The air was hotter here, not like the rest of Dragon Mountain. Descending the sloping passage, the party entered Infyrana’s lair. It was a vast cavern, the ceiling beyond the range of their sunrods, with only the occasional stalactite hinting at its existence. Four massive stone columns supported its weight. To the left and right were 40’ ledges, accessible by natural stone stairs. Across a 20’ wide, unfathomably deep chasm was another 40’ ledge overflowing with treasure, on top of which the dragon Infyrana was curled gazing into a crystal ball which recounted scenes of the party’s journey thru Dragon Mountain…from the perspective of kobolds and various scrying sensors.
Zolar’s mass invisibility spell seemed to be working well enough. Several pieces of treasure were scattered around the lair almost haphazardly, as if a wanton gesture of the dragon’s copious wealth. Raphael noticed a crown of charisma and a ring of fire resistance nearby, which he stealthily grabbed and donned.
“So, you survived the Mountain…” Infyrana stretched her wings, revealing a tremendous array of orange, red, and yellow colors, fading to black wingtips. She shook off some coins from her back, her massive wickedly curved horns nearly the length of two men, and craned her neck to peer across the room trying to locate the invisible party.
Zolar called out to the dragon, “Why did your mate Kaldwarag attack the king’s castle Tir Uldeir?”
“Kaldwarag was a young fool, lured by the promises of the Cult of the Dragon, lured by immortality as a dracolich. He should have known it was only a matter of time before the Cult betrayed him…used the Red Orb of Dragonkind to command him to attack Tir Uldeir.”
Raphael commented nonchalantly, “Kaldwarag as a mate, really? Was that the best you could do?” However, suddenly Raphael did not feel right, and reaching his hand to his ear, felt the crown he’d donned turning him into gold! It was cursed! Wrestling with the crown, he managed to tear it free before he became a statue.
As Infyrana and Raphael exchanged taunts, the party began to fan out to get into position for the fight. Sensing Tristan’s stealthy advance in bat-form, Infyrana roared, “Come no further unless you wish for a fight that will only end in your deaths! I am old, out of practice at fighting adventurers, but I am not without tricks. For I am Infyrana the Majestic, Master of Magic, Ruler of Dragon Mountain!”
Raphael grimaced, “Wow, this dragon’s even more egotistical than me. I really don’t like her.”
Tristan called out, “Infyrana, cast aside this mad quest to become a dracolich. It is folly.”
Infyrana arched her scaly brow, “Ah, vampire, it was Kaldwarag’s dream, not mine. He believed the promises of the self-styled Wyrmlord and the Cult. I have no such illusions, no your succubus companion dispelled me of such notions long ago.”
Tristan mused, thinking of the Raven Queen’s quest, “It would seem I have been misinformed.”
“You have bested my kobolds and their traps, you did far better than Kirito’s former party who perished in my Mountain like insects.”
Kirito drew his blades. “We’ve already killed one dragon. You’re just a number to us…”
“Is that so, adventurer?” Chortled Infyrana over-confidently. “Let’s put that to the test.” And a bright blue orb surrounding the aged red dragon, a minor globe of invulnerability protecting her from ranged attacks.
And with that, the battle was joined.
It was vicious and bloody, and without mercy. Some of the highlights included:
• Lily and Zolar breaking the dragon’s Minor Globe of Invulnerability with focused fire and an out-of-the-box use of a Rod of Beguiling.
• Lily getting ravaged in the dragon’s jaws and nearly dying, but making a comeback later to punish the dragon with devastating amounts of frost and lightning damage.
• Kirito connecting with six hits in one attack against the dragon.
• Zolar blinding the dragon and engaging in a bit of a wizard’s duel involving a spell quite familiar to him: Visions of Avarice.
• Kirito stealing a dancing sword and Anduvaar’s Blade from the dragon’s hoard, then returning to be invisible while tossing Anduvaar’s Blade to Ardell.
• Ardell keeping the party alive at one point with lay on hands.
• Raphael discovering the ring of fire resistance was actually a ring of fire vulnerability, and contemplating cutting his finger off to remove it.
• Raphael momentarily bluffing the dragon into believing if she flew that the god of mercenaries and warrior-bards would strike her down.
• Tristan dominating the dragon to fly and provoke opportunity attacks while surrounded.
• Miri scoring multiple critical hits with her flail, and pummeling the dragon to the cavern floor.
• Infyrana calling on her kobold minions, and none showing up, suggesting that Raphael’s deal with Crusher had paid off.
• Ardell and Miri getting teleported in the Kobold Proving Grounds and surviving through wits alone with flying colors.
• Zolar narrowly de-activating the planar sextant with an extended mage hand and a little help from the party.
• A last ditch effort to end the Pillars of Arcane Negation by smashing gems which contained the trapped essence of several important NPCs.
• The frontline PCs stabbing Infyrana to death in ferocious melee, despite her ominous warning of a Killing Curse she had cast upon herself.