Previously, in Dragon’s Maw…
After spending some time with Flotsam playing a game of Mythical Realms, the party was summoned again by a slightly singed Chase, the recent victim of an explosive missive. Silver Wrench had been the messenger, but the party determined he wasn’t the mastermind, but perhaps one of the construction ponies he’d spoken to in Gold Rush, taking a cut from The Executive. Between that and The Executive’s publicly announced plans to join the Cult of Tiamat, Powder Keg became determined to change priorities from the dragons to dealing with The Executive directly once and for all. But since they’d made a promise, and The Executive was on the other side of the Maw by now, the group decided to deal with the current dragon for now. And so they left Skyfall, alongside the Black Lotus Prospectors.
As soon as they entered the Backstab Curse territory proper, it started affecting them. Tempers flared as the party’s paranoia turned them against each other, and Javolt’s mad laughter didn’t help. It took Powder Keg’s Loyalty to get the group out from under the mental influence of the curse, but not before Tempered Steel took one in the family jewels, courtesy of Dr. Tibbs. Shortly after, the combined party reached the edge of the radiation zone surrounding the Tainted Abyss, so the smaller group of Dr. Tibbs, Aurelia, Excalibur, Zephyr, and IGOR went in by themselves, with Xencarn following along silently in soul form and the rest of the group monitoring through radio and video.
They reached the Tainted Abyss, a great spiraling crevasse filled with intense radiation and Taint residue. At the bottom they found a crystal orb known as the Lens of Truth, but it was cracked. Xencarn’s magical analysis told them they had to feed the orb hidden truths in order to restore its power, since it was the key to unlocking Tanis’s lair. Dr. Tibbs offered up a confession, Xencarn shared something in secret, and the final truth came from Aurelia, who admitted she found Excalibur kind of weirdly attractive. With that, the group awkwardly made their way down to the bottom, and installed the Lens of Truth into an ornate stone gate. The Lens shone, the gate opened, and the exploration team discovered that the Lens was now broadcasting their thoughts to each other, including Xencarn because he messed up his magical examination and tapped into the feed as well. But regardless, the gates to the dragon Tanis’s lair are now open.