he dragon lies dead. The stone pillars and walls of the dragons lair lie in heaps of charred and shattered rubble on the ground, the smell of smoke still lingering in the massive cavern. The party stands around the hulking body of the ferocious beast panting, trying to catch their breath. Drops of blood fall to the ground from open wounds still numb from the surge of adrenaline still fresh in their systems. Only one of the villagers, Kaylee, survived but at least the Imperial Order couldn’t sacrifice any more young souls to the twisted dragon. The consistent sound of running watter heavily contrasts the ferocious sounds of the recent battle.
The mighty earthbender Fow Bang Chow reaches for the ornate hilt of his Crystalline Great-sword Valorun and pulls the translucent light green blade from over his shoulder. With one strong sweep the blade severs the dragons head from it’s massive body. Fow throws the head into his bag as the party looks up to see the young silver dragon Scylla descending from the opening at the top of the mountain. Fang Po Po, in his orange and tan air nomad robes, smiles at the sight of his new friend. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to live as a creature who has lost it’s ability to bend. As Scylla beats her wings and makes landing next to the group they each climb onto her lowered back. The young woman who survived named Kaylee holds tight onto her Waterbender hero as the dragon quickly ascends out of the mountain. As they fly higher and higher of the massive mountains, Kio listens to Tsing Tao retell his humorous account of conquering of 30 terrible drakes with nothing but his elbows and knees in the mountain, his friends laughs and cheers at his humor and exaggerated retelling. Kio smiles along but cannot stop thinking of the terrible implications left by their encounter with the Werewolf Spawn and the carvings withing their now open tomb. As Scylla flies towards the outskirts of Asloth Po Po tries his best to steer her towards the road. Scylla spins and twirls in delight at being able to spread her wings again. She quickly dives down and the group screams and holds on tight as she suddenly slows to land and let Kaylee off. As Scylla returns to the air Fang Po Po steers her towards the Southern Air Temple across the ocean. On a few different occasions Scylla has to land on an island to catch her breath as she struggles to travel with so much extra weight on her back. As they near the Patola Mountain range that rises high around the Southern Air Temple vision becomes blurred by the mass of clouds and fog in the air. Fang Po Po looks down just as three large Vulture Griffon’s burst through the cloud layer shrieking in furry.
Scylla flaps her mighty wings to avoid the sudden threat and begins to take evasive maneuvers. The sudden twirling and lurching through the air sends Aumanil and Fow Bang Chow plummeting towards the ocean as they lose their grip on the dragon. The two fierce warriors scream in terror as the fall through the clouds. Scylla takes a drastic dive to try and get to them in time, pulling her silver wings close to her bulk to increase speed. As they drop through the cloud layer Fow and Aumanil see two black Imperial Order scouting ships in the waters below them rapidly getting closer. Aumanil looks up to see Scylla break through the clouds behind them, the vulture griffon’s in close pursuit as Kio tries to hit them with blasts of fire. The crew members on the ships run around as they notice the commotion above and attempt to blast Scylla from the air with fire but she is able to maneuver around the blasts. Scylla manages to descend faster the the griffon’s and grabs on to the two benders just in time to slow down and land on one of the ships. The other group members jump off onto the unfamiliar metal deck of this strange ship without sails just in time for Scylla to jump back into the air and meet her attackers.
A group of swordsman and firebender rush from the lower decks to combat the intruders. Fang Po Po spins his arms and creates a small tornado on the deck that sends three men flying overboard. While Tsing Tao runs forward and meets the first swordsman with a bone-crunching uppercut to the jaw, Fow Bang Chow searches frantically for something on the ship he can bend and notices a few barrels of coal that he recognizes from the coal mine near where he grew up. He reaches out an arm and the coal circles around him forming a type of black earth armor as he begins to launch blasts of condensed coal at the Order crew. Aumanil brings water onto the ship with elegant motions and creates three massive tentacles of water which he uses to slam into opponents. Across the deck the captain opens the door with 3 firebenders with, and upon witnessing the sight closes the door on the firebenders who look back in shock. As Scylla battles the griffon’s she manages to get a neck hold on one and quickly brakes it’s spine, dropping it to the ship. The other two seize the opportunity to grab onto her and pull her into the water. While the party fights on Aumanil dives in to save her and manages to freeze the griffon’s into blocks of ice, allowing Scylla to jump back out of the water, but he notices too late the shimmering quality of the water around him is actually a swarm of jellyfish and the stings stop him from doing anything but slowly paddling to the surface.
