Taking our river giant companion, Kuedo, at his word, for the moment, we set out for the lair of the winged beast he had mentioned. On arrival, the beast set upon us almost instantly, attacking us with its deadly breath from the air. As I was rendered largely useless in the ensuing fray, it was left to Leetsa and Elynnar to fell the beast, which they did with style and finesse, indeed.
As we set about divvying up the hoard it had guarded, a band of giants, sounding as though they’d been directed to us by the conspicuously absent Kuedo, stumbled upon our position, a short fight ensuing, in which, managing to catch them unawares, we emerged victorious.
When we returned to Kuedo’s raft, however, the giant had, predictably, absconded with the vessel, as well as knowledge of the incantation inscribed on the disk we’d found int he sunken temple.
Deciding that we must continue in our goal, rather than pursue Kuedo in what would likely be a fruitless chase, we pressed on to the location of the fire geodes, another temple, finding the plant life within un-agreeable to our presence. An enormous, carnivorous flower attempted to make a meal of me, but, with the help of my friends, I was able to supply it with a severe case of indigestion, instead. We then set about searching the temple for the geodes that were meant to relight the Forge of Minderhall. We found suspicious-looking yellow geodes, though these proved to be volatile and rather scorching when handled. Upon exhausting that avenue, however, we did locate a secret door, finding the true fire geodes in a chest within.
Armed with our successes, we pressed on to the branch of the valley where the drakesbane horn was purported to rest, finding the mouth of the pathway marked with a sign of warning. Further on our guard, we pressed on, beginning to craft a raft that would carry us through the swampland (as neither Leetsa nor myself would fare well in the deep muck), and it was then that a band of odious, undead creatures swarmed us, sapping our strength and nearly slaughtering us all. It was only with the last, frantic efforts of the faltering Thorsten and myself that we managed to prevail, restoring our lost vitality with magics and some invigorating berries we had located in the fire geode temple.
From there, it was simply a matter of pushing on to the location of the horn. We found it to be at the top of a lofty cliff face, the base of it littered with the bodies of drakes and bits of what would likely become the undead creatures we’d encountered previously.
Seeing no immediate danger, I scaled the cliff, finding a cavernous tomb and apparent drake nest within. I’d no sooner called the rest of the party up afterward than a surviving drake swooped in on us from the sky, calling out for our blood. Left cornered and defenseless inside as the drake was free to spew volley after volley of toxic spores from his mouth, I landed on a desperate course of action. Setting down my spear, Heartspit, I sprinted from the cave opening, vaulting through across the considerable distance between myself and the airborne drake to collide with it in midair.
The beast attempted to rend me in two, but I held fast, pinning the creature’s wings in place to ensure we both plummeted the distance to the ground. Using the drake’s body to soften my fall, I came up on my feet, ready to press the fight, though I stood at death’s door. The drake, however, lay still, defenseless as I ended its life and settled into a healing meditative trance.
One artifact remains in this valley that we wish to keep from the hands of Volstis’s cronies; a mythical, life-bringing clay for giant-kind. What horrors await us at this next unholy site, I am reticent to ponder…