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The Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy

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The Year of Rogue Dragons is a trilogy by Richard Lee Byers. It covers the calamitous events of 1373 DR, the "Year of Rogue Dragons".

The Year of Rogue Dragons Edit

  1. The Rage (April 2004)
  2. The Rite (January 2005)
  3. The Ruin (May 2006)


The Rage

Book One

Around –25000 DR, at the dawn of history, both metallic and chromatic dragons ruled over the other races of the world until a circle of elven spellcasters performed an extraordinary work of high magic in their newly built citadel in the northernmost reaches of Toril. The elven magic created the Dracorage mythal: tied to the appearance of the King-Killer Star, the mythal incited the Rage of Dragons, a madness that drove all of dragonkind into mindless destruction as well as turned them against their own offspring. The frenzy caused the kingdoms of the wyrms to collapse and the dragons lost their absolute dominion over Faerûn, allowing the elves and the other races to establish their own independent realms. The powerful Dracorage mythal continued to afflict dragonkind with periodic bouts of madness in order to ensure that wyrms would never take over the world again.

In 1335 DR, Dorn Graybrook was born the son of two humans who served as indentured servants to a wizard of Hillsfar, a city-state on the southern coast of the Moonsea. In 1344 DR, when Dorn was nine, he and his parents were sent with a merchant caravan traveling to the city of Yulash, but their party was attacked by a red dragon during the journey. The wyrm killed both Dorn’s parents and tore off his left limbs, and much of the surrounding flesh, before leaving him to die. The wizard who owned Dorn and his parents magically transported to the site a few minutes later to retrieve whatever remained of his property. The mage found Dorn and saved his life by creating metal golem parts to make up the left side of his body. These plates and parts had to be replaced multiple times over the years as Dorn aged and outgrew them, which was an agonizing process. Even after the slaughter of the merchant party, Dorn still had to serve the wizard, to pay him back for the life-saving transplants as well as the years of service that his parents had owed. As Dorn grew up, the spellcaster had him trained to be a fighter in the arena and enchanted the golem parts for improved efficiency.

After he had become a veteran arena competitor, Dorn found a way to kill the mage and escape from Hillsfar. Once Dorn claimed his freedom, he began working as a mercenary who specialized in jobs that required him to kill dragons and other dangerous beasts. Over the years, Dorn allied himself with the arctic dwarf ranger Raryn Snowstealer, the halfling scout Will Turnstone, and Pavel Shemov, a priest of Lathander, the god of the dawn, to form an elite group of hunters who operated around the Moonsea region. The small band eventually made a business partnership with the skilled wizards of Thentia, a city on the northern coast of the Moonsea, in which the arcanists created magical weapons and equipment to assist the companions in their assignments.

In 1372 DR, the gold dragon Lareth, the King of Justice, the elected sovereign of the gold dragons, sensed that the Rage of Dragons was going to soon begin. Lareth convened a conclave in the Galena Mountains in which dozens of metallic dragons gathered to discuss the coming frenzy. Lareth knew that this Rage would somehow be more terrible than previous ones and that the metallic dragons’ usual tactics to escape the madness would be insufficient, so he convinced most of the assembled wyrms that their only option was to establish secret refuges across Faerûn where they would gather when it became necessary and submit to a powerful enchantment that would bind them to slumber until the Rage subsided. Although this plan would prevent the metallic dragons from slaughtering the humanoid peoples, the smaller races would have no protection from rampaging chromatics and would be forced to withstand attacks on their own. The song dragon Karasendrieth, the copper dragon Chatulio, and the few other wyrms who did not agree with Lareth’s plan decided to work together to discover a way to cure the Rage.

In 1373 DR, the lich Sammaster, the founder of the secret society known as the Cult of the Dragon, bound his phylactery to the Dracorage mythal, causing it to no longer have a connection with the King-Killer Star and starting the Rage of Dragons, but one that would never end. Believing that undead dragons would one day rule the world, Sammaster wanted to use the threat of the Rage to convince chromatic dragons to undergo the transformation into dracoliches. The lich hoped that the madness of the Rage would prevent metallic dragons from interfering with his plans and that attacks by frenzied wyrms would weaken the realms of Faerûn.