Scylla grabs him up out of the water and brings him on deck. As the waterbender is dropped back on deck he realizes a firebender had jumped in to pursue him and would now be at the mercy of the jellyfish, this is no way for any warrior to die. After minutes of charades with Scylla she ends up pulling the man out and dropping him on Aumanil who doesn’t know if he should be frustrated or laughing. Meanwhile Kio has jumped over the staircase in the middle of the ship and landed on the other side sending bursts of flame from his feet and fists at the enemy. It isn’t long before the crew on the deck are defeated, but the second ship is closing in and is going to try and pull up alongside them. Fang Po Po runs over to man the mounted ballista and wait for it to come into view. The rest of the group travels below deck and looks around, finding a series of dark metal hallways and doors where the crew slept.
As they enter the kitchen Fow Bang Chow takes some rum, apples, and bread from their stores. Traveling deeper into the metal beast leads them to the engine room where two engineers shovel coal into the engine. The group takes them hostage and interrogate them, learning some about how the ship operates by burning coal, but little else. They lock them in the engine room.
As they travel back to the deck on deck the fog is beginning to clear. Kio blasts the door to the captains quarters with fire, followed by Tsing Tao with a mighty kick that topples it over. inside are two doors and a staircase in the back. As they proceed to knock down the first door they find an officer with his hands up and Kio grabs him by the collar to question him, when suddenly he pulls out a small knife and attempts to slash out with it. The young firebender reacts just in time grabbing the mans wrist and twisting it to the side wrenching out the small metal blade, following through with his other hand he brings a fire blast into the mans face killing him. Tsing Tao breaks down the other door and finds a man with a readied spear thrusting at him, just missing. Fow Bang Chow hits him with a condensed blast of coal knocking him off guard, giving the martial artist the opening he needed to land a barrage of blows in the mans midsection and a finishing blow to the face. As the four of them travel up the staircase and brake into the captains room. Aumanil and Kio quickly dispatch the captain and search the room, finding a map hidden behind a painting of Emperor Jangang on the wall. The map depicted the Imperial Order troop movements and showed their targets included not only the Southern Air Temple, but the Southern Water Tribe as well. Aumanil and Fow Bang Chow travel down to the deck just as the other ship comes into view of the ballista, and as Fang Po Po watches he sees that the entire crew lie dead on the deck as a huge monstrous crab! The red armored creature rips the bodies of the crew apart and devours the bodies with it’s mandibles. The airbender reacts reflexively and lands a direct hit with the ballista, the giant bolt piercing into the beasts side. The crab wheels around screeching in fury and leaps onto the other ship, landing on the deck in front of the captains quarters where Aumanil and Fow Bang Chow stand in the doorway. Tsing Tao, realizing the threat and seizing the moment, jumps through the window of the captains room on the second level and lands with a brutal elbow drop on the crabs back, screaming his ferocious battle cry. The aroma of delicious buttered crab meat rises from the wound.
The crabs hard shell cracks under the tremendous pressure and it shrieks in pain as it reaches up behind it’s back, grabbing the martial artist with its monstrous claw and attempting to crush him in the vice-like grip. Fow Bang Chow blasts chunks of coal at the crabs face while Kio unleashes a torrent of flame from the second story, burning the crab. Fang Po Po frantically tries to reload the ballista as the crab slams Tsing Tao into Aumanil, who was trying to wrench him from the giant crabs spiky grip. As the party scramble to defeat the monster, Scylla who was originally flying in to help makes a hasty retreat as a massive sea Unagi rises from the waves, and letting out a ferocious roar reaches down and takes a monstrous bite out of the crab, leaving only the arms. The Unagi takes it’s prize below the surface and Fow Bang Chow pries the crabs claw open to get Tsing Tao out. The delicious crab meat is quickly thrown onto a fire by Fow Bang Chow, and adding the rum and slices apples from below deck the earthbender makes a scrumptious Flambé that the group takes great pleasure in, after giving Scylla one whole claw of course. The dragon lets out a low hum of pleasure.
In the distance the party can see the approach of a Sky Bison with a young airbender atop it, along with Avatar Jaraiya wearing his custom red and white monk robes. Upon landing Jaraiya introduces them to Tashi the air nomad, a young and energetic monk who always has a smile on his face. Tashi also introduces the group to his life-long companion sky bison Mia, and the small flying lemur Gyo who is flying around playing with Jaraiya’s young red dragon, Fang.
