Scales of Justice

Adventure 18

The Finale (AKA The Bard Must Die)

KROGLAND VS. FITZLEON 

The forces of Krogville line up against the forces of Fitzleon. The orcs are outnumbered 3 to 1: to them, a fair fight.

Flying Sir General King Emperor Admiral (he bought a boat) Mardek Krog the Orc the Dragonslayer Bandit addresses the troops from his flying carpet.

“They look down on you. They call you savage. They call you evil. They call you weak!

But it is they who are weak! It is they who are ruled by an evil dragon! It is they who are not free!

We fight today for freedom! We fight today because we have beaten dragons before, and will do so again! We fight today because WE ARE ORCS!”

MORNING'S BREIFING 

Though they have powerful allies on their side, the forces of good are still beseiged by forces converging on Morning on Crescent. The Scales have to split up and take each army down… however they can.

RATHGAR & HALADORR VS. THE VEIL OF WINTER

An army of gnolls and constructs heads towards the Crescent Forest with the intent of chopping and burning it down.

Rathgar Maelstrom and Haladorr Boro are to protect it. They are dropped off ahead of the advancing army. Leading the charge is a massive machine of threshing blades and spitting flame.

The druid and the nature cleric immediately start entering their normal combat routine, and begin to cut down gnolls and constructs. As Rathgar strikes down creature after creature, his hammer thirsts for more. Soon, it is time for the ghostly Maelstrom clan to have their revenge. The army marches in from behind chanting "MAELSTROM! MAELSTROM! MAELSTROM!" and wipe out the army, leaving only the large machine.

 

Haladorr uses his staff of the crescent forest to summon Treants to his side, who tip over the machine. Crescent Forest has been defended.

KYUZO THE SILVER VS. CALIFYRA THE WHITE

High in the skies, the battle between the two ice dragons is joined.

“You trapped me in ice for centuries. It's time for me to do the same to you.”

ZORGIN & MALEVICTUS VS. THE HOBGOBLIN TRIBES AND THE EYES OF GRUUMSH

 

The hobgoblins are forging an alliance with the Eyes of Gruumsh. Zorgin’Skeet Rahban and Malevictus are taken by Stampy McSkittles (named by Zorgin), the electrum dragon. Zorgin appeals to the hobgoblin Chief to call off the alliance, promising wealth and power. After a particularly impressive display, the Chief agrees to call off the aliiance. Meanwhile, Malevictus distracts the leader of the Eyes of Gruumsh, who claims to recognize Malevictus. A signal passes between Zorgin and Malevictus, and the Warlock blasts the unsuspecting Eye, and Zorgin finishes it off. 

EDEN THE COPPER VS. DAUDHIR THE BLUE 

The copper dragon engages her old foe, the blue dragon. But something is different about her. Daudhir, after being killed in the pyramid, has been brought back as a fearsome Dracolich. With the increased power, Daudhir is unbeatable.

DULIN VS. THE LIZARD PEOPLE 

Dulin faces the army of Lizard-people who worshipped Daudhir. As they rush at her, she transforms into her blue dragon form. She commands them to stop, having proof of her claim that she is Daudhir's granddaughter. This sparks an internal battle between those who believe Dulin and those who don't, but the army is effectively stopped.

A loud crash nearby startles Dulin. She investigates it to find Eden dying from her wounds. Daudhir can only die if her phylactery is destroyed. Dulin knows of only one thing that it could be: the talon she received. She destroys it, and completes her transformation into half-dragon.

Daudhir crashes to the ground. Dulin takes her sword out and moves towards her. There is some last glimmer of recognition in the dragon's eyes. Dulin finishes the job, before shedding a tear.

THE ELVEN DUCHIES VS. FITZLEON ROYAL FAMILY

The many green dragons face off against the Griffon calvary of the Elven Duchies, lead by Elrick of Astley himself. The Elven soldiers ready their arrows, spears, and spells. They charge at the draconic horde straight on. Then, upon closing, the order is given:

“Do an Elrick Roll!”

The griffon calvary rolls as one to the side, and lets off their attacks.

CERIDAN, THE PIRATES, AND THE BRONZE ORDER VS. THE ABERRANT HORDE 

Ceridan De’Arunsel is dropped off on the lead pirate ship, captained by Captain Cloudreaver. Cloudreaver explains that the Sahuagin and Kuo-Toa are fast approaching, riding Dragon Turtles and deformed Kraken. The cannonballs from the ships seem to be having no effect.

Ceridan takes out his scroll that shows the weakpoints of those creatures, and spreads the word to the Bronze Order. Monks leap off the pirate ships onto the sea-creatures, and begin to dispatch them one by one.

