Skip forward in time and our group of intrepid adventurers find themselves in a life and death struggle with a young Black Dragon, intent on reneging on a deal to pay off the party and reclaim a magical artefact trapped in a great shard of Ember within the mine.
Brief skip back in time: the group has been sent to the mine to discover why it had ceased sending shipments of Ember to the dwarven citadel. The reason as it turns out was a horde of Kobolds, in the service of a Black Dragon, who our heroes interrupted (i.e. killed all of them) in their mining efforts. The Dragon showed up, in human guise, said “Look guys, I just want the artefact, I can give you wads of dosh if you’ll just sod off. Kudos on solving my paybill issues by the way.” I may be paraphrasing slightly, but that was the general gist of it, Ultan wasn’t paying much attention at that point to be honest. The dragon left to get said “wads”, our heroes moped about a bit, the dragon returned in rather more threatening dragon form , some crazy warrior-type showed up intent on killing the dragon, and as inevitably as night follows day, chaos ensues.
As we join the action the dragon has certainly taken its fair share of punishment, but has rather unsportingly enshrouded itself in a great cloud of darkness and is proving a tad tricky to hit. Particularly for Ultan who has spent the whole encounter flailing about ineffectually in the darkness, being, quite frankly, more a danger to his allies than the dragon. The others are having slightly more luck, and despite everyone not being at their freshest (especially the bear who is, once again, seriously reconsidering her choice to cosy up with Bosmath) things are certainly going badly for the dragon. Erik is proving a useful addition to the group and while still flailing about wildly in the darkness, is having rather more success, his rage at the destruction of his village at the talons (and acid) of the dragon lending accuracy to his strikes.
As combat continues Grax dances in and out of proximity with the fell beast, lashing out with dark tendrils that strike into the cloud to be greeted by roars of pain from the dragon. Bosmath, now a cloud of angry bees, sends swarms of maddening locusts flooding toward the dragon, distracting it further and allowing our heroes to strike with more accuracy. Elvira tears her claws through the dark, and Isabella, standing well back, strikes effectively with her voice at the dragon. Ultan swings his hammer wildly in what he hopes is the general direction of the dragon without much success.
The dragon, meanwhile, is not taking kindly to being clawed, hacked, stung, shrouded and shouted at, and is venting its rage on our heroes with claw, tail and acid.