The party was getting ready to depart to their next goal and the most dreaded, Elderhaven, the home of the elves. They were high elves that had been changed over the course of many centuries to be more like the Eladrin of the feywild. The magic seeping through from that plane was most concentrated on the smaller island to the northwest. They were notorious for their cruelty and hatred of other races. The party was not looking forward to going there.
As they were mustering the courage to go, a young member of the wall defense forces came with a message from General Storbar Wallcraker. He was asking them to join him at the city stores. When the party arrived they were met with a sheepish looking General. He motioned to some crates at his side and when they looked inside they saw small bottles of shimmering liquid. They were confused at first until the General explained.
Malthazar had bought the allegiance of the dwarven government by offering a cure for the Curse of Ash plaguing the rest of the island. He had offered enough panacea to ensure the population of Drakenforge and the lands they owned were free of the curse. With this panacea he had gained the trust of the Regent and made himself at home.
The party rejoiced, they had not been looking forward to going into hostile elven territory. They asked to take enough for the city of King’s Crest and asked that the dwarves ensure portions went to the other small towns around the island. That was the way the dwarves could make amends for the atrocities they had committed. They agreed and the party turned back to reshuffle their priorities.
They now had more time on their hands than realized. Kariss and Hepolita wanted to stay in Drakenforge a little longer. Aleera and Kaladrax wanted to return to King’s Crest to disseminate the panacea and recover the people and land. Milo didn’t care much either way and in the end went with Aleera and Kaladrax towards King’s Crest. After delivering the cure to the city council and ensuring that it started being spread, the three adventurers went back to their guild hall.
Over the next few weeks Aleera used some of the funds they had gained as well as some of the money they had made on their adventures to expand the estate and remodel some of the areas. She added a stage out front and ordered new uniforms for the staff from Gigi’s Glorious Gentleman’s stall. During this time she was also granted a place on the council of the city for her efforts in finding the cure. Kaladrax already had a place in the council as the passing of his father had meant that the role had passed on to him.
Kaladrax took this time to assist in the reconstruction of the family manor and took the time to build the workers their own quarters instead of the communal living they were used to. With the saving of the city came some changes. The curse had wiped out much of the population so the city council had unanimously decided to grant citizenship to all people still alive within the walls. Outsiders would still have to pay to come in but the amount would be based on what they could bring to the city that was helpful.
All the workers had decided to stay on working at the estate, with pay now. Kaladrax was one of the council members who helped argue for the abolition of such an outdated system and made it easier for both the city and potential citizens to make their home within its walls. He also worked on renaming the former Royal District into a mass production sector for food. It was now called the Agricultural District. Food would never again be an issue for the city.
Milo spent some time trying to break into Whistler University to access some of their rarer spells and had almost given up. He went to pray to one of the halfling deities he remembered from his childhood. Something he had lost touch with a long time ago. At the temple of Eversight he found his god’s shrine in one of the lower alcoves, he wasn’t that popular among the big people. He spoke to his god, Brandobaris. There was no answer per se, but a dark black raven feather came floating down to Milo. He snatched it up and headed to the school.
He was bruised, cut up and tired but he faced the barrier at Whistler University one more time. With a swift flick of the wrist he threw the feather at the shimmering shield. It passed right through. It embedded itself in the stone of the path inside the walls. A moment later he felt a strange lightness and when he opened his eyes he was standing inside the barrier with the feather in his hands.
With a mischievous grin he used the shadows to hide and made his way inside the bowels of wizard knowledge. Within a few minutes he had located the spell he wanted and stuffed the page of instruction into his coat. After seeing what else he could loot he headed back to his quarters at the guild hall. In his room he took his time learning the Find Familiar spell and after several failed attempts finally managed to conjure a tiny shivering mouse. When he finally came down for a pint and some food he looked like hell but was grinning like a satisfied cat.
The two weeks they spent relaxing after such a rush of activity was the most relaxed they had been in a long time. Kaladrax and Aleera finally had their first date after dancing around each other for so long and Milo was content with his loot. The looming danger of the curse had been hanging over their heads for months. Finally, there was a ray of light and hope in the dark storm of magic that had held Novos in its grip.