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. Come in, Ezra. We have secured a location for base camp,” Alaria spoke into her chat ring, which sent the message to the Midnight Ring army waiting with the ship located miles away on the coast. Meanwhile, Danaeryzard and Bikira were planning out the most strategic places to set up the temporary barracks and training areas for the large army to use when they arrive.
“She says it’ll be a few days before the rest of the army reaches this area,” Alaria said to the others. “Plus, a bit of good news – there is a half-Orc in our army who can help to translate for our new… friends.” She gestured with her horned head towards the Orc Leader and the sole surviving follower from his Orc tribe, who were busy cleaning and sharpening their weapons on the other side of the newly established campsite.
“Plenty of time for us to get everything set up for them!” Bikira said, feeling quite comfortable coordinating a base camp thanks to the battle training of her past.
“Ezra and a smaller party will be here sooner, they were already on the move when I spoke with them,” Alaria continued.
“Let’s hurry and finish preparing this land, then!” Bikira replied, leading the efforts.
After several days, the camp was ready for use, just as Ezra and her small party arrived. With her was Hendricks and the half-Orc translator, as well as a few more Midnight Ring higher-ups.
Once Ezra’s party had settled in and rested a bit, she stood up to make an announcement to the camp.
“Tonight we will give a proper send-off to the bodies of Tank and his men, who were unfortunately slain because of the malice of the Sun Wizard. These soldiers were strong and brave, and they will be missed. The Orcs tell us that there is a small stream that leads to the sea to the north of here. Prepare to meet at this location at sundown,” Ezra said solemnly to the group as they all hung their heads.
When the sun began to set, the sky was filled with red and orange clouds stretching across the sky. The bodies of Tank and his party of three other soldiers were laid on wooden planks that were decorated with flowers and fauna that were found in the forest. Ezra used her magic to set their bodies aflame as they were pushed out into the stream flowing east towards the sea. Her magic caused the flames to glow in purple and white, flickering in the growing darkness as the bodies floated away.
Dany, Alaria and Bikira kept to the side, being somewhat unfamiliar with these particular funeral rites. They stood solemnly watching the Midnight Ring soldiers perform the rituals. Danaeryzard thought back to when Tank and his men were killed. They had run ahead of Dany and her party, and at the time Dany had thought that Tank was being hasty and careless with this action. She silently vowed to herself to remember the serious consequences of a mistake on this battlefield.
Two days later, the small party was busy sparring in the training area when Drex and the caravan finally arrived. They were informed that 20 of the 100 soldiers were killed in a storm on the way to their location. The remaining army filed into the barracks and began preparing their weapons. As the sun set, the sound of sharpening swords filled the air, Drex stood up to give a military briefing.
“My fellow brave soldiers of the Midnight Ring, the most important battle of our age is upon us. The Sun Wizard must be stopped at all costs, or his minions will continue to use the magic of the Lake Crystals to murder innocent people and take over the entire realm.
“Tomorrow we travel to Blaze Mountain, where these heathens are suspected to be stationed. There are two parts to our battle strategy. First is a diversion to create openings in the ranks of the enemy’s army. With the generals distracted at the foot of Mount Blaze, it will be easier for part two, which is a small group of elite fighters that will scale the mountain and enter the temple built at the apex. At the temple, this group will take on the Sun Wizard and his top guards.
“We will put a stop to this monster! There are many good people who have fallen at the hands of the Sun Wizard and his army, and they will not be the last. But we will honor those who we have lost by defeating this evil! Our magic is used with the intention of good! We shall prevail!”
The army cheered and raised their swords and axes in the air.
When she finished her speech, the Orc Leader approached Drex. He was now dressed in full Orc battle armor and was accompanied by new his half-Orc translator. He communicated that he wanted to assist with the first phase of the attack, since he had exclusive knowledge on where the enemy was likely to have guard posts set up around the foot of the mountain, and could help the generals with the planning of the attack. Drex agreed, shook his hand and thanked him for his alliance.
She then called over Dany, Alaria and Bikira, and they were joined by Ezra and Hendricks.
“The six of us are the team who gets to pay a little visit to the Sun Wizard,” Hendricks said with a grin, winking at Dany and Alaria.
“How many warriors are we facing here?” Dany couldn’t resist asking, feeling unable to return the same happy sentiment.
“My scouts counted at least 50 warriors stationed outdoors,” Hendricks said while looking over at the army, which had resumed their battle preparations. “We should have enough men to keep those bastards occupied while we climb the mountain.”
“All right, then it is decided. We march before dawn. Go get some rest, all of you!” Drex commanded the small group.
Dany, Bikira and Alaria headed to their bunks, with the weight of the moment hanging heavily on all of them.