After months of investigation and experimentation resulted only in failure for Kara and her allies in discovering a way to stop the Rage, the song dragon was magically contacted by the vampiric smoke drake Brimstone while in Melvaunt, a city on the Moonsea’s northern shore. Brimstone had been an agent of Sammaster until the lich had realized that the disadvantages of vampires far outweighed their usefulness and discarded him. Brimstone’s only desire now was to see Sammaster destroyed, and he decided that aiding Kara would help achieve this. Suspecting a connection between the Rage and the Cult of the Dragon’s newest plans, Brimstone wanted Kara to join him in Lyrabar, the capital city of Impiltur, to assist him in uncovering the mystery. Kara immediately began to journey south, but she was soon intercepted by the gold dragon Llimark, who had been ordered by Lareth to detain the dragon bard for her rebellious actions in defiance of the conclave’s decision. Refusing to end her work and yield to Lareth’s commands, Kara battled and subdued Llimark, but she was wounded during the fight and had to stop at Ylraphon, an outpost town on the Dragon Reach.

Dorn, Pavel, Raryn, and Will were hired by the council of merchants who ruled Ylraphon to kill an ooze drake that had been menacing wayfarers in the vicinity of the town. The hunters tracked the dragon to the swamp known as the Flooded Forest and slew the beast, but they then discovered that the other wyrms in the marsh were descending into frenzy and uniting into a dragon flight to attack Ylraphon. Dorn and his friends quickly warned the townspeople and assembled a makeshift militia to delay the rampaging dragons long enough for Ylraphon’s inhabitants to escape. With the assistance of Kara, who was disguised in human form, the four companions managed to kill a few of the attacking black dragons. However, they had no hope of defeating the entire flight of wyrms and were forced to flee Ylraphon, leaving the town itself to be destroyed by the dragons.

After escaping from Ylraphon, Dorn and his fellow hunters agreed to accompany Kara in sailing to Lyrabar as her bodyguards. While journeying through the waters of the Dragon Reach, the group observed evidence, in the form of ravaged villages, of dragon flights raiding along the eastern shore. Several days later, the ship was intercepted by Azhaq and Moonwing, two silver dragons serving in the Talons of Justice, a martial fellowship of silver dragons banded together to combat evil. Moonwing and Azhaq had been sent to apprehend Kara, but even after learning that she was a song dragon in human form, Dorn and the others agreed to defend their new friend and subdued the silver wyrms in a quick, mostly bloodless clash. Once Azhaq and Moonwing left the ship, Kara explained her mission to the four companions, who agreed to help her find a way to defeat the Rage.

Gorstag Helder, a human agent of Brimstone, infiltrated the Cult of the Dragon cell in Lyrabar and stole a folio of valuable documents written by Sammaster. However, Gorstag’s deception was discovered in the process and he was severely wounded while escaping from the cult’s hideout. Pursued through the streets of Lyrabar by the cultists, as well as their wyvern and zombie minions, Gorstag was saved by his fencing master, Taegan Nightwind, an avariel (winged elf) bladesinger, who defeated the attackers. Gorstag soon died of his injuries, but not before giving Taegan the stolen documents and warning him about the dangers posed by Sammaster and the Cult.

A few weeks following Gorstag’s death, Taegan was attacked by the Wearer in Purple, the leader of the Cult of the Dragon cell in Lyrabar, and her abishai (dragon-like devil) servants. The avariel killed the abishai, but the Wearer in Purple herself was able to escape. Several nights later, the Cult once again tried to eliminate Taegan, but instead of a direct attack on the bladesinger, the cultists used abishai to set fire to his training school while dozens of his associates slumbered inside. Taegan quickly realized that his academy was under attack and attempted to save the other residents from the fire while fighting the abishai. Taegan was given much-needed aid in this task by Dorn and his companions, who had recently arrived in Lyrabar and had been investigating the death of Brimstone’s spy.

The night after the academy fire, Dorn and his friends, accompanied by Taegan, met with Brimstone in the hope that the vampiric drake could decipher the documents that had been stolen from Sammaster. When the notes proved too heavily warded even for Brimstone, the group decided that to discover more about the Cult of the Dragon’s plans, they would need to directly assault the organization’s secret stronghold in Lyrabar. After using Taegan as bait to provoke another attack by the Cult, the hunters learned the location of the hideout from a captured cultist. The Cult was completely unprepared for the assault, and the companions swiftly defeated Sammaster’s followers, destroyed their zombie and abishai minions, and captured the Wearer in Purple. Upon interrogation, the Wearer in Purple revealed that Sammaster had discovered a way to spur and quell the frenzy of the Rage, and that the Cult had established a secret bastion in the Gray Forest where chromatic dragons could undergo the transformation into dracoliches. The companions then used the physical clues from Sammaster’s documents to determine where the lich had traveled to make his discoveries about the Rage, and they decided to journey to those locations in the hope of uncovering the same forgotten knowledge. While Kara, Dorn, and the other hunters would start the search by traveling to the Moonsea, Taegan volunteered to remain in Lyrabar in order to convince the ruling powers of Impiltur to move against the cult’s stronghold in the Gray Forest.