XEN VS. VIRIVIS 

Xen faces off against his former ally, once and for all. Xen pleads with him once and for all to abandon this and redeem himself- especially now that his phylactery has been destroyed and he can be killed.

“There's just one problem with that,” says Virivis. “I finally finished the DragonGate, and I can use it on any dragon.” Xen recoils, but it is too late. “Tiamat calls you home.” says Virivis, and within seconds, the mighty Bronze Dragon is gone.

KNOLAN VS. MUTA

Knolan Alvaar Altimus arrives at Muta, where the Mutans have been ordered by Virivis to wage war. Knolan tells an inspiring, epic tale that convinces the Mutan peoples that Virivis does not care about them, and has become evil.

Malakai informs Knolan that a horde of mutants are on their way through a nearby mountain pass. Knolan ascends the cliffs, and strikes an epic chord, causing the rocks to fall on the horde, stopping them.

MORNING THE BRASS VS. FITZLEONIKON THE GREEN 

Fitzleonikon watches as his children are casually killed in the distance by Griffons. “I can always make more,” he snorts, circling to find the primary base within the Crescent Forest. He spots the large structure in the center, and begins to descend.

Morning spins out of her adopted home to face Fitzleonikon.

“It's been a long time, Morning. I trust you've gotten enough sleep?”

Morning replies, “Yes, and now I'm rested enough to end the Fitzleon Dynasty once and for all.”

The immense green dragon laughs. “You? A brass dragon? Everyone knows the brasses are the weakest of all the dragons. I stand second only to Klorphaxius himself! Not even Lumin could have beaten me!”

Morning circles the green dragon again. “Yes, but Lumin didn't figure out the sleep spell that Virivis cast. However, I did, and cast it before I came to face you. Now all I have to do is keep you busy until it takes effect.”

Fitzleonikon snarls in disbelief, and then finds himself give out an immense yawn. He growls, and charges at the small Brass dragon…

THE SCALES OF JUSTICE VS. THE TALONS OF INJUSTICE

 

While Morning battles Fitzleonikon in the center of town, she mentally tells the Scales that the Talons and Virivis are headed for them. The scales need to stop them all, or else he'll be able to use the DragonGate to defeat both dragons.

The Scales face off against the final Talons:

There are few tense moments, and then the battle begins!

Virivis, flying high above the battlefield, casts a spell to prevent anyone from teleporting out of the area. Then he floats forward, and puts a Prismatic Sphere around himself.

Tazex impulsively charges across the battlefield, and hacks away at the Scales. Farizir manuvers into place, and fires off a cone of acid.

Rathgar summons a massive meteor to strike the Black Talon and the Blue Talon… but the Black Talon uses his deductive powers to move out of the way.

The Blue Talon casts a quickened spell to swap places with Knolan, and puts herself close to her sister Dulin. She yells, "This is for ruining my 40th birthday party!" and blasts at her. Hemlock uses his detective skills to exploit a crucial weakness in Knolan's stance to stab him.

Teamwork by the Scales kicks in, taking their chance to finally get revenge for the destruction of Morning on Crescent. Red is the first to fall, followed by Blue, and the Black. The Green is taken out using a variety of anti-dragon equipment. The White is crushed in by blows from the Maelstrom hammer.

The bodies fade away, just as they did before, but the party is sure they won't be back this time. But Tazex fades away… only to re-emerge nearby Malevictus.

 

The Scales turn their attention to Virivis the Archmage, who seems to be able to cast spells through the Prismatic Sphere somehow. The Dispel Magics start to fly, getting rid of the Lich's fly spell and Prismatic Sphere. As the Lich descends, the Scales begin to pounce on the Lich. He uses a Time Stop to fire up some protective spells, but he is soon battered by the combined might of everything they have.

Malevictus floats nearby, occasionally aiding with an Eldritch Blast. As the Lich reaches the end, there is a sinister laughing noise from his direction. All eyes turn to the Warlock… as he grows and changes into a Colossal Red Dragon. Malevictus reveals himself to be Klorphaxius the Red!

Klorphax picks up the Lich and drops him in his mouth. With a big CRUNCH, the Lich (and the DragonGate) is crushed in the dragon's mouth.

Klorphaxius explains how he has engineered this entire war. He helped the Scales free the good dragons so that they would fight the evil dragons. Once his rivals had wiped each other out (or at least weakened each other), he would swoop in and finish them off, and declare uncontested rule over the entire continent. The Scales helped him remove the only other thing he feared: the DragonGate. 

