Danaeryzard & Alaria: The Pride of Drachen

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!)

…………..

Ezra

Inside the Midnight Ring safe house in the caverns, Danaeryzard, Alaria and Ezra were resting up and getting ready to leave the next morning for Castle Drachen. They spent the evening sharpening their weapons and looking through the library of the safe house, where Dany and Alaria found some books on magic. Dany studied up and learned a new spell, called Fireball, which she couldn’t wait to try out!

The next morning, Ezra woke the party at dawn.

“Wake up! It’s time to get moving. You’ll sleep when you’re dead!” she said, shaking their bunks. Dany was feeling nervous about returning to Drachen, considering she had recently been imprisoned there, and then they deserted their positions in the Expeditionary Guard…

“Ezra, are you sure it’s safe for me to return to Drachen?” she asked uncertainly as they packed up their weapons and supplies.

“It’s not like we’re going to be barging into Princess Pena’s private chambers,” Ezra replied, shaking her head. “We’re going someplace familiar, don’t worry. But we’ll be taking a secret route.”

The Caverns

Once they were ready, Ezra lead the way out of the safe house and down a trail within the caverns. She showed them the glowing green markers that the Midnight Ring had set up as a guide to the secret exit, leading upwards to a more narrow tunnel. After walking a great distance through the stone tunnel, they finally came upon a large iron gate.

Ezra indicated to Dany to use her quarterstaff to bang on a metal plate on the gate door. Dany obliged, but winced as the booming sound echoed throughout the tunnel. Who’s door were they knocking on now?

Voices were heard before the figures were seen approaching the gate from the other side, far off in the distance. One carried a torch light, and as they approached the gate Dany and Alaria did not recognize them, but they knew Ezra, addressing her as a superior as they unlocked the iron gates. 

“We didn’t know when to expect you, Ezra. Forgive us if you were waiting. Let’s get you up to the surface,” one of the men said as they escorted the party up a set of stairs until they found themselves in a cellar. After opening a hatch in the ceiling, they were lead into what they then realized was the basement of the Green Street Tavern, where they had had some altercations with Tanar several months prior. 

Green Street Tavern

However, the basement looked very different now. The crates and storage had been cleared out and replaced by weapon racks, tables with maps and soldiers discussing battle strategies. Hendricks and Drex were in the corner looking at a map, until they saw Ezra, Alaria and Dany. 

Hendricks

Hendricks greeted them with a smile. “You made it! Glad to see you all again. I’ve recently returned from the castle, and you’ll be happy to hear that I’ve cleared up… most of the trouble with Princess Pena. Unfortunately, you two will never be allowed to join the Expeditionary Guard again.”

Dany and Alaria rolled their eyes. 

“But there is one more thing. Danaeryzard, you are banned from entering the castle grounds entirely. You will be taken back to the dungeon if you are discovered!”

Dany nodded that she understood. She hadn’t been too keen on ever returning there again anyway! Drex stepped forward and Ezra handed to her the Knife of the Serpent that they had procured from Eklatar. Drex examined the knife, distracted by thoughts that such a simple artifact could hold the key to the Sun Wizard’s quest for immortality. 

Drex

“Great work, you three. We’re in the end run now. Our plan now is to divide our forces into two groups and go to Toril, the Orc homeland, where the Sun Wizard and his followers are raising their army.” Drex pointed down to the map on the table, showing them the geography of the area. “A smaller force will go first by sea, and another on land. Sea is faster, and that group will be going ahead to scout the area, secure a site for our base camp… and will probably encounter several hostiles. The group coming by land will take a slower and safer route through the Drextel Mountains.”

“Princess Pena has agreed to send us a large number of troops from the Castle Drachen to help us with our cause. Drex will be staying with the large group and lead the troops through the mountains. Ezra and I will be going ahead on the ship. Which route do you two want to take?” Hendricks asked Dany and Alaria. 

Feeling anxious to try out some of the new skills they had studied at the safe house, the duo quickly agreed to go aboard the ship with Hendricks and Ezra. Once the arrangements were decided, Drex pulled out a sketch of one of the giant crystal slabs from when Dany and Alaria had first encountered the Sun Wizard. 

“You two know firsthand the power of these crystals. They originated from Water’s Edge, so we sent some of our agents to the town to learn more about these crystals. Unfortunately, upon reaching Water’s Edge, the agents quickly discovered that the entire town had been wiped out. It was a massacre. We have to assume the Sun Wizard killed them all to cover his tracks. This is further proof of his evil ways… and he is getting closer to achieving his goal,” Drex said somberly. 

She’i

Alaria’s mind was whirling as soon as she heard the word massacre. Immediately her thoughts went to She’i, the beautiful carpenter who lived on the beach in Water’s Edge. She’i had been so kind and helpful to them, and Alaria had developed a deep emotional affection and connection with her. To think that she had been ruthlessly murdered by the Sun Wizard’s soldiers was unbearable. Alaria staggered away from the stable, noticeably in shock.

Dany looked over at her partner and instantly understood why she was so upset. Dany herself was also devastated at the news. So many innocent people’s lives brutally cut short for the greed and selfishness of the Sun Wizard. Dany felt the fire within her begin to boil, and steam began to billow out of her dragon-like nostrils. 

Drex proceeded on, unaware of the emotional blow that this news had dealt Alaria and Dany. “The ancient library at Water’s Edge had collapsed, which is how we can be certain that the Sun Wizard is in Toril, where there is another crystal structure that they must be using for the immortality spell. After you escaped Eklatar, West was searching everywhere for you. And the knife. Our spies have learned that he eventually was driven out of Eklatar and sailed off on his ship, presumably back to Toril as well.”

The leader of the Midnight Ring paused and examined the Knife of the Serpent which she still held in her hands.