Forced to wait a few weeks, Taegan was eventually granted an audience with Sambryl, the Queen of Impiltur, and the Council of Lords, an assembly of the monarch’s ministers composed entirely of paladins serving the gods of light. Taegan informed the rulers of Impiltur about the Cult of the Dragon’s operation existing in the Gray Forest, but the paladins were skeptical of the threat since dragons were attacking out of the Earthspur Mountains and from across the Easting Reach, threatening Sarshel, Dilpur, and the whole northern part of the kingdom. While the lords wanted to devote all of Impiltur’s military power to suppress the wyrms devastating the settled parts of the country, Taegan convinced Sambryl to send at least a lesser force west to assess the situation in the Gray Forest. Lord Rangrim, a paladin of Ilmater, the god of suffering and perseverance, volunteered to lead the smaller host, which would also be accompanied by Taegan and strengthened by six of the bronze dragons who served the queen. (The Rage) 

After several weeks of travel by ship, Dorn and his companions reached the Moonsea and made their way to Elmwood, a small town along the southern coast. Upon their arrival, the group discovered that the evil organization known as the Zhentarim had occupied Elmwood and were taking advantage of the chaos created by the Rage of Dragons to attempt to gain control of all the trade across the Moonsea. Refusing to be extorted by the Zhents, the companions immediately clashed with Elmwood’s conquerors and were forced to seek refuge with a group of townspeople hidden in the sacred grove of the settlement’s resident druid, Ezril Treewarder. The following night, Dorn and his friends defeated the Zhentarim garrison in Elmwood in a surprise assault that both liberated the town and allowed them to steal one of the Zhents’ patrol boats for their journey north across the Moonsea.

Marching through the Gray Forest in search of the Cult of the Dragon’s stronghold, Rangrim’s company was nearly ambushed by the followers of Sammaster. However, Taegan observed the approaching enemy while scouting and warned the Impilturans in time. Facing a force comprised of human cultists, hobgoblins, werewolves, and black and green dragons, and led by a green dracolich, Rangrim hastily prepared his troops for combat and assembled them into formation. Before the two armies could fully engage each other, the bronze dragon Quelsandas, who had made a prior arrangement with Sammaster, betrayed his comrades and invoked a spell that unleashed the frenzy of the Rage within not only the other bronzes, but also unexpectedly within himself. The maddened wyrms immediately attacked the Impilturan men-at-arms, slaughtering their surprised allies and causing the formations to rapidly disintegrate. Forced to fight Quelsandas, Taegan and Rangrim killed the bronze dragon, but the avariel was seriously wounded and the paladin was slain. Three of the other bronze wyrms were killed in self-defense by their human comrades while the remaining two abandoned the field. With the Impilturan company in general disarray and severely weakened due to the heavy casualties inflicted in the unexpected assault, they had no hope of defeating the enemy force and were swiftly routed by the cultists and their minions.

Pursued through the Gray Forest by the Cult of the Dragon’s minions, the injured Taegan was saved by the faerie dragon Jivex, who used his illusion magic to throw off the avariel’s hunters. Taegan was healed by the elven spirits dwelling within the ancient gray trees of the forest, and he hoped to still be able to destroy the Cult’s operation by reassembling the scattered and fleeing remnants of the Impilturan army. Taegan was aided in this task by Jivex and the other faerie dragons who made their home in the forest. Realizing that the unified company would not have the strength to defeat the Cult, Taegan acquired a formidable ally by summoning an ancient spirit who guarded the Gray Forest, the bronze dragon Vorasaegha. Since the Cult was unaware that the army had regrouped, the Impilturans and their allies concealed their march with magic and launched a surprise assault on the organization’s stronghold. The bastion’s defenders quickly responded to the attack, and a brutal battle commenced. Vorasaegha and the green dracolich fought viciously in single combat until the undead wyrm found a way to expel the guardian spirit. However, the significant damage that the bronze dragon had inflicted allowed for Taegan, Jivex, and the Impilturans to destroy the evil creature. Following the dracolich’s death, the remaining resistance from the cultists and their minions crumbled, and the Impilturan company soon defeated them and overthrew the fortress. Shortly after returning to Lyrabar in triumph, Taegan and Jivex decided to journey north to seek out Kara, Dorn, and the other hunters and aid them in defeating the Rage.

