“The Dragon King”
Begin reading from the start of this story
At the start of Story 6, Part 19, Tonklyn is excited. He’s reporting to Kirraxal and the other dragons that the Cult of the Dragon’s Flame in Twynne Rivers has secured the Dragon’s Tooth Dagger! The dragon Exakas wants it destroyed, but Kirraxal demands that it be kept. Tonklyn insists on going to Twynne Rivers to acquire it and begin preparations for the eventual attacks on the city.
It’s time for Vernalfest in the lands around the kingdom of Twynne Rivers! As the party, Eddiwarth, Parith, Illariel, and Ari travel toward the city, they stop in the small village of Larnisboro for VernalFest. While they are there, Illariel wants to use her magic to help the village farmers by blessing their fields. Parith tells her not to, so as to not draw undue attention to the group. She sneaks out at night with Ari and does it anyway. Rains delay them in the village, but one night, as Eddiwarth speaks to Thissraelle via oculus, she confesses her love, much to Eddiwarth’s surprise.
The party catches a barge to the city. To be able to get the spider into hiding, they sneak her and Illariel off the barge late at night. They get separated as Parith leaps along the rooftops. Parith is mugged and badly wounded. When Ari finds him and brings Illariel to his aid, she doesn’t believe she can heal him, but she summons up her natural will, even in the big city.
Shylai’a has been living on the streets again, trying to avoid encounters with the soldiers of House Kaelig. She meets up with the Mad Prophet again and finds him to be just as confusing as ever. He keeps asking what she’s afraid of.
The next morning, Parith and Illariel get up, healed, in the morning in the ruins of a burned out chapel. It was the chapel where Granthurg had fought the drakes and the mages alst summer. Some homeless squatters had helped the party, feeding them and fully healing Parith’s wounds, including an old shadow mage named Kiffra.
That same morning, Shylai’a tries to get away from the militia again, but is pulled into a street fight when she sees a young mother and child that need to be rescued. As she fights, she is joined by Korr, Illariel, and Ari. At first she is amazed by Korr and his fighting ability, but soon she is frightened by Ari.
In the Vast, Heathrax is sick, and Thissraelle is worried about him. Someone comes to visit their lair, and Thissraelle is suspicious. It turns out to be Tarl, of the Seekers of the Great Reality. Thisraelle is excited to see her, but Tarl tries to talk to Heathrax about intervening in the growing crisis in Twynne Rivers. Heathrax refuses.
Soon after, Tonklyn has arrived in Twynne Rivers, preparing for the upcoming attack on the city. He welcomes the dragons Xintalan, Ryxitt, and Telix. Xintalan is not happy that she’s been sent away from the pending battles in the Umbrawood Forest.
Later, Tonklyn communicates with the dragons Exakas and Kirraxal to plot the attacks that will ultimately topple most of hominid civilization and restore the reign of the Dragon Kings. It’s decided that it doesn’t matter if the human city or elven forest is attacked first. Tonklyn has acquired the Dragon’s Tooth dagger (which is magically enchanted to kill dragons) and shows it to them. Exakas wants it destroyed, but Kirraxal demands that it be locked away instead.
Parith, Korr, and Illariel discover the Seekers of The Great Reality in the underground of Twynne Rivers. They reveal to Parith what they know of the plans of the Dragon’s Flame Cult to conquer Wynne. Their drive to acquire the dagger intensifies. Hamrisonn, one of the Seekers and an old schoolmate of Eddiwarth’s, wants to visit him.
Eddiwarth finds his family in Twynne Rivers. He is struggling to find his place. His mother is excited to see him and initially thinks that Shylai’a is his sweetheart. His father, Mellar, is also happy to see him, but because of Eddiwarth’s history of letting his magic get out of control and setting their house on fire, is a little leary.
Eddiwarth thinks about the raw ruby gem in his pocket as he talks with his father. Mellar tells Eddiwarth that he must take charge of his life and accept himself. The party stays with Eddiwarth’s family while they decide their next move.
When Shylai’a and Korr practice spar in Mellar’s courtyard, they argue over how to best help Eddiwarth. Korr defeats Shylai’a and she is angry. Shylai’a challenges him again the next day and while they spar, he gets her to talk. She opens up and admits that she’s afraid of dying in obscurity, with no honor or meaning to her life. She wants to matter. Korr assures her that the many people she’s rescued think she matters already.
Hamrisonn comes to Parith and tells him that Umbrawood City was attacked by high elves, Khelnar, and dragons. King Twynnham of Twynne Rivers is mustering soldiers to send to the wood elves in the forest for support. Parth and Illariel are in a panic to find out about their families in the forest town of Treehaven. They hurry to tell Eddiwarth.
Karendle also finds Eddiwarth. Her father had found out that someone killed their friend Granthurg, took the dagger, and sold it to the Dragon’s Flame. Eddiwarth mourns Granthurg’s loss with Thissraelle. He asks himself, “What’s the point?” Thissraelle wants to come to him, but Eddiwarth feels like he has failed and doesn’t deserve her.
A few days later, there is a meager SummerFest event with a few decorated wagons, banners, and ribbons when the dragons fly overhead. They call up lots of city drakes, many of which were still living there from the time of the cathedral attack the previous year. They bring flames and chaos, attacking the people in the plaza and other places in the city.
The party helps in the fight, mostly rescuing civilians. Eddiwarth finds he can redirect the flames for the rescue, and it surprises him.
Thissraelle is magically reaching out to contact Eddiwarth, but an entropy storm is gathering in the Vast, making it difficult for her to reach him. She vicariously experiences the attacks and is afraid for Eddiwarth and her family. She doesn’t understand why Heathrax, the great dragon friend to humanity, refuses to help in the fight. He explains his frustrations with hominids and their constant warring.
Meanwhile, as a flight of high elven dragon cavalry returns from fire attacks on wood elves, Xintalan and Telix strike them, inspiring the dragons to rebel against their high-elven rider masters.