The group had traveled far, and decided that despite the night giving them superior cover while sneaking, they would use the time to rest and eat. The dragon, after some flattery from Bardita, was convinced to allow them to stay the night. Will gathered some stagnant water from the baths, and used his limited pyromancy to boil it. The group each broke into their one week of food rations, eating an assortment of dried meats and fruits. After the meal they each slept, with Bardita sleeping under the dragon for protection, while the rest chose to sleep as far away from the ancient reptile as possible.
They were awakened by the powerful rumble of a yawn from the dragon, who told them that they had stayed their welcome and to leave as quickly as they could, reminding them that she would find out if they let the Slaying Stone fall into the wrong hands. Whether this was an idle threat or truth the group did not know, but decided it best not to anger the beast. They agreed to protect it, thanked her, and left.
Once outside, the group consulted their crumpled map of the area and decided the best way to get out of the town would be by going through the old farm fields. Will attempted to create an illusionary fire to distract the goblins.. and set a house on fire. Luckily, a real fire distracts just as well as a false one, and they used it to slip into the fields with Jean-Loche leading the way. At one point, Bardita accidentally led the group into a goblin patrol and they were spotted, but Everdeen quickly found their way back and avoided the confrontation all together. The bridge was visible from the road they were now on, but something rustled in the the bushes.
Five powerfully built orcs lunged from the brush, charging the party. They each drew their weapons, with Kiris commenting that at least he got to leave the city before he died. Jean-Loche quickly pointed out that he had not crossed the bridge was still inside Kiris Moran, and the battle started. Two thick orcs wielding warhammers and shields charged the left and right flanks, while an orc with a sling over his eye glowing orange barked orders. Joining the right flank was a female orc shaman and a smaller orc dual wielding two scimitars. The thick orcs smashed into Everdeen and Kiris, with Kiris being a bit quicker and jumping out of the way in time to return with several quick cuts from his rapier. Everdeen summoned her bear spirit and attacked the heavy orc, but the orc’s shaman had a spirit animal of her own and summoned a spirit of the wolf that lunged at Everdeen, taking her down to the ground in a savage attack.
Bardita had engaged their leader, but quickly found herself on the losing end of the fight as a chain wrapped around her throat and strangled her. She broke free, turning the chain on her attacker, but was quickly punished as he snapped the chain and lunged at her, cutting a deep gash in shoulder with his broadsword and growling orders to his men. Jean-Loche teleported around the battlefield, taking free hits against several surprised foes before eventually ending a duel between himself and the smaller orc, running him through with his blade and idly kicking him off the hilt with his boot. Everdeen’s spirit bear blocked the way for more attackers, giving Will a chance to unleash his most powerful spells. Ice and fire swept the battlefield, knocking the left flank into a position to be attacked by Bardita and Jean-Loche. Bardita was stuck in a losing battle with the Orc leader, and Jean-Loche was being pushed by one of the thicker orcs. Kiris was stuck in a one on one fight against a shield-wielding orc, but was managing to dodge most of the blows with ease. The orc’s shaman spotted Will after his furious attack, and let loose a volley of lighting bolts that struck Will across the chest, but suffered no injuries due to the magical barriers Everdeen’s spirits had conjured. Will soon burned the left flank bludgeoner alive, and the Shaman was overwhelmed by the spirit bear, mauling her to death. Jean interrupted the duel between Bardita and the orc leader and decapitated him, while Kiris finished off the last of the thick orcs.
Jean and Bardita were injured, but they had survived an attack against a well trained, well armed band of orcs. And not many can say that. They briefly considered resting again to tend to the wounds, but decided it best to push on towards Neverwinter. A small imp landed on Will’s shoulder as they trudged down the road, which he recognized as his professor Zaliron’s familiar. It told him that he was to met Zaliron in the nearby trade city of Waterdeep, and flew off. The group agreed to join him, having nowhere else to go, and they pushed through the night towards the infamous Waterdeep.
They arrived to what appeared to be more of a traveling merchant caravan than a city, with the only permanent buildings being a tavern, a wizard tower, and a second unfinished tower close to it. Bardita bought a crossbow from a local shopkeep and loaded it onto her back, then headed to the tavern witht Kiris. Kiris quickly found himself drunk and passed out in a pool of his own vomit. Bardita wearily dragged him up the stairs, bought a room with some gold from Will, and passed out in a tired heap onto a bed, with Kiris laying unconscious on the floor, still spattered in vomit. Jean-Loche and Everdeen joined Will in their meeting with his professor at the wizard tower. He was a tiefling, standing about five ten with billowing robes and an obviously enchanted staff in his hands. He greeted Will quickly, and asked if he had the stone. After some arguing between Jean-Loche and Everdeen, who didn’t want to give the stone away, Will and Zaliron eventually convinced the two to part with it, with Jean promising he would attend the “presentation” Zaliron was giving at the tower tomorrow morning. They left and headed towards the tavern to sleep in the rooms Bardita had already reserved, eagerly embracing their soft beds.