“Dany, would you perform the pre-battle ritual of our Golden Dragonborn clan with me?” Bikira asked hesitantly. She knew that Dany didn’t exactly have a positive experience in their homeland, but at the same time Bikira could not deny her own personal superstitions from years of battle training with other Dragonborn fighters.
“Um, sure. You lead it off. I’m not… well, let’s just say it’s been a while,” Dany shrugged, moving to stand next to Bikira. In her mind, Dany was having traumatic flashbacks to the schoolyard, when the bigger Dragonborns would do these rituals with one another before they would bully and beat her up. But she put those memories aside, wanting to help her friend to feel ready for battle.
Bikira reached out her talon to Dany, who grasped back with her own clawed hand. They tapped their talons together and began a dance, swinging their arms and clicking their talons together in a rhythm, while huffing out small clouds of smoke from their lizard-like snouts.
As Dany and Bikira finished their dance, Alaria got herself into bed and watched them.
“Do you have any Tiefling rituals that you do before a big heist?” Bikira asked Alaria when the dance was finished and the two Dragonborn had returned to their cots.
Alaria, still lying down, lifted up a lucky necklace that was around her neck and said, “I wear this and just try to stretch and stay limber!” They laughed nervously and laid down to sleep.
The camp became still, though for many soldiers it felt as though sleep might never come. Only a few hours later, the pre-dawn preparations began. It was quiet and solemn as the soldiers dressed in their armor and holstered their weapons for the journey.
Hendricks called over to Alaria, Dany and Bikira, who thought they were as ready as they could possibly be for this moment. It was time to go.
The elite party initially traveled with the main army as they made their way north along the coast towards Mount Blaze. After an hour of travel on foot, the army passed the foot of Mount Guenn, which had been blocking their view of the target. Only then did they see the large Mount Blaze up ahead, with a striking greenish blue beam of light emanating from a temple within the rocky mass.
“That light has been getting stronger lately,” Hendricks said. “This is where we split from the group. We’re heading through the woods to find a gap in the lines and make our way up the mountain.”
Moving as quickly as they could, the elite party made their way through the forest and began the ascent. Another hour passed, and as the small party rushed through the woods they suddenly heard the muffled sound of an explosion miles off in the distance. Then they felt the ground shaking from up ahead, as though something large was approaching.
“The main army has engaged with the Sun Wizard forces!” Drex cried. “Quick, everyone gather together.”
The group closed in on Drex and she began to hum a strange low note. Her eyes became filled with black swirls until they were totally black, and then darkness began emanating from out of her body, closing around the group. They were soon completely surrounded and covered by darkness so black that they could not see.
“Drex is doing a cloaking spell,” Ezra whispered telepathically to Dany, Alaria and Bikira through their chat rings. “Stay still and silent.”
In the utter darkness, they froze. All around them, the group could hear a stampede of warriors running past them, heading for the main battle. They waited until it grew quiet and then Drex told everyone to close their eyes for a moment.
When the group opened their eyes again, they were blinking in the daylight once more. They continued their climb up Mount Blaze, facing an avalanche that left Alaria slightly injured by a large boulder.
At the half way point, the party felt the heat and heard the echo of a massive explosion down at the foot of the mountain. A massive battle was taking place down there, and the group looked at one another apprehensively.
“The faster we go, the sooner this carnage ends,” Drex whispered.
“What are we waiting for?” Alaria exclaimed, leading the way further up Mount Blaze. As they approached the peak, they found themselves nearing many crags and a ravine with a bridge leading to the Sun Wizard Temple. But when they got closer to this bridge, they could see that it was broken.
“Hmm… I have this magic Wind Fan,” Alaria offered. “I could blow you all across the gap of the bridge, and then you could throw me a rope to get across.”
Drex nodded approvingly. Alaria made short work of getting everyone across, although Dany had an awkward landing and injured herself a bit. Hendricks and Bikira helped Alaria cross over the gap and they were soon ready to enter the temple.
The entire temple was made of Lake Crystals, pulsating with energy and a greenish blue light. The party quietly crept through the entrance, seeing an altar with a figure turned away from them, walking through a blue barrier to go inside. When the coast was clear, the group made their way to the altar. Hendricks tried to push his way through the barrier but it would not budge.
Alaria remembered being stuck in a barrier situation with Hendricks before, back in the Red Dragon Monastery, and in that puzzle the trick had been to run backwards in order to move on to the next chamber. So, she ran backwards through the barrier, and easily made her way into the corridor behind it. The group was shocked! Dany followed suit and was also able to proceed through. But the rest of the party was still blocked out.
What was the difference? They soon discovered that the lake crystal souvenir necklaces that Dany and Alaria had purchased back in Water’s Edge was the secret to passing through the barrier. They shared their crystal necklaces with the other members in the group so that everyone could get through and into the Sun Wizard Temple.
Reaching the temple had been a challenge of it’s own. But the real fight was about to begin!
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! 🙂