After some discussion the heroes decided to split the party! Utilising an invisibility ritual and the raven-shapeshifter cloak, Magnus took off to scout out the lizardmen and, later, the dragon, to see if he could eavesdrop on any important and useful conversations; while the others explored the city some more, with everyone meeting up at dusk in a building they nominated as their temporary base. So off they went, as the sun rose above city ruins, basking the rubble and overgrowth in summery sunlight.
Magnus flew off to check out the lairs, spotting lizardmen and women inside buildings, as well as where the chief laired. This chief was in the process of having a liaison with his favourite female, and whilst they were busy, Magnus snuck in, stole the chief’s magic axe, and flew off as a raven; and realised that he couldn’t understand a word the lizardmen were saying; so off he went to check out the dragon instead, as they still weren’t too sure if the dragon was an illusion or not.
Meanwhile, the others went through some ruins, avoiding a rubble-strewn shell with buzzing similar to the giant flies they fought a few days ago, finding an ancient laboratory in the basement of another (along with three intact potions) and crossed the bridge over the stream, closer to the hill where the hall and the dragon laired. There they spotted a tent erected under a leaning roof. Cautiously they approached it, and while the rest of the party hid, Callum (using a mixture of stealth and the invisibility cube) crept up to the tent to listen.
Not far away, Magnus flew into the ruined hall to spy on the dragon. Still invisible he shifted to his normal form and watched the sleeping dragon, using his arcane senses to determine if it was an illusion or not: he was pretty convinced it was real. Then the vines and grass poking through the rubble started moving and tried to grab him; at the same time the dragon opened its eyes, looking in his direction. Magnus turned back to a raven and flew up to a gap in the arches, avoiding the grasping vines just in time. The dragon cast a spell, allowing it to see the invisible mage. He called out to him, asking what he was doing here, whether he had come to worship her: Magnus chatted for a little time, saving against a couple of spells to charm and hold him in place and learnt that (1) the dragon was not in league with the Raven King, but (2) it had given away the raven statuette it once has to a begging troop of fir darrig. Deciding maybe it was time to leave, Magnus started backing away, and once again the dragon tried to stop him, but he shifted back into raven form again and flew out through a window.
Below, not that far away, Callum called out to someone he could hear complaining inside the tent. He asked who it was, she asked the same in return, and offered the name of Aislin; then the tent flap moved, but nothing seemed to come out. He nipped in after beckoning the others to move in and surround the tent, still talking to the woman inside. Turns out she’s part of the Raven King’s gang, so Callum and Alf went inside, blocking the exit, but seeing no one; assuming she was invisible, they backed out, and pulled the tent down, hoping to capture whoever was inside: turned out to be empty, despite having heard the voice was inside. They drew their weapons…
…and it was at that moment that the dragon flew out of the hall, silhouetted against the sun, as it gave chase to Magnus as he flew away.