“This knife was forged centuries ago from the rock of an ancient meteor that crashed into these lands long ago. It has unknown properties. But stealing this knife will only slow down the Sun Wizard. It will not stop him. He will find another one with this material eventually.”

All of this information was hard for Dany and Alaria to process. Drex finally looked up and saw the disdain on their faces. She looked to Ezra with slight confusion. 

“Alaria and Dany had dealt directly with the townspeople of Water’s Edge. I think they may be slightly affected by this news,” Ezra whispered to her quietly. Hendricks sensed the tension in the air and immediately jumped to change the subject. 

“Hold on! I know what to do!” He rushed up the basement stairs to the main floor of the tavern. Dany and Alaria were still lost in thought until he returned with Dany’s old friend Bikira, who they had met in Eklatar and rescued from West and his gangsters. Dany sprung up to greet her with a Dragonborn handshake. So rarely did she see fellow Dragonborn these days, and she instantly felt more relieved having Bikira with them.

Bikira

“Hendricks said you might need some help, so here I am! I’ve been looped in a little bit… I just know that this is really important,” Bikira said to the group. 

“Thank you so much for joining us,” Dany replied. “You picked the right side.” 

“We are honored to have you all on board with us,” Drex said to everyone. “We must leave at sundown. Prepare yourselves to set sail.”

Alaria suddenly spoke up, “I need to take some time to mourn the people of Water’s Edge.” Dany nodded and added, “We need to take care of some loose ends. Can we take a few hours to ourselves here in the city before we depart?” 

“As long as you meet us at the docks on time, do what you will,” Drex said simply. 

Dany knew what Alaria wanted to do. Head to a tavern!

“Bikira, come along with us,” Dany said as they made their way upstairs to the ground floor. Bikira didn’t quite understand what the problem was, having missed the earlier part of the meeting and not knowing their history with Water’s Edge, but she went along with them anyway to be supportive. She knew something was wrong. 

The trio stopped at the next closest tavern that was open and Alaria immediately ordered some mead. Bikira was surprised that they were going to be drinking in the middle of the day. Dany and Alaria explained that the Sun Wizard had killed an entire town, where they had many friends. Bikira understood and ordered a bottle of dragon whiskey for the table. 

“To Water’s Edge!” Bikira proclaimed in a toast to their fallen friends.

Five hours later, many bottles were emptied and Dany, Alaria and Bikira stumbled out of the tavern and headed back to the docks to board the ship. Dany was staggering about, showing off her inexperience with the dragon whiskey of her homeland. They arrived at Slip 4 where the ship “The Pride of Drachen” was waiting for them to get on board. The two guards who had opened the iron gate for Dany and Alaria earlier in the day were eyeing them down as they defended the ship. 

“Is that one all right?” one of the guards asked, gesturing towards Dany, who was still stumbling around and starting to drunkenly rant about the Sun Wizard’s evil ways as they approached the ship. 

Alaria, who was much better at holding her alcohol, was more somber and sullen, and still deeply distraught about the loss of She’i and the people of Water’s Edge. She assured them that they were all fine, and they proceeded on board. They set up their bunks and tried to sleep off their inebriation. 

A few hours later, Dany woke up with a headache and her insides were broiling. She saw Bikira still sleeping in her bunk, and Alaria was seething in the corner of the bunk area. Despite her small Tiefling size, Alaria was very good at handling her liquor, Dany thought to herself. She decided to give Alaria some time to herself and go up to the top deck and get some fresh air. 

The sun was finally setting and it was time for the ship to disembark. Dany could see Castle Drachen silhouetted off in the distance. She shuddered to think about her time in the castle dungeon, and how she was forbidden to ever return to that place. 

Drex and Ezra were boarding the ship and saw Dany. They walked over to her, and as the ship was cast off, they stood together watching the land grow smaller and smaller as they moved further out to on the water. 

“We’re heading up the Green River now,” Ezra said to Dany, pointing forward. Alaria finally appeared, slowly walking up the stairs to the deck and joined them. “We’ll stay on the river until we reach the open sea. Drex said that we will make a stop over at the seaport town of Wave Crest along the way, have you ever been there?”

“I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t been there,” Alaria replied shortly. “How long is this journey going to take?”

“With fair winds, we should reach Toril in two weeks. This is a good opportunity to work on your training and continue to develop your fighting skills here on the ship. This won’t be an easy fight, but we’re going to be ready!” Ezra said in her proud way that felt very inspiring to Dany and Alaria. 

It was smooth sailing up the river, and on the third day the Pride of Drachen reached Wave Crest. Dany, Alaria and Bikira were all eager to visit the coastal town. 

“You are all welcome to visit the town, but remember that we will set sail at sundown. Do not be late. Keep in mind that this is the last time we will hit land until we reach Toril, so stock up on any weapons or provisions that you’ll be needing,” Ezra said as the crew and soldiers disembarked the ship. 

Walking down the pier, Bikira said she was going to take care of some business, and so Dany and Alaria proceeded together on their own way. 

“I think I remember hearing about a really good blacksmith in this town,” Alaria said to Dany. “I think it was called Jorgen’s. Let’s see if there are any weapons to buy. We need to destroy the Sun Wizard army for what they have done.”

Jorgen

Not one to argue with a shopping trip, Dany nodded and they made their way along the main road. Following a black smokestack, Alaria led the way and they found Jorgen’s pretty easily. 

The blacksmith Jorgen was a friendly fellow and greeted them instantly. 

“Welcome travelers! Thanks for coming in. Please, view my wares. I have some very impressive new weapons in stock, take a look. I’m sure something will peak your interest!”

Dany and Alaria checked their gold pouches. They had more than enough money to buy some new weapons!

“Yes, yes, right this way…”

…………………..

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! 🙂

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