Following a short visit to Thentia to obtain enchanted equipment from their wizard associates, Dorn and his friends traveled to Northkeep, the first location that Sammaster had visited in his investigation of the Rage. Northkeep was an ancient human city on the Moonsea that had been sacked a thousand years earlier, and its conquerors had performed a magical rite to sink the very isle on which it sat. Joined by Chatulio, the group used magic to journey beneath the sea and explore the haunted ruins of the city. When they reached Northkeep, the companions were immediately attacked by a Styx dragon and several skeletal wyrms animated by necromancy that Sammaster had left as guardians to protect the secrets hidden in the ruined city. After a fierce battle, the hunters and their dragon comrades killed the lich’s minions, but they then had to face the spectral warriors that had haunted Northkeep since its destruction. Dorn averted a fight with the wraiths by convincing them of the group’s righteous intentions in exploring the ruins. Days of searching went by before the seekers finally found what Sammaster had discovered in Northkeep, artifacts containing ancient lore that revealed the history of the Dracorage mythal and the birth of the Rage. The companions realized that Sammaster had somehow seized control of the mythal and that they would have to continue following the clues from the lich’s notes to discover a way to stop the Rage.

The Rite

Book Two

Once Sammaster learned that the Cult of the Dragon’s stronghold in the Gray Forest had fallen and that his journal notes had been stolen from Lyrabar, he devised a plan to plunge the northern nations of Faerûn into bloody chaos in order to inhibit any effort to find the Dracorage mythal that he had adapted to his own purposes. Disguising himself as the fallen lich Zhengyi the Witch-King, Sammaster rallied the orcs, giants, and other monstrous humanoids of Vaasa and led them southeast against the kingdom of Damara. The monstrous horde, assisted by the red dragon Malazan, conquered the castle called the Vaasan Gate in a night assault, then marched at maximum speed through Bloodstone Pass to attack the Damaran Gate before any warning could reach its defenders. Aided by agents of the Cult who had infiltrated the easternmost castle of the mammoth fortification, the Vaasan horde swiftly gained control over almost the entire length of the Gate, securing their access to Damara.

Meanwhile, Gareth Dragonsbane, a Paladin of the Golden Cup and the King of Damara, led a company of six hundred men against a dragon flight that was threatening to rampage through the village of Ostrav. The Damarans killed the frenzied wyrms, but during the fighting, Gareth’s soul was transported to the Plane of Shadow by a cabal of wizards working for Sammaster. Although the traitorous mages were slain by Damaran men-at-arms, the clerics and wizards who served Gareth could determine no way to revive their incapacitated king. Without Gareth’s leadership to unite them, the Damaran barons could not be persuaded to fight as one and each lord focused on protecting solely their own holdings, enabling the Vaasan horde to sweep through the realm.

As an additional measure to prevent anyone from discovering secret lore about the Rage, Sammaster ordered Malazan and a large flight of chromatic dragons to destroy the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, a heavily fortified monastery dedicated to Ilmater that was located high in the Earthspur Mountains in Damara. After journeying through the foothills of the Galena Mountains, Dorn, Raryn, Kara, and Chatulio reached the monastery only to realize that it was under siege by the force of wyrms serving Sammaster. Determined to discover the knowledge about the Rage that was hidden in the monastery, the group eventually found a secret tunnel that led into the structure. The companions killed the landwyrm and subterranean drake that laired in the passage, and they arrived at the monastery at the same time as one of the chromatic dragons’ assaults. Once the wyrms were repulsed with the aid of the four seekers, Kara and Chatulio began to search through the monastery’s extensive archives for the lore while Dorn and Raryn trained the monks in the strategies and tactics that were most effective for defeating dragons.

Following clues from Sammaster’s journal, Pavel and Will journeyed to the desolate moorlands of Thar in search of an ancient temple that contained knowledge about the Rage. Unable to locate the site of the ruins, the companions eventually encountered an ogre tribe that was being attacked by a blue dragon, and they decided to aid the giant-kin. After having a major role in slaying the wyrm, Pavel and Will convinced the ogres to guide them to the hidden location of the ruins. The two friends and the ogres arrived at the temple after several days of travel, and they defeated the ancient traps in the complex as well as the squamous spewers that Sammaster had left as guardians to protect the secrets. However, Will and Pavel were then betrayed by the ogre chieftain Yagoth, a shaman of the ogre god Vaprak, who thought that he could somehow use the ancient lore to increase his own power. Pavel was taken captive by the ogres, but Will escaped and later drew a flight of four frenzied green dragons to the ruins. As the wyrms slaughtered the ogres, Will snuck into the temple and killed Yagoth with the magical assistance of the imprisoned Pavel. Once Will and Pavel learned about the existence of the ancient elven citadel in the far northern reaches of Toril from the lore in the ruins, they began the long journey back to Thentia. However, the pair was attacked by a large band of orcs while traveling across the moorlands. The companions were saved by the arrival of Brimstone, who wanted them to accompany him to Damara in order to avert the disaster that was overtaking the kingdom and thus ruin Sammaster’s plans.

