Rise of the Runelords

All That Glitters is Definitely Gold

The Spires of Xin-Shalast, Part 20

Fireday, 27 Erastus, 4734

Having been provided safe haven by the Spared in the tunnels below Xin-Shalast, the Rune Wardens decide that their next move is to raid the treasure hoard of Ghlorofaex before the rest of the city realizes the old blue dragon is dead.

Their first step is simply getting to the lair undetected. After some discussion, they settle on using Marcus’ veil spell to disguise themselves as lamias. This will mean conjuring up a unique look for all of them.

  • Zavian takes the lower body of a white tiger and models his upper body on Nualia.
  • Marcus likewise takes on the likeness of his girlfriend Shayliss, while assuming a lizard form for his lower body.
  • Lea keeps her looks but hearkens back to the appearance of her lamia knight Seleval and takes on a lioness’ proud form.
  • Ameiko also keeps her own likeness, but assumes the dark purple and orange body of a Varisian firepelt cougar. Lea is a little jealous.
  • Grenja alters her looks to change her skin from blue to a pale, almost alabaster color that matches her snow leopard lower half.
  • Reri adopts the features of a varisian woman, while choosing a panther’s lower body with just hint of red to the tuft of her tail.
  • Amelia keeps her upper body but adds the lower body of a puma.
  • Malakah once again takes on the likeness of a different, saurian-bodied lamia.

Upon leaving the underground chamber, hey frighten the Spared, who are often hunted by lamias. (“We call them skulks,” Malakah whispers.) After reassuring the Spared, the newly disguised party ascends to the surface.

Marcus, still under the effects of overland flight, prowls along the rooftops as a lookout, while the rest of the Rune Kittens walk below, trying to look like ordinary lamias. Marcus can see that giants are converging on the Heptaric Locus where battle took place just a short time before. There are multiple aerial patrols as well, both cloud giant roc riders and blue dragons.

One patrol of roc riders notices them. The leader descends to speak with them while his companions remain high in the cloudless sky. once he approaches within earshot, the cloud giant calls out “Praise Chellan” and waits expectantly for a response.

The party realizes this is a code phrase and that things could go badly if they don’t answer correctly. Amelia recalls seeing the mural of Chellan in the Heptaric Locus and responds with her title: “The Living Weapon.”

This satisfies the cloud giant, who then questions why they are not investigating the Heptaric Locus. Amelia and Lea spin a lie that the Most High Ceoptra ordered them to secure the perimeter in case the invaders escape from the Heptaric Locus. The cloud giant buys this, and warns them to be watchful and call for help if they encounter the adventurers.

With that, he returns to his patrol and gives an “all clear” hand gesture. Amelia makes note of the gesture for future reference. The roc riders continue on their way.

The Rune Kittens proceed towards the dragon’s lair, now feeling somewhat more secure in their disguises. Ameiko teases everyone over their looks, especially Zavian and Marcus. Lea is frustrated at how her illusory tail keeps betraying her mood, and repeatedly tries to grab it in a vain attempt to hold it still. Grenja dances around, getting a kick out of watching her illusory cat form translate her movement. Marcus uses overland flight to move from rooftop to rooftop, his illusory lizard body fanning out skin flap to make it look like he was gliding.

Ghlorofaex’s lair was the former treasury of Xin-Shalast, a heavily fortified structure that has mostly collapsed. The entryway is still structurally sound, however. After checking it for traps and dispelling an alarm spell, the Rune Kittens warily enter. The antechamber leads into a much larger main hall. One side of the room has collapsed, but the other side is structurally sound with several side doors. The whole place stinks of dragon, but no treasure is in view.

As they move deeper into the room, they notice of one of the side doors is open. A blue-skinned teenage girl in brightly colored garb, jewelry hanging from her neck and wrists, exits the room. She is shocked to notice the intruders and hastily hides something behind her back.

The blue girl demands to know what the strange lamias are doing in her “grandfather’s” lair.

“I could ask you the same question,” Lea responds.

The blue dragon girl refuses to reveal what she’s hiding behind her back and attempts to pull rank on the “lamias,” demanding that they leave at once. Lea dials up her inner mean girl and intimidates her fellow teenager.

The blue girl realizes that these aren’t actually lamias and is terrified. She tells them to take whatever they like and just let her go. She explains that she is running away from Xin-Shalast and traveling very far south, to the distant land of Rahadoum. She has some sort of scheme involving the weather controlling orb of storms she is stealing from her grandfather.

She promises to tell no one about the adventurers and begs them not to take her head. Lea has her stand still for ten minutes in order to inscribe a mark of justice upon her, placing it just above her right eye. The mark will activate if she warns anyone about the party or if she harms any people. The definition of “people” is left a little vague, much to the girl’s consternation.

Lea also demands the dragon girl’s name. Somewhat haltingly, the teenager says that she is “Kezeecha the Stormcaller” and demands Lea’s name, which is given in turn. Utterly terrified, Kezeecha flees the chamber via a secret passage, the orb of storms cradled in her arm.

Reri goes to investigate the passage and any other hidden doors, while the rest of the party steps into the treasure room. Ghlorofaex’s hoard is neatly heaped in a small chamber, littered with riches and magic items that Marcus and Zavian quickly set about cataloging.

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