Gauraux awakened in a bamboo cage, and quickly remembered what happened: he and Elsebeth were ambushed and captured by a group of the reptile-men apparently called “draconians”. Else’s wound’s had been bandaged, but the knight was still badly injured, and the minotaur sailor was also far from healthy. But what terrifed him is the dragon: a beast of legend standing over a blazing bonfire.
One of the dragon-men approached, a priest judging from his robes, flanked by two armoured guards. He snarled and demanded to know the location of the “blue crystal staff”. Elsebeth defiantly said she knows nothing. The draconian spewed vitriol and threats, then returns to its kin sitting around the bonfire.
Meanwhile, the elven ranger Wilder Spirit, the gnome tinkerer Tictok, and the “human” magic-user who calls himself “ Arthur ” assessed their injuries. Tictok was badly hurt, having been repeatedly struck by lightning, while Wilder Spirit’s lion had also been injured. Arthur quickly used the Blue Crystal Staff to heal their injuries as best as he could, but is now aware that the staff has limited power. It seems to be diminishing with every use.
Needing reconnaissance, Arthur uses his magical statue, which transforms into a silvery bird, to scout the area. The wondrous familiar spots the bonfire and dragon then warns its master. The trio decided to head to the fire and rescue their companions. Slowly, they made their way over the slippery bridges to scout the draconian encampment. The three soon notice that the massive dragon is actually a wicker statue, sculpted in the image of a dragon. Having rested for a time and composed themselves, they watch as Guarax picks the lock to the bamboo cage and slips off into the shadows.
Tictok, seeing Gauraux needs a distraction, produced a couple small gnomish devices and uses them to create the image of the dragon breathing fire and moving about. The startled draconians immediately look confused but their obedient instincts take over and they begin prostrating themselves before ‘god’. Gauraux began searching tents for his gear and is joined by Wilder Spirit and Elsebeth. Suddenly, one of the draconians noticed Else and moved to attack the gravely injured and unarmourerd knight. Wilder Spirit quickly intercepted the draconian priest while Gauraux continued to search tents, discovering their pilfered gear. Re-armed, the heroes quickly defeat the priest, with Arthur healing Else attracting the attention of the other draconians. Their cover blow, Tictok and Arthur blasted them with magic, toppling the wicker dragon into the bonfire and burning down the camp.
The group retreated to an abandoned and partially ruined tower, spotted earlier by the bird. There, they rest and recover from their injures as best they can with the nearly powerless staff. From atop the tower they spied the ruins on an ancient city that could only be Xak Tsaroth. Circling around the marsh to avoid more draconian encounters, they reached a wide overgrown plaza. Arthur spoted a large well in the middle with steam and smoke coming from within. He looked down and sent dancing lights down the hole. Then there is the sound of flapping wings, as a dragon, a true dragon emerges from the well. Immedietly struck with sheer panic and unnatural fear, the party scattered. Tictok and Elsebeth fled to one of the standing buildings, a temple to a forgotten goddess. The black dragon, Onyx as named earlier by an interrogated draconian, let loose a blast of its breath weapon: a spray of acid that struck Wilder Spirit, Tictoklington, and Elsebeth. The knight dropped, as she liquefied in her armour! Triumphant in scaring off the intruders, the dragon returned to the well.
As Tictok mourned the fallen Else, Arthur felt drawn to the temple. Inside he sees a polished marble statue of a beautiful woman, the same woman he saw in his vision, who originally gave him the crystal staff. Returning the staff to the awaiting hands, it glowed brilliantly, fully recharged. The newly restored staff quickly restored Elsebeth to life and healed the remaining injures of the party. Arthur told them of his vision, where the statue spoke and told him he was chosen, and must search the ruins below the city for the Discs of Mishakal, which will return the gods to the world. The vision says that the gods never abandoned their followers, but that mortals turned their backs on the gods after the Cataclysm. Lastly, the vision of the goddess advised Arthur to “present the staff boldly and never wavering”.
Investigating the rest of the temple, the group discovers a group of scavengers tearing apart a mosaic looking for “pretties”. It is five gully dwarves , or Aghar, looking for presents for their king the Highbulp. They give the party directions to their home under the city (“stay left” while pointing right and “get in the pot”). Following the directions takes the companions down a spiral staircase into a ruined crypt beneath the temple. In many places the floor has collapsed, opening into a vast chasm beneath the building. Moving forward, the group sees even more gully dwarves, two draconian armed with whips, and an ogre. There are also two large holes in the floor with a large chain that goes between the holes and is connected to a massive set of gears and counterweights. The chains connect to pots that raise and lower depending on the weight inside. The draconians, seeing the heroes, flee into the pot making their escape while reinforcements are raised upward. Tictok blinds the fleeing draconians with a glitterdust grenade while the party advances on the equally blind ogre. Quickly slain, the ogre is tossed in the far hole atop the reinforcements, raising the fleeing draconians back up where they are quickly dispatched.
Befriending a gully dwarf, Bupu, the party makes their way further underground, passing through an upside down inn and a buried street before sliding down a natural waterslide into a flooded building. There, using as much stealth as they can muster, the group ventures through the streets of the buried city. Reaching a central plaza they see the dragon again, and overhear it telling a draconian that a missing prisoner must be found! The group separates from their guide, Bupu, and searches the streets, managing to quickly discover the hiding place of the escaped prisoner. The captive, Sunstar, is a barbarian of the Que-Shu tribe, who was captured along with her brother. She tells what she knows of the layout of the underground complex.
Judging from what Sunstar and Bupu said and what they’ve seen, the party decides they know the location of the dragon’s lair. Arthur protests at the idea of speaking with the gully dwarves, so the group finds a secluded corner of the ruins and rests overnight. They next morning they set-out to the dragon’s lair. They come to a set of closed double doors or a side passage and opt for the latter. However, they quickly encounter a pair of draconian guards. The fight attracts a third, who is a much more potent spellcaster, and several of the group are injured. Arthur does what he can with the staff, but it is again growing weak in power. Thankfully, the group finds Raven-eye, the brother of Sunstar as they passed through the side passage.
Moving forward, the group encounters another large door and realizes the dragon must be on the far side. Decided to be sneaky. Tictok uses a conjured clockwork device to distract the dragon. Onyx the black dragon chases the annoyance down the far corridor away from the party while Wilder Spirit sneaks up looking for the platinum discs of Mishakal. Tictok blocks the corridor behind the dragon with webbing. Enraged, the dragon flys off, trying to circle around and avoid the web. The group looks for another escape route, and spots a sewer grate. Wilder Spirit, Sunstar, and Raven-eye begin their escape and the dragon circles all the way around the corridor and blasts Elsebeth and Gauraux with its acid breath. Everyone prepares to escape when Arthur is reminded of his vision. He strides forward and cracks his staff across the snout of the dragon. The staff explodes in a burst of blue light sending shards of crystal in all directions! The explosions scars and mains the dragon and instantly slays Arthur.
Yet the dragon lives! Horribly maimed and injured, it staggers about barely able to act. Elsebeth and Tictok leap into action striking at the injured dragon. Hurt but not disabled, the dragon lashes out and badly hurts Else with a bite. Unafraid of the dragon, Gauraux rushes forward, ignoring the biting maw, and finishes off the dragon with a swift axe blow to the head.
Suddenly aware of the collapsing building, the party hastily collects the dragon’s treasure and flees to the surface via the draconian pot elevator. Escaping through the temple they are surprised to find Arthur, seemingly unhurt, lying at the base of the statue which now clutches its staff again. Arthur is now a follower of the gods, the first of the new clerical order.