"As a living white dragon, Arauthator haunted the Sea of Moving Ice like an avenging wind, eating and enslaving the lesser races and forging his lair in the heart of this, the largest berg, Oyaviggaton. Personifying the brutality and savagery that is common among white dragons, Old Icy Death is a solid ally of the Cult of the Dragon.
In addition to his size, cunning, and ferocity, Arauthator wields spellcasting power that makes him a particularly dangerous foe. More than a century ago, during one of the period of excessive draconic violence known as the Rage of Dragons, Arauthator joined with a dozen other dragons in attacking the Hosttower of the Arcane in Luskan. Their assault toppled the west arm of the tower, and Arauthator scooped up numerous items of great magical importance and power, including at least three tomes of rare spells. The possibility of recovering those books is part of what drew me to the Sea of Moving Ice, as well as finding the Draakhorn to complete my agreement with Imani.
Of course, I expected to be able to negotiate with Arauthator if need be, but the Cult of the Dragon beat me here, and they convinced Old Icy Death to undergo the ritual that would turn him into a Dracolich. This, of course, made what would otherwise be an unreasonable tyrant, into a raving mad narcissist. I was captured, and all of my entourage were killed. It is only that I offered to translate some of these obscure texts that caused him to spare me."
Maccath paused to answer any questions, and later explained a little on dracoliches: "Creating a dracolich requires the cooperation of the dragon and a group of mages or cultists that can perform the terrible ritual. During the ritual, the dragon consumes a toxic brew that slays it instantly. The attendant spellcasters then ensnare its spirit and transfer it to a special gemstone that functions like a lich’s phylactery. As the dragon’s flesh rots away, the spirit inside the gem returns to animate the dragon’s bones.
If a dracolich’s physical form is ever destroyed, its spirit returns to the gem as long as the two are on the same plane. If the dracolich’s spirit gem is taken to another plane, the dracolich’s spirit has nowhere to go when its undead body is destroyed and simply passes into the afterlife. If you wish to truly defeat a dracolich, then you must find this gem."
She also added more on the Cult of the Dragon, "When I first arrived, the Cult was still here, negotiating payment with the dragon for services rendered. I met with this group's leader, Wyrmspeaker Varram the White. Thinking me not any threat, he revealed to me over dinner that when he left, he was heading to explore the Tomb of Deridius. In an effort to impress me, he told me that he had discovered the tomb east of Boareskyr Bridge, in the Serpent Hills."
"So where is Icy Death's phylactery? And does anyone here have a bag of holding? That should do the trick... " He briefly smiled - he had paid attention to his arcane teachings. " And who is this Deridius?"
"I know little of Deridius (my expertise is knowledge of Dragonkind), but I believe he was an ancient wizard who was famed for his divinations." Maccath shrugged, as if it meant very little to her. "Arauthator's gem will be very hard to locate. It will either be hidden in this lair, or another, or perhaps even taken by Varram for safe-keeping."
Mord's expression lightened up slightly at the mention of tomes of spells. But he listened intently. At the pause he did speak up. "Have you discovered anything relevant in this translation work?
Listening to the discussion about the phylactory, he pondered for a moment. "I wonder if there is a way to bring him to another plane and destroy him there. That would also satisfy the requirement as well, I suppose?"
Maccath answered Mord's first question with an excited babble that would only interest the most studious of archanists. She answered his second question, "Yes, that would work, but I can't imagine that it would be an easy thing to achieve."
Kalorn frowned. "How long would it take Arauthator to reform if we cannot dispose of his gem? And how can he be defeated? What magic does it have access to? I am assuming stealing the horn from him and leaving is not an option?"
“Would it be possible to talk to him?” Primus suggested. “Dragons are smart, but vain. Would a careful stroking of his ego perhaps give us what we want faster, and less deadly, than an outright attack.”
