As the party awakens, everyone begins realizing that their are voices in there head. As the party shakes the grogginess from their minds and prepare breakfast, several members begin attempting to focus on the voice in their minds and hear what it is saying, but no one seems to be able to tell, as if the voice is merely whispering just enough to be heard. While listening, Shar and Khyber here a slithering noise as if a giant slug of some sort. After finishing the meal the party heads out to go and meet the warforged dragon.
While backtracking their steps from yesterday, the party finds a massive monstrosity blocking their path. Its huge fleshy body seems half formed and unfinished, and before it comes completely into view Khyber launches an arrow into it and scores a lethal blow. As they walk around the corner of the rock wall and see the full horror of the creature in view for the first time. A massive central trunk of the creature, surrounded by tentacles, the main trunk having a face at the end, all made up of gathered corpses. Around the head is a many fleshy prongs tipped with a claw as long a grown man. At the center of the face is a mouth surrounded by eyes and Khyber’s arrow barely visible inside the creatures head. Fluid and ichor drip continually from its form as it seethes and writhes in pain.
Suddenly a voice echos in their minds, asking them to come closer so it can know its enemies, Varren knowing the voice is full of malice and contempt. He moves forward and attempts to bully the creature into moving out of the parties way. It laughs, the sound echoing horribly in their minds and uses its tentacles to gesture to itself, asking if it looks like it can move and showing him that it is rooted to the ground. Saenic asks it what it is and it turns its attention to the half fey, merely replying ‘Freedom.’
During the conversation it mentions it children going forth to infect everything, Saenic gasps that they found the plague. With a jagged smile it asks the party that the Zheechdrians could not stop it, what makes them think they can? to which Shar comments on all the dead spawn around it, Shyr telling it that the lethal blow Khyber landed on it is slowly killing it. It smiles terribly at them again, seemingly unconcerned by its impending death.
Khyber, stating again she will never be anyone’s slave, takes another shot at the creature, wounding it further. Varren attempts to converse more with it, as its wounds begin to take their tole, the doppelganger hears a thousand voices speak as one in his head, stating ‘We win.’ As Draka lands another blow on it. Saneic ask’s it it’s name, and as it falls apart it says ‘I am Aton…’ Expiring before finishing its sentence.
Varren looks at the creature in dismay, wondering if he could become like that creature, with Shar trying to comfort him, saying she rather doubted it since the bodies making it its mass seemed to have no say in the matter of their consumption. Noting that the corpses of more of its spawn located past it seem to be blackened and burned, Shar mentions in a hopeful voice that slaying it may have ended the threat it carried, with Varren doubting it, saying he thinks they only killed this instance of it and that as a hivemind it may be active elsewhere…
Heading deeper into the cave system, the party begins seeing more and more evidence of Zheechdrian civilization, writing on the walls and other things, though the party cannot read it. Saneic and Varren both try, and the letters and words swim and shimmer as if alive, causing them to have headaches before they give up. As the cave system finally opens up into one massive cavern, a huge roar rips through the air and Shar nods grimly and states, ’Hello beastie."
The cavern is massive, with the city itself surrounded by a wild underground river making it dangerous to cross. The city itself seems intact from the distance, and a massive floating crystal hovers with no seeming means of suspension at the center. The party begins to make their way down towards the city slowly, taking care to move quietly as possible towards the river. Varren dives in and looks around quick, buffeted by the wild current and seeing and hearing nothing before jumping out and beginning to help ferry those who cannot fly across.
Walking into the ancient ruins, they party first makes note of the architecture. Either through design or ravaged by time or by the goblinoids, the buildings are all very open aired, with little in the way of walls and leaving themselves exposed to the elements. While hiding in the shadows from these buildings they make note of many insecticide metal creatures, similar to the ones first encountered in this cave, however they either do not notice or care about the party and leave them unmolested. Seeing the massive sight of the dragon fly overhead, they watch it move towards the crystal and land their, making note to head towards it.
Along the way they see several corpses is various positions, all covered in armor and wielding weapons. Its clear the city was under siege at the time it was swallowed by the earth. Looking at the bodies the party notes that the skeletons are very different from any of the modern common races. The skulls are elongated and have no jaw or nose, merely eye sockets and a large crest coming up from behind the skull. Where a fleshy body would have ears, several desiccated cartridge tentacles extend and move towards where the shoulders are like hair. A few of the bode’s armor is burst open from the inside…
Getting up to wear the crystal floats, the party sees the massive stone on top of a ruined tower on a cliff that was forced up from the ground level when the city fell. Laying on the ground in front of the tower lays the dragon, the light refracting off its metal skin. Suddenly lifting it head to wear the party stands, it tells the intruders to identify themselves and moves forward, perching onto a ruined building and gazing towards them. The party notices that it has no eyes but its head follows them unerringly. Varren attempts to speak to it and says they are here for knowledge. The several strips of light running the course of the dragons body dims for a moment before brightening back up and it snarls at them and lunged forward before stopping.
The lights dim again and when they brighten, it asks the intruders what their purpose is again. When Varren tries to explain again that they answered the question already the lights dance again and the dragon sits on the ground, watching them and mentions why they would be down here for knowledge, if they are after what its masters knew. While talking to the dragon it begins behaving erratically again, pitching forward and smashing its head onto a massive rock and having freezing hanging moments in its speech as the party begins to question it about the parasites and other information about them and the Zheedchrians. It is clear the dragon is having trouble keeping control of itself and Saneic suggests leaving and coming back later, much to Varren’s agreement. Khyber however, refuses to leave without more information about the warforged.
The dragon switches personalities again and demands the party leave, seeming to go still as they discuss among themselves and try to convince Khyber to go. The party fails and the dragon seems to hit a limit when it suddenly leaps forward and attacks. Flying over them it lets loose with a rain of metallic shrapnel that damages the party heavily, Meepo falling into a pool of his own blood. Shyr revives the tiny kobold and tells him to leave as Shar commands he animal companion to stay by him as he crawls onto the cheetahs back as a mount.
The dragon then lets loose a blast of sonic energy, hurting Draka and Boney as it attempts to planeshift Shar, who had transformed into a Rhino and swelled with the fey magic gifted to her by her patrons, busting into flame as a headplate spring from her neck and she rammed into the dragons side, though Zarik cancels the spell just in time as she winks out and then back into the plane.
Finally after a very nearly lethal fight the dragon is felled by Saneic’s bow and she continues to shoot her arrows into the creature to make sure it stays down. Taking a deep breath the party begins to relax, just as a bright flash of light fills the air and the dragon gets back up with an angry snarl…