As a few days had passed, the winter storm had broke and the snow had begun to melt. The temperature was closer to a brisk but comfortable 45 degrees. Having gained more experience from their adventures, the party set out for the ringed mountain range confident they would find out more about these alien creatures and why Captain Lance was so intent on stopping them.
After a brisk day of marching the group found themselves ambushed by a pair of hill giants. All the better to test their new skill. Though the giants were formidable indeed, Xane and Darvin’s ranged supremacy, combined with Rin’s surprising ability to deflect even hurled boulders and Veil’s protective spells. After the first giant fell, however, something unexpected happened. rushing in from the sky came a giant Red Dragon, a full adult by the party’s estimation, which roasted the remaining giant to a crisp with it’s fire breath and then picked it up with it’s claws and flew away, seemingly not taking notice of the party.After cleaning their drawers, and realizing the dragon had flown towards the very mountain they were heading to, the party decided to press on anyway. They reached it the next day without incident and began the climb, where luckily a hiking trail already existed. Before long they were ambushed by the very creatures they were seeking, calling themselves The Gith. However they wiped the floor with them without much trouble. These Gith had good numbers, but we’re not particularly sophisticated and had fragile, primitive weapons. After routing them, they turned upon hearing the slow clap of a single pair of hands, of course to see a ninja.
Well. A monk. A Gith monk. A Gith Zerai monk. Wait, what the heck is a Gith Zerai? The party didn’t know either. Luckily this Gith Zerai was happy to explain.
Long ago on the astral plane, a race of humanoids lived in slavery to the dangerous and powerful Mind Flayers. This race had no name, no prospects, and no hope. That is, until the one who called herself Gith was born. Gith lef Her people to realize their own psychic powers, to overthrow their slavers, and to escape bondage. The entire race took their name from her. However there were those amongst them that believed even though she was a great hero, she was too violent to be a leader. These were the people who became the GithZerai. Those that remained loyal to Gith became known as the Githyanki. The two subgroups hate only mind Flayers more than each other. The Githyanki became the warlike barbaric marauders that the GithZerai warned about, while the GithZerai became introspective monks dedicated to balance. The Githyanki live in the astral plane, the ultimate place from which to assault the prime material plane, while the GithZerai live in the elemental chaos, where their ordered minds create pockets of sanity where it is possible for them to live. It is the ultimate environment to practice their mental control and balance.
To get further to the point, a third tribe of Gith was rumored to exist. This group, rather than fighting to overthrow the mindflayers, instead escaped to the prime material plane before Gith had decided mere escape was not good enough. This tribe was lost and thought extinct, however some had just come through a portal in this mountain. The Githyanki found them and are beginning to recruit them into their fold, but the GithZerai will not allow that to happen, and would first destroy them.
Complicating this matter, the Githyanki somehow made a pact with the God of evil dragons Tiamat eons ago, the result of which is whenever they are on the prime material plane, a red dragon will serve them unerringly. In exchange these Githyanki give all of their extra treasure to red dragons.
The party knew they were no match for a red dragon, and so did the GithZerai. Their leader, Zeras, had a plan. This mountain was already occupied by another dragon, a Brass one, that could possibly be reasoned with to help them. The party would seek it out and try to gain an ally so they could eliminate the githyanki and close the portal, after which the GithZerai would leave. This band of GithZerai was also guarding the party of outsiders, who had made it this far. It was from them they learned the third tribe of Gith and themselves came from the same world, a desert planet known as Athas.
After exploring caves for a while, dealing with some screaming mushrooms and way outclassed kobolds, the party indeed found the Brass Dragon. After pretending he was going to kill them, and then making sure they had a sense of humor and could entertain him, the dragon calling himself Ssarb Nogard(the party quickly noted this was just Brass Dragon backwards, which Ssarb vehemently said was false and that they didn’t understand the intricacies of the draconian language) agreed to hear their situation.
He agreed this was a problem, but said a Red Dragon was out of his weight class, his only advantage being he was near his horde so he had a wealth of magical items to draw from. He said he had a decent plan to fight the dragon if he could get his hands on a particular ritual, but this was locked away in a Wizards Tower two days journey from here on the other side of the mountain, in the Sarasalan desert. The group didn’t believe they had the time to journey that far, and the dragon offered to barter for giving them a flight spell.
The party tried to offer some strange ceramic coins they had received from the party of outsiders, and the dragon turned deadly serious. He crushed the coins and said this was more serious than he thought. He moved aside revealing an emergency exit and gave them the gift of overland flight. He implored them to go to the Wizards tower now and he would explain when they returned with the ritual. The party hastily took off towards their next destination.