After catching their collective breaths, the party decided to investigate a nearby "attraction" as seen on the posters around them on the Low Path platform.
This peak was once home to the baleful Neferneferuaten, a massive crimson beast who darkened the sky with her presence. The brave warriors of the 49th Infantry took her down in Year 15 using technology shared by the Elven United University Council with the Dwarven Empire. It took 30 soldiers using single-shot steal and lead muskets to subdue the beast. Only 12 survived the fight. King Darzin honored each of the Infantry members (or their families) with a special Medal of Valor, each crafted with a scale from the beast. The survivors of the fight were also permitted to each take a rib. The rest of the monster's body was taken to Huangshan city for study and preservation but has recently been returned to the site so the public can view it.
The PCs climbed up out of the Low Path and began scrambling upwards. They looked towards the GLiBriHuD encampment, but there was no action to be seen there yet.
Slightly above the cave, the PCs found a twisting path that looked like it may lead them up to the peak. In a cluster of jumping spike cactuses, they found a desiccated body. Eddie was able to inspect the body without being hurt by the cactus spines – he found a small tricorder device – a monster inspector! The device allows the wearer to analyze a creature's power and health. The party also noted that it appeared the elf had fallen from a cliff about 20 feet above them.
Slightly further on, the party found the dried, shed shell of a young Ohm beetle. The shell was about 3 feet long and 3 feet tall. It's hard and shiny, #12 can wear it as protection! JJatchi holds on to it in his magic bag for safekeeping.
After a couple hours of climbing, the PCs reach the next level plateau. There is still no sign of Chuul and Makbar on the horizon. #12 investigates a small cave that leads into the side of the mountain – inside the air is damp and cool – a trickled of water seems to be seeping down the walls, enliving a bloom of mushrooms and molds. Near the center of the room there are 3 more small Ohm shells, but these ones have been damaged and overtaken by molds and the familiar Cordyceps fungus. As #12 approaches, three slime molds detach themselves from their hiding places and embody the Ohm shells. The baby Ohms surge with new "life" charging at #12!
#12 runs outside towards the rest of the party. Eventually, they are able to crack the Ohm shells and subdue the small slimes inhabiting them. The slimes challenge the party with their dividing and rusting tactics.
After another stretch of climbing, the party arrives at the top of the peak, the sun is beginning to set and they cast long shadows across the plaza. There is a short, stone obelisk in the center of the outdoor platform, listing the names of the 30 dwarven soldiers. Beyond the obelisk, there's a large cave – the dragon's actual roost.
Inside the cave the party inspects the information cards in front of the desiccated dragon body and the empty nest. #12 notices a few familiar ticks just inside the cave area – they are Thieve's Cant markings, indicating the number of times a person has visited an area (4) The party harvests a few useful materials from the dried up dragon.
As they are poking around, a massive slime mold seeps out of the walls and into the dragon's body. Once again the baleful creature stirs!
Discretion being the better part of valor, the party books it through an opening in the floor. They traverse downwards until they hit the top of the Low Path Platform, safe and sound … for now.