_You cross the narrow 20’ walkway that hangs suspended between the fortress wall of Magrathar’s Teeth and Nightwyrm Fortress itself, the spire beaming the light of twisted souls into the sky above. The walkway is ancient stone, edges cracked and eroded from tens of thousands of years of howling cold wind. Off each edge you see the deep chasm thousands of feet below. The vast height and delicate condition of the walkway make your knees weak and bring your heart into your throat with each delicate step.
As you get close to the middle of the walkway, near a section split into two by a huge crack in the center, it is as though the shadowfell itself crashes in front of you.
Urishtar the shadow dragon, once ancient protector of the Raven Queen’s interests and now Orcus’s guardian of the twisted soulstream, towers over you, wings expanded thrice the width of the narrow walkway upon which you sit.
“So you are the mortals who have Magrathar and his flock scurrying so.” Urishtar’s voice is deep and booming, a voice that seems to resonate in your skull and shakes the precarious stone under your feet.
“So small you are, for so much trouble.” The lithe dragon shifts and his head swings back on forth as he gazes upon you. “I have heard the whispers of the priests below. So long they had waited for you only to be ripped apart by the Slaads of chaos. How ironic.”
“I have heard of you, but I must say. I am not impressed.”
“Who are you? Why have you come? And why should I not send you to the rocks below?”_
_“Is that it from the mighty Shieldbashers? You all stare at me with mouths agape? I grow tired of this interruption.”
Act fast or Urishtar’s wrath might be swift indeed._
Mika bravely walks up and makes a feeble attempt to speak with Urishtar. She employs her diplomacy skills for 37 (a roll of 15 and a modifier of 22). She asks Urishtar what he wants from us. Perhaps we can resolve our differences with words instead of war.
As someone who appreciates deception; Masjo asks Urishtar why he would side with Orcus after being the protector of the Raven Queen? What has changed in the Shadowfell to sway someone so powerful? What is your dealings with this soulwell as it would seem that such a Shadow Dragon would not really have a need for it.
First, I use my keen elven eyes to determine where the safer spots on the bridge are. (Perception roll = 33) Assuming I succeed, I quickly warn those in front where not to stand.
Then I address the dragon…
You and I have met before, I believe (pointing at the spot where my arrow stuck him.)
I am Rosa Moonshadow of the Dalelands. I have come to put things back to rights. As one once sworn to the Raven Queen, you must know the dangers of messing with death. The souls must flow.
_Urishtar laughs, a sickening sound of steel ground against stone.
“Such a civil tongue you have for a door-kicker sparkmage.”
“What do I want? I want to be left alone. I am rid of Magrathar’s whispers, now I wish to be rid of you.”_
_“You’re arrow bit deep, ranger. I will soon not forget it.”
“You will, however, never speak of the Raven Queen again in my presence.”
The dragon rises, spreading its wings wide. Only mere moments remain._
The bridge is sturdy but very old. It is not at risk of collapse. Whatever strange godly magic built this place, it is built to last – It is hundreds of thousands of years old.
The dragon is free of control. No arcane power controls his mind. He is troubled, clearly, but that trouble is buried deep within him. It is not a problem to be solved in a mere moment of conversation.
The shadow dragon is a being of both physical and shadow power. Unlike spectres or wraiths, he has no clear weaknesses to exploit, though radiant light annoys him. This is not a beast of direct force, he is a beast that slides between shadows. His breath, however, steals the very life out of those upon which he inflicts it.
Masjo: Diplomacy 1d20 (rolled 13) +16 = 29
_A great sense of loss fills the eyes of the beast.
“Times change, thief. You cannot know how things can change over thousands of years. Like water tearing down a mountain, breaking it into a barren desert. I couldn’t even begin to explain to you how such things can come to be.”_
Successes: Mika – diplomacy 1d20 (15) + 22 = 37 Masjo – diplomacy 1d20 (13) + 16 = 29
Failures: Rosa – Intimidate 1d20 (9) + 10 = 19
Knowledge Checks: The dragon is note a brute – he is lithe and shifts into and out of the shadow The bridge is very old but sturdy. It would take a powerful force to break it. Urishtar is acting of his own accord. He is not under any sort of mind control.
“Surely a dragon of your age and wisdom can see that the Shieldbashers are merely following the path that destiny has provided us. We have no quarrel with you, unless you have allegiance to Orcus. We would be happy to take him a message for you…”
_“My alliance is to the beam. Do not take me for a fool, I know your intent. I have known it longer than you have lived.”
You sense the dragon has no alliance to either Orcus or the Raven Queen at this point. He guards the Soulstream, twisted as it is. He guarded it tens of thousands of years before when it was pure and he guards it now when it is corrupt._
In a display of fury and grace Enye – for the delay cause by the dragon – shows her frustration in being delayed. With great force she slams the butt of the glaive named mercy – onto the bridge not caring if it shatters the structure plummeting herself to her doom and proclaims – Why are we being delayed by you! Either attack us or leave. Athletism -35
_The screeching sound, like the sound of stone screaming fills your head. At first you think the walkway is coming apart, but soon you realize it is Urishtar…laughing.
“I had no expected such boldness from mere mortals. You do not know that which you face, do you. Still. I am intrigued. Perhaps death to the rocks below is not the proper end for you.”_
With that, the Dragon flys to the top of the tower above and awaits your confrontation at the Soulwell.