Of Brigands and Dragons
Faint footsteps approached the Citrinitas Aegis guild hall awaking the retired cleric from her drunken stupor. She stumbled to the entrance and found Nadleeh, Shivani’s Lava Spider with a parchment bearing her name.
I write to inform you of recent events and pass on a message from Bronte. I was at the Mirithian Bank with Hayate, Morry, Mikomi, Haruko, Varto, Octar, Stryker, Gawr, Rosina, Indy, and Zaji when Bunny informed us of “strange goings” at the Tree Maze, urging us to proceed with caution. We set out to investigate with Haruko leading the way and Laricen joining us shortly after. The outskirts of the Maze was extraordinarily normal. A few bone mages, the usual dracos, giants, and rust beasts and no more than 2 more dragons roaming the grounds. The entrance however, seemed more in line with Bunny’s account.
We were welcomed by a grove of brackens and the corpse of a brigand, giving way to a dreadful formation of stone golems and a group of more than a dozen rust beasts further North West. We found more brackens guarding a sturdy chest containing assorted enchanting reagents, armor, and weapons. The contents of the chest included etherite, ice and fire crystals, rings of brute strength, medium and greater protection rings, a katana of speed, and a few more items that escape me at the moment. I suspect the brigands were conducting some experiments and the corpse at the entrance was a victim of one such attempt gone wrong.
Roughly twice the usual amount of giants and poison elementals guarded the winding path leading to the center of the maze but were quickly defeated. Haruko alerted the party to the presence of at least 8 dragons, and several dracos along with the usual pixies, rust beasts and brackens as we advanced towards the former home of Mari Rangers barricaded by few brigand shelters.
We were able to enter the dungeon after a fierce battle lasting several hours. The long hallways were strategically blocked off at multiple points via brigand shelters and littered with brigand corpses. It appears as though the dungeon had been sectioned into makeshift rooms to prevent dracos and dragons from assembling and thus minimize casualties among the intruders. A final push towards a room containing two chests and a couple notes finally revealed the objective of the brigand party. They had been investigating the dungeon to locate the Book of Sky at the behest of a certain A, and conducted several experiments in the dungeon related to dragons, breaking a dragon egg in the process.
The next day Captain Octar and Armsman Nial approached Bronte and Varto informing them of a black dragon egg currently in possession of the Marali Vanguard. The Captain also expressed interest in examining the book currently guarded by Citrinitas Aegis. Perhaps with both items we might be in a better position to determine the identity of mysterious A, his intentions and possibly intervene if need be. Bronte suspects A.R.D.E.N.T might be responsible given their obsession with magical items, history of theft, and the curious disappearance of the Maralian piece of the curio. He further the advised the pair to seek out Jedd the historian for more information on A.R.D.E.N.T. Should either the Captain or Armsman pay you a visit inquiring about the book, please pass it on for their research.