Wealday, 25 Gozran, 4734
The Rune Wardens, having duped the white dragon Freezemaw into a tentative alliance, have ventured into the Vault of Greed to confront the mithral mage known as Ordikon. They find him floating over a silver pool of roiling magical energy.
Ordikon begins the battle by trying to disintegrate Zavian, and casts a quickened mirror image spell on himself. Marcus, recalling his previous embarrassment, is irked to no end by this. Ordikon also calls forth two enormous entities magic of silver magical fluid to face the adventurers.
Freezemaw takes a bite out of one of Ordikon’s mirror images, but then sit back to watch the battle unfold. Ordikon’s magics are swiftly hampered by a blindness spell from Marcus. The mithral mage resorts to area of effect magics, but the party resists his spells as Astrid and Lea slowly carve through his liquid servants below.
Unable to land a spell on the mage herself, Amelia summons a horse-sized dire bat to flank blind Ordikon with Zavian, who resists another petrification spell. As the silver wizard’s situation grows desperate, he appeals to the dragon and promises great riches in exchange for its assistance.
Freezemaw swoops over to unleash its frigid breath on the party. When their warding spells resist most of the damage, the dragon takes this as confirmation that they were planning on turning against it. The fight with blind Ordikon takes a backstage to the battle with the dragon. Lea is frustrated to see the fight take to the air where she can’t follow. The battle is taking place so high in the domed chamber that she cannot even reach them with channel positive energy.
Soon, Freezemaw has Marcus in its mouth again, thwarting the wizard’s ability to cast spells or strike with his ranseur. The dragon carries him into the center of the room, out of reach of Astrid and her slippers of spider climbing. Amelia’s spells keep sloughing off its scaly hide.
An enlarged Zavian gets Astrid back into the fight with air walk, but is nearly slain when he swoops down to collect Lea. Despite this, he deftly carries her up into range of her channel and together they bring the party back from the brink of defeat.
Astrid pushes past the blinded Ordikon to attack the dragon, thrusting Echo behind her to shank him without looking. The Mithral Mage’s body falls into the pool, where it dissolves leaving only his possessions.
Still held in Freezemaw’s vicious jaws, Marcus uses his superior knowledge of dragon anatomy to identify its uvula and batter the dangly bit with a telekinetic punch. The dragon retches him out and Marcus drops down towards the silver pool. As he draws close, he feels its raw magic assault his senses and quickly swoops away with overland flight to join Amelia.
The dragon beats its wings to knock Astrid off her feet, and then swoops down after Marcus. Before it can snatch the wizard back up in its jaws, however, Astrid gets her bow out and catches glimpse of a missing scale below the dragon’s left wing. Nocking her greater arrow of dragon slaying, she lets fly straight and true.
The flash of green necrotic energy silhouettes Freezemaw’s skeleton. He tries to press his head forward to bite Marcus, but instead collapses limp at the wizard’s feet, tongue lolling out.
The party quickly sets about scavenging the scene. Lea braves the dangers of the pool to retrieve Ordikon’s items, including a powerful magic staff of mithral. Marcus identifies the strange churning liquid as a pool of elemental arcana that could potentially be used to mend or recharge magic items.
Amelia decides to cut open Freezemaw to look for “dragon pearls” in his stomach. She doesn’t accomplish much beyond covering herself in gore. Astrid methodically salvages enough dragon hide from the ruined corpse to make a suit of armor and cuts off the dragon’s talons, while Lea removes its head. Astrid also retrieves a rare dragon pearl from the creature’s stomach. Infused with elemental cold, the enormous icy blue gem serves as a natural refrigerant.
Amelia goes to speak with the water mephits in the front fountain and lets them know that Ordikon is dead. She wants to know if this has happened before and if Ordikon might reconstitute himself. The mephits, however, break out into impromptu song: “Splish, splash, the mithral mage is dead!” Amelia takes notes on this strange folk music.
In Ordikon’s research center, Marcus realizes that the books on transmutation and constructs are worth a fortune. he and Zavian spend several hours poring through them for information. Zavian learns that the Therassic Flenser device that might cure Nualia’s affliction would also destroy Vivi in the process. But he also learns that the transmuter wizards had also identified a sacred cleansing site of Desna that could achieve the same purpose without harming Vivi.
Marcus learns that the wizards in the Vault of Greed had been tasked with devising a means for Karzoug to ride out the cataclysm of Earthfall, ten thousand years ago. Their solution involved constructing the largest runewell ever made in order to place Karzoug in stasis in a pocket realm between Golarion and the nightmare plane of Leng. The Runelord’s apprentices were supposed to release him once the disaster had passed, though the Runeforge wizards had little information on that side of the process.
Next, the adventurers decide to use the pool of elemental arcana to recharge some wands. Marcus’ wand of shield is fully recharged. The wand of magic missile Zavian dips into the pool explodes in his hands, while a wand of bear’s endurance regains a few charges. By Zavian’s calculations, this was a net gain.
The party strongly suspects that several of the animals in the research center and the fountains are polymorphed (a house cat, three rats, a snake, a white-faced monkey, and two goldfish). Amelia advises that they smuggle the creatures out of Runeforge before trying to change them back.
But before pressing on to the Halls of Wrath, the Rune Wardens decide to rest in the Vault of Greed and recover from the terrible battles they have fought this day.