Welcome back to Tiefling Corner. Today, I will introduce to you my fiction for my campaign setting called the Highfell, Tales of the Sapphire City, which follows various characters in the present day of the Highfell’s history. Perhaps this series will inspire you to run a session or two in the Highfell, or perhaps even run a fully fledged campaign in this intricate world!
The adventure begins in this post at Tiefling Corner
Hardak the Sapphire King stroked his blue draconic mane with great suspicion. “…Show me your work, Mr. Shepherd?”
“It is Star Shepherd, but very well! I present to you all… the Moon Rat!” The starry-robed wizard excitedly shook off the cloth towel to reveal a cage. Inside it were three rats as white as snow, with piercing opaque eyes pale like the moon.
From the audience, Merrick Demeanor was sensing mixed emotions in Star Shepherd’s mind. Of course, attuning to a wizard’s mind is no easy task; in fact, it had taken Merrick the better half of his week to attune to the crafty wizard’s mind. But some feeling of unease was coming over Star Shepherd’s body, and Merrick didn’t like that sign. Was there something wrong with the good wizard’s experiment? And if so, what?
Hardak posed for a portrait with the rats. But Merrick couldn’t shake the feeling out of his head. He would need to talk with his party, or, even better, his patron, about what had transpired at the exposition. Canalshander will suffice as a meeting place, far away from the prying eyes of the Sapphire City, Merrick decided. And maybe, just maybe, his suspicions would be confirmed…
Two hundred miles away, Karn Greatmead delved into the ancient ruins of Moriad. Long ago, this city had been the capital of the greatest Draconic empire the world had ever seen, but now it was a dead city that used an even more dead language.
Karn could read the writings, but Draconic took him four years at a college in the Silver City to learn, and even then, it was a slowly dying tongue. Karn requested Dragonborn guides to the lost city so he could learn the specificalities of the tongue, but they were good guides nonetheless.
Set on retrieving Draconic artifiacts worth a fortune, Karn quietly slipped through the sandstone street. As he rounded a corner, Karn was met with a cloaked figure, shrouded in the fog that covered most of the city, some thirty feet out.
“Who goes there?” Karn called out. He was beginning to suspect the city wasn’t as dead as previously expected. To Karn’s astonishment, the figure said, “only Dragontooth Bhigal of Moriad”, in perfect Draconic. Someone must have raised this pharoah from the dead, or the Dragonborn perfected the art of undeath, Karn thought.
Karn decided to be blunt. “Moriad has been dead, and Bhigal has been dead longer! Away with you, wraith!”
“Perhaps you are the one who should leave.” Bhigal hissed. “After all, you trespass on unholy ground. My people will not appreciate such ignorance, and would love to see your head on a pike.”
Karn thought for a moment, and then said, “You and what people? Everyone in this dead city is dead apart from your moving corpse, pharoah!”
Bhigal smiled. “Very well. You have decided your fate, tomb robber!”
Draconic hands enveloped Karn all around his hands and feet, slowly sinking him like living quicksand.
“Please,” Karn pleaded, “perhaps there is something you want?”
“Indeed. If you are willing to listen, I will free you.”
“You have my word.” Karn said genuinely. The hands ceased, and the ghostly white claw of Bhigal grabbed him out of the draconic muck.
“Come. We have much to discuss, Karn of Gardentown.”
“…How do you know my name?”
“I am a ‘pharoah’, as you say. We use the magics to their finest here in Moriad, and here I am the ruler!”
“I’m beginning to suspect I don’t have a choice of whether or not I should follow you… is that correct?”
Bhigal audibly laughed, “indeed.”
Part 2 is coming soon.
I hope you enjoyed this post at Tiefling Corner, and don’t invoke the wrath of Bhigal!