Players: Daniel, Mike, Robin
After a night of partying in Freeport, the group retired to their boat where they were ambushed by a small army led by an extremely careful and well-prepared mercenary named Captain Hano. They were dragged back to Paneris's new and improved den in Timber and imprisoned. Paneris stopped by to creep everyone out and make some threats. After discussing possible escape opportunities (and getting free of their ropes, thanks to Devan), the heroes were released by Agatha, a spy employed by Davron (Ashton's mentor). They were told to get out of Timber because Paneris had become much more influential than before and there would be no safe place in the city. Agatha said they would have to head northeast and hide out with a friend of Davron's.
After ripping through some goblins and orcs in the wilderness, and taking out a tricky ettercap, they forded the Malleus River (which had a pretty mean undertow) into unknown territory. Staying on what was obviously a rarely-used path, they came to a pair of ruined towers that had once formed an arch over the road. A horse-sized green dragon was toying with a young woman nearby. They attacked the dragon and, after a hard fight and a good strong bleaching, rescued the woman. She tearfully introduced herself as Sultana Aleyl and said she had been fleeing the citadel of the evil Sorastro, who had killed her husband, stolen her daughter, and polluted the land. If only some brave adventurers would help liberate her people and put the smack down on Sorastro . . .
To help them out, Sultana Aleyl gave them a daughter-seeking amulet and a general description of the region, known locally as Magia. Initially they planned to take the direct route, but a wave of dragon-fear sent them running back the way they came after only a little progress, so they took the other road through several towns. Each of these towns was run by a monster which they had to defeat to move on. These beasties included an exiled formian, a pair of giant zombies led by a vampire spawn, and a yuan ti pureblood. The last guarded Golden Pass which, as the name implies, guarded the way through the mountains to the northern half of Magia.
They wandered around the northern territory fighting wandering monsters and trying out roads for a few days. They also encountered some creatures that were obviously placed there by the evil one to hamper them, including a hydra and a xill.
Finally they gave up on the road and just used the amulet to guide them directly through the wilderness to Sorastro's fortress. There, they used some magic shields they had picked up to cover themselves and ran through a hail of arrows inside. Dashing up the stairs leaving a trail of smoke and fire, they were finally cornered in a big room by a bunch of soldiers wearing the symbol of Victor. Seeing that they were fighting the good guys, they surrendered and were taken to Sorastro, who turned out to be a silver dragon. Although he was pompous and overbearing, Sorastro was obviously not evil. Sultana Aleyl (which means "Queen of the Night") had duped them into getting involved in their nasty divorce and custody battle.
It was all worth it for the look on Sorastro's face when he saw the daughter-seeking amulet, though. This turned out to be the evil Sultana Aleyl's ticket past Sorastro's magical protections. After being taken out of the fight by the queen's prismatic spray, the party could only guess at what was going on, but the fight was soon over and the dragon won. The party was admonished again. After one last attempt to guilt-trip them into killing every evil monster in Magia, Sorastro said they could rest up and then be on their way.
Lesson learned: Don't listen to Davron's spies.