Breath of Zehir

Breathless: Malifaxaghast

Ghuladon's consort wants to rule the world, but first he must deal with the EDGE.

Malifaxaghast, an ancient green dragon, is Ghuladon’s consort in the Towers of Night, and she has ordered him to hunt down and destroy the EDGE by any means necessary. Malifax relies upon the yuan-ti and snaketongue cultists of Zehir and loyal green dragons to do his bidding and this has suited him well in the relatively low-powered mortal realm; the cult of Zehir has grown throughout the world, and their worship grants power to the deity.

Malifax intends to weaken the EDGE by wiping out their allies and laying waste to the city of Erathis Watch. The ancient dragon blitzes the city filling it with his noxious breath weapon, instantly lethal to commoners. Dozens of dragons besiege the city from the air, sparing none with mass poison gas attacks. Thousands of innocent men, women, and children are killed en masse by breath weapons. Even the gold dragon Aurius is powerless against Malifax and his army, brought down by unholy spells cast from liches riding fell wyverns.

Sole survivor of the genocide is the marut Concorde, who flees to New Goldrun to warn them of the coming doom. But the massacre was only the beginning, as Malifax has brought with him master necromancers recruited by Faluzure. Now the ten thousand slain return as monsters under his command and march on New Goldrun, to demoralize and draw out the EDGE. The undead army, immune to the poison roiling through the city streets, marches on the town.

The defenses are swarmed and quickly overrun, and the heroes of New Goldrun must retreat back to the White Tower for their final stand. The players engage this battle as companion characters of level 20, and each player runs two. If there are more characters than players, the others join battle later as their comrades are slain.

First wave: the undead of Erathis Watch attack. They are led by a Dracolich, formerly the gold dragon Auriusalemence. The battlefield is flooded with a Crimson Deathmist from the plague that transformed the people of the city, and Abyssal Ghoul Hordes: the former townsfolk of the city.

Second wave: the shadow creatures summoned from the Nocturnal Ruins. While the Edge sacked the village of Noctus the darklands there spawned powerful undead, including bodaks, a nightwalker, and a beholder ghost. Also joining them are 2 Fell Troll Wraiths, once the allied trolls Hulk and Smash, who helped the EDGE ravage Noctus.

Wave 3 includes Malifax’s generals. An elder green dragon and an elder black dragon enter battle simultaneously, as well as their armies of loyal kobolds as shock troops.

Finally, Wave 4 is led by the ancient green dragon Malifaxaghast himself. Malifax has been methodically gassing the citizens of New Goldrun, and is flanked by lich necromancers and swarms of skeletons that were, just hours ago, the same people the EDGE worked so hard to liberate. At this point most of the companion characters are probably dead or exhausted; the battle appears hopeless.

Malifax arrives as a troglodyte in a hooded cloak, billowing noxious green smoke. He is confident and at first toys with the characters, pushing them into and around the hordes of skeletons. Once the characters land a solid hit on him, he decides he has had enough games, and transforms into his true form of a gargantuan serpentine dragon. He relentlessly crushes all opposition with his poisonous breath weapon, savage claws, and coiling tail.

Right at the cusp of the battle when all seems lost, the EDGE arrives to save the day. While bloodied, Malifax becomes shaken and more desperate, wanting to flee but more terrified of Ghuladon if he should fail again. He gains +2 to all attack rolls, -2 to all defenses, and fights until destroyed. Rallying for a final push the EDGE should defeat Malifax and scatter his armies, but at a terrible cost. Their homeland and their city have been blasted into ruins overnight, and everyone that they have loved or cared for has been turned into hideous undead. Our heroes now have nothing more to lose, and there is only one path before them: vengeance on Ghuladon, and ending her threat permanently.

Next week: Two dragons down, three to go. The EDGE descends to the Plane Below to break Ghuladon’s elemental enchantments.

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