The group awoke, bought a simple breakfast from the inn, and headed back down into town towards the tower. Two guards with an eye symbol on their shields stood at the front door, and the hustle and bustle of a party could be heard inside. Will said he was here to visit his professor, and the guard took a quick look at his conjuring list, telling him he was not on the invited list. Will slipped a bit of magic into his words, and convinced the guard they were on the list, and they headed inside before the enchantment wore off. The party consisted of twenty or so wizards, mostly young, with four or five older ones milling about in a corner. A pale skinned, dark haired human female in plate mulled about, and Jean decided to strike up a conversation with her. All he learned was that she was a paladin of Bahamaunt, and that she was there simply to observe. Everdeen was asked by a rather meek wizard if she was a sort of magical construct, and embarrassed him in front of the entire party with a scolding. Will managed to get a dance with a girl, and Kiris asked Bardita to dance. She refused.
About thirty minutes later, the room darkened and Zaliron walked up onto a small stage inside the room. two stands raised to his left and right, and he introduced his two newest creations: The first working Warforged in fifty years. The one to his left, which he had named Null, seemed very confused and quickly showed signs of sentience, but was silenced with an enchantment by Zaliron. The one to his right, Void, put on an impressive display of magic for the crowd, gathering several “ooohs” and “ahs” from the wizards assembled there.
The presentation was cut short. Suddenly, the window pane into the room shattered and a spew of bullets flew into the room. A cloaked humanoid stood on a skycoach outside, cranking away at a mounted gattling gun. Most had no time to react, being mowed down by the powerful and new technology. And those that did were soon knocked to the ground as an explosion echoed throughout the base of the tower. It began to tilt, and was soon falling towards the second unfinished tower. Will used his cloak to teleport outside at the last second, with Everdeen using her powerful magics to summon a wind to stabilize herself. Jean-Loche burst into sand, becoming nearly intangible. Kiris was sent sliding across the ground, scrambling to grab onto something as he flew nearer and nearer towards the window. Bardita gathered herself from the explosion and lunged after Kiris, tackling him out the window and into the unfinished tower. The sound of snapping wood and heavy thuds echoing throughout.
The dust cleared, and less than a fourth of the wizards attending still lived. The paladin has survived, as well as Zaliron and his Warforged. Null spoke to Will as they searched the wreckage for survivors, and introduced himself as Minsc. He claimed to of been a soul from half a decade ago, and that he had fought the demigod Saverock alongside the Nine. Will gave him a brief history of what had happened since, but the conversation was eneded when Zaliron once again used a silencing command on Minsc. He gathered the group and told them of his theory: The Red Court, a noble court consisting of vampires, had not agreed with the policies and politics of the Wizard Council for some time. He surmised that the Red Court was attempting to soften up the council before declaring war, which would be devastating for both sides, although the general public would most likely hear little of it. Despite this, he had a meeting with King Brey of the Breland’s to give him the two Warforged, which he had commissioned as bodyguards. The group decided to join him, despite the trip being across a continent. Zaliron used a ritual and a piece of chalk to set up a teleportation circle, and the group was soon thrusted around the world into King Brey’s court.
The court was shining with green marble, a dozen guards standing around the spacious throne room with weapons at their side. The king had a tired, creased face, his hair long gone gray and a full beard wrapped around his face. Zaliron bowed, and the two warforged did the same quietly. The king stood, thanking Zaliron for his work. It was then that Jean noticed the Slaying Stone was placed in the chest of Minsc, and he began to worry. Zaliron took the king’s hand and placed it on the stone, and told him to take control of the two Warforged he simply had to say his full name, and they would become binded to him. Jean quickly realized what was happening and yelled for them to stop. The wizard and king both turned, and Will attacked his professor with an ice spell, that missed and smashed into the king. Zaliron gave a wave of his staff and a powerful gale of air crushed the party into the ground, then wrapped his cowl close, and seemingly evaporated.
By the time the group had recovered, everyone including Kiris found themselves bound as King Brey asked who exactly they were. With the exception of Jean-Loche, who’s name seemed to bring back memories, he did not know anyone in the group and had the guards escort them to the Lighting Rail (Sky Train in Breland) and put them under house arrest until he figured out what to do with them. The two warforged were sent with them, and Void quickly adopted Will as his temporary “master”, although he had developed a bad habit of referring to him as “meatbag”. They sat in relative silence, defeated for the day. The group idly chatted with the two Warforged, but not much of importance was learned.
The trip was not dull however, as about fifteen minutes in a large, four armed and six eyed ape monster ripped through the top of the train and attacked the group. Bardita quickly identified it as a Balgura, a summoned demon sent to kill the party. Void unleashed a volley of bullets into the beast with his wrist revolvers, but was soon knocked on the ground and missing an arm. Will was grabbed and thrown down several carts, smashing through the train with heavy thunks. Bardita panicked and reached out for Linkin Park’s chest, her fingers grazing the Slaying Stone as she spoke the word “Balgura.” A terrible pain shot through her body and she collapsed as veiny red etchings shot up her right arm. The stone flickered and the color drained from it and cracked near in two. The Balgura screamed and its chest ripped out with the sickening sound of ripping sinew, and its heart exploded from its chest. Blood splattered the walls of the cart as it fell with one last defiant roar.
They were going to have some explaining to do when the train docked.