We finally had our fifth player back, and he's playing the Daredevil, called Hawley. He'd gone down to White Falls early to explore the Serpent Caves; it's the kind of thing he does. Before the clutch arrives, Nova uses true warrior to prepare herself for any coming battles, and Veris uses haunting visions. He sees the waters off the cliffs by the Serpent Caves, and sees something huge swimming in the water. He makes a note of that for later.
The clutch arrives and stakes out a campsite. Nearby is another young clutch, so Veris askes if they'd seen his friend Hawley. The other dragons are haughty and standoffish; Veris studies them to try and figure them out a bit, and then convinces them to engage in a riddle contest. He fails that last, though, and they laugh at him.
Nova, stepping up, challenges them to a drinking contest, which takes the form of eating fermented fruits called star apples (which leads to a condition the dragons called being "starry eyed", if you eat too many). Nova acts despite danger for the contest, and wins, but does so by finishing her barrel too quickly and getting very starry eyed indeed.
The dragons tell the clutch that their friend Hachiro had gone off with Hawley and his friend Biscit to investigate the caves. Veris convinces them to watch their campsite, and the clutch heads for the cliffs.
Freja uses scent of a place to figure out the best way to gain access to the caves, and realizes that diving into the ocean and swimming up through the caves would be the most direct route. She also uses spirit guide (which she picked up recently; her spirit guide is one of those little sap-builder birds, which the clutch names Oodle) to help her figure out whether to go now or wait until dawn. Oodle tells her that if the dragons are still alive, they almost surely won't be by dawn.
The clutch finds Hawley lying near the caves, and he reveals that he and Biscit and Hachiro were doing their daredevil thing, but got separated. The clutch decides they'd better go diving. Veris calls on the storm moon to make them all faster, while Nova calls on the liberty moon to sober up. Both magics are exceptionally powerful, and all of the clutch dives down into the water, swimming too fast between the giant stone pillars. Everyone acts despite danger. Nova, Azrael, and Hawley all take harm from hitting pillars and being tossed by the current. Veris, leading the way, emerges unhurt. Freja lags behind and avoids the pillars.
All of the dragons emerge into an underground lake. Freja sees horrible little shadow eels, and acts despite danger to fly out of the way as they bite at her. She emerges from the water with the eels nibbling her wings. She lands, and uses wild speech to talk with these creatures. The eels make it clear they would like to eat the dragons, but the ones that the clutch is looking for aren't in the water. The clutch figures this to mean that they've crawled out into tunnels somewhere.
Hawley, since he's been here, looks around and finds a path for the clutch. He follows a foul smell, acts despite danger, and slides down a tunnel too fast into a pit of rotted flesh. The others follow him, but don't jump into the pit right away. Hawley acts despite danger again to pull himself out of the charnel pit, but gigantic eel-creatures start attacking. Nova flies down to battle the darkness, but is pulled down through a hole under the flesh-pit into another chamber. She uses battle plan to find the most dangerous enemy, and realizes that it's the thing below all of this that's the deadliest.
Freja attempts to battle the darkness, and trades harm but take a Shadow Point, but Hawley shares the load and takes the point for her, pull her back up out of the muck. Veris calls upon the stone moon to solidify the muck, and does so, making the eels more visible. Azrael battles the darkness using her special obsidian rock, and Hawley battles the darkness, but winds up taking extra harm from the massive eel-creatures.
Below, Nova battles the darkness and crushes the eel that was attacking her, but then she finds a strange object - an immense black throne, designed for a serpentine dragon.
Freja calls on the liberty moon to find Nova and finds the hole in the ground, and the dragons crawl down into the lower chamber, and all behold the dark throne. Veris helps Azrael to battle the darkness, again using her rock, but she fails. The rock strikes the throne and drops, and then shatters. Azrael marks Anger and lashes out at Veris, berating him for his "help" which cost her a special object.
The dragons decide that this throne is pure evil, and Freja calls on the void moon to negate its power. It shatters, and Azrael's rock fragments are lost amidst the broken throne. She uses bag of potential to grab a sack to grab up some of this obsidian to craft later.
Veris, meanwhile, looks at the dead flesh that was in the pit, and finds a chewed up dragon wing. He examines an object and realizes it belong to Hachiro - he's dead. The dragons, sobered, realize they need to find Biscit, if he's still alive. Freja asks her spirit guide to help, and Oodle marks five tunnels leading out of the main column. He advises that the dragons split up. They recognize the danger, but also the wisdom, in doing so.
Veris calls on the storm moon to make them faster, but fails, and the column begins to flood. The dragons, grumbling a bit, split up, and all act despite danger to find Biscit and get out.
Freja fails, and gets swept along by the current and out of the caves. Nova also fails, and finds herself in a large cavern. She sees an immense, black, serpentine dragon, surrounded by thousands of writhing shadow-eels. Recognizing the Darkness when she sees it and not foolish enough to take it on herself, she flees. Azrael, on her way out, drops a stone that Hawley had given her - an invitation for a private event later.
Hawley escapes, but sprains his wing in the process. Veris, however, succeeds, and finds Biscit and tries to drag him out. Veris calls on the liberty moon to escape, and winds up destroying the rock face of the cliffs, dropping much of the cliff into the sea.
The clutch heads back to White Falls, where they deliver the bad news about Hachiro to his friends. They stay up late into the night, eating star-apples and having a wake for the fallen dragon.
Meanwhile, at the cliffs, an immense black shape slithers out of the sea, clutching a special stone in its paw...