Linking hands, Mahd reads the words of magic on the scroll, describing the Withershins as Quint relayed it.
There’s a strange sensation of vertigo, swirling images, my stomach turns.
Then we are standing on a snow covered field at the foot of an icy shelf of stone. Tussocks of green poking through the blanket of white. A path of giant steps leads up the mountain wall towards a platform, where a sculpted head leads inside the mountain.
A few hundred feet away stands the circle of statues described in the scribblers’ rantings. Facing inwards, seven inscrutable visages stare at one another. Ancient, yet seemingly preserved against time.
Goldwing takes to flight but the crosswinds are too strong and she’s forced down.
We approach the circle.
No evil, but definitely magic.
Stepping into the centre I feel uncomfortable, fourteen lifeless eyes upon me.
I can see Karzoug and Alaznas, but I don’t recognize the others.
The statues seem mundane, if awe inspiring.
If the ritual works (whatever the ritual is) we might need to get to that entrance above quickly, so we decide to scout it out first. The stair is marked by a grand, frost trimmed arch, a sihedron at the peak. The stone steps are covered with icy piles of bone… but what kind of bones… and why?!
We ascend the stairway, almost impossible not to step on bleached remains, all edging away from the sheer drop down below. We get about half way when we get some answers as top what caused them.
There’s a gush of wind like a hurricane, a metallic bellow, a huge white mass overhead and a storm of ice which sweeps over us, everyone screaming in pain.
As the frigid blast passes, Athene, Mori and I, crystalised with ice stand alone, Mahd and all bestial companions feeling in both directions.
We look back in towards the arch in horror at the tail end of at the menacing, gliding form of an ancient White Dragon!
The Dragon returns and plucks a fleeing Mahd from the steps.
It’s like some unseeing entity is determined to make her life miserable…
We let fly with arrows but they deflect harmlessly of it’s metallic hide.
Athene casts a spell which makes the beast swipe at itself irritably… dropping our wayward mage!
I catch up the Mori as Wynter disappears into the cave moth above.
Goldwing at least seems to rally and speeds towards the plummeting elf.
Moving alongside Mori I pray to Iomadae to grant us a boon and smite the enormous reptile.
Mori is looking sorely injured but she looses a shaft and finally strikes the creature, as Goldwing swoops in and collects up Mahd in mid air and deposit her back with us on the stair.
A terrible running battle ensues, the Dragon strafing us with icy breath, claw, fang and tail.
Mahd makes up for lost time, summoning two giant roc’s. One flees stricken with dragon fear while the other engages our enemy high above.
A nearly dead Moriava forms a magical shield and we edge up to the cave mouth together.
Mahd blasts the White Dragon with lightening as I heal our wounds with pulsing divine energy.
The second roc rallies, but the dragon makes short work of them.
Time enough though for the others to scramble up, Dragon in pursuit, but not before I finally smite the creature with an arrow.
It all seems to little though.
As I join them in rearguard it is not an encouraging site.
Two massive golems stand as sentinel at the entrance.
Wynter is still cowering in the corner.
The Dragon, perched on the great stone head casts a spell which surrounds Mahd in a wall of ice, she screaming something sihedron medallions…
When Mori approaches, the constructs move towards her and slam her away.
Another blow like that will kill her.
As Goldwing flies headlong into the dragon, Mori picks herself up, smiles and places a hand on my back and says a prayer…