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, check out the entire saga in order by reading the chapters organized on the D&D tab of this site!)
Weary from their late morning battle with the Air Elemental, Danaeryzard and Alaria retired to their sleeping quarters. It was early in the afternoon, so they took a long rest, knowing that they had a big job to do later on that night. They were planning to pick up the ancient knife replica from Ezra and deliver it to “Uncle” Birolesh, the dwarf who had raised Alaria since she was a child… after he murdered her parents, that is.
As the moon raised high into the night sky, Dany and Alaria were awake, alert, and heading to the Leaky Casket Inn to meet with Ezra. The Midnight Ring had resources to create a copy of the ancient Knife of the Serpent, but it was a copy in appearance only. It lacked any magical abilities and they knew the hand-off would have to be quick in order for it to be successful. At the inn, Midnight Ring guards greeted the duo at the door and escorted them down a side staircase to the basement where Ezra was strapping on leather gauntlets and collecting peculiar looking arrows into a large quiver.
On a table in front of Ezra lay two knives that looked quite identical. One was placed on a brown cloth, ready to be wrapped up and taken to the exchange – the replica knife. Alaria picked it up and examined it in the candle light to see if she could notice any distinction between this and the original. To her, it looked exactly like the knife that she had stolen from the Church of the Serpent.
“Ideally, this will be quick and simple,” Ezra said, going straight to the point. “We don’t quite know what to expect at this drop… Do you have any questions before we head over to the Crispin Docks?” Ezra’s plan was to shadow the duo and step in if things should get out of hand. She hoped that it wouldn’t be necessary to intervene.
“What is the plan afterwards?” Alaria asked, placing the knife back onto it’s wrapping and preparing to take it with her.
“Meet back here at the Leaky Casket.”
As midnight approached, Dany and Alaria stepped onto the dark, foggy Crispin Docks and headed to the slip where they had met Biro last time. The docks were noticeably deserted; all of the menacing guards that they had seen last time were absent. Everything was eerily still and ominous, with the only sounds being the crashing of the water and the creaking of the large wooden ships.
Two dark figures were approaching from the other end of the slip, and Alaria knew immediately that it was Biro and West. When Dany realized that West was coming towards them, her scales hardened and flared out with rage.
“Ahh, right on time. I assume you have the blade?” Biro called towards Dany and Alaria as the two pairs walked towards each other.
When they had walked close enough to see each other clearly, Dany and Alaria stopped and held their ground.
“Do we have to do the deal with this bastard present?” Dany snarled back, gesturing to West.
Biro seemed slightly confused, looking quizzically at West standing at his side.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about West! He is here as my boatswain, we’re about to set sail… once I get the knife, of course,” Biro replied.
“Your ‘friend’ here tried to have us killed by an Air Elemental this morning,” Dany said angrily. “I’ll either kill him, or he can leave!”
Biro and West chuckled to each other. “The Dragonborn is lying. You know how they thirst for blood,” West laughed, shaking his head.
Alaria stepped in, demanding proof that the bounty on Dany’s head would be removed, as promised. Biro produced a small scroll from his waistcoat and unraveled it. The parchment clearly had ‘Danaeryzard Targeleon’ written on it, but Biro began to rip it up before Dany could read the rest of the words. Rage continued to build inside Dany – she wanted revenge on West, and she was angry and confused about the origins of the bounty on her head. At this point, Dany wanted to start a fight.
“How about an exchange – the knife for West?” Dany hollered at Birolesh.
A dark look came over Biro’s face. Looking up, Alaria could see that the guards who were absent from the docks were up on the ship deck, and they had started crowding around the side of the ship to see what was going on below. Some of them had crossbows at the ready.
“That was not part of the deal,” Biro said with a tone of warning.
Alaria could tell that Dany wanted to quarrel, but they were vastly outnumbered. She sighed and stepped towards Biro, handing over the wrapped knife replica. Dany felt her rage turn into burning fire and smoke began to seep from her nostrils.
Biro opened the wrapping and handed the knife to West to transport it onto the ship. “You know, West didn’t think that you could pull off this heist! But I knew I raised you right.”
At that, West turned around and stabbed Birolesh in the back with the knife!
The long blade pierced all the way through his chest, with a small circle of blood forming on the front of his waistcoat. The round dwarf doubled over in pain and shock. He began to cough blood and fell into a small crumple on the ground as he started to bleed out.
“The Sun Wizard says your services are no longer required,” West scoffed at Birolesh dying on the dock. “If you had disposed of these two, this wouldn’t have happened!”
Biro had no response. He had no life left in his body.
Alaria and Dany stood paralyzed in shock.
West walked to Biro’s lifeless body and pulled the knife out of his back. Red droplets of blood dripped off the knife as West held it up in the air and laughed.
“You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this!” West cried out. “Ever since YOU came along, Alaria!” Four men appeared from the misty fog, backing him up. They began to walk back towards the ship, until West suddenly turned around and threw the knife into Biro’s body still lying in a heap.
“Did you really think we wouldn’t check to see if it was real? WHERE IS IT?!” West was motioning to his men to attack Dany and Alaria.
Ezra’s voiced boomed through their chat rings, “RUN!”
