Indeed, the Dr’Gahr were telling the truth: there was a great lizard in the cavern below – a horse-size black dragon, which attacked from the waters of the underground lake and almost melted both Korrigan and, even more so, Ti’ un Ril before the team, working in tight coordination, was able to bring the thing down. Sarick’s aggressive move – jumping on to the thing’s back, distracted it enough for Ti and Korrigan to jump into the water and get up against it, landing blows while Sarick went to town on its back with his sword, severing its spine and coating himself in dragon blood and innards.
The drake, although young, had a respectable treasure horde, totally over 6400SP, 1400+GP, some gems, a few potions, and an enchanted shield. The most impressive item from the heap was a massive greataxe, with a blade on one side and hammer block opposite it, bearing the Oornothi forge mark. This weapon, Genji determined, held two layers of enhancing magic, and something else he could not discern – some other magic, deep within it, that he could not understand. Later, with more study, perhaps. Regardless, it was a formidable weapon, and Ti’un claimed it.
The team decided that heading back to Camp Belgrey, per their orders, was the best thing to do, even with their growing misgivings over the hunch that the camp’s leaders were crooked and were skimming off the top of treasure hauls and were falsifying records to enrich themselves. They did decide to hide some of the gold they’d found – about 1300 coin – a few days away from the camp, and to not claim some of the items they’d found as recovered loot. This, along with a detailed accounting of the coin and gems, was intended to help them determine, upon their return, if someone really was involved in double-booking and skimming.
Treated like heroes and celebrities at the camp, they spent a few weeks on light duty, as was normal after a long mission and through that time were able to conclusively determine that indeed, there was skimming of treasure and creative bookkeeping that involved selling some Scout supplies to shady merchants for small profit. Additionally, Sarick, who’d gotten in contact with his merchant father, got wind of loose borders and trade highways, with some movement of wagons and small caravans into and out of the realm – movement that should have been more closely regulated and watched, and wasn’t being. All of this activity was taking place in the northwest zone – the large area Camp Belgrey was supposed to be handling.
Genji was kind enough to have four fine, stout necklaces made for each of the team, each with a single dragon tooth and a small black scale. The cured and mounted dragon head, about the size of the head of a large horse, was hung in the mess hall at the camp, and became a focal point of conversation and wonder – no one, after all, had slain a dragon in the realm in living memory.
About a month after returning, the team, along with another Scout team and a group of Oornothi, returned to the hold to clear it out completely and formally hand it over to the dwarves. The four heroes were formally recognized by the dwarves and presented with shoulder cords and broaches identifying them as friends of the clan. Additionally, they were extended permanent sanctuary at the hold – “stop by whenever you’d like.”
Genji is promoted to Senior Scout, Ti’Un and Korrigan to Scout First Class, and Sarick to Scout Second Class.
Finally, after about three months of deep, cold winter, the team was given a few weeks of leave, and they set off together to Burmovton to meet with Sarick’s father, as part of a secret plan to bring evidence of the ongoing corruption at the Camp to a responsible and honest customs investigator with whom the elder Onserrat was familiar.
We will begin the next session with the team arriving in Burmovton to meet Sarick’s father to talk about the situation at Camp Belgrey. Winter – the worst of it – lasted about four months, during which the team stayed close to the Camp, aside from the trip back to the hold. They would have done various duty jobs, trained new recruits, gone on short patrols, and the like. Operations sow down a lot in winter. Let me know, here, what other things you might do during those months.