For several weeks, the defenders of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose continued to withstand the besiegers, but Kara and Chatulio made no progress in discovering the secrets about the Rage, and the frenzy within the two dragons only grew stronger. Chatulio eventually left the monastery to protect his comrades from himself and implemented a plan to weaken the enemy. Chatulio used his powerful illusion magic to infiltrate the force of chromatic dragons and instigate a fight between Malazan and the green dragon Ishenalyr, who was one of the draconic mystics known as the hidecarved. After a bloody duel to the death, Malazan emerged victorious, and Chatulio then succumbed to the urges of the Rage and exposed himself to the assembled wyrms, who immediately killed the copper dragon. Over the next few weeks, the chromatic dragons continually pushed the defenders deeper into the monastery, but the evil wyrms could not completely defeat them, and Kara ultimately discovered the hidden lore in the library. One of the secrets concealed in the ancient books was an enchantment to quell the frenzy within dragons, and this served as a temporary defense against the Rage. The enchantment was only a fraction of the knowledge about the Rage in the library, and Kara and Dorn realized that they would need to break the siege soon or the chromatic dragons would destroy all of the ancient lore.

Taegan and Jivex journeyed north to Thentia to meet with the fellowship of mages who were assisting in the effort to stop the Rage. The pair arrived in the city at the same time that one of Kara’s allies, the brass dragon Samdralyrion, suddenly succumbed to madness and attacked the assembled wizards. Taegan and Jivex helped the arcanists defeat the frenzied wyrm, and once the two learned about the recent mysterious death of one of the group’s colleagues, they began to suspect a traitor working for Sammaster among the mages. Their suspicions were confirmed after fighting and driving off a chasme (insect-like demon) that was waiting to ambush the elf wizard Rilitar Shadow-water in his home. Taegan and Jivex battled the chasme on multiple occasions in their investigation to discover the traitor, and they eventually discovered that Sammaster’s agent was a sunwyrm who was magically disguised as the human wizard Phourkyn One-Eye, but not before its demonic assassin murdered another one of the Thentian mages. The two friends killed the sunwyrm with the aid of several of the arcanists, but Rilitar soon died from the wounds he sustained during the fight.

When they reached Heliogabalus, the capital city of Damara, Pavel, Will, and Brimstone arranged an audience with Queen Christine Dragonsbane and the Damaran court of dignitaries, most of whom were paladins and clerics sworn to the service of Ilmater. After informing the leaders of the nation about Sammaster’s involvement in the recent calamities, the three companions journeyed to the Plane of Shadow alongside a small force of Damarans in order to rescue the soul of Gareth. Fighting their way through the shadow dragons that served Sammaster on the Plane of Shadow, the formidable group broke the enchantment that imprisoned the monarch’s spirit. Gareth and the other Damaran leaders soon devised a plan to defeat the Vaasan horde, which had dispersed into raiding parties to plunder but was recombining into a single army upon learning of the king’s revival. A short time later, Gareth engaged the invaders with half of his forces, but he quickly ordered an organized retreat from the field to a predetermined location where his soldiers then stopped and faced the pursuing Vaasans. At the same time, the other half of the Damaran army, accompanied by Will and Pavel, attacked the horde’s flank. Although Gareth’s strategy was successful and his troops inflicted heavy casualties on the Vaasan horde, the majority of the monstrous humanoids refused to break and likewise butchered many Damarans. Once darkness fell, the advantage began to tilt toward the invaders, but then the Damarans implemented the second phase of their plan by having Brimstone arrive on the battlefield with an illusionary Zhengyi astride him to give hope to the Vaasans. Gareth swiftly destroyed the image, demoralizing the Vaasans and allowing them to be easily routed by the Damarans. Although the Damarans won the war with the decisive victory, it would take months of campaigning to completely purge the realm of invaders, retake the Gates, and seal the Bloodstone Pass.

