The senior officers of the Sea Word made the silent and sad trip back to the Sea Word after failing to kill the Vine Lord at the behest of the Lord of the Hunt. Un’Goro took this as a personal failure.
Heading back toward the troglodyte caverns, they continued their search for the missing silver dragon egg. The search came up empty but did discover some wagon tracks in the mud heading south. They followed the tracks for a couple of miles where they ended abruptly at the abandoned wagon. No other tracks could be found here.
Captain Ravenclaw turned the crew’s attention back towards his personal mission, the dragon hatcheries. Before they were imprisoned by the Galerius Brotherhood and forced to fight in the King of the Hill Tournament, they learned of a large facility high in the northwestern Decius. Captain Ravenclaw acted on this information and the crew began an exploration of the area.
They scouted the mountains for days. The location was correct, but nothing was to be found. Then someone stumbled upon a small cave, a vent from this long extinct volcano. The followed the cavern inwards and eventually came to a dead end. But perhaps other vents could be found.
Returning to the mountain, the crew scoured the terrain for more vents. finally they found one that lead into the hatchery.
From here they could get a decent view of what was going on. Several Aqium Wizards watch over two separate vats of dragoneggs. One chromatic, the other metallic. A good deal of Galerius Brotherhood infantry was here as well, but most surprising to see was a Red Pillar.
This proved to be their mode of transportation in and out of the hatchery, as a guard carried a egg through to an unknown destination. They were also able to see several vents that led to other parts of this large cavern. They decided to return with the Junior Officers and launch an assault.
By this time they had scouted out the other vents and through the various views they were also able to see areas on the floors and wall that emit poisonous gas anytime someone came near them. They also spotted a young bronze dragon, asleep on the far side of the cavern.
Preparations were made, the senior and junior officers split up, and the assault was launched.
The crew of the Sea Word got off to a great start, Triton made a break for the Pillar and quickly removed the Jewel, rendering it inert. The others took out most of the wizards quickly. The bronze dragon awoke and immediately attacked, killing Turvin Strongrider, one of the junior officers.
More and more of the crew piled into the cavern and they slowly took control of the room. The bronze dragon leapt upon the pool of metallic eggs, protecting them and also refraining from attacking.
One of the wizards retreated to their chamber, and was quickly run down by the swift feet of Quartermaster Yi.
When the battle was over and the cavern was secured, they were able to speak to the dragon.
Her name is Kimerth, daughter of Cerioth, and she has been here for 50 years, serving the empire by producing eggs, just like her mother did. Then Kimerth got angry,
“You’ve sentenced me to death, the empire will return and kill me.”
The captain was able to ease her concerns, saying that she and her eggs can come with them, that they are the Righteous she may have heard of. She hadn’t, but having no other choice, she agreed.
A few dragonborn kids wandered into the room from a side chamber while the crew gathered up the remaining eggs (2 red, 2 green, 1 black, 2 bronze, 1 silver, 1 gold) to take as well. Kimerth was able to explain a little more about the operation here.
It is called the Cerioth Hatchery Facility and that Red Pillar leads directly to a place called The Citadel. I don’t know where it is or what happens there, but I am led to believe it is a massive fortress of the Brotherhood and a location for raising and training the dragonborn army. The metallic eggs here mature slower and these will still be born as dragons. The chromatic eggs I’m not sure about, probably too late. The dragonborn kids (look like 5-year old kids, are actually a year and a half) are sometimes kept here so they may understand their heritage and to have an appreciation of the tremendous efforts the Empire takes in bringing them to life.
Un’Goro asked to adopt the confused dragonborn kids, with some help from Triton 714. The captain urged everyone out of the cavern, and Un’Goro used the Beads of Prayer to get Kimerth out of the cavern.
Back aboard the Sea Word, Captain Ravenclaw decided to promote Carl from deckhand to Junior Officer with Quartermaster Yi providing monk training for him. As the Sea Word set sail for Scalycium, they finished up a round of training and the Sea Word now fights as Sea Dogs.
They entered the coastal town and Triton had another flashback. When he came to, he said that he had been in this town before, long ago when it was known as Beckinsdale, where he boarded a ship for far off lands.
Scalaycium was a gloomy town. Everyone walked around in a stuper; a man comes running out of a back alley screaming,* “The bones!”* before darting away.
The crew headed towards the tavern. A man by the door wakes up as they enter, startled from a bad dream. The bartender explains why the town in on edge.
“Bad dreams. We’ve all been having them. Can’t sleep for weeks now, and when we do, they are just horrible, horrible dreams. Sometimes we see a swirl of bones. Other times we see the old temple in the swamp. We are desperate for sleep, can you help us?”
The crew asked about previous attempts, to which the bartender replied that yes, someone else offered to help. They referred to themselves as The Brindamorians. They were going to look into it, but it was assumed they failed. They have not returned and the nightmares continue.
The crew followed the road east out of town and eventually came to a swamp. The raised road cuts through the hazy swamp. Un’Goro starts to get a sense of necrotic energy as they spot ruins off in the distance. Nearby is a cabin off to the side of the road.
Here they found the former crewmembers of the United Pride, dead. Three of them, including a junior officer paladin named Layla, all dead from what looks like bite and slash marks from a wolf.
The crew headed towards the ruins; the ground was squishy but firm. The ruins was a former temple built when this land was lush. A plaque above the doorway reads: Temple of Ao, Cleric: Ravoroth of Decius. A howl was heard nearby. Three lich hounds phased in and attacked.
After the lich hounds were taken care of, they found a plaque that read:
All Praise to Ao the Mighty, Ao the Guardian, Ao the Warrior. We dedicate this shrine in the name of his stoutest champion, Raveroth of Decius, who epitomizes all the qualities of a devote follower.This immediately triggered Triton to another flashback. When he came to again, he told the story of when this temple was built and how he friend Endrick who told him a humbling story.
In another section of the temple, the crew reassembled a puzzle designed for the orphans who once lived here. Once they did, they were bestowed with a bless spell that would help them in the final room.
The last room was private chambers of Ravoroth, where he would commune with Ao himself for guidance. A cold chill filled the room as the bones began to swirl around, and faint sounds of children singing grew louder and louder.
Before the crew was a swarm of bones, and coming up through the floor were ghost of children, trying to drag the heroes into the ground.
The heroes fought courageously and were victorious. Triton spent the rest of the day cleansing and sanctifying this once proud temple. Un’Goro sensed the necrotic spirits were gone for good.
The story continues in Like Clockwork.