Spring, 7th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle
The heroes, reeling from Rexx’s death, wondered how the deadly encounter with the orcs was going to end.
Gristle entered the battle after he saw the saurian, Rexx, killed by the orc leader. Along with the other heroes, the tide of battle quickly changed.
Within moments all of the ors, including their leader lay dead amidst a slick pool of orcish and saurian blood. The heroes then took Rexx’s body and laid it in the larger cave. They then contemplated their next action.
Gristle said he was impressed by the heroes’ bravery and called them all battle brothers and offered to help them in any way. He produced a map leading to Clipwing’s lair. He said the map belonged to Chapel but was obviously a copy since he knows Chapel’s writing and he could not recognize the work of whoever drew the map. Whoever had drawn the map, Gristle said, clearly knew the location of the dragon’s lair. As far as he knew, only the dragon’s wards knew how to get to there.
The heroes followed the map leading to Clipwing’s lair. Gristle accompanied them, wanting to know the fate of Chapel.
Along the way, they smelled smoke as if from a camp. They chose not to investigate for fear of losing precious time and possibly getting lost.
When they reached the dragon’s lair, they all entered with caution.
Inside a large cavern located near a large stream, sat Clipwing. The great coppery-green dragon rested in the cave upon a small pile of gold, his head resting on an empty dwarven keg, which was the size of a large cask. His heavy- lidded eyes kept a careful watch on the cave entrance. His right wing was slightly bent, as though it had healed poorly from a bad break. He also had an old war wound running down the length of the same wing.
Taken aback by the presence of the imposing dragon—despite its wound—the heroes entered the cave and approached Clipwing. They spotted Chapel sitting on a large carved wooden chair nearby busy eating.
The boy was surprised to see the heroes.
Clipwing asked what brought the heroes to risk their lives by coming to his lair. Ser Derrick spoke for the group and told Clipwing about how Northpoint’s magistrate was concerned about the disappearance of Chapel along with Clipwing’s breaking of the Clipwing Compact he had agreed to nearly a century ago.
The dragon said Chapel was safe but was being kept in his lair for attempting to fool him with a keg of whiskey that was clearly not filled with Ridgeline Whiskey.
When Chapel was asked about his attempting to fool the dragon, Chapel told of how he panicked when he found the real keg of Ridgeline Whiskey he had brought empty of its valuable content. Not wanting to anger Clipwing, he hurried back to town, took three small kegs of whiskey from Templeton’s store and tried then poured them into the keg that was meant for the dragon. But when Clipwing tasted the whiskey, the dragon immediately knew that Chapel was trying to dupe him.
The group then asked who else would have known about the location of Clipwing’s lair. The dragon said that only the current and former wards knew how to find his lair.
When asked if the dragon knew of any former ward still living in the area, Clipwing told the group that he had heard that one of his former ward had stayed in Northpoint despite the fact that most had become adventurers and had left the small town.
Clipwing told the heroes that Sebastian Shaw once served as his ward when Sebastian was about sixteen years old.
Chapel added that he remembered seeing Shaw in the woods nearby late one afternoon. Chapel couldn’t be certain but it looked as though Shaw was talking to two orcs. After their brief meeting, the orcs handed Shaw a handful of coins. Unsure of what he was seeing, Chapel ran back to the dragon’s lair.
The group realized that it was the owner of the Shattered Sword who had motive to steal the valuable whiskey and end the agreement between the town of Northpoint and its guardian dragon, Clipwing.
They also were keenly aware that Sebastian Shaw was skilled in the arts of magic having served as Clipwing’s ward for some time.
The heroes offered to correct the wrong done against the dragon by Sebastian Shaw. They then immediately left, without Chapel, to return to Northpoint to confront the traitorous Shaw.
Along the way, they came upon the same place where they smelled smoke earlier. This time, they decided to investigate knowing that it may be a camp of orcs in the area.
After making their way through the thick forest, the group came upon an orc camp which looked as though it had been hastily set up. In the camp were a detachment of half a dozen orcs armed with short sword, short bows, and dressed in leather armor. They also spotted two large black-furred wolves playing in the middle of the camp.
Not having much skills in stealth, the group chose to charge the camp.
A bloody battle ensued in which Ser Derrick was slain after being surrounded by most of the orcs and their leader. Moments after the brave knight’s death, the heroes were able to kill all of the orcs and the wolves and avenge their friend’s death.
They searched the camp after and found provisions and about a hundred silver coins.
The heroes decided to take Ser Derrick’s body back to Chapel and Gristle’s bolt hole where Rexx’s body was also being kept for the meantime.
They then continued on to Northpoint.
When the heroes arrived in town, they decided to find and tell the town’s magistrate, Hiram Mirth, about everything they had learned. Hiram asked the group to confront Sebastian Shaw and arrest him for his crimes against the people of Northpoint.
The group entered the Shattered Sword and found Sebastian Shaw alone, busily cleaning several wooden mugs. They also noticed the stuffed Owlbear standing in the nearby corner.
“Sebastian Shaw!” Hiram Mirth yelled as he stood behind the adventurers. “You are under arrest for your traitorous acts against the people of Northpoint.”
Sebastian Shaw, dressed only in a simple woolen shirt and breeches eyed everyone with disdain. “I was wondering if you would ever figure out what happened, Hiram. If it weren’t for these meddling heroes, I would have gotten away with it too!”
With a wave of his hand, Hiram sent a wave of magic hurtling towards the stuffed Owlbear. Suddenly, the large creature began to move as if it were alive! It then turned to face off against the half-orc, Glint.
The heroes rushed the proprietor who with another wave of his hand produced a pair of stone-skinned warriors armed with longswords to fight for him.
The encounter against Sebastian Shaw did not last long.
In the end, Shaw’s summoned warriors, along with the stuffed owlbear were defeated. Sebastian Shaw was defeated but not killed. Instead the group tied him securely while he was incapacitated and handed over to the town guards, Samuel and Elijah who took him away to be locked up until Hiram and the town’s citizens can put him on trial for his crimes.
After several hours of searching through the Shattered Sword, the missing keg of Northridge Whiskey was found. The group then immediately traveled back to Clipwing’s lair to hand the keg over.
Pleased with the heroes’ courage and dedication to saving the people of Northpoint, Clipwing offered the group a rare gift. Once a year, the dragon said, he could bestow the gift of magic by shedding a dragon’s tear, a tear formed of pure blood and magic. He who drank the dragon’s tear would gain the ability to cast magic or enhance their arcane power if they were already killed in the arcane arts. Only Brother Silas was willing to accept the dragon’s precious gift.
Clipwing also used his dragon ways to reassert his superiority over The Iron Legion and ensure Northpoint’s safety under his guard.
Back in town, Hiram Mirth asked to meet with the heroes. He thanked them for delivering the whiskey and returning with Chapel. He said the town would give the adventurers a hero’s celebration for averting disaster. The magistrate also offered to have Ser Derrick and Rexx buried with honors in the town’s cemetery where they would be remembered for their sacrifice.
As a final reward, Hiram Mirth offered the heroes the deed to the Shattered Sword. He explained that Sebastian Shaw had no relatives and the town would be happy to have the heroes remain in town as honorary citizens and new owners of the tavern and inn.
Sebastian Shaw was days later hanged on the town’s gallows after a quick trial. His body was then burned and his ashes scattered in the forest.
For the moment, with Clipwing guarding the town and a brave band of adventurers having taken ownership of the Shattered Sword, a quiet welcomed peace settled upon the small town of Northpoint.
Gristle of Northpoint