Kaias, seeing the man holding the halberd with a flag of peace, thought this peculiar. She also thought it peculiar that a normal man would be following her, flying around as a bat.
Kaias: Is there a balcony that looks safe and provides me with some cover?
Me: There is.
Kaias: Then I’m flying there, and I’ll turn back into my human form, but I want to keep something between this guy and me.
After Kaias transforms back into her original form she and the man exchange quick banter where it is less than subtly hinted that he is the red dragon occupying the city. He asks her to come down and talk with him, she refuses.
Kaias: How do I know you won’t hurt me?
This got a chuckle out of the group considering that this was a gargantuan red dragon.
Kaias hears a weird noise, looks, and there is a red dragon’s face consuming her whole vision. “I could consume you whole without so much as batting an eye right now, yet I don’t. Sufficient enough?”
Kaias: I’d say so. (She jumps down, but says she is still keeping her distance.)
Eventually the rest of the group shows up, as they are telepathically linked. All are introduced to Doorun, the Dragon Lord of the ruins of Sharn. He invites them to his home at the University to discuss what has brought them to trespass on his city.
Note: I made a DM decision here. Originally I wanted this to be a type of dungeon dive through the ruins of Sharn, taking several sessions with pitfalls and dangers, eventually coming to the encounter with the Red Dragon. I had originally designed this senerio to where the group, through the info from the Dragon Marked houses and info found in the city would have a convoluted story. The Dragon Marked houses paint a picture of the Dragon being a horrible creature and the other evidence and clues found within the city would point otherwise.
It would be up to the group to determine the truth and the story would go from there. There was just one problem.. time. Time left for the session AND time for the over all campaign. We have been running this campaign for a year now, and I’m loving it, as are my players, but I want to move to the climax of what we have been building to, the battle with the 5 Blades.
So I made a two fold decision. 1) That I would cut out the dungeon dive aspect of rummaging through Sharn (this can possibly happen at a later date). 2) That I have pitted the group so many times against powerful adversaries it might be nice for a change to have the group encounter a seemingly benevolent being willing to hear their plight and help them out.
With the dragon I wanted to highlight the Eberron philosophy that not all monsters are evil, especially the ones that DnD games USUALLY assume/make evil. *End Note
The group is teleported by the Dragon Lord to what is left of Mongrave University, which he is having repaired by his goblin minions.
They are treated to a hot bath, food, and conversation.
It is revealed that the Dragon Lord, his wife, and child agreed to help the “alliance” army, about 4 years ago, to retake Sharn from a Lich, his army of undead, and his vampire lieutenants. When the goal was achieved the Dragons, who had been separated throughout Sharn, were ambushed by members of certain Dragon Marked houses. The Dragon Lord lost his son in the fight with the Lich, and lost his wife in the ambush, he barely escaped.
He moves on the conversation to Kaias and it is believed that she may carry an aberrant dragonmark, possibly a powerful one. The dragon believes that this may be why Kaias family had been outcast in generations past and why, before the Blight, she had an assassination attempt on her life.
Eventually the Dragon Lord states that they have free reign of the university, look for whatever they need.
And then he drops the bomb, “You may say no to my request, without fear of reprisal… I would like you to kill the leaders of the Dragonmarked Houses here.”
Griffith: Well.. why can’t you do it?
DL: If I go forth, I will slay all, and I do not wish to cause unneeded death or the death of those who are just following orders and know no better. You have the chance to cut the head of the snake before it can fight back.”
To be continued 10/18/09