As the delighted avatar welcomes back his friends and shows off his new airbeinding skills after being taught under Monk Arhat, the group introduces him to Scylla the Dragon. After their short greeting they agree they need to get back to the temple as quickly as possible and talk with General Reibesch. The group climbs onto Scylla’s back as she spreads her huge wings. Jaraiya runs to the edge of the deck and throws his staff glider up before jumping into the air and grabbing onto it, using airbending to bend air currents under the glider and effectively fly, Fang flying alongside, obviously enjoying the fact that his friend can now fly with him. Tashi jumps onto his flying bison Mia with little Gyo wrapped around his shoulder and the whole group lifts off from the scouting ships. As they ascend above the lower pointed peeks of the Patola Mountain Range that rise how from the ocean below, they come above the fog layer and see the massive Southern Air Temple.
Beautiful white stone rising high into the air atop a giant spire rising from the ocean. Airbenders and sky bison flying in and out of the sky surrounding the temple carrying various supplies and equipment. As the group gets closer to the temple White Lotus troops, wearing uniform scale-mail armor with a red a white lotus on the chest, marching throughout the temple preparing for the battle to come. The round platform at the front of the temple now has a massive round stone fort built on it that rises nearly 80 feet into the air and with a diameter of 150 feet with a fortified wooden gate at the front. A 100 foot wide stone bridge now reaches from the fort to the mainland.
As you ascend even higher, the distant ocean beyond the temple comes into view as the sun sets on the distant horizon. The waters, normally clear and blue, are swarming with the ever moving black force of navy ships. Hundreds upon hundreds, over a thousand Imperial Order ships moving towards the eastern side of the land mass. The smoke from their engines smogs the sky, making the light from the sunset distort into un-natural colors. Our heroes high hearts sink as a knot forms in the pit of their stomachs… fear… this many men, all coming with the sole intention of removing all who stand against them from the land of the living, and their flaming fists now sets its sights here, ready to burn everything in its gaze.
As the group lands they are greeted by Lotus troops and see High General Reibesch riding up to them with the other officers. He greets them and asks the young heroes if they were successful is killing the dragon. As they describe the battle Jaraiya explains how lucky everyone was that it was only a low dragon, not one of the legendary High Dragons. Low dragons are sub-species that are more primal, they cannot talk telepathically and are much smaller and less powerful. Scylla is a low dragon but one of the more intelligent ones, capable of understanding most attempts at communicating, about as smart as the average person but unable to talk. Sky Bison and Badger Moles are at about the same level of intelligence as well. Reibesch introduces the party to the second in command, General Zimmer, who has a slender but muscular build and a long scar from his right eyebrow down to his chin. He wears the Customary armor of a Lotus officer as well as the other commanders. A Red cape with the white lotus symbol on it hangs from his shoulders. He is renound for bold strategy and genius improvisation on the field.
The third in command, Captain Meriffet, is much younger and less experienced but is a master at military strategy. Reibesch is not only a skilled warrior but an excellent strategist and commands the respect and moral of his troops. His barrel chest and rusty beard make him an intimidating image, a deep and commanding voice fulfills the image of this experienced General. Monk Arhat is also present, and Jaraiya shares a bow with his teacher. Arhat is one of the most powerful airbenders in the world and has the smile of a man who has the wisdom of an enlightened nomad. Heavily armed lotus troops and air nomads travel with the officers in a impressive display of discipline. Reibesch leads the group up to the top of the temple and into the war council chambers. White pillars support the room and everyone sits at the round marble table.
Reibesch lights a pipe and begins to address the party of young warriors. “The air nomads, with the support of high monk Arhat, have agreed to join the new Lotus Alliance to defend against the aggression of the Imperial Order. This is a monumental occasion but with your permission Arhat we would like to save the formalities for later.” He gestures to the elder monk. "Of course general”. He shares a nod of respect with the monk and then turns back to the party with a serious look as he smokes his pipe. “So, first thing first, brief us on your mission in Asloth.”
The group shares the whole story of their encounters at Asloth and the encounter with the wolfbats is discussed in length, showing the general the stone tablets Fow Bang Chow collected. Arhat says they will check the library for scrolls on the last wolfbat blight and see if there is anything that will be of use. It seems Avatar Katsurik used the temple as a base while he searched for the Hybrid, Valseran. Reibesch proceeds to talk about strategy and the logistics of the situation. Reibesch talks about troops, 50,000 vs 10,000. "They have trebuchet and catapults, we have ballista. They also have a battle titan. Everyone knows dinosaurs are becoming more scarce, many people have never even seen one, they are only abundant in the swamp and in some islands around the imperial order.