Leaving Raryn to assist the monks in the defense of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, Dorn and Kara traveled to the hidden refuge of the slumbering metallic dragons in the Galena Mountains to present them with the temporary antidote for frenzy and enlist their aid against Malazan’s besieging force. However, Lareth had been nearly consumed by the madness of the Rage and refused to believe the companions’ story, forcing Lareth’s chief lieutenant, the gold dragon Tamarand, to reluctantly challenge him for the leadership of the metallic dragons. After waking the gold dragon Nexus, the most talented spellcaster among the wyrms, and the silver dragon Havarlan, the captain of the Talons of Justice, to serve as witnesses to the duel, the two ancient wyrms began their battle for supremacy. At first, Tamarand tried to subdue Lareth by using only spells to disable and not destroy, but he was eventually forced to deliver a fatal blow or risk being defeated by the mad King of Justice. Although Tamarand was very grieved over killing his superior and refused to accept the mantle of royalty, he nevertheless ordered for the frenzy muting enchantment to be administered to all of the dragons in the sanctuary and for them to immediately prepare to journey south to war. When they arrived at the siege, the metallic dragons engaged the chromatics in a brutal aerial battle, and with the assistance of the monastery’s remaining defenders, they ultimately defeated the host of evil wyrms. Malazan herself was slain by Dorn and Kara, who defeated the colossal red dragon after a vicious fight and with the aid of Azhaq and Raryn.

With the completion of their separate missions, the seekers and their allies gathered in Thentia to share their discoveries and formulate a plan to stop the Rage. Nexus interpreted many of the secrets contained in the vital documents from the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, allowing the allied spellcasters to reconstruct the rite that the ancient elven wizards had used to curse dragonkind and devise a counterspell that would wipe the enchantment away. However, the spell could only be lifted at the elven stronghold in the far north, a location that the seekers would need to discover before the end of the year, when the Rage would grow so virulent that the antidote found in the monastery would not protect the metallic dragons any longer.

The Ruin

Book Three

Sammaster realized that his plans were threatened by the metallic dragons emerging from seclusion to aid the forces of light. The lich’s plans were also at risk because emissaries from Impiltur were spreading word across Faerûn about the Cult of the Dragon establishing secret strongholds where dracoliches were spawned. Sammaster hoped to further protect the Dracorage mythal by making a bargain with the Ice Queen, Iyraclea, a priestess of the winter goddess Auril, and her army of ice devils, frost giants, human tribesmen, and transformed mages. In return for finding and killing any strangers who ventured onto the Great Glacier, Iyraclea was given temporary command of the white dracolich Zethrindor and a company of dragons, which she could use in her campaign against the Inugaakalakurit (arctic dwarves) and the other inhabitants of the frozen region. With the wyrms assisting her followers, Iyraclea swiftly subjugated the tribes and villages of the Great Glacier. She then took many warriors and hunters as hostage conscripts in order to strengthen her forces as well as to ensure that the remaining glacier folk would follow her commands. With the conquest of the Great Glacier complete, Iyraclea ordered Zethrindor to lead her troops east against Sossal, a druidic nation that had already been weakened over the previous few months by attacks by frenzied dragons. Invading the southern part of Sossal, where the principal settlements were located, Zethrindor’s forces decimated the Sossrim army and gained control over that part of the realm. The surviving Sossrim fled north and separated into several companies to make it easier to avoid notice while preparing for a counteroffensive.

While Dorn, Raryn, Pavel, Will, Taegan, Kara, Jivex, and Brimstone traveled to meet with the nomadic tribesmen of Narfell, the majority of the allied metallic dragons sought out the secret source of the Rage in the even less hospitable lands farther north. Dorn and his companions met with several of the Nars tribes, and they were eventually advised to journey to the foothills of the mountains to the west to seek out a sagacious but malevolent entity known as the Hermit. The seekers soon discovered that the Hermit was an ancient dragon-like creature called a linnorn, also known as a corpse tearer. They were forced to fight the Hermit and its undead servants before convincing it to parley. The group learned from the linnorn that the ancient elves had constructed their secret citadel high in the Novularond Mountains in the midst of the Great Glacier. After speaking with the Hermit, the companions immediately began to make their way to the arctic region.