They barely had time to react before they heard the high pitched screech of the oncoming magic bomb arrows launching from Ezra’s bow toward the docks. The duo was knocked onto their backs from the impact of the bomb arrows, and fire and smoke began to rise from the wooden docks. Dany could hear West and his men scrambling to their feet and could faintly hear him yelling at them to attack.
Dany heaved out a big fiery belch towards a pile of wooden crates assembled nearby. Everything flammable lit up with fire and black smoke. Alaria pulled Dany away from the docks and they could hear the men coughing and scrambling in the chaos. The partners began to run as fast as they could away from the docks. As they ran, they passed a few constables who had been alerted to the chaos and were running towards the fire to see what had happened.
Dany and Alaria continued to run back through town towards the Leaky Casket Inn. Along the way, Ezra appeared in a poof of white smoke before their eyes.
“West will tear this city apart looking for the two of you. We need to get you out of here right away.” Ezra helped the duo make it back to the inn and they returned to the Midnight Ring hideout in the basement. This time, many soldiers were readying for battle, putting on armor and sharpening their weapons. Among them was Hendricks in his full armor. He greeted them with a smile.
“Ahh, you’re back. I guess the forgery was detected?”
“We’re dealing with a worst-case scenario, Hendricks,” Ezra said bluntly. “Birolesh is dead. West is looking for these two and it’s not going to be easy to get them out of Eklatar. We have to get back to Drachen… Alaria, you grew up here. Do you know of any secret paths out of town?”
“Actually, I do. When I was homeless, I would sometimes break in through an old entrance I’d found, and take shelter in the defunct sewer pipes that lead north out of town. They stopped being used maybe a century ago. I never told Biro about it, nor have I ever seen another soul in those tunnels.”
“Well, these pipe tunnels head north, and we don’t have any other options… I think we should go for it,” Hendricks said to Ezra.
Alaria cleared her throat loudly. “I believe we were promised a payment…”
“Yes, of course,” Ezra said. She walked to a desk in the corner of the room and pulled a pouch out of a drawer. She handed the velvet maroon pouch to Dany, who opened it to reveal a pink pyramidal Ioun Stone.
Ezra explained that this stone must be attuned and balanced to orbit around the user’s head and can be used to gain additional magical Protection during battle. For Alaria, Ezra took off the cloak that she was wearing, explaining that this is the Cape of Mountebank and it can be used up to twice a day to teleport to a location that Alaria had visited before. After giving them each their half of the 500 Gold, she handed the cloak to the Tiefling and gave her a wink.
“Sorry, I guess I already used it once today. But it recharges at sunrise, so you should be fine,” Ezra chuckled. “We need you two to lay low here for a few hours and we will leave at dawn for these hidden pipes.”
Hendricks produced a map and Alaria showed them the approximate location of the hidden entrance that she used as a child. Overnight, Dany and Alaria both sat quietly and meditated to attune their new magical items. Dany practiced tossing the stone over her head and sensing it floating around her head with arcane power, while feeling strong and protected by the power of the magic stone. Alaria wrapped herself in the soft cape and imagined traveling to all sorts of places that she used to visit with her parents, in happier times.
Hours later, their items were attuned and it was time to go. Ezra said that they would split up from Hendricks and he would travel with two decoys, just in case they were followed by West’s men.
“Will we be in trouble when we return to Drachen?” Dany asked Hendricks nervously before they departed.
“Well, you two will certainly need to keep a low profile when you return to Drachen. But I’ll speak to the Princess and help her understand that we are all working towards the same goal,” Hendricks said, and Dany thought he sounded honest, but she couldn’t be certain.
The group split up as discussed, and Ezra led Dany and Alaria through the empty streets of Eklatar in the light of the early dawn. They ducked through alleyways and side streets as much as possible to avoid being seen, but in one alley they ran into a man who instantly grabbed his weapon and charged at them.
In a slight panic, Alaria grabbed Dany and wrapped the cloak around the two of them, and they vanished in a poof of white smoke. The henchman stood for a moment feeling confused, and Ezra stalked away without being seen.
Meanwhile, Alaria and Dany found themselves dizzy after arriving in a book shop in a poof of smoke. It was the early morning and the shop was closed.
“Sorry – this is a store I went to with my parents when I was little. It just popped in my mind; we had to get away from that attacker! I’ll pick the lock and get us out of here,” Alaria said, trying to explain their random location. “The good news is that we are very close to the secret pipe entrance.”
As they exited the store, the sun was rising. They were in an upscale part of town and shops were starting to open. Dany and Alaria crept down the streets until they found the tavern where they have planned to reconvene. Ezra was waiting there along with Hendricks, and they were relieved that Dany and Alaria were safe upon arrival.
Alaria showed the rest of the group a secret stone door that looked like it was part of the gutter of the tavern. She pushed the stone slab aside and revealed a little entrance. Dany eyed Hendricks wearily, as they were roughly the same body size. They would fit through the opening, but only barely.
The group made their way through the tunnels, which were stony, dank and slightly roomier once they were underground. Hendricks took the lead and they made good progress through the tunnels, until they were met with a pile of stones blocking the way, evidence of a cave-in years ago. Eventually they made their way north through the pipe system and found an old door leading back outside.
The group stumbled blindly into the bright light of the mid day sun, filled with relief from their successful escape from Eklatar… and apprehension for the journey ahead to Drachen.
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! 🙂