I remember when I first set out with Karal and began my quest to expand my powers. I remember my lofty goal of single handily protecting the natural balance from aberrations while pursuing the hated necromancers who caused me so much pain. I had a single purpose and a clear path. My how things have changed. I knew things would be different when I started my new life as an adventurer, but I never imagined myself riding in an airship, with an entirely new group of companions, or being enamored with a beautiful Gnome. Syral and Shira have definitely made life interesting. Syral has taken a set against our newest “companion” Sir Niles Hansen, why exactly, I don’t know. All, I know is that she won’t go near him even when we are being attacked by dragon knights thousands of feet in the air. I suppose I should try to explain who he is (even though I met him but a day earlier)and clarify recent events.
After the army of General Zitherune was thwarted, the Shadow Hunters were praised as the “Heroes of Outlook” (again), and were awarded with an astral diamond necklace, a new house in the Stonehammer district, as well as the love and adoration of the citizenry. However, our victory was blighted by the sudden departure of our companion Miria. Syral took it pretty hard. Shira did her best to comfort her, but she is still hurting over the loss and wants nothing more than to go to Lencia and find her. I wonder if there was anything more than just friendship between them. In any case, I became ill and had to confine myself to my room while Syral and Shira took care of some business in town, found Punmba in the sewers, and also held a tournament to recruit new members into the Shadow Hunters. I do not know all of the details, but we wound up with a Dwarf fighter named Thordrin son of Bordrin, and a rather zealous paladin of Bahamut. I maintain, much to Syral’s chagrin, that he is not evil, merely a zealot, whose actions done in the name of his god may seem extreme and almost evil to others…but I digress. Before I had a chance to even learn their names, before we had been given even a week’s respite after defeating an army, an airship arrived in search of the Shadow Hunters. We answered the call and went with Kruric to investigate. When we arrived at the landing site, we found a very damaged looking boat with a green-skinned individual standing before it. He was a Githzerai named To-kit who had come to find us so that we could help fend off an invasion by the Githyenki. We did not have time debate or say no because he said that he was being pursued and so we could not risk any harm to the city. We got in the airship, found our other companions and then headed off to the south where the fortress of Akmad awaited us. I was stationed in the crow’s nest since I am the natural lookout, and not too long after we left Outlook were we attacked by two githyanki riding dragons. I sounded the alarm and we all readied for battle (except for Niles since he had fallen ill). The dragons, one black, and one green, charged us and we let loose our weapons upon them. I shot hawks of flame from the crow’s nest, Syral threw her dagger with staggering precision, and Shira fired at them with a ballista mounted at the front (with limited success, but I blame the machine). We took down one rider fairly quickly, but the other evaded our blows. Then the fight took a nasty turn. Shira was quite injured, as was Thordrin, and then the dragon charged and knocked Syral off of the ship. I saw this whole new world around me begin to shatter. My love was injured and my good friend was falling. I only had seconds to think. Confident in Shira’s abilities, and seeing that the rider was quite injured himself, I decided to do something crazy. I jumped down from my post and dove off the side of the ship and flew (in a manner of speaking) towards Syral. I caught her after a few seconds and used my magic ring to slow our decent so that we landed safely in the trees. I could only hope that Shira fared just as well. I was half right as it turned out. When the ship came back to find myself and Syral, upon our return, we learned that Shira was knocked unconscious, but thankfully, Thordrin knocked the rider out of his saddle and saved her, which I am profoundly grateful for. I have grown quite attached to Shira, to say the least, and I do not want think about what I would do if anything happened to her.
We only had a couple of hours to rest and look over the ship. We found out details about the size of the force attacking the fortress and that there was an infiltrator and assassin there. We used To-kit’s knowledge of the terrain to formulate a battle plan for when we arrive. I probably shouldn’t say “we” since I was only told of the plan after the fact by Syral as I was back in the crow’s nest. I finish writing these words as I believe we are getting close to our destination. I fear that more dragon riders will be waiting for us.