Scaled Down Scales

The Climactic Showdown the Portal Hall...

…Finally Gets the Order and the Freeriders…

…access to the force sphere at the center of the Fane of Chanhiir.

Andrea Ravn wanted to press on quickly to the next room. She wasn’t sure yet she could trust the mystery woman’s skills as a scout.

“Calls herself ‘Jaz’,” she thought to herself. “Yet she couldn’t sneak up on those torturers.”

She threw open the double doors and found another pair of doors just past a small room.

From beyond the second set of double doors came a sudden shout of alarm and the sounds of combat. Over the clash of swords and the shrieks of dying Githyanki, the familiar voice of Megan Swiftblade rang out.

“You laid claim to Elsir Vale, but our lands still stand free! Our people will not kneel to you, mudskin, nor will the wider world you covet! We will not fall!”

“I’m leading the way,” Andrea yelled as she forced her way through those doors as well. She could hear the others following. Even the Githyanki priests were anxious to get in on the battle to free their fane.

Before the stairs on the far side of the hall, Megan Swiftblade stood with the severed head of a Githyanki captain clutched by the hair. The Freeriders were bloodied but defiant behind her, the Githyanki in the chamber spreading out in preparation for attack.

She could tell the Freeriders were outnumbered — for all of Megan’s bravado. As Jaz charged in to surprise them from behind, Andrea took advantage of the fact the invader Githyanki’s attention was all on Megan to get a little surprise of her own.

The Freeriders and the robed Githyanki who were fighting on their side were soon cutting down the invaders and getting cut down themselves. She made a fateful decision and started healing the Freeriders whenever they fell.

“Probably the best thing I can do to win this battle,” she told herself as she instructed the others to drink the potions of regeneration she had brought for them.

Soon the odds were a little more even.

Storm Johnson told his followers, “We need something which will help us intimidate the Djinn of the City of Brass if we are ever to negotiate with them. I have found references to a powerful artifact: the Crown of Fangs.” He told them it was made from the teeth of the first Blue Dragon. “Khazavon is said to have sprung from the ground where one of the Scales of Io fell. He allied with Tiamat from the beginning and fathered the line which became the Blue Dragon Horde. When he was slain, his parts were deliberately scattered, so they could not be used to bring him back. Khazavon’s teeth were used to make a Major Artifact which could possibly help someone who was sufficiently attuned to it to intimidate the rulers of the City of Brass. I will send a message to Amyria and see if she can contact Nox Rhasgar. Maybe in his travels he can find the crown.”

Relvain Blackaxe knew she was having a dream about the Hill Giants attacking the city of Argent. Behind enemy lines. Inside the fortress they had built outside the city. She was fighting her way out. Swinging her axe in frustration, she missed…

…and awoke to find herself alone in the secret room they had discovered in the Githyanki tunnel complex near Thiradeth, an outpost north of Elsir Vale.

No sign of her companions, except the Minotaur who still snored loudly in the corner. Assuming they had pressed onward, she applied the right-hand rule and found another room full of rotting corpses, then a martial-arts training facility.

“Looks like they’ve been here,” she told herself when she saw two more corpses. Unlike the Githyanki corpses she found in the first room, these were freshly killed. And she heard the sound of fighting from the room beyond.

She found a battle royale there: Githyanki corpses everywhere; Megan and the Freeriders with Andrea healing them.

Her allies had even recruited some of the robe-wearing Githyanki to fight on their side. Unarmed, they were willing to fight against the heavily armored invaders who were wielding their silver swords.

She saw two groups of the sword-wielders who were wearing plate. Andrea was attracting the attention of the closer bunch, so she decided to charge across to the others who were essentially unscathed. Well, the robed ones had the far group surrounded — along with some of the Freeriders — but it was taking shouts of encouragement from Andrea to keep them on their feet.

“I’ll give them something to keep their minds off theses cloth- and leather-wearers,” she told herself. For the Freeriders preferred leather so they could keep their bow arms free.

Once Andrea and the mystery elf finished off the other bunch they came over to help. But she had already bloodied one of them.

Maggie agreed to meet with Garen Bladerun. He was interested in her plan to help in the rebuilding of the city of Overlook. The Paladin had plans of his own: to start a new training academy for Paladins of Bahamat. She knew just the place.

As the battle drew to a close, Jaz remembered how to use her Sneak Attacks along with her Backstabs. She found she could even do Sneak Attacks without stabbing her opponents in the back.

Soon she was doing more damage than the dwarven shieldmaiden who had joined the battle late.

Once they were able to concentrate on the last two Githyanki, Andrea introduced her to the others as an Elf. She could tell the Dwarf didn’t like Elves much.

“At least she doesn’t know I’m a Drow,” she told herself. “Then she’d really hate me.”

She wasn’t so sure about one of the Githyanki priests. While the other clerics wandered off to consecrate their dead, he was eying her suspicious. “I wonder if he suspects my true race?” she asked herself.

As if in answer, the priest winked at her. Then he walked over and told her he wanted to show her something.

He took her over to the body of a Warmonger he had been searching. From under the dead Githyanki’s breastplate he pulled out a hat.

An ordinary hat.

The force sphere in the middle of the room pulsed ominously. Spitting out the occasional tendril of force.



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