Excerpts Archive | 7/15/2009
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Excerpts: Seekers of the Ashen Crown

In today's Seekers of the Ashen Crown excerpts, we present encounters with a trap, a skill challenge, a dragon -- and the namesake Ashen Crown itself.

Seekers of the Ashen Crown

In Darguun, the Kech Volaar (Wordbearer) goblins have recovered a part of the fabled Ashen Crown. If they can restore the entire artifact, they would significantly enhance their claim as the rightful inheritors of the longlost Dhakaani Empire.

Unfortunately for the Wordbearers, word of the Crown's reemergence has leaked. Others—rival goblins, elf historians, and human spies—seek the artifact. The characters are caught in the middle of these competing forces.

  • The Ashen Crown (1.2 Mbs PDF)
    The Ashen Crown is an ancient relic, created by the Keepers of the Past of the Valaes Tairn, then taken by the Dhakaani during the wars that drove the elves back to Aerenal. As crafted by the elves, the Liryana'tani (Crown of Remembrance) was used to return great warriors to life, and to maintain a connection to the ancient heroes of Xen’drik. When the Crown was claimed by the Dhakaani, goblin mages subtly reshaped its power to create Arkantaash. As the Ashen Crown, the artifact reflected the goblins' reverence for ancestors and history.

  • Interlude: Graywall (5.9 Mbs PDF)
    Graywall passes below you, a sprawling mass of stone buildings and canvas workers' shelters obscured by the smoke of wood fires and furnaces. The wall that surrounds the town shows signs of recent and ongoing construction. To the west rise new buildings; to the east are great quarries where stone is cut. Ahead, your destination is the foreign quarter, called the Calabas—or, as the locals refer to it, "the Kennel."

  • 3: Dragon's Maw (5.8 Mbs PDF)
    You descend into a hot, damp room lit by a single white mote. The chamber walls—like those of the stairway—bear images of armored goblins in battle. The ceiling and floor resemble an artistic interpretation of the inside of a great dragon's maw. In the center of the floor, runic words adorn four plates. The grinding sound comes from somewhere below this space.

  • 27: Sky Robbery (6.4 Mbs PDF)
    You cruise just below the clouds, passing over the gloomy landscape that abuts the mountains. Suddenly a dragon plummets through the clouds, pulls up sharply, then hovers above the forecastle deck. The crew panics and scatters.

    "Give me what you carry—all valuables and food. That will be sufficient tribute for me to allow you to live," says the dragon. It snarls, and its mouth and horns dance with lightning as it lands on the deck.