To Kalorn, Macaath replied, "Most dragons have minions who can gather the existing bones together and use their own magics to repair them. Then, the phylactery would return the Dragon's spirit to animate the dragon's original body. In this way, a dracolich might return in a matter of days or weeks. But - in a case where the dragon's original form can be scattered, lost, or destroyed, and no-one is actively working for the dragon to assist, it could take years for the phylactery to create a body from nothing. Though eventually, the dracolich would return in all its rage."
At Primus' suggestion, Macaath said, "I do not think that there is anything that you could offer that would cause Arauthator to give you the Draakhorn. Besides, he has taken an adviser in the form of a high-ranking dragon cultist called Wyrmsoul Arrufel. Arrufel resides in the east side of the dragon's lair with a few remaining cultists. His agenda and yours would be in direct competition."
"White dragons are always prone to violence, and nothing stays sane when it is made undead. And I have avoided joining the Cult of the Dragon myself because I have never found them to be reasonable." shrugged Maccath, "It may be possible. But both parties are more likely to be suspicious of you than each other, already having formed an alliance."
"Alas, nothing cements a friendship like a mutual enemy. Maybe if we sic the trolls on the cultists? I'm not sure they could be convincing actors. Though they might make a useful distraction to give us an opportunity to strike. On our terms."
Maccath nodded at Mord's suggestion, "That might be a good idea. I would not entirely trust the trolls to follow through with their agreement to attack the Dragon, whereas they would be very happy, I think, to kill some cultists. In addition, there are two ways I have seen to enter the lair. The main tunnel, used by the trolls, kobolds, and cultists, is back the way you came and down the circular corridor. There is also a back-way in, and it is in the cavern behind this one. It is only used by some kobolds, and myself. It is small enough that a troll could get stuck, but large enough for a smaller group to enter the lair by that way."
I think we have the beginnings of a plan then. And I'm pretty sure the trolls have a particular loathing for the people that 'Necromunched' their dragon. Do you feel up to joining us in battle? Or shall we 'collect' you on the way out?
That was a lot of talking and, waiting for the adult to take a decision, Lorenn yawned. But then he looked around him... All those scrolls and shiny things... And before he even thought about it, his invisible mage hand was already crawling under the tables. The trickster went out to "check if Alhana is ok" and casted a detect magic spell, then used Echo eyes, who's still in the shelter, to detect anything magical that Maccath could... spare. If we kill the Dracolich, she wouldn't need all those things anyway.
If you are ok, Lorenn casts Detect Magic as a ritual, if the talking may take 10 minutes. If not, then he just takes what looks nice. He searches for magic scrolls, mainly. Tell me what rolls you need.
"If I am going to be leaving soon, then I should like to finish my work here, as best I can." insisted Maccath, "And I have no desire to fight a dragon, magnificent as they are, even one that has been so terribly corrupted."
Kalorn scratched his chin, and rasped "The beginning of a plan quite. And if we can't get the cultists and the dragon to help, getting the trolls to stop supporting the dragon ... it's not quite divide and conquer, but close enough. There is one other faction though - the Kobolds. We had a fight with them, but I'm not sure how many are left... They are pretty pathetic, but not so pathetic we can ignore them in a fight, they could be a serious distraction.
"There is only a few dozen. Perhaps as many as thirty." said Maccath, "Kobolds do not do very well in this cold."
Imani's agents calculated that they had (figuratively) decimated the kobolds. If Maccath's information was correct, there could not be more than ten kobolds left. Possibly less.
While the discussion was going on, Lorenn was subtly eyeing the things on Maccath's desk.
Okay, There is a Tome on her desk that gives off a strange magical aura, and a scroll tucked closer to her that is definitely a spell-scroll. They are about equally hard to steal (the tome is obvious and she has the scroll close on purpose) requiring a dc16 sleight-of-hand check. I assume you have Mage Hand Legerdemain (rogue ability). Primus will notice if you take the scroll if you roll under 19 (his passive) and he'll notice if you take the tome if you roll under 24 (it's right there on the table in front of him). Most of the others are 14 or 15 passive. We'll talk about them if you fail the roll.