The party had collected all three pieces of the legendary spyglass, and returned it to Vardiss in his manor. Vardiss’s health had taken a turn for the worse, and he was on his deathbed when the party arrived. He begged of them one last favor before telling them the secret of the spyglass’s destruction: he wished to use it to look upon the face of his god, who had cursed him with blindness so many years ago as payment for his powers as an Oracle. The party gave him the spyglass, and, after half a minute of peering through it, Vardiss died peacefully.
Aiyana and Dagnayr said their farewells at this point, feeling that their time with the party was at an end. Dagnayr wished to return to his wife and new business opportunities, and Aiyana…well, she probably had something better to do, too. And even if she didn’t, the point is, they left the party because, you know, in real life, they started fooling around and making a mess of things and they both just sort of decided to stop showing up.
Vardiss had a lovely funeral. His many children and grandchildren all showed up and were all talking about the inheritance and stuff, probably, but since Mrs. Vardiss was still alive, it was kind of a moot point. The remaining two party members, Raziel and Donavin, spoke with the captain of the Faranoth guard. Remember that guy? Well, maybe you don’t, because he isn’t on the wiki and the adventure log prior to the third piece of the spyglass is rather lacking. Yeah, he was still there, though. He was super knowledgeable about the spyglass and helped the party find the pieces by giving them a lot of information about it.
He told the part-devil and part-dragon that the key to the spyglass’s destruction was to immerse it in the acid breath of a black dragon of a certain age or older. Babies apparently wouldn’t hack it. Donavin was pretty pumped about this idea, since his mother was a black dragon, and she even met the age requirement, being pretty old. Well, compared to, like, Donavin, at any rate, who was way younger than Raziel. At first, the two of them couldn’t figure out how to find a black dragon, but then they remembered that they’d recently come into possession of an artifact that would let them find pretty much whatever they wanted to find. So they used the spyglass and learned that there was a black dragon who met the age requirements in a mountain deep in an African mountain known to contain dark dwarves.
Two men against a mountain full of dark dwarves seemed like long odds no matter what other weird stuff was floating around in their DNA, so the captain offered to give them command of two of his own soldiers to double their forces. A rogue named Artemis had recently infiltrated the Faranoth city guard, and he believed that joining Raziel and Donavin would get him access to all the loot of an adventuring party, instead of the meager salary of a beat cop that he had been enjoying up to that point. Along with Artemis came a young woman named Charel, or maybe Cheryl, or Chyrel, or maybe just cheryl (probably not cheryl). Her character sheet is a bit inconsistent on the spelling. She was a cleric of…someone, probably, and hoped that adventuring would lead her to the devil who had caused the Cronatoa plague that had killed so many of her loved ones. Charel/Cheryl/Chyrel and Artemis brought divine magic, diplomacy, knowledge, and stealth to the party, and, thus newly reinforced, the group headed off to the mountain to learn what they could of Donavin’s missing mother.
They hopped aboard their airship and enjoyed an uneventful flight. The mountain had a large and obvious entrance with many dwarven footprints leading in and out of it. Artemis took point, and used his smooth talking skills to convince the dwarves to allow him and the rest of the group access to their leader: a high priestess who spoke directly to their draconic master.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the high priestess turned out to be Donavin’s mother. She was happy to see her son, and happier still to see that he had grown into a mid-level Sorcerer, but she could not help the party with their plight. She had come to this mountain to placate the black dragon, Apophis, who lived deeper within the mountain. Years earlier, his wife had been murdered by a vigilante group of dragon hunters, and he had begun a rampage of revenge that indiscriminately killed many innocents. Donavin’s mother was able to keep him from raging any further, or even leaving the mountain at all, but she was concerned that if she ever left, he would go back to his old ways. The party puffed their collective chest and declared that they could easily end this evil dragon’s life if need be, but that for now they really just wanted him to melt their spyglass for them.
They entered Apophis’s lair: an underground swamp filled with waist-deep slightly acidic water. They explained the situation to Apophis, who agreed that if someone in the party was willing to take a blast of acid to the face, he would be willing to provide said blast. They tried to talk him into just destroying the spyglass, but he wasn’t having it. So someone, probably Raziel, if memory serves, held up the spyglass and took the breath weapon in full force. The spyglass was destroyed, but the dragon’s bloodlust was roused and he decided that while he was at it he was totally going to kill all four of them. The fight was on, and it turned out that there just really wasn’t a whole lot that they could do against the dragon’s incredibly tough scales and huge damage output.
Artemis saved the day once more, by convincing Apophis to allow them to live so long as they promised to do him the favor of finding his wife’s killer and bringing him to justice. The dragon calmed down, and agreed to this deal. He did require that the party bathe in some of his mildly acidic swampwater as a “baptism,” but it was really just for his own amusement and didn’t do anything other than make him feel cool.