While traveling through the pass that would take them from Impultur to The Vast, our heroes discussed whether to read the missives they carried. Worried more about their own safety than any political machinations they may be attempting to sweep them up, Osgar erred on the side of knowledge and found that Lord Dhahad had no evils in store for them. The messages were political, diplomatic entreaties to unite against a "common enemy" in Lyrabar. Satisfied that they were not traveling to their doom, the party carried on to their destination.
One night , the Court were set upon by a strangely organized group of orcs. Silent, efficient, and deadly, but without obvious purpose, the orc band managed to eliminate our band's sentries and capture them without struggle. On waking, the Court found themselves bound in a room of stone that seemed out of place, indeed remining Sharik of his desert homeland. Though it took them some days of effort, Sadi and Lo-Kag all but simultaneously managed their escape from their bonds, and set about freeing their companions just in time for a tremor to shake their makeshift cell and open a path out.
After contending with a strange puzzle and a pair of deadly traps, one trap accompanied by several felines of less than amicable intent in fact, they found themselves face to face with an ancient priest. Long bereft of any sanity he may have had in life, the ancient advisor to rulers apparently known as "pharaohs" did everything in his power to make sure no soul left his ancient burial chambers. Possessing strange magics unseen by even Sharik, the priest seemed to have control over the very sand on which they fought.
Still, the Imperial Court triumphed over their unexpected adversary and found the name that would secure their release from the temple that had served as their dungeon.
Making their way outside, the party found themselves somewhere in the Eastern Vast. More importantly, perhaps, is that they found their captors lying about in pieces. Dead to the last, the mysterious orcs troubled them no more.
As they set about searching for their stolen gear, they discovered a set of booted footprints that started in the center of the carnage and traveled some yards to the North, around the back of a statue. There they met a somewhat strange but cordial fellow calling himself Topher, who had apparently walked free of the massacre and was stargazing next to a small bag that mysteriously seemed to hold everything "interesting" found in the destroyed camp.
It didn't take long for the Court to realize that they were dealing with a powerful dragon. Brass, if their knowledge of the great beasts served them well and judging from his apparent love of interesting stories. In fact, it was by the sharing of interesting stories that the Court won back their many prized possessions, though in Mayiy's case it also took one from her.
And then, with a promise to bring back what he was borrowing, Topher left them in a manner such that no question to his lineage remained.
And so the party made camp, and prepared to continue their journey on the morrow.