Dragonlance Next

The first steps.

How the heroes came to Solace, and how they left again.

Darvin, Varet, and Oskar ran into each other on the road leading into town. Apparently in the last year since they had heard from each other Varet had acquired a strange staff. At times it looked like nothing but normal wood, but at others it glowed blue and seemed to be made of a semi-transparent crystal. He had little memory of how he got it beyond vague moments seemingly from nightmares about death on black wings, a ruined city, and a woman who brought peace. Varet barely had told his friends of this misadventure when they were stopped by a group of hobgoblins claiming to be town guards on the road into Solace. The leader of these disgusting warriors was a fat, slobbery creature riding a pony. His name was Fewmaster Toede. After questioning the group about a blue crystal staff that his superiors were searching for, he ordered his guards to arrest them for insubordination and ran to safety on his little pony.
After quickly dispatching the guards, the group continued onto town where they found that this Toede fella was nominally in charge. Although Varet wanted to seek him out for vengeance, it seems he had left to give a report shortly after their previous encounter and it was unknown when he would return. After meeting the rest of their friends and talking about their adventures of the last 5 years, the group rested up in their favorite inn, had some delicious spiced potatoes, and realized that the little girl that worked there, who they used to torment for her wild hair and ungainly appearance, had grown into a sassy young woman. Tika told them to get out of town while they still could as things had been changing around there and strange rumors were popping up all over. Children were speaking of the appearance of the White Hart in the Darken Wood, and an old man said the sunken city of Xak Tsaroth was a place of warring darkness and light.
The group decided to travel south to Darken Wood as the legends always said it was a White Hart that brought the hero Huma Dragonbane to the realms of the gods, but what they found there was a herd of centaurs and the Spirit of the Wood, a beautiful Unicorn. The Unicorn told them that they must return the blue crystal staff, for she recognized its true form, to the city of Xak Tsaroth in two days time if there would be any hope of bringing the gods of light back to the world in this dark time. To assist in this, she fed the group an amazing feast and asked a flight of pegasi to fly them as far as possible after they had rest.
They landed on the edge of a swamp, across which they could see the ruins of a city. As they began to make their way through, they ran into a group of strange dragon-like humanoids walking on their hind legs casting spells and carrying swords. Though the battle was hard fought and two of the enemy disappeared, the group survived and made their way into the city.
The city itself was deathly still, as if all wildlife had abandoned it. As they reached the center, just next to the doors of the only building still standing, a well in the square opened and from within came smoke, and fear, and a huge black dragon! Its acid breath nearly killed the group and they sought refuge behind the large golden doors of the single intact building. Inside, they found a temple to the old goddess Mishakal and her statue there spoke to them;
“Beloved ones, the gods have not turned away from man. Man turned away from the true gods and now seeks gods who do not truly exist. But the end of darkness nears. Krynn is about to face its greatest test. Men will need truth more than ever. You must return the truth and restore the balance.
To gain the power, you shall need the truth of the gods. Far below this temple lie the Disks of Mishakal, circular plates of platinum that are all you need to call upon my power. You must recover these disks.
But your way will not be easy. The Disks now lie in the lair of the dragon. Therefore I bless this staff; if you present it boldly, never wavering, you shall prevail. Even then, your journey is not complete; you must leave here and search for a true Leader of the People.”
To be continued…

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