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As the Brazen Storm left the sanctity of the fortress the next morning, Fenrir again chose to remain behind and further attune and study his new blade. In his place, the party was aided again by the Werewolf’s servant – Cogsworth, the Adamantine Golem. However, as they readied to set out, they soon found themselves standing across from several reptilian-like cows. Though neither side seemed to know what to do with the other, Grimsby (proving himself once again an invaluable communicator) was able to interpret their peaceful intentions through a combination of pantomime and interpretive dance.


One of the younger calves, amused by this, took a shine to the Halfling Rogue and joined him at his side. Together, the two new friends led the way, able to easily persuade all remaining herds that they were friendly. Along the way, the party members chatted and continued to bond, Hawk telling his friends a humorously dark story of his past: where he won a goldfish from a carnival in Vasselheim, however (being from a poor family) Hawk used the tiny fish to feed his family of five.


After several hours of travel, the party encountered vast ruins and a boneyard of many enormous skeletons. Taking the time to examine their surroundings, Hawk is able to determine that the bones are Draconic, and that the ruins appear to be from an ancient city of theirs. Recalling the war between the Giants and Dragons, Grimsby asks the World Serpent of his involvement. The World Serpent explained that the devastation and destruction wrought by their battle threatened not only the safety of the Southern Continent but the whole of Exandria as well. In order to stop their conflict and save the world, the World Serpent ate both of their civilizations, thus creating the vast wasteland of the inner part of the continent.


With the realization that their quarry (the elusive parasite) was near, the party readied themselves for stealth. But a low rumbling came, not from the depths of the ruins but, from beneath them! The bones of the many dragons rose into the air, born by the thick tentacles of the parasite the party sought. However, to the party’s horror, they find the true form of their foe: Nakarkos, the Kraken!


Utilizing his mysterious knowledge of the past, Blurp reveals that Nakarkos was a lieutenant to Umbrygal during the ancient war, and was known for using Dragon bones as armor.


The battle ensues; The bard and wizard blast the Kraken with magic, while the monster responds with a blast of Poison Breath which hits Hawk full on. However, with tight coordination and no small manner of luck, Brazen Storm quickly turns the tide of battle in their favor. However, Nakarkos launches a surprise attack that results in Dilista and Grimsby’s pet calf becoming bitten. Though Dilista was able to Dimension Door to safety, she was overcome with horror. All too familiar quills began to sprout from her body, her teeth became sharp, and the veins in her body shone black on her skin. She had become infected with the Curse of Umbrygal.


Afraid and wounded, Dilista attempted to flee from the battle but found herself unable to fortify herself against the much more aggressive form of the curse and fell to the ground, incapacitated.


Nakarkos, having developed an unusual hatred towards the Tiefling, took off in pursuit of his target. The remaining members of Brazen Storm continued battle, Hawk and Cogsworth racing the Kraken towards their downed teammate (the former blasting the seemingly indomitable creature with radiant magic); Blurp took up a ranged position and continued laying down suppressive fire of Magic Missile.


Alas, the battered and bloodied Kraken beat the party to the downed Tiefling, capturing her in the clutches of his tentacles. Raising her to eye level, Nakarkos seemed to recognize the Bard, calling her “The Daughter of…”


But the mighty ‘snicker-snack’ of Cogsworth’s sword silenced the fell beast, cleaving him asunder and silencing the parasite for good.


Dilista, though confused by the Kraken’s recognition and incomplete statement, was quickly distracted by the realization of a greater truth. Defeating Nakarkos not only stopped the virulent progression of the Curse giving her (as well as Grimsby’s pet) new mastery over once a threatening weapon of the enemy.


Soon enough, the party found themselves back to the world outside, and greeted by an impressed (though thoroughly shocked) World Serpent. Upholding his end of their bargain, the Serpent agrees to take them to the door to the Nine Hells. However, before departing he offers the party a grim warning: that when their quest is complete, the world will not be safe predicting an uprising from the mysterious rat people.


The party sets up the fortress atop the Serpents back, taking time to rest as they descent the Iron Mountain. Grimsby, observing Dilista flaunting her new abilities, jokingly flicked a silver piece at her, getting past her newly enhanced reflexes and the coin catching her right on the forehead. The Halfling skipped away, roaring with laughter, as he moved to begin training his new companion.


Hawk approaches, the two old friends comment on the strangeness of the day and how they are both in need of something familiar. Revealing one of his bottles of wine from the Pirate Town, the Tabaxi and Tiefling retreated into Hawk’s chambers for a little…private time.

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