You have my apologies for not writing sooner, but things have been quite… busy. I’ll try to summarize all the things that happened so that this letter doesn’t get overly long. We decided to deal with the devil possessed blue dragon in the bright desert. Despite having what we thought was a solid plan, things fell apart rather quickly. Jack’s airship was intended to be a distraction as well as backup, but the whisper devil had other ideas…
Suffice to say, fighting dragons is never pleasant, but this one was weakened by many years of suffering from Bartholomew’s Scalerot disease. After the whisper devil that was possessing it jumped out and tackled Jack off the deck of the ship, we engaged in a mad scramble to kill the dragon before things got any worse. Which, of course, they did when Celasur and Badr al din showed up. In the end, Jack’s mentor, Rhain, ended up putting out the dragon’s eyes after we damaged it’s wings enough so that it could no longer fly… well, let’s just say things were rather messy.
Celasur and her death knight wisely decided to escape before we had the chance to regroup and go after them. We found many curious things amongst the dragon’s massive hoard of ancient treasure. It seems that it had decided to roost on top of an ancient Flan burial site, conveniently containing the Flan piece of the Song of Ages. We found the remains of a royal couple — oddly a Flan princess and an Elven prince. There was also a strange casket radiating dark energy.
Alarmed, we discussed what to do when we received help from an unexpected quarter. There was a white, ivory tube filled with holy magic that acts as a gateway to Pelor’s realm. From it, the spirit of an ancient Flan garment sage appeared and helped explain what was going on. The casket contained the very first half-elf, Prince Narathel, who’d been sealed in stasis. Evidently Asmodeus had intended to use the young man’s power, as being the first of his kind, to open a portal to the nine hells. I’m still not entirely clear on what the purpose was, but, after being transported to Dawn Bay, Jevan’s grandfather Rutherford broke the seals on the casket and set Narathel free.
He and Idrys seemed to get along quite well, though the shock of waking up tens of thousands of years later than when he went to sleep was certainly something difficult to handle. He didn’t have much information to give us, but he was shockingly blithe about knowing Vecna’s human name — Elsavarious. Apparently the arch-lich was a court wizard in ancient Geoff.
Since the last piece of the Song of Ages was in the Mines of Drenek, Faern sent word to his people as he thought it best to gather information before going. The response was swift, and we were invited to a Dwarven gathering of clan chiefs in the Crystalmists. They gave us all the information they had gathered about the mines and Drenek. It seems he’d turned the first ten levels into a museum celebrating his own life — and undeath — complete with beholder docents. Yes. You read that right.
We encountered all sorts of disturbing creatures on our trek down through the tunnels, including undead dwarven artificiers and even diamond golems. The beholders, it turns out, were actually constructs. Which answered our questions as to how he was able to dominate such mentally powerful creatures.
We also discovered, thanks to Faern’s knowledge, that Drenek’s intent was to create his own race of dwarves. It seems the mines were built on top of the site where Moradin first smithed the dwarves from the primordial metal. Drenek had come across a sliver of this mystical substance and realized the truth of why there was so much wealth in that location. He took over the mines and murdered the other dwarves for his ambition. We found the sliver of metal in an ornate box sealed up in what had originally been Drenek’s own private rooms in the mines. A powerful priest of Moradin had blocked the entrance using braziers burning eternally with fire from the forge altar of the chapel of Moradin to prevent Drenek from getting to it.
The lich himself proved to be a dangerous fight. Or at least he would have if he hadn’t so blatantly underestimated Faern. In what may be the most karmically appropriate moment I’ve ever seen, Faern used a magical Hammer of Disruption he had found in Drenek’s own treasure hoard and felled the shocked lich in a single mighty strike. I’ve never seen the like, and I believe the chances of it ever happening again are nearly zero. Faern attributed the uncanny success to Moradin’s blessing.
Faern was also the one to realize that the small piece of primordial metal we found was Drenek’s phylactery. Feeling bold, he took the ore to the chapel of Moradin and used the holy fires to smith it into a beautiful holy symbol of the dwarven god, destroying the lich’s soul utterly in the process. We left the treasure to the dwarves who were quite insistent that we are given some kind of payment. I protested since the last piece of the song buried in the treasure hoard was our ultimate goal, but Faern explained that such a reward was considered a holy obligation for the dwarves. Evidently the dwarves will be spending their time counting the ludicrous amount of precious items and give us our due once they’re done.
We did find an extensive library full of rare information in the mines. It seems Drenek sent spies out into the world over the thousands of years he had hid in the mines. He had files on Acerak, talking about his origins as a cambion, and his rather creepily clingy relationship with Vecna. The description of Acerak made his origins sound more infernal than demonic, leading some of us to the speculation that the reason Vecna might have chosen the cambion based on his heritage. The uncomfortable suggestion that Acerak’s father might be Asmodeus himself was floated. Which might mean that he would have something to fight Asmodeus with since one of the few true threats that Vecna might have faced was the king of all devils.
We also came to the conclusion that Acerak might be seeking the Codex of Infinite Planes in order to resurrect Vecna. It was also suggested that we might be able to use Incabulos, or rather his sister Aislin, to reason with Bartholomew.