During the night, as the group rested,
Eventually Tobi extracted a scroll and, intrigued, he opened it instead of throwing it aside. Tobi began reading what appeared to be a letter. The writer mentioned locating something for the addressee, and said he had included a portal to get the reader close to it. As Tobi read aloud the letter, and Sir Oakley looked over Tobi’s shoulder, the last paragraph of the letter began to glow dimly.
Tobi realized he had just cast a spell as he and Sir Oakley were magically transported out of the dark, claustrophobic room, and into a bright forest clearing. Ahead a dwarf in heavy armor was squaring off with three brutish lizard-men. Disapproving of the uneven odds, Sir Oakley and Tobi nodded to each other, and without a word, rushed to fight alongside the dwarf.
After defeating the lizard-men,the dwarf introduced himself as , and pointed out that the brutes were blocking passage to a stairway leading down into the ground. Garen argued that they must have been guarding something valuable that warranted investigation. He began descending the stairs, and Oakley and Tobi shrugged and followed.
The chamber below was small, and peppered with snakes. Against the far wall stood a strange statue, evoking the image of a humanoid dragon hybrid. At 12 feet tall, the menacing statue loomed, eternally spewing flames toward the onlooker. Tobi spotted spear traps in the floor and warned the others, and killed the snakes from a distance.
Garen jumped over the squares that Tobi identified as trapped, and safely made it to the door in the opposite corner. When the dwarf opened the door, a magic ward exploded, blasting Garen with acid. Furious, he charged into the room, eager to find something to hurt. The knight found only darkness, and before he could illuminate his situation, he heard a loud voice boom at him. “Who goes there?” it asked. “Not friends of the battle-lusting priest I hope,” it offered with a cackle. “He’s seen better times”.
Garen cracked a sunrod and lifted it above his head. As he saw an ugly black dragon staring at him from only ten feet away, the dwarven fighter dropped the light to the floor and unsheathed his longsword.
The large beast identified himself as Attor. His scales were a deeper black than the natural cavern around him, which itself seemed to defy illumination. Two gnarled horns twisted out from the side of his head to face forward, and bloody rags still hung from his long jaw since his recent kill. “Come then,” he said. “I’m still hungry; and you’ll not get my treasure unless you kill me”.
Garen and the dragon fought passionately, but it was Tobi the Stoic and his that won the glory this day. The pixie’s weapon seemed to thrum with joy in anticipation of sinking even one arrow into the evil drake’s flesh. After Attor traded a few blows with Garen and Sir Oakley, it was the ranger Tobi that made the killing shot, his magical bow propelling an arrow into the beast’s eye, down the length of its neck, and out its back.
The ugly monster toppled with a satisfying groan, revealing a small chest filled with gold. Garen collected the chest while Tobi looked over the fresh corpse of a single, youthful cleric. Tobi recognized the armor of this warrior to be special – it shone beatifully, and it had carefully etched designs of Kord decorating it. Tobi asked Sir Oakley to help him bring it back to .
Outside, the portal wavered and fluctuated, but the two companions and their new friend stepped through anyway. Back in the catacombs under Gardmore, four emerged. Confused, Garen, Sir Oakley, and Tobi looked at the shardmind newcomer; shrugged and laid down to rest.