The order has been breeding battle mounts from carnivorous dinosaurs for hundreds of years, they don’t have many left but they are one of the most terrifying forces on the battlefield. They will be led by two generals and a captain just like us. High General Zu-Ten, general Jeong Jeong, and Captain Lee. They also have brought the famous firebender assassin directly under jangang’s service, Deaths Mistress. She is the most feared firebender in the order and she is here to ensure the emperor is not disappointed. Her real name is Nicci. The Imperial order is landing on the beach to the far eastern side of the land mass.
Now we have several lines of defense set up, first we have the outer wall to hold the pass which we will fall back to if we can’t hold the valley. We will hold that wall as long as we can and when lost we have a trap of logs and boulders above the pass set up with the help of the sky bison, which we will drop on the order when they enter the pass.
Next we will fall back to the bridge, then the fort. If we lose the fort all that is left is the bridge to the temple, if they take the inner bridge its over we won’t be able to repulse them once they are inside the temple. We also learned from our spies that made it back from the enemy camp… that they have convinced a small group of earthbenders to join their cause. It is imperative that we find these earthbenders and eliminate them. Because there is a concern about them possibly using earthbenders to erect a bridge across to the back of the temple from the forest here we have set up a barricade at this river bridge to make sure nobody gets through behind us from the forest. Basically, you will take the part of team avatar. You will be a separate group from the army and you will be free to navigate the battlefield. Unless we need your unique talents for something specific you will have the freedom to wreck havoc on the enemy however you see fit. Do any of you have any other thoughts on possible tactics?
The group shares their strategical ideas with the General and talk strategy for another 30 minutes or so. “The armies are securing the field and preparing for battle at mid-day. Take the night to rest and recover your wounds, and when you find the time get Ahrat to take you to the library and find that scroll, I don’t like the sound of a blight of wolfbat spawn, not one bit”. Reibesch puffs his pipe and stands up. “Good night officers, I will send for you when we take to the field tomorrow, meeting adjourned men”. Arhat leads them to the library. They follow the paths down the temple all the way to the lowest level where the library is. As the group travels down the temple paths with Ahrat, they pass hundreds of disciplined lotus warriors and firebenders marching past you securing supplies and fortifying our position for the coming battle. Airbenders flying, men putting plate armor on normally docile sky bison, couriers riding past on dragon-moose and ostrich horses delivering urgent messages.
They make your way down to the rear bridge and look across at the huge stone fort, heavily fortified for the coming horde. Men marching across the primary bridge heading towards the forward wall. They continue going down the path to the buildings on the bottom level behind the temple. ”This is our ancient scroll library holding the ancient writings of all our most enlightened philosophers, air-benders, and historians". Arhat guides them up to the second level where there are beautiful stone tables for reading all around, orange and yellow mats around them for sitting. Ahrat guides them to the third level full of bed chambers, then up a towering staircase to the retreat, a small room with windows all around letting in the sunsets radiant light, a prayer mat in the center and the oldest scrolls on racks against one wall. Arhat takes them to a shelf in the far back and pulls out a dusty scroll. The scroll is sealed with the emblem of a white wolf head, matching the one on the necklace Fow Bang Chow found.
“This scroll was written by your former life Jaraiya, Avatar Katsurik more than a thousand years ago. It seems he used this temple as a base while he looked for the hybrid who he refers to here as valseran. It doesn’t say much, it seems he looked for many weeks before locating him, he doesn’t say anything about the encounter, only that he finally though of a way to stop the blight, although he was afraid that it was not a permanent solution. Wait a minute… it says here… that should the need ever arise for the world to fight the blight of the wolfbat once again, the secrets of their existence have been hidden away deep in the north pole. Find my journal, and it will help you find the knowledge of my struggle, knowledge of this grave and terrible threat”. On the bottom of the scroll is the image of a wolfbat, wings spread, mouth open, screaming, in front of the planet burning in the grip of fiery tendrils. The group also finds a bundle of scrolls with bending techniques on them and each team member takes one. A Airbending Scroll, an Earthbending Scroll, a Firebending Scroll, a Waterbending Scroll, and a Martial Artist Scroll. All of them are escorted to rooms on the second floor and bid goodnight.