Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Epyllion: The Black Sands

Last time, the dragons had fought the Eel-King (again) and fought against the inertia of elder dragons. Finally, they had a lead, though - the Black Sand Island. They spent some time at White Falls, and prepared to leave. Veris had haunting visions; he saw a huge black disc in the ocean at night, and realized the island was liquid. But then he saw the sun rise, and the island solidified. Veris figured he'd better look into this a bit more, and went to find an elder dragon of his house. He listened to their stories and started poking and prodding, trying to get advice. He finally got an older dragon named Draven to speak with him, and stood up to an older dragon to get some information about that island. Draven advised him that if they flew due west, they'd find the island, but if they went north slightly, there was a small island where they could rest.

That night, they set out, with Biscuit (who'd become Nova's lover) coming along, and sure enough, found the little sandbar island. They rested, and Veris kept a lookout while Nova and Freja slept and Hawley and Azrael flew on ahead. Azrael, in fact, had scored a skin of a smelly paste that acted like a powerful stimulant for dragons, so she was flying too fast, up ahead...she acted despite danger, and the black liquid rose up and swallowed.

Hawley flew back to get the others for help, and they cut short their rest and headed for the island. Azrael, meanwhile, was stuck in a black cavern, the walls covered with sticky black stuff. She rubbed some off and made a ball, and discovered it oozed, but very slowly. She figured that maybe she could harden it with some dragonfire, so she used dragon trade to try to craft it. She missed, however, and lit the whole place on fire, taking Harm.

The rest of the clutch, inbound, saw the fire erupt from the liquid island. Freja called upon the spirit moon to give them a safe place to land, and wound up with a little outcropping of earth next to the black liquid. Nova tried to call on the storm moon to hit the black stuff with lightning, but she missed, and took a Shadow Point. Hawley shared the load to take the point, and flying higher, called upon the storm moon himself, seeing what Nova had been trying to do. He succeeded, but lost control. Chain lightning lanced down and shocked some of the dragons - everyone acted despite danger. Azrael, now freed, took Harm, as did Freja. Nova flew in front of Biscuit to protect him and took Harm, while Hawley was flying high and had no problems. Veris caught Azrarel as she was blown out of the black stuff and took some Harm, but was otherwise OK.

Freja used scent of a place and realized this place could provided building materials and a way to defeat the Eel King. Veris grabbed some of the black stuff and flew upwards, acting despite danger. It solidified around his paw, trapping it. Azrael, testing the place, called on the void moon, and lost control of the magic (but it was exceptionally powerful!). The island developed topography. It had structures, stairs, meeting places...it was worn, but expertly sculpted.

Surprised by this, the dragons started looking around at these new features. Azrael tried to find the highest point, a throne, if you will. Veries examined the island, but missed, and wandered off on his own. He found a pit or well in the center of the island, a place that swallowed light and sound. He examined the Darkness Well, and missed, found his hand turning black...and his scales...

Back with the group, Freja asked her spirit guide where Veris was, and Oodle told her he couldn't sense Veris anymore, but had lost him near the center. They started heading for the center.

Veris used a new move - touch the Darkness. He had a vision about Azarel, and about her learning to activate the obsidian and control it. Veris saw Biscuit, and followed him; Biscuit said he'd lead him back to the clutch.

Meanwhile, the rest of the clutch, including Biscuit, found the Darkness Well. Freja called upon the liberty moon, but missed - all of the buildings collapsed, stunning some of the dragons who were still in those buildings. Azrael, wanting the buildings back, called upon the void moon, and everything reformed just as before. Hawley, ever the daredevil, dove into the Darkness Well, acting despite danger, but pulled up just in time - it's a trap. The Darkness Well is deadly.

Meanwhile, Veris was following "Biscuit" and sensing something amiss, studied him. He realized that it wasn't Biscuit and tried to fly off. He acted despite danger and missed, and found himself cornered by the imposter. Veris called on the liberty moon to escape, but missed again, and the imposter became blackness, and oozed toward him...

We shall see, next time, what becomes of our heroes.