Saturday, August 8, 2009

Forgotten Realms: Issue 6 – The Dragon Reach Saga (Part 2 of 4)

This issue begins with a green dragon whose “lair, apparently consists of a tree with some loot around it.

Treasure? She just seems to have some junk strewn about.

She is then abruptly killed by a man in a skull mask and brown robes using some kind of strange staff that can teleport the head of the dragon (minus the body) to an undisclosed location.

We then shift back to Captain Omen and the Realms’ Master crew.  They are still in a tense standoff with Elminster and his posse.  After plenty of bluster from both sides, they decide to split the party. 

Wait, what?  YOU NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY!

Anyway, Minder, Ishi, Agrivar, and Vartan will go with the bronze dragon Murilantilathenes to talk with the Dragons’ Congress about the dragon-killer.  Meanwhile, Captain Omen and Foxy will go back to Elminster’s tower to discuss the fall out of the Hand of Vaprak adventure they just finished.

There is just one snag.  Minder, being an iron golem,  is way to heavy for the bronze dragon to carry.  Luckily, Captain Omen has a Polymorph Any Object scroll handy to turn Minder into an Iron Golem Dragon.  Unfortunately, she looks completely stupid in this form.

Seriously, this is the best Omen could do?

At that point Lord Mourngrym begs that they get going so he can get back to his (very) pregnant wife.  Elminster summons up a gateway and the groups head their separate ways.

On the way to the Dragons’ Congress, Murilantilathenes insists they stop to pick up the green dragon Chlora who we saw killed on page one.  Murilantilathenes is quite broken up by the death of this evil green dragon, a fact that Priam Agrivar finds most surprising.

Once they are at the Congress, which includes one of each of the metallic and chromatic dragons, Murilantilathenes reveals her plan.  Basically they have an old magic item called the Chalice of Dreams hanging around.  The problem is that none of them are clerics and they can’t use it to contact their gods.  Vartan can though.

Dude, we told you not to take the brown acid Vartan balks a bit but agrees.  He then begins to trip out.  He finds himself in Arvandor, the homeland of the elvish gods.  He also finds himself face to face with his own patron diety, Labelas Enoreth.

His god is not all that pleased to see him intruding in the first place, and even less so when he finds out he is on a quest to help out some dragons. 

Surprisingly, Vartan manages to talk his way out of this without putting his foot in his mouth again.  Labelas gives him the information on where the outcast who kills dragons is located.  However, he also tells him there will be a cost for this information.

This cost will come back to haunt Vartan in later issues.

Meanwhile, the dragons at the congress are starting to get impatient.  After all, a Commune spell only lasts 1 round/level, so Vartan is way overdue.

I really love the smug look on the red dragon's face. When the red dragon suggests they simply give up on this line of inquiry and kill the cleric, Agrivar finally has had enough and flips out.  He challenges the red dragon to a duel, meaning that all of the dragons at the Congress step aside to let the two fight.

Luckily for Agrivar, the dragon is overconfident and waves any right to subdual damage saying, “Rules? I attack insect… and you die!”

This also allows Agrivar to fight dirty.  He uses a rock to temporarily blind the dragon in one eye.  He then attacks the dragon on his blind side, cutting a nice gash with his sword.

Agrivar then chooses to throw his sword away.  No, seriously.

Seriously, what was he thinking?

Agrivar, you were doing so well.  Why would you do this?  You are a paladin for goodness sake, Wisdom can’t be your dump stat!

So it looks like Agrivar is about to die.  I might be more sympathetic to the situation if he hadn’t thrown away his sword.  It doesn’t matter though, because today is Agrivar’s lucky day.  The dragon killer snuck on site disguised as a wyrmling.  So he uses his magical Staff of Dragon Head Removing +3 to slay the red dragon before it kills Agrivar.

It dices, it slices, it removes dragon heads with no muss or fuss.

At the sight of the dead red dragon in their midst, the Dragons’ Congress goes into a rather abrupt recess.  More accurately, they flee for their lives.

The few remaining dragons (a gold, silver, and our friend Murilantilathenes the bronze) remain and discuss what to do next.  Agrivar has had enough though.

He does make a good point.

Notes

  1. I am a big fan of Rag Morales’ art in this series, but I really like his dragons.  They are incredibly expressive while still looking like massive killing machines.  Seriously, I wish I could have posted the entire book up here just to show you the dragons!
  2. When I first read this as a kid, the weird forced perspective on the shot where the outcast is killing the green dragon (not pictured here), really made me think the outcast was giant-sized.  It wasn’t helped by the fact that he impersonated a dragon wyrmling later in the comic since I didn’t realize it was a wyrmling.  I was quite surprised next issue when the outcast was revealed to be merely man-sized.
  3. On the other hand, Minder’s “dragon form” really bugged me.  I already harped on this in the body of the post so I will shut up about it for now.
  4. I love how Captain Omen blusters around Elminster.  Ten or more levels difference or not, he really seems to think Elminster should kowtow to him because Omen is from the south.

4 comments:

Todd said...

I figured that he was a wyrmling due to the size of the staff. As to Omen's expecting some northcountry wizard to show him some respect, well, he IS a mage of no small water, and Elminster is just a glorified barbarian right?

A Hero said...

I really should have posted the picture of the first killing. The perspective on it was weird. To show off the skull masked killer's outfit, he dwarfs the green dragon he is killing.

Looking at the image with the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious it is a case of "forced perspective". The figure is much closer to "the camera" than the dragon is. Since he is floating there is not much to gauge his actual size against.

At the time, I literally assumed that "the outcast" would be unmasked as some kind of giant (either stone or frost). So I assumed the staff was appropriately giant-sized as well.

If I get a chance I will post it and post a link to it here so you can see the first image.

The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca said...

The author clear doesn't know that 'ye' is second person plural. Yes, I am posting on a four year old post to point out some petty issue with word usage but damn it, it bothers me!

A Hero said...

In fairness to Jeff Grubb, Elminster has a long history of misusing "Ye". I can understand why it bugs you though.

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