After securing Millpointe for the Dokbrod the party finally began its journey back across the wall to return to Crossport. On their return trip they encountered a family of trolls using an exotic water monster, an Auizotl, to lure creatures and travelers to their doom. The party was not like the troll’s previous prey, however, and despite grevious wounds inflicted by the Trolls claws the trolls, their auizotl pet and their gaggle of hungry child-monsters were all put to the pyre.
Upon their return the party confronted the false Librarian, who expressed deep amusement that the group had confirmed he was an imposter, but could not guess as to his true identity. “I was afraid this was too much of a cliche” A deep, inhuman voice echoed from the not-Alvin, who freely admitted to being Maberax in disguise. His magic made all of the party’s increasingly desperate attempts to harm him meaningless, with Baron Adelhelm, Zyphon, and Aurelia particularly stymed in their desire for blood. The Black Dragon was undaunted by the attempts to harm him, and did his best to have what he considered a civilized conversation, though only Lady Deburg was truly listening.
Maberax explained that he was auctioning off Westmoreland to the highest bidder, with The Naga Empire, the Tearolian empire, and the Kingdom of Thorns all countering each others offers for the land. He offered to include Princess Aurelia in the bidding at a substantial discount ‘because he liked her’. He further assured the party that their efforts to create their own nation were most welcome, as it both increased the general value of the property, and created a time limit for the bidding.
The dragon left after his words and proposals continually fell on deaf ears, though the revelation of his identity put many things into a new light. The countess had been dominated by the Dragon scarcely a month after Maberax’s feast, meaning that all the divination and investigations into those left behind were almost certainly falsified, while decisions that increased the rift between the nobility and the countess were likely intentional. The countess’ drinking was a direct result of her domination and amounted to her only act of resistance to the dragon’s control. Most disturbing for Areulia in particular was that the dragon had intended to raise her as his own, and only her mother sending her to the Academy saved her from such a fate.
With the truth out and the Countess finally free of her control, the enormity of the party’s task had become bare. Not only would they have to rebuild their nation from the ashes the dragon had left, but they in truth knew even less about the state of their loved ones and their nations than they had believed. With a renewed determination, the party set out to Dragonridge Keep, intent to take Adahelms ancestral homeland from the kobolds and undead that had claimed it, and use it as the starting point to renew their nation.