area?” Dany asked him. He said that he had not. Alaria showed Crest the second building schematic, pointing out the Orc language written at the bottom. Crest looked very confused and remarked that the building pictured had to be larger than anything that was constructed in Water’s Edge. He wasn’t able to provide them with any information, so they decided to give Crest his space and return to the Inn.
It was time for a new plan. They took a long rest and decided that it was time to return to the castle with the information they had discovered. Maybe the royal scholars could assist them in translating the text or identifying the building in the drawing. At the very least they could pick up their wages and get some direction from Kolari and the Expeditionary Guard. They would set off at dawn.
The next morning, Dany and Alaria wanted to slip out of town quietly. Enough damage had been done to this small town since their arrival, and they knew that the townsfolk wanted them to leave. They headed back towards the rocky perimeter of the town, past the crystal caves that were filled with the memories of murder and deception. Dany and Alaria turned their heads away, not wanting to think about what had happened. As she began to climb the rocks leading back to the woods, Alaria looked toward Lake Constant, and She’i’s house. She regretted not saying goodbye to She’i. Perhaps they would come back again someday.
As they passed the caves, Dany and Alaria didn’t notice that their crystal trinket necklaces were still glowing. They neglected to notice the two figures standing not far within the entrance of the crystal caves, in the midst of a peculiar business transaction. They certainly did not recognize that one of these figures was Crest. The other figure was very large and wearing a hooded cloak.
The hooded figured pulled a pouch of coins out from his cloak and tossed it to Crest, who accepted it eagerly. As he made the payment, the hood fell backward, revealing that he was another evil Golden Dragonborn Wizard!
“On to your next shipment,” the Dragonborn snarled at Crest. “He does not like to be kept waiting.”
And so ends the latest installment of our DnD adventures! Thanks for reading! I hope you like this ongoing storyline lol! If you play Dungeons and Dragons too, let’s hear about your character in the comments! 🙂