Jack Entry 36

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11 Nightal, 1519 DR

Of course, the gray was lying through its teeth, but we saw no point in pressing the issue with its army just down the tunnel. We decided instead to hunt this earthquake dragon and find out its disposition. While Terrakrant believed that we were on this errand, it granted us safe passage back to the surface, and then we started the half day journey through the rocky foothills and stony barrens, navigating largely by the spirits thanks to Ixtab.

We practically stumbled across our quarry, rounding the corner of a boulder-strewn box canyon to see the wyrm stretching its wings atop a stone outcropping. I began negotiations simply enough, with the truth. “We were sent by Terrakrant to collect your head,” I said to the dragon.

In response, it roared in challenge and the stones around us shuddered to life, revealing the dragon’s hidden allies in a rough semicircle. Before I could say more, Tegalad had darted to the center of the stone creatures and conjured his dueling circle. I sighed heavily as the dragon came down to assault him, then prayed for intercession as the wyrm’s jaws closed around the elf’s head. It was surprised to find my blade in its scaly hide and my blood flowing across its teeth. The prayer had pulled it halfway across the battlefield and away from Tegalad.

It stomped the ground, knocking those nearby from their feet, and the combat began in earnest. It was by no means a trivial combat, but several intense moments later, we had the dragon beat, and it begged for clemency, insisting that Terrakrant meant only to corrupt the Earth Node for its own nefarious purposes. That stirred me not in the least, but Chipper saw an opportunity that the rest of us might have overlooked. The drow offered to join forces with the earthquake dragon and its forces, who could keep the armies of Terrakrant off our backs while we dealt with the old wyrm – along with our new ally’s help. In return, we would use the portal and the earthquake dragon could restore the node. The beaten creature agreed, introducing himself as Reknaar the Shuddering Earth.

Then we set about the task of planning the assault.

12 Nightal, 1519 DR

We crossed the stony lands back to the entrance to the Earth Node, while Reknaar’s forces burrowed into the caves and started the diversion. We skirted the worst of the fighting and progressed into Terrakrant’s lair. The gray, his dragonborn flunkies, and the pair of portal drakes we’d previously fought were engaged with four galeb duhr, and we joined the fight, hoping that our ally dragon would join us presently.

I prayed for intercession on Tegalad’s behalf once again and the gray tasted my blood rather than the elf’s. Undaunted by this development, the wyrm used its own magic to turn us all to stone!

I regained my senses moments later, though my feet were still held fast. I awoke only to have my will overwhelmed by preternatural dragonfear. I drifted in and out of awareness for several critical moments, unable to affect the combat one way or the other. When I finally shook off all of the wyrm’s magical influences, I growled and charged the beast, who was savaging my companions. I felt the shaman’s refreshing evocations restoring my torn flesh, and so I knew no more trepidation as I engaged the wyrm.

Reknaar joined the fray moments later, and the tide turned against Terrakrant and his forces. We forced most of them over the edge of the gem-encrusted pathway, and the great gray was the last to fall, wailing in denial at his defeat. We collected the treasures of his hoard, and waited as our dragon performed the cleansing ritual. This completed, we waited as Set cast the ritual to activate the portal. The way opened into utter darkness.

We stepped through into the Underdark.

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Jack Entry 36

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