25. On Thin Ice
The adventures, with their companions, discussed their plan of attack against the dragon. While initially setting their sights on a trap to lure the creature into a fight away from its lair, the group ultimately decided to conduct a direct attack in its abode. After acquiring any needed supplies and other preparations, they set off deeper into the mountains with Tycus as their guide. During the first day of their trek, the party decided to brave a pass rather than take their chances with climbing a mountain. As the afternoon sunk into evening, the group found themselves under attack by a group of yetis in a ravine. While they ultimately thwarted off the creatures, Kent was frozen to death by the abominable monsters, though Andraste provided a succinct resurrection to bring him back. Chilled from the encounter, the adventurers successfully searched for a cave to rest in for the night. The following day, the group completed their last trek to the dragon’s lair, taking their time in the endeavor. While Andraste enlightened Idan to the teachings of Pelor on the mountainside, Varris discovered an entrance into the lair. After last minute preparations, they proceeded to enter the ice cave. At first, they attempted to carefully tread the lair in search of the dragon but quickly realized that they had been detected by the creature. The white dragon released a torrent of cold breath that struck Jester, Varris, and Tycus, and then subsequently downed Varris with its tail. Their encounter with the dragon had the close quarter combatants in Jester and Varris scrambling across the ice to reach their quarry. Kent repeatedly lobbed fireballs against it while Andraste ensured that the adventurers remained in fighting condition. Their companions in turn contributed what they could to the fight. Idan unleashed arrows from the cave entrance up until he was blocked off from the fight by a wall of ice, but chunked his way back into the combat after some time. When the dragon released a particularly devastating breath of ice against the party, Kent nearly found himself in death’s icy throes once again when Caedon stepped in to defend him from the icy assault, freezing in his place and becoming cover for him instead. Tycus stayed in the frontlines with the others, striking the dragon as well as providing support to his allies when needed. Multiple times, Kent attracted the ire of the dragon and, at one point, squeezed into an enclosure and drew it away from the others. Despite their tribulations, Jester struck the final blow through the dragon’s heart. However, as the cave’s ice started to melt, the party harvested a few dragon claws and then quickly absconded from the lair. Having completed their task, the party turned to Idan, who had promised to return them to Curieux through a “shortcut.” True to his word, the elf procured an item that allowed them to teleport to the outskirts of Curieux before parting ways from the party with Caedon in tow. At that point, Tycus seemed ready to split away from the party as well, his discomfort apparent in lingering around the area. However, after a heartfelt conversation with Jester, Tycus decided to stay for the time being, even opening up to the prospect of the other paladin showing him around.
"I had my doubts about them, I will admit. However, in all my years, it has been a rarity to find a group that has fought so recklessly and...passionately, for a cause that may very well need not concern them."
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