With Culpangia’s rapid departure from the heart of Shearphorus, Gwinni shifted her spell to clear the way, and grabbed on to Gorefang as he rocketed by to send the two of them in hot pursuit of the fleeing dragon. The two plummeted down the 600-ft. drop, speeding towards the slowly-falling Culpangia. Gwinni blasted her with a sudden downdraft, before swiftly casting an updraft on herself and the weasel to slow their falls and come to a gentle landing. Gwinni then assumed the form of a large dinosaur, presenting the dragon with two tempting targets.
Astria jumped down to the ring platform, while Erenna dropped like a stone, pulling out of a free fall just out of Culpangia‘s reach above her. Valogue duplicated this stunt, while both Lumia and Deirdre hopped down and used feather fall to ensure a safe descent. While some where jumping, Athena tried to grab others and teleport into the dragon’s path, only to find herself stymied by some magic blocking her teleportation. This left Maread able only to fire a missile from her wand at Culpangia, further angering the dragon.
Culpangia attempted to use her size and weight to simply run over Gwinni and gorefang, but was unable to overpower Gwinni in her new form (although it was close). Culpangia was pushed back, where a rain of blows fell on her from the party’s next wave of attacks. The final straw came from the warmage that she found a little too hard to digest, as he blasted her with a cone of cold that would prove ultimately fatal. Valogue cut off the head to take back to his guild as a trophy, and Gwinni removed the brain to preserve it for questioning later. We don’t want to know how Gwinni plans to do that.
Upon arriving back in the chamber where Culpangia formerly lurked, the party spread out to try and see what they could discover. Maread quickly noticed a locked chest by one of the carved dragon heads, and picked the lock to reveal a cache of coins, jewelry, and gemstones, as well as an adamantine rapier that she claimed for herself. With more searching, the party realized that each of the 40 bas-relief dragon heads actually referenced a different clan, and when they began talking things out, it quickly became obvious that these were the clan paragons, dragons that perfectly embodied the precepts of their clans.
With a flash of insight, Athear realized why they were here, and what they had just prevented. Although Mirrym had sworn her to silence as to the true nature of Shearphorus, the time had come to break that vow, at least in her mind. She then revealed that Shearphorus is a repository of draconic souls, to serve as the clans’ “final answer” should something arise that could unite the clans. At that time, the paragons would rise again, wielding all the power of all their descendants who made the pilgrimage to Shearphorus. If the paragons arose and acted in unison, their combined power is more than that wielded by any Patron, including Loce. This invasion of Shearphorus was obviously intended to be the first step in the subversion of its power.
Erenna reluctantly agreed to replace the brooch in the pattern of crystal growth on the floor of this chamber, where it immediately melded into place and the room filled with a faint hum. The spirit of Auronorex appeared and congratulated the party on restoring Shearphorus to its proper order, his first work as the new Seneschal was to pardon everyone for trespassing upon holy ground and to create a doorway for them to return to his former abode in Dzorz. He also promised to reward the group, that agents of his would deliver these rewards.
As a final thought, before passing through the door, Valogue took the time to speak with Auronorex about the purpose of his guild, and that his aims seemed to be well in line with the changes that he would be enacting at Shearphorus. Valogue has been growing less concerned with the jiilaer belief that Mirrym proposed, and interested more in preserving the balance between the clans – the entire purpose of the treaty of Shearphorus. Auronorex approved of this move, and as a result has granted the guild an adventuring mandate, backed by the Seneschal of Shearphorus.