He also explains how he deliberately mislead everyone to think he had been trapped by placing the real Red Talon in his place at a crucial point, and setting up the "trap" to get in Krog's good graces, and eventually rule his country from behind the scenes.

Now that all his goals have been accomplished, he has no more need of the Scales… and will destroy his former "allies" once and for all.

That is, until he hears a familiar voice:

"KLORPHAXIUS! ROUND 2!" shouts Krog from atop his magic carpet. Krog's squad arrives on the scene. Mama Zerk, Captain Ishae Vorlas, Sister Helena “Handbasket”, and Wonko the Sane are with him to help stop the great wyrm red dragon. Sister Helena retrieves the Staff of the Dragonslayer from the Scales, and tells them to recover while they hold him off. Krog's party will try their best, but should they fail, the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the Scales of Justice.

They hop into the Tent of Ultimate Dream, a powerful item from before. They rest, recover, and pick spells to fight the red dragon menace. They cast a variety of "buff" spells before emerging. Knolan casts a spell that he had been saving for a special occasion: Hide from Dragons, which will allow them to start the fight undetected.

 

As they emerge, they see that Krog's party has fallen. Krog looks over at the party and winks before diving into Klorphaxius's mouth. His wife and he grasp the edges of the Staff of the Dragonslayer, and snap it, releasing the energy within with a flash. Klorphaxius bites down on the orc and dwarf. 

Heroes fallen. Evil on the verge of triumphing. A trusted ally has betrayed them. The final battle begins!

 

The party shimmers with magic. They've been enhanced, displaced, and enlarged to the size of giants. If there was ever a time they would be ready, it was now, at the hour of the most need.

A summoned water elemental, Dumbo the Mastodon, and an unnamed Treant are the first to engage the Dragon. The dragon scoffs and wipes out the Mammoth with a series of brutal attacks. The druid gets first blood by unleashed a Sunlight spell on the dragon.

At the edge of the battlefield, a mechanical crab-like construct enters the battle. Emerging from within are Grob Zerk and Draube Zerk who have built an Apparatus of Kwalish, enabling them to move through the brutal flames surrounding the battlefield. They ask how they can help, and they are told to fetch someone who can summon cold. They scuttle back through the flames. 

 

The Scales move into position, and assault the dragon. Their tactics kick in once again, setting up an advantageous situation to surround the dragon. Ceridan uses his knowledge of weak points (as well as his pirate abilities) to land a series of vicious blows. A gaping wound appears in the dragon's side, causing him to finally taste fear. 

But what the Scales do not realize is that Klorphaxius still possess all the Warlock powers that Malevictus used. He uses a clever illusion to slip away and spend a round recovering, and dispels some of the effects of the Dragonslayer staff, making himself more fearsome AND healing some of his wounds.

The Apparatus of Kwalish returns twice more, to drop off Colin Whittmore and Richard Chelton to aid in the fight.

Before long, the party surrounds the dragon on the other edge of the battlefield to prevent it from healing even more. To try to escape, the dragon takes flight straight up. Knolan and Ceridan look at each other, and nod: a Dimension Door spell teleports them to the dragon's back, high in the sky.

In a desparate move to stay on the thrashing dragon, Ceridan uses his flask of Soveriegn Glue to attach himself to the dragon's back. Knolan quickly casts feather fall to try to soften his blow when landing. Meanwhile, Dulin and Zorgin take to the skies to pursue the dragon.

 

Klorphaxius is not content to be swarmed again, and decides to plummet towards the ground, and on top of Rathgar. This crushes the dwarf, the monk, and the bard beneath his massive scales.

The three believe they are trapped as long as the dragon stays there. But Haladorr has a plan: he changes shape into a Bullette, and digs under the ground to unearth the three trapped companions. Zorgin and Dulin swoop in to provide a distraction to let the others escape.

Klorphaxius grows mad with rage as more and more blows are rained upon him from all sides. He decides enough is enough, and stands up to unleash his breath weapon down upon those he had trapped. Several of the party are caught in the blast, but thanks to the foresight of the spellcasters, those caught in the blast are unharmed.

Using his free hand, Ceridan continues to pound away at the dragon's back. The dragon starts to feel light headed. Then Knolan knocks his dragon-slaying crossbow, and fires off one important shot: right into a crucial wound. The massive red dragon's eyes roll back, showing one last look of surprise… who then collapses.

The Scales are victorious!

Knolan's heart pounds quickly with excitement at having fired the final killing shot. He then realizes that his arm feels tingly and numb. He feels a tightness in his chest, and collapses to the ground. The flames surrounding the battlefield die off. Knot, Knolan's son, runs to his side. "Knolan… Knolan… DAD!" he yells.

Knolan's vision fades to black… 

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