The majority of the Hand of Destiny was walking away from the awful city of demons they had left behind when Milo dropped out of thin air right in front of them. He landed on the hot sand with a soft thud. Sand billowed out from where he landed in a small cloud and a grunt was forced from Milo. After a few moments of catching his breath he faced the rest of his group and smiled.
The rest of the group erupted into a whispering cacophony of questions to which Milo shook his head. He told his friends that he would tell them later and that they should move on. They kept going following a road that their creepy tour guide was following. They were making slow and steady progress. After being in this place for so long they were getting used to the sights they kept having to look at. Rivers of blood, shrieking faces in the sand that shifted every time the sand shifted, mountains of bone that kept growing with more and more bones.
When they were close to the entrance of the cavern where Tiamat was supposed to be imprisoned a Fire Giant was seen to be guarding the entrance. At that point, their creature guide said this was as far as he went. He asked for his payment. Zenriel took out a sack from her pack. It glowed a faint white light, barely noticeable. She handed it to the creature. He smiled and then took off, disappearing into the landscape they had just come from. This was Zenriels quest and though they were pretty sure souls had been exchanged for the guide’s help, they would follow her.
The Fire Giant was immediately aggressive, there was no reasoning with him. He just kept attacking. It took everything they had. Kaladrax had to turn into a dragon to fight him off. Kariss had to summon her own dragon from Kess and Aleera used all of the fey creatures at her disposal to boost their numbers in the attack. Cambions showed up, servants of the Fire Giant, it seemed. It looked like he had his own numbers to call upon in battle. Kariss was pinned down by the Fire Giant’s own summoned bear. He even had a pit fiend that showed up to the fight. The battle went on and on.
Finally, they managed to kill his friends and focused their attention on the Fire Giant. They quickly made a plan to use the terrain to their advantage. There was a river of molten lava that ran right where they had been fighting. They party had been trying to avoid it for their own safety but now they needed it to defeat the Fire Giant. They hacked away at it and used spells to bring it down. The lava didn’t affect the giant too much but they did manage to kill it. Once dead, the body slowly sank into the lava and disappeared from sight. The cavern entrance stood open, ready to receive them.
They went into the dark cavern. They went through various rooms, more like changes in the cavern. Each had a unique elemental affinity. They were the lairs of five dragons of each color of the chromatic scale that guarded the entrance to Tiamat’s prison. They party got lucky. The dragons all seemed to be either gone or sleeping. They managed to avoid running into the dragons. Kariss had wanted to see if they could harvest some scales but they only managed to get a few before they had to move on. The rest of the group was afraid of having to face the dragons before they could get to Tiamat.
They exited the last of the lairs and entered a large cavernous space. There were piles of gold everywhere and a vast pool of water. At a far corner of the space a female form turned to meet them. She was a beautiful blonde. Her dress was a deep red that clung to her form and outlined her. Zenriel went to her side immediately. She smiled and placed a hand on her acolyte. Zenriel smiled too but then it turned sour. Tiamat began draining all the loaned magical power she had granted Zenriel.
Zenriel sank to the ground unconscious and Tiamat stretched out, happy with her new found strength. She grinned at the party standing off to the side and used her hands as claws. She ripped through the air, creating a tear in the world. She stepped through and the gash in reality disappeared. Zenriel slowly got up and sank back down sobbing. Her view of the world was shattered. The loving mother of dragons she had looked up to had used her to regain her power and leave. She hadn’t even taken her along.
The group rallied around Zenriel, trying to comfort her in their own way. She was inconsolable. All she wanted to do was get home. The group began gathering their wits and gathered around to try and leave. They stood in a circle and readied themselves to leave. Zenriel just looked off into the distance with a blank look on her face. The quest she had gone on had been for nothing and the Hand of Destiny had no answer for that.