Part 52: Treasure

7 to Verdant Sun, Inalis, 59 days remaining

Mother is doing well! She looks more ragged than before, but is in good spirits. We ended up hugging for most of the time we were in the medical room. I patched up the injured crew and my friends between talking with Mother. She’s very tired right now. I gave her my holy symbol. Or rather, it’s your holy symbol, Heath. The one I got from the Temple of the Five – you know, Kiora’s symbol, seems to work just fine here. I wonder what that means.

After wrapping the injured sailors up in bandages and making sure Mother was drinking enough water, I went back to the top deck as Rendu drove the ship eastward. Actaeon’s dragon intuition told us that there was something nearby that we needed to inspect: a dragon’s hoard. Surely we will find money and items of importance to help us combat the titans there, he claimed. While we went that way, Briar, Shadow, Torag, and Clio began slicing up cutting preparing butchering I don’t know the right word. What am I trying to write? Actaeon claimed that there were certain parts of the dragon that would be useful to us, similar to how we had taken pieces of the behir we slew in the Mithral Forge. But rather than sell the pieces, we are going to commission Azorius and Dygo to make us some things with them.

Anyway, this scene was a little gruesome. In the end, pieces were everywhere. My companions looked particularly happy with how that went, and I can just recall that the dragon’s name was Lachesis. Not that a name makes this any different. This beast meant to kill us and destroy our plans to save lives. That said, I prefer not to know too much information about these beasts. It makes it easier for me. My companions moved their harvests down to the storage room below deck while I quickly started casting miracles to clean up the mess.

They finished by the time Rendu and Actaeon moored the Gjallarhorn offshore of a small islet just to the east of the Isle of Yonder. It is still dark outside and our team was growing weary, but we had to inspect Lachesis’s hoard before sunrise. The League of Storms surely knew what had happened by now. We raided their stronghold, we took their prisoners, we stole their precious items, and we killed their captain and his mount. Rendu’s magical fog was lifting. We needed to be quick.

Rendu opted to stay behind on the Gjallarhorn while the rest of us investigated the islet. Torag rowed our small boat for a few minutes before we found a secluded and empty beach. It was mostly flat and full of nothing but sand and grass, save for a spire of rocks jutting out from the top. The air was wet and the rocks were slick, so we knew there was little chance in climbing it. I flew up to the top, taking Shadow and Actaeon with me via the beast’s slumber container given to us by Aminatou. Actaeon used some of his spears to secure a series of ropes to climb down into the hollow end of the spire – it lead down into a dark caldera of which the bottom could not be seen. As we prepared to descend, Actaeon had an idea: most dragons have a secret entrance to their hoard. So he returned to the others and led Briar and Clio to find that other entrance while Shadow and Torag descended on ropes into the caldera. I flew with them, ready to blast anything that would get in our way.

We ultimately didn’t need any blasting at all! Thank the Morninglord! I’m incredibly sleepy and keeping my eyes open, even in the face of danger on that islet, was starting to get difficult. Our rope ran out before we reached the bottom. I dropped a torch and heard it splash below us. Right as Torag dropped into the water, Actaeon and Clio burst from the pool in the caldera! It seems Actaeon was right – Briar (in shark form) found the entrance under water and led the others through it.

Lachesis was a silver dragon. That means her breath was as cold as ice. Naturally, so was this cavern. The walls and floors and ceilings were slick with frozen sea water, chilling us to the bone. But we moved ahead, finding ourselves in the hoard. Symbols of Amalj’aa were everywhere, most of which being carved into the walls by unsteady dragon claws. I detected a few magical items and quickly pocketed them while the others gathered gems and coins and anything else of value. Clio believes that the value of everthing totals just over five thousand gold.

To me, that’s so much money! But Actaeon was incredibly confused. Was Lachesis not an adult-sized dragon? Dragons do not ascend to an adult form unless they gather enough magical power. And, as Azorius explained to us a while back, gold has magical power. This hoard should have been at least five to ten times larger for a dragon of Lachesis’s size. What was going on? Shadow’s theory is that the League of Storms somehow magically aged Lachesis to prepare for the ending of the Oath of Peace. Actaeon believes that might be the case. Who knows?

Oh, I also found something a little interesting. It’s a leatherbound journal, a bit too large for my backpack. In it is the crude handwriting of apparently Lachesis herself. She was madly in love with Amalj’aa and wished to be with him when she was finally able to transform into a human-ish form. Her disdain for Gaius had no bounds evidently. The tender side of me wants to say “Poor Gaius! Your dragon, whom you loved deeply, cared nothing for you at all!” But the other part of me, the I am trying to save the world part, finds this absurdly funny. Friend-zoned by his own dragon who was in love with another man! I feel like that’s the kind of story my mother would appreciate.

Thus we returned to the Gjallarhorn, our pockets much heavier than before. We need this money to continue our quest. My spell components are costly. And Torag still has to forge a powerful sword! He needs some enormous amount that made me nearly faint when he told me what it was.

Where to next? We have a lot of places we need to go. I firmly believe we should visit them all. We have less than sixty days remaining until the Oath of Peace comes to an end. Visiting each of the islands and finding their treasures is the best way we can prepare for the war that will soon be upon us. We need to break Briar’s curse. We need to stop whatever is dooming Clio. We need to find Palladia’s instruments. We need to slay the dragon that killed Torag’s mother. We need to find Shadow’s family. And we need to help Actaeon return the Dragonlords to their former and proper glory.

And my part? I don’t know. I cannot fulfill my part of the Oracle’s prophesy. I am supposed to gain treasures from Estor Arkelander, but he will not help me unless I make some kind of oath to him. That is something I cannot do. I’ve been reckless in the Emerald Isles before. But not this time! I will have nothing to do with that warmongering man.

We are bound for the Island of the Sleepy Drake tomorrow morning. The Oracle had a vision in which Actaeon would find a dragon egg there, and we decided we need to gather it before the League of Storms does. Soon after, we will visit Talys, The Island of the Fates, and Scorpion Island. Everything in its proper order.

Oh yes, and I need to send a message to Azorius tomorrow. I’m writing this down mostly for me, Heath. That way I don’t forget.

Good night! Heavens know I need it!