The group continues through the caverns beneath Diderius’ Tomb, entering into a large room lit by green flames. They could see yuan-ti in the shadows behind the flames. At the far end of the cavernous room is a large altar and statue of a cobra with its mouth open. At the foot of the altar is a dwarf in purple, unconscious and bound.
As the air elemental form of Herongull enters the room, a yuan-ti priestess slithers out of the shadows and places a knife to the dwarf’s throat.
“SSSStep any closer and I will kill the dwarf.”
“Ok,” shrugged the formless vortex that was Herongull the Elementalist.
The remainder of the party enters the room, watching carefully. The threat means nothing to them as the dwarf has done so much damage already that his life is worth nearly nothing. The yuan-ti is taken aback and reframes her threat. The party says that Varram is good to them dead or alive, it doesn’t matter, they are after the mask.
Seeing that the threat of killing the dwarf is not going to sway the party, the priestess offers riches, which also doesn’t sway the party (except maybe Nic). The priestess also attempts to use her suggest magic to convince them that the threat is real and they should take it. It doesn’t work, and the party then makes their own threat, give them the dwarf of they will kill all the yuan-ti. They point out that their young were not killed, but could have easily been killed.
After some slithering whispers, the trade is agreed, and Varram is given to the party on condition that no additional yuan-ti are harmed.
Nif is not pleased with this, moving up to the priestess and asking: “Mar-in? Mar-in?” The yuan-ti is confused, asking the others what the meaning of this is. It is eventually revealed that she is asking about her master, Martin Thundershot who was captured in the previous foray into this dungeon.
The party then makes an additional demand for the human. An yuan-ti escorts the party to a jail, and unlocks the door for Martin, who is then released and reunited with Nif. He thanks the party and introduces himself.
The last hurdle to cross are the bearded devils sitting in the dining room. They are concerned as these devils are working for Varram that if he is seen being carried out the the dungeon by the party they will attack. So, Nic devises a plan to disguise the dwarf. They shave his beard (!) and dress him up (or down?) and make him look a touch more gnomish, then walk through the dining room. The story: they rescued Nif’s friend and grandfather.
It worked like a charm.
Outside the caves and tomb, Varram explains that he lost the mask and used the scrying pool to find the mask and located it in the possession of Severin in the Well of Dragons.
Back at Waterdeep the Second Council begins. As there were a lot of new faces, the entire council reintroduces themselves. The faces are all the same, but Lady Laeral Silverhand is now the leader of the Council and the Open Lord of Waterdeep. There is a new face, Elia, seated next to the previous Open Lord: Dagult Neverember.
When Elia spoke she only spoke her name and little else.
The party reported on what they did to the council, and the council also reported to itself what the previous group did. They all reported on their feelings and impressions about the events and outcomes.
Connerad was not pleased that Varram the dwarf had his bears shaven. It is far too humiliating a deed to have been placed on a dwarf, even one who has worked against the council and damaged and ended so many lives. But, he was brought back alive and will face dwarves justice, which is the important thing.
Everyone was pleased to hear that Aravathor was defeated in the iceberg to the north. Especially Connerad, who expressed his surprise that Gristle survived the fight with the dragon, but did not survive the tomb. He also expressed his pleasure in Gristle meeting his end.
Ontharr Frume was not happy about the Arcane Brotherhood joining. He knows that the Arcane Brotherhood does not place restrictions on the knowledge the mages of their order can follow down, and as such, he will not work with any member of the Arcane Brotherhood that is evil. Ontharr was much more pleasant about the passing of Gristle, believing him eccentric, but loyal and effective, having known him from the beginning. He also expressed great sadness at the loss of one of his own, Donaar.
The Council then moved onto to more pressing matters – While Nif played with a toy wagon, and eventually played a wooden flute on the floor.
Both King Melandrach and Delaan report that a green dragon, and possibly a rider of the dragon, have been harassing many of the elvish territories on the Misty Forest. The King maintains that his soldiers have moved in and their presence has put an end to the attacks. Delaan says that the Emerald Enclave does not believe the attacks have ended and that they will continue until the dragon is killed. As much as the King attempts to dismiss the claim that the dragon continues to rampage through the Misty Forest, Delaan (and Herongull) believe the draconic threat is real.
Dagult Neverember now speaks saying that the metallic dragons, worried since the sounding of the draakhorn about a month ago. They have sent Elia as a delegate to the Council to invite the characters to the Nether Mountains to speak with the metallic dragons in a draconic council. Elia says that the dragons are wanting to learn more about those working against the dragons and what they are willing to risk in order to fight.
Herongull was more concerned with the green dragon threatening and damaging Misty Forest, so all attention went to Delaan. He spoke of a village of Altand which was recently destroyed by a green dragon. As the most recent, it is there that the most information could be gleaned.
The party traveled a fe days south east to Altand within the aptly named Misty Forest. The elvish settlement was severely destroyed, but not as badly as some of the other villages have been reported. Altand, for one has survivors. About two hundred.
Speaking to the village folk the party finds out that the dragon swooped down, attacked the village, started eating people whole, spraying poisonous fumes around, and cultists marching into the carnage and sweeping away as much treasure as they could; suddenly, the dragon leapt off and flew away, the cultists disappearing into the mists. All reports of this dragon have previously said that the villages it attacks are completely destroyed: no survivors and all the treasure taken.
The priest leader of the village was one of the first elves to be eaten whole by the dragon as he began to lead an attack on the dragon. The Warden of the village, who is now the highest surviving member member of the village and leader, speaks, sheepishly of the attack. It becomes very clear to both Nic and Herongull that the Warden is hiding something. When pressed he speaks of his wife having been killed by the dragon and not wanting to speak about it. Although this is perceived to be true, he seems to be still hiding something. Herongull does not trust the elf, so he flys up to the second level of the village (the treetop part) and talks with animals, specifically a nightingale. It is through this bird that Herongull learns of the attack, which is in line with the elves description. But, the nightingale speaks of the Warden leaving the village regularly. Curious the bird follows and notices the warden talking to the green dragon and rider, a dark skinned elf. With that evidence that the warden betrayed the village Herongull dive-bombs and confronts the Warden.
The Warden attempts to paint the outsiders as cultists sowing dissent among the elves, but it does explain the sudden end to the attack. After intimidating and confronting the warden, he reveals that he does meet with the dragon and rider. After seeing his wife die he begged the rider not to kill him and the village. In exchange for letting everyone survive the rider demanded that the warden give information about other elvish settlements in the Misty Forest and the warden agreed. So the dragon and it’s rider left, and returned here regularly to gather information. The Warden explains that he has seen the dragon fly off southeast from their meeting place, and the adventurers resolve to head in that direction to find the dragon.