Jockra

XXXVIII, Infyrana's Lair

The party has just defeated the dragon Infyrana. Her smoldering corpse and those of her bound nalfeshnee guardians lay inert beside a magma flow deep in the mithril mines below Orlishuz. Having rid the dwarven city of the dragon, Targus, Nix, Atrophus, Morin, Okfaust, and Ando catch their breath while they examine their surroundings more closely. In the adjoining cave can clearly be seen Infyrana’s massive treasure hoard.

Morin: (his face lit up by an ear-to-ear grin as he runs forward with arms outstretched) “Never have I seen so large a dragon hoard!”

Okfaust: “Aye, this one was mighty indeed. I ’spect not even Grimshale would have been her match.”

Morin: (sifting gold and platinum coins through his fingers) “How shall we divvy this up?”

Targus: (cleaning demon and dragon blood off of his sword) “Augh. I thought we were done for! Foul demons and an evil dragon…dead! We’ve done a lot of good here. This treasure hoard will surely help the dwarves rebuild their home and King Kjern to shore up his people’s supplies. Speaking of which, much of this gold could be property of the dwarves, themselves. I’m sure they won’t notice if a backpack’s worth is missing, though, Morin.” (smiles crookedly)

Ando: casts a minor divination while examining the pile of treasure “Many of these things are magical. I will have to examine them more closely. Certainly some of this came from the treasury of Orlishuz, but until we speak with the dwarves it is impossible to say.”
He picks up a thick tome bound in brass and scarlet leather. Leafing through it… “A book of spells. In the wrong hands it could be dangerous, I will keep this for study.”

Morin: while stuffing his backpack with fists full of platinum coins… “I am just going to grab a few choice things for now… holds a blue sapphire up to the light for critical inspection before tossing it in the sack …we’ve earned it. Besides, I’m not sure I’d trust a dwarf when it comes to counting gold."

Okfaust: frowning “Ironic you should say that as you stuff yer pockets.” Points at the lift “One ‘o you lads get on this winch, I’ll go let Kjern an’ t’others know the beast is dead.”

Targus (moving toward the winch): “I’ll give you a hand, friend. Perhaps I should stay down here to look after these mercenaries, lest their greed get the better of them! If Morin stuffs any more coin into his sack then it’ll be the ‘Outpost of Orlishuz,’ not the kingdom!”

The winch squeals and the lift creaks as you raise Okfaust to the upper caverns. He sounds the gong once he reaches the top. The oppressive heat of the magma flow is overwhelming so you move back into the treasure vault where it is slightly cooler. Several hours pass as Morin counts coins and appraises other treasures. You clean and sharpen your weapons and eat some jerk from your provisions. Ando sits cross-legged on a chest and studies his spellbooks. Nix and Atropos idle about. Finally the gong rings and you hear the lift descending from above. Okfaust appears, accompanied by Kjern, one of his vrechan battle-captains, Stonemender the dwarf engineer, and a retinue of dwarves.

Kjern: gaping at Infyrana’s corpse “By my ancestors, she is HUGE!”

The dwarves swarm over the treasure pile until they reach a stack of mithril ingots, anxiously counting them in dwarvish, while one scratches away with a quill and ink in a tablet.

Kjern: “The remaining kobolds are in full route. We’ve moved up more troops and cornered them in the river district where the mushroom people set upon them. They won’t last long. They put up a fight at the palace, but we drove them out. We should have all of Orlishuz reclaimed soon.”

Stonemender: bowing low to the party “A thousand thanks from the people of Orlishuz. His Majesty King Valster VII requests you attend him at the palace as soon as you are able, that he may thank you in person.”

Morin: Suppressing a grunt as he nonchalantly shoulders his bulging pack “Let’s be about it then. I tire of being underground.”

Targus: Walking up to Kjern and clasping his forearm. “Rest easy, Your Majesty, your problems with the bitch dragon and her kobold pests are over! We shall soon return to your homeland to celebrate the occasion—with much wine, ale and women! Your alliances with the noble dwarves of Orlishuz mark you as a leader of reknown—for more than your predecessors. May your reign be long and prosperous!” Turning to Stonemender, “Your thanks are well-received, Stonemender, but not necessary. All of the goodly races have obligation to help their cousins, for we, united, are all there is to stand against the encroaching darkness. My compliments to your lord’s wisdom in allying with King Kjern. He is a fearsome warrior—that is true, but as a leader he is far more than that. May your future endeavors bring prosperity and security to both your peoples! Of course, we graciously accept King Valster’s invitation to audience.”

Returning to his compatriots, “This quest has lit the spark in me again, comrades. I’m not meant to be drilling troops in the training yard, or advising lords as to how best to spend their grain allotments—my destiny is the open road and to where ever it leads me. I will journey the lands, with Agan as my guide, liberate the oppressed, righting wrongs and slaying mighty evils that threaten the world. Slaying this greedy dragon has realigned my perspective. Ule-Inur is dead—that is true, but the need for the good people to have a champion has not disappeared. I shall be that champion. I would ask you to accompany me, if your destinies allow, so that lands farther will be granted the grace of Agan and his allies—so that they can be freed from the shackles of violence, hatred and evil.”

Morin: “I am with you, as always.”

Okfaust: lets out a weary sigh “I fear adventure an’ the open road is for young lads. I hope ya will forgive me but I yearn ta’ put me roots down where I am needed most – helping the people of Harenshire in me waning years.”

Ando: stroking his pointed beard “My shoppe in Aras is practically running itself. I think I’d like to expand, maybe open a new place in Palamon. I’ve a nice vacant building picked out on Canal Street. Of course I’ll have to hunt down more curiosities to fully stock a new shoppe. I’m in.”

Targus: cheers Morin’s acceptance, but looks visibly taken aback that Okfaust has refused. He quickly looks to Ando, with a crooked smile on his face.

“Then Palamon will be our first stop. I’ve heard many tales of the great city from my father. Maybe Admiral Lalas will be there and we can pay him a visit.”

He turns to Okfaust, with a serious look, “I can’t say I’m not disappointed, friend. You’ve been with me since that sahuagin cave, all those years ago. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we’d all be dead a thousand deaths if you hadn’t stayed the course. The Earth Father calls to you in Harenshire’s hour of need, with that, I can find no fault.” He embraces the old druid. “But, know that your presence at my flank will be sorely missed.”

Targus looks back at the gleaming coins of Infyrana’s hoard. “With my share of this hoard, I shall make a sizable donation to you, Okfaust, and the whole of the Green Brotherhood. If Lord Agan is my heart and soul, then the Earth Father is surely my conscience. Now all we have to do is pry a bag of coin from our nefarious eladrin companion!” He snickers at his jest as Morin lifts his head, with a look of mock-offense on his face.

Ando: “We need not travel to Palamon, I have apprentices to handle my affairs there. I will accompany you on your journeys, although I may have to look in on them from time to time.”

Kjern: “Let us attend Arnik then if we are done here.”

The party proceeds to the lift.

Targus and his party ride the lift back up to the main level of the fortress. Following Stonemender, they reach the doors to the chamber that Arnik is currently located in.

“Everyone ready, then?” he asks, looking at his friends.

The party proceeds to the palace district of Orlishuz.

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Voralak

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