posted Jul 18, 2020, 7:01 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Methyltina 1, 2560

The Rustoleii, after floating within Time for some unknown length, individually find themselves each rushing toward a blue star. As they approach, they each realize it is a portal and beyond this portal the begin to make out a vast domed chamber with light streaming into it from its top. As they get closer, the begin to make out small indistinct figures positioned before a large, dark, translucent sphere upon which this light from the roof is being absorbed. Just before making contact with the portal, they see a blurred cross-shaped figure writhing and being drawn through the roof and into the sphere

Each passes through the portal to find themselves standing at the end of one of the arms of The Arcaneum of Matinia's Dwelve within The Rearing Realm. The figure being drawn into the sphere is a huge red dragon. The others standing near the orb are dwarves, one group is armed and armored, while the other group wear robes and carry staves. They watch as the dragon disappears within the orb.

In moments, the orb begins the pulse and crackles with electricity and a bolt of lightning shoots straight down the western arm of the chamber, disabling the portal at its end. In seconds, another lightning bolt shoots down the northwest arm where Tktk arrived. She manages to dodge the lightning bolt as it strikes her portal making it go dark. Then a lightning bolt shoots straight north impaling one of the dwarves on its way to shutting down the portal at the end of the north arm of the chamber. With this, Patch moves to his left to the wall on the side of the northeast chamber and avoids the lightning bolt that shoots down the arm of the chamber he is in.

All of The Rustoleii now begin to rush toward the sphere in the center of the chamber staying on the sides of their arms as they approach so as not to be hit by a lightning bolt. Patch, Tktk, and Wingra quickly make there way toward the fallen dwarf as Kinnickinnic positions himself between the east and southeast arms of the chamber. It is quite obvious the dwarf is dead having a charred, fist-sized hole through his torso. The next course of action is to try to escape the chamber. This is prompted by realizing the crackling on the sphere is actually cracks. Kinnickinnic and Tktk realize simultaneously that there will be a vast explosion very soon, which will likely release the trapped dragon. They all make a break for the south arm of the chamber hoping that a lightning bolt will not be directed down it.

The lightning bolts continue around the room taking out the portal as everyone runs for the chamber's exit. The lightning bolts skip the southern arm to everyone's relief, but at the lightning bolt strikes the southwest arm's portal, the sphere detonates as well, incinerating the body of the dead dwarf as well as the two other robed ones that had not yet made it to the southern arm. As the blast clears, the huge red dragon can be seen charging toward the southern arm roaring. All but Kinnickinnic are frightened by the dragon and race to exit through the locked door. Tktk quickly picks the lock while Kinnickinnic, armed with his staff of power, casts a wall of force across the opening of the southern arm and blocks the dragon's further advance.

The dragon pounds against the invisible wall for a minute before retreating back into the chamber and disappearing from sight. The Rustoleii and the surviving dwarves congregate in the stair tower and discuss why the dwarves were capturing a dragon and what to do next. The dragon has been terrorizing the area of the mountain range for several days and the dwarves had finally gotten The Arcaneum prepared to deal with it. However, apparently part of the process was missed causing the sphere to shatter. It is finally decided that The Rustoleii and the dwarven knight will return to the chamber and confront the dragon.

The group cautiously and invisibly enter the Arcaneum searching for the dragon. Tktk is the first to spot it in the northeast arm. However, the noise of the others entering alert the dragon and it begins to approach the south arm again. Not knowing exactly where anyone is, the dragon looses its fiery breath weapon in the direction of the south arm, but only catches Patch who resists it. At this point the onslaught of the adventurers overwhelm the dragon with Patch's maul bashes, Tktk's rapier stabs, and the dwarven knight's sword thrusts bringing the dragon down in a matter of seconds.

With the dragon slain, the dwarven knight shows his gratitude by welcoming the group into Matinia's Dwelve and a round of ales at The Platinum Anvil. Here both Tktk and Wingra notice another dwarf sitting at the bar definitely showing interest in the humans. Wingra engages this dwarf in conversation. This dwarf is fascinated with humans and talks about a group of humans that visited Matinia's Dwelve about a year ago. He has only heard about them but had not seen them. After some more ale and dinner, The Rustoleii get a suite of rooms at the inn across the street from the tavern.