Enter the Paladin
December 7, 2020
In the aftermath of their battle with the dragon, the party nursed their wounds and counted their treasure which included a magic sword, an ebony figurine of a fly and a large scroll of canvas. Closer inspection of the canvas led to unfolding it into the shape of a boat which Tharius recognized as a magical folding skyboat from the wizard city of Arcanaton. He was even able to pilot the craft down the crevasse the dragon had crawled up and the party exited out of the bottom of the drifting earthberg and docked in the watch tower up top for the night.
Come the dawn, the adventurers set off into the broad blue of the sky trying in vain to find the waterhole they had entered this realm by, but it was simply too unfamiliar and they drifted lost among the clouds. Eventually, as midday approached, they spotted a cluster of small earthbergs where a tree signaled another water hole.
After a much-needed rehydration, the party discussed what to do with the couatl egg. Zabrina had the insight to consider leaving it open to the elements of the sky, its natural habitat, and moments later the gem-like egg glittered, scintillated and coruscated in the sunlight until it exploded in a brilliant flash and a feathered serpent with wings emerged. In gratitude, the rainbow serpent eliminated the water weirdlings in the adventurers’ heads, freeing them of their imminent doom, before flying off to resume the guardian duties of its parent couatl.
The flash had been so bright that it attracted the attention of a paladin astride a Pegasus. Sir Typye, a knight of the Order of Saint Ivarr, had been dispatched days before with two other knights to intercept the cloud castle of Thaganos the Wicked, an Evil Cloud Giant who had allied with Sir Mygol, a former knight of the same order who had fallen to darkness and become an anti-paladin bent on destruction of the kingdom of Sagasvale. In their first encounter, Sir Typye’s companions were killed leaving him alone to finish the quest and, in exchange for their help, he promised to help them against Nyarthep the Naga. The fact that he had food to share with the hungry adventurers helped persuade them to his cause.
For the rest of the day, the party in their skyboat sailed through the clouds along with Sir Typye flying circles around them on his winged steed. The sun was setting when they got closer to Thaganos’ cloud castle and they cast a minor illusion over the boat to appear as a cloud while Sir Typye drew off the cloud giant’s Perytons, huge eagles with the heads of stags. Scheff used his magic to part the thick brambles of the giant’s garden for a covert landing and the party approached the titanic columned bungalow of the cloud giant.
The scale of the environment was disorienting and as the party crossed the quarter mile of waist-high grass between the briars and the cloud giant’s house, they came under fire from the anti-paladin’s arrows. Shuni rushed to engage in melee while the giant hurled boulders, first at the barbarian and then at the Pegasus, bringing Sir Typye and his steed to the ground where they took on Sir Mygol together. The perytons had returned and attacked the rest of the party, wearing them down further while the anti-paladin’s menacing aura weakened everyone who came too close and the giant threw rocks at the ones keeping their distance.
The epic battle took its toll on both sides to the point where only the paladin and the anti-paladin remained standing at the very last ounce of their energy. As the Evil knight rushed forward, Sir Typye summoned his last reserves of divine power. He struck first and struck true, defeating Evil and saving the adventuring party from certain death.