Following a few weeks of travel, Dorn, Raryn, Pavel, Will, Taegan, Kara, and Jivex reached the Great Glacier and were welcomed into the Inugaakalakurit village where Raryn had once lived. However, the group was soon betrayed by the arctic dwarves and given over to Iyraclea’s minions. Taken as prisoners to the Ice Queen’s stronghold, the seekers convinced Iyraclea to aid them in thwarting Sammaster’s plans by finding the elven citadel, but they understood that her ultimate goal was to alter the mystical power that was generating the Rage for her own purposes. After learning about his comrades’ capture, Brimstone journeyed to Sossal to inform Zethrindor that Iyraclea had broken her pact with Sammaster and was seeking the power that was hidden in the ruins in the Novularond Mountains. Determined to obtain the power for himself, Zethrindor swiftly led the white dragons and ice drakes under his command to confront the Ice Queen. Brimstone believed that the upcoming clash would be an opportunity to free his allies.

After traveling for several days across the Great Glacier, Dorn, Raryn, Pavel, Will, Taegan, Kara, Jivex, and Iyraclea’s search party discovered an ancient elven outpost that had been magically built inside one of the mountaintops of the Novularonds. Once they conducted a search of the ruins, the seven companions realized that the citadel was not the source of the Rage, but rather the location of a magical gateway. Before Iyraclea ascertained this herself, Zethrindor and his flight arrived at the site, and battle immediately erupted between the followers of the Ice Queen and the dracolich. While Dorn and his friends, aided by Brimstone, fought against both forces in the hope of being able to escape, Zethrindor and Iyraclea faced one another in single combat, a titanic clash in which the undead wyrm emerged victorious. However, the powerful magic that Zethrindor had to use to kill Iyraclea disrupted Kara’s spell to activate the magical gateway and resulted in the ancient enchantment not transporting the song dragon, Brimstone, Taegan, and Raryn all the way to the endpoint, but instead stranding them inside the gate. With their companions lost in the portal’s destruction, Dorn, Pavel, Will, and Jivex used the chaos of the dragons defeating Iyraclea’s remaining troops as a diversion to escape from the elven ruins. Zethrindor understood that his spell of annihilation had destroyed the citadel’s magic and decided to complete the conquest of Sossal in order to establish himself as the first of the new dragon kings.

Dorn, Pavel, Will, and Jivex defeated the ice drake that Zethrindor sent in pursuit of them and then made a difficult journey across the Great Glacier to Sossal. After encountering a Sossrim patrol, the group was brought to the hidden encampment of a large company under the command of the druid Madislak Pemsk. When they arrived at the camp, the four companions discovered that the scattered elements of the army of Sossal were marching south to unify for a counteroffensive against the invaders. Once he learned about the seekers’ need to reach their allies in Thentia, Madislak agreed to allow them to travel with his company until a point where he could direct them to hidden paths that would enable them to sneak past Zethrindor’s army and westward into Damara.

Meanwhile, Zethrindor was informed of the Sossrim’s unification plans by a summoned demonic spirit, so he immediately ordered his forces to march against the troops led by Madislak in order to overwhelm them by surprise before they could join with the other contingents. Shortly after separating from Madislak’s company, Dorn and his comrades observed the invaders’ advance and hastily returned to warn the Sossrim. With no time to escape, Madislak’s contingent and the four friends quickly assembled on a defensive ridge to confront Zethrindor’s host. For hours the Sossrim force withstood the attacks of the chromatic dragons and the conscripted soldiers, but defeat seemed inevitable due to the superior numbers of the enemy army. Hoping to change that outcome, Dorn, Pavel, Will, Jivex, Madislak, and two other Sossrim warriors, Stival Chergoba and Natali Dormetsk, challenged Zethrindor to a duel to determine the outcome of the battle. Zethrindor was forced to accept in order to maintain authority over his troops, and in the vicious fight that ensued, the dracolich killed Madislak and nearly defeated the druid’s comrades. However, the considerable damage that the group inflicted on Zethrindor caused the glacier folk to rise up against their weakened leader and destroy him. Following the undead wyrm’s death, the remaining chromatic dragons abandoned the battlefield, and the humans, dwarves, and giants of the Great Glacier made peace with the Sossrim.            

Kara, Brimstone, Raryn, and Taegan were trapped for several days in the cancerous emptiness inside the magical gate, but the dragon bard eventually figured out a way to use her magic to force the damaged enchantment to function properly. Immediately upon their arrival through the gate, the seekers were attacked by a skeletal dragon golem that had been magically animated by Sammaster for the purpose of guarding the portal. After destroying the lich’s servant, the companions realized that they had finally reached the true source of the Rage, but to enter the ruined citadel itself, they would need to find a way past Sammaster’s sentinels, a force of six Tarterian dragons. Brimstone attempted to journey south in the hope of gathering reinforcements to aid them in their mission, but he quickly discovered that Sammaster had laid magical traps throughout the ring of mountains surrounding the elven stronghold. Unintentionally triggering one of the enchantments, the vampiric drake was nearly killed by the Tarterian wyrms before finding a way to throw off their pursuit and return to his comrades. When the group tried to infiltrate the fortress a few days later, they discovered that Sammaster had placed a ward on the ruins to prevent any type of entry. While Taegan and Raryn then distracted the Tarterian dragons, Kara and Brimstone combined their magic in an attempt to penetrate the castle, but Sammaster’s ward proved too powerful for them to overcome. For weeks, the companions survived in the desolate area that surrounded the citadel, waiting for another opportunity to present itself or for their allies to locate them.  

Dorn, Pavel, Will, and Jivex traveled to Thentia after the victory in Sossal and reached the city in time to attend the conclave between the individuals who were working to thwart Sammaster’s plans. Although the seekers had made little progress in finding the source of the Rage since they had convened four months earlier, the metallic dragons, working in concert with a host of allies, had found and destroyed several bastions of the Cult of the Dragon. In addition, they had protected the smaller races from wyrms in the throes of frenzy and from the secondary threats that the Rage had created across Faerûn. In an attempt to discover the location of the elven citadel, the allied spellcasters coordinated their efforts in a grand divination to pierce the ancient elves’ concealments, but the wards proved too strong, and the hostile magic resulted in the death of Moonwing. Following Pavel’s suggestion, the dragons and their allies hastily journeyed to Lyrabar, where they used Brimstone’s magical connection with the treasure in his lair to open a portal to the ruined castle. Upon their arrival in the far north, the allied force swiftly killed the Tarterian dragons and then combined their magic to breach the ward that Sammaster had placed on the stronghold.

Alerted of his ward’s destruction, Sammaster immediately transported himself to the ancient fortress and summoned a large host of otherworldly dragons (hellfire wyrms, howling dragons, pyroclastic dragons, abyssal drakes, chaos dragons, and rust dragons) to combat the metallic dragons and their allies. Even though the allies were outnumbered and initially outmaneuvered by the lich’s minions, the ferociousness of their counterstrike quickly put the enemy wyrms on the defensive. However, the advantage shifted when Sammaster began to provide tactical direction to his otherworldly servants and unleashed his own magic against the metallics. During that part of the battle, Dorn’s golem parts were severely damaged by the breath weapon of a rust dragon, but the warrior refused to withdraw to safety and continued to fight alongside his companions. Protected from all attacks due to his powerful defensive enchantments, Sammaster inflicted heavy casualties on the allied force until Havarlan sacrificed herself in order to destroy his magical wards. Forced to engage his enemies directly, Sammaster transformed himself into a colossal red dracolich, and although the metallic dragons and their allies fought valiantly against the undead wizard and his minions, defeat seemed inevitable.

Meanwhile, Pavel, Taegan, and a small band of their comrades entered the citadel and fought their way through Sammaster’s defenses to reach the heart of the Rage. The group discovered that the undead mage had gained control over the Dracorage mythal by fusing his phylactery with the ancient magic. Pavel was forced to endure the poisonous touch of the mystical hellfire that Sammaster was using to power the enchantment in order to perform the counterspell. While his companions defended him from the two draconic golems serving Sammaster as guardians, Pavel destroyed the phylactery, ending the Rage and killing the lich, but the cleric of Lathander soon died of his own wounds. Following Sammaster’s destruction, Nexus completed the allied force’s victory by casting a potent spell of banishment that returned the otherworldly dragons to their native planes of existence.   

Although the metallic dragons and their allies had defeated the Rage, the victory came at a high cost of life, and the bodies of the fallen were entombed on the battlefield surrounding the ancient stronghold. During that time, Nexus tried to convince Tamarand to assume the position of King of Justice, while Azhaq swore to himself to see to it that the Talons of Justice would endure even with the deaths of Havarlan and many of the fellowship’s other members. Once they returned to Lyrabar, Kara and her companions celebrated the completion of their yearlong endeavor before they separated on their own personal journeys. Raryn had decided to return to the Great Glacier to meet with his tribe in the hope of forgiving them for their betrayal, and Will had chosen to accompany him. Taegan and Jivex had decided to journey first to the Earthwood, then to any other avariel enclave that they could discover in order to encourage the reclusive race of elves to rejoin the rest of civilization. Having had become lovers over the course of their adventures together, Kara and Dorn wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other. Nearly destroyed by Sammaster in the final battle and believed to be dead by his comrades, Brimstone decided to further his own goals of power by exploring the ruined citadel in the far north in search of any other secrets that